I like my Weatherby. I think if you attempt long range hunting with a completely stock rifle, you are kidding yourself. It doesn't matter who's stock rifle it is.....Until off the shelf rifles come fully bedded. And I don't mean the "It will be accurate because it has a CNC machined skeleton made out of.....crap"
It is still crap until the action is mated perfectly with the stock."bedded"
Maybe if everything is torqued and tightened, and the recoil energy is low enough to prevent major changes between the barreled action and the stock, and you fall into an accurate load quick enough, and you don't practice too much, and you luck into a perfect condition when you take your shot, you will prove this theory wrong.
As another poster said with the Rem,Win,Sav, it is definately cheaper to start out with, you could go out and shoot it and if you got lucky then that is great. But in my opinion you are definately not done. If the rifle shows enough promise, stop there, bed or have it bedded and then continue.
Same goes for Weatherby's. I bought my Accumark 10 or so years ago. I bought it because I got my sequence of getting into long range mixed up. I first looked up what the meanest 30 caliber was, got a 30/378 the cheapest way I could, and then went searching for data on how to load for the dang thing. That is how I wound up here. Had I came here first I likely would have been swayed the Remington ultra mag route. I'll just say I'm glad I got mixed up.
Load development started out great, it seemed accurate, then things went to hell in a handbasket and I felt just like LR3 did. I about cried when I touched the Dremel tool to a $1300 rifle. But it sure shot great after I did. I eventually learned that stable and plumb is where it's at and I turned it into a factory rifle with a benchrest stock, I wish i hadn't sold the Accumark stock though, now that I can run a bipod pretty good. Anyway natural progression of things ended up with honing the trigger surfaces, installing a lighter spring, putting a 30 inch PA taper barrel on it and that is the way it sits now. I did use it this year in a couple of windier relays that I thought it might hold it's own but the recoil is a little tough to control for 10 shots, and ended up midpack.
Since getting into this stuff, other than the Weatherby, I have used for LR hunting and/or 1000 yard BR on Remington Actions, a pair of 6.5x284's, 7WSM, 300 WSM
, 300 Weatherby, all heavy custom barrels, and a 300 RUM factory sporter. On Savages 223, 25-06 factory HV and lastly a 243 Shilen Varmint prefit. This is just a little addicting.
I believe the Weatherby action is stronger than the Remington. The nodes for the two Weatherby cartridges that I used were on the upper end. A 300 Weatherby in a Remington, and a 30-378 in the Weatherby. I resized cases so they just contact the shoulder in both chambers. I tried neck and full length sizing with the same results. The Weatherby case in the Remington action resulted in 4 firings and the cases were on the verge of head seperation. It would lose over 2 thou in the head seperation region each firing. I religiously check for this, and after losing 200 cases to this I had it rechambered to 300 WSM. Haven't had any problems after.
On the other hand I have gone twice that on the 30-378 in a Weatherby action having fired 8 times and not thinned to the degree the Remaction/Weatherby cartridge had. By this time the primer pockets are gone anyway. And it is certainly not because I am easier on the 30-378. Let's just say you can tell how many times it has been fired by counting the circles.
I am now going full circle and the action that I had bought solely for the purpose of running the 30/378 fire breather, I am working on a wildcat this winter to get close to 300 Weatherby capacity, with a fatter case and no belt. Had I not made that mistake in the beginning, I wouldn't know just how good the Weatherby is. Because like some other posters, I ain't about pretty, I like performance. Certainly in hind site a custom action would work too.....But then again they are even prettier.
Remingtons certainly work, but I wouldn't sell a Mark V to fund a build of a Rem. I'd build off from it.