Weatherby will be offering improved version of the Athena and Orion Over/Under Shotguns during 2008.
Weatherby’s time-tested and field-proven AthenaÂ® and OrionÂ® over/under shotguns will feature design and performance enhancements at even more affordable prices as a result of a new manufacturing agreement with Fausti Stefano Arms of Italy.
Effective June 1, 2007, Fausti Stefano Arms replaces New SKB as Weatherby’s manufacturing partner for the Athena and Orion shotgun lines. In 2005, Weatherby first teamed with Fausti to produce the highly-successful side-by-side Athena D’Italia shotguns.
“This is great news for bird hunters and target shooting enthusiasts,” said Brad Ruddell, Weatherby’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Our new agreement with Fausti Stefano Arms will allow us to make our Athena and Orion over/unders with the flair for style and function the Italian gunmakers are renowned for, but at even more affordable prices. However, they will retain the distinctive and familiar Weatherby family look that our customers have become accustomed to over the years.”
A key enhancement is the shotgun’s action, a unique and patented Rizzini four-lock system. Instead of the two locking points typical of Italian shotguns, the Rizzini action design has four points of engagement between the barrels and the receiver, creating a strong, rock-solid lockup for long, dependable service.
Another new feature: a sculpted frame head providing a custom touch normally reserved for high-grade over/under shotguns.
Also new will be barrels that are chrome lined for ease of cleaning and to better withstand the wear and tear of heavy use. Other barrel features remain the same: lengthened forcing cones to help reduce felt recoil, thereby curbing shooter fatigue and improving shot patterns; and ventilated side ribs to allow quicker cooling of the barrel during extended periods of shooting.
Enhancements to the stock include a thinned wrist and forend to improve handling qualities, and an increase to 22 lines per inch checkering for an additional custom touch.
Athena and Orion shotguns will continue to offer a stainless steel Integral Multi-Choke (IMC) system for tailoring choke patterns to shooting needs and various field situations. The thread pattern is Briley- compatible for extra versatility.
Under the new manufacturing agreement, the Athena line for 2007 will include the Grade V Classic Field in 12 and 20 gauge; a reintroduction of the Grade IV Classic Field in 12, 20 and 28 gauge; and the Grade III Classic Field in 12 and 20 gauge. The Orion line will include the Grade III Classic Field in 12 and 20 gauge; Grade II Classic Field in 12, 20 and 28 gauge; Grade I Classic Field (replacing the Upland model) in 12 and 20 gauge; and a sporting clays model in 12 gauge.
Suggested retail prices will range from $1,439 for the Orion Grade I to $3,499 for the Athena Grade IV. For more information contact a local Weatherby dealer or Weatherby, Inc., 1605 Commerce Way, Paso Robles, Calif. 93446; (805) 227-2600. Or, visit www.weatherby.com.