Long Arms-Basic Weatherby Facts

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Long Arms-Basic Weatherby Facts

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sat May 19, 2007 10:54 pm

Weatherby began making rifles in the late 50's/early 60''s/ Originaly they employed a M-98/FN type action as Roy fely it was time to have his own unique product.

In the Mid 60's, I beleive, the MkV Action began appearing. I is a heavy massive appearing bolt with 9 locking Lugs, only one action length and style. At the time the stock appeared futuristic in nature with a trapezoidal forend and (new then) a some what conventional low combed Monte Carlo Stock with a mildly high cheekpiece which was somewhat low in the fore part.

The Rifle came with a Hi Glossy finish and more or less standard cherkering, although other grades were offered. Rosewood forend and grip cap were feature and, in toto, the Weatherby rifles were and remain handsome pieces.

Initially the Rifles were made by JP Sauer and Son in Germany, the same company who manufactured the short lived, but ultra slick Colt Sauer Bolt Action.

The latter piece never toke hold, as appears the case when American Pistol Manufacturers attempt to break into the Long arm field.

I have two Husquavarna rifles which I dealry love, but they are marked, of all things as "Smith & Wesson"s. the later of the twon S&W rifles appears to feature the very fast action since used by a few companies in sequence over the decades. I can't recall them all.

The Initial Weatherby Rifles were all manufactured in "magnum' lengthed actions to accomodate Weatherby's Line of Propietary cartrides which were .257WM, .270WM , 7mm WM, 300 WM, 340WM, 378 WM and 460 WM.

The most popular of the group was, and remains, the .300WM.

Weattherby cartridges generated higher pressures all in the 60,000psi class.
To accomadate these higher pressures about one inch of what is referred to as "Freebore" (unrifled stretch) about one inch in length forward of the cartridtridge neck.

This acted to reduce 'actual' pressures on the bolt face. Hover, it is often the reloaders practice-to increase accuracy-seating bullets shalloly in a dummy cartridge and chambering the round.

The Seating depth was/is reduced until the bullet showed (just barely) no rifling marks.

Needless to say, this might be dangerous in "free bored" Weatherby Rifle as the practtice would obviate the freebore and cause a rise in chamber pressures.

In these rifles I had followed the practice of seating to the same length as factory rounds.

I considered the .308Norma Mag and the .300 Weatherby to be the best of the 300's as I did not care for the extremely short neck of the .300Wiinchester.

Subsequently Weather introduced the .224WM, which never became popular because of the Nearly equal performance of the .22-250Rem..

Nonetheless this .224 round necessitated a different action length and size althogether and looked very 'cute' as it was a miniature Mark V.

Next to be in troduced on yet another action length and size was the .240 WM. For whatever reason, I really liked this particular rifle despite the fact that it only outperformed the .243Win and 6mm Remington by a cople of hundred fps.

Weatherby MkV's were made in Japan briefly, but now are all manufactured in the USA.

A short action has also been procuded to chamber at the very least, the.308 Win and 7mm/08.

The Vanguard action, still made in Japan is of magnum length and the 300 WM is offered in the rifle with a guarantee of .99MOA or less.

All Weatherby Rifles guarantee 1 1/4 MOA for three shots from a cold barrel.

All Weatherbies used to come with test targets showing at least this size group or leas, but the practice has been deleted except in the Case of the "Sub Moa" Vanguard, although I am sure the odd MkV can equal this.

Beacuase of the high chamber pressures and originall slim (around #2 contour). The .460WM had a heavier barrel, but anecdotally I have heard of some Problems in the hot weather of Africa again, because of the higher chamber pressures.

I have only fired the .224, .240 .257, 300 and 460 WM's I can only say the first three are quite likable, the 300 becoming a bit of a handfull for a .300, and i found the .460 to0 much for me as I found the.458 winchester too much for me.

Nevertheless the line deserves consideration for all uses.
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