Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Rifle Review: The Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic HB-ST (Part I)

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

August 18, 2010

Rifle Review: The Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic HB-ST (Part I)

By David E. Petzal

Back in 1968, the first Howa rifles were imported from Japan under the name Golden Bear. The magazine for which I worked assigned a writer to review one, the article he wrote was such an over-the-top rave that I called him.

“Just between us,” I said, “they aren’t really that good, are they?”

“Just between us,” he said, “they’re better.”

And that is why, when Roy Weatherby looked for a manufacturer to build affordable rifles with his name on them, he picked Howa. And nothing has changed since.

What attracted me to this particular Vanguard was its resemblance to an Ed Brown Ozark, a model which I believe he no longer makes. I was lucky enough to get hold of one a few years ago. It is a 7mm/08 with a 20-inch #3 contour barrel and a weight of 8 ½ pounds with scope. The rifle is not only very accurate, but has almost no recoil, and is a pure pleasure to shoot.

The Vanguard HB-ST is practically the same gun. It comes in .223 or .308, has a 22-inch #3 barrel, weighs 8 pounds without scope, and was obviously thought up by people who are not only knowledgeable shooters and highly cultured, but damned good-looking as well.

I got one in .308 and mounted one of Schmidt & Bender’s supernaturally wonderful 2.5X-10X Summit riflescopes on it, which brought the weight to 9 pounds, 2 ounces. This is heavy for a .308, but on the other hand, the rifle has 14 foot-pounds of recoil, which is about the same as a hard punch from Callista Flockhart. --David E. Petzal

Comments (43)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Nice looking rifle but I don't need another one and also this one would not help my fancy wood fetish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hart wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Nice rifle, I guess we will see in Part II how it shoots.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Nice rifle. I'm very curious about the price and the finish. I find that the matte black finish on most modern inexpensive rifles is the Maginot Line of rust defenses. It does no more than provide a false sense of security and if you don't want the metal to bloom in orange fingerprints you have to use the RIG rag every time you shoot it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hart wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

MJC...

Just got off of the Weatherby website. MSRP $629.00. I think for the price I would rather have a Savage. Something about the Monte Carlo stock I have never liked.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

You've got my attention...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I think I'd rather have a Savage too, if for no other reason than where they're built, the good ol' US of A. I wonder, how does Ruger, Savage, Remington,Winchester (now thankfully), S&W, TC, Marlin, etc. manage to turn a profit making guns here, yet other manufacturers feel they just "have to" outsource it to other countries? (you hear me Weatherby and Browning?) I've got a personal problem with that, being American and all.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Vanguards are nice, and this one seems as nice as any, but I don't see why anyone would want one unless you were going for the "light tactical rifle" thing. What do you do with a 9 pound .308? The younger or smaller person that needs the low recoil will really lament lugging this thing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Dave, any chance of talking Mr. Ed into a lefty Vanguard?

I can see where this rifle would have much appeal to the folks who like to sit in a stand over 'beans or alfalfa and don't have the cash flow for something with a higher price.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I have two weatherby vanguards, both stainless sub-moa models. They are extremely accurate, per their sub-moa nameplate. I find the monte carlo stock very functional; allowing me to quickly shoulder the gun and peer thru the scope very effiently. the gun is and feels very solid. the stock is composite, not injected molded, and has an aluminum bedding block. The only compaint I have is the triggers on both guns would be considered below average compared to the newer triggers by savage, remington and winchester/browning.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

We should have a contest here; how many names have Howas been branded with over the years? I never owned one but have handled them. A plain vanilla rifle, but vanilla is a popular flavor.

