Those hunting for an over/under shotgun with all the frills, but without a hefty price tag might have had the prayers answered by Weatherby.
The California gun maker announced at the 2015 SHOT Show it is bringing back a classic field gun, the Orion I Shotgun, this year. And while the smoothbore appears to have plenty going for it, the feature that tends to overshadow all other is its price.
While in the world of guns an MSRP of $1,099, overall might be a bit on the spendy side, it certainly is not for double-barrels. Truly, there are few over/under or side-by-sides options below this price. The shotgun’s cost, however, looks to only be one of its many assets.
Perhaps one of the more amazing features for the price is the gun being stocked in Grade “A” walnut. The wood’s rich grain is accentuated with a high-gloss finishes and the gun’s overall clean lines.
Adding to the flowing appearance of the gun is its rounded Prince of Wales grip, which provide more than good looks. With 22-lines-per-inch checkering on the grip, and again on the forend, the Orion promises to deliver a positive grip no matter the conditions in the field.
The Orion is built around a traditional boxlock action that houses a dual conical pin locking mechanism. The receiver is shallow and slim, especially compared to other 12-gauge models. This is achieved by Weatherby’s use of forged steel for the receiver, keeping the firearm rocksolid, while trimming material.
The company boasts the trim receiver also makes for a more balanced and easy-to-point shotgun. One thing is for sure, at approximately 7 pounds, the Weatherby Orion can be comfortably toted, even on the longest hunts.
The shotgun is available in 12-gauge only, but comes with the option of 26- or 28-inch barrels. The chamber and bore are both chrome lined to combat corrosion and make cleaning easier.
Another handy feature is the inclusion of automatic shell ejectors, for faster reloading. For anyone who has kicked up an epic covey of bobwhites or find themselves knee deep in pheasant roosters, this is welcome.
As would be expected, the Orion is outfitted with Weatherby’s Integral Multi-Choke System. And it comes with three tubes – improved, modified and full – that should cover shooter in most situations.
The shotgun has a perk that has the potential to keep shooters in the field or at the range longer. Outfitted with a Pachmayr Decelerator, Weatherby has aimed at making the Orion’s recoil less of an issue.
The Orion has a number of other impressive features. It has a matte ventilated top rib for a clearer sight plain and faster heat dissipation. It has a tang safety that also serves as a barrel selector. And it has a threaded brass bead to aid in fast target acquisition.