American rifle maker Weatherby has launched the Model 307, its first new firearm in more than 50 years and a very different one from those that came before it.
The new 307 is aimed at the precision-rifle and long-range hunting markets and is based on an all-new action design in the style of contemporary high-end rifles, with a cylindrical receiver and a wide-bodied bolt.
It will be sold as a complete rifle, initially in two models, as well as in action-only form as the basis for a customised rifle project.
Luke Thorkildsen, vice-president of sales, marketing and product development at Weatherby, describes the new model as “open source” or “firearms Lego” — something that can be more easily customised and tweaked than Weatherby’s existing Mark V and Vanguard platforms.
It incorporates components from the aftermarket, such as Magpul bottom metal and, in the Alpine model, an MDT chassis.
As such, it is quite different from the original Mark V design, released in 1958, and the Vanguard, which has been around since 1971.
Thorkildsen says the 307 is positioned between the existing models and, while there is no indication Weatherby intends to drop either of the older rifles, he says it represents Weatherby’s future direction.
Adam Weatherby, CEO and president of the company, says the 307 is a hunting rifle but it is geared heavily towards competition shooting such as the popular Precision Rifle Series.
He says it’s for people “who wanted a Weatherby but wanted something a little different from what we’ve offered before”.
Thorkildsen added, “We’re not getting away from what we’ve done in the past. I think what we’ve delivered before is high-quality, high-performing products. We’re going to continue to do that with the Model 307; this one just looks a little different.”
The two complete rifle models Weatherby has announced are the Alpine, which comes in an MDT chassis, and the Range XP.
Central to both is the action, which is made by Weatherby and includes a fluted two-lug bolt with 90-degree lift; the bolt has been designed to take down without tools.
The action comes in two lengths, short (7.9”) and long (8.7”), the latter in both standard and magnum configurations.
The standard-calibre bolt faces have a .470” diameter and the magnum measures .540”.
The short action’s magazine box length is listed as 2.97” while the longer one is 3.95”.
A range of high-performance calibres are available, from .243 up to .300 Win Mag, and including various Weatherby cartridges.
Other common components are the Trigger Tech trigger and Accubrake muzzle brake.
The rifles have a guaranteed sub-MOA accuracy.
We will have more information soon on Australian availability and pricing. Meanwhile, see full specifications and other details on the Weatherby website.