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Old January 10, 2012, 10:38 AM   #26
MR.MILSURP
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Here is the Mark V history of production

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weatherby_Mark_V

The Weatherby Mark V is a centerfire, bolt action rifle manufactured by Weatherby of Paso Robles California. The rifle was introduced in 1957 by Weatherby and was designed to safely contain the high pressures associated with the Weatherby line of high performance cartridges. It is the flagship rifle of the Weatherby line of firearms.

The Weatherby Mark V rifles are considered prestigious or luxury firearms by many. This is due in part to Roy Weatherby who presented the rifles to royalty, politicians, gun writers and actors including H.I.H. Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran, Generals James Doolittle (USAF) and Chuck Yeager (USAF), Jack O'Connor, Warren Page, Elgin Gates and Lorne Greene and was able to use this fact as a marketing tool.

[edit] Early Development

Every since Roy Weatherby began manufacturing rifles he had to rely on a third parties to provide the actions for his rifles. Beginning in 1949 Weatherby began building his rifles around the FN Belgian Mauser action. In 1955 Schultz & Larson actions were added to the mix while adding the Mathieu left handed action to his rifle action line up. With the addition of the large capacity .378 Weatherby Magnum a new action type was warranted so the Brevex Magnum Mauser action was added. A little later the FN Sako Mauser actions were added to action types used by Weatherby to build his rifles.[1]

Roy Weatherby had been disappointed by the length of time that was taken discussing and negotiating before coming to an agreement with his European manufacturing partners. With five European companies supplying actions, the frequent trips made to Europe left him little time to run the day-to-day business operations in South Gate California.[2]

Roy Weatherby had found that the Mauser-type wanting due to the case head not being completely enclosed and supported within the breech. While these action typed could easily withstand a high pressure of about 70,000 C.U.P, he felt that one which would have the capability of handling 200,000 C.U.P. would fare better with the Weatherby line of cartridges. He had been aware that many handloaders were overloading their cartridges seeking higher performance which was resulting in blown primers and ruptured caseheads. This in turn would lead to hot gases making their way through the bolt and into the shooters face and eyes and causing injuries to his customers.[1]

Weatherby’s requirements included a bolt face which was countersunk into the bolt which would enclose the cartridges casehead while the bolt head was enclosed in a counterbored barrel breach which in turn would prevent the casehead from rupturing. If a rupture should occur, the bolt would have holes through which hot gases could be vented safely towards the side and away from the shooter’s face. Further as an extra safety measure he required an enclosed or shrouded bolt sleeve that would prevent the hot gases making their way through the bolt mechanism to the shooter’s face. To Weatherby, the safety and strength of the design were paramount.[2]

Weatherby designed the action type with nine locking lugs arranged in three rows. It was determined early on that these lugs would not protrude outside the bolt but would be of the same diameter as the bolt body itself. Such a design would be conducive to a smooth fluid movement of the bolt through its feeding and extraction cycles.[1]

In spring 1955 Weatherby demonstrated his new action at the annual NRA meetings in Washington D.C. The action type was shown to Burt Munhall of H.P. White Ballistics Laboratory and to General Julian Hatcher to elicit their opinion of the design. Both were impressed with the design and encouraged Weatherby to commercialize the action as soon as possible. At this time Weatherby had been looking for someone to provide the technical design, drawings and specifications for the design of his new action. General Hatcher suggested that John Garand (of the M-1 Garand rifle fame) would be suitable for the job. However, when contacted Garand expressed disinterest in the project as he was enjoying his retirement.[1]

Walter Howe, the editor of the American Rifleman Magazine suggested the Mathewson Tool Company of New Haven which had worked with Winchester, Remington and the U.S. Government designing and building prototypes. While Dave Mathewson managed to build and deliver the design details, the prototype did not include all the features which Weatherby had required while taking longer than anticipated to provide the prototype design.[2]