Too bad they aren't left handed. Or stainless. And the really accurate ones have been pulled off the line and stamped "MOA."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I got my Vanguard before the MOA idea was birthed and so it shoots under 3/4" at 100 yards with factory ammo. It is in 257 Wby Mag I wish it was a .308. It is a wonderful rifle and I only paid $399. It has a Zeiss Conquest scope that cost the same. Weatherby is selling incredible rifles at a cheap price I don't understand why they are not more popular. Get you one...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Sometimes the unwashed masses just never catch on...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

In the recent past, I've examined a series of Weatherby Vanguards priced just under $400...a .223, a .22-250, a .243 and a .270 Win...and I am consistently impressed that these rifles wear so affordable a price tag. I consider them an exceptional value for the price, and other members of the club who've purchased them are very pleased with them. I'm shopping for another "walking varminter", and I think I need look no further.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ed JP

I'm with you. As soon as I get my Shiloh Sharps paid for, I think I'm gonna buy a Vanguard .223 Rem. The AR eats ammo too fast!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Yup ,.. just as I preeeeedicted ,. (not on here that I recall )but to friends.

The fly rod makers did it (better rods every year for less and less money.
And sure you still can buy a $1500 + graphite rod but for most what for?
When a $100 rod or less,. will for 95% if the fly casters be more than adiquit.

Same with the gun makers.
Technology and market forces (IE; economic recession)
sooner or later causes manufactures to wake up
and try harder,. to get and keep market share.

10 years ago I wouldnt have so much as entertained the idea that Weatherby would be in the bargan / budget market.(under $500 ) Nor would i have even remotly considered that MARLIN would come up with a bolt action.

Well ladys and gentlemen the antithieses to that is.
This spring I baught a Marlin XL7 ,. it was a knee jerk reacton really.
To news that Marlin was shutting its doors. The whole kit and kaboodle,. rifle, rail, rings,bases and scope ( a cheap bushnell I think ) was less than $360.

Was just gonna leave in the box and put it in a drawer.
But then got curious and decided to see what it would do,..

Glad I did !!!
Thusly becuase Im "the boss" so to speak
I decided that shooting yesterday was a good idea.
Needed a break anyway and not many people at the range in the middle of the week,.. so just decided to have at it.

Range is close to an hour away so by the time I got there,.. was mostly "unstrung" from day to day buis.

After what I consider the break in period
Which in my experiance has been about 60- 70 rounds for most rifles. and because it is a budget rifle I fed it no special ammo. Which maybe unfair but thats the way I went.
Starting and staying with 180 gr Winchester power points.

The following was the result.
Two shots to dial in ( final scope adjustment)
and the next three were touching inside a one inch bull.

With one exception never shot more than 3 times at any animal anyway,. so I called it good,. yuk yuk
Gloating over that I spied a pink,.( yes pink,. and i have no idea how or why it was there ) ping pong ball under a bench. Being the only sole on the range
I balanced it on the dirt back backstop,.. shot and hit that. Which was pretty intersting. Never saw a ping pong ball shot before yuk yuk,.

So,. for less than $400 and $70 +/- worth of break in ammo,. I now have what I consider a one inch rifle.

Which means the idea that Savage / Stevens started,.
that Weatherby ( Howa ) ,Marlin ( now Remington ) have locked onto .
Which is VERY acurate rifles at prices most can afford.

Is very, very, eccouraging to me,
Because it signals that you dont need a $3500 sako and $2000 dollar zies scope so as not to hang your head when you uncase your rifle ,at deer camp.
Beause likely the Savage or Howa or Marlin
will shoot as well OR BETTER than rifles costing 3 or 4 times that much ,. which were state of the art 8 or 10 years ago .

AS a business man I like it becuase it proves basic market forces are still in play.
As hunter and concervationist I like it becuase it will allow more people to enter the sport.
If we dont grow or at the least maintain our numbers we die.

And regardless of what Im worth now monitarily.
I like it becuase it proves the sport will be accessable to those whos collar is is not snow whitye
for some time to come.

Which regardless of how right or wrong any war or police action is or was.
The reason a whole lotta people faught and died to let this dynamic exist here in teh U.S. As it does no where else on earth.

The reason ,.is called FREEDOM.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Callista Flockhart?

You break me up, Dave.

blueridge

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I don't know about the rifle without a matching handbag and Italian shoes! WTF??

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hart wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Huntnow...

I think the Italian shoes and handbag just may clash with your new Japanesse rifle!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MTLAGO wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Did they put a better trigger in it? My only complaint of either the Howa, or Vanguard is the lousy trigger. I have owned a few, and shot many more. Most are very accurate, functional rifles, but ALL that I have kept for any length of time have had the trigger replaced. Heavy and "crunch".

