As the only member of the TTAG staff who hadn’t attended SHOT previously, I got paired up with my battle buddy Dan Zimmerman for today’s Media Day at the Range. Given that Dan’s a real scattergun fan, we set off to explore the wide world of clay busters as the first order of business. We immediately got sucked into the Benelli universe (not that there’s anything wrong with that) where a case colored receiver and some finely finished walnut caught Dan’s eye. The gun? Franchi’s Instinct Catalyst over/under . . .
Dan the man speaks a different language when he’s around people of a similar persuasion, namely fellow shotgunners. He and Carter Miller from Benelli spent time discussing the finer points of a higher comb, a shorter length of pull, and a bit more cast off, all things the Catalyst offers. Meanwhile, I fiddled with my camera and bounced from toe to toe, ready to shoot our first gun of SHOT 2016.
Age before beauty though. Dan took the first crack at it, sheepishly admitting that with his small hands and compact stature, a gun scaled down for women might be just his speed. And just his it appeared to be, as our intrepid editor was knocking clays out of the sky like it was his job. I also took a couple of passes at the course of fire, and found the bright fiber optic front sight to be quite easy to pick up on our overcast morning. And similar to Dan, I was quickly knocking clays out of the sky.
The Franchi Instinct Catalyst carries a retail price of $1599, a half way point between the L and SL models, which MSRP for $1349 and $1699 respectively. If market conditions hold for the Catalyst the way the L and SL models have already shown, real world pricing will be about $200 less…in the neighborhood of $1400. That’s a pretty penny for an over/under shotgun, but it still beats the pants of the nearly $3K that Benelli charges for the 828U. Naturally, we’ve asked our friends at the Italian giant for a T&E sample for further review and examination.