It was not until 1957 that the first prototype rifle was built. This was the fifth design model of the rifle as four previous designs had been abandoned. The rifle was shown to Elgin Gates who suggested that the rifle be name the Mark V. This fifth prototype was designed and built with the assistance of Fred Jennie, an engineer hired by Roy Weatherby. It was more streamlined and had a more simplified trigger and safety which would lead to lower manufacturing and tooling costs.[2]

In 1956 Weatherby visited Europe in an attempt to find a supplier for the Mark V action. Steyr-Daimler-Puch who had been manufacturing the Mannlicher rifle was eager to work with Weatherby, but the high cost of the initial tooling charges of $200,000 was found to have been too excessive. Schultz & Larsen had been building the .378 Weatherby Magnum was also contacted, but due to anticipated rise in labor costs Weatherby had to keep looking elsewhere. When Sako of Finland who were working on the FN Mauser action for Weatherby rifles was approached but they indicated that they had a backlog of production yet to complete and that such a project would have to wait for a year and a half. Also, Labor costs in Finland had been the rise which would increase the price per unit cutting into profits. BSA of Birmingham was extremely receptive to the idea of building the action and even attempted to absorb the initial tooling costs. However, they were unable to manufacture the action with the nine locking lugs.[1]

While several companies bid on the contract, Weatherby settled on Precision Foundry Inc. (PFI) of Leandro CA in 1957. It was decided that all major part would use the investment casting process. Another firm, Gardner Machine Co. of Hollywood CA would finish all these parts to their final dimensions and Picco Industries of Sierra Madre CA would manufacture the magazine floorplate catch, the trigger sear and the thumb safety. All the parts thus manufactured would be delivered to Weatherby’s South Gate facility where the final polishing, bluing and assembly would take place. The barrel and stocks were made in house by Weatherby at the company’s South Gate facility.[2]

Due to the investment casting process and issues with porosity of metal PFI manufactured actions did not easily accept the high luster bluing process which was a trademark of Weatherby rifle which resulted in high rejection rates of over 50%. Furthermore the delivery of component parts by PFI had been irregular which lead to a backlog of orders.[2]

In 1957 Weatherby went back to Europe to visit J.P. Sauer & Sohn who were at the time primarily a shotgun manufacturer. Udo van Meeteren wanted not only to manufacture the action but also the complete rifle as well. Within two months of the visit a contract with J.P. Sauer & Sohn was signed. In 1958 Fred Jennie visited the Sauer plant in Eckernfoerde Germany to help with the setup process. At this time it was decided that receiver and bolt would be made from forgings instead of the investment casting process as Sauer was more familiar with the process. Rifle barrels would be hammer forged by Sauer which promoted greater uniformity from breech to muzzle and which in turn lead to greater accuracy and longer barrel life. By employing this method of hammer forging barrels, Weatherby became the first U.S. company to offer hammer forged barrels in the United States.[1]

In 1970 Weatherby moved production to the Howa factory in Japan. The move was a result of increased costs to production in Europe and Howa could make the rifles cheaper. Although the strength of the actions were never compromised, fit and finish suffered. Howa manufactured Mark V's until production was brought to the United States in 1994.[3]
[edit] Proof Testing of the Mark V Action

Weatherby had intended that the new action would be the safest and strongest bolt action available. The rifle was marketed as the "The World's Strongest Bolt Action." The Mark V action has been tested to be able to contain up to 200,000 psi (14,000 bar) of pressure.[4]

The testing of the rifle was conducted on a production rifle chambered for the .300 Weatherby Magnum. Before testing was to be conducted very thorough measurements of the rifle were taken so as to provide a benchmark for the testing which was to be undertaken.[5]

The first test was conducted using a 180 gr (12 g) bullet propelled by 82 gr (5.3 g) of Du Pont #4350 powder. This load provided 65,000 psi (4,500 bar) of pressure. This load did not show any pressure or extraction issues with the new Mark V action but caused a slight sticking of the cartridge case occurred in the Mauser style rifle design. Subsequent testing was performed using the same 180 gr (12 g) bullet and using a powder charge of Du Pont #4350 which increased by increments of 2 gr (0.13 g) for each test thereafter.[2]

