The Mark V is available in ten simple versions before you get into the custom-shop jobs. The Deluxe is the only one of these with a wood stock, and it’s a fancy one. The wood on our test rifle was drop-dead gorgeous, and the stock also had excellent fine checkering and Weatherby’s trademark rosewood forend cap and grip cap with white-line “maplewood” spacers. The recoil pad did not have the white-line spacer. You can get the Mark V in a dozen different standard chamberings, and more from the custom shop. The stock finish was glassy, but as we immediately noticed, not entirely level. It showed lots of waviness if you sight along its supposedly flat sides. We could feel the waviness with our fingers.
Did we mention it shines? One of our test crew was hunting some years ago and noticed a brilliant flash about a mile away. He found out it was a hunter with a glossy Weatherby rifle, giving his presence away to all the game in the county. Our Senior Technical Editor owned a 300 Weatherby a few years back, one of the German-made ones with cast-off stock (which the current ones have to a slight extent, including the Vanguard) coated with shiny epoxy. He decided he didn’t like that shine and so removed all the finish with a scraper and gave the stock an oil finish, which seemed to greatly improve the rifle from a practical standpoint. As he put it, it no longer glowed in the dark. You can order a custom Weatherby with matte blue and satin-finish stock, but these cost extra, as we understand it.
The long 26-inch barrel was beautifully blued as was the rest of the gun. However, the trigger guard and floorplate were aluminum, not steel. With the hinged floorplate open, the inner metal of the magazine box rattled loose inside the rifle, not a comforting thing to see. It was free to rattle up and down a good eighth of an inch. However, with the polymer follower closed, there was no rattling. We think something was amiss, but could not tell what it might have been. The latch for the floorplate was in the bottom of the trigger guard, which was out of the way for us and not likely to get bumped open in recoil.
The stock shape is Elmer Keith’s old design, which has a high comb that slopes forward and does a fine job of keeping the kick off your face. The Pachmayr pad also does a good job of keeping the kick off your shoulder, but these 257s don’t really kick much. We thought the Mark V was heavy for its power, and the big FireDot scope adds to its mass. However, if you’re using this as a varmint rifle, the weight is probably not important. We noticed the bottom of the notch for the bolt handle was cut square. This seemed to be out of place. A rounded notch would have looked better and let in less dirt. The barrel was free floated, but had hard pressure points about 3 inches back from the forend tip and at the base of the barrel. The rifle’s performance told us this was all good and proper.
To read the full, detailed review of the Mark V and other top-rated Bolt-Action Rifles, purchase the ebook, Bolt-Action Rifles & Gear, Part 2 from Gun Tests.