The final morning of Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Driggs, Idaho, was a great opportunity to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, among the long-range rifles on the firing line. By the time breakfast was finished and the line went “hot,” the wind had picked up to gusts ranging between 15 and 20 mph… and later it got windy. That’s when I picked up the new Weatherby Vanguard High Country.
Weatherby Vanguard High Country Details
By the time I made it down to the Weatherby booth and took a seat behind the new Vanguard High Country, the wind had picked up a bit more, with gusts pushing more than 30 mph. Not only did it get tricky to make wind calls at distant targets, it blew enough dust into gun actions to start gumming up the works.
Earlier that morning I had several hits on 1-mile steel with other rifles, but by the time I got the 6.5 Creedmoor Vanguard in my hands it was pointless to try shots beyond the 900-yard targets. Once I figured out my DOPE, hits at that distance were more hit than miss on the 1-foot-square targets.
One year prior, I ran a Weatherby Mark V Elite through its paces in Idaho, and a few days later had one in 6.5 Creedmoor to do a bit of whitetail hunting back home in Tennessee. That rifle was exceptionally accurate, and the new Vanguard was keeping pace with its more expensive cousin. The Mark V was capable of putting five Hornady 143-grain ELDX rounds into a 0.378-inch group at 100 yards, so I anticipate that the Vanguard won’t have a problem achieving Weatherby’s three-shot, 0.99-inch, 100-yard guarantee.
Old School Appeal
The paint job distinguishes this Vanguard, a khaki green and FDE tan over black camo stock reminiscent of a blend of traditional woodland and Vietnam Tiger Stripe camo. The handle utilizes a Monte Carlo design, further fitted with a right-hand palm swell and extra-sticky textured forearm and grip areas. The Vanguard has a 13 ½-inch length of pull, and the Monte Carlo cheek piece raises the stock a half inch to take up some of the ¾-inch drop at comb. The drop at heel measures 1 ¼-inch.
Additional features include an Accubrake ST, adjustable two-stage trigger, fluted bolt body, three-position safety, cold hammer-forged barrel and hinged floorplate. The barrel is a 24-inch #2 contour with flutes. All metal gets a flat dark earth Cerakote finish for weather resistance. The Accubrake comes threaded ½-28 TPI. Overall weight is 7.15 pounds, and it measures 46 inches overall length. The 6.5 Creedmoor version has a 1:8 twist. The Vanguard 6.5 Creed holds four rounds in the magazine plus one in the pipe.
After 15 minutes of trigger time on the Vanguard High Country, I’m looking forward to an extended range session and some time in the whitetail woods this fall. Stay tuned for a full feature on this rifle in the Fall 2021 edition of Complete Reloading. I’ll run it through its paces with factory fodder as well as working up some killer handloads.
The Vanguard High Country retails for $949. For even more information, please visit weatherby.com.
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