Gun Review: Franchi Momentum Rifle in .308 Win

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Franchi, a 150-year-old shotgun manufacturer, clearly felt it was high time an affordable Italian hunting rifle hit U.S. shores. Affordable? Italian? Yes and yes. Meet the Franchi Momentum Bolt-Action Rifle. Available in six calibers, TTAG gave the $609 MSRP .308 Winchester flavor a test drive.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Unsurprisingly, the Momentum is equipped with a synthetic stock. Synthetic as in black plastic, to be clear, not as in carbon fiber or some other fancy stuff. From afar it looks pretty standard, but it does set itself apart in a few ways.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Moving back-to-front, things start out with a cushy rubber recoil pad. It doesn’t snag or grab clothes but somehow it’s still plenty soft and grippy. It tames the recoil of this 6.6-pound rifle extremely well. I’ve shot heavier .308s with more felt recoil than this guy. Spacers are included for length of pull adjustment.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

In front of the recoil pad, on the bottom of the Momentum’s shoulder stock, are two molded-in features: a hand groove grip area for holding the stock with one’s support hand while shooting from a rest, and a recessed sling swivel mount. I can’t say I love the idea of a polymer sling mount with a relatively thin wall to it, but it’s definitely more out-of-the-way than a protruding stud.

I like the straight comb with minimal drop and I found the cheek weld comfortable. Not much going on here, really, but it’s simple and it works. The narrow width put my eye behind the scope nicely but also leaves enough fudge factor for owners who will add an aftermarket cheek piece or wrap.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

A fairly vertical pistol grip offers comfortable control from most any shooting position. The molded-in checkering is clean and sharp but in no way uncomfortable. I could go for a more grabby grip myself, but the Momentum’s checkering is certainly sufficient.

The pistol grip is thicker than on many similar stocks, which I appreciate a lot, but at the same time a little more palm swell wouldn’t hurt.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Swelled and checkered grip areas are molded into both sides of the stock over the internal magazine and again at the beginning of the forearm section.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Courtesy Franchi

These areas are designed to provide purchase and ergonomic grip options for different shooting positions and styles, such as the five seen above.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Forearm checkering extends nearly all the way forward, ending just short of another molded-in and recessed sling swivel mount.

Franchi talks up the ergonomics of the Momentum big time on their website. While I believe they’ve succeeded in creating a stock that accommodates many different shooting positions and feels above average in all, it doesn’t necessary excel in any of them. Ultimately it still looks and feels like an inexpensive, plastic stock that you’d expect to find on a budget hunting rifle.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

That said, the polymer quality and stiffness are better than many. Though the forend wasn’t perfectly centered — coming closer to the left side of the barrel than the right side — it was stiff enough that causing it to contact the free-floated barrel was difficult and wouldn’t happen under most typical use.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Releasing the floor plate of the 4-round, internal magazine is accomplished via a lever inside the front of the trigger guard. Push it flush with the inside of the trigger guard, and . . .

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Floorplate, spring, and follower tilt out. All are captive so you won’t lose them. To be clear, you’ll load the rifle from the top, pushing one round at a time down and into the internal magazine, and this function allows you to safely and easily unload the Momentum.

So, too, will the rifle’s 2-position safety allow you to load and unload safely. Even on “safe,” the bolt can be manipulated to chamber or eject a round.

At the back of the bolt shroud, the firing pin protrudes to show cocked status (as seen above) and is flush with the rear of the bolt shroud when not cocked.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Fancy for an affordable rifle, the Franchi Momentum sports a one-piece, fluted bolt. A shiny one.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

It’s a 3-lug design with a decently large extractor and ejector and large locking lugs.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

A common benefit to a 3-lug design as opposed to a 2-lug design is a shorter bolt throw. Indeed, the Momentum’s bolt only travels 60 degrees from fully open to fully locked and vice-versa, whereas your typical 2-lug job requires a 90-degree throw.

On the flip side, a 60-degree throw is often — not always, but usually — stiffer, and this was the case here. Unlocking the Momentum’s bolt took more effort than a typical Remington 700. As did locking it. Nothing problematic, but clearly noticeable.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Removing the bolt, however, is easier thanks to a release lever located on the side of the action. Simply depress the rear of it while sliding the bolt out the back of the receiver.

