Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 Sporter in .270 Winchester
The Weatherby Vanguard Sporter is Weatherby's less expensive walnut stocked, bolt action centerfire rifle. It carries a retail price of $849, compared to the Vanguard Series 2 Deluxe that has upgraded wood and highly polished blue for $1149 (2113 MSRP). The synthetic stocked models have an MSRP of $649.
The Vanguard Sporter is a superb-looking rifle in its own right. The bead-blasted blue is far better done than some of the really rough matte, essentially unfinished, metalwork that is becoming unfortunately common. The one-piece, machined steel bolt has two front locking lugs, a front mounted claw extractor and a plunger ejector. The machined from billet receiver has a hefty, integral recoil lug.
What Weatherby calls their standard grade of walnut is a better level of furniture than some rifle companies offer at all. It is a Monte Carlo "A" grade Turkish walnut stock with generous four-panel checkering, rosewood forend tip and a very appealing satin urethane finish. The stock is finished off with a perfectly ground recoil pad that is both thin and of a good, soft durometer. The length of pull is 13-5/8 inches, drop at the comb is 5/8 inch and drop at the heel is 1 inch. The Monte Carlo cheekpiece does exactly what it is supposed to do. When you mount the rifle, you're looking straight through your scope with no head-lifting or adjustments and when you shoot, the recoil moves the cheekpiece away from your face, so it doesn't rap you on the cheek bone. The rosewood forend and the clean cut checkering really set this rifle apart. It is a well-finished, eye-catching, bolt action rifle.
It is a beefy, 7-1/2 pound rifle with a #2 Contour, 24 inch, 1:10 rate of twist barrel that is properly bedded in the stock. The rifle's overall length is 44-1/2 inches.
· Caliber: .270 Winchester (many other chamberings available)
· Metal finish: Bead-blasted satin blue
· Barrel: 24", #2 contour
· Twist: 1:10 inches
· Magazine capacity: 5
· Stock: Monte Carlo style checkered walnut, rosewood fore end tip
· Drop at comb: 5/8 inch
· Drop at heel: 1 inch
· Monte Carlo: 3/8 inch rise
· Length of pull: 13-5/8 inches
· Overall length: 44-1/2 inches
· Approximate Weight: 7-1/2 pounds
· 2013 MSRP: $849
Right out of the box the Weatherby trigger delivered a glass-rod break at 2-3/4 pounds, one of the best factory triggers I've experienced on a hunting rifle in years. It has a generous cartridge capacity of five in the magazine, plus one in the chamber. The magazine is an internal sheet metal box with a quick release floorplate to dump all the cartridges at once. It all makes for a clean looking rifle with distinctive Weatherby lines.
Warne Scope Mounts makes an outstanding, profiled, one piece steel base for this rifle that also fits the Mark V action. That's what I used to mount a new Sightron Big Sky 3-9x42mm riflescope with the HHR reticle.
It was a very windy day at the range, but the Weatherby still shot right at an inch CTC at 100 yards, with Winchester 140 grain AccuBond hunting ammunition. (Find the right load and SUB-MOA groups are, as advertised, a reality.) By now, you might be wondering what I can find that is lacking in this rifle and I can tell you, absolutely nothing. It looks great and shoots with far more accuracy than needed for most big game hunting applications. The smooth, forged/machined action and light/crisp trigger are easy to appreciate. Due to its not insignificant mass, it is an extremely comfortable rifle to shoot in .270 Winchester.
With a street price around $750 or so in 2013 dollars, it is hard not to call this rifle a screaming deal. Rarely do I test a rifle that just gets it all right, but that is the case here. Anyone would be proud to own and hunt with this rifle. This is industry-leading product at an enticing price point.
Note: There is an in-depth review of a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 SUB-MOA rifle on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2013 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.