SEEYA KEV

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quahog wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Before purchasing my FN Winchester .270 a year ago, I wrestled with the notion of a Mark V as my first bolt gun. I'm pleased with the Winchester ( and the price was right ) but have it in the back of my mind to some day own a Weatherby. There are a number of club members heah that own Howa - actioned customs that do well in our rifle shoots. Look forward to the performance installment with Callista Flockhart throwing punches !

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

does anyone who reads f&s really buy that gucci crap? seems like a severe waste of time and effort on their part. does their marketing dept. pay the people who post this stuff? if so they're almost as good at wasting money as our government.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

American craftsmen can still turn out a very well made, accurate and reliable rifle. Good article Dave, but I'll stick with the American gunmakers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

S&W 1500, Mossberg 1500, WBY Vangard, Howa 1500, has been a go to rifle for me for over 25yr and has been a solid performer.Del in KS, check the used Mkt. for one the S&W's their fancy models had some nice wood and the plain ones were also very nice. Took my son on a hunt for Elk & Bison for his graduation gift, the hunt went off without a hitch, a couple of 175gr Core-lokt's later and the work began. I am a big fan of the Rem.700 and own a few to many. I have seen two freakishly accurate rifles, a beat up Rem.700ADL & WBY Vangard both in -06 they shot any brand, profile, weight, like a beam of light. This Howa outfit also made some Arisaka's, which military history shows it account for keeping heads down. On the downside there was a recall ?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I love vangaurds!!!!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Like the sign posted in the Harbor Pilots (Ships) Office:
"The Captain is entitled to his opinion, no matter how ridiculous it may be."
Reciting that...I follow with saying that the Weatherby
Vanguard is the Best Bargain in the gun world. Accuracy &
really low price! I would much rather have a Vanguard than a Mk V Weatherby. Look at it my way...if you can get accuracy & a darned fine rifle at a rock bottom price..what else do you want? Rifles are for hunting, no?
Best regards, Tom

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Aye, aye, Cap'n

To each his own, but given a choice with monetary issues aside, I prefer my Mark V's to the Vanguard. But I may buy one in .223 Rem.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Howas have been making decent guns at a decent price since their inception regardless of whose name was scratched on the side of the receiver. It seems to me that a friend once bought just some actions or barreled actions only and added the stocks of his choice. A lady I know has an older Vanguard in .243 which has some of the best bluing with obviously accompanying polishing I have ever seem on any production rifle. She bought it new in that condition.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

NO WAY A LOT OF TODAYS PROBLEMS ARE DUE TO THE FACT THAT OUALITY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS WENT TO JAPAN. ANY TIME I CAN HELP IT I "BUY AMERICAN" SORRY BUT AS A RETIRED UNION MAN THAT'S HOW I FEEL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I would comment on how the unions helped send a lot of jobs elsewhere, but I will refrain.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

WAM, What caliber and model Shiloh Sharps are you getting? I have an 1874 sporter in 45-70. The thing is super accurate with anything from smokeless loads to 520 grain cast bullets backed with 61 grains of Goex Cartridge black powder. She also has a beauty of a black walnut stock.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Reagan and NAFTA sent jobs elsewhere. But I will refrain that is a topic for another blog.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

who cares where it's made? No one cares that the tikas are made in finland? no one cares that browning o/u's are made in belgium? Anybody who accuses this rifle due to country of origin does so because their american made savage or remington does not shoot as well as a (gasp) japenese made gun, oh the horror! Might I also remind you that the mark V was made in germany and japan at one time, so shut up and quit complaining already, the gun works, it's accurate, inexpensive, good looking, and good quality. I think the barrels, actions, and stocks are better than savages. The only way a savage beats a vangaurd is in trigger pull, and I (I'm about to preach heresy here)don't really like the savages trigger better than a standard trigger.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

woodsmanj35,
I have a Savage 111 made around '90. I've been curious about trying the new trigger because I can't figure out what is considered wrong with mine other than I can't adjust it's pull. It is solid, no creep, crisp let off, and although not tested I'd say 4lbs pull. Not bench rest but perfect for hunting. It's a better trigger than any rifle I own or have shot. Got it new $325.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

