By J. Scott Olmsted, American Hunter Editor in Chief
Weatherby has for generations been associated with certain iconic words and actions: hunting the world’s largest and greatest game with the company’s venerable Mark V bolt-action rifle, the admiration of the rifle by Hollywood stars like John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and the Western lifestyle come to mind. Now, the company adds to the iconic list the letter “X” and everything that single letter connotes today.
Weatherby X, soon to be known simply as “Wby X,” is aimed at a younger demographic, today’s youth who have never heard of the Duke and Roy and Trigger. In fact the Wby X lineup doesn’t even include a Mark V. It consists of rifles and shotguns today’s youth might actually be able to afford to buy.
Among rifles there is the Whitetail Bonz and Whitetail Bonz Youth, Vanguard rifles with whitetail antler graphics on synthetic stocks; the Hog Reaper, a Vanguard chambered in .223 Rem., .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. with slick hog skull graphics on its synthetic stock, which should be a huge hit in hog-hunting circles; the Black Reaper HB, a Vanguard with mystical human skull graphics on its synthetic stock that should attract the fantasy/sci-fi/zombie-shoot crowd; and the Tomboy Youth, a Vanguard rifle with a pink-splattered-paint scheme on its synthetic stock and a 12.5-inch length of pull aimed squarely at young women. Among shotguns there is the PA-459 Black Reaper pump, a 12-gauge home-defense gun with a pistol grip, top rail and sights, and mystical skull graphics on its synthetic stocks; the PA-08 Black Reaper 12-gauge pump with the same skull treatment; and the PA-459 Kryptek Raid, a home-defense 12-gauge pump with pistol grip, rail and sights—and a stock and fore-end covered in one of the latest camo schemes to attract the attention of our nation’s military minds.
Wby X will not be found in the company catalog, and it’s doubtful you’ll hear about it anytime soon via standard feature stories in magazines. In fact the entire marketing campaign is rather guerilla-like. In lieu of traditional channels, the company will get the word out via exclusive releases to media aimed at generating buzz through immediate, timely Web posts, and through a new website and social media.
Wby X is so new the company still has not decided on a URL address. Until it does, you’ll have to be satisfied with snippets of info like this one released on the Web as they become available. In the meantime, here’s a handful of images.