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Weatherby Element 12ga Shotgun Review

shotgun review Sep 28, 2021



It's time for another 12 gauge shotgun review!

This time, maybe a bit more affordable! Today, we're putting this Weatherby Element to the test to find out if this semi-auto 12 gauge has a worthy spot in the blind, or at the range. SPOILER ALERT I was more impressed than usual with this Weatherby Element! There are many good thinks about this Weatherby that you'd often only find in shotguns at double the price! So whether you're looking to purchase an Element, or are just along for a good time, I'm happy to have you - Enjoy!

The full in depth review is on my YouTube Channel (Target Focused Life) but if you prefer to read, here's a quick breakdown on paper.



  • This Max 5 Weatherby Element is going for about $749
  • I was able to get it at REEDS SPORTS well below that (Check it out here)

 Quick Specs

  • 12 gauge - Inertia operated (lighter, cleaner)
  • This one is in Max 5
  • 3" chamber 
  • 28" (or 26") Barrell 
  • 6lbs 12oz
  • Length of Pull 14 5/8" Out of the Box - Comes with only one shim to adjust
  • Drop at Comb is adjustable with shims
  • Runs integral multi-choke system (4 extended chokes) 

Ergonomics/Look & Feel

  • Mounting felt pretty good and solid but as expected the balance is a bit rearward 
  • With mounting I also noticed that its a bit short for me - this Element has limited length of pull adjustability - only comes with one spacer for the butt stock, and a couple shims for the drop
  • Speaking of the butt stock, this one is curved and leaves no option for aftermarket recoil reduction such as the Falcon Strike
  • Forearm curves in towards the barrel - awesome feel to it
  • The part that I'm most impressed with the the rubber grip on the forearm "Griptinite"  you don't typically see grip this nice at this price
  • The rib is flat with the receiver which I don't like because I'm having to bury my head a bit too much to comfortably practice my mount. I prefer a raised rib, but fitting this gun with the shims would help my situation too
  • Safety is rear-mounted - nothing special here
  • The controls and trigger guard are not oversized but sufficient. Bolt release was small and somewhat difficult to hit
  • Loading port is not milled out
  • Comes with swivel studs to mount a sling
  • Dipped in (Max 5) camo
  • Chrome lined barrel


  • 6lbs 13.2oz (Average)
  • Not the best trigger I've pulled - run of the mill, but valid at the price point
  • This trigger has a clean break, but is definitely heavier than I'd like
  • I believe it felt a bit tighter than it actually is because of how new I am to this gun, but it felt great!

Quality of Build

  • I always look at the quality of the build relative to the price. Everything comes together great! Very comparable to my Maxus 2
  • Weatherby made a very solid gun at this price
  • I'm curious to see if the dip lasts over time - I think it should be fine
  • Trigger group in my opinion could be a more solid build
  • Overall phenomenal at this price

Ease of Breakdown

  • As expected this inertia gun came apart simple with minimal parts - hats off to Weatherby for keeping it easy
  • The only real struggle I had was with removing and put back the trigger group. It took an almost uncomfortable amount of pull to get it out. It clicks back into place tightly but at least we know its certainly not going anywhere!
  • With hat said, I like the one pin design 
  • Overall, very easy!


  • Its very manageable - appreciated that it goes right back into my shoulder vs. my face
  • Not as great as come gas guns, but impressive for inertia
  • This is only a 3 gun so there wasn't that much variation in recoil between shots
  • I genuinely really enjoy how this gun is feeling


  • From the shoulder this Weatherby pretty much tanked through every shot which made speed shooting go faster
  • I'm not afraid to say that through all my testing (Shoulder, hip, over the head) that this Weatherby Element cycled more reliably than some of my $1,000 + shotguns. Most of the guns I'm referring too here are gas driven - this is inertia and still kept up. Very impressed
  • I don't have too much more to say here except - wow - Weatherby really has it going on for offering a price this reasonable

Speed Shooting

I find this evaluation valuable because it tests how all the moving parts really come together. From getting on target, having an appropriate trigger pull, recovering from the recoil, and cycling good enough to get back on target. 

  • The fastest time I could accomplish with the Weatherby Element today was a 1.31
  • Getting used to the flat rib was tough. Again, the gun is just a bit short and high for me as well 
  • The trigger was also hard to get used too - I think this comes with the price you pay, but I felt that it was just a bit to heavy for my liking
  • I also noticed the lighter front end giving me a bit more muzzle flip as well
  • At the end of the day it was reliable, and didn't kill me with recoil

In summary, I truthfully enjoy all the things that this Weatherby Element has to offer at this price point. Mainly, the awesome Griptinite forearm, and the impressive reliability of a shotgun less than $800. If your main concern is high performance and value at a good price, I'd definitely recommend checking out the Weatherby Element at REEDS Sports. 

Would you like to see a head-to-head comparison with another semiauto shotgun?

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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