The New Look Weatherby Vanguard S2

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The new Vanguard Series 2 carries a factory guarantee of sub-MOA for a 3-shot group at 100 yards when firing premium grade ammo. But can we really expect this from an economy-class firearm?

A guarantee of sub-MOA accuracy is nothing new as several manufacturers offer a similar undertaking, but this is an unusually high degree of accuracy for a gun that is bargain- priced, and one which has also had several new features added. This affordable alternative to Weatherby’s upmarket Mark V has gained a wide following and been setting new sales records ever since its introduction back in 1970. The Series 2 increases the tally of the different versions of the Vanguard which are now currently available, bringing it to eleven. Other sub-MOA models listed include the Matte .25-06, Stainless 270 WSM and Varmint .204 Ruger – all four dating back to 2007.

The new S2 is eyecatching! Most standard Vanguards have basic injection moulded synthetic stocks which are functional, but their plain black finish doesn’t inspire any kind of pride of ownership. The S2’s Griptonite stock on the other hand, is attractive with deep black non-slip panels on grip and forend which stand out against a dark matte grey background. The handsome stock certainly belies the gun’s modest price.

Of course the stock design copies the distinctive shape which Roy Weatherby originated back in the late 1940s and which has become a company trademark. The Monte Carlo comb slopes up toward the rear in a way that allows the stock to slide out from under the shooter’s face during recoil. It also positions the shooter’s eye dead in line with a scope. A solid black recoil pad adorns the butt and softens felt recoil with heavy calibres. The pistol grip is not as sharply hooked as on some previous Weatherby rifles I’ve handled and has a plastic grip cap with the Weatherby logo and a palm swell on the right side. The forend is pear-shaped, slightly rounded on the sides and although flattened on the bottom, feels comfortable to grasp.

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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.


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