One of the handful of brand-new rifle designs for 2018 comes from an unlikely source—Franchi. The Italian firearm maker is best known for designing affordable and reliable shotguns, and those same principles carry over to the company’s first bolt-action centerfire rifle—the Momentum.
This rifle utilizes a spiral-fluted, one-piece bolt body that is the same diameter as the trio of locking lugs at the front of the bolt which allows for smooth, slop-free cycling and a short 60-degree bolt lift. Trigger weight is adjustable from 2-4 pounds and there’s a two-position rocker safety located on the right side of the receiver. The receiver is drilled and tapped to accept Remington 700 two-piece bases, and the Momentum features a hinged floorplate with the latch release located inside of the trigger guard. There are six caliber options—.243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .308, .30-06 and .300 Win. Mag.—all of which come with a blued, free-floated cold hammer-forged barrel with an optional threaded muzzle and knurled endcap.
Barrel length is 24 inches for the Creedmoor and .300 Win. Mag., and 22 inches for the other calibers. The most striking feature of this rifle, though, is the unique and modern styling on the polymer stock. Geometric lines give the rifle a distinctive look, but the various cutouts, curves and textured surfaces on the stock are actually functional.
There’s a narrow depression at the rear of the stock that serves as a grip point for your non-shooting hand when firing from a bench, and swells under the receiver and on the forearm provide a stable platform while holding the rifle in a variety of different positions. The sling studs are recessed yet they offer plenty of space for attaching even the largest sling swivels.
Momentum stocks are also outfitted with Franchi’s TSA recoil pad, which the company says absorbs 50 percent of felt recoil to reduce impact on the shooter and improve accuracy potential. Unscoped, these rifles weigh in at 6.6 to 6.7 pounds and carry an MSRP of just $609. There are also combo models available that come equipped with a Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40 scope ($729) and a limited edition 150th Anniversary edition with a AA-grade satin walnut stock in .30-06 ($1,069).