Scope bases follow the Remington 700 mounting footprint, but the action length does not so only 2-piece R700 bases or separate rings will work.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

All six chamberings available in U.S.-market Momentums come with a threaded barrel. In the case of the .308 Winchester tested here, it’s a 22-inch, cold hammer forged barrel with U.S.-standard 5/8-24 threads.

Yes, it shipped with a knurled thread protector but I immediately lost it when I slapped my Dead Air Sandman Ti on.

So . . . onto the best part!

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

For some unknown reason it really didn’t like Gorilla’s super nice, match-grade ammo and that entirely unoffensive group above was really horrible by Franchi Momentum standards.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

Nor did it entirely love the excellent Hornady Black ammo, putting two rounds through the “O” that I was aiming at and three in another very tight group some distance away. Another group was slightly more evenly distributed but similar in size.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

The Momentum loved Armscor’s 168 grain FMJs, though. This ammo is usually an average accuracy performer for me, but dang did the Franchi shoot it well.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Jeremy S. for TTAG

It also really liked this 147 grain MEN stuff that I bought in bulk — cheap — some years ago basically just for semi-auto “plinking” use. You know, turning ammo into noise kind of use.

I mean, this is one heck of a tight group! Way sub-MOA. Likely sub-half-MOA. No, naturally I forgot to measure and I didn’t keep the targets (estimating with the On Target app based on the dimensions of the ammo box, it’s about 0.45 MOA). Yes, that’s five rounds as always.

Nor do my groups appear to be outliers for the Momentum. Combing the interwebs just now I see other reviews reporting groups from 0.40 to 2 MOA depending on caliber and ammunition brand/load. Though the tightest of those were from outlets that shoot 3-round groups, for what that’s worth (well, it’s worth a tighter average group size).

These are incredible results from a rifle with an MSRP barely over $600! And based on my limited sample size, this budget rifle seems to prefer budget ammo. Fantastic.

Franchi Momentum .308 Rifle

Courtesy Franchi

Helping the Franchi Momentum turn in great groups — well, helping the shooter do his or her part better — is a wonderful factory trigger. Adjustable from 2 pounds to 4 pounds, my sample fell right in the middle of that range. It’s a crisp, clean, single-stage trigger with no slack or take-up and a nice break.

I have my moments of trigger snobbery, but if I owned a Momentum I wouldn’t spend money seeking a trigger upgrade or ‘smithing work.

With a typical retail price of $549, the Franchi Momentum is a lot of Italian hunting rifle for not a lot of cash. Accurate, lightweight, and comfortable with a great trigger, it’s a solid choice to fill your freezer this season.

Specifications: Franchi Momentum in .308

Caliber: .308 Winchester (available in five other calibers, too)
Capacity: 4+1
Barrel Length: 22 inches
Twist Rate: 1:11
Overall Length: 42.3 inches
Length of Pull: 14 inches (adjustable with spacers)
Trigger: 2-4 lbs, adjustable, single stage
Weight: 6.6 pounds
MSRP: $609 (about $450 retail)

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance  * * * *
Pretty typical for a synthetic-stocked, budget-oriented hunting rifle. I’m giving the Momentum an extra star above “average” for the polished, fluted bolt and all the checkered ergonomic areas on the stock that fancy it up a bit.

Ergonomics  * * * *
Again one star better than average in this category, but it still leaves plenty of room for improvement.

Customization  * * * *
Remington 700 footprint scope bases, a threaded barrel, and a user-adjustable trigger put the Momentum one star above average here, too.

Accuracy  * * * * *
Awesome at this price range. Or even at a much higher price range. Very impressed.

Overall  * * * *
A very solid four stars here for the Franchi Momentum bolt-action rifle. If you’re into Italian and you’re into affordable, but you still want some Ferrari performance at the Fiat price, Franchi’s Momentum delivers the goods.

comments

  1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Another modern made piece of shit.

    Its a push feed which means if you short stroke the bolt you can get a jam that I guarantee will take you half an hour to un-jam. I know I have expediencies it.

    A 60 degree bolt lift that makes second fast shots from the shoulder a complete impossibility.

    A junk injection molded plasticky stock that expands with heat and contracts with cold. They are also slippery when wet and ice cold to touch in winter. And a nice walnut stock would have cost them a few more pennies to use. The plasticky stock is Pure junk.

    A hammer fudged junk barrel that was obviously used. Two shots were thrown right out of the group and the barrel was not yet even very warm.

    A junk plasticky trigger guard, its enough to make you barf just looking at it.

    A junk dull blue finish, it would have costed them too much to put a decent high gloss bluing on it.

    1. avatar Squiggy81 says:

      So how do you really feel?
      In this price range, this rifle appears to be a very good value. It’s like comparing a Kia against a BMW. Sure, you can have better fit and finish, but it costs more.
      If you want an accurate rifle with a threaded barrel and a decent trigger, it doesn’t seem like you can go wrong with this one for under $500. If you want a wood stock, metal parts, and nice bluing, feel free to spend an extra $300 or more on a Ruger Hawkeye or similar.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        Ok I concede your right to a degree but there are tons and tons of older made deer rifles on the market. Model 70’s and tons and tons of various 98 Mauser rifles ranging from converted low cost military guns to commercial Mausers that cost thousands. Take your pick but you get a super reliable gun and if you ever broke an extractor or firing pin you can change them out right in the field within minutes. Try that some time with a modern made low budget piece of shit. I even bought one Mauser with a shot out barrel knowing it was shot out for $240 dollars complete with scope and had a local gunsmith rebarrel it for me and reblue the whole gun and I had only $600 in it. Yes its more than that modern piece of shit for $300 but I have found other used Mauser sporters including commercially made ones in the $300 dollar range not once but many , many times. I have a Sears gun with an FN Action and a deluxe hand checkered walnut stock (real hand checkering not junk machine cut checkering) in .270 caliber and I paid $300 for it used. Just a few examples of what is out there on the used market so why in the hell would anyone be dumb enough to buy modern made piece of garbage.

        Leave the modern made junk guns to the young and inexperienced people which results in the good stuff out there being more plentiful for us old foxes that know what a quality gun is and what a reliable one is.

        I found not too long ago a Husqvarna Mauser for $400 bucks in like new condition. Again a super nice old world crafted gun anyone would be proud to own and show off to friends. Most people hide their plasticky pieces of shit from their friends if their friends are the “old foxes” who know what “a real gun is”.

        1. avatar Broke_It says:

          The more you talk the clearer it becomes that you’ve never held much less used a gun.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Shut up Vlad. You have no opinion worth anything

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Manse, he actually has a point this time. A lot of older rifles are very superior to these entry level rifles. Although, I think Vlad is optimistic on price, but you can find a deal. If you’re patient and know what you’re doing.

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          This gun is for actually hunting in adverse conditions and not worrying about scratching it or damage. He missed the entire point of the product to rant about what great deals can be had on old guns. I’ve got an old 700 that is a beautiful gun and was a great deal but I’m taking the plastic stock Savage up in the tree this fall. This gun is very accurate, has a great bump pad to absorb recoil (unlike most wood rifles) and has a threaded barrel for good measure. Great deal.

          Vlad is an asshole in general who needs to go away.

        2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          wrong person

        3. avatar Broke_It says:

          The best part of learning how much I love hunting was how little I first put in. There was getting to the point where I found I needed better but that’s not how the first few years took off. A fine rifle like this is perfect for beating to shit while you learn the other basics.

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          GSG, I always just hunted. Never worried much about how my rifle looked either before or after the hunt. Just how it shot when the time came.

  2. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    I’d like to know how the Sandman suppressor performed. I mean, I realize you use supersonic ammunition and would have liked to have heard how home-rolled subsonic ammo performed.

    Thanks for the review!

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      It’s a great suppressor. Performance is really good. Today, though, I would buy a Dead Air Nomad or a CGS Hyperion given the choice of anything on the market.

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Would I buy this rifle? No. However, if this was not a ringer and indicative of the accuracy to be expected, it would be a great entry level rifle.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      Just remember one thing the price of the good older stuff keeps going up and up so when you waste your money on junk it never goes up in value as fast as the good stuff so when you do get around to buying something of quality you lost twice not once. You lost when you bought junk because it will always be low cost junk and you lost when you went to purchase something of quality because the price went way up because you fked around too long before you realized you should have bought quality to begin with when it was still relatively affordable.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        I think a majority of Americans know the old saying you just took a paragraph to explain.

        “Buy once, Cry once”

        So where are you from originally and where are you now…..I’m thinking not the US.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Looking past your racism when you buy once and buy quality you never cry about it, your just damn glad you made the right decision because often a lost opportunity is just that, it never comes again in life. Remember the cheap skates that passed up Colt Pythons when they were only $260 bucks and now are 10 times that. I cannot give a better example than that.

