Weatherby's New Semiauto 28: A Shotgun Review

Part 3 of Bitterroot Bonanza by Terry Wieland. This article was originally published in a recent issue of
The Contemporary Sportsman Magazine.

Weatherby brought a selection of their guns along, in both 20 and 28 gauge, but we all used the 28s, all day both days.

This requires two comments:

  1. First, had the smaller guns not performed well the first day, we would not have used them the second.
  2. And two, after a few shots, I was no longer conscious that I was not using my usual light 12 gauge.

We didn't stop to think, oh I'm shooting a 28, I'd better shoot quickly. Instead, we took the shots as they came, and all made our share of both close shots and long.

The gun I was using had a 28-inch barrel and was fitted with a modified choke tube, which I prefer in smaller gauges. It concentrates the reduced shot charge at longer ranges, which calls for a little more exact shot placement but, as with a 12, when I hit them, they fell, and when I didn't, they didn't.

We were not using any special ammunition, either. It was all Federal Premium, loaded with 3/4-oz. of #8, a load well suited to skeet.

What this says, more than anything, is that Weatherby's new semiauto 28 is both the proper weight and well balanced.

Those qualities (as well as fit, of course) determine whether you bring the gun up well, swing it properly, and keep it swinging. Many 28s are simply too light-and particularly too barrel-light-and as a result are very difficult to shoot well. My Weatherby, with a walnut stock, 28-inch barrel, and three shots loaded, weighs almost exactly six pounds, which is just about perfect.

The semiauto mechanism of the new gun has been reworked from Weatherby's older pattern to improve its reliability and, frankly, reliability was never an issue for any of us.

Although I'm a diehard double man, I love shooting all kinds of shotguns. If I can hit well with one, I love it even more. And there is one thing you can do with a three-shot semiauto that you can't do with a double, and that's make a triple on a covey rise.

Roger, Jim, and I were strolling along a mountain track when we spotted a Hun disappear into some bushes ahead. It was my turn to walk in on the wiggling Sophie, and the bird went up from under her nose. At the shot, the bird dropped and a bunch more flushed. Another shot, and another, and one went down close, the other went down far. From her vantage point (in grass taller than her head) Sophie marked them down and brought them all back, one by one.

On such a day, why remember misses?

<<Return to part 1.

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