Luigi Franchi SpA, better known as Franchi, is an Italian manufacturer of firearms, owned by Beretta. Founded in 1868, Franchi operated independently in the Italian town of Brescia, until they were bought in 1993 by their parent company Beretta.
Founded in his home town of Brescia, Italy, Luigi Franchi began producing firearms with a select group of metal workers in 1868. As this was a time when firearm manufacturers and metal workers, particularly in Italy, would not share their expertise with other factories, Franchi soon established a reputation for quality designs.
Franchi continued to operate in virtual isolation until the 1980s, producing shotguns and rifles which were sold across the world. Then in 1987, the Socimi group bought the firm, ending the line of family control that the Franchi family had held. Their ownership of the firm only lasted until 1993, however, when the firm went bankrupt, almost ending Franchi as a business. Yet, Beretta, who were in the process of buying most of their competitors in Italy and Europe from the late 1980s, took the oppertunity to buy Franchi, allowing the company to continue operating.
Following a major rejuvenation in 2011, Franchi have become a key part of Beretta's development programme for their firearms. The use of new materials (similar to their sister company Benelli) has been combined with their reputation for high quality designs to make Franchi an integral part of the Beretta Holding group.
Franchi are perhaps best known for their military shotgun designs, as well as their hunting shotgun products.
Franchi have also constructed a number of rifles, including:
As mentioned above, Franchi are best known for their military and hunting shotguns, some of which are easily recognisable through their use in film, television and video games.
- Franchi's SPAS-12 shotgun is their best known product, having been used in numerous films, television series and video games, including: