I do know what you’re considering. This gun evaluation isn’t precisely…unbiased. In some methods, you’re proper. We helped develop the MeatEater Version of Weatherby’s new Mannequin 307, and we expect it’s fairly slick. (You’ll be able to order one for your self right here.)

However there’s no such factor as the right rifle. Tradeoffs are a part of each gun design, and choosing one characteristic over one other affords drawbacks in addition to advantages. A slim profile barrel, for instance, is best for the backcountry however could not deal with warmth as nicely. A light-weight rifle is nice till recoil from a big caliber slams into your shoulder, and when you’ll get gorgeous accuracy out of a home made barrel, you’ll pay a reasonably penny.

The Weatherby Mannequin 307 is a superb rifle, nevertheless it’s not the right rifle for each particular person and scenario. On this evaluation, we’ll follow the info and allow you to make that call for your self.

Why You Ought to Test Out the Mannequin 307

Weatherby hasn’t come out with a brand new motion in over 50 years. (If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it, and so on., and so on.) However the Weatherby workforce noticed a necessity for a rifle that walked a center highway between the high-end Mark V and the entry-level Vanguard. Additionally they wished, as Weatherby’s Luke Thorkildsen put it, “a extra open supply motion.”

“I used to be enthusiastic about bringing a firearm to market that was extra ‘firearms Legos.’ I like to tinker with merchandise, and traditionally the Vanguard and Mark V are extra of a closed system,” Thorkildsen mentioned.

So, as a substitute of growing a wholly new proprietary motion, they constructed the Mannequin 307 utilizing a Remington 700 footprint. The Remington 700 is among the hottest bolt weapons ever made, and dozens of firms supply tons of of aftermarket merchandise for the legendary motion. Most of these merchandise will work on the Mannequin 307–from barrels to shares to triggers. When you don’t like one thing in your 307, you received’t have a lot bother swapping it out.

However you might not need to. The MeatEater Version 307 comes with some nice options, together with:

  • Externally adjustable TriggerTech Discipline set off
  • Adjustable inventory (cheek rise and length-of-pull)
  • 2-Lug, totally cylindrical motion
  • Two-position security
  • Software-less bolt disassembly
  • M16-style extractor
  • Detachable journal
  • Peak picatinny rail
  • Accubrake
  • Threaded, fluted barrel
  • Made in USA

“It’s proper there in that customized gun world,” mentioned MeatEater’s Ryan Callaghan. “If you wish to go to new heights past that, it’s arrange to take action. However out of the field…it’s a enterprise rifle. You’re going to take a look at it and say, ‘Oh yeah, that factor means enterprise.’ You’re going to hit the vary with that kind of confidence, and confidence kills.”

307 Safety

Plus, Weatherby makes it straightforward for everybody to deliver dwelling just a little killer confidence of their very own. Although the 307 affords among the similar nice options as Weatherby’s legendary Mark V, the worth level is considerably decrease. It’s not a cut price bin gun at $1,300, however it’s, as Cal put it, “a price add.” In different phrases, you’re getting loads of gun for the cash.

Why the MeatEater 307 Would possibly Not Be For You

Whereas the Weatherby 307 is prepared for the sphere out of the field, it’s not superb for all aggressive purposes. You might arrange a Weatherby 307 to be a contest gun (the builders motion could be an incredible place to start out), however the usual fluted barrel heats up rapidly. I’ve discovered that even with balanced 6.5 Creedmoor hundreds, the barrel will get to be screaming sizzling after 5 – 6 rounds in succession. I didn’t discover any vital point-of-impact shifts, however a light-weight barrel isn’t superb for a full day of competitors.

307 Stock

Alongside the identical strains, the inventory adjustment system is naked bones in comparison with different shares available on the market. Customers must take away two screws on both sides earlier than adjusting the comb top, and the system solely affords two settings above customary. This technique has the benefit of being extraordinarily light-weight and sturdy, nevertheless it’s a ache to make use of and might’t be adjusted within the discipline except you’re carrying the proper sized Torx head.

You can disassemble the bolt within the discipline, and the two-lug design is as stable as they arrive. However that two-lug motion makes the bolt throw a full 90 levels (the “bolt throw” is the variety of levels you must rotate the bolt to unlock/lock it). An extended throw means longer observe up photographs, and it’s tougher to remain within the scope whereas working the bolt. The bolt deal with can also be extra more likely to intervene with a scope, particularly when you’re working any sort of magnification adjustment lever.

