Weatherby’s New 18i Line of Italian-Made Shotguns

Weatherby 18i Synthetic (image courtesy Weatherby)

Weatherby made news last year when they decided to abandon their longtime gun-hostile home state of California for the friendlier surroundings of Wyoming. They’ve just announced the first new line of firearms to come out of their new Sheridan HQ.

We’ve been fans of their shotguns for a while. Their Element line of semi-autos punch above their weight in terms of features and performance (read our review here). Now, in addition to the Turkish-made Element guns, Weatherby’s adding the new 18i line of inertia action semi-auto shotguns. Here’s their press release . . .

Sheridan, WY – Weatherby is proud to announce their brand new 18i™ shotgun line.  The new 18i™ models are available now through distributors across the country with even more inventory shipping later this month.

The Weatherby 18i™ series of semi-automatic shotguns are built on the proven inertia system, that provides the most reliable cycling in an evenly-weighted gun. The single piece receiver is precision machined from billet aluminum for strength and has been designed and built for shooters that require superior reliability with high volume shooting.

“As we finalize our transition to Sheridan, WY, Weatherby is excited to announce our brand new Italian made inertia-driven shotgun product line.  This is the first of many new items to be launched from our new home in Wyoming.”, says Adam Weatherby.

The 18i™ Synthetic model features a 12 gauge 28” barrel with a 3.5” Super Magnum and is the first shotgun with a 3.5” chamber from Weatherby. The Synthetic model features an advanced polymer stock has been designed for a seamless fit to the shooter with a soft touch area on the cheek rest and aggressive texture in the palm and foregrip. Premium engineering and material composition will provide consistent performance in the harshest of environments. The safety is conveniently located behind the trigger with a positive red ring for visible confirmation when in the “ready to shoot” position.

The 18i™ Waterfowler model is a 12 gauge 28” barrel 3.5” chamber and is dipped the Realtree Max 5 pattern for concealment and corrosion resistance.  More camouflage patterns will be coming soon.

Weatherby 18i Deluxe (image courtesy Weatherby)

The 18i™ Deluxe model is available in a 12 gauge 28” barrel with a 3” chamber.  The Deluxe model has a beautiful European Walnut stock that is ergonomically shaped to match the engraved nickel receiver and high gloss blued barrel. More 18i™ Deluxe models will be announced later this year.

“We are very proud to offer the new 18i™ line.  The 3.5 inch super magnum Synthetic and Waterfowler models deliver extreme quality for the price and are sure to be passed down for generations.  The 18i™ Deluxe is the Weatherby Mark V Deluxe of shotguns, truly a work of art.”, says Luke Thorkildsen, VP of Marketing, Sales, and Product Development.

Weatherby 18i™ Synthetic has an MSRP of $1,099.00
Weatherby 18i™ Waterfowler has an MSRP of $1,199.00
Weatherby 18i™ Deluxe has an MSRP of $1,899.00

All models include five flush fit choke tubes with a true choke tube wrench contained in a small case.

comments

  1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Looks like a suspiciously like a Benelli with another name on it.

    1. avatar riker says:

      I could live with that!

      1. avatar jwm says:

        At those prices why not just get the Benelli?

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Because other than the Nova, SuperNova, Montefeltro and the Vinci the street price on a lot of what Benelli offers is $1800 or more where these things max MSRP is $1900 meaning a street price of probably $1500?

          Now, if you had said something like “FN” instead of Benelli, where the street prices are often a bit above $1000 I’d agree wholeheartedly.

      2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Owned half a dozen Benellis over the years. All M-1 Super 90s except one Nova I won at a Ducks Unlimited banquet. Nothing special, despite what you see on the killing channels. I always came back to Remington 870s and 1100s. Earlier ones though. Heard some disappointing things about new Remingtons.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Wait! What was that pump/auto abortion thing they had? M3 Super 90 I think. Had one of those too. Neither fish nor fowl. One trip to the range and I couldn’t get rid of that thing fast of enough.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          The only pump/auto shotgun I can think of off the top of my head is the Franchi Spas 12 with the Captain Hook stock. Weird looking thing.

        3. avatar Micah says:

          I can vouch for the crappiness of the new(er) 870s. I bought a new one in around 2013 and it jammed constantly. Sent it back twice with no good results, then finally fixed it myself by grinding out tool marks with a dremel. I have heard their QC and customer service have improved since then…

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          jwm, went for a quick look. Yep. It was designated M3 Super 90. Pump/auto. It worked, but it was an answer looking for a question.

        5. avatar Josh says:

          I was always led to believe the whole point of the Benelli M3 was for SWAT cops to run them as semiautos with buckshot and switch to pump mode for less-lethal ammo like baton rounds. But if you want to do that with a shotgun, why not stick to the pump guns most cops use anyway?

        6. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Josh, exactly! I was LEO at the time and thought it would be the answer to everything. Then I realized the M-3 was too much sugar for a dime. Then I figured out a shotgun is bird hunting and very little else.

