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Admiring Weatherby Shotguns (Page 2)

After nearly 40 years in the industry, Weatherby shotguns have changed with the times, and these days are no different.

All the guns are built around a Purdey-style underbolt with a sliding latch that locks into bites on the lumps under the barrel. It’s an old, proven system, as is the Anson-style pushrod that holds the fore-end in place. The single triggers are non-selective, and the safeties are manual. All four models have ejectors. The 12- and 20-ga. guns have screw-in chokes; the Deluxe and all 28 gauges have fixed improved-cylinder and modi- fied chokes.

As with the over-under line, the Athena models have more deco- ration and some gold inlay. The Athena PG has a skip-line checker- ing pattern that Weatherby calls a “new Scottish” design. It’s striking, although not to my personal taste. I had a chance to try the Athena d’Italia at the Flying B Ranch in Idaho on strong-flying released birds. At slightly more than 6 lbs. in the 20-ga. models, it was light but had enough forward weight to feel just right. With its trim lines it proved an easy gun for me to shoot. Even though I had to remind myself to reach for the back trigger after shooting the first barrel (I’m a long- time single-trigger shooter), I even doubled a few times on pheasants and chukar over the Flying B’s fine pointing dogs.

The Weatherby PA-08 pump- action comes only in 12 gauge, 3", and in one style so far: a walnut and blued Upland version with an alloy receiver. As I mentioned, it’s a well-finished gun with looks that belie its budget price tag of $389, which makes it an excellent value. The slide works smoothly on twin action bars and the gun is fairly light and lively at under 7 lbs. I’ve shot several rounds of skeet with it with no failures of any kind. Currently, it comes with a choice of 26" or 28" barrels. Weatherby originally announced synthetic- and tactical-stocked versions and, although they have disappeared from the catalog, my guess is we will see them again soon.

Of all the new guns in the Weath- erby shotgun lineup, the SA-08 is attracting the most attention right now. And, perhaps, just as Weath- erby rifles struck a chord with consumers during the prosperous post-war era, so a semi-automatic at $449 is the right gun for today’s economic hard times. Whatever the case, the SA-08 delivers reliable semi-automatic performance at the price of a pump gun.

There’s nothing high-tech about the SA-08. It comes with two pis- tons, one for light dove and target loads and one for heavier loads. The pistons interchange in the time it takes to remove the barrel, slide the old piston off and put the new one on. Besides the piston, there’s just one other part to the gas system: a sleeve with an action bar brazed to it. It’s easy to maintain, and it works very well.

At a Pheasants Forever shooting event I attended recently, partici- pants loved the lightweight 20-ga. SA-08 even before they found out how little it costs. The shoot- ers liked the slim lines and light weight of the SA-08, which weighs about 6 lbs. in 20 gauge, and only 6 lbs., 8 ozs. in 12 gauge. Despite their lack of weight, both gauges are fairly soft shooting because of their gas operation. The SA-08 should make a lot of bird hunters happy. To promote the new gun, Weatherby is holding a sweep- stakes with 20 SA-08s as prizes (www.449semi-auto.com).

Besides, the $449 synthetic version, the SA-08, comes with wood stocks in both full-size and youth models. The wood-stocked models sell for $669 and have matte-finished wood and fairly dull metal, so they won’t spook water- fowl if you choose to take them to the blind. Although the SA-08 is certainly not the first Turkish semi- automatic to be sold here, and while some, like the Stoeger 2000 have a following, this might be the gun that brings wide-spread acceptance to Turkish-made auto- loaders among American shooters.

The Weatherby shotgun lineup has grown and evolved since the importation of the Regency over-under in 1970 to the point at which Weatherby offers a shotgun to meet almost any budget. For almost 40 years Weatherby hasn’t just meant rifles, and the current lineup offers more choices to shot- gunners than ever before.

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11 Responses to Admiring Weatherby Shotguns (Page 2)

Mike Nissly wrote:
February 09, 2014

Except for way back when Roy started making guns and current production weatherby rifles that have always outsourced the guns as well as browning and other companies as well. Nothing more American as Winchester and hell I heard there gonna produce rifles in turkey ! Sucks but gun manufactures have been doing it for a long time and not gonna change anytime soon

J-P wrote:
January 18, 2014

Any info on the earlier SxS's? I know they aren't as popular, but some history on them might be interesting to learn. Thanks in advance.

David wrote:
November 29, 2012

Picked up a PA-08 today. Beautiful rich walnut accents.

B. DeKrey wrote:
November 07, 2012

I'm looking for the front stock for a Patrician. Mine is cracked and slides too much. Sometimes the gun doesn't fire because the action doesn't bring the shell close enough for the firing pin to contact the primer hard.

Lane Matthews wrote:
September 02, 2012

I have also just purchased the new weatherby pump in 12 Gauge. I bought it in for the name and price and I agree the wood is beautiful and it performs great, however I did not realize until I bought it that it was manufactured in turkey and that is disappointing. I would rather buy American.

Terry wrote:
August 09, 2012

I have a 20 gauge Weathery Model Rooo152 over and under shotgun with engraving on the magizine and stock. I would like someones advice on how much this might be worth. It is in excellent condition.

MATT EHRENBERG wrote:
August 07, 2012

MY NEIGHBOR DELT FOR A WEATHERBY PATRICAN TRAP GRADE ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AGO OFF A INDIVIDIAL AND THE GUN COME FROM A ESTATE IT IS IN EXCELLENT COND THIS ONE HERE WAS ONLY MADE FROM 1973 TILL 1975 IT IS FULL CHOKE BUILT IN BARREL 12GA WITH VENT RIB BARREL AND MONTE CARLO STOCK. I HAVE A CHANCE TO BUY IT FOR $350.00 THIS ONE HERE WAS MADE IN JAPAN DURING THE 1970'S NOW THE SAME GU PA 08 IS NOW $500 FOR THE SAME GUN I HAVE JUST A NEWER VERSION OF IT.

Ron Woods wrote:
August 07, 2012

I got an 82 years ago myself. After each hunt, upon disassembly I found (like so many new autos) burs and chatter marks in the action. The slide rails also showed considerable machining marks. I stoned and polished out the action and did so again after other hunts, until there were no signs of burring or chatter marks on any of the action showing up. The gun works flawlessly. They just don’t polish out actions like the Swedish did on Mauser 96’s.

Bill fletcher wrote:
June 25, 2012

I too thought that if it said weatherby you could count on it. I was wrong! I have an 82 automatic shotgun which i recived brand new in Aug 1984. I am the only owner,still have the gun and it is in excellent condition. Except it is very inreliable and willnot consistently fire after reloading. I have taken it to three professional gunsmiths. One gave it back and said it was fixed. It was not have. The other two believed the bodt was poorly degsined and was causing the problem. I duck hunt and will not take it with me. Waste of time and money.

neil foremn wrote:
May 21, 2012

how do i find a bolt locking lug for a weatherby centurion 12 ga semi auto

william pitts wrote:
October 19, 2011

My SA08 was not expensive so I wondered if I had a good gun but I knew if it said Weatherby on it don't worry. I was right it is an excellent gun, now I want a 20 ga.