        2. avatar Broke_It says:

          Vald, I love me some harbor freight. Granted, I got the better tools for measuring how off what they sold is but there’s some applications where cheap is better. Feeler gauges became shims for my lathe and mill. Beater rifles go until they can’t. Good luck wearing one out with your old ass, you could have the best or worst and it wouldn’t matter since it’s seeing all of a day of use once a season. I try to ruin stuff like this and am always amazed how much it will take.

        3. avatar neiowa says:

          Vlad is typical progtard. Cries “racism” when pointed out that is an idiot. How may races are there and is idiot one?

  4. avatar GS650G says:

    What matters is on the paper for 550 dollars and a threaded barrel to boot. You don’t want fine wood and blued steel in the rain on a hunt.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      Maybe not, but I have been caught in down pores and all the morons that were with me came back to the car with rust on their guns but not me. I knew an unknown secret that they did not know, its called grease and oil. Saving a penny by not buying grease and oil costs you hundreds of dollars in rust repair. I might add when I got back to the car even with all that grease and oil on my gun I still sprayed it down with WD40 and again when I got it home and dried everything off. Again not a spot of rust.

      Yes if I were going to Alaska where you can run into damp rainy weather for days on end I would either have my Mauser electrolysis nickle plated (it plates even the inside of a receiver and barrel) or if I wanted to get off cheap take a chance on a modern stainless rifle that probably would freeze up in very cold weather with their speed lock mechanisms which are idiotic in a hunting rifle.

  5. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    In case anyone is wondering and didn’t click the link, it’s available in 6.5Creedmore. Also 243win, 270 win, 300 win mag and 30-06.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      So with 6.5CM it’s sure to take the deers soul.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        I might add for a hunting rifle the 6.5 Swede is superior to the 6.5 Screedmore. More velocity with the heavier bullets which by the way do not work so well in the 6.5 Creedmore. I would not even try and shoot a moose with the Creedmore but its no problem with the 6.5 Swede with its 1 in 7.8 twist with the 160 grain slugs. Its actually a piece of cake. It is still a preferred caliber in Scandinavia for big game. Newer is not always better. As a matter of fact these days it usually sucks.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Well yeah man it’s a larger case. It’s like saying 300 Blackout isn’t as effective as 300 WinMag. Like, sure. But 300 WinMag doesn’t fit in an AR15 and 6.5 Swede doesn’t fit in a short action. There’s also no shortage of cartridges that send a 6.5mm bullet at much higher velocities than the Swede so I have to assume by your metric those are all superior to the Swede? BTW unless you’re reloading, the vast majority of factory 6.5 Creedmoor is quite a bit faster than the same projectile in 6.5×55.

          But the biggest difference is that Franchi is hoping to sell rifles, and they’ll sell 90, 6.5 Creeds for every 6.5×55 they sell 😉

        2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          To Jeremy

          quote————–But the biggest difference is that Franchi is hoping to sell rifles, and they’ll sell 90, 6.5 Creeds for every 6.5×55 they sell ————quote

          Yes your quite right on that and its sad that the majority of hunters never bother to educate themselves in regards to the plethora of 6.5 mm cartridges invented over the years. I have found the majority of shooters have a “herd” mentality and always believe that “the latest is the greatest”.

          I might add I have never found any real advantage with a short action rifle either. I have found a lot of draw backs such as a cramped magazine box that when I tried to seat bullets out there was no room in the magazine to do so therefore I had excess bullet jump into the throat of the barrel, especially older barrels with slightly eroded throats and not being able to seat the bullet out sometimes does not give you the best accuracy. I came over the years to loath short action rifles.

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        I’d prefer 7mm-08, but 6.5 is the newest kid on the block.

  6. avatar neiowa says:

    Made in Italy? Can Italian go to a local gun store and buy one (or any firearm) without a government license or permission? NO

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_control_in_Italy

    F Franchi, and Baretta and their ilk. See also Gluck

    1. avatar Someone says:

      Italy has crazy gun control laws, like most of Europe. And like most of the rest of the world for that matter. How is it Franchi’s fault again? Same for Austria and Glock.
      With attitude like that, you will only buy domestic products and if leftists have their way, none. How us that helping?

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