Complete Bear Hunting System

Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic Rifle

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weatheryvanguardWhen I was in the market for a new hunting rifle I contemplated numerous criteria. Of course I was on a budget so I could not just go buy a high priced European or other high valued rifle. I was looking at getting a synthetic stock rifle even though I like the look of wood I realize synthetic was more appropriate for the British Columbia climate in which I hunt in. I also decided on a blued barrel because of economical reasons but looking back I really wish I went with a stainless steel barrel. I thought about getting a Remington model 700 or a Tikka T3 but I really liked the warranty, Howa action, accuracy guarantee, and price of the Weatherby Vanguard. The rifle came with a target that had a 3 shot group measuring under the 1 1/4" M.O.A. accuracy guarantee. Seeing how this rifle can start as low as $399 I think you will be hard pressed to find better value.The rifle specs are as follows on the .300WM: 7 1/2 lbs, 44 1/2" overall length, 24" #2 barrel with 1-10" twist. I could not wait to take this gun out to the range with some hand loads. Here is an example of 3 shots inside of 1 M.O.A with 168 grain Barnes 168 grain bullets. After further shooting I did another 3 shot group with a dirty barrel and you can see the accuracy decline in this case.

At 200 yards with the same bullets I also had a respectable grouping. Not bad for a $400 rifle.

3 shot group with Barnes bullets

I have also had a good time hunting with this rifle in the field. I topped it with Leupold rings and 3-10x50mm Bushnell elite 3200 scope and put a Winchester bi-pod on the stock. I took this 4x3 mule deer in October 2009 from 150 yards with a free hand shot.

4x3 mule deer

In the spring of 2010 I took this grizzly bear using 200 grain Barnes TSX handloads out of my 300wm Weatherby vanguard:

coastal BC grizzly bear

I have also taken a few bears with this rifle in the spring of 2009. Below is a 6' sow I took.

This Boar below was around the 5'6" mark from nose to tail.

spring black bear

As you can tell I have used my Weatherby Vanguard quite a bit in the past year hunting and at the range. I have had no issues and feel the quality is just fine for hunting. The only thing is I have had surface rust on the blued barrel from hunting in extremely wet conditions for extended time periods. Agood cleaning and oiling took care of the rust though. The internal magazine holds 3 bullets and the floor hinge plate works extremely well. The one piece machined bolt has given me no problems and I have not encountered any jams or broken parts. I also like the fact that it has an adjustable trigger. The trigger does break very nice from the factory and complements your shooting.

Posted October 30, 2009 by Justin Ott

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