Weatherby Orion Sporting 12ga Shotgun ReviewNov 09, 2023
Welcome to the Target Focused Life Blog! This week's release is all about a 12 gauge over-under shotgun designed to simply crush clays. This is our second time looking at a Weatherby break action. Last year we reviewed the Orion One also in 12 gauge. If you're interested in the Orion and don't want the sporting clays version, check out our other Orion review here. But if crushing clays is what you do best, then stick around to learn about this great budget-friendly break action from Weatherby. Let's go!
If you have experience with the Weatherby Orion Shotguns please let us know on the TFL COMMUNITY!
The Orion is a simple gun. It's more tailored towards clay disciplines but could certainly double as an all-around gun too.
Weatherby Orion Sporting in 12 Gauge
- Double Barrel over under
- MSRP: $1,149
- 3-inch chamber
- The length of pull is 14 5/8" - you'll need an aftermarket pad to extend this
- Drop at comb is 1.5 inches - the entire comb is adjustable with provided washers and alan key. The combs posts are also adjustable to adjust your cast from left to right.
- This shotgun comes with 5 extended chokes
- 30" barrel
- 7lbs 11oz
- The average pull weight of this trigger was around 8 lbs. This gun has mechanical triggers and the first pull always seemed to be lighter than the second. This is a bit heavier than we would prefer but the break was pretty crisp. Also keep in mind that new guns need sometime to break in it's tolerences.
- The first thing we noticed is that the butt pad is very minimal with no give. If we decide to keep this gun we'll definitely need a FalconStrike so it feels and fits better. The top of this Orion butt pad is plastic to more easily slide on your clothes.
- If you look at the gun overall it's a pretty plain jane over under. The checkering is nothing spectacular, and the wood is glossy standard grade.
- However, at this price point you're not paying for the luxuries that come with higher-end over unders. This is a good build for the money so far.
- This pistol grip doesn't seem to have any palm swell so keep that in mind.
- The gold Weatherby accents are a nice touch on the receiver and trigger
- A big difference between this shotgun and it's standard predecessor (Orion One) is that the forend grip of this sporting model is more narrow with flatter edges. The Orion One has a large rounded forend grip. So far, we prefer the feel of this one better.
- This shotgun is a bit front-heavy which can be advantageous while clay shooting due to the smoother swing that a front-heavy gun provides.
- This has a flat rib and vented barrels. We typically prefer a stepped up rib for sporting clays.
- So far the only thing we could do without on this gun is its fiber front sight.
- This over under has your standard top tang safety with barrel selectors.
- There is no engraving on this Orion, but the top lever sports some detail with a nice stamp.
- The Orion Sporting also has auto ejectors.
Recoil and Reliability
- Our first shots with 1 1/8 ounce target loads felt great! If you're mounting correctly this guns recoil should treat you just fine.
- It swung and mounted really nicely! Very excited to keep shooting this shotgun.
- We noticed that the pitch of the stock may have been a little off for us resulting in a bit more felt recoil, but an after market pad would help tremendously with this fit/recoil issue.
- There's not much that we can speak to when it comes to the reliability of an over-under except that he auto ejectors worked great. If you can speak to the reliability of this Orion Sporting please let us know how it's held up on the TFL COMMUNITY!
Breakdown/Quality of Build
- This Orion Sporting breaks apart like many other over under shotguns
- A unique difference with this gun is that instead of the typical lever that you'd find on the bottom of the forend to break apart the gun, this guns forend release is a simple button which sits at the front of the grip. We love this modern design but really appreciate the art that other manufacturers put into their release levers.
- The barrels pop right out when released by the top lever. This barrels are chrome-lined.
- The receiver is overall very very standard. It has your typical locking lugs to hold the barrels down. We've dealt with other break actions in the price range that develop either a rattle noise from the receiver, or a noticeably loose tolerance. So far, this Orion hasn't had any of these issues so we're confident that it'll continue to hold up.
- Just like in our original Orion review, this sporting variation has presented a very impressive build quality for the price point.
- Keep in mind, there are a lot of over unders in this same price range that are also manufactured in Turkey. Naturally, a lot of the raw materials are sourced from the same place. So as far a build quality, it's hard to determine how much better or worse this Orion is when compared to other Turkish price point competitors. We have no issue with Turkish guns assuming the US brand and contracted manufacturer are trustworthy. We believe that Weatherby is one of the more trustworthy companies out there. If you;s like to do your own research, ATA is the manufacturer of this Orion Sporting.
- This Orion proved to be a very smooth and enjoyable shotgun to shoot. We had no trouble getting on clays naturally.
- Once we got warmed up and started attacking the clays a bit faster, we noticed that the heavy trigger was causing us some hesitation. We ended up having to really rip the trigger to get faster splits.
- The fastest split we achieved was a .19
- The fastest overall time on two hand-thrown clays was a .95! Thats pretty good!
- This guns trigger was our biggest hang up. However, this is really no big deal when it comes to evaluating the quality of this gun. If you're out hunting you're going to naturally rip the trigger anyways. Or, you won't even notice it with your adrenaline up and focus on the target.
In conclusion, this Weatherby Orion Sporting is a very solid gun. It mounts nicely, points nicely, and shoots smoothly. We have no major gripes with this shotgun. And just like its relative the Orion One, this is a very well-built shotgun for the money. You could absolutely make this duel-purpose shotgun as well. We'd have no hesitation bringing this gun out the field with us. Also, hats off to Weatherby for building in some stock adjustability. We believe that a well-fitting gun is a pinnacle element when making a shotgun purchase decision. This is a shotgun worth considering if you're looking for a high quality, middle of the road break action for sporting clays.
Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on, so live the #targetfocusedlife
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