Vanguard® Backcountry

(23 customer reviews)


I was born in the backlands. Flatlands bore me. Give me mountains. Put me to the test on rugged ridges. Trust me in the harshest environments on planet earth. Hunting that country is what I live for – just like you.

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SKU: VBK Category:


Look at the topo map and decide where to take this rifle first: Deep into the backlands to pursue animals that few if any have ever seen – let alone got shots at. That’s the hard earned hunting that pays off big in the end, but it requires traveling light, which is what this rifle does best. Weighing in at just 6.75 pounds thanks to the hand-laid fiberglass stock and weight-shaved fluted 24” barrel. It’s finished with a gray spider-webbed gel coat on the stock, and tactical gray Cerakote® on the metal for protection against the toughest punishment the back country can dish out.


  • All Vanguard rifles are guaranteed to shoot a 3-shot group of .99” or less at 100 yards (SUB-MOA) from a cold barrel when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition within Two-Years of Verified Purchase Date to Original Purchaser.
  • Adjustable Match Quality, Two-stage Trigger
  • Fluted Bolt Body
  • One-piece Machined Bolt Body
  • Fully Enclosed Bolt Sleeve
  • Vanguard Recoil Pad
  • 3-Position Safety
  • Cold Hammer Forged Barrel
  • Integral Recoil Lug
  • Hinged Floorplate
  • Weighs just 6 ¾ pounds – ideal for long treks on backcountry hunts


  • Hand-laminated, raised comb Monte Carlo composite stock
  • Full length aluminum bedding plate
  • Matte gel coat finish
  • Spiderweb accents
  • Pachmayr® Decelerator® pad


  • Chrome-moly metalwork with Cerakote® Tactical Grey finish for exceptional weather- and corrosion-resistance
  • #2 contour fluted barrel
  • Barrel length is 26” for magnum chamberings & 24” for non-magnum and 240 Wby Mag


Additional information

Weight1.0000 oz

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23 reviews for Vanguard® Backcountry

  1. Tim

    .270 Win, Chamber is a bit oversized, so velocity is a little low, but after load development i got 3 shots with 150 gn partitions into 0.387 inch.

  2. Kennith Perkins

    This is the 4th Weatherby that I have purchased and I can say that they are a great product, accurate, and dependable. I am currently in the process of phasing out the rest of my remingtons out for weatherbys.

  3. John

    Gun is exactly what i wanted in a long range light weight rifle. Topped with a vx-6 3-18 leupold. I got 300 win mag and it loves the 180 gr federal tbt. The gun is easy to free hand shoot in brush for blacktails on the west side and great long too. With my cds ive put a 8 inch group at 550 yards.tge trigger makes 300 and 400 yard shots easy with good glass and practice. Ive hunted my ass off with this rifle from high country drop camp in idaho to the jungles of western wa it always works amazingly. The stock could be tougher after 3 years on the gun the speckled paint is wearing off and the foward strap bolt is sunk in deeper.but it still shoots 3 shots in the same hole at 100 yds. Every time. The lightweight barrel doesnt shoot as well when its hot at all so keep that in mind. I woukd buy this gun again everytime. Killed 5 deer with it and none have taken more than a step if they didnt flip over with the 300 wm.

  4. LD

    I’m a small gal and ordered my Backcountry with a 12 & 1/2″ length of pull in 30/06 caliber and I truly couldn’t be more in love with this rifle!!! I hunt thick brush in Washington State for blacktail deer and it literally drops deer in their tracks when shot! I’m now considering ordering another in 300 Weatherby mag!!!!

  5. Bill Paris

    I have this in a .257 and it shoots great, handles great and is light. However the stock is not very durable…I’m not sure if this is Weatherby’s std stock or if they are using a lighter foam material but after a couple of years of not rough use… The for-end swivel pulled out. My Weatherby 7mm Rem mag might have the same stock? But it’s been through the ringer with virtually no stock damage.
    I think for the price, the stock should be more durable.

  6. Ty

    Great gun, shoots well, love it, but only one issue is the stock, found it to be very cheap and weak, cracks and chips very easily. Only flaw i found.