The second testing which was conducted with the 84 gr (5.4 g) showed no signs of pressure and issues with extraction even though the measured pressure was close to 75,000 psi (5,200 bar). Firing this load in the Mauser rifle lead to a blown primer and extreme difficulty was experienced in extracting the spent case.[2]

Using 86 gr (5.6 g) of Du Pont #4350 the cartridge began to show signs of pressure in the Mark V action. However, the case did not stick and extraction was performed easily. Breach pressure was found to be between 85,000–95,000 psi (5,900–6,600 bar). Measurements of the spent case showed that the case had stretched at the belt a mere .0005 in (0.013 mm).[2]

The spent case from the 88 gr (5.7 g) test lead to a slightly sticking case which in turn lead to a slightly difficulty in the opening of the bolt. Measurements from the case belt showed that the belt had expanded from .533 in (13.5 mm) to .535 in (13.6 mm). The pressure generated by this load was 100,000 psi (6,900 bar).

The fifth test conducted used a load of 90 gr (5.8 g) of Du Pont 4350. Firing this load lead to some difficulty in opening the bolt and the case was extracted when opened. The case of the belt still measured .535 in (13.6 mm). A difference in the diameter between the bolt head and the diameter of the barrel of .002 in (0.051 mm) per side was noted. No bulging of the bolt, receiver or the barrel was noted. Headspace was measured to be the same as prior to the testing.[2]

Further testing was conducted with a 180 gr (12 g) bullet lodged in the throat of the barrel. A cartridge loaded with the standard charge of 78 gr (5.1 g) of Du Pont 4350 and a 180 gr (12 g) was fired into the back of the first bullet. It was found that both bullets exited the barrel. The primer had been pierced and the exiting gas entered into the bolt and hitting the firing pin sleeve which was loosened slightly. The bolt was opened by hand but the cartridge stayed stuck in the chamber. When the case was tapped out it was found to be in good condition except for its pierced primer. It was found that the barrel, just in front of the receiver ring had expanded from 1.147 in (29.1 mm) to 1.1496 in (29.20 mm). The diameter of the bolt head had expanded from .7178 in (18.23 mm) to .7190 in (18.26 mm). The head space had increased from .2163 in (5.49 mm) to .2174 in (5.52 mm). All other dimensions had stayed constant. This test was conducted 15 times. A test was conducted with a 220 gr (14 g) bullet lodged in the bore of rifle and a 180 gr (12 g) grain bullet was fired into the back of this bullet. The result of this test found that the cartridge case head had expanded to .545 in (13.8 mm). After these additional 15 tests it was found that the head space was set back only a mere .001 in (0.025 mm).[2]
[edit] Action Variants

While the Weatherby Mark V action has remained the virtually unchanged from the original design of Fred Jennie and Roy Weatherby which is a testament to the longevity of the design. Nevertheless, some refinement to the design has occurred over time. The Mark V action is a front locking, push feed, bolt action repeater. The lug arrangement allows for 54° bolt lift. This shorter bolt lift allows for the increased clearance between the bolt handle and any accessories such as scopes that may be mounted on the rifle and arguably provides for faster cycling of the action. This compares favorably with the Mauser style rifles which have a 90° bolt lift.

The bolt body, including the handle is made of a single piece of machined steel. To remove and play and reduce any chance of the bolt binding during the cycling of the action, the bolt head is smaller with the locking lugs being the same diameter as the body itself. The bolt body has three gas vents along the bolt body which will allow for the venting of hot gases should the case not seal the chamber or if a pierced primer should occur. Shortly after production began in Germany, the bolt body was fluted to provide further positive feeding and extraction of the cartridges.
[edit] 9 Lug/Magnum

The 9 Lug / Magnum action was the original design which went into production and was also the design which was subject to the strength testing conducted by Weatherby. The original 9 Lug design lacked the bolt fluting and featured a safety mounted on the receiver. These rifles were made by PFI and J.P. Sauer & Sohn in the early 1960s. The refinements to the original design included a fluted bolt and a redesigned safety allowed for smoother feeding and extraction and safer safety design. The 9 Lug action is considered the archetypal Mark V action. The 9 Lug design features a bolt head with nine locking lugs arranged in three rows with each row having three locking lugs. The Magnum Mark V bolt is the heaviest bolt available available in a commercially produced rifle.

