Weatherby Vanguard left me hanging, need new rifle suggestions

renagde

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Well, opening day of the PA rifle season I had the opportunity to harvest a beautiful 9 point. I was toting my Weatherby Vanguard 7mm rem mag that I have had for the past 12 years. I've shot this rifle a good bit, and had just gone through 2 boxes of ammo 2 weeks ago to ensure my zero was still good. Never had a problem with it. As the deer stepped out at 100 yards, I tried to pull the trigger. It felt like the safety was on, as the trigger wouldn't budge. I knew I had taken my safety off, but I pulled the safety back again and then front to ensure it was off. Still the same. So I squeezed the trigger as hard as I could, gripping the gun as hard as I could. The gun finally fired, but I wasn't even on target as I was trying so hard to figure out what the problem was and why it wasn't firing. The buck stood there, not knowing where the shot came from or what to do. I quickly chambered another round, hoping that the problem had worked itself out. Tried to squeeze off another round and the same thing happened. I cycled another round, hoping that maybe something wasn't seated right. Same thing. So I carefully lowered my rifle into my lap, muzzle down range and cycled another round. This time, as soon as I cycled a round and closed the bolt it fired. My hand was nowhere near the trigger. Of course the deer ran off unharmed and I was left cursing myself and my equipment. I emptied my gun and started dry firing, try to replicate the problem. I managed to replicate the firing pin firing once again just by closing the bolt.

I have no idea what the cause of the problem is. One thing is for certain, I will never again trust that rifle out in the woods. I've been itching to upgrade to a different rifle anyways, so now seems to be as good of a time as any. A couple rifles on my shortlist are the Seekins PH2, Christensen Ridgeline, possibly the Mesa, and the Barrett Fieldcraft. Anything else I should add to this list to checkout? I will most likely be going with another 7mm or a 6.5 PRC. I want something lightweight, but not necessarily 5lb lightweight. I'll be mounting a SWFA 3-9x42 scope on it, so something in the 6-7lb range is what I'm looking for.
 

ss13

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Feb 3, 2016
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I’d be willing to bet your stock is pinching the trigger assembly. I had the same issue with a wood stocked vanguard. Try loosening up your action screws and see what happens.
 

Ryan_1129

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Apr 23, 2017
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Yeah you will have to let us know what you find out if you end up sending it in.
 

Afhunter1

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Mar 30, 2016
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I’d bet your trigger needs cleaned with lighter fluid. There is some debris in there from the years of use that finally has added up to a problem.
 

Goatie

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Oct 21, 2019
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That’s a huge bummer, but before ditching the rifle, I would consider replacing the trigger with a Timney. It’s really easy to do as you just need to remove the stock screws and a single philips head screw for the trigger housing.

I also had some tolerance issues in the past with the stock and trigger, but that was when I replaced mine, not the original trigger. The original trigger housing on my rifle was thinner so I took a little wood off upon replacement.
 

6mm Remington

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A friend of mine is notorious for not cleaning and taking care of his rifles. His safety on one of his rifles could not be switched from safe to fire it was so corroded and rusty inside. He had to have a gunsmith clean it and get it all straightened out. Not to say that you neglect your rifle, but it's possible to have this happen even if you do take a reasonable amount of care with them.
 

Gearqueer

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Mar 17, 2019
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O.P.,

I’m really sorry to hear this story, but I’m just glad you or someone else wasn’t hurt. I don’t know much about Weatherby’s, but give their customer service a chance to help you. Hopefully it’s something simple that allows you to regain confidence in your rifle. Let us know how it goes please.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

260madman

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Dec 15, 2017
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WI
Did somebody mess with the trigger and not put paint on the screws to prevent backing out? I’d check the trigger or get a Timney and keep the rifle and buy a new one because a guy can never have too many rifles.

My nephew was over Sunday night and it’s the first time he’s ever been in my reloading/gun room. He says, “260madman, how many guns do you have?”. I reply “I’m not sure, why? Do you know someone selling one?”. He giggled and his dad LOLd.
 

