Weatherby PA-459 12 Gauge
Although the patrol rifle has been gaining significant ground in law enforcement circles in recent years, the tried-and-true pump-action 12 gauge shotgun is still an important police weapon. This is due in no small part to its many strengths, â¨including staggering stopping power and the good old-fashioned intimidation factor of that roughly .70 caliber gaping maw of a muzzle pointing in someone’s direction.
Another element that makes the pump-action shotgun such a highly capable LE tool is its ability to fire specialty loadings such as beanbag, rubber buckshot, OC tear gas, and marking rounds, to name just a few. As a result, with a simple ammo change, the LE operator has access to one gun capable of performing both lethal and less-lethal roles.
That being said, the plain-jane pump-action shotgun regularly seen in cruisers for the past five or more decades is arguably getting a bit long in the tooth, in many cases sporting traditional wooden stocks, polished blue finishes and simple bead sights.
However, the modern tactical shotgun has been receiving a bit of a makeover in recent years. With the widespread use of synthetic stocks, ghost ring sighting systems and radically enhanced ergonomics, the modern LE scattergun bears little resemblance to its older siblings.
An excellent example of this new style of tactical shotgun is from a somewhat surprising source—Weatherby. Although this name is undoubtedly familiar to many, it is most likely associated with the company’s history of producing ultra-high-powered hunting rifles. However, the company has recently been making moves into the tactical market with a line of precision tactical rifles and now the subject of this article, the PA-459 12 gauge shotgun.
Weatherby makes it clear from the get-go that this shotgun means business. The PA-459 model designation of the shotgun refers to California’s Penal Code 459, which covers “burglarly in progress.” And the shotgun has more than simply its name going for it, featuring an ultra-modern all-black look, a full set of tactical enhancements and cutting-edge design cues.
I recently had an opportunity to test one of the new 12 gauge PA-459 shotguns for myself. Although it is the company’s first tactical-style shotgun, it shares some ties with the company’s more traditional sporting line. In fact, the same company that produces its popular SA-08 semi-automatic sporting shotgun manufactures the PA-459 in Turkey for Weatherby.
As is often the case with Turkish-made firearms, the PA-459 exhibits robust construction and obvious attention to quality control. It also shares another common characteristics with Turkish arms—an extremely reasonable price point. Despite its full complement of enhancements and features, the PA-459 is priced at $469.
The PA-459 is a handy shotgun with excellent ergonomics. It is chambered for 3-inch 12 gauge shells and has a capacity of 5+1 with 2¾-inch shells or 4+1 with 3-inch shells in its tubular magazine. Controls of the shotgun are simple, made up of a crossbolt-style safety located behind the trigger and a large, crosshatched slide lock lever located on the forward face the triggerguard.
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