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Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness

Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness
« on: December 22, 2018, 08:53:17 PM »
Iím new to Weatherby rifles and looking for some help choosing which model to get. Iím looking at a Vanguard 30-06 for Elk hunting in Colorado. I like the feel and weight of the Wilderness, but it seems like some people have concerns about the durability of the stock. If I donít get the wilderness I would probably get the sporter. Itís a little cheaper and only 3/4 of a pound heavier. I also tend to like the classic look of a wood stock. Is the Wilderness worth the extra money?


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Re: Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 06:02:02 AM »
Reading this it seems you have your answer already. You like the classic wood stock.
The durability of the wilderness stock?? Pretty sure it's more durable than a wood stock
So get the classic, take the barreled action off the stock, put 3 good coats of Tru-oil on the  entire stock. Put it back together and have at those elk!!
What unit do you hunt in Colorado?

Re: Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2018, 06:14:35 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I think I am trying to avoid making my decision for purely aesthetic reasons. If the lighter weight will be a genuine advantage and if the synthetic stock would be at least as durable then I will probably go with the Wilderness. I am concerned that at least one reviewer of the Back Country ( which I believe has the same stock as the Wilderness) reported finding cracks in the stock after some use. There are also posts here talking about issues with the sling swivels pulling out of the stock, etc. Are these aberrations or are there issues with the QC of the stock?
I have not hunted elk before, so I donít know what unit I would hunt. Some friends of mine have hunted around Steamboat and Winter Park, so probably around those areas. Experienced elk hunters have told me by the end of the day, each extra pound will feel like three thus leading to my interest in the Wilderness.


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Re: Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 09:10:58 AM »
What I can tell you from using several different synthetics over the years, and repairing sling swivels in some others for friends, is that how you treat a rifle matters. To be sure, mine get used, have scars, and require upkeep. Ultimately they are tools - beautiful, elegant, precision instruments, certainly - but tools nonetheless. Treat your tools with reasonable care and they will serve you well.

I suspect most of the sling swivels pulling out are related to two things: people attaching bipod and not knowing how to use them, and ripping out studs, or people grabbing the rifle by the sling, and wheeling it around, twisting the stud back and forth until it strips. There is an easy fix which takes only a few minutes and minimal cost when a stud strips or pulls, provided you didn't blow apart the hole. Use a machine screw style stud with a nut, and countersink the hole in the inside of the forend. I've gone as far as epoxying that nut in place in some scenarios, to good effect.

My guess is the cracking is primarily the painted finish cracking, which is just part of use. These stocks can be refinished for not much, either at home or by the manufacturer.

If you're looking for durable and easy to carry, the Wilderness will suit you fine. It is at least as durable as a wood stock, and likely far more so.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

Re: Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 01:35:53 PM »
I don't know the difference between the Vanguard Sporter or Wilderness models.  My current and favorite elk rifle is a Vanguard in .300 Wby that I re-stocked in AA Fancy Walnut that weighs just under 10 pounds.

Most of my hunting rifles are in the 9-10 pound category.  For about 10 years my elk and everything else rifle was a blued, walnut stocked .30-06 that weighed 9 1/2 pounds.  I later re-chambered it to .30 Gibbs and for the next 20 some years it kept my freezers full if elk, moose, mountain goat, and caribou meat.

For the past 35+ years my blued, Fancy stocked Mark X Mauser in .257 Ackley saw many back country miles every year for mule or whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn and Dall sheep.  It also weighs 9 1/2 pounds.

In the last 20 or so years my inclement weather rifle has been a stainless, plastic stocked Rem 700 in 7 mm RM.  Again, it weighs 9 1/2 pounds.  I've used it on elk, pronghorn, caribou, musk ox, and a bunch of African critters.

On all of my rifles I've replaced the factory sling studs with Uncle Mikes flush mounted sling swivels.  On my plastic stocked rifles (which includes 2 Vanguards), I had to build up the inside of the stocks (both forearm and butt) with epoxy to hold the UM swivels.  In the forearms I epoxied  in machine nuts over fender washers to hold the UM swivels
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