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Weatherby Side by Side Shotgun Opinions Wanted

3207 Views 12 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Anonymous
Hello shooters,

I am looking for a nice side by side shot gun. The Weatherby has caught my eye but I can't find anyone that has one in stock. The local Gander Mountain will order me one but that is a lot of money to spend on a gun that I haven't had a chance to inspect and hold.

So do any of you own or shoot one of these guns. I am most interested in the Athena with the English shock and splinter forarm but your impression of either the Athena or Orion would be appreciated.

Also if you would like to suggest a comparable side by side shotgun please do. I am just recently started my hunt for a nice side by side. I'm looking for a 12 or 20 gage and will use is for upland game bird hunting.

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I just had this conversation with a local gun shop this evening. These guys carry every make of shotgun on the planet and I've traded with them for a number of years.

I saw the Athena and was impressed with it. However according to this guy that I trust he said if it were his money he'd spend it on a Beretta Silverhawk or an SKB until the Weatherby had some years on it. Just his opinion.

I ended up with a great Winchester Model 23 20 *****.
Thanks for the reply. I also really like the Silver Hawk. The thing is the Local Gander Mountain can get me a Silver Hawk for about $2200 but I can get a Athena of about $1300. It the Silver Hawk $900 dollars more gun? The Athena was in the price range I wanted to spend but having hot had a chance to hold one I'm trying to determing if it worth the money.

How did the wood metal fit and finish of the Athena compare to say a Browning Citori? I have a feild grade Citori in 12 gage and this is about the quality of gun I am looking for.

I'm a giant Browning fan but in my opinion the Athena was a nicer gun than any field grade Citori's I've shot. The fit and finish were great on the one I looked at. I not so sure that my gun dealer didn't nail it though in saying he liked the gun too but would give it a year or two before buying one to let other people be guinea pigs. I guess it's like buying version 1.0 of software.

Have you looked at the Beretta 626E. I've seen a couple of these on the net and in shops for around $1500. If there is one thing certain in shotguns it's Beretta always puts out a good durable shooter.

A quick check of Gunbroker revealed this: ... m=10353106
I've owned two orion o/u's, and the quality of the guns was excellent, even though they were heavy. I say, if you like the gun, it fits you, it has the features you want, and it's in your price range, buy it. Especially since they are extremely hard to find. I called Weatherby and they said their factory in Spain is really slow in putting them out, so if you know where there is an Athena, give it some serious thought. If you don't, let me know where it is, because I might be interested in it myself. I'm curious, how nice is the wood and engraving, and what gauge is it? I've been waiting to see one in person and can't find one anywhere here in the Portland, Oregon area. :?
I'm not very excited at all with the Weatherby SxS guns. They are made by "Zabala," a lower grade Spanish maker. Now, I know there are several very fine Spanish makers, but in my opinion Zabala is not one of them. I'm somewhat surprised that Weatherby went with Zabala.

I rank the Spanish in roughly this order. Arizabalaga (sp), Arietta, AYA, Grulla, Garbi, Ugartechea. These are all pretty good guns and I don't put Zabala anywhere near this list.

Keep looking.
I'd better add this. Don't lump in the Weatherby OU guns with the new SxS. The OU's are made by SKB, and they are very good guns. I really like the Weatherby (SKB) over and unders.
Here is an Athena SXS ... m=10682302

This is around the same price as the one I've seen here in Dallas.

I think until the Athena SXS proves itself you'd still be better off with a Silverhawk, SKB, Winchester 21, 23 or Browning BSS..I've also seen some Merkel guys out here online and have known a couple of guys that shoot them. But for $3000 I'd rather have a Silverhawk and $800 worth of shells to practice with.
I didn't realize the Athena was made by Zabala. Thanks for the info. I guess I'll just keep shooting my Belgium boxlock sxs.
I have a 12 ga JP Sauer Royal SXS and a Merkel 147E 20 ga. SXS.
Both fit perfectly, are light, and great field guns. My gunsmith, however strongly suggests not shooting greater than 1 oz. loads in the JP Sauer. Of course, I've shot up to 1 1/4 oz. but hate the recoil. The price you pay for light weight guns. But hey, I take down the pheasants - with 1 1/8 oz #4's.
As an aside, I just spent a great weekend training my dog over hen pheasants, and my 1 oz. load of #6's out of my 16ga. was very deadly. I probably could have gotten by just fine with 7 1/2's also. I just read on another post that Weatherby is discontinuing the Athena sxs. Probably due to quality issues as a result of going with Zabala. Too bad, I don't know why Weatherby would go with a less than superb manufacturer.
There is weatherby and weatherby guns lol. By that, I mean that they have some really great guns in the mag rfle, but also some cheaper ones made in Asia and sold at mass market centers like wallmart. I think that they figure the name makes the gun at times lol. Not to suggest that a $1300 gun is sold at any walmart that I know of, but I am responding to the "why weatherby would use..." part of this post.
I own a Weatherby SxS Athena 12ga 28". The gun handles like a Corvette.
The fit and finnish are not were as they should be coming from Weatherby. No malfunctions either. And that's too bad because it really does handle nicely. I can also shoot it really well.
I cannot sell this gun! My girlfriend got me the gun for my birthday.
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