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  • Video History Weatherby

    I have 3 Weatherby's and dollar for dollar you can't beat them or their ammunition for production firearms. The 9 lug Mark V is the strongest.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vSu7KoQqOo

  • #2
    Nice video! I have the utmost respect for Roy and his family and I wish them all well. They have contributed a lot to our American shooting history. Most of their rifles have been truly a work of art. Not everyone needs a work of art though and the majority of rifle buyers need strong functional capability at an affordable price. That is why the Vanguard decision saved their bacon. We have lots of competition for them today and I suspect they would have been out of business by now had they not made the decision to market the Howa line of rifles (marketed as the Vanguard line) to deliver a lower cost, more reliable and more accurate rifle to the market.

    I'm not sure who is testing and publishing the comparative strength of all actions but I don't know of a modern bolt action rifle that doesn't have the strength to support more than three times the SAAMI or CIP maximum pressure for each cartridge sold. Since the 1950s, the industry has proven that two lug bolts are as strong, can produce less than a 90 degree bolt throw and that you don't need a belt on the case to shoot a cartridge as big as the 50 BMG.

    The Weatherby line of proprietary cartridges were leaders in the industry during the 1950s through the 1980s. Nowadays, we have superior cartridges available at a lower price point for all shooting applications and you won't see any of the proprietary Weatherby cartridges on a competitive shooting line where performance and accuracy are paramount. When it comes to hunting we now have lots of competition for hunting cartridges and actions that do well all the way up to the 50 BMG class of cartridges.

    I really like the 54 degree bolt throw of the Mark V bolt but that action has a few design limitations that can kill its operation fast. That is the main reason African PHs often frown on them in dangerous game hunting. That is the reason I have lost three potential shots on trophy game due to rifle failure and my buddy has had to spend three more days stalking a trophy Dahl sheep in steep mountains after a rifle failure.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post
      Nice video! I have the utmost respect for Roy and his family and I wish them all well. They have contributed a lot to our American shooting history. Most of their rifles have been truly a work of art. Not everyone needs a work of art though and the majority of rifle buyers need strong functional capability at an affordable price. That is why the Vanguard decision saved their bacon. We have lots of competition for them today and I suspect they would have been out of business by now had they not made the decision to market the Howa line of rifles (marketed as the Vanguard line) to deliver a lower cost, more reliable and more accurate rifle to the market.

      I'm not sure who is testing and publishing the comparative strength of all actions but I don't know of a modern bolt action rifle that doesn't have the strength to support more than three times the SAAMI or CIP maximum pressure for each cartridge sold. Since the 1950s, the industry has proven that two lug bolts are as strong, can produce less than a 90 degree bolt throw and that you don't need a belt on the case to shoot a cartridge as big as the 50 BMG.

      The Weatherby line of proprietary cartridges were leaders in the industry during the 1950s through the 1980s. Nowadays, we have superior cartridges available at a lower price point for all shooting applications and you won't see any of the proprietary Weatherby cartridges on a competitive shooting line where performance and accuracy are paramount. When it comes to hunting we now have lots of competition for hunting cartridges and actions that do well all the way up to the 50 BMG class of cartridges.

      I really like the 54 degree bolt throw of the Mark V bolt but that action has a few design limitations that can kill its operation fast. That is the main reason African PHs often frown on them in dangerous game hunting. That is the reason I have lost three potential shots on trophy game due to rifle failure and my buddy has had to spend three more days stalking a trophy Dahl sheep in steep mountains after a rifle failure.
      I have never had a push feed rifle fail but have had a mod. 98 controlled feed fail / jam.

      Comment


      • #4
        We all know how much I love mine. Always looking for another at the right price.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post

          I have never had a push feed rifle fail but have had a mod. 98 controlled feed fail / jam.
          I've hunted hard over the years and don't baby my rifles. They get drug through tough conditions a LOT... dust, blowing sand, high heat, ice, rain, snow, mud, bouncing drops of all kinds plus lots of hot loads. I've shot over 40,000 rounds in the toughest of conditions with my custom M98 Mauser without a failure. I view that design as easily the MOST reliable available. I did have one issue with it at about 42,000 rounds. In that incident, I was reloading extremely fast while shooting at a running antelope. On the backstroke of the bolt, the inertia of the bolt shroud on a weakened shroud lock detent spring, caused it to rotate and stick the bolt open. I lost a nice antelope as I never got the second shot. The detent spring cost less than a dollar and nothing has failed since.

