Weatherby Vanguard S2 Review

motown

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Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
311
Location
SE PA
Ok guys I have been thinking about putting up a post for awhile and am just getting around to it. A few months ago I was lucky enough to find a brand new Vanguard S2 in a 6.5 Creedmoor and walked out the door with it for $549.00. I then went ahead and topped it with a Vortex Viper HS 4-16 as well.

Now I have owned just about every brand of bolt action rifles there are from numerous rem 700's, Winchester 70's, Tikkas, Abolts, Cooper's and Savages but never an S2. I was never really impressed with the original Vanguards but I think they made great improvements with the new 2 stage trigger and also the new stock design so I figured why not give it a try.

So next I started to work up some loads using H4350 and 123gr Amax's and also 130gr Accubonds. To say I was really impressed with this rifle after my first range trip is an understatement! With virtually no effort in load development I am averaging .40" 3 shot groups at 100 yard with the amax's and with the accubonds it drops to around .3 and 200 yard groups that are at 1"! Hell my cooper phoenix I had in 260 rem wouldn't shoot this good and it cost me 4 times as much!

After such a good experience I deceided to go out and get a 223 rem in a S2 as well and topped it with a Elite 3200 5-15. I had a bunch of rounds loaded already with Varget and 55gr blitzkings that I figured I would try out of it to start. Yet again I was not dissappointed with the rifle averaging .3" groups at 100 and .75" groups at 200! I even had this rifle out groundhog hunting last week and was whacking them out to 350 yards like it was nothing.

I really wanted to write this post for any of you guys out there looking for a great rifle that isn't going to break the bank. A few years ago I used to be able to afford brand new coopers and nightforces, but since then came along a thing called marriage, kids and a mortgage. Weatherby you have now found a customer for life!
 
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Bbear

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Joined
Mar 13, 2007
Messages
318
Currently own 2 of them - 7mm-08 and a 243. Both stick to the guarantee of sub-moa out of the box.
I haven't tried anything over 200 with the 7mm but the 243 I've taken out to 500 with 85 gr partitions and 90 AB's.
The triggers are nice, slight take-up on the first stage and a clean break on the 2nd. I also like the fact that most, if not all, are 24" barrels. My 243 90gr's are smokin' along just under 3200 fps and the 85's are around 3275.
One is the same grey colored stock with the Gryptec(?) stock and the other was on sale at a local shop had the camo stock on it. I like the feel of the grey stock better but have to admit that both are tack-drivers off the shelf. I just wish they'd expand their caliber list a bit more!
 

Klinker43

New Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
3
How can I tell if my Vanguard S2, 308 cal. Rifle is a short action or a long as I am needing to buy a Talley Pictianny 20 MOA rail for my new Vortex PST scope.? Thanks

Klinker43
 

motown

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Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
311
Location
SE PA
How can I tell if my Vanguard S2, 308 cal. Rifle is a short action or a long as I am needing to buy a Talley Pictianny 20 MOA rail for my new Vortex PST scope.? Thanks

Klinker43

Hey Klinker

Your rifle is a short action. Any rifles based off of a 308 case like 243,260,7/08 or 308 are all short action.
 

Lefty7mmstw

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May 13, 2012
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4,945
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Dakota del norte
All the old ones need is a new trigger and they shot great. I don't care for the two stage trigger in the s2 just helped a friend load for his s2 243 shots great.

we had two or three of the gen 1 rifles (if you include Howa) and I would be hard pressed to put them into service as a tent stake or fence post. I've gone elsewhere for my rifles. They don't build a l h rifle anyway and I refuse to compromise any longer. It is good to see that they have gotten better though.
 

motown

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Jun 19, 2012
Messages
311
Location
SE PA
we had two or three of the gen 1 rifles (if you include Howa) and I would be hard pressed to put them into service as a tent stake or fence post. I've gone elsewhere for my rifles. They don't build a l h rifle anyway and I refuse to compromise any longer. It is good to see that they have gotten better though.


Hahaha Lefty i couldnt agree with you more about the first generation vanguard and i was really hesitant about getting the S2 as well, but these rifles truly are some of the best production bolt rifles ive ever had.
 

Klinker43

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Jun 4, 2015
Messages
3
Klinker43, yes I have Vanguard 300 WSM and a 308 with 24" barrels in the new version and I really like them.
 

MOJO67

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Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
130
Location
Texas
we had two or three of the gen 1 rifles (if you include Howa) and I would be hard pressed to put them into service as a tent stake or fence post. I've gone elsewhere for my rifles. They don't build a l h rifle anyway and I refuse to compromise any longer. It is good to see that they have gotten better though.

Not sure what the issue was with your Gen 1's, but I have 2 of them(257Wby,270WSM) and they're superbly accurate, well built and actions are buttery smooth. Much better than the entry level junk Remington, Savage, etc, offer. The plastic stock is a little cheap, but what do you expect at that price point. Everybody complains about the triggers on the Gen 1's, but mine are fine.
 

Crashman1

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Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
66
I shot the S2 in 257WBY last week and it was a true pleasure to shoot, was accurate and easy recoiling. Honestly thought the 257WBY was going to kick harder but it was a real ***** cat, smooth bolt throw and the two stage trigger was different than what I am used to but broke nice and clean. Think I might try to snag one of these babies and make it my LR coyote rig, top it with a Viper PST and go to work!
 

Lefty7mmstw

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May 13, 2012
Messages
4,945
Location
Dakota del norte
Not sure what the issue was with your Gen 1's, but I have 2 of them(257Wby,270WSM) and they're superbly accurate, well built and actions are buttery smooth. Much better than the entry level junk Remington, Savage, etc, offer. The plastic stock is a little cheap, but what do you expect at that price point. Everybody complains about the triggers on the Gen 1's, but mine are fine.

I gave my rifle back and got a ruger.... it was that bad. I have not felt a trigger before or after that one that felt like you were dragging the sear through sand before and as it released. It may have gotten better with time, but the scabby barrel wasn't responding to test loads either, so off it went. My scoped rifle ought to shoot at least a bit better than my smoothbore (ribbed barrel sx2) shotgun with slugs. The shotgun will do 3" at 100 yards... that rifle would hardly best that.

I've pretty much just gotten away from the entry level price point anyway. I've got a couple of those rifles left, but most have been used as trading stock to help fund other projects.

I've seen a couple of gen 2's in action; they were solid moa to sub moa performers.... much better than the gen 1's I saw...
 

dougfinn

New Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Messages
4
I’ve got two of these as well. 7mm-08 and .375 H&H. Both very accurate and comfortable to shoot. I’ve had a few synthetic stocks in the past and I find these ones to be the most comfortable to shoot. My only complaint is the .375 is barrel heavy. I looked into how much weight it would take to balance it and it worked out to exactly a pound. The synthetic stock are hollow compartments so it was relatively easy to place a pound of pencil sinkers embedded in silicone caulking directly behind the recoil pad. The extra weight is barely noticeable when holding it in two hands and walking through bush. Once you’ve had a balanced rifle you’ll never go back.
 

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