Franchi Catalyst for Women


When it comes to guns designed for women there is a definite theme. They tend to be painted pink or purple, sized like a youth model, and a bit lacking overall. Because of that I have a tendency to feel some skepticism when presented with a women’s gun, but today at Franchi’s booth that changed. Franchi’s new Catalyst line for women isn’t your stereotypical women’s gun.

The Affinity Catalyst is made with the impressive Italian craftsmanship you would expect from a Franchi firearm. It’s a 12-gauge inertia-driven semi-automatic shotgun with a 3″ chamber, so you can use both 2 3/4″ and 3″ shotshells. According to the company it is designed specifically for improved shouldering against a women’s frame and instinctual shooting. Visually it’s a beautiful gun with an A-grade satin walnut stock and black anodized receiver. Shouldering this lightweight gun felt natural.


The Instinct Catalyst is also a 12-gauge shotgun, but it’s an over-and-under. It’s designed for the same quick shouldering as the Affinity, fitting well with the contours of a woman’s body. Like the Affinity it can take 2 3/4″ and 3″ shotshells. It is also a nice looking shotgun with a similar A-grade satin walnut stock, blued barrel, and color case-hardened receiver.

I’m looking forward to some trigger time with both of these shotguns in the near future. This looks like a home run for Franchi.


Franchi Affinity Catalyst
COMMON SPECIFICATIONS: Gauge: 12. Action: Semi-auto. Chambering: 2-3/4 and 3 inch.
Barrel Length: 28 inches. Stock: A-Grade satin walnut. Color: Black anodized receiver, blued barrel. Overall Length: 48.5 inches. Weight: 6.6 pounds. Capacity: 4+1. Chokes: IC, M and F (wrench included). Sights: Fiber-optic red-bar front sight. Length of Pull: 13-7/8 inches. Drop at Heel: 1-1/2 inches. Drop at Comb: 1-1/4 inches. Minimum Recommend Load: 3-dram, 1-1/8 oz. Additional Feature: Shim kit to adjust drop and cast. MSRP: $999

Franchi Instinct Catalyst
COMMON SPECIFICATIONS: Gauge: 12. Action: Over-and-under. Chambering: 2-3/4 and 3 inch. Barrel Length: 28 inches. Stock: A-Grade satin walnut. Color: Color case-hardened receiver, blued barrel. Overall Length: 45 inches. Weight: 7.2 pounds. Chokes: IC, M and F (wrench included). Sights: Red fiber-optic front bead. Length of Pull: 13-7/8 inches. Drop at Heel: 1-1/2 inches. Drop at Comb: 1-1/4 inches. Additional Features: Auto ejectors; barrel
selector; auto safety; 1/4-inch recoil pad spacer for length of pull adjustments. MSRP: $1,599


Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at


  • Bob

    Sorry, what exactly is so special for women with these things? LOP is normal for most commercial long arms…

    • Anonymoose

      That’s a half inch shorter than the standard Affinity or the Benelli 828U and a half inch longer than the fully-extended stock of a Franchi Affinity Compact.

    • marine6680

      There is actually a difference in how women hold a shotgun compared to men. Due to their body shape… There is a difference in rise and cast of the stock most likely. The raised comb helps as well. A woman can use a regular shotgun, and it can be tuned to fit better if the stock has adjustment in it. (Usually spacers) it just isn’t as good as having a stock designed for a woman. For most it won’t matter, but for some serious shotgunners, it can help give an edge.

  • iksnilol

    I always wondered why it was so hard to make firearms for women?

    I mean, just hire a female designer. They aren’t that rare.

    • gusto

      **ahem “boobs” ahem***

      • iksnilol

        Boobs are great, what about them?

  • 1leggeddog

    There are a lot more intracasies to designed firearms for women then most poeple think.

    For example, their hand are usually smaller and the finger more slender, albeit they can be longer. This makes small pistols generally good for them, but the small size and weight can make recoil a problem for them.

    Grips are often a huge trouble. A shotgun grip can be a big problem if you can’t wrap your fingers around the stock. If only the tip of your fingers warp around the other side and you’re only barely touching the trigger becuase the trigger assembly is too far, thats another problem.