Next year (2009) Weatherby will be selling two new additions to the Vanguard line.
The Vanguard Predator features a hydrographic dip of Natural Gear’s Natural pattern over the entire rifle. Other than that it is a standard Vanguard with 22″ barrel and a 1.5 MOA accuracy guarantee. It will be available in .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem. and .308 Win. The MSRP is $789.
I am a bit disappointed by the Vanguard Carbine. When I first saw the press release I expected to see a rifle with an 18″ or even 16″ barrel to compete with the Ruger M77 Frontier. Instead the Carbine features a 20″ barrel and weights 0.75 lbs less than a standard Vanguard (6.75 vs. 7.6 lbs).
The length of a firearm designated a carbine has differed over the past 200 years but these days I think 18″ is the maximum “carbine” barrel length in a non-bullpup firearm.
The Carbine will be available chambered in .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. I am not sure about the .22-250 (I don’t know enough about the cartridge) but with other cartridges the shorter barrel should have very little impact on performance. MSRP is $499 and it also has the Weatherby 1.5 MOA guarantee.
For comparison the regular Vanguard has an MSRP of $399.
Weatherby have said these rifles were the result of input from members of the official Weatherby forum
“Thanks to all the Weatherby Nation members who expressed their opinions,” said Brad Ruddell, Weatherby’s vice president of sales and marketing. “These new rifles are a direct result of their input.”
It is always good to see a gun manufactures listening to their customers.