          One thing most people don't notice is the camming action on an M98 style extractor that breaks stuck brass away from the chamber. Push feeds don't have that. The Rem 700 has an extractor ramp on the rear of the receiver that the bolt handle hits to aid in extraction. That doesn't really work though if brass is really stuck. I carry a block of wood with me at all times to lay against the bolt handle so I can hammer it back on push feeds. I've probably done that several hundred times on various push feeds. This usually comes from shooting high temperature bullets when in direct sun for long periods with temperatures around 100 degrees or more. The round produces much higher pressure than normal and brass sticks. A push feed often can't get it out. I've never had a stuck brass with my M98 under any conditions.

          On push feeds, I've had the extractor jump over the rim on brass several times requiring me to use a cleaning rod to push the fired cartridge out of the chamber. I've blown 3 Sako extractors loose leaving a fired brass in the chamber on hot loads and filling my face with high pressure particulate that travels right down the extractor channel and blows back in the shooter's face.

          On Mark V Weatherbys I've had five failures to fire due to dusty fire control groups and factory mis-aligned firing pins (they are threaded and must be turned in exactly the right amount or they will fail). I've had one hunt delayed with a Mark V while I searched through sage brush for a dropped firing pin detent ball (I had to disassemble the bolt to clean debris out in a very dusty prairie hunt). My friend was stopped from pushing a cartridge into his Mark V by a loose screw right behind the bolt handle. This always seems to happen at the worst time and in his case, he lost a trophy Dahl Sheep. Fortunately, his guide noticed he had a Mark V and had taken a small screw driver to tighten it so he could continue his hunt. He actually caught up with the trophy ram three days later and bagged it at 427 yards.

          If you hunt hard and shoot a LOT, all rifles will fail at some point, some more than others.


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Milldawg View Post
            We all know how much I love mine. Always looking for another at the right price.
            Is yours a Mark V or a Vanguard? I've had really high precision and great operational reliability from the Vanguard as well as the Howa 1500 (same rifle).

            Comment


            • #7
              I guess I’m lucky as a puppy with two peckers since I’ve never had a fail to fire or fail to extract/eject with any of my four Mark V’s. I did have 2 fail to fire rounds with a .30-06 due to crappy Hornady factory loads almost 20 years which had incorrectly headspaced cases. Never a problem after I tossed that box of ammo. Happy Trails

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad to hear that it has worked well for you WAM. The misfire on the alternate ammo was likely a mal-adjustment of the firing pin. With the threaded firing pin, it has to be protruding just right to fire all brands of ammo and types of primers. I'd suggest that you give the firing pin one more turn to increase its length of protrusion so you have a better chance of firing any ammo you might need. Be very careful that you don't loose the tiny firing pin detent ball which is smaller than a BB and has a life of its own. Without it you may still be able to shoot a few shots but you would need to get it replaced ASAP. I had four antelope tags when I lost mine in the sage brush so I had to look for a long time to find it. The Mark Vs are beautiful rifles and fun to look at as you hunt for sure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the tech info, Dakotaman. I’m of the opinion that any improperly headspaced (excessive) rimless case will fail to fire given the case being driven too far forward and lessening the primer strike. I fired hundreds of rounds through it since that episode and nary a FTF. Belted mangleums don’t seem to have that issue. Happy Trails

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post

                    Is yours a Mark V or a Vanguard? I've had really high precision and great operational reliability from the Vanguard as well as the Howa 1500 (same rifle).
                    As they have been called on here I have two. Walmart weatherby one vanguard and one vanguard range certified .270 and my beloved 25-06 Xmas present from my wife.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great post Jim , thanks ! Got to respect that family and it’s great to see that a bright future is ahead. In my opinion the Weatherby Mark V is the most striking factory rifle ever made.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was on the Norma web site and they printed the story of Roy wanting to know just how strong the Mk-5 action is. The engineers got together and set up a test. They put a bullet in the action and loaded a live round behind it. Pulled the trigger and the round pushed the bullet through the barrel. Examination showed no damage to the Mk-5 action. Engineers estimate the pressure reached 259,000 psi in the test. True story.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                          Engineers estimate the pressure reached 259,000 psi in the test. True story.
                          That would be an interesting test to perform with all known bolt actions to see the relative effect. They all have one lowest common denominator: the firing pin hole in the bolt face. Such high pressure will most certainly blow the center of the firing pin into the firing pin aperture causing particulate contamination of the bolt body at a minimum. The next weakness is the free space surrounding the bolt nose in the raceway or counter bore. The bolt nose will usually expand to the space allowed, growing to maximum circumference and that will happen with the Mark V too. This will seal off the gas blow back to some degree but will freeze the bolt or make it difficult to operate in the action at a minimum. The lugs should hold on every bolt action I've seen but not on the AR platform.

