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GUNS Magazine August 2012 Digital Edition - Page 30
STORY: Dave Anderson WeAtherBy series 2 VANGuArd A new affordale and accurate bolt action. he Weatherby Vanguard has been an outstanding bargain for many years—not just a “best buy,” but also one of the best hunting rifles available. The new Series 2 Vanguards are even better. A criticism often heard of the original Vanguards was the trigger pull. The trigger design was sound, and trigger components well made and fitted. But pull as set at the factory was generally quite heavy. In recent years triggers were tuned more carefully at the factory, Those I tried were in the 4- to 4-1/2-pound range, still heavier than I like, though with a reasonably crisp break. The S2 Vanguards have a 2-stage pull. On the test rifle there’s a short, smooth takeup followed by a beautifully crisp, clean break. Weight is adjustable down to 2.5 pounds. The test Vanguard proved very consistent; when I pressed the “Avg” button on the Lyman gauge after 20 trials it read exactly 3 pounds. Just what I want on a big-game rifle, and with superb pull quality. The S2 safety is different as well. As before, pulled to the rear the safety locks the bolt and trigger, fully forward is the fire position. Now there’s an intermediate position which unlocks the bolt. The rifle can be loaded or unloaded with the trigger still locked. Each safety position has a detent and the safety clicks positively and crisply to each position. The S2 has a newly designed stock with the distinctive Weatherby Monte Carlo. Other features include a soft recoil pad, a modest palm swell (right side only), and soft rubber inserts on grip and forearm. They call it the “Griptonite” stock, a term which got T This is the first group fired at 100 yards with Series 2 Vanguard in .240 Weatherby using factory loads with 100-grain Nosler Partition bullet, in gusty wind conditions. Subsequent groups in calmer conditions were even better. me thinking dark thoughts about the future of the language and civilization while brooding in my Fortress of Solitude. For some years Weatherby has offered a “Sub MOA” Vanguard, with the barreled action pillar bedded in an upgraded synthetic stock. Some shooters got the impression regular Vanguards were “seconds” incapable of MOA accuracy. In fact virtually every Vanguard will shoot sub-MOA. With the S2 series Weatherby guarantees it. Every single rifle in every Vanguard variation is guaranteed capable of firing a 3-shot sub-MOA group using quality ammunition. Shooters wanting the upgraded stock can now order the RC (Range Certified) model which includes a test target and data, signed by Ed Weatherby. Accurate Currently offered for 16 popular cartridges, the test rifle came in .240 Weatherby. It’s the third Weatherby cartridge in the Vanguard, following the .257 and .300. The ammunition I had on hand was loaded with the 100-grain Nosler Partition bullet. After bore sighting and one shot at 25 yards to make sure I was on paper, the very first 3-shot group at 100 yards measured .8". There was a strong, gusty wind causing horizontal dispersion. Vertically the group measured just 3/8". Subsequent shooting in The Vanguard Series 2 synthetic has blue steel barrel and receiver in a synthetic stock with soft rubber inserts at grip and forearm. Mechanical changes from the original Vanguard include a 3-position safety and 2-stage trigger. Scope is Leupold 4.5-14x40 in Burris rings. 30 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • A U G U S T 2 0 1 2