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Old November 9, 2012, 06:36 AM   #1
dayman
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Weatherby vs. TC

Sometime this winter I'm planning on buying a longer range hunting rifle than my 30-30. I've been using my Dad's 30.06 whenever I want to hunt across a field - he doesn't really hunt any more - but I've decided to get something of my own.
The two models I've been looking at in particular are the TC Icon precision hunter, and the Weatherby RC varmint - both in .308.
Both are about the same price (~$1100), and both are claim to shoot sub MOA. Whichever I wind up choosing I plan to top with a Bushnell yardage pro range-finding scope.

I'm currently leaning towards the Weatherby, but have in no way made a decision. What I'm looking for here is either insight as to which one would be better, or alternatives. I've done a lot of rifle shooting, but not a lot of rifle buying, so any help is appreciated.
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Old November 9, 2012, 08:37 AM   #2
Husqvarna
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is the T/C the one with the barrel exchange?

the weatherbys action is nice thou, very short angle of the boltlift
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:16 AM   #3
dayman
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it isn't. It's their regular bolt gun. I'm not a huge fan of the looks of the ones with exchangeable barrels, plus, I don't really need multiple calibers.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husqvarna
is the T/C the one with the barrel exchange?

the weatherbys action is nice thou, very short angle of the boltlift
The T/C Icon is their best bolt action rifle and it has the 60 degree bolt lift. The Weatherby RC Varmint is a Vanguard (Howa) action and only has two locking lugs so it actually has a 90 degree bolt lift. I'd pick the Icon for the simple fact it is almost a full pound lighter.


I'll be honest about the scope you chose I don't like it at all. There big and heavy (1.5 lbs) on top of your rifle. Even if they do compensate for bullet drop based on a ballistics program, they don't do a thing for wind drift. I can knock nearly a 1/2 lb off the scope by choosing a different one in the same power range and a seperate rangefinder. Dialing in the bullet drop isn't that hard once you work up a ballistics chart.

That said I think this way because I don't hunt from a tree stand or blind of any sort. I have to carry my rifle all day because of the style of hunting we do in Colorado. So weight and wind may not be much of an issue for you so buy what you want. I just figure that with the Icon you'll come in close to 10.5 lbs if you use that scope and add bi-pod, sling and bullets, the Weatherby will probably put you over 11 lbs pretty easy if you do the same.
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Old November 9, 2012, 11:50 AM   #5
dayman
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I'm actually not overly concerned about weight.
Up here, the two types of hunting terrain are pretty thick woods and fields. My 336 is fantastic for hunting in the woods, I just don't particularly like shooting it much further than 50yds in it's current configuration (16" barrel, and a red dot).

What the new gun is going to be for is shooting across the fields so I'll be looking at 2-300yds - maybe further eventually, but not from my current location. Ill probably be shooting prone with a bipod, or maybe a sandbag from the 3rd story of the barn, so the only carrying I'll have to do will be up a couple of ladders. The field is kind of misshapen, though, so being able to get yardage without switching between 2 optics seems like it would be useful. Plus, it seems cool, and will probably impress my buddies
I think I'm just going to put some flags up in the field to determine wind.

Also, I'd like to start working on doing some longer range shooting through the year, so I was looking for something that could be used as something of a workhorse.
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Old November 9, 2012, 12:42 PM   #6
Joe Chicago
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I have a regular Vanguard S2 in .308 and love it. The build quality is very good and it is very accurate (9/16" with ammo it likes). Weatherby's customer service is also very good. The S2 has a two stage trigger so there is around 1/8" take-up before it breaks, but it is very smooth and crisp. Mine breaks at 2.75 lbs from the factory with no adjustments. Since two stage triggers are not for everyone, dry-fire the rifle before deciding. As you noted, the S2 is heavy, but it should be fine as long as you are not humping up hills all day (I'll stand hunt with mine).

The Icon Precision hunter has been getting great reviews too. Handle and dry-fire both before buying. Better yet, see if there is anyone at your range who has these rifles, buy him some ammo, and try them out.
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayman
What the new gun is going to be for is shooting across the fields so I'll be looking at 2-300yds - maybe further eventually, but not from my current location. Ill probably be shooting prone with a bipod, or maybe a sandbag from the 3rd story of the barn, so the only carrying I'll have to do will be up a couple of ladders. The field is kind of misshapen, though, so being able to get yardage without switching between 2 optics seems like it would be useful. Plus, it seems cool, and will probably impress my buddies
I think I'm just going to put some flags up in the field to determine wind.
Here is an easier way to fix that problem of not knowing the range. Take out your .308 with either 150 or 165 grain ammunition and zero it 3.5" high at 100 yards, that should drop you somewhere about 4.5" low at 300 yards. That should give you almost a 300 (around 297ish) yard point blank range. Which means that bullet should land squarely in the kill zone if you hold mid body of the deer right behind the shoulder. That way you don't even have to range an animal until it is beyond 300 yards.

Don't over complicate your deer hunting with gadgets to impress your friends. If you are shooting at the range, most distances to targets are known so again you don't need the range finder portion of the scope. Just buy a decent scope and go hunting and shooting, IIRC if the rangefinder electronics go out Bushnell doesn't warranty it past about one year anyway. If you get a scope with a lifetime warranty and buy a seperate rangefinder that seems to be a better investment to me. That way you only have to spend about $300 to replace a decent rangefinder if it goes bad vs. spending nearly $700 again to replace the same scope if the electronics go bad out of warranty.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:05 PM   #8
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The TC Icon is a great rifle, but it is basically the same as the TC Venture, which costs about $500 less than the TC Icon. The Weatherby Vanguard is made by Howa, famous for building accurate rifles, and you can buy a Howa for about $400 less than the Weatherby. As far as whichI would recommend, pick one or the other, they are both great rifles.

Seems like discussions about scopes get into personal preferences pretty fast. Some folks want all the gadgets and new stuff, others like the basics because they're simple and reliable. I fit into the second category, but that doesn't mean it's wrong or right. Laser scopes are cool, they are basically a video camera with crosshairs and a laser rangefinder. You are never looking at the animal, you are looking at an image of the animal, meaning that there is a delay between the image that goes in and the image you see. Probably not a big deal, but a potential miss or wounded animal waiting to happen if you shoot at running animals. Also keep in mind that there were reports of image freeze and lock up if you try to pan too fast. And finally, like most battery-operated equipment, cold weather kills batteries, and from what I hear it gets cold up north. So do your homework and make a decision, and see if you choose correctly.
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Old November 10, 2012, 08:26 PM   #9
Joe Chicago
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Scorch, are you sure about the price delta between Weatherbys and Howas? My Vanguard S2 - the Weatherby version of the Howa 1500 - cost $425. I have never seen the Howa in a shop for that low a price.
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:51 PM   #10
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Actually, no, I am not sure of all the prices for all the different models at all the different distributors. I just looked real quick on the web, so I am sure there are other models and such where the price difference is less. But it still applies, you can buy a Howa with the same features as a Weatherby with the same features for less.
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