The Vanguard rifle imported by Weatherby has been around for a long time. This action is a push feed design that features a relatively large rotating extractor affixed to one of the bolt lugs and an enclosed bolt face. In design the Vanguard is very similar to the push feed version of the Model 70, but has met with greater success. Ergonomically the rifle has much in common with the Remington 700 but can be produced at a lower cost. This combination of good ideas has made the Vanguard very appealing to shooters.
The Vanguard has a reputation for accuracy and dependability at a reasonable price. Until recently, the Vanguard line was considered lacking in flash, but the introduction of the Series II rifles is a departure with special purpose models and more features. The Series II rifles are the same reliable action the Vanguard always had with a new, rather ingenious, three-position safety and the addition of extras like special coatings, bedding blocks and adjustable triggers.
Now that the Vanguard line has begun to offer special models, the sky is pretty much the limit with a flexible design like the Vanguard’s; given the low initial cost of production the Vanguard may even pop up some day in different action lengths. In their current versions, any of the Series II rifles are an excellent value available at prices lower than can be had for similar rifles from other companies.
The Vanguard lost one point in our comparison in the category of Ergonomics because the bolt throw can at times feel less-than-smooth with an occasional bit of binding. We also deducted one point in the Long Term Cost of Ownership category because the Vanguard can be a little difficult to find replacement parts for due to its foreign manufacture which, seeing as Vanguards rarely require replacement parts, is not that big of a deal. Two points were also deducted in the Versatility category due to the fact that the Vanguard’s design does not lend itself to conversion and it is not factory chambered for a very wide variety of cartridges, somewhat limiting the possibilities with this action.