The 9 Lug Mark V action is currently available in rifles chambered for Weatherby calibers. However, late production Sauer and very early Howa manufactured Mark V rifles in .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester were chambered in the 9 Lug Mark V actions. As the production run of these rifles were short such rifles are a rarity and considered collectibles.
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Old January 10, 2012, 10:42 AM   #27
MR.MILSURP
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beauty

having said all that, here is a Springfield 1903A3 in a Monte Carlo walnut stock, with ivory and rosewood accents, and hand checkering, and Mauser type bolt shroud and cocking piece. It is a thing of beauty.





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Old January 10, 2012, 10:51 AM   #28
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Weatherby

and here's the Weatherby Mark V in the identical stock pattern

It's actually a little homely, stately, and "fat" compared to the slender, long-legged Springfield.

The Springfield wins in the looks dept., hands down.





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Old January 10, 2012, 10:52 AM   #29
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Well that's interesting and fairly accurate. Both actions are quite strong BUT [there's always a but], there a couple items that should be taken into consideration. That Weatherby with the 9 lugs.... usually, most rifles that get built in the real world of manufacturing tolerances, rarely are any more that 5-6 of them that are actually engaged and mated to the action.
Those figures reported showing 200,000 psi pressure tested are probably accurate. Since I know several guys at Remington, You'd be amazed at how they pressure test the 700's but I'd tell you that current measuring capability goes somewhat north of 200,000 psi and they test well above that but it exceeds current testing equipment, it's thought to be in the mid 200K area however.
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Old January 10, 2012, 11:00 AM   #30
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remington

and now the red-haired, freckle-faced stepchild, the Remington 700. As you can see nothing compared to the Weatherby or Springfield. It's a cheap production line gun but made with modern materials, and very strong and safe. It's also lighter than the other 2 by a lot. The Springfield weighs 9 lbs. and the Weatherby weighs nearly 8 lbs. The Remington only weighs a bit over 7 lbs. and would be a lot easier to carry around all day hunting. If you want a rifle stronger than any milsurp, and as good or better as any commercial action for all practical purposes, yet affordable, the Remington 700 is the only way to fly. You can buy 3 used Remington 700's for the price of one Weatherby.





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Old January 10, 2012, 11:10 AM   #31
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here's the Springfield without the scope





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Old January 10, 2012, 11:17 AM   #32
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ok last set of pics

I hate to say it, but a Springfield looks better in a Weatherby stock, than a Weatherby does. Sort of like your wife lending her friend a dress, and oops, the friend looks better in it. Rut-roh, that wasn't a good idea...this is 3 last pics of the Springfield. Just goes to show what a stock does for a gun. That's why Roy Weatherby farmed out the actions, but made the stocks and fitted them himself.

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Old January 10, 2012, 11:41 AM   #33
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Are the push feed winchesters and weatherby vanguards as strong the 700 since both have an enclosed bolt face?
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Old January 10, 2012, 12:46 PM   #34
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You would have to do an extensive gun by gun blow up test like in the old days, to say which one is absolutely strongest. With today's metallurgy and legal liability issues, I'd say they're all in the same ballpark. Because they have to be. If one blew up they'd get sued big time, and word would get out, and no one would buy the guns anymore. The market is just way too competitive to take that chance. An enclosed bolt face is always better, it fully supports the cartridge. But in the case of the Japanese made Weatherbys, Brownings, etc. the resale value would not be as high, and demand not as good. You are always better off with a USA made gun, or German, Belgian, England, Scandinavian (i.e. Finn, Swede, Norway) made gun.

