I bought a Franchi Instinct SL O/U shotgun last weekend at Sail. My hunting buddy Jason Quinn helped me pick it out. It is 20 gauge with 26″ barrels. Sounds rather run of the mill, doesn’t it, but the backstory leading to this purchase is a little more detailed.
It was Saturday morning and Jason messaged me at 0700 asking if I were interested in a morning dog run. I sure was and picked him up at his house with his dog Nos at 0800. We stopped to get coffee at Tim Hortons and went to the parkland along the Rideau River where we run our dogs. Jason asked if I wanted to go to Le Baron Outdoor Products after the run. He noted Le Baron had a sale on where they would pay the tax on purchases. Jason had his eye on a Leupold scope for his new Ruger RSM in 375 H&H rifle. This suited me fine as I was thinking of asking him the same thing. I had my eye on a new 20 gauge O/U shotgun the past couple of years. Jason, who is active in various online gun forums, kept an eye out for me in case one came up for sale, but no luck. I decided to buy one new, if needs be, in time for this hunting season. As Le Baron does not open until 10:00, I asked if we could go to Sail as they open at 0900. Jason agreed and we dropped Nos off at his house before heading to Sail.
We got to Sail and went to the gun shop. I asked the clerk who served us if there were any 20 gauge O/U shotguns. There were three: two Brownings and a Franchi. I handled all three and found I really liked the Franchi. It fit very nicely, was light and well-balanced with its 26″ barrels. In addition, it cost less than the Brownings. Jason suggested calling Le Baron to see if they had one in stock; why not save on the taxes after all. Jason called and asked if they had a Franchi Instinct SL O/U shotgun in 20 gauge in stock and they said they did. The clerk at Sail told us before we left that Sail would match the price Le Baron asked for the gun, if it were the same gun, that is. We went to Le Baron where Jason picked up the Leupold scope he wanted. However, the Franchi Instinct SL O/U shotgun in 20 gauge at Le Baron had 28″ barrels and the receiver had a different texture. The gun was noticeably heavier than the one I handled at Sail. I decided to buy the gun at Sail and take up Sail on its offer to match the price at Le Baron.
Jason and I returned to Sail where the clerk was surprised to see us. We told him I wanted to buy the Franchi shotgun he showed us earlier and reminded him of the promise to match the price of the gun at Le Baron. He looked up the Le Baron catalogue online to check the price and the gun at Le Baron was the same model. He determined it was not on the basis of a numbering system used by vendors. The numbers did not match on the gun listed in the Le Baron catalogue with those of the gun at Sail. Jason was not convinced, he drives a hard bargain, maintaining they are both Franchi Instinct O/U shotguns in 20 gauge. However, when we looked closer at the description on the Le Baron catalogue the gun is listed as a Franchi Instinct L O/U shotgun, that and of course it has 28″ barrels. On that basis we accepted they were not the same gun and as I really liked the the Franchi I handled at Sail, I bought it on the spot. Together with the shotgun, I purchased two additional choke tubes, both in skeet. I intend to use the new shotgun in the uplands come woodcock season so a very open choke is the preferred choice. The total came to $2203.47, money well spent in my opinion. I really look forward to taking it into the field come October. What started as a Saturday morning dog run turned out quite differently and I could not be happier.
Posted by Geoffrey