Time for another look at a good, budget self defense/tactical style shotgun and this one made by… WEATHERBY? That’s right! There are a few things in life you hear that you honestly never expect to hear in certain contexts. For instance, “It’s amazing how easily that guy tans for being a redhead,” or “I wonder why that cop hates donuts,” or “Hey, did you see Weatherby’s TACTICAL shotgun?” It’s just not something you expect to hear. And while maybe the Weatherby of old isn’t going to come out with a gun like the PA-459, but the new school Weatherby that imports the Vanguard from Japan and receives semi-auto sporting shotguns from Turkey is happy to surprise us with such new offerings.

Wait, are those...SKULLS? Why yes, yes they are. Not a necessity, but definitely fitting in the "Tacti-COOL" area of guns we "need."

The realization of the fact that this isn’t a “new” gun or a new release isn’t far in the back of my mind, but it’s new to me. I stumbled on this at a gun show a couple months ago and was immediately stricken with the reasonable cost, light weight and practicality of it. Even for being a pump action tactical shotgun it’s surprisingly light and simple to wield. The sights come up naturally and the slide release and safety are easy to get to with your shooting hand. Spend some time on Haus of Guns and you’ll find my soft spot for quality budget style guns. Shooting is for everyone, regardless of the cost of the gun you pull to your shoulder or strap to your hip, and the more offerings we have at different price points, it means more shooters to add to our ranks, further protecting our beloved 2nd Amendment.

Since I’m on a roll of declaring what a gun would look like if two others mated as its parents I’ll do the same here (See Beretta Nano, Walther PPQ & others). I’m thinking the Weatherby PA-459 looks like a Benelli SuperNova pistol grip pump and a Tri-Star shotgun had a baby. It’s got that look as if it could be a semi-expensive piece but it’s not all the way there. But the PA-459 (called PA-459 as the “PA” stands for pump action and the number 459 because it’s the California Penal Code for “burglary in progress”) with it’s meaty palm-contoured pistol grip, ribbed pump forearm, front tactical rail and full ghost ring sight system gives you a lot of bang for your buck in it’s package. The barrel is the minimum legal limit of 18″ but with an added 1″ muzzle brake/mild door breacher on the end of it and the stock comes in a couple different configurations. The main options I’ve seen include all black in a typical tactical look, an Army ACU style digital camo and the latest as you’ll see pictured with this post is the “Skull camo” pattern on the buttstock and pump forearm.

The location of the slide release doesn't seem optimal, but the price point, picatinny rails and sights that come standard make up for it.

The finish appears to be a nice matte scratch resistant coating and the grip (I called a palm-contoured as it’s very comfortable) is a combination of rubber and plastic/polymer. The rear aperture sight fits snugly on a picatinny rail and the picatinny rail on the under side of the forearm is integrated which means it’s not removable. The only initial beef I see about this gun in particular is the location of the slide release which is in FRONT of the trigger guard making it difficult to engage without taking your strong hand off the grip to do so.

At under $400 for this tactical 12 gauge chocked full of options, what’s not to like?

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8 Responses to Weatherby PA-459 12 Gauge Shotgun Review

  1. mike says:

    Could this weapon, weatherby pa-459 be used for any form of deer or turkey hunting? If not wbat would you consider the best/affordable jack of all trades shotgun? I’d be grateful for any help

    • Pat says:

      Sure it could. The ability to take screw-in chokes means you could very well hunt with it. It takes the “Beretta Mobile” style of choke, FYI. It would do alright as a slug gun, right out of the box. This is probably the only “defensive” shotgun I’ve seen that accepts screw-in chokes. It’s a very nice addition!

  2. mike says:

    Whats the best/affordable home defense,deer and turkey shotgun? Could the weatherby PA-459 do?

  3. FTPG says:

    I just purchased the Weatherby PA459 primarely for home defense. This is my first shotgun, so I am far from being an expert(ALTHOUGH, I’VE READ EVERY THREAD ON THE SUBJECT). Prior to purchasing the Weatherby, I did have the opportunity to shoot an 870. What appealed to me about the PA459 is how light it was. I found the 870 to be heavier and more difficult to maneuver. I was told that the weight of the Remington would minimize the recoil, although after shooting the PA459, I have to say, that I didn’t notice much of a difference. If anything, I feel the weatherby was smoother and funner to shoot. This may have something to do with the pistol grip(not sure) or the ammo we were using. I also noticed that the slide was very smooth as well. For the money, the weatherby includes a lot of extras that I was looking for. It comes standard with rails, ghost sights, a changeable choke(incase I want to hunt, I believe you use different chokes for different game), pistol grip with a stock, and a pad on the end of the stock to cushion the recoil. The one advantage the Remington has, is finding parts and accessories. Personally, I don’t need to pimp my shotgun out any more than it is. I put a sling on it that holds extra shells, I got the skull camo graphics(very cool), it has the sites, and I’m questioning wether to put a light. I read that a light can be a negative if not used properly. In fact, I was told that turning the lights on in the house is a better approach. The theory is that you want the assaulant to know your there and coming. Make noise, let him and know your packing some serious heat and that he is about to find out that he broke into the wrong home. Hopefully, he jumps out a window and my German Shepard can pin him down until the cops show up.

    The other argument is, that Weatherby is known for their riffles and not shotguns. That being said, there reputation in the riffle industry is excellent and they put out a top notch quality product. My thoughts are… If their going to go into the tactical shotgun industry, why would they risk their name and build a sub standard shotgun. On the contrary, as a business owner, I’m of the belief that they will use their knowledge, craftsmanship and expertise to make an excellent product, that will impact the industry very positively. And, as far as I’m concerned(in my limited experience) I’m completely satisfied with my purchase and highly recommend this shotgun. Good luck and be well.

  4. FTPG says:

    I wish I knew how to post a picture, but….

  5. Joe Darlington says:

    The trigger position on the PA-459 is horrendous! The trigger should be at least 3/4 inch lower (and probably larger) to match the user’s hand position on the pistol grip. When firing the PA-459, the shooter will find himself/herself putting more downward pressure on the bottom of the existing trigger guard than backward pressure on the trigger itself.

    The awkwardly-located trigger guard assembly is clearly a leftover relic from the traditional pistol grip-stocked sporting version from which the PA-459 was spawned. Weatherby should consider replacing the stock trigger guard assembly with one which emulates the H&K G3 rifle or HK93.

    • Deadeye zombie killer says:

      You must have some problems if you think the trigger is in the wrong place. I have no problems where the trigger is.

  6. David miller says:

    what problem with trigger ? I have the digital camo version this is a great shotgun and for around 300$ this has a fiber optic sight[front] rear ghost sight. best bang for your buck.

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