Weatherby PA-08 Upland 20 Gauge Pump Shotgun
3 Nov 2014
The Weatherby PA-08 slide-action shotgun arrived for a Guns and Shooting Online review. It is a good looking pump-action shotgun, to be sure. It features a Turkish walnut stock with a gloss finish, a well-fitted recoil pad, ventilated rib, gold trigger and "Weatherby" in gold script on the receiver.
Three panels of single border, cut checkering adorn the forend and there are two similar checkered panels on the rather sharply curved pistol grip. There is no pistol grip cap. The black receiver is made from an aluminum alloy.
The gun is imported from Turkey by Weatherby, but it is not made by ATA, the Turkish company that manufactures the Weatherby SA-08 autoloaders. Most likely it is made by Armsan and that might be part of the problem.
This shotgun weighs 6-1/2 pounds, a full half-pound heavier than the excellent Weatherby SA-08 20 gauge autoloader. The basic specs are conventional.
While Weatherby publishes a 14 inch length of pull, it is actually just over 14-1/8 inches. Full, Modified and improved Cylinder standard Invector style choke tubes are supplied.
The obvious problem with the test shotgun is the trigger, for it breaks at a ridiculous 11 to 12 pounds, rendering this shotgun unusable for any purpose. A trigger this bad should never leave any factory. There isn't much else to say at this juncture, except to suggest that before you pull the trigger on a PA-08, you might want to make sure that you actually can.
Weatherby was immediately advised of the trigger problem and the test gun is being returned for inspection and service. More information when it becomes available.
4 Dec 2014
According to Weatherby, their specification for the trigger pull of autoloading and slide action shotguns is a six to eight pounds. However, all four SA-08 autoloaders I have previously tested had better triggers than that. The SA-08 28 gauge broke at a crisp 5-3/4 pounds. The SA-08 12 gauge Waterfowler broke at five pounds. The the SA-08 12 gauge Deluxe was a bit lighter than that and the SA-08 20 gauge had a four pound trigger.
Weatherby adjusted the trigger on the PA-08 and shipped it back. However, it remains unacceptably heavy, varying between 8-1/2 and 9-1/4 pounds. Moreover, it has an excruciatingly long take-up with false stops. It is a very poor trigger, even beyond the heavy pull weight. The last thing I want is to have to fight a shotgun with a trigger that is two pounds heavier than the weight of the entire gun!
The action is exceedingly rough, full of start and stop "stick-slip." Acceptably smooth it is not. Whereas a good slide action almost shucks itself, this example is remarkably shoddy.
The balance of this pump gun is way off, for in a normal carry position you are compelled to hold the forearm near the receiver, well away from the long finger grooves in the pump handle. This is quite a serious problem for an upland pump action gun that you need to operate instinctively, without hesitation.
There is no denying the good looks of the PA-08, or the enticing 2015 discount retail price of about $350. Unfortunately, the rough action combined with the unacceptable trigger means this shotgun is not even what I would consider useable, much less enjoyable.
Copyright 2015, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.