Is Weatherby a Good Brand?

The Legacy of Weatherby

Founded in 1945 by Roy Weatherby, Weatherby has been at the forefront of firearm innovation for nearly eight decades. The company's commitment to pushing the boundaries of ballistics and performance has earned it a distinguished place in the firearms community. Weatherby’s development of the Weatherby Magnum cartridges revolutionized the industry, offering higher velocity and flatter trajectories than traditional rounds while their Mark V became the gold standard of high end rifles with some of its higher grades boasting some of the most beautiful wood ever seen in a rifle. Weatherby publishes a great book on the history and origins of Weatherby in a book titled "Weatherby: The Man. The Gun. The Legend" Despite the grandiose title, it is a pretty well researched and easy read for those interested. 

Over time brands quite often fluctuate in the gun industry. I remember a time when Browning and Remington not only carried a wide range of guns that were all of an expected quality, but also boasted some of the nicest clothing in the field. I also remember when Benelli appeared with their 3.5" Super Black Eagle and exploded our expectations of what a shotgun could do. All this to say that brands fluctuate...Browning's clothing is now largely swag based in their catalogue with their outdoor gear almost a footnote and Remington went from best-in-class to licensed Chinese import to bankrupt to some type of restructure that we have yet to see its final iteration(s). And the SBE III is just another synthetic shotgun on the rack. This isn't to critique or complain about the direction of these companies (though in Remington's case likely someone should have before things went THAT bad) but to say that when brands last a longtime, it's natural to question if the standards are as high, the innovation as impressive or even if other than name, if it's even the same company at all! 

Whose Name is Over the Door?

You no longer expect to see a Smith nor a Wesson at their office in Springfield, Massachusetts despite them having not picked up stakes since their inception in 1852. There are no Colts still working in Hartford Connecticut. This is just a natural progression of things as families cash out and move on. So it would likely be a surprise to learn that Adam Weatherby, the grandson of Roy is still CEO and President. His dad Dan also still works there and both of them handle much of the management and planning of the company.

Weatherby Rifles: Precision and Power in Every Shot

Weatherby is still very much in the firearm race. Take the Mark V, for instance; since its introduction, it’s been regarded as the gold standard in bolt-action rifles thanks to its robust nine-lug design, capable of handling high-pressure cartridges with unparalleled safety and durability. The 54-degree bolt lift provides a faster, smoother action, which can make all the difference when every second counts. And they continue to revise it almost annually.

Then there’s the noteworthy Vanguard series. It strikes an impeccable balance between affordability and performance without skimping on accuracy. The Vanguard models, with their SUB-MOA guarantee, deliver sub-one-inch groups at 100 yards— a testament to Weatherby’s commitment to precision. Whether you’re an avid hunter or a long-range shooting enthusiast, the Vanguard offers an excellent entry point into the realm of high-quality firearms, maintaining rigorous standards of reliability.

The new Weatherby 307 rifle takes most of its cues from the legendary Remington 700, blending them with Weatherby's craftsmanship and contemporary advancements such as their TriggerTech adjustable trigger (down to 2.5lbs) and M16 style extractor. The identical action however makes this new offering compatible with over 40 years of legacy aftermarket accessories; though be aware the mounts are tapped to the more modern 8/40 screw so bases don't transfer.

Weatherby also excels in employing advanced materials and manufacturing processes, ensuring their firearms are not only high-performing but also resilient. Rigorous quality checks at every stage of production guarantee that each rifle is ready for peak performance straight from the box, whether in the calm of the range or the unpredictability of the wilderness. Weatherby rifles are built to endure rough conditions and still come out shooting straight.

In 2019, Weatherby moved its operations from California to Sheridan, Wyoming. This strategic move allowed the company to capitalize on a more supportive environment for firearm manufacturing. The new facility not only underscores Weatherby’s adaptive business model but also provides the brand with ample space to innovate and grow, continuing its legacy in a new chapter.

From their hallmark Mark V to the accessible Vanguard series and pioneering cartridge developments, Weatherby consistently marries tradition with cutting-edge technology. They’re not just keeping pace with modern demands—they’re setting the pace. And it’s all underpinned by a commitment to quality that has kept Weatherby rifles at the forefront of the industry, ensuring that their legacy will endure for generations to come.

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[1] Weatherby. "Mark V Rifles." Weatherby, Inc. Accessed 10 October 2023. 
[2] "Weatherby Vanguard Review: The People’s Rifle." Accessed 10 October 2023.
[3] Outdoor Life. "Why Weatherby's Move to Wyoming Makes Sense." Outdoor Life. Accessed 10 October 2023.