Founded in a family garage as the country was recovering from World War II, Weatherby is the epitome of the American success story. One idea and an unfaltering work ethic helped Roy Weatherby turn a hobby shop into an internationally recognized brand. As you might imagine, a lot happened in between. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Weatherby, Inc.
The facts below were put together with a little help from the kind folks at Weatherby, among other sources. If the list below piques your interest, I’d highly recommend checking out “Weatherby: The Man, The Gun, The Legend,” which was authored by Grits and Tom Gresham back in 1992. Now, on with the list.
1. As Roy Weatherby himself told it, he first considered entering the firearms industry after a Utah deer hunt in 1942. After wounding—and losing—a buck, he started thinking about how he might be able to craft more efficient tools for the harvesting of game. A lone deer planted the seeds for what would become an internationally renowned company. Roy spent the next decade developing the high-powered Weatherby Magnum cartridges for which the company is known today. The rifles soon followed.
2. When Roy first started putting bullets on the market in 1946, he couldn’t afford sufficient equipment. As such, he did much of the work by hand, using copper tubing and lead wire. A young man named Bub Martin pressed out all of Roy’s bullets on the bullet press after school each day. He’d be rewarded later in life by being named head of the company’s loading department.
3. Roy’s very first storefront came at the expense of an apparently down-on-his-luck barber. A friend offered to rent Roy space in a building he owned after its existing tenant—the barber—bristled at the thought of rent doubling from $50 to $100 a month. Whether or not the man gave a good haircut, we may never know. He still has a footnote in Weatherby’s history, though.