  7. Bundo

    Was on the hunt for a good quality rifle in the .257 Weatherby without breaking the bank. I wanted a light, durable and reliable back-country rifle. I found it.

    Had a local gunsmith lap the bore for me and I was able to put a 1/2″, 3-shot group at 200 yards in the first 10 rounds with 120 gr. Nosler Partition. Spendy round, but fantastic accuracy and hits hard.

    Rifle is well balanced and has performed flawlessly so far in less than perfect Idaho conditions.

    You won’t be sorry.

  8. Paul

    This is my 11th weatherby rifle, bought it in 257mag. Accuracy is unbelievable, was able to shoot a 1.375 group at 300 yards, great deer/ antelope gun, thanks Weatheryby!

  9. Ron

    I own three Weatherby rifles a mark v 257, accumark 30-378 and now a Backcountry in 308. Went to Wyoming on a elk hunt this year and brought a 6×6 elk home. Back country did everything it was suppose to do.150 gr. tsx put him in the dirt. Added box magazine so wouldn’t need Carrie more shells.Apleasure to pack in the mountains and shoot. Thanks Weatherby you did it again.

  10. Pistol Pete

    Bought my Back Country last year, love the rifle and caliber! Rifle balances very well and shoots the 100 gr. Spitzers into small clover leafs. Rifle makes a great Spot & Stalk rig as well as a steady rest for long shots off a High Rack railing. Very nice combination.

  11. Stu

    I purchased the Weatherby Backcountry in the .257 Weatherby Magnum rifle the year before last and it has become my favorite rifle by far. It is an extremely accurate rifle and the .257 Weatherby Magnum is a hard hitting round. The Weatherby rounds that I use are the ones loaded with the Barnes bullet. Shot a nice Whitetail on a Tennessee ridgeline last year and the rifle felt like a natural part of me; came to the shoulder well and shot placement was perfect. Highly recommend the Weatherby Backcountry chambered in the .257 Weatherby Magnum. The only downside is the cost of the ammunition. Great gun, great caliber!!!

  12. Tom r gibbons

    I was a Weatherby dealer for many years and can truthfully say it was the ONLY rifle we never had to send back for any problems. Excellent value fit and finish is far better than any of the other top name rifles we delt with. Made by howa in Japan should not be of concern at all. Much better than most custom rifles. The employees with the company are wonderful to deal with. Thanks Ed for your continue excellence.

  13. Pennsy Pol

    I have grown up shooting many different rifles growing up, however my dad is a loyalist to Weatherby. He has owned multiple Mark V’s, Lazermarks etc in .300 Weatherby and that’s all he uses for EVERYTHING!

    There comes a time in every young hunters life who grows into a “big boy gun” and naturally admiring my dad I got a Weatherby that my dad gifted me ( my backcountry ) that I got to pick out at the store. I have had her for over 10 years shooting 180gr NP just like my dad and every time I take a shot it hits where I want it to. I have taken many animals including 2 bears one that went 10 yards let out a growl and piled over and one that laid exactly where it stood.

    She has encountered, snow, days on days of rain, heat, deet and other punishing elements and the SS holds up to this day. This is a great rifle and I will always have her as my go – to go rifle.

  14. 601killer

    Purchased before whitetail season 2016-17. Chose the 257 weatherby mag and matched it with 110 grain accubonds and a Leupold scope. Have fired 3 shots in the field, all one shot kills. 270 yards, 190 yards, and 220 yards. This is a whitetail killing machine. Maybe the perfect whitetail rifle.

  15. Perry Coon

    Just purchased the Backcountry in 300 Win Mag. Recoil is very manageable and rifle was grouping 1/2″ @ 200 yds halfway through barrel break in. Fit and finish are excellent. Before shooting the first time I gave the rifle a good cleaning and swabbed the bore with Montana Extreme bore polish 5 passes. Ammo was Federal Premium 180gr Trophy Bonded Tipped. I love this rifle!

