A serious firearm for serious turkey hunters

Weatherby’s SA-459 Turkey Xtra Green semi-auto is a serious firearm for serious turkey hunters.

First introduced in October, 2011 by the California- (soon to be Wyoming-) based manufacturer of finely crafted arms, Weatherby started out of the gate with their turkey version of the semi-auto and pump offerings with high-tech scatterguns that looked more like something out of the sands of the Middle East than a turkey tool.

Basically a camouflaged version of the 459 line of tactical shotguns with M16-style sights familiar to law enforcement and military operators, Weatherby’s original turkey offerings were cumbersome to sight in and because of the inch-plus-high front A-frame post sight, it created aiming challenges at close range due to the sheer height of the sights. Their generation two turkey guns lowered the front sight to a more respectable height, but still retained the LPA-style rear adjustable ghost sight, a much better solution for turkeys that could pop out of cover within 5 yards and reduced the need to hold low to ensure a proper hit.

In October, 2014, however, Weatherby dispensed with the tactical barrel jewelry and drilled this shotgun back down to its basics, where a turkey hunter prefers to start anyway. Give us a solid base that functions reliably and solidly, and let us customize it for our shooting and hunting styles.

Outfitted with an overmolded pistol grip buttstock and a smoothly contoured fore-end, the Turkish-built SA-459 now sports a 22-inch barrel with a slightly exaggerated vent rib and a simple, fiber-optic bead. It is chambered for 3-inch shells in both 12-gauge and 20-gauge models. The action is drilled and tapped and comes with a removable picatinny rail to allow for a variety of add-on sight options. One much-appreciated carryover from the tactical line is the oversized bolt handle, which I love, especially in the early seasons when thick gloves might come into play.

This model comes in Realtree Xtra Green. It also comes standard with an extra-full turkey choke, but any IMC (Multi-Choke) chokes will fit it — Xtra Green model only — and transform it instantly from a turkey to a small-game to a personal-defense gun. A dual-valve gas system with two interchangeable pistons, one each for heavy loads and light loads, provides even more flexibility in ammo choices and ensures reliable ejection and feeding.

In the field, at just 6 ¾-pounds, it is a pleasure to carry, and the gas system reduces the perceived recoil on heavy hitting modern turkey loads.

Weatherby has it figured out and at around $800 MSRP, the SA-459 Turkey Xtra Green is a solid, economical semi-auto with a name and reputation that backs it up.

Check it out online here

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