If I ever spring for a Weatherby it will be a Mark V or Lazermark.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Del

No. 1 Sporter in .45-70 full octagon barrel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bladnoch wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

All Weatherby products are nicely done, but in this case I don't see any advantage over a Vanguard carbine at 100 bucks and change less. I have one in 7mm-08, which with a 20-inch barrel is very similar to that Ed Brown Ozark but lighter, and it shoots as well as any reasonable person needs. It also kicks like a butterfly but stings like a bee.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jpinsky wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

The Howa is the best kept secret in the industry. I have owned Browning's, Tikka's, Remington's and Savage's and none have done better than the Howa.I do own a Winchester Model 70 that outshoots my Howa but that's not important right now because God himself built that rifle I think.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

jim in mo, I certainly hope you are not offended at me saying I like weatherbys better than savages. don't get me wrong savages are excelent, but in my humble opinion weatherbys are better. I shot a savage 308 that was uber accurate, I simply prefer weatherbys. not knocking anyones savage in the least. I especially like the way vanguards handle. If you don't like vanguards because of balance or the stock style thats fine, but my point is don't go knocking the vanguard just because it's made in japan.

jpinsky: a rifle from God? does it have everlasting ammo? LOL I want one of those! Cheers, woodsmanj35

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jpinsky wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ha - no it doesn't have everlasting ammo. It is a 257 roberts that shoots hole through hole through hole ... with Hornady Superperformance . Yes - factory loads. And that is supernatural ... :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

woodsman,
No, I had no intention at all. Just commenting on the Savage philosophy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from breadfan wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I have owned 9 Vanguards and 3 Mark V's. Currently I have a VGL 30-06, which is a Nice oil finished wood stocked 20" bbl. with a satin low luster finish. I don't like the budget Vanguards, the finish is cheap matte and the stocks are not real pretty. But, they still all shoot about the same, very accurate! I love mine and my trigger breaks under 3lbs. and has zero creep, just like breaking a glass rod. I bought mine a couple of years ago NIB, been sitting there since 1988. It is by far one of my favorites. Only the Mark V has the edge with the 54 degree bolt lift. Never thought that mattered until I missed a hog, had another in the chamber like a pump gun. Weatherby's are great!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHForester wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

I just brought home two Vanguards from Walmart. Both are blued, tan web stocked, 300 Weatherby Magnums purchased for $350/each. Test targets are .327 and .532 inch. I own 6 Model 70's made over a 30 year period, the most recent being two FN guns (one Sporter and one Extreme Weather, both 30-06). Everytime I bring home a new rifle I find something in the fit/finish dept. that irks me. I always remind myself that they are mass produced and not custom rifles. This holds true on Winchester (I've had to send 3 back for issues that should have stopped them at the door), Remington (a $1000 LTR that the bolt hit the HS Precision stock so bad that it chipped the stock), etc. I owned a Japanese Mark V Fibermark in 30-06 that was wonderful. I sold it because I couldn't get over the Made in Japan stigma.... Well guess what? The Vanguard is better than any of my Winchesters or Remingtons. The Winchesters are my preferred actions but the accuracy (average 1.5-2 MOA) is not even close to the Vanguards I've shot. The Remingtons are a very cheaply made rifle (thats how they continued to produce them for so long, well... that and some fat GI contracts...). The Remington 700 (and Savage 110 , that''s right, the Savage is in the same pile as the Rem as far as I'm concerned) doesn't even come close to ANY forged, flat bottomed, real recoil lug wearing action. Period. The fit and finish of the Vanguards I've seen is FAR superior to ANY production rifle I've seen coming out of US plants. As stated above, unions killed the New Haven Winchester plant (hey, I'm former union myself.... It's a scam). And unions kill most US industry and force it offshore. That and the average US production worker does not have one ounce of pride in their work and it shows, big time.

Remington's answer to an affordable rifle? The 770 (still more $ than a Vanguard)... Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little....

