Review: Franchi Momentum .308 Winchester

Review: Franchi Momentum .308 Winchester
Chambered in .308 Winchester, the author’s Franchi Momentum has a 22-inch barrel with a threaded muzzle and a black synthetic stock with a recoil pad and integral sling-swivel studs. The internal box magazine holds four rounds.
Franchi was founded in 1868 in Brescia, Italy. It’s now part of the Beretta Holding Group, which also includes Benelli, Stoeger, Uberti, Steiner, and Burris Optics. While these firms coexist under the same corporate umbrella, each is a separate entity, and they are competitors within their respective markets. Of course, Franchi is a well-known and respected name in shotguns, with a diverse line of over-unders, side-by-sides, pumps, and semiautos. The brand-new Momentum bolt action that is the subject of this review is the company’s first-ever centerfire sporting rifle. I think the new rifle is momentous.

The Momentum Inside & Out

The Momentum is made in Italy and incorporates several features that enhance accuracy, ergonomics, and appearance. Officially introduced on January 22, 2018, at the SHOT Show, the Momentum is now available in the United States in a variety of configurations. Overall, it has smooth contours on the metal and stock surfaces for improved ergonomics. The action’s one-piece bolt is chrome-plated and is the same diameter as the three locking lugs. This produces a quick, 60-degree bolt lift that’s aided by the sleek, cone-shaped bolt knob. The recessed boltface surrounds the cartridge case head in steel and has a sliding extractor and a plunger ejector. The bolt-release lever is at the left rear of the receiver. The two-position safety does not lock the bolt, so the chamber can be unloaded with the safety “On.” The barrel is cold hammer-forged steel.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/FranchiMomentum1.jpg
The Momentum’s one-piece bolt has three large locking lugs, a plunger-type ejector, a sliding plate extractor, and a bolt guide groove on its bottom that moves over the bolt release for smooth travel.

The Momentum is chambered for several of today’s most popular cartridges, including .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, .30-06 Springfield, and .300 Winchester Magnum. Barrel length is 22 inches, except for the 6.5 Creedmoor and .300 Win. Mag., which have 24-inch tubes. All versions are available with threaded muzzles, and thread-protecting caps are provided. Non-threaded barrels are available on all models except the 6.5 Creedmoor, .30-06, and .300 Win. Mag. The three .30-caliber models have 1:11-inch twists, the .270 and .243 have 1:10-inch twists, and the 6.5 Creedmoor has a 1:8-inch twist. The internal box magazine has a hinged floorplate, and the capacity is four rounds for all chamberings except the .300 Win. Mag. Capacity for the Magnum is three rounds.

The Momentum website says the single-stage trigger is “adjustable from 2 to 4 pounds,” but my gun’s owner’s manual says the trigger mechanism “can only be adjusted by the gun maker or by an authorized gun dealer.” The trigger on my test gun broke at 3 pounds, 5.2 ounces and was very crisp, with little take-up.


The Momentum’s sturdy synthetic stock is very different from most “plastic stocks” these days, as it’s very stiff, highly functional, and attractive. Its rigid midsection has solid bedding points under the action, and the fore-end has molded-in reinforcing cross-members and a longitudinal stabilizing bar along the bottom.


//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/FranchiMomentum2.jpg

Instead of yucky molded-in “checkering,” the stock has what Franchi calls “integrated grip panels” that look like square fish scales. They are classy and provide a good handhold. There are even textured gripping panels right above the magazine, should you want to hold the stock there for offhand shooting, and there’s a cut-out at the toe of the stock for your hand when you’re shooting off a bench.

Both swivel attachment points are recessed. Plus, the stock has Franchi’s proprietary “Twin Shock Absorption” (TSA) recoil pad that not only soaks up recoil, but also provides for a length of pull adjustment.

I’ve saved one of the Momentum’s best features until last. All models are available as a “Rifle Combo” package that includes a new Burris Fullfield II 3-9X 40mm riflescope, 1-inch steel Burris Zee rings, and a pair of Weaver-type bases, all in the box with the rifle. I’ve used Burris Fullfield scopes for years, and they are top notch and represent an excellent value. But, as they say on TV, there’s more. The MSRP of the Momentum combo package is only $120 more than the rifle alone. Now, I can cipher, so it’s obvious that getting a $239 scope and $28 mounts for only $120 more is obviously a heck of a deal. However, if you opt for the Momentum without scope, the receiver is drilled and tapped for the popular Remington Model 700-pattern two-piece bases.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/FranchiMomentum4.jpg
The rifle’s two-position safety does not lock the bolt, so the chamber can be unloaded with the safety “On.”

In the Field & on the Range


I tested the Momentum in two venues. The first was last December when I hunted whitetails, feral hogs, javelina, and raccoons in Zavala County, Texas, with C-T Outfitters on a ranch of about 80,000 acres that is literally crawling with thousands of deer, including many 8- and 10-point trophy bucks, lots of feral hogs, plump Rio Grande turkeys, and the little native javelina.

The Franchi rifle I used was chambered to .308, and it performed to a “T.” Over the course of three days, I took two 8-point bucks; two hogs, including a 200-pound boar; two javelinas; and three raccoons. I have taken dozens of deer and quite a few hogs over the years, but never a javelina, so it was great to check this species off my bucket list.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/FranchiMomentum5.jpg
From the bench, the .308 Momentum averaged 0.95 inch for five-shot groups at 100 yards with 10 factory loads and five handloads. Its best groups wereunder 0.75 inch.

