Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weatherby Vanguard

A challenge from Stephen over at . He wrote;
"I'd like to throw out a challenge to all my blogger friends; write and post one article this week, hopefully today or tomorrow, based on the .22 caliber rifle or handgun. The tone or theme doesn't matter. Write about a favorite rifle you owned as a child, or an heirloom inherited from a family member. Perhaps you have certain reasons for or against its consideration as the best cartridge (it is in my humble opinion) for survival situations. Doesn't matter, join the fun. Duke at,, got the ball rolling yesterday. "

 For his challenge I chose the Weatherby Vanguard because of the black sheep image the Vanguard has. Chambered in the .22LR or the .17, this little gun can be your best friend.

Vanguard SUB-MOA Stainless
Introduced in 1970, the Weatherby Vanguard action (based on a Mauser-style, dual opposed lug design) takes many of its features from the legendary Mark V action, including a one-piece forged and machined, flat bottomed receiver and a fully enclosed machined steel bolt with duel opposed locking lugs and three rings of steel surrounding the casehead. The Howa bolt action is one of the good ones and the version produced for the Vanguard incorporates many of the features of the Mark V. Of those is the one-piece bolt body being fluted, there are three gas escape ports in the side of the bolt and a streamlined bolt sleeve shrouds the rear of the bolt.  Also similar to the Mark V is the flush mounted claw extractor at the front of the bolt and the plunger ejector in the recessed bolt face.
Two positions lock the bolt closed in the safe position just like on the Mark V, but it is shaped differently. There is also a Mark V type cocking indicator for a little added safety. On larger chambers the magazine floorplate is hinged, and the release is in the front of the trigger guard making access a snap.

All Weath Vanguard and Mark V alike, come with a 1.5" MOA accuracy guarantee specifying a 1.5" or smaller 3-shot group at 100 yards from a cold barrel when used with Weatherby or premium factory loaded ammunition. They are supplied with a test target to prove it. 

Vanguards range from basic blued/synthetic models to the ultra-accurate SUB-MOA models and Deluxe models stocked in beautifully finished walnut. Many knowledgeable gun dealers and hunters alike consider the Weatherby Vanguard to be the best value available in a centerfire or rimfire hunting rifle today.

Vanguard SUB-MOA Varmint
Weatherby Vanguard SUB-MOA Varmint. Illustration courtesy of Weatherby, Inc.

One question that I have been asked, since it is not based on the real Waetherby, is the Vanguard a true Weatherby? And the answer is "yes." Weatherby puts their name and reputation on the line with the Vanguard, and if they say it is a Weatherby, then you can take it to the bank. 
The Vanguard is no longer the stepchild in the Weatherby line like it once was and is now the heart of the Weatherby line.
Vanguard Deluxe
Weatherby Vanguard Deluxe. Illustration courtesy of Weatherby, Inc.

(Information gained from,

Weatherby offers rifles chambered in:  

.17 HMR, .204 Ruger, .22 LR, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .270 Winchester, .300 WSM, .300 Winchester Mag, .243 Winchester, .25-06 Remington, .338-06 A-Square, .338 winchester Mag, .35 Whelen, .375 H&H Mag, .458 Lott, .270 WSM, 7mm-08 Remington, .280 Remington, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield



  1. Good article, my friend. Well done and thanks.

  2. MDR,
    My first weapon was a Savage / Stevens 410/22 over and under. It was a bit heavy for a youth but the shorter barrel helped with handling. It had a 3" chamber on the shotgun side and could fire 22 shorts as well as LR's. It took me from rabbits to pheasants to a white tail buck using a slug. Easy to field strip and clean & fits real nice in a rucksack. Rounds are cheap and don't take up much room. There are other guns that are better suited for the survival mission, but if you can find one they are worth the money. Just my two cents, the Tigerman.

  3. Thank y'all for the comments.

    Stehpen - Thanks

    Tigerman - Thanks for the info, it sounds like a good firearm.

  4. I've got a Vanguard chambered in 7mm Rem Magnum, outfitted with a Leupold VXII scope. Shoots flat to 200+ yards, and has never failed me. Just because it didn't cost a mint doesn't make it a poor rifle.

  5. Dave - My Vanguard is a 270 and holy crap does it kick like a mule. I am a big boy and can only run just a few rounds through before I start flinching. Thanks for the comment.