I like the Vanguard much more than the Mark V action because I prefer a two lug, standard bolt throw. Fit and finish on both is the same until you start talking Deluxe which isn't my cup of tea anyway (I like the Vanguard Sporter though).

I'm a converted believer.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHForester wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

I forgot to mention a small note on triggers. I had read a few comments on the triggers and was concerned about this. I pulled the action out of the stock (one rifle measured just under 4 lbs. the other is still in the box) and inspected the trigger. It seams to be on par with a Remington or new MOA Winchester trigger. Very easy to adjust down to a crisp, 3.25 lbs. No creep, no grit. I tested it several times, over and over. No change, very consistant. And no need for lock-tite or nail polish as this trigger has lock nuts (no not nylock, just a jamb type lock nut). Bombproof.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I would comment on how the unions helped send a lot of jobs elsewhere, but I will refrain.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I think I'd rather have a Savage too, if for no other reason than where they're built, the good ol' US of A. I wonder, how does Ruger, Savage, Remington,Winchester (now thankfully), S&W, TC, Marlin, etc. manage to turn a profit making guns here, yet other manufacturers feel they just "have to" outsource it to other countries? (you hear me Weatherby and Browning?) I've got a personal problem with that, being American and all.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I have two weatherby vanguards, both stainless sub-moa models. They are extremely accurate, per their sub-moa nameplate. I find the monte carlo stock very functional; allowing me to quickly shoulder the gun and peer thru the scope very effiently. the gun is and feels very solid. the stock is composite, not injected molded, and has an aluminum bedding block. The only compaint I have is the triggers on both guns would be considered below average compared to the newer triggers by savage, remington and winchester/browning.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I got my Vanguard before the MOA idea was birthed and so it shoots under 3/4" at 100 yards with factory ammo. It is in 257 Wby Mag I wish it was a .308. It is a wonderful rifle and I only paid $399. It has a Zeiss Conquest scope that cost the same. Weatherby is selling incredible rifles at a cheap price I don't understand why they are not more popular. Get you one...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I love vangaurds!!!!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHForester wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

I just brought home two Vanguards from Walmart. Both are blued, tan web stocked, 300 Weatherby Magnums purchased for $350/each. Test targets are .327 and .532 inch. I own 6 Model 70's made over a 30 year period, the most recent being two FN guns (one Sporter and one Extreme Weather, both 30-06). Everytime I bring home a new rifle I find something in the fit/finish dept. that irks me. I always remind myself that they are mass produced and not custom rifles. This holds true on Winchester (I've had to send 3 back for issues that should have stopped them at the door), Remington (a $1000 LTR that the bolt hit the HS Precision stock so bad that it chipped the stock), etc. I owned a Japanese Mark V Fibermark in 30-06 that was wonderful. I sold it because I couldn't get over the Made in Japan stigma.... Well guess what? The Vanguard is better than any of my Winchesters or Remingtons. The Winchesters are my preferred actions but the accuracy (average 1.5-2 MOA) is not even close to the Vanguards I've shot. The Remingtons are a very cheaply made rifle (thats how they continued to produce them for so long, well... that and some fat GI contracts...). The Remington 700 (and Savage 110 , that''s right, the Savage is in the same pile as the Rem as far as I'm concerned) doesn't even come close to ANY forged, flat bottomed, real recoil lug wearing action. Period. The fit and finish of the Vanguards I've seen is FAR superior to ANY production rifle I've seen coming out of US plants. As stated above, unions killed the New Haven Winchester plant (hey, I'm former union myself.... It's a scam). And unions kill most US industry and force it offshore. That and the average US production worker does not have one ounce of pride in their work and it shows, big time.

Remington's answer to an affordable rifle? The 770 (still more $ than a Vanguard)... Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little....

I like the Vanguard much more than the Mark V action because I prefer a two lug, standard bolt throw. Fit and finish on both is the same until you start talking Deluxe which isn't my cup of tea anyway (I like the Vanguard Sporter though).

I'm a converted believer.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Nice looking rifle but I don't need another one and also this one would not help my fancy wood fetish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hart wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Nice rifle, I guess we will see in Part II how it shoots.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hart wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

MJC...

