Accuracy in the Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle
After my initial testing of the Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle in 223 Rem I was pleased with its accuracy. I decided it was time to take the rifle out for a field test, hoping to shoot some marauding wild dogs.
In preparing for that I discovered the magazine well of the rifle was slightly shorter than the rounds I had loaded. The length available for rounds in the magazine well was 2.330 inches. With my loading of the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, that would require it to be seated 105 thou off the lands, if it was to fit in the magazine well. I had only tested seating depths out to 50 thou.
Some more range work was called for. I loaded up a series of batches of the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips, varying the seating depth from the 105 out to 160 thou, in steps of 10 thou. Today was a fabulous day for shooting groups; being a clear sky with negligible breeze.
I had not previously ever seated Nosler Ballistic Tips, of any calibre, so far back from the lands and I did not know what to expect. The Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle had so far shown itself to be accurate without any fussiness, so I was hoping it would maintain the very acceptable 0.8 MOA accuracy.
I was pleasantly surprised as I fired off my series of three-shot groups. The rifle shot even better, pecking out a series of 0.3 MOA groups. For an unaltered, off-the-shelf rifle, I thought that was fantastic performance. I will load the 55 grain Nosler BTs to 150 thou off the lands. That will put me squarely in the middle of 0.3 MOA territory with rounds that will easily stack and feed from the magazine. A couple of minor scope tweaks will have the bullets printing on the verticle, just over 30 mm (about 1.25 inches) above the point of aim. That will give the rifle an effective 200 metres range. In the coming days, I will take it out after those wild dogs once again, enormously confident in its ability to do the job.
I should have one, maybe two, more range sessions where I will test some handloads for the 50 grain and 40 grain Nosler BTs, plus some more factory ammo. I am looking forward to what that shows.
For the Latest News, Reviews and Stories
Signup for the Aussiehunter Newsletter
In order to keep my readers up to date with the top posts, gear reviews and news I’ve started the Aussiehunter Newsletter. No need to worry about spam and you can unsubscribe anytime. Its easy, just submit your email using the form below.
Lately, I have been having good results in howling-up wild dogs. That means I simulate their wailing call by blowing through my cupped hands, rather than using commercial predator squealers. This morning provides no better example of that. I walked out into the...read more
Before setting foot in the field to go hunting you want to be sure you are loaded up with the best hunting projectiles. Serious hunters put in a lot of time at the rifle range. Even with a faithful old rifle, that shoots a pet load you have not varied in years, it...read more
I use DMT diamond stones for all my knife sharpening. For removing metal quickly, I use the black 60 micron surface. I only do this infrequently, on well-used blades that need to have their shoulder edge cut back, or on badly damaged blades. As described in detail...read more
My hunting knife carry has evolved over the years. When I lived in the territory, I relied on a pair of Filicietti hand-forged custom knives. I used them extensively for butchering buffalo and wild cattle. Until recently, I continued to use these for my deer...read more
Over the last two days I have been busy processing the venison from our hunt. Tomorrow, we will finish off by mincing all the trimings and putting that into meal-sized bags for the freezer. We field butcher our deer and do not leave much for the scavengers. I use a...read more
The last three weeks have been hectic. I had to complete and write-up a number of reviews for the SSAA magazine. I also got in several extended camping-hunting trips. Between times, when at home, I was doing dawn and dusk hunts for wild dogs. Last week, I was...read more
Straight after my last hunting trip in mid July, I flew south for some weeks of family activities. While I was away I had a few calls from farmers experiencing wild dog attacks on their stock and pets. Since getting home mid last week I have been out and about...read more
This review of the Savage B22 VFSS was first published in the SSAA magazine in early 2018. When I was a young fellow, shooting pests with both air rifle and an old Lithgow single-shot 22LR, I was envious of my cousin and his 22WMR. I cannot now remember what make and...read more
This review of the Weatherby’s Vanguard HSP varmint rifle in 223 Rem was published in the SSAA magazine in March 2018. Weatherby’s Vanguard HSP rifle is available in 223, 22-250, 243, 308, 270, 30-06 and 300 Win. With the smaller cartridges, the magazine holds five...read more