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Weatherby Orion Review
A few weeks ago I bought what possibly could have been the last Weatherby Orion in the state of Iowa. I looked on every website for every gun dealer in Iowa and the closest one was the Scheels in Omaha Nebraska. Being the good Iowan I am would never travel to Nebraska unless I have to, decided to go down to my local Scheels to see what they had available for over unders. While looking at the empty Weatherby location and studying the other shotguns I noticed the gold Weatherby writing on a one at the bottom. There tuck in a subtly hiding spot was the last Weatherby Orion in the state of Iowa…. Probably.
As a new policy, I have decided to do a different version of gun reviews starting this year. It will be a five-category, that matters most to me, weighted rating system, with the total points available being 40. The categories are; Looks weight 5, Accuracy weighted 10, Durability weighted 10, Enjoyment weighted 5, and Value weighted 10. Looks could be a factor on whether or not you buy a gun but for performance it’s irrelevant. Accuracy and durability are, obviously, super important when it comes to a firearm. Enjoyment, or how fun is it to shoot, is important to me because if you don’t enjoy shooting the gun then you probably won’t spend a lot of time shooting. Value weighted at 10 because I want it to be.
A quick breakdown. Weatherby brought back the Orion a few years ago as an affordable O/U option. They came out with the Orion 1, which I purchased, and the Orion Sporting. It has an Austrian Walnut stock and a blue finished barrel. The Orion comes with three choke tubes and has a simple breakdown assembly. Let’s start the review with the looks. It has a very classic look, as most over unders do. Nothing is overly flashy with no etched in designs or window dressing. The gloss finished walnut and blue finished barrel complement each other very well. The Orion 1 has a gold trigger and gold bead as the front sight. Despite no carved designs, some little things are nice visuals when you look closer at the gun. Subtle designs on the break lever and the hex grip on the hand stock are a nice touch. For looks, I will give it a 4 out of 5. I enjoy the low-key look, but for some people, they may want some extra design to an over-under like a lot of them to have. I have had two people who have told me the gun is too nice to take hunting within two seconds of looking at it. The looks do grab you.
As for Accuracy, usually isn’t an issue for shotguns. I have shot clays with this gun a few times already. The first time it took me a little bit to get used to a lighter gun with the recoil and bringing the gun up. Working the mechanics on an over-under with the safety location threw me off a little bit. Once I got that down this gun has performed better than I could have expected. I shoot this gun better than I shoot my 870 that I’ve been running for almost 15 years. Shotgun accuracy is to be expected at close range and I don’t think I can give any shotgun a 10 out of 10 with the long-range drawbacks with the platform. This will be the highest grade I give one and it will handle any shot you can give it. With an 8 out of 10.
Durability is probably too soon to tell. From everything I’ve read this gun is holding up very well and Weatherby has a great reputation for durability so I partly will be grading this gun based on that reputation. Based on that and the fact that Over/unders are very reliable guns on their own, I expect this to hold up for along time. I’ll give it floating 9 out of 10, subject to change over time.
The enjoyment I love shotguns. I grew up shooting them so I’m biased on this. It is a smooth shooter and very accurate. I’ve only shot target and small game loads out of it but the lightweight frame handles those well and that’s all I plan to shoot out of it. As far as enjoying guns to shoot this one is my favorite, and it’s not close. Enjoyment is 5 out of 5.
Value, this gun at Scheels was just under $800, which is a very reasonable price for an over-under, which was the goal when Weatherby made this gun. The only thing I can complain about right now is the select fire on the safety is a little loose, making you end up moving which barrel you shoot out of first. The price of the gun and the way it performs is a great value. Again, it’s another category that could change with time, but right now I’ll put the value at 8 out of 10.
Overall, putting this gun with a 34 out of 40. I’m happy with this gun and would recommend it to anyone. It’s the perfect gun for those long day’s pheasant hunting or trap shooting. The firearm held up well in the cold and snow rabbit hunting the other day and is by far my favorite gun in my gun cabinet
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Caleb Davison