Just got off of the Weatherby website. MSRP $629.00. I think for the price I would rather have a Savage. Something about the Monte Carlo stock I have never liked.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

You've got my attention...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Dave, any chance of talking Mr. Ed into a lefty Vanguard?

I can see where this rifle would have much appeal to the folks who like to sit in a stand over 'beans or alfalfa and don't have the cash flow for something with a higher price.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

We should have a contest here; how many names have Howas been branded with over the years? I never owned one but have handled them. A plain vanilla rifle, but vanilla is a popular flavor.

Too bad they aren't left handed. Or stainless. And the really accurate ones have been pulled off the line and stamped "MOA."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Sometimes the unwashed masses just never catch on...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

In the recent past, I've examined a series of Weatherby Vanguards priced just under $400...a .223, a .22-250, a .243 and a .270 Win...and I am consistently impressed that these rifles wear so affordable a price tag. I consider them an exceptional value for the price, and other members of the club who've purchased them are very pleased with them. I'm shopping for another "walking varminter", and I think I need look no further.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ed JP

I'm with you. As soon as I get my Shiloh Sharps paid for, I think I'm gonna buy a Vanguard .223 Rem. The AR eats ammo too fast!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Yup ,.. just as I preeeeedicted ,. (not on here that I recall )but to friends.

The fly rod makers did it (better rods every year for less and less money.
And sure you still can buy a $1500 + graphite rod but for most what for?
When a $100 rod or less,. will for 95% if the fly casters be more than adiquit.

Same with the gun makers.
Technology and market forces (IE; economic recession)
sooner or later causes manufactures to wake up
and try harder,. to get and keep market share.

10 years ago I wouldnt have so much as entertained the idea that Weatherby would be in the bargan / budget market.(under $500 ) Nor would i have even remotly considered that MARLIN would come up with a bolt action.

Well ladys and gentlemen the antithieses to that is.
This spring I baught a Marlin XL7 ,. it was a knee jerk reacton really.
To news that Marlin was shutting its doors. The whole kit and kaboodle,. rifle, rail, rings,bases and scope ( a cheap bushnell I think ) was less than $360.

Was just gonna leave in the box and put it in a drawer.
But then got curious and decided to see what it would do,..

Glad I did !!!
Thusly becuase Im "the boss" so to speak
I decided that shooting yesterday was a good idea.
Needed a break anyway and not many people at the range in the middle of the week,.. so just decided to have at it.

Range is close to an hour away so by the time I got there,.. was mostly "unstrung" from day to day buis.

After what I consider the break in period
Which in my experiance has been about 60- 70 rounds for most rifles. and because it is a budget rifle I fed it no special ammo. Which maybe unfair but thats the way I went.
Starting and staying with 180 gr Winchester power points.

The following was the result.
Two shots to dial in ( final scope adjustment)
and the next three were touching inside a one inch bull.

With one exception never shot more than 3 times at any animal anyway,. so I called it good,. yuk yuk
Gloating over that I spied a pink,.( yes pink,. and i have no idea how or why it was there ) ping pong ball under a bench. Being the only sole on the range
I balanced it on the dirt back backstop,.. shot and hit that. Which was pretty intersting. Never saw a ping pong ball shot before yuk yuk,.

So,. for less than $400 and $70 +/- worth of break in ammo,. I now have what I consider a one inch rifle.

Which means the idea that Savage / Stevens started,.
that Weatherby ( Howa ) ,Marlin ( now Remington ) have locked onto .
Which is VERY acurate rifles at prices most can afford.

Is very, very, eccouraging to me,
Because it signals that you dont need a $3500 sako and $2000 dollar zies scope so as not to hang your head when you uncase your rifle ,at deer camp.
Beause likely the Savage or Howa or Marlin
will shoot as well OR BETTER than rifles costing 3 or 4 times that much ,. which were state of the art 8 or 10 years ago .

AS a business man I like it becuase it proves basic market forces are still in play.
As hunter and concervationist I like it becuase it will allow more people to enter the sport.
If we dont grow or at the least maintain our numbers we die.

