February 14, 2014
Gunfight Friday: Weatherby Vanguard vs Ruger No. 1 International
By Phil Bourjaily
Today’s Gunfight is a face-off between Continental elegance and American practicality. Some like their firearms restrained and classy, others like them plain and practical. Both of these rifles are accurate game-getters.
Fittingly, Edward Palumbo’s Mannlicher-stocked Ruger No. 1 International is chambered for the very European 7x57 Mauser, while Eric Kaneshiro’s Weatherby is chambered for the All-American .30/06. And, while on paper that may not seem like a fair fight cartridge-wise, it would be a tossup as to which of those two venerable rounds has taken more game in their long, useful lives. Here they are:
Eric Keneshiro’s Weatherby Vanguard
This is my Weatherby Vanguard S2 in .30/06. I bought it because Dave Petzal only had good things to say about it. I've no plans to change anything because of Total Gun Manual tip No. 13: "If all you can afford is a cheap gun, get a good cheap gun...and let it alone." My rifle has medium-height Vanguard lightweight scope mounts by Talley and Nikon Buckmaster 3-9x40 scope with a BDC reticle. I hand-load Barnes 150gr TTSX bullets in Winchester brass, and use Hogdon H4895 powder and Federal 210 primers. It shoots sub-MOA 3-shot groups sometimes, but not every time. I'm still figuring out if it's me, the loads, or the trade winds, but the accuracy is good enough for a couple successful hunts on Lanai island.
Edward Palumbo’s Ruger No. 1 International
This Ruger No. 1 International is chambered for the 7x57mm cartridge, and it’s my idea of a superb whitetail deer woods rifle. Contrary to the notion that a full-length stock is inherently inaccurate, this carbine-length single-shot is very accurate with Hornady 139 grain bullets. Equipped with a Leupold 4X scope, this attractively stocked rifle is a favorite.
There’s your choice: a Weatherby with an eye-catching laminated stock and spiral-fluted barrel a synthetic stock or a Ruger with classic lines. Comment and vote below. Send in your gun pictures to email@example.com. Any gun is welcome, although it strikes me as odd that I’ve only received one AR 15 picture so far. Send me some. Even I have an AR 15 so I know there must be a bunch out there we haven’t seen yet.