On Guard

Weatherby’s PA-459 TR 12-Gauge Shotgun

“Have you noticed something unusual at the range recently?” my wife Simone asked as we were driving home on an August day. With several projects on the go we had been to the range at least daily, sometimes twice a day, for the past week. Simone generally goes along to help with photos and video.

I thought a moment. “Well, the range has been busy lately, but it often is in August with hunters getting ready for deer season. Is that it?”

“No,” she replied, “What I noticed was just about every day, there were more women shooting than men.”

Staff at a local gun shop confirmed they are seeing more women buying guns than ever before. Customers, men and women both, are most interested in firearms for personal and home defense. Concealed carry classes have waiting lists.

We’re located in a low-crime rural area where hunting is a tradition and sales of hunting firearms remain stable. But even here, self-defense sales drive the market. If you wonder why, I suggest you read Mark Steyn’s latest book on the decline of civilization, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

It’s not a book about survival preparation (the only firearm advice is “get a gun”). It’s about recognizing and (let’s hope) reversing the social and economic decline. Steyn has the amazing ability to scare the daylights out of you and make you laugh out loud in the same paragraph.

With concealed carry in mind obviously many customers choose handguns. But for home defense there is a great demand for shotguns, and rightly so. Generally (not always), it’s easier to reach an acceptable standard of marksmanship with a long gun than a handgun. The shotgun adds decisive stopping power, versatility and a high intimidation factor.

One of the best choices, and certainly an outstanding value, is the Weatherby PA-459 based on Weatherby’s well made and reliable pump-action PA-08 sporting shotgun. It uses a CNC-machined alloy receiver with a steel bolt locking into a barrel extension.

The PA-459 is built on the same reliable design as the PA-08, but with features making it better suited as a defensive shotgun. It has an 18-1/2″ chrome-lined barrel with a ported cylinder choke tube. A steel Picatinny-style rail is bolted to the receiver.
An LPA rear sight is supplied which bolts to the rail and provides a “ghost ring” sight picture. The front sight assembly, a bright red fiber-optic sight protected by sight wings puts the sight high enough to align properly with the rear sight.

The synthetic butt stock has a shorter 13-1/2″ length-of-pull than the hunting PA-08, with a thick and very effective recoil pad. The stock has an integral pistol grip.

Police officer friends who tried the PA-459 felt the pistol grip makes the shotgun handier to maneuver in tight spaces, or to fire 1-handed if necessary (for example if opening doors or handling a flashlight with the other hand). And it gives the shooter a better purchase on the gun should an assailant try and grab it.
Story By: Dave Andreson

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