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Shhh! I know, it has a pistol grip. Don’t tell anyone, OK? Weatherby finally officially launched its WBY-X line of shotguns and rifles for the younger set just before the SHOT Show. Unfortunately, that fact seemed to get lost in the pre-Vegas deluge of press releases and puffery. They’re obviously aiming the WBY-X stuff squarely a the gun culture 2.0 crowd. Those skulls were my first tipoff. Kids these days! What are you gonna do? Anyway, if the accoutrements they’ve added to appeal to shooters who have spent more time in front of an X-Box than out in the field aren’t, you know, outlawed any time soon, Weatherby may have something here. The only bummer: around here, the weather be bad. As in chill winds and drifting piles of white global warming residue. But I’ll get the Black Reaper out and give her a whirl the first time there’s a break in the climate change. At least that’s the plan. Full-on review to follow thereafter. A few more snaps after the jump . . .

WBY_X front sight courtes Dan Zimmerman for TTAG

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  1. Definately has a purposefull look about it. Where’s it made at? Is it made in 20 ga and can it be had without the skulls? Enquiring minds want to know.

  2. “WBY-X PA-459 Black Reaper Pump Gun”

    What a lovely name. It falls so trippingly off the tongue! I’m gonna take the name, and rhyme it for my next rap single!

  3. Not a fan of the skullz, but the new Turkish Weatherby shotguns get an OK by me. I bought my wife one of their SA-08 (think Mossberg SA-20) in a youth size and she loves it. I’m tempted to pick up the SA-459 with the PG for a ranch gun. I played with one at the LGS and it was surprisingly light.

    • I have the SA-459 TK in 20ga, and I quite like it. It doesn’t like light-load shells (basically, any shell with a shot payload under 1oz) but it’s no hardship to find 1oz “heavy target” loads.

  4. I’m still protesting the fall of the Byzantines and cannot in good faith by Turkish-made product.

    • I’ve been there and I like the Turks. Turkey is the only Islamic country I’ve ever been to that isn’t an absolute turd garden, rather a nice place actually.

  5. I wish the best of luck to anyone who uses one of these in a dgu. A prosecutor would have a field day with those skulls; sad but true. Still, I think the pattern is pretty cool.

    • Just make sure there is only one side to the story, bad guy in your house= dead bad guy on floor when cops show up, anymore having an all black gun is nearly as bad as having a skull or zombie on your weapon. My taxidermist started to do hydro dipping and Im thinking of woodsy patterns on most of my defense weapons to make them less “evil”

  6. It’s good to know that while the Weatherby engineers are working hard to develop great shotguns, the Weatherby marketing department is working overtime to come up with dumb names. Black Reaper? Really? If thet wanted to get the Fudds’ knickers in a twist, why not just name it “The Baby Killer” and be done with it?

    Nomenclature is important. A “Black Reaper” is going to be the target of an “assault weapons” ban and motivate the great unwashed into paroxysms of fear. But name the thing “The Fluffy Bunny” and you could bring it to school for show and tell.

    • no you can not even bring a picture of it to school without getting suspended or arrested, read past article “OMFG it’s a pop tart pistol”
      Hell way before sandy hook a child was outted from a school in NYC for bringing a lego gun to school.

    • When I read these goofball names I always flash back to an oldie written by Ayoob if memory serves.

      The gist of which was – “My life will be complicated enough after killing an intruder using my 1911 Gov 45 Albert Schweitzer edition with Hague Convention approved bullets. “

    • Exactly so.

      Anyone who thinks otherwise wasn’t around for the name Winchester gave their self-defense pistol ammo in the 90’s: “Black Talon.”

      Oh, did the media have a field day with that.

      Winchester/Olin pulled it off the market (seemingly in response to the media hubbub) and quietly re-released it as the “Ranger SXT” ammunition, which passes without notice in the market today.

  7. look, the FN FAL made the ban list, nothing intimidating about the name, not even well known outside of the military and gun culture. IDGAF about names, skulls or anything, if you’re in a bad jurisdiction you’ll get crucified for using a p-38 in SD because it was a Nazi design, you’ll get lambasted for using a Beretta 92 because its MILITARY STYLE assault pistol, and if you’re in a gun friendly area, they won’t care if you used a .50bmg as long as no innocents were harmed. Skulls or pink bunnys won’t make a damn difference, it all depends on your lawyer and jurisdiction and you shutting the hell up after.

  8. I kind of like it. The thought of the pearl clutching amongst the Cuomonistas is a plus.

    Also, it’s _not_ zombie green, so +1.

  9. Legal types have always warned me away from guns with names that an over-zealous prosecutor could use to paint me as a gun owner intent on killing some innocent criminal. Massad Ayoob has written about this often.

    I am pretty sure tha a gun covered in skull artwork would not help my case.

    Other than that, awesome weapon.

  10. After the infamous “you put your handgun into hair trigger” by pulling the hammer back, even Hickok45 says don’t. I believe this was in a DGU wrongfull death suit./// I wouldn’t want to be defending in civil court with the “killer skull” shotgun based on previous cases, Randy

  11. Dan,

    Does it accept Remington or Mossberg magazine extension tubes? It’s not a semi-auto, so 922(r) doesn’t apply and you can super-size that magazine. Just for s#its and grins, of course.

    • It takes Benelli Nova and Siper Nova extension tubes. I have the PA 459 Reaper with TacStar two shot extension and barrel clamp to strengthen the tube. Couldn’t be happier with it

  12. Looking forward to the review. Been eying the PA-459 since it came out, and when I feel the need to buy a defensive shotty, I’ll probably pick one up, but with out the skulls though.

  13. If I ever had to use one for self defense, I wouldn’t want “exhibit A” at the civil trial later to have skulls all over it.

  14. This is not all that new….I bought one in March 2012 from our local Cabelas in the same skull pattern. It is very lightweight for a 12 that feeds 3-inch shells, and the pistol grip is very useful in controlling recoil. Over the past year this has become my go-to shotty for coyote calling in the brush. It is very fast-handling and the sights are excellent for varmint duty.

  15. I didn’t think the Skulls were a great idea but I bought this shotgun as it was the last one of it’s kind at Bass Pro, I really like it for function and the extras you get. The price is very good for what you get. When I Shot it even the 3 inch shells didn’t seem that bad. I have never owned a Weatherby before but I know they seem to be a very good company. I’m also thinking of getting back into hunting with this for turkey as it has a removable choke. The chrome lined barrel is also a plus. take care all. In my opinion this is a great home defense shotgun. I wouldn’t change anything on it as it functions great as is.

  16. I purchased one at a gun show for $479.00. I know I should have waited to find one cheaper but I figured I was stimulating the economy. Great gun, light, accurate and easy to handle. I bought Winchester Super X #3 buck for home defense. Loaded six rounds with 20 pellets each coming out as fast as you can pump. At 15 to 20 yards skipping along the street, this would discourage a mob quite nicely.

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