                          The weakest link in the Mark V bolt face is the extractor channel cut in the bolt face. With a primer or case rupture, gas and particulate will be blown down the extractor channel and back into the shooter's face rather than be channeled into the firing pin aperture. The Mark V uses an M16 style extractor but if the action uses a Sako style extractor, this could also displace the extractor and perhaps blow pieces of that back as well.

                          I have accidentally tested a few actions in high pressure circumstances. One had the last couple of inches on the muzzle end of the 25-06 Sendero contour barrel accidentally sealed with ice. That one did no damage of any kind to the action but made a big goose egg lump in the barrel six inches behind the muzzle and bent the last six inches of the barrel. That was an M-98 action.

                          In another, I accidentally cut a 60 degree counterbore on a cone nosed Kelbly action rather than the intended 30 degrees, exposing too much of the cartridge case outside the bore. That caused case separation on a hot load. That in turn blew the Sako extractor out of the bolt channel and blew severe gas/particulate into my face. No other action damage occurred.

                          The last one came from my dad using the wrong powder in a .270 reload. I borrowed his rifle and fired his reloaded 130g .270 bullet at a 100 yard running fox. The recoil blew me on my back and froze the bolt. Even pounding the bolt with a hammer couldn't budge it. That was a Winchester pre-74 M-70 action and we had to send it back to the factory where they cut the barrel off. There was no damage to the action and it worked fine with a new barrel. The bullet actually cut the fox in half (two pieces went flying), ruining the pelt.

                          My advice would be to avoid shooting 200,000 PSI above SAAMI specifications. Most bolt actions might survive it but I'm not sure the shooters would.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Milldawg View Post

                            As they have been called on here I have two. Walmart weatherby one vanguard and one vanguard range certified .270 and my beloved 25-06 Xmas present from my wife.
                            NICE! I consider the Vanguard model to be more reliable and more accurate in general. They don't normally finish them as beautifully but they shoot. I put a Weatherby deluxe stock on one of my Howa 1500s and it looks as good as a Mark V... almost too beautiful to take into the dirty old woods. It is a 30-06 that shoots 110g target bullets in tiny .1" groups and Barnes 168s in .4" groups. I favor function over beauty but do admire beauty as well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post

                              That would be an interesting test to perform with all known bolt actions to see the relative effect. They all have one lowest common denominator: the firing pin hole in the bolt face. Such high pressure will most certainly blow the center of the firing pin into the firing pin aperture causing particulate contamination of the bolt body at a minimum. The next weakness is the free space surrounding the bolt nose in the raceway or counter bore. The bolt nose will usually expand to the space allowed, growing to maximum circumference and that will happen with the Mark V too. This will seal off the gas blow back to some degree but will freeze the bolt or make it difficult to operate in the action at a minimum. The lugs should hold on every bolt action I've seen but not on the AR platform.

                              The weakest link in the Mark V bolt face is the extractor channel cut in the bolt face. With a primer or case rupture, gas and particulate will be blown down the extractor channel and back into the shooter's face rather than be channeled into the firing pin aperture. The Mark V uses an M16 style extractor but if the action uses a Sako style extractor, this could also displace the extractor and perhaps blow pieces of that back as well.

                              I have accidentally tested a few actions in high pressure circumstances. One had the last couple of inches on the muzzle end of the 25-06 Sendero contour barrel accidentally sealed with ice. That one did no damage of any kind to the action but made a big goose egg lump in the barrel six inches behind the muzzle and bent the last six inches of the barrel. That was an M-98 action.

                              In another, I accidentally cut a 60 degree counterbore on a cone nosed Kelbly action rather than the intended 30 degrees, exposing too much of the cartridge case outside the bore. That caused case separation on a hot load. That in turn blew the Sako extractor out of the bolt channel and blew severe gas/particulate into my face. No other action damage occurred.

                              The last one came from my dad using the wrong powder in a .270 reload. I borrowed his rifle and fired his reloaded 130g .270 bullet at a 100 yard running fox. The recoil blew me on my back and froze the bolt. Even pounding the bolt with a hammer couldn't budge it. That was a Winchester pre-74 M-70 action and we had to send it back to the factory where they cut the barrel off. There was no damage to the action and it worked fine with a new barrel. The bullet actually cut the fox in half (two pieces went flying), ruining the pelt.

                              My advice would be to avoid shooting 200,000 PSI above SAAMI specifications. Most bolt actions might survive it but I'm not sure the shooters would.
                              You didn't read my post, the engineers examined the Mk-5 action and could find no damage.

                              Comment

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