Most recent Weatherby shotguns are manufactured by SKB - I'm not sure if they are variations on an SKB design, or if they are Weatherby designs. The new Weatherby autoloader is built by some Italian company - not one of the big names, though. The current SxS guns are made in Spain, I believe.
One of the guys I shoot with just got a new o/u... come back in 4 or 5 years, and I'll let you know how it holds up. Actually, that's not a joke... if you're a serious shooter, you can wear out a gun in a few years - sometimes less.
The Weatherby O/U shotguns are made by SKB. They are mechanically the same guns, but have some cosmetic and other minor differences. Mainly, the Weatherby has nicer wood and is generally better looking, IMO. The SKB guns have the .735" diameter bore while the Weatherby guns have the .729" bore. This means that choke tubes are not interchangeable between the two guns. The SKB takes the long competition chokes while the Weatherby takes the shorter chokes. However, you can buy extended choke tubes for either one. Confused enough? :lol: You're not likely to wear either one of these guns out in 4 or 5 years unless you put about 80,000 rounds through them. Even then, the worn parts can be replaced and the gun made like new again.
Another advantage of Weatherby/SKB is that they probably have the best service departments of any major gun in the U.S. market. They don't need parts or service often, but when they do, the parts/service are readily available and have short turn-around times. Nearly everyone has heard (and some have experienced) horror stories with service on Browning, Beretta, Remington, and Winchester, but I've never heard of bad service from Weatherby or SKB. Ruger has good service too, but I've never been a fan of their O/U's.
Yup! Replied about semi-auto (wwb's response-above) and when I re-read question ...it's O/U...DOH!...I will go sit in the corner now with dunce cap tilted slightly forward as to hide my shame!!!
I've had a Weatherby Athena (made by SKB) for about 5 years -- got it from one of those certificate of deposit deals.
If you're looking for an opinion, the Weatherby is a pretty thing, and it shoots well, but it was designed as a field gun, not a trap or skeet gun. After about 6,000 or 7,000 rounds, the hinge is getting pretty loose, and I probably won't keep it much longer.
I'd buy another Weatherby for hunting, but it's not reasonable to expect it to hold up as well as a purpose-built trap gun like a Browning XT, which I've been shooting for the last year or so.
Somebody made a comment about chokes -- mine uses standard Browning Invector chokes (not Invector Plus).
There is absolutely no difference in the quality of "field guns" versus "trap guns" or "skeet guns". The differences are in the stock dimensions, rib height, and sometimes in the finish of the gun.
As for your Weatherby "hinge" being loose, I assume that you mean the gun is now easier to open and close than when it was new. That is to be expected. The trunions (on the inside of the receiver) which the barrels pivot on become smoother with use. Don't worry about wearing them out anytime in the next 60,000 to 70,000 rounds. As for the strength of the lockup, the modified Greener crossbolt on the Weatherby/SKB is one of the strongest locking systems on any O/U design. Some people don't find this feature particularly attractive, but it enables a slimmer receiver profile as compared to the Browning Citori which uses the underlug locking system with a full length hinge. The trunions, should you actually ever wear them out, are easily and inexpensively replaced.
Never had a comment on "the hinge getting loose", actually they get easier to open and close after a while, only comments I got "thank you for the Weatherby" When they are brand new they are pretty stiff to open and close, my personal O/U (Athena IV - 26") is a beauty, to bad it has been discontinued.
The problem with a modifided Greener cross bolt is that most are not hand fit. If the bolt is flush with the side of the reveiver when new it is as tight as it will ever be and you start to get play between the end of the barrel and the receiver face from day one. Fausti knows this so they make the cross bolt lock for there field gun and wedge lock up for there clays gun, two different types of actions.
So how are the sales of your Fausti's going now? Kinda slow, huh? Cheer up. Things should pick up soon. Hunting season is just around the corner. :lol:
As for the Weatherby/SKB's with the modified Greener crossbolt, you seem to be confusing them with the Brownings which, as they wear, the opening lever moves toward the center. With the Weatherby/SKB, the location of the crossbolt in relation to the side of the receiver doesn't change regardless of how many rounds have been shot through it. It's always flush with the side of the receiver. The reason for this is because of the design. The crossbolt doesn't wedge a tapered locking piece over a lug. The crossbolt passes a rectangular steel bar from one side of the receiver to the other, through two rectangular "U" shaped protrusions coming from each side of the rear of the top barrel. In addition, there is a large square lug protruding from the bottom barrel which locks into a matching hole in the bottom center of the receiver. These locking points combine with the trunions on the side/front of the receiver which lock into curved recesses on each side of the monobloc to give one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, lockups on any modern O/U. The final fitting on all these W/SKB O/U's is done by hand. That is why you can't just change one set of barrels to another receiver.
Ule, You are right, it is one of the strongest lockups, and the gun will not open on firing. The lug on the bottom you refer to is to keep the barrels back against the face and take the pressure off the hinge pins when you fire the gun. The problem is like you said, the cross bolt does not wedge down on the protrusions but just passes over them. The weight of the barrels holds the protrusions up aganist the cross bolt causing wear every time you open and close the gun. As this happens the barrels come off the face, not good.
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