  2. avatar Al Bondigas says:

    MIcah–If you’ve had problems with recent Remington 870s, please let us readers know if you’re talking about the Express or the Wingmaster. There’s a world of difference between the two even though they share the same model number. Thanks.

    1. avatar Micah says:

      It was an express 3.5 inch. I know the wingmasters are a step up in material, fit & finish etc, but any pump shotgun should at least be able to extract spent casings without jamming up. And like I said, it was 2013(ish) and I think they’ve improved since then.
      By the way, here is the YouTube hero that explained and fixed my problem. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mlGoxNsaieE

  3. avatar Al Bondigas says:

    While I’m at it…..the last thing this world needs is another pixie weight, hard kicking inertia operated shotgun. These things are beyond useless if you’re a high volume trap, skeet or sporting clays shooter. Can’t anybody come up with a smooth shooting gas gun to rival the Beretta 300/400 series guns? If this new Weatherby is indeed just a rebranded/clone Benelli, I’m reminded of what Randy Wakeman said of them: “The best $300 dollar gun you’ll ever pay $1900 for.” Call me back when you have a seriously competitive gas gun.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      For the life of me, I have no idea why Beretta ever messed with the 390 shotgun. Simple, reliable, smooth, easy to clean, disassemble, repair, you name it.

      Every time I look at what Beretta has used to replace the 390, I shake my head and wonder “Why?”

      1. avatar Al Bondigas says:

        Amen, DG–it seems like they’re giving us half as much gun for twice the money. And, of course, you’ll need a whole new bucket of choke tubes because the previous versions (that worked perfectly) are now obsolete…….

      2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Gunsmith, maybe you can help me. I have a cousin in Boston. He likes military rifles, handguns and shotguns, but has never been a hunter. So I tell him, “You think you’re so hot on skeet range come get some of Mr. Bobwhite.” He had so much fun that rather than fly back with his shotgun he gave it to me. It’s a Beretta 391 something. Nice wood, gold inlay, etc. Haven’t shot it. Know less than nothing about it. Any help?

        1. avatar bryan1980 says:

          Sounds like the 391 Teknys model (it had an engraved receiver and gold inlays). It’s the successor of the 390. The 391 looks to have been rep;aced by the A300 Outlander.

          http://www.beretta.com/en-us/a300-outlander/

        2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          The 391’s are nice guns. The one you have could be either a Teknys, as Brian notes above, or possibly a “Urika” – which was also available in wood/polished/inlaid.

          Either way, they’re very good semi-auto guns.

      3. avatar bryan1980 says:

        I’ll second that; I have a 390 Silver Mallard, and I can’t count how many times people have tried to buy it off of me at clay shoots or in dove fields. Beretta had a real winner with that one.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Ditto. And mind you, my 390 is a parkerized and synthetic stocked 390. It’s black, like an AR is black. It’s not a head-turner of a shotgun by any stretch of the imagination. Mine is nicked, dinged and scratched all to hell, thanks to being dropped off the sides of mountains while chukar hunting. I’ve hunted hard, hard, hard with that gun. It has never, ever failed me. It’s light enough to carry all day long, durable to take literally any punishment I’ve dished out. I really cannot extoll the reliability of the 390 enough.

          Some of my best times shotgunning has been when I’ve used my 390 to sandbag other shooters during Annie Oakley shoots. Everyone would be getting out their O/U’s, messing about with chokes, etc. I’d pull up, haul out my 390. I’d rack the bolt, blow into the action, maybe some dust and pine needles would come out from chukar hunting. Then I’d grab a jug of Delo 400 oil (for my diesel pickup), and pour a dollop into the action. I’d close up the jug of Delo, then shake out the excess, wrap the slink around my left arm, rack the bolt a few times and declare “I’m ready.”

          The O/U guys smile, thinking they’re going to have me out quickly. Nope. The 390 spits oil, smokes a little bit, but it never fails, and the Improved choke in mine throws down a nice, tight pattern. By the end of the competition, I have people wanting to buy my 390 or one like it.

      4. avatar jwm says:

        I got a Beretta Pintail in trade for an sks. Regret the trade. The Beretta is made in Spain and has this weird one piece receiver and barrel. No switching barrels and the choke tubes are expensive and hard to find.

        The gun works. But its heavier than my mossbergs and has a different balance to it that just feels off.

    2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Al, wow, but that I were that eloquent. Those Benellis do kick like hell. Not a problem turkey hunting, but in a hot dove field, or duck blind? I bet those guys on TV secretly hate them. But, a free shotgun is a free shotgun.

      1. avatar Al Bondigas says:

        Ha! You’re probably right about that. In fairness to Benelli, though, I must admit that their Nova and SuperNova pump guns are a good value for very little money. They’re perfect for all kinds of hunting because of their ruggedness and reliability (but they are hard to look at).

  4. They even include a laminated Fudd Card, which you can present to the media after any gun related tragedy and you will then be quoted as Average Reasonable Gun Owner as you denigrate those evil modern high capacity guns and throw the gun community under the bus.

  5. avatar Tom T says:

    I have no use for that whatsoever, but it is a beautiful firearm.

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