  16. lenny

    I bought a 30-06 back country in 2012 best shooting gun ive owned love it ,great work weatherby

  17. HellsCanyonHunter

    I purchased a 300 Win Mag BackCountry in Sept 2016.
    After getting the rifle setup with a scope I took it out to the range for site in and check to see which brand/grain ammo it likes.
    After barrel break-in process, its shooting 1/2 MOA at 100 yards with Barnes TTSX and Federal Premium 180 Trophy Bonded Tip. I am very pleased with the way this rifle shoots! With the lower weight of this rifle, there is a little bit more recoil, but I when packing a couple less pounds at 5000+ feet elevation I think its a fair trade off.

    Well done Weatherby!

  18. Edbrick

    I purchased the Vanguard Back Country last year and it’s the best riffle I own. Right out of the box with off the shelf ammo it shoots less than 1 MOA. The stock fits like a glove and the fit and finish is second to none. I love the weight for those long back country deer drives. I would not trade this riffle for the world. Way to go Weatherby for a great product.

  19. Matt

    Great rifle. Love the weight. 300 Wthby Mag is a fantastic caliber and this rifle performs as claimed. Light weight, straight shooting with factory loads and enough knock down and energy to shoot confidently at 500yrds at any big game animal in North America. The barrel finish is cool and the stock looks nice.

  20. One and done!

    I wanted a powerful 6mm caliber rifle to use the last 250 100-grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claws I had saved from years ago when they were made. I had built a wildcat a few years ago with a case water capacity of about 73 grains. I launched these bullets at speeds of over 3500 fps from a 24″ barrel. I “downloaded” them to 3350 fps for hunting, and the results were completely devastating. Even at very close range and when hitting bone, these bullets would not separate and the speed would cause enough hydraulic shock to rupture the spine over a foot above the entry wound when shot high on the shoulder. Death was violent and instantaneous. I have found my rifle! And it’s more accurate than my custom wildcat I spent nearly $4000 for.

    First, the feel of the rifle is amazing! It shoulders effortlessly, and has a great non-slip finish that isn’t too harsh on the hands like some of the gritty finishes I have gotten from custom shops. The metal is coated with Cerakote, a ceramic coating a couple of thousandths thick that prevents any rust from occurring. The stock is the classic and distinctive Weatherby design, which is made to minimize perceived recoil, while keeping the stock away from the shooter’s face. I ran a full-grown load through it right out of the box, and it was like shooting a 22-250! Almost non-existent: even on the bench!

    Next, the trigger is the lightest of its design I’ve ever pulled out of the box. I realize there is the Accu-Trigger, and its clones in Savage, Mossberg and some other makes that have adopted it, which reduces to 1 1/2 lbs of pull. However, this trigger breaks cleanly at 2 3/4 lbs of pull, according to my scale, without more than one external moving part like the Accu-Trigger design. There is a period of effortless free-travel before the sear is engaged, but this cannot be called “creep.” With “creep” there is some small effort required to move the trigger, which moves freely for a short distance before engaging the sear to fire the weapon. This movement is completely effortless, and more importantly, consistent. You know it’s there and you’re expecting it. It’s almost like the effortless movement of the blade in the Accu-Trigger design before the sear is engaged to fire. The difference is that it doesn’t feel weird. There is no over-travel, and the firing pin spring is strong so the pin strikes with authority! No adjustment needed! It’s under 3 lbs out of the box… or my sample was! PERFECT!!

    Next, the barrel is a slim taper, but not pencil thin. It has deep flutes cut to reduce weight and add surface area for cooling. A note about Cerakote. Ceramic is a good insulator. It will tend to hold heat in, so a slightly longer cooling time may be necessary. This is theoretical because I could not tell a difference in 90+ degree temps from my other rifles. The flutes likely made the difference. These are not shallow flutes seen on some other rifles, these are deep, honest-to-goodness flutes! The thin, fluted barrel and lightweight stock (Bell and Carlson Medalist?) make this a light-weight, very easy to carry rifle.

    The action is, of course, the classic Japanese-made Vanguard/Howa 2-lug action. It is well know for its accuracy, and there is next to no play or “slop” in the bolt movement, and the action locks up tight. Nothing rattles, and everything is the way a rifle of this price range should be. The extractor and ejector are strong and work flawlessly.

