Last month, I flew out to Wyoming and visited Weatherby to see their new fall products. One of the newest products Weatherby had available, was their Backcountry 2.0 Mark V rifle. This variant of Weatherby’s Mark V line is an example of what can be built when modern materials and machining processes are used to create a truly modern bolt action hunting rifle. Let’s take a deeper look at Weatherby’s Backcountry 2.0 rifle.
Weatherby @ TFB:
New Carbon Fiber Stock
One of the most exciting parts of the new Backcountry 2.0 rifle is the brand new carbon fiber stock. Weatherby has started using a carbon fiber stock from a new name on the market, Peak 44. Weatherby combined Peak 44’s Blacktooth stock with the Mark V titanium receiver to create a magnum caliber rifle that weighs 4.7lbs without optics. The stock from Peak 44 claims to be the lightest production carbon fiber stock on the market while offering an incredible amount of strength and rigidity for shooting long distances. Peak 44 has said it will offer a number of different inlets and paint/camouflage patterns for the new Blacktooth stock. Ultimately, this gives the user a number of configurations when it comes to color and style.
Another aspect that really changes how this rifle feels on the range is the inclusion of the 3DHEX recoil pad. This revolutionary recoil pad is 3D printed at a production level and has a honeycomb design engineered to slowly compress over time. Absorbing recoil and redistributing energy is the job of any recoil pad, but the 3DHEX extends the time in which recoil transmits to the shoulder, making felt recoil significantly less than a traditional recoil pad. Combine that with the Rock Solid Carbon Link bedding instead of aluminum bedding, and you have an incredibly strong, light rifle stock that also helps mitigate recoil.
Titanium or Steel Receiver
The original Backcountry Mark V rifle was available in either a steel or titanium configuration. The Backcountry 2.0 will be available with traditional fluted barrels or carbon fiber barrels for the Backcountry 2.0 Carbon model. Whether you want the steel or titanium receiver will be indicated by having the TI designation in the rifle name. The titanium receiver will be a bit lighter and will ultimately make the rifle weigh under 5lbs without an optic.
While I was out in Wyoming, I did not have the opportunity to shoot the titanium receiver, but picking up the titanium variant, I can definitely say it is incredibly light for being chambered in a magnum cartridge. Both the steel and titanium variants are able to get a number of different barrel profile options as well as the BSF tensioned carbon fiber barrel. This barrel configuration was originally released on the Mark V Carbonmark rifle. Last year, the Carbonmark rifle set a record at Weatherby’s facility for shooting a 0.06″ group using factory Select Plus ammunition.
Modernizing The Mark V Line
There are a number of other smaller details that really made me realize how much Weatherby is trying to bring the Mark V rifle line to the cutting edge of bolt-action rifles. Besides the BSF carbon barrel and the Peak 44 Blacktooth stock, there are also a number of small details that really impressed me when looking over the rifle. One of my favorite parts of the Backcountry 2.0 is the heavily fluted bolt with a removable, skeletonized and oversized bolt knob. The overall design of the bolt and bolt knob were tastefully done while offering weight savings as in every other aspect of the rifle. Having something like the bolt look aesthetically pleasing while offering an added benefit of weight savings is the best of both worlds.
Since these rifles are incredibly light, there needs to be some sort of brake on the rifle to help mitigate recoil, especially for magnum calibers. No matter if a customer goes with the thin steel barrel or the BSF carbon fiber barrel, it comes fitted with an Accubrake ST muzzle brake. The Accubrake matches the contour of the barrel and contains 30 symmetrically spaced ports around the brake. This significantly reduces the felt recoil of magnum cartridges, giving you the capabilities of a magnum cartridge without the heavy recoil. Pairing Weatherby’s Accubrake with the 3DHEX recoil pad and you have an amazingly soft shooting rifle that has magnum velocities and downrange performance.
I had the opportunity to take the new Mark V Backcountry 2.0 out to Weatherby’s 1,000-yard range. The Backcountry 2.0 rifle I shot was chambered in 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum. Despite being a large magnum load, the Backcountry 2.0 was a very pleasant rifle to shoot. My mind was honestly blown with the lack of recoil from such a lightweight rifle. Mark Thompson from Thompson Long Range was there to help us mount up scopes and dial the rifles in for the 1,000-yard target.
After a few adjustments, we were shooting sub-minute groups at 1,000 yards with minimal effort. One thing that really stuck with me after our range day was just how fast the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum round hit the target despite being 1,000 yards away. Typically the 6.5-300 Wby Mag is going 3,300-3,500 FPS, so it doesn’t take long to reach the target with minimal bullet drop. We had the opportunity to shoot at a number of different distances during the afternoon. Whether it was 300 yards or 1,000 yards, the 6.5-300 out of this Mark V Backcountry 2.0 was seriously impressive for its accuracy and recoil mitigation.
Overall Initial Thoughts
Over the years, I have shot my fair share of magnum hunting cartridges. Out of everything I have experience with, the new Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 is undoubtedly the lightest but also has significantly less recoil than my .300 Weatherby Magnum or the .300 Win Mags I own as well. I find it honestly hard to describe how soft shooting this new rifle is and it’s almost baffling when you fire a couple boxes of ammo throughout the day.
With this combination of ultra light weight and shootability of a magnum cartridge, I think Weatherby has a real winner. The Mark V Backcountry 2.0 will start off with an MSRP of $2,499. The TI models will be starting off around $3,300 with a fluted barrel. To have the Backcountry 2.0 Carbon variant with the carbon barrel, it will be starting at $2,999 for the steel action and $3,749 for the titanium action.
Let me know what you guys enjoy using for a hunting rifle during the hunting season. Is it good to have a lightweight capable rifle for walking or do you go with an older-style rifle? Let me know in the comments below. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.
Weatherby’s New Carbon Fiber Backcountry 2.0 Rifle -The Firearm Blog is written by Matt E for www.thefirearmblog.com