Case in point: I was at a gun show, the guy had 2 awesomely nice Mauser sporters on M98 actions. One was an FN Deluxe action, the other was a Spanish 1943. Both had synthetic stocks and new barrels. The Spanish gun had a target with it and was a tack driver, built by a big name 'smith, whose name was on the barrel. I bought the FN. 2 days and 16 hours of gun show later, he took the Spanish home with him- no buyers.

People want pedigree guns. It would be like trying to sell really good bird dogs, but one with papers, and one without. Even though the one without papers may out-hunt the one with papers, the one with papers is going to sell for 2x-3x more money.

I was at a show once, there was 2 unfired Japanese made Brownings, one was an 1886 Winchester, the other was an 1895 Winchester. They both were $850 and were mint, by that I mean 100% IN THE BOXES. There were NO BUYERS. Japanese made gun means $500 gun- on a good day- maybe- if you're lucky. And if there's a USA or German or Belgian next to it, that means no sale for the Japanese gun that day.

these are just some of the quirks I've noticed in buying habits and market trends. I'd buy a USA or German made Weatherby, even the early ones built on the Mauser Magnum action. I'd have to look it up, but didn't Winchester make the Model 70 in Japan for a short while as well ? Can't remember for sure now.

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Old January 10, 2012, 12:53 PM   #35
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Old Today, 10:52 AM #29
tim s
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Well that's interesting and fairly accurate. Both actions are quite strong BUT [there's always a but], there a couple items that should be taken into consideration. That Weatherby with the 9 lugs.... usually, most rifles that get built in the real world of manufacturing tolerances, rarely are any more that 5-6 of them that are actually engaged and mated to the action.
Those figures reported showing 200,000 psi pressure tested are probably accurate. Since I know several guys at Remington, You'd be amazed at how they pressure test the 700's but I'd tell you that current measuring capability goes somewhat north of 200,000 psi and they test well above that but it exceeds current testing equipment, it's thought to be in the mid 200K area however.



You hit a very good subject, true, all the locking lug area is not in contact in every design, but that's not the whole story. A Remington 660 actually has more contact area of the bolt, in contact with the receiver, than a Mauser 98 does. It's listed right in the de Haas book in the 660 section. But the 660 has the lugs in the rear of the bolt, which is inherently weaker and compresses the bolt each time it's fired. So the M98 is still the better design.

BTW, if you haven't purchased and read the de Haas book, I'd highly recommend you buy it, and commit it to memory, if you ever want to be knowledgeable about guns at a gun show. You'll find 60% of the bs on the net message boards is just that. If you don't research this stuff, you're a babe in the woods, and dead meat to a savvy vendor- because no one has enough time or money today, to buy all those actions, and test and examine them, like de Haas did back in the 1960's. If you don't have that book on your shelf, you're not even serious about rifle shooting and collecting yet. It gets into design specs as well as common everyday concerns with guns.

Metallurgy comes into play as well. More contact area from a soft action, or an action that is too brittle, means a net loss in safety and strength. It all boils down to the type of steel, alloys used, heat treat, machining, etc. The whole package.

That's why relatively homely looking rifles like Husqvarna, Sako, Carl Gustafs, etc. have such a great reputation and high desirability. The iron ore used in Swedish and other Scandinavian rifles is the best in the world, and the steel is second to none- regardless of how many lugs are where. Did you ever notice some of the most expensive, high-end guns, can be really dorky looking ?

Last edited by MR.MILSURP; January 10, 2012 at 01:03 PM.
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Old January 10, 2012, 01:39 PM   #36
hoffbill
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I do not own a Springfield. I do own Rem 700 and Savage 111 as well as Mossberg 100ATR

I know nothing about the competition rifles either. I am just a guy who hunts and entertains myself by loading my own and shooting at our private range to compete against myself and my last group. With some trigger work and a decent laminated stock, the 100ATR even turned into a rifle capable of respectable groups, around 1MOA and a little under with varmint bullets. It is .243 Win.

Regarding the military rifles mentioned lets not forget that the 700 has served for 40 odd yrs and is still on active duty in both Army and Marines as sniper rifle. Apparently it works pretty good.
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