Written By Matt Heden

Beretta A300 Vs Franchi Affinity 3: A Hunters Comparison

They say that a good craftsman never blames his tools, but when it comes to waterfowl hunting, having the right shotgun can make a pretty big difference.

Recently, I had purchased a guided hunt with a few of my buddies. We arrived at the blind, I pulled my shotgun out and went to pull the bolt handle back and nothing happened – it was stuck, completely frozen up. My once shotgun of choice was now a complete block of junk right at the start of a paid hunt. No matter what we did, no one could get the gun unfrozen. Luckily, someone brought a spare shotgun……just in case. 

I tell you this story because it was at that moment that I realized – the right shotgun can make or break a hunt. 

Having looked at a number of mid-range options to purchase next – I found myself between the Beretta A300 and the Franchi Affinity 3. Well, I couldn’t decide – so I purchased both. The question was – which shotgun was better?

Both the Beretta A300 and the Franchi Affinity 3 are renowned for their performance and reliability; these shotguns have gained a loyal following among hunters and sports shooters alike – after shooting both, I can understand why people love them and why they are usually lumped together in comparison.

Today, we’ll look at some of the key factors that set these two shotguns apart, from design and ergonomics to recoil reduction systems, choke options versatility, ease of operation, customization and adjustability, and maintenance and durability.

By the end, I hope that you’ll have a clearer picture of which shotgun best suits your needs, but you should know upfront – either of these shotguns will do the job, and they will do it well.

Key Takeaways

Both the Beretta A300 and Franchi Affinity 3 offer design and ergonomics features for size, weight, and balance, intuitive controls, customization options, and oversized controls for easy operation.

The recoil reduction systems of the Beretta A300’s Kick-Off system with hydraulic dampers and the Franchi Affinity 3’s inertia-driven system with TSA recoil pad offer improved stability, control, and comfort, making them ideal choices for reducing felt recoil. You’ll find that the A300 edges out the Affinity with less felt recoil, but the inertia-driven Franchi edge takes the lead for cleaner shooting and consequently – less maintenance.

Sight visibility in low light situations is enhanced with fiber optic front sights, the Beretta a300 also offers a mid barrel bead as well, thought the Franchi Affinity does not – take it as you may.

Both the Beretta a300 and the Franchi Affinity 3 use the Beretta/Benelli Mobil Choke system. Using a flush choke (included) or an extended choke can greatly enhance your distance and pattern.

The Beretta a300 and the Franchi Affinity 3 both have 3″ capabilities. While it is a major plus to be able to shoot 3″ shells, it should be noted that neither of these shotguns can chamber a 3 ½” shell.

The price points are pretty similar. But the Beretta A300 slightly edges out the Franchi Affinity 3 with a lower price.

 

Beretta A300 Ultima Overview

If you’re a waterfowler or sports shooter looking for a shotgun that offers great stability, comfort and control, the A300 Ultima is an incredible mid-range option for you. At times, you can find these shotguns for $700 on sale – which is a steal for the amount of gun you’re getting for the price.

The A300 comes equipped with the Kick-Off recoil reduction system, which provides excellent stability and control, allowing you to stay on target after firing at those teal that are buzzing by.

The enlarged controls make loading and unloading in all sorts of conditions a breeze, this includes while using gloves or when it’s wet and cold. Truthfully, I never realized just how much enlarged controls could help until I picked up the Beretta A300 during a cold-front that came in. Having that little bit of extra surface area made a huge difference.

The wide stepped rib with mid-bead helps to improve your aiming capabilities, while the fiber optic front sight allows for higher visibility even when ducks or geese come in at first light. It should be noted that the mid-bead is not fiber optic, but it a nifty little feature to have.

With the MobilChoke compatible barrel, you have the option to choose from a variety of chokes, giving you the ability to find the shells that pattern the best for your gun and reach out a bit further for those refuge pass shooting days when someone crowds into your space. (Insert Grizzly Island reference about crowded ponds here)

Overall, the A300 Ultima gets an A- when it comes to mid-range auto-loading shotguns for waterfowling. You’ll definitely want to be sure you get your hands on one and see how it feels shouldering and swinging. Which may be the big difference between this shotgun and the Franchi Affinity – which you’ll hear more about in just a bit.

Best For: Hunters and shooters who prioritize stability, comfort, and control in their shotgun.