    Perhaps my favorite part of the rifle is the safety! It is a 3-position safety, but not like a Winchester “swing-out” design. It is a serrated metal lever that slides fore and aft. There is no guessing whether the transition was made from safe to fire, and the clicking sound is more controllable than the Winchester type. Some care must still be used or it could be loud if flicked off without care, but can be “ridden” up to silence noise quite well.

    My only 2 gripes about the rifle are these: 1) The pistol grip area of the stock just behind the action where you grip the rifle to fire is not long enough. I have small hands and the ball of my thumb rests somewhat uncomfortably on the point of the comb. The grip and stock are exactly like the Nosler M48 Trophy Grade Rifle (replaced by the Patriot model). I found this same issue with that rifle, and I believe they use the same stock. This is, of course, a minor thing and did not affect my shooting in the least. 2) The floor plate needs a slight “assist” to open. I don’t they took into consideration the thickness of the Cerakote when they designed the fit of the magazine floor plate to its latch. This could be a good thing because no accidental dumping of the magazine can be done. I don’t think this is by design, however. The Cerakote adds just enough thickness to prevent the very tightly fitting bottom metal from springing out freely from its latch when the latch release is depressed. This may wear itself away in time with several actuations, or it can be remedied quickly with a file in about 2 licks. As it is, unloading the magazine is a 2-handed operation. Again, a minor thing. 2 hands should probably be used anyway to ensure ammo is not lost in the dirt or vegetation.

    Admittedly, I was skeptical when I first unboxed the rifle and tried to run a thin piece of paper down the barrel channel. I got it all the way down to about 3/4 of an inch in front of the action, but there were a few very “tight” spots along the channel. This action is both glass and pillar bedded. I expected it to be jumping out of the stock so free-floating was evident to the naked eye. However, this was not the case… but these folks know what they’re doing!

    I fired 2 shots to get the bullets near center mass (after a thorough cleaning of the factory grease from inside the barrel). Then, I fired a 3-shot group through my chronograph at 100 yards. The wind was whipping with gusts up to 20mph quartering in my face. I forgot my bull bag, so I was resting the forearm of the rifle on my rear bag, and had an old cotton t-shirt wadded up underneath the bottom of the butt. Hardly a rock-solid set up. Every time my heart would beat, the crosshair would wiggle. I had to keep repositioning myself and the rifle to get a reasonably steady shot off. The first 2 shots duplicated on the chronograph at 3401 fps. The third dropped to 3392 fps. The bullets were seated to 0.030″ off the lands. Yes Weatherbys have long throats, but this one was just the right length to seat the bullets to the optimum distance near the lands and still retain full case capacity. Some Weatherbys have proven impossible to get near the lands, but this one is not that way! I was also skeptical of the 1:10 twist for 100gr bullets. I believe 85 – 87 grains is about optimal for this twist… or so I was taught over the years. I designed my wildcat with a 1:8 twist, but regularly shot 105 – 107 grain boattail match bullets. Remember, the old Bear Claws were flat-based bullets. And there is factory ammo for the 240 loaded with 100gr Nosler Partitions- essentially a flat-based bullet with a slight beveled edge.

    With a healthy charge of Reloader 22, the first 3-shot group I fired had a 9 fps extreme spread with top speed of 3400 fps into a perfect 1/2″ cloverleaf @100 yards!! Strong wind, poor rest, and all! I suspect this combination is capable of one ragged hole in ideal conditions and a good rest. With one group, I’m done! All I need to do is make up a batch of ammo with this exact recipe and wait for deer season! Yes, I’ll test it again in cooler weather. 90 degrees with 70% humidity probably isn’t ideal, especially with a 20mph quartering headwind in the shooter’s face, but I probably can’t shoot better than this under field conditions anyway, so throwing some adversity in the mix is always good to indicate what actual hunting conditions might actually bring. We want to test the potential of the hunting rifle in less than perfect conditions. I used Weatherby cases and Federal 210 Gold Match primers. These bullets were designed to kill, not to win matches punching paper. I think using some of the longer boattail bullets in 100gr might be pushing the limits of the 1:10 twist, but things like Partitions, Grand Slams, and the Norma Oryx in 100gr will certainly do well- even at really high velocities. Maybe throw in the Remington Core-Lokt Ultra Bonded. Of course Barnes has some lighter weight offerings that would withstand the impact at these types of velocities, but with reduced weight, there comes even higher velocities. An 80 or 85 grain Barnes TSX might go 3600 fps… That’s a lot for any bullet in under 200 yards for impact velocity! I know these Bear Claws are up to the test. They’d go through an engine block and not break up! Too bad they’re not made anymore. They would take the largest of North American game with excellent penetration, though I don’t think I’d favor them for Coastal Grizzlies… Not that they wouldn’t penetrate and kill the bear… eventually. Please note that the Weatherby brass excellent. I know there are a couple other makers out there. Norma is one, but makes Weatherby’s brass anyway, so it should be just as good. I also know Nosler makes some pricy brass, and is generally one of the better choices. But I can vouch for the close weight tolerance of the Weatherby brass and consistency of primer pockets and flash holes. Most importantly, the Weatherby brass has very little run-out around the neck. This is crucial to shooting small groups. And when I buy Weatherby, I have a box and plastic shell holders to keep my ammo in… just like it comes from the store!