And regardless of what Im worth now monitarily.
I like it becuase it proves the sport will be accessable to those whos collar is is not snow whitye
for some time to come.

Which regardless of how right or wrong any war or police action is or was.
The reason a whole lotta people faught and died to let this dynamic exist here in teh U.S. As it does no where else on earth.

The reason ,.is called FREEDOM.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jason Hart wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Huntnow...

I think the Italian shoes and handbag just may clash with your new Japanesse rifle!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MTLAGO wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Did they put a better trigger in it? My only complaint of either the Howa, or Vanguard is the lousy trigger. I have owned a few, and shot many more. Most are very accurate, functional rifles, but ALL that I have kept for any length of time have had the trigger replaced. Heavy and "crunch".

SEEYA KEV

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

S&W 1500, Mossberg 1500, WBY Vangard, Howa 1500, has been a go to rifle for me for over 25yr and has been a solid performer.Del in KS, check the used Mkt. for one the S&W's their fancy models had some nice wood and the plain ones were also very nice. Took my son on a hunt for Elk & Bison for his graduation gift, the hunt went off without a hitch, a couple of 175gr Core-lokt's later and the work began. I am a big fan of the Rem.700 and own a few to many. I have seen two freakishly accurate rifles, a beat up Rem.700ADL & WBY Vangard both in -06 they shot any brand, profile, weight, like a beam of light. This Howa outfit also made some Arisaka's, which military history shows it account for keeping heads down. On the downside there was a recall ?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Like the sign posted in the Harbor Pilots (Ships) Office:
"The Captain is entitled to his opinion, no matter how ridiculous it may be."
Reciting that...I follow with saying that the Weatherby
Vanguard is the Best Bargain in the gun world. Accuracy &
really low price! I would much rather have a Vanguard than a Mk V Weatherby. Look at it my way...if you can get accuracy & a darned fine rifle at a rock bottom price..what else do you want? Rifles are for hunting, no?
Best regards, Tom

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

WAM, What caliber and model Shiloh Sharps are you getting? I have an 1874 sporter in 45-70. The thing is super accurate with anything from smokeless loads to 520 grain cast bullets backed with 61 grains of Goex Cartridge black powder. She also has a beauty of a black walnut stock.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Reagan and NAFTA sent jobs elsewhere. But I will refrain that is a topic for another blog.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

who cares where it's made? No one cares that the tikas are made in finland? no one cares that browning o/u's are made in belgium? Anybody who accuses this rifle due to country of origin does so because their american made savage or remington does not shoot as well as a (gasp) japenese made gun, oh the horror! Might I also remind you that the mark V was made in germany and japan at one time, so shut up and quit complaining already, the gun works, it's accurate, inexpensive, good looking, and good quality. I think the barrels, actions, and stocks are better than savages. The only way a savage beats a vangaurd is in trigger pull, and I (I'm about to preach heresy here)don't really like the savages trigger better than a standard trigger.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bladnoch wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

All Weatherby products are nicely done, but in this case I don't see any advantage over a Vanguard carbine at 100 bucks and change less. I have one in 7mm-08, which with a 20-inch barrel is very similar to that Ed Brown Ozark but lighter, and it shoots as well as any reasonable person needs. It also kicks like a butterfly but stings like a bee.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Nice rifle. I'm very curious about the price and the finish. I find that the matte black finish on most modern inexpensive rifles is the Maginot Line of rust defenses. It does no more than provide a false sense of security and if you don't want the metal to bloom in orange fingerprints you have to use the RIG rag every time you shoot it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blueridge wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Callista Flockhart?

You break me up, Dave.

blueridge

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

I don't know about the rifle without a matching handbag and Italian shoes! WTF??

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quahog wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Before purchasing my FN Winchester .270 a year ago, I wrestled with the notion of a Mark V as my first bolt gun. I'm pleased with the Winchester ( and the price was right ) but have it in the back of my mind to some day own a Weatherby. There are a number of club members heah that own Howa - actioned customs that do well in our rifle shoots. Look forward to the performance installment with Callista Flockhart throwing punches !

