NRA Gun Of The Week: Franchi USA Momentum Elite Varmint

posted on March 25, 2022

Featured on this NRA Gun Of The Week, the Franchi Momentum Elite Varmint line delivers the same quality found in the company’s other Momentum Elite rifles, with added features designed for varmint hunting. Watch the video above to see it in use on the range.

man wearing black shirt ballcap earmuffs glasses shooting rifle bolt-action Franchi USA Momentum Elite .224 Valkyrie

Much like the other options in Franchi’s Momentum Elite rifle lineup, the Momentum Elite Varmint is a bolt-action design geared toward the sportsman. The three-lug design of the Franchi Relia Bolt allows for a short 60-degree throw of the handle to unlock the action. The steel body of the Elite Varmint Relia Bolt is chromed and fluted for added lubricity and to prevent hang-ups in adverse conditions. The Elite Varmint comes with a 24” free-floating, fluted heavy contour barrel, topped off with a brake on the 5/8x24 TPI threaded muzzle, regardless of chambering.

right-side view bolt rifle parts spiral fluting 3-lug bronze handle gun

The Elite Varmint is offered in five different chamberings, including 6.5 mm Creedmoor, .308 Win. and .223 Rem., and feeds from detachable single-stack polymer magazines, with the specific example tested here chambered in .224 Valkyrie with a 1:7"-twist rate and magazine capacity of four rounds. On top of the receiver, a one-piece, 13-slot Picatinny rail segment comes preinstalled for attaching optics. This rail segment, along with the receiver, barrel, muzzle brake and bolt handle, are coated in a weather-resistant finish of Midnight Bronze Cerakote.

left-side close-up view bolt-action Franchi USA Momentum Elite Varmint rifle hunting gun scope rail receiver camouflage.

For controls, other than the bolt handle, the Elite Varmint features a push-tab safety on the right side of the receiver behind the bolt handle, an adjustable Relia Trigger with a set range of two to four pounds and a magazine release button integrated into the front face of the trigger guard. There is also a bolt-removal tab easily accessible on the rear, left side of the receiver.

two black plastic polymer rifle magazines stack row collumns

On the range, the Franchi Momentum Elite Varmint is a bit larger and heavier compared to some of the thinner and shorter barreled Momentum rifles, coming in at 9 lbs., 6.4 ozs. unloaded and 46.7" in overall length. However, the weight balances well near the center of the stock and helps to dampen felt recoil, which is further diminished by the added muzzle brake and smaller .224 Valkyrie chambering. The three-lug, chromed, fluted bolt body provides for a slick and fast manipulation of the action, with the handle riding low enough to clear many scope bells without risking scraped knuckles. Another noteworthy addition to the Elite Varmint is the inclusion of the Evolved EGONOM-X synthetic stock, outfitted with a removable cheek rest, checkered polymer grip inserts, QD sling inserts on the underside of the butt and fore-end along with an OPTIFADE Subalpine camouflage pattern. The butt of the stock also accepts interchangeable TSA recoil pads, with a medium sized one included, giving the rifle a 14" length-of-pull measurement from the factory.

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Importer: Franchi USA
Action Type: bolt-action, centerfire, repeating rifle
Chambering: .224 Valkyrie
Receiver: chrome-moly steel; Midnight Bronze Cerakote finish
Barrel: 24" chrome-moly steel, Midnight Brownze Cerakote finish
Sights: none; Picatinny rail
Trigger: single-stage, adjustable
Stock: synthetic, Monte Carlo-style; Optifade Subalpine finish
Magazine: four or seven-round detachable box
Length: 46.7"
Weight: 9 lbs., 6.4 ozs. (without optic)
MSRP: $999


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