    I said a lot here. Probably too much. But I wanted this review to be as complete and as detailed as possible. This rig is a barrel burner for sure, but the beauty is that I will likely not fire it more than 100 more times in my lifetime. Maybe 3 or 4 times a year. But I certainly have the confidence to believe there will be 100 dead animals after the 100 rounds are fired! I’ll never burn out the barrel in my lifetime. It would be good for several hundred shots, and it won’t see nearly that.

    Overall impression: Perfect carry rifle; shoulders superbly; great trigger; nice safety; excellent fit and finish; wicked good looks; and capable of shooting way better than I am! 1/2″ group through an unbroken-in barrel in high winds off a shaky rest… For those of you out there doubting this is good value for a $1200 price tag, all I can say is that I haven’t seen performance, handling, and good looks like this from rifles and custom rifles costing hundreds more! You’d better get them before they’re $1500! I simply can’t think of another rifle I’d rather have for a Western hunt, or climbing a tree in the East over a beanfield- and I’ve tried most all of them. I’m thinking about selling my Sako A7 and getting another one of these Back Country rifles! Aptly named. Weatherby hit a home run with this offering! It ought to be on the menu for every outfitter who demands ultimate accuracy in a lightweight, but rugged package!

  21. ec838

    This was my first Weatherby purchase and I am definitely a fan! Mine is in 240 Weatherby, which is shooting less than 1 MOA during the recommended break in process. This is also my first 6mm rifle, and the recoil is very light for me and could be shot all day if wanted to. The rifle is very light and the action is very smooth. Fit and finish is excellent too! I will definitely be looking at Weatherby for future purchases!

  22. Mid-rangehunter

    I bought this gun in Sept. 2014 (30-06 springfield caliber) and so far this gun has been exactly as advertised. I shoot the 180gr. Hornady’s out of mine and it performs just the way i wanted it to. I’ve taken it out to 350 yards so far on targets and it shot really well, and i was able to harvest a good Texas 9pt. whitetail @ 110 yards last fall, dropping him in his tracks…. I had an issue with the Monte Carlo stock actually breaking when i mounted a bi-pod to it, but that also could have been an install error on my part too. Nonetheless, Weatherby customer service ended up being nice enough that they had me send the gun back, and they installed a new stock on my rifle( i didnt install a bi-pod this time). Technically, Weatherby was not obligated to do that for me, so now i highly recommend buying this brand to anyone i know that hunts… Its hard to put a price on ‘peace of mind’ and Weatherby does exactly that with their knowledgable & helpfull staff. Makes spending that extra couple hundred $$ worth it, and then some.

  23. FALCHI

    Good morning,

    My name is Guy and i live in France, i am 53 years old and in high mountain hunting since the age of 16 years….
    I own two years a Weatherby Vanguard Back Country in 270 Winchester.
    I have had throughout my life very many rifles of great value, but i never had a rifle with many qualities united…
    Technical quality in matters of precision, quality shooting confort, quality relaxation….if i sold all my other rifles i would never sell this Weatherby Vanguard Back Country accompanying me in all my high mountain hunting (chamois, Corsican sheep, deer….).
    Congratulations to Weatherby for this fabulous rifle.


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