Pros:

  • Kick-Off recoil reduction system enhances stability and control.
  • Enlarged controls allow for easy control in various conditions.
  • Fiber Optic end-bead and additional mid-bead improves aiming capabilities.

Cons:

  • Chambered in 3″ and not 3 ½”
  • A bit heavier than it’s Franchi Affinity counterpart

 

Franchi Affinity 3

The Franchi Affinity 3 stands out as yet another great mid-range choice for both hunters and sports shooters. With its lean dimensions, functional design, and ideal weight and balance, this shotgun offers a comfortable and intuitive shooting, shouldering and swinging experience. The trim forend allows for quicker and more intuitive pointing, while the custom-grade oversized controls help in ease of use.

The Inertia Driven® system not only provides reliable performance but also makes maintenance easier and less of a burden. The TSA recoil pad reduces felt recoil, making it easier to stay on target and stay out in the field longer (with less discomfort the day after).

Like the A300, the Affinity 3 comes with flush choke tubes and a wrench, a fiber-optic front sight for easy target acquisition, and a drilled and tapped receiver for quick mounting of optics and accessories (if that’s your thing – I don’t personally know anyone who has used this feature, but it’s there).

For those looking for a personalized fit, the Affinity 3 comes with five stock drop and cast adjustment shims that allow you to bring the fit and feel of a custom fit shotgun into the blind with you. Overall, the Affinity 3 is a well-designed shotgun that combines functionality with customization.

The most notable difference, besides the obvious gas vs inertia driven system is the weight and feel of the affinity. Truthfully, it got some getting used to after using the bulkier A300 – but I started to like it the more I used it and dare I say – I prefer it’s feel over the Beretta A300.

Best For: Hunters and shooters that are looking for a sleek and intuitively pointing, inertia driven shotgun. A major plus is the lessened maintenance and cleaning.

Pros:

  • Lean dimensions and functional design for easy handling
  • Inertia Driven® system for reliable performance and easy maintenance
  • Custom-grade oversized controls and fiber-optic front sight for easy use and quick target acquisition

Cons:

  • Chambered in 3″ and not 3 ½”
  • A touch more expensive than it’s Beretta counterpart.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Beretta A300 Vs Franchi Affinity 3

When choosing between the Beretta A300 and the Franchi Affinity 3, there are a few factors that you should consider.

First, the design and ergonomics of the shotgun play a crucial role in its comfort and ease of use. The fit and feel of the Franchi Affinity is significantly less bulky than the A300 – this warrants a trip to your local gun store to see how they both feel while shouldering and swinging.

Second, both shotguns offer recoil reduction systems that can enhance your shooting experience and reduce fatigue. This being said, the difference between gas and inertia becomes relevant in the argument between both guns.

For reference, it’s believed that gas operated shotguns produce less felt recoil than their inertia driven counterparts due to the fact that gas guns utilize expended gases to help cycle the next shell, while inertia driven shotguns use the energy from the recoiling barrel and bolt to do the same.

This being said, it’s my experience that the A300 does offer less felt recoil than the Affinity 3. Is it significant? Not so much, but it can be for more sensitive or smaller shooters.

Additionally, the sight visibility in low light conditions and the versatility of choke options are important factors to consider. Both shotguns offer fiber optic front-beads and utilize the Beretta/Benelli Mobil Choke system. This really becomes a non-factor in the debate.

Last, the ease of operation should be taken into account. It’s a widely known fact that gas guns tend to be dirtier shooters and inertia driven guns – meaning cleaning and maintenance may be lessened with the Franchi vs the Beretta. If you’re someone who tends to not clean their guns often, there’s some weight to the decision of buying the Franchi Affinity rather than the Beretta A300.

 

Design and Ergonomics

Considering factors like size, weight, balance, intuitive controls, and customization options is important when choosing between the Beretta A300 and the Franchi Affinity 3 shotguns.

Both shotguns offer comfortable handling, with a balanced weight distribution, but the Franchi comes in a more slender and slightly lighter package.

When it comes to customization and fit – both shotguns offer a variety of options to tailor the shooting experience to individual preferences including shim kits.

 

Recoil Reduction Systems

To make an informed decision between the Beretta A300 and the Franchi Affinity 3 shotguns, it’s important to consider the factors surrounding their recoil reduction systems. Recoil reduction systems are designed to minimize the felt recoil when firing a shotgun, improving stability, control, and comfort for the shooter.

The Beretta A300 features the Kick-Off system, which uses hydraulic dampers to absorb and dissipate recoil energy, reducing the impact on the shooter’s shoulder.

On the other hand, the Franchi Affinity 3 utilizes an inertia-driven system with the TSA recoil pad. This pad is made of materials that absorb and spread out recoil forces, further reducing felt recoil.

Like we said earlier – it’s a widely known fact that gas guns seem to have less felt-recoil than their inertia driven counterparts. Though the difference may become more significant with a greater number of shells down barrel throughout the day.

 

Sight Visibility in Low Light

Both the Franchi Affinity and the Beretta A300 offer fiber optic front sights – a necessary component for early rising waterfowlers.

 

Choke Options Versatility

When considering either the Beretta A300 and Franchi Affinity 3 shotguns, one important factor to consider is the choke options versatility, this allows you as a shooter to adapt to a range of shooting situations. That being said, both the Affinity 3 and the A300 offer the same Beretta/Benelli Mobil Choke compatibility.

For hunters, choke options refer to the constriction at the muzzle of the shotgun barrel, which affects the spread of the shot. The ability to switch between different choke options provides shooters with the flexibility to cater to various hunting or shooting scenarios.

For example, a tighter choke is typically preffered for longer distance shots, while a more open choke may be preferred for closer range targets. Both shotguns have the same range of choke options to choose from as they utilize the same Mobil Choke compatibility.

 

Ease of Operation

The A300 and the Affinity 3 both offer enlarged controls, including the charging handle and the bolt release button. If you’re looking for this feature to be the tipping point for which shotgun to buy – you’ll want to look for another feature to tip the scale.

Though both shotguns offer oversized controls, the Franchi does come in lighter and with a more slender fit and feel – I’ve come to notice that the Franchi felt a bit unnatural at first, but it grew on me exponentially as time went on, giving me a quicker point and swing.

As I shared earlier, maintenance comes into play when it comes to gas and inertia driven guns. There is a stark difference between the two – for example, the Inertia Driven® system found in both shotguns ensures easy maintenance, allowing you to spend more time shooting and less time cleaning.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Price Range of the Beretta A300 and Franchi Affinity 3 Shotguns?

The price range of the Beretta A300 and Franchi Affinity 3 shotguns varies depending on the specific model and features you choose.

A typical MSRP for the Franchi Affinity is around $1,099 and the Beretta A300 is around $949.

Ultimately, I’d recommend doing thorough research and comparing prices at different retailers to find the best deal that suits your needs and budget.

 

Can the A300 Be Used for Both Hunting and Sporting Purposes?

Yes, absolutely!

The A300 Ultima is an incredibly versatile shotgun that can handle both hunting and sporting – think clay shoots. I’ve never had any issues with it cycling lower loads.

 

Are There Any Notable Differences in Terms of Weight Between the Beretta A300 and Franchi Affinity 3 Shotguns?

Yes, there are notable differences in terms of weight between the Beretta A300 and Franchi Affinity 3 shotguns.

The A300 weighs around 7.3 pounds, while the Affinity 3 is slightly lighter at 6.7 pounds.

This weight difference may not seem significant, but it can make a difference when carrying the shotgun for long periods or during quick movements while hunting or participating in clay shooting.

 

What Is the Overall Length of the Affinity 3 Shotgun?

The Affinity 3 comes in both a 26″ and 28″ configuration. Smaller shooters may opt for the 26″.

Conclusion – Which Shotgun is Better?

Having used both the A300 and the Affinity 3 for a couple waterfowl seasons, I can say that both are great options. The A300 initially felt better when shouldering and swinging – I’ve shot hundreds of birds with it, and I got it on sale for around the $700 mark, making it a heck of a deal.

The Franchi Affinity took a bit longer to get used to due to it’s lean design, but once settled in – it became one of my favorite shotguns. I’ve had a hard time finding it for under the $1000 mark, but I’d venture to say that it’s worth the full-price.

Overall, if budget is a major concern – I’d recommend the Beretta A300 to just about anyone – especially if you can get it on sale. Though if you’re willing to spend the extra money, you won’t be disappointed with the Affinity 3. The added bonus is having an edge when it comes to less cleaning and maintenance.

Either way, you can’t go wrong choosing between these two guns. Weigh out the differences of price, weight/feel, recoil and maintenance and buy the one that fits you the best. Happy hunting!

 

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