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Best Youth 20ga? Franchi Affinity 3 VS Winchester SX4 | Shotgun Showdown

shotgun showdown Aug 19, 2021

Time for another quick shotgun showdown! If you've been watching my channel, you know that I've covered both of these 20 gauge shotguns already. These are compact semi-autos meant for smaller framed shooters - so what better judge than my nine-year-old son. Light recoil was at the top of my list when looking for a gun for my kids. I've said for years that the SX4 is one of the lightest recoiling shotguns - let's see what Rylan thinks when compared to the inertia-operated Franchi Affinity 3.


The Affinity 3 Compact has an MSRP of $899 (Shop the Affinity 3 at Reeds)

The SX4 Compact has an MSRP of $829 (Shop the SX4 Compact at Reeds)

The video above includes a quick head-to-head comparison, but if you prefer to read, here's a detailed rundown.

Quick Specs

Franchi Affinity

  • 20 gauge
  • 3" chamber
  • 26" Barrell (24" available in Black Synthetic model)
  • 6.0lbs (3")
  • Length of Pull Adjustable 12-3/8″ to 13-3/8″
  • Drop at Comb Adjustable 2″ to 2-1/2″
  • Drop at Heel 1 1/2"
  • Receiver drilled and tapped for scope mounting 

SX4 Compact

  • 20 gauge 
  • 3" chamber
  • 24" Barrell (Available in 26" and 28" as well)
  • 6lbs 8oz
  • Length of Pull 13" Out of the Box (Adjustable with included spacers)
  • Drop and cast are not adjustable 

Ergonomics/Look & Feel

Franchi Affinity

  • Feels great in the hands and is well balanced
  • Oversized charging handle and bolt release for easy operating
  • Bored out loading port - This is something I love, there is nothing worse than beating up your fingers loading your gun.

SX4 Compact

  • Feels great in the hands, obviously a bit short for me
  • Bolt handle and bolt release operate with ease - Love these Winchester controls, much improved from the SX3 


Franchi Affinity

  •  5 lbs 14 oz Average
  • Crisp trigger with some travel. Feels good.

SX4 Compact

  •  5lbs 3oz Average
  • This trigger is relatively light - Little travel to it. Love the Winchester flatter-faced triggers  

Quality of Build

Franchi Affinity

  • I always look at the quality of the build relative to the price. Everything on the Affinity 3 comes together nicely and is tight.

SX4 Compact

  • For the money, this SX4 is pretty darn good. The forearm has the slightest wiggle to it, but it's what you'd expect at this price point - still functions well above the price point.

Ease of Breakdown

Franchi Affinity

  • Very simply to break down for a full cleaning. 

SX4 Compact

  • Very simple to break down for a compact gas gun. 
  • There are a lot more moving pieces on a gas gun and this SX4 has plenty of parts
  • I prefer trigger groups with one pin to take out - this gun has two. (Very minor) 


Franchi Affinity

  • Moderate recoil. I wish it had a softer recoil pad.

SX4 Compact

  • Of course, this is only a 20ga, but man is that recoil light. 
  • To quote my nine-year-old after he took a few shots on it - "I'd rather have a little heavier recoil if the gun itself was lighter" He was actually bothered more by the weight of the gun than the recoil. 


Franchi Affinity

  • After a few hundred rounds, I believe this shotgun is ultra-reliable and will run for a long time without issue 

SX4 Compact

  • I've been shooting the SX4 for many years now. This compact version is just as reliable. No issues here. 


THE WINNER of the shotgun showdown is the FRANCHI AFFINITY 3

I believe it came down to how heavy and difficult the gun was to hold consistently and maneuver. The SX4 has lighter recoil, but the Franchi was just easier for Rylan to hold and mount up due to the shorter length of pull, and lighter weight being that it's an inertia-operated gun.

Would you like to see a head-to-head comparison with another compact semiauto shotgun?

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife


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