The rifle I used on the hunt was the European model, and I noted that the space between the barrel and stock on this model was pretty slim, which could possibly adversely affect accuracy. If a flexible synthetic stock has too little space between the barrel and the stock channel, it can flex enough under recoil to touch a “free-floated” barrel, which is then, of course, not free-floated for that shot. This can lead to erratic accuracy. However, the clever engineers at Franchi have avoided this problem in the Momentum by redesigning the barrel channel to be a bit larger than on the one I used and by making the stock stiffer. This modification paid off, as the production Momentum I later used for a thorough shooting session on my home range shot uniformly good groups throughout my testing. Making another stock mold to implement this change is expensive, so kudos to Franchi for biting the bullet and making this important change.


As I just mentioned, my second opportunity with the Momentum was to wring out a brand-new production model on my home range. It also was chambered for .308. In addition to the changes to the stock, the barrel of this Momentum is slightly larger in diameter than the rifle I used in Texas. The bolt has spiral fluting that makes bolt travel smoother, and it looks pretty snazzy, too.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/FranchiMomentum6.jpg

My test gun is the “Rifle Combo” package with the Burris 3-9X scope, rings, and bases. I had the scope mounted on my test gun in a jiffy and was ready for the range.

Since the Momentum is first and foremost a hunting rifle, I stuck mostly with big-game ammo. I fired 10 factory loads and five of my favorite .308 Win. handloads from my shooting building at 100 yards, and the results are shown in the accompanying chart. Overall, the Momentum averaged 1.01 inches with factory loads and a sizzling 0.83 inch with handloads.

On our Texas hunt, we used Fiocchi’s Extrema Hunter ammo loaded with the Hornady 150-grain SST bullet, and it was a pure death ray. Here at home, the velocity of the Fiocchi load averaged 2,808 fps, which produced 2,627 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. Groups averaged 0.98 inch.

Tops in the accuracy department for factory fodder was Hornady’s Custom Lite loaded with the 125-grain SST bullet, which averaged a terrific 0.60 inch. This ammo is great for recoil-sensitive shooters, as the reduction in recoil over full-strength loads is about 45 percent. And with 1,654 ft-lbs at the muzzle, this makes a good deer load. The Federal 150-grain Fusion load averaged 0.83 inch, and Hornady’s new Precision Hunter ammo with the 178-grain ELD-X bullet was close behind at 0.87 inch.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/FranchiMomentum7.jpg
Franchi offers the Momentum in several configurations, including a “Combo” that comes with a factory-installed Burris FullField II riflescope.

I used some new Starline cases for my handloads, and they proved tough and long lasting. I’ve had such good luck with Hodgdon CFE 223 and VihtaVuori N540 powders that I used them exclusively for the handloads.

Overall, I give the new Momentum high marks. It is good looking, pleasant to handle, and uniformly accurate. It’s offered chambered for a variety of cartridges, so there’s one that would be suitable for just about any hunting scenario. And at the price, especially the scoped combo package, it represents real value.

This year is Franchi’s 150th anniversary, so the company decided to celebrate by offering a special “Anniversary Limited Edition” of the Momentum. This beauty’s stock is made of AA-grade satin walnut, and it has a 22-inch barrel and glossy blue metal finish. It’s a real looker. And it is chambered for the good old .30-06. Production is limited to 1,000 units.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The Glock 21

The Glock 21

Frank and Tony from Gallery of Guns spice up the Glock test using their non-dominant hands.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.” Optics

Review: Bushnell FORGE 4.5-27X 50mm

Sam Wolfenberger - May 01, 2019

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.”

How can a shorter-barrel revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barrel semiauto pistol? Here's why. Handguns

Revolver vs. Semiauto Pistol: A Ballistic Oddity

Allan Jones - May 15, 2019

How can a shorter-barrel revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barrel semiauto pistol?...

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but during his lifetime he was popularly called the “pioneer benchrester.”  Gunsmithing

Harvey Donaldson: Pioneer Benchrester

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but...

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts. Accessories

Shooting Times Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Shooting Times editor Joel Hutchcroft provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

If there's a trend in new rifles for 2020, it is surely toward .22 rimfires, with a nod to the continuing popularity of Rifles

22 New Rifles for 2020

Steve Gash - July 01, 2020

If there's a trend in new rifles for 2020, it is surely toward .22 rimfires, with a nod to the...

The Wilson Combat Ranch Rifle in .300 HAM'R, a round developed by Bill Wilson himself, is just right for hog hunting. Rifles

Wilson Combat Ranch Rifle .300 HAM'R Review

Layne Simpson - December 17, 2019

The Wilson Combat Ranch Rifle in .300 HAM'R, a round developed by Bill Wilson himself, is just...

Roy Weatherby clearly intended his Mark XXII rifles to be heirloom-quality firearms that look wonderful, shoot superbly, and run reliably. There's no doubt it's the best-looking rimfire I've ever owned, and I'll be darned if it doesn't shoot like a bolt-action match rifle. Rifles

Weatherby Mark XXII Rifle Review

Joseph von Benedikt - May 28, 2020

Roy Weatherby clearly intended his Mark XXII rifles to be heirloom-quality firearms that look...

Christensen has announced the Ranger 22, a rimfire rifle with a carbon fiber tension barrel built for competition shooters and small game hunters alike. Rifles

Christensen Arms Ranger 22 Rimfire Rifle – First Look

Shooting Times Digital Staff - January 24, 2020

Christensen has announced the Ranger 22, a rimfire rifle with a carbon fiber tension barrel...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Shooting Times subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now