The Weatherby® Vanguard® Weatherguard® rifle is affordable with retail around $750 or less, is weather resistant with Weatherguard coating, advertised as MOA or better out of the box and easy to carry in the field. It weighs around 7.25 lbs bare naked and 8 lbs with Leupold’s VX-6 3-18x44mm scope, my go-to test scope and hunting scope. Scope mounts are sold separately and are only for this rifle. The Vanguards internal magazine holds 3 cartridges and the 24 inch hammer forged Weatherguard coated Barrel is a mat finish. Typical barrels are 22 inches so yo get a bit more energy with the extra 2 inches.
The innovative fluted bolt includes 3 gas vent ports (seen above) in the event of a case failure thus venting gas safely. I have never had a case fail but hey you never know. The action works as smooth as I have experienced in more expensive rifles. The safety is a two position lever, located to the right rear of the bolt seen below and shown in the Fire position.
The Vanguard Trigger is a 2 stage (creep free) trigger that can be adjusted down to 2.5 lbs. My test rifle trigger pull weight is around 3 lbs 6 oz or so and breaks cleanly and consistently as advertised.
I am using the Hornady Precision Hunter 143 grain ELD-X bullet as my standard for off the shelf accuracy. I just love this Precision Hunter ammo.They fly true and proven at close range at 50 yards to 1000 yards in an accurate rifle.
The recoil pad is thick and soft thus reducing felt recoil substantially.
- SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee (.99” or less 3-shot group at 100 yards when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition)
- Adjustable Match Quality, Two-stage Trigger
- Fluted Bolt Body
- One-piece Machined Bolt Body
- Fully Enclosed Bolt Sleeve
- 3-Position Safety
- Cold Hammer Forged Barrel
- Integral Recoil Lug
- Hinged Floorplate
- Monte Carlo Griptonite stock features pistol grip and forend inserts
- Right side palm swell
BARREL AND METALWORK:
- 24-inch barrel
- #2 contour
- Tactical Grey Cerakote for exceptional weather and corrosion resistance
Below is first group 3/8 inch at 50 yards, very windy conditions up to 15 mph and swirling. I tried to shoot in the wind lulls.
Below is a 6 shot 100 yard group using the same ammo as in the 50 yd group above, again with 15 mph winds and swirling. The spread 1.75 inch spread is very likely wind driven but the core 4 shots are huddled at less than 3/4 inch. Will try again at some point as I am out of ammo. Experiences of Vanguard owners on the Weatherby website are all very exuberant.
This core group of 3/4 inch is what I would have expected with the 50 yard group so tight. The wind likely played a role in the lateral spread.
I was very pleased with how easy yet snug the bolt moved as I worked the bolt. The Rifle handled smoothly and the trigger was crisp.
What made me want to shoot and test this rifle was, first, its Weatherby name, I like the Comb on a Weatherby since I placed a large scope on this rifle it raised my cheek correctly.
I remember years ago when Roy Weatherby built a 300 Winchester Magnum rifle for John Wayne. See photo below
If John gets one, you know they are good. Today the rifle is made by Howa of Japan and the attention to detail is visible.
This is a hunters rifle and I believe it can handle far off places like Alaska in the frozen north with a measure of its rugged reliability as well as the plains of Africa and the 6.5 Creedmoor can easily handle Elk size game at long ranges to 400 yards or so or deer at 700 yards.
The rifle comes in many calibers from .223 to 300 Wby Mag. http://www.weatherby.com/vanguardr-weatherguard.html
This is an “affordable” and highly reliable rifle I would want under my Christmas tree. Check it out at your local Sporting Goods Store!