Franchi Momentum Elite Varmint .223 Mag feeding problem

Rick the Bagger

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May 28, 2022
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lone jack, MO
Hey Folks,

Having a feeding problem with the two included magazines. Discussing this with Benelli, but no joy so far. Their knee-jerk was "Send it in - 6 wks return". The mags are plastic single stack. 4 & 8 rnds. Under full capacity pressure the retaining rails will spread and release the cartridge about 1/2" early, before the nose enters the ramp area. This creates a loose cartridge in the action, and jams. Today I was able to "Fix" the 4 rnd mag by choking the spring down with tie wraps. Multiple cyclings with full capacity were successful(Not sure how long tie wraps might last).
Not so with the 8 rnd. No configuration of the spring would get beyond the 4 rnd capacity before the retaining rails failed. I inserted a "Wedge" beside the 8 rnd mag at one point to test my theory, and it fixed the issue. Multiple cycling of 8 rnd capacity was successful with the wedge.
Basically the mags are too flimsy to accommodate a spring pressure greater than that to handle 4 rnds.
I forwarded my findings to Benelli for comment. No reply as yet.
Know anyone that builds custom magazines? That could make a steel "Copy" of the Franchi design?
Have been unable to locate a third party offering this Franchi mag, or alternative.
MY choice would be a conversion to AICS! Anyone able to do this?

Any thoughts?
 

Rick the Bagger

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May 28, 2022
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lone jack, MO
Update - Further investigation showed a .020" side clearance between the mag and mag well. I fashioned a steel plate of .015" material; adheared it to the 8 rnd mag in temporary fashion; returned the 8 rnd mag to its original configuration, minus one loop of spring pressure. This performed flawlessly with a positive stroke of the bolt. A "Testing" slow stroke will still allow a cartridge to release early occasionally. I feel the containing rails have been damaged in the last 1/2" where the failures have occurred, allowing the continuing slow stroke failures.
Yesterday I received notification Franchi now has replacement mags available. 4 rnd only. First time since last fall. I've ordered two. We'll see.
Have put feelers out for someone to build a steel clone to these plastic mags.
 

Rick the Bagger

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May 28, 2022
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lone jack, MO
Update - New mags arrived. Same product characteristics. Further discussions with Benelli didn't progress beyond "Send it in".
I safety wired 1 loop down on of all the springs to lesson the pressure. I've attached a .015" plate to each mag, reducing the .020" side clearance that was allowing the weak mags to swell under pressure. This caused some latching problems when inserting the new mags, so I increased the locking hole by .015". To date this seems to have solved the issue.
Given that this relative inexpensive rifle is used only 2 days/500 rnds per year, I feel this fix, plus perhaps buying more mags when available will suffice.
As with most folks, I'll probably desire a different instrument before things get out of hand here, if they do. I wanted a Tikka when I bought this! :)
 

jakelly

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  • Dec 31, 2011
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    Are you attaching the plate to both sides? Is the gap .020” on both sides? I would try wrapping the mags in carbon fiber (2x .25mm or 1x .5mm). I would also try to wrap the inner part of the mag and reduce the size of my follower.
     

    Rick the Bagger

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    May 28, 2022
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    lone jack, MO
    The overall difference in mag width vs well width is .020". By adding the .015" plate this is reduced to .005". Thus reducing the ability of the cartridge retention rails of the mag from spreading as the walls of the mag spread, allowing the round to release early. I had the .015 plate on hand, found splitting the shimming to both sides wasn't necessary. One plate applied to one side of each mag did the trick. I thought about applying the plate to the mag well itself, but the mags were easier to deal with, and more disposable if things went south. A mag well reduction might be in the future if I get more brave.
     

    jakelly

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    I would wrap the mag in .25 mm carbon fiber. Inside and out. And reduce my follower if necessary.

    I’m not talking about reducing the well, I’m talking about wrapping the inside of the mag.
     

    Yoteski

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    Feb 13, 2017
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    I would at .5 to everything, sell it, and by a Bighorn Origin and a prefit barrel with some AICS mags.
     
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