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

does anyone who reads f&s really buy that gucci crap? seems like a severe waste of time and effort on their part. does their marketing dept. pay the people who post this stuff? if so they're almost as good at wasting money as our government.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

American craftsmen can still turn out a very well made, accurate and reliable rifle. Good article Dave, but I'll stick with the American gunmakers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Aye, aye, Cap'n

To each his own, but given a choice with monetary issues aside, I prefer my Mark V's to the Vanguard. But I may buy one in .223 Rem.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Howas have been making decent guns at a decent price since their inception regardless of whose name was scratched on the side of the receiver. It seems to me that a friend once bought just some actions or barreled actions only and added the stocks of his choice. A lady I know has an older Vanguard in .243 which has some of the best bluing with obviously accompanying polishing I have ever seem on any production rifle. She bought it new in that condition.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

woodsmanj35,
I have a Savage 111 made around '90. I've been curious about trying the new trigger because I can't figure out what is considered wrong with mine other than I can't adjust it's pull. It is solid, no creep, crisp let off, and although not tested I'd say 4lbs pull. Not bench rest but perfect for hunting. It's a better trigger than any rifle I own or have shot. Got it new $325.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Del

No. 1 Sporter in .45-70 full octagon barrel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

jim in mo, I certainly hope you are not offended at me saying I like weatherbys better than savages. don't get me wrong savages are excelent, but in my humble opinion weatherbys are better. I shot a savage 308 that was uber accurate, I simply prefer weatherbys. not knocking anyones savage in the least. I especially like the way vanguards handle. If you don't like vanguards because of balance or the stock style thats fine, but my point is don't go knocking the vanguard just because it's made in japan.

jpinsky: a rifle from God? does it have everlasting ammo? LOL I want one of those! Cheers, woodsmanj35

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHForester wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

I forgot to mention a small note on triggers. I had read a few comments on the triggers and was concerned about this. I pulled the action out of the stock (one rifle measured just under 4 lbs. the other is still in the box) and inspected the trigger. It seams to be on par with a Remington or new MOA Winchester trigger. Very easy to adjust down to a crisp, 3.25 lbs. No creep, no grit. I tested it several times, over and over. No change, very consistant. And no need for lock-tite or nail polish as this trigger has lock nuts (no not nylock, just a jamb type lock nut). Bombproof.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Vanguards are nice, and this one seems as nice as any, but I don't see why anyone would want one unless you were going for the "light tactical rifle" thing. What do you do with a 9 pound .308? The younger or smaller person that needs the low recoil will really lament lugging this thing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

NO WAY A LOT OF TODAYS PROBLEMS ARE DUE TO THE FACT THAT OUALITY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS WENT TO JAPAN. ANY TIME I CAN HELP IT I "BUY AMERICAN" SORRY BUT AS A RETIRED UNION MAN THAT'S HOW I FEEL

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

If I ever spring for a Weatherby it will be a Mark V or Lazermark.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jpinsky wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

The Howa is the best kept secret in the industry. I have owned Browning's, Tikka's, Remington's and Savage's and none have done better than the Howa.I do own a Winchester Model 70 that outshoots my Howa but that's not important right now because God himself built that rifle I think.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jpinsky wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

Ha - no it doesn't have everlasting ammo. It is a 257 roberts that shoots hole through hole through hole ... with Hornady Superperformance . Yes - factory loads. And that is supernatural ... :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

woodsman,
No, I had no intention at all. Just commenting on the Savage philosophy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from breadfan wrote 3 years 27 weeks ago

I have owned 9 Vanguards and 3 Mark V's. Currently I have a VGL 30-06, which is a Nice oil finished wood stocked 20" bbl. with a satin low luster finish. I don't like the budget Vanguards, the finish is cheap matte and the stocks are not real pretty. But, they still all shoot about the same, very accurate! I love mine and my trigger breaks under 3lbs. and has zero creep, just like breaking a glass rod. I bought mine a couple of years ago NIB, been sitting there since 1988. It is by far one of my favorites. Only the Mark V has the edge with the 54 degree bolt lift. Never thought that mattered until I missed a hog, had another in the chamber like a pump gun. Weatherby's are great!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs