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Weatherby 18i 12ga Semi-Auto Shotgun Review

shotgun review Aug 17, 2023
Weatherby 18i 12ga Semi-Auto Shotgun Review

It's time for the long-awaited, highly requested review of the Weatherby 18i semi-auto, inertia-driven shotgun! Shout out to Weatherby for sending us this gun for review! Manufacturers that are willing to put their guns in front of an audience through a non-biased review already have our respect as many refuse to. We didn't pay for the gun, and Weatherby isn't paying for us to say nice things. Now that's an honorable transaction! So, let's put this 18i through its paces and see if it lives up to the hype. Ready?  Let's go! 

If you have experience with the Weatherby 18i please let us know on the TFL COMMUNITY!      

  •  Weatherby 18i in 12 Gauge

    • It's always interesting to hear what manufacturers have to say about their guns. At times it seems like they all say the same thing about how reliable their gun is over other manufacturers. Weatherby says this about their 18i: "The 18i shotgun is built to their exacting standards in Italy, utilizing a proven inertia operating system. This system ensures an evenly weighted gun with superior reliability." We say, "Let's put those words to the test!"
  • Specs

    • This is the 12-gauge 3-inch model inertia driven (3.5-inch models available)
    • Affordable MSRP of $1249 when compared to similar shotguns.
      • We found the 18i for less at Reeds
    • 7 pounds 1.2 ounces
    • The length of pull is 14 3/8
    • Drop at comb 1.9"-2.5“ (according to Weatherby)
    • Adjustable drop and cast using included shim kit.
    • Trigger pull averaged out at 5 LBS 13 OZ
    • Comes with 5 flush Crio chokes
  • Ergonomics

    • Forend design is reminiscent of other Italian inertia semi-autos.
    • Comfortable grip and trigger finger placement.
    • The comb pad is rubber and quite comfortable.
    • Adequate controls but with room for improvement.
    • Crossbolt safety is behind the trigger and kind of hard to toggle.
    • Sharp edges in the loading area.
    • Fiber optic front bead and flat rib - no mid-bead.
    • We like the Cerakote finish and camo furniture.
    • The butt pad is nothing special but seems to slide well and not get caught on clothing while mounting.
    • Standard bolt handle and release.
    • The receiver is drilled and tapped.
  • Recoil and Reliability

    • Had no problem handling light target loads.
    • Some slight discomfort with heavier loads.
    • Reliability from the shoulder was fine! Other positions don't typically work as well with inertia guns.
    • Relative to other inertia guns in this price range, the 18i had a bit more recoil.
    • Overall, we believe that this gun will perform "adequate and average".
  • Breakdown

    • Inertia guns are some of our favorites to break down and clean just because of how simple they are.
    • The trigger group has a single pin, adding to the simplicity. 
  • Speed Shooting

    • Although you won't be trying to shoot down 3 birds as fast as possible, we like to see how fast we can get on target with every gun we review. This sheds light on the overall functionality of the shotgun, testing how well it instinctively mounts, how reactive the trigger is, and how the gun feels overall. 
    • Consistency became an issue while trying to shoot down 3 hand-thrown clays as fast as possible. This is mainly due to the gun not fitting Steve and the trigger having a fair amount of pre-travel.
    • Through many attempts, our fastest time was a 1.25, with our fastest split being a .17. The trigger was definitely loosy goosy

In conclusion, the Weatherby 18i inertia-driven shotgun offers a balanced blend of features and performance that make it a noteworthy option for both hunting and shooting enthusiasts. With its intriguing price point, this shotgun competes favorably with other inertia-operated models in the market. Its lightweight design, aided by the simplicity of the inertia system, contributes to its overall comfort and ease of use. The gun's ergonomics and feel are generally positive, though some aspects like the trigger's pre-travel might impact fast shooting scenarios. The gun's reliability, particularly with target loads, proves satisfactory, while heavier loads can induce noticeable recoil. While the controls are serviceable, they could benefit from slight improvements in terms of size and accessibility. The inclusion of a shim kit for drop and cast adjustment is a positive aspect for fitting the gun to different shooters. Overall, the Weatherby 18i presents a viable choice for those seeking an inertia-driven shotgun with decent performance and features at a more accessible price point.

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on, so live the #targetfocusedlife 

Stay Target Focused,



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