Weatherby and MDT Team Up for Factory Lightweight Modular Bolt-Action Rifle

Vanguard_Modular_Chassis

I reviewed MDT’s LSS chassis for the Remington 700 and loved it. The chassis is lightweight, attractive, and improves the accuracy of the firearm thanks to rigid bedding and a free floating barrel. Weatherby similarly makes great rifles (like this one I reviewed), but their product line has been missing something. Just about everyone else makes a “tactical” rifle these days, but Weatherby has stuck with their traditional designs. Until now, that is . . .

It looks like Weatherby and MDT have teamed up to produce the lovely “tactical” bolt action rifle you see above. Combining the sleek sexiness of the MDT LSS with the reliability and accuracy of a Vanguard rifle is bound to be a hit, especially with an MSRP in the neighborhood of $1,449. At that price point it’s a direct competitor with Ruger’s Precision Rifle, and honestly I think it might be a winner. Here’s the press release:

Weatherby Inc., legendary firearms manufacturer, is honored to introduce the Modular Chassis rifle, one of the latest iterations of the Vanguard series that debuted in the early 1970s.

Since that time, Vanguard rifles have redefined the level of performance that’s attainable from a production hunting rifle —especially budget-friendly models. With its new Modular Chassis rifle, the company combines the best attributes of the Vanguard with features deemed nonnegotiable by the tactical community.

Adhering to the Weatherby axiom, “Nothing is … more accurate,” accompanying the Modular Chassis rifle is an accuracy guarantee; when using premium ammunition, it will produce a three-shot group measuring 0.99-inch or less at 100 yds. from a cold barrel. Aiding this assurance is a cold-hammer-forged, No. 3-contour “bull” barrel measuring 0.740-inch at the muzzle. Twenty-two inches in length, the free-floating barrel has a bead-blasted, matte-blue finish to minimize glare.

The heart of the Modular Chassis rifle, the renowned Vanguard action, is affixed to a CNC-machined, 6061 aluminum chassis that has a black, hard-anodized finish. The svelte, minimalist fore-end features hole spacing for Magpul MOE L5 (11 slot) and L3 (7 slot) accessory rails for true customization, as well as a stud to which a bipod and/or sling can be attached. Meanwhile, its oversize trigger guard grants a gloved finger unimpeded access to the trigger.

As with other Vanguard rifles, the Modular Chassis is equipped with a match-quality, two-stage trigger that’s user adjustable for pull weight. It also has the familiar three-position safety and fluted bolt with dual-opposed locking lugs of its siblings.

Feeding the tactical rifle is a detachable, MDT pattern, staggered-column, polymer box magazine that holds 10 rounds of .223 Rem. or .308 Win.—its initial chamberings. This not only ensures supplemental rounds for follow-up shots or multiple target engagement are at the ready, but also immediate load adaptability; simply replace the magazine with one having loads optimally suited for the situation. Additional magazines will be available on Weatherby.com.

Borrowed from AR-style rifles, the Modular Chassis rifle is fitted with the 1.26-lb., bilateral Luth-AR Modular Buttstock Assembly (MBA) 1. Constructed from glass-filled nylon, the MBA-1 is fully adjustable for length of pull and comb height. The latter ensures consistent cheekweld and eye-to-optic alignment. Rounding out the package, a Hogue Inc. Overmolded pistol grip with finger grooves, texturing, and a palm swell enhances purchase and comfort.

The Vanguard Modular Chassis rifle is scheduled to hit dealer’s shelves by November 16, 2016 with an MSRP of $1,449. Call your local authorized Weatherby dealer to order yours today.

comments

  1. avatar WedelJ says:

    The first of many soon-to-be-introduced RPR-style competitors. Surprised it was Weatherby that did it first.

  2. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

    When manufacturers fight, the consumer wins!

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      If the consumer wins too big, then Remington/Freedom Group/ATF/Anti-Gunners win.

  3. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

    Though there are a couple of quibbles:
    1: proprietary magazines. How proud will Weatherby be of them? If they’re cost competitive with AICS or PMAGs, no big deal, but I somehow doubt that’ll be the case.

    2: the unthreaded barrel.

    3: Ruger has the better caliber selection out of the gate: 6.5 Creedmore, .308 Win and .243 Win vs. .223 Rem and .308 Win for the Weatherby.

    4: accessory mounts, extra cost option vs. standard on the RPR.

    5: Street price. Will you see them in retail channels for sub $1K like you can for the RPR once Weatherby gets them out there?

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      BIngo – proprietary magazines

      The BEST feature/idea Ruger had one their rifle is the magazine system. Bar has been raised and now all in the class “must have” is to accept Magpul.

    2. avatar Paladin says:

      They’re not proprietary, MDT mags are AICS spec.

  4. avatar Dan l says:

    I wanna see both this one and the ruger sold without the butt stock or the barrel. I’d like to choose my own of both thank you. In fact that’s why I haven’t bought the ruger, that butt stock looks heavy and I’d rather a simple ctr to save weight and length…..this Weatherby would be awesome with a lightweight and short 6 5 Creedmoor barrel imo. A 6lb precision rifle….but that’s my taste probably not that of the masses.

    1. avatar WedelJ says:

      You can change the stock on the RPR. Also, I would think seriously about what you are trying to accomplish with that rifle. If you are trying to save weight to the point of changing from one polymer stock to another, then a chassis system is probably not for you. There are other lighter bolt action options out there that you can put a mag system into.

  5. avatar Richard in WA says:

    I’d love to see this sort of chassis available for current Vanguard owners. I already have half of this rifle.

      1. avatar Richard in WA says:

        This is awesome! It would be more awesome if it were compatible with long-action chamberings. 🙁

      2. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunniess says:

        I have a howa 1500 (same rifle ) in an XLR element chassis. Better than lss in my opinion.

  6. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    Looks like a turd sitting on top of the punch bowl.

  7. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I’m sorry, I must have been asleep for the last 20 years or so. I’ve completely missed all the Weatherby rifles on the firing lines of bench rest, F-class and other accuracy competitions…

    1. avatar Bob in mi says:

      This was my immediate reaction as well. I was excited at first when i thought there might be some cool calober options for a tactical type rifle. I think they blew it on this one.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      To be fair, TTAG’s review of the Ruger .308 RPR yielded groups well over 1 MOA. I bet a Weatherby Vanguard could compete with that. And I’ll bet you haven’t seen any Ruger American rifles / actions in F-Class, either.

      I’d like a .300 WSM / .300 mag precision rifle of some sort but might wind up accuruzing a Savage 116 bear hunter or a Sako 85.

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