I was at Daane's Ace Hardware in Oostburg today. They have the ***20 gauge*** (ouch, hurts to type it) Franchi SL in stock, as well as the 16 ga White Lightning with the 26" barrels. No 16ga Franchi SL in stock.
So just for fun I picked up and handled the 20 ga SL. It was dynamite: feels great, light as a feather, and my eye looks perfectly down the barrel--all I see is a bead.
Then I walked over to the 16ga White Lightning. It felt like I picked up a 43" 2x4. It wasn't fair to pick up a 16 after a 20, but still...
They're both around $1400 there. I made myself walk out before I bought the Franchi. I'm going to check out the 16ga SL before I make up my mind about anything.
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Location: Tappahannock, Virginia
The Franchi 20ga SL with 3/4oz loads is one sweet overbored 28ga! I bought one last summer before the 16 was announced. Apparently the 16 is made in a different factory than the 12 and 20? Read that some where I believe.
My twenty was very difficult to open and close when new. Better now but still stiff. Iíd like to handle one in sixteen sometime.
If you limited to just one gun, then 16 is a good choice, but it shouldn't be too short or light if you are going to use it for waterfowl or turkey.
While not disputing the all around greatness of the 16 gauge, I don't like being a one trick pony. I find that a 20 gauge is plenty for grouse and 28 gauge a fine choice as well. And, I think it makes sense to go up or down in weight of the gun relative to the gauge.
_________________ Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen
Browning Citori Superlite Feather 16 ga.
Merkel 1620 (straight stock and single trigger)
Joined: 14 Jan 2006
Location: Lancaster county, Pa
If Grouse is your game you'll never regret the light gun. Not because it's fast but because all the super thick cover. There are a lot of times when you hold it with one hand by the grip out in front of you as your parting the sea's of brush and maneuvering through spots rabbits can't go. My woodcock and grouse covers don't have nice open woods and roads to walk down. In the target game weight doesn't hurt you in the grouse cover if you are hunting hard and chasing dogs the light gun is easier to maneuver and more importantly keep at the ready in front of you. A heaver gun I tend to lay across my arm or carry one handed at my side from time to time for a break. All that is easily doable with a 7lb Citori but it's a pleasure with a 6lb Fox. Sorry had to stir the pot a little. I always bust my shooting buddies balls when I shoot their 9lb Kreighoff's. I ask them how do you shoot this piece of concrete? How can you possibly mount that gun before the target is gone. They don't that's how they all shoot gun up.
I have a 12 ga Model 24 that I love shooting trap with. I saw this Model 24 with 26" barrels and Improved/Mod chokes. Two triggers, chokes will be fine for grouse, and it's got a little more history than a brand new Citori. Also probably weighs the same or less. I know: totally different gun.
And I'm going to pick up the Franchi SL 20 tomorrow.
THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR INSIGHTS, guys! That was a fun thread!
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Location: Western WA
Any opinions on whether that's too heavy for a ruffed grouse getter?
A loaded 12 ga Model 12 approaching 9 lbs with a custom oversize linseed-soaked Herters Grand Deluxe American Walnut stock makes an OUTSTANDING grouse gun and a delight to carry from sunrise to dark in tag alder swamps and 3 year old aspen clearcuts. but only if you are 21 years old, 155 lbs wrestling trim and can live on what you carry into the woods on your motorcycle.
Otherwise if it is 45 years later, then no gun can really be light enough for an easy afternoon stroll for grouse down gated logging roads.
Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)
used to be fine carrying my SX1 skeet gun for grouse - did well . now , am daily trying to figure out hot to get my LT20 1100 down to like 3 #'s for that sort of thing . Was a mtn goat back then , slow slug now ! No gun was ever made too light . If my 16ga caplock wasn't such a PITA to carry extra loads and reload ,, I'd use that ! 33'' barrel and about 5#'s .
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