Weatherby rifles set a standard for magnum-caliber hunting rifles.
Weatherby expanded on that legacy with the introduction of the Weatherby TRR (Threat Response Rifle).
In addition to manufacturing rifles in the United States, Weatherby also imports Howa rifles from Japan.
Articles on Weatherby Rifles
Weatherby has made a version of the Vanguard for just about every woman. Weatherby’s Vanguard SUB-MOA hunting rifle is guaranteed to shoot a three-shot group of .99-inch-or-less at 100 yards with specific premium ammunition. That should catch the eye of out-of-the-box accuracy junkies! It also means women don’t have to do a lot of tinkering to achieve accuracy.
What do you get when you order a Sub MOA Vanguard? To begin with, a handpicked rifle. Weatherby selects a rifle whose test target measures .75 MOA or less. The barreled action is pillar-bedded in a strong, rigid Fiberguard stock (made of Aramid, fiberglass and unidirectional graphite according to the catalogue). The muzzle gets a carefully finished radius crown.
The Weatherby Vanguard was introduced in 1970. Howa of Japan made the barreled actions to Weatherby’s specifications, chambered for popular standard cartridges. They were stocked in good quality walnut, hand bedded and hand checkered – i.e., non-Weatherby.
Overall, Weatherby has done an outstanding job with the TRR. It is accurate, reliable, easy to shoot well, fast and dependable in operation.
At long last Weatherby fans have what they’ve never had before — a genuine, built from-the-ground-up varmint rifle.
Books on Weatherby Rifles
Weatherby rifles are known for their striking appearance and their striking power. I must admit that I’ve never owned a Weatherby and never developed that evangelical gleam in the eye that affects many Weatherby owners when speaking of their rifles. So, when I picked up “Weatherby. The Man. The Gun. The Legend.” by Grits and Tom Gresham, I was not expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. The Greshams created a charming and insightful book as much on the strength of their editing as their writing. They were helped by the fact that Roy Weatherby was a dedicated diarist, note taker, letter writer and photography buff. The book includes letters, notes, photos and, most notably, Roy Weatherby’s journals from his first African safari in 1948.
“Weatherby” is a intriguing look at not just a man and his guns, but at a different age and frame of mind. The great war was over; Americans and American arms had prevailed; and shooting and hunting were traditions to be proud of. In 1945, Roy Weatherby resigned his steady job to start a company dedicated to making a better mousetrap. He believed that the key to perfecting the hunting rifle was velocity: that a small fast bullet would produce quicker kills than a big slow bullet. It was a controversial topic then; it still is.
Weatherby opened a small sporting goods store, and would have done quite well concentrating on just that. Indeed, profits from the store were funneled into the struggling rifle enterprise. But the rifle business was more than simply a commercial enterprise: it was Roy Weatherby’s dream. And he pursued that dream with ferocious devotion. “Weatherby” is the record of his travails and triumphs in getting his business off the ground. Some people think of a business as something that just falls into the laps of lucky people and makes them rich. They rarely hear of the years of worry and scraping, of long hours and short money. There was the constant pressure to promote the product and to fill the orders and to obtain money for expansion. There were new partnerships, most of which turned out to be disastrous. There were production problems and supply problems and more money problems. But Weatherby would not give up; his eventual success is as much a testament to his tenacity as his rifle.
Roy Weatherby loved celebrities, and many celebrities loved his guns. He often shot and hunted with the biggest names of the silver screen and the newly emerging television industry. Today, it’s hard to imagine that just a few decades ago movie stars were encouraged to shoot and hunt to improve their public images; that an airline would base a major promotion on safari hunting; or that Arthur Godfrey would speak of those “wonderful [Weatherby] rifles” while doing a broadcast of the Rose Bowl Parade. (Can you imagine Bryant Gumbel doing that?!) When today’s politicians talk of extremist views, I guess they’re referring to Jimmy Doolittle, Joe Foss, Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes, Andy Devine and Arthur Godfrey – dangerous subversives if there ever were any!
In 1948, Roy Weatherby embarked on an African safari to Kenya Colony. Africa was an even more exotic destination back then, and Weatherby intended to use the liberal bag limits to test his theories on game. We are fortunate that he kept a journal of his observations. (Here the Greshams show marvelous restraint. When Weatherby tells the story, they simply let him tell it without adding their own embellishment.) How times have changed! It took Weatherby 10 days to get from New York to Nairobi. On the way he stopped in London and Paris, noting the destruction still evident three years after the war. He flew on to Tripoli (these days, not exactly on most American hunters itineraries), then to Cairo, Khartoum and Nairobi.
Weatherby’s excitement about Africa is still infectious. He wrote, “Oh, this is out of this world! The farther we go, the more game we see.” “… I’ve seen more game in the past three days than there is on the entire North American Continent. One cannot comprehend – without being here in person – it matters little whether or not we get a full bag – the trip is worth a million to any true sportsman.” Weatherby’s accounts of his stalking and shooting make interesting reading for any hunter. Interesting too, were his exultation when his high velocity rounds made long range, instant kills, and his consternation when they did not.
His first safari took him away from home for two and a half months. Like anyone who has hunted Africa, he planned to return. While safaris are no doubt more expensive these days in constant dollars, today’s hunters can fit in a safari in a two week vacation.
Grits and Tom Gresham know rifles and know hunting. They are skillful writers and disciplined editors. “Weatherby. The Man. The Gun. The Legend.” , 1992, Cane River Publishing, is a charming gem, chock full of subtle surprises. It would make a fine addition to any hunter’s or shooter’s library.