Wrench

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Aug 23, 2018
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The vanguard of 12 years ago is as simple as they get in triggers and actions. Pop it out of the stock and it'll either be loose, filthy or pinched. There's almost nothing that can break in one to leave you hanging. If the safety still moved ad designed.....I bet you'll find the screw that hods the trigger in the action loose.
 
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renagde

renagde

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I appreciate all the helpful insight. I do take care of my guns, they get cleaned regularly. I did think that it could possibly be build up somewhere but it all looks clean. The weird thing is that #1, I've never had any type of issues before. In 12 years of owning the rifle, I've only ever missed 1 deer. #2, I just shot over 2 boxes less then 2 weeks ago and didn't notice any issues at all. Just crappy timing I suppose, but that's Murphy's Law for ya.

I will give Weatherby a call and see if they can help me out at all.
 

tdhanses

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Sep 26, 2018
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Get a Timney, it’s a big improvement. But you will have to open the stock up to keep it from binding which is super simple to do.
 

Goatie

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Oct 21, 2019
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The vanguard of 12 years ago is as simple as they get in triggers and actions. Pop it out of the stock and it'll either be loose, filthy or pinched. There's almost nothing that can break in one to leave you hanging. If the safety still moved ad designed.....I bet you'll find the screw that hods the trigger in the action loose.
I bet you anything the screw is loose. I still say get a timney lol! Then you’ll have a semi-sort-of, not really custom rifle! When you do replace, make sure to loc-tite!
 

Dirt Wagon

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Jun 27, 2019
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If you've had it for 12 years, I'd say swap the trigger out and keep it another 12. Kinda like a car, if the starter goes bad you replace it, not the car.

But new is always nice too, lol.... anyone of the three rifles you mentioned sound really nice to own. If anything get a new rifle and keep the Vanguard as a backup since you'll most likely stay with the 7mm rem.
 

Baxterb

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Mar 24, 2016
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Look guys, don’t rain on his parade...

Ahem....

That damn Weatherby....unbelievable how it let you down when you needed it the most. At 12 years old the metal must have developed a virus that causes inflammation of the sear engagement point and locked the trigger. Like YF-Vax, a vaccine is not available at the moment so you must consider alternate measures.

I would suggest you gently lean the rifle in the corner and forget about it as you shop for a new, pre-vaccinated rifle. Perhaps one day the vax will be available again and the Weatherby can be cured. Until then, happy rifle shopping!
 
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renagde

renagde

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Yeah on top of this, I just had a birthday. My amazing wife told me to buy a new rifle for my birthday since she knew I was itching for a new one. This all happened the day before my Vanguard left me down. Unfortunate timing
 
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renagde

renagde

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Look guys, don’t rain on his parade...

Ahem....

That damn Weatherby....unbelievable how it let you down when you needed it the most. At 12 years old the metal must have developed a virus that causes inflammation of the sear engagement point and locked the trigger. Like YF-Vax, a vaccine is not available at the moment and the “approved” alternative isn’t easily available.

I would suggest you gently lean the rifle in the corner and forget about it as you shop for a new, pre-vaccinated rifle. Perhaps one day the vax will be available again and the Weatherby can be cured. Until then, happy rifle shopping!
Exactly! The only reply i wanted to hear was "off load quickly and buy something new" lol
 

Dirt Wagon

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I'd at least attempt to fix before you hand it over to someone else.....if anything you'll get a better price if it's in working condition & peace of mind that it won't cause an accidental discharge on another shooter.
 
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renagde

renagde

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I'd at least attempt to fix before you hand it over to someone else.....if anything you'll get a better price if it's in working condition & peace of mind that it won't cause an accidental discharge on another shooter.
I'm with you there. I think I'll try to tear it apart tonight to try to spot anything obvious. If I can't come up with anything I'll give Weatherby a chance to fix it
 

ss13

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Feb 3, 2016
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I'm with you there. I think I'll try to tear it apart tonight to try to spot anything obvious. If I can't come up with anything I'll give Weatherby a chance to fix it
When the barreled action is separated from the stock try the safety and trigger. As I posted above, I had the exact same issue. My trigger mechanism was pinched within the stock. If the safety and trigger work outside the stock, then you most likely over torqued the stock.
 
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