307 Bolt

307 Bolt Closeup

None of those quibbles are deal breakers. If you’d like a candy looking rifle with a no-frills inventory and a rock-solid motion, the Weatherby 307 MeatEater Version is for you. However each rifle comes with tradeoffs, and it is best to find out about these tradeoffs earlier than getting out your pockets.

First Impressions

The Mannequin 307 is a well-balanced rifle–in additional methods than one. The barrel/inventory mixture retains the rifle from being too entrance heavy, and I instantly seen how nicely the gun shoulders and factors (to borrow a phrase from the shotgunning world).

The rifle’s total weight additionally falls in a candy spot between light-weight “mountain rifles” and heavier competitors setups. The 6.5 Creedmoor mannequin I obtained weighs a hair over eight kilos with a Leupold scope connected. That’s heavy sufficient to soak up some recoil however not too heavy to hold round all day.

307 Shooting

The rifle’s stability and weight is due partially to the barrel size. The 22-inch barrel is lengthy sufficient to burn many of the Creedmoor’s powder, nevertheless it’s additionally brief sufficient to maintain the rifle a helpful 41.5 inches total. A 22-inch barrel can also be brief sufficient {that a} suppressor received’t be too cumbersome hanging off the tip.

When you’re aiming at what you need to hit, the set off will assist seal the deal. I’m a sucker for a great set off, and this TriggerTech Discipline mannequin is superb. It’s externally adjustable from 2.5 to five kilos (which means you may modify the load with out taking the motion out of the inventory), and the one I obtained clocks in at 3.25 kilos. The set off is crisp with none grittiness or mushiness, and extra importantly, it’s constant. I ran it by way of my set off weight gauge again and again, and each time it hit 3.25 kilos.

On the Vary

Colonel Townsend Whelen famously mentioned that “solely correct rifles are fascinating.” I’ve by no means actually agreed with this sentiment (I’m fascinated by bizarre weapons which can be positively not correct), however I perceive the place he’s coming from. Solely correct rifles can hit a goal constantly, which, for gun hunters, is the start and finish of the story. Nothing else actually issues.

The issue is that the best way looking rifles have traditionally been examined for accuracy doesn’t make a lot sense. A looking rifle has to have the ability to land a single shot (perhaps two) from a chilly barrel. Taking pictures a sequence of three- or five-shot teams after which averaging these teams doesn’t inform me a lot about how the rifle will carry out in an precise looking scenario.

307 Accuracy Testing

So, to approximate the actual world as intently as doable, I examined the Weatherby 307 MeatEater Version from a chilly barrel. I shot ten photographs at a bullseye utilizing 4 totally different sorts of Sig Sauer ammunition, and I used these ten-shot teams to check the accuracy between the totally different bullet weights and kinds.

The general group sizes are bigger than what you may be used to seeing. Most rifles can put up a sub-MOA three- or five-shot group (which lowers the general common), and teams usually shrink when a barrel heats up a bit. (Cal studies 0.75-inch three-shot teams when he’s finished his personal accuracy testing.)

However that’s not how you utilize a rifle within the discipline. When you took this rifle out ten instances and made ten photographs on a chilly barrel, how constant wouldn’t it be? Listed below are the outcomes:

Bullet Avg. Velocity (fps) Commonplace Deviation (fps) Group Measurement (in)
140g OTM 2722 9 1.9
129g SP 2746 10 2.1
130g ET 2805 24 1.5
140g Accubond 2647 9 1.8

All photographs taken at 100 yards utilizing a Lead Sled.

307 Target

As you may see, the 130-grain Managed Growth Tip bullets in Sig Sauer’s EliteSeries carried out most constantly. If I modify my scope to middle the purpose of influence on the bullseye, I’d haven’t any bother hitting the important space of an animal even past distances most hunters are snug taking pictures.

Want a second opinion? When Cal went out to Weatherby’s headquarters in Sheridan, Wyoming, to take the brand new MeatEater Version rifle for a spin, he had the rifle ringing metal all the best way out to 1,000 yards. And he didn’t want ten photographs to get on the right track. After hitting targets at 700, 800, and 900 yards, he nailed the 1000-yard goal on his first strive. You’ll be able to hear extra about that on this episode of On Our Mark.

307 at 1000

Final Shot

We’re keen on this rifle, however we expect we’ve cause to be. It’s loaded with options, performs nicely on the vary, and lives in that candy spot of weight and size that each one looking rifles search to realize.

It will not be the right rifle for each hunter or sport shooter, however that’s the wonderful thing about the 307 platform. If there’s one thing you don’t like, it’s straightforward to swap out elements to make the right rifle for your self.

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