June 13, 2023
Weatherby's MARK V and Vanguard lineup of rifles have withstood the test of time, sending hunters afield with confidence and stopping power for decades. Building upon their legacy of reliability and precision, Weatherby’s brand new Model 307, represents their first, new bolt-action design in more than 50 years. The Model 307 also cements Weatherby’s roots and commitment to the people and wild places of area code 307 and their newfound home in Sheridan, Wyoming.
THE MODEL 307 IS BORN
The concept of the 307 began several years ago, shortly after Weatherby relocated their headquarters and manufacturing facilities from bustling California to rural Wyoming. That change opened the door for Weatherby engineers to tackle a new design, and the Model 307 was born.“Our goal was to design a rifle that met the demands of serious hunters as well as would be adaptable into PRS-type competitions,” said Seth Hiller, product development manager at Weatherby.
Four years and plenty of blood, sweat and tears later, Weatherby now proudly offers the Model 307 action in two platforms, the Range XP and Alpine MDT. These two models deliver hunters performance and versatility to execute a precise shot when the buck or bull of their dreams steps out of the dark timber, or when prize money is on the line at a PRS match.
The Model 307 action is not a radical new design. Rather, Weatherby engineers took one of the most beloved, proven and customizable platforms of all-time, the Remington 700 action, and incorporated some much needed and appreciated upgrades. Externally, one of the first improvements that engineers tackled was the lackluster trigger pull, opting to completely replace the standard 700 trigger assembly with a crisp, zero-creep TriggerTech trigger. It is worth noting that the TriggerTech trigger can be easily externally adjusted down to 2.5 pounds. Engineers also moved the bolt-release from inside the trigger guard to a much easier-to-access location on the outside of the action, opposite the thumb safety.
Next, Weatherby replaced the traditional hinged-floor-plate design and incorporated Magpul bottom metal into the Model 307 to accept AICS and 700-platform magazines. For hunters, the use of magazines has its pros and cons. Reloading is easier and much faster, but you also run the risk of losing the magazine while trekking through dense vegetation and being reduced to a single shot. For this reason, as well as to speed up reload times, always keep a spare magazine tucked in an easily accessible pocket of your pack. The last major external upgrade that Weatherby engineers made was oversizing the ejection port in the action to easily accommodate modern, longer bullets.
Internally, engineers tackled and improved two major components that have long plagued the 700 platform: First, the Model 307 features an all-new, three-piece bolt designed to allow for an easy, toolless takedown. While you should rarely have to disassemble the bolt, what was once an arduous task can now be done in a matter of seconds. Second, engineers replaced the traditionally weak 700 extractor with an M16-style extractor to ensure reliable ejection shot after shot.
Besides the action, both the Range XP and Alpine MDT models share several other features. Sticking with tradition, Weatherby incorporated the same stainless-steel, match-grade barrel that currently graces the Mark V lineup on both models. Additionally, the barrel and bolt are spiral fluted, making them not only aesthetically pleasing but practical, shaving off several precious ounces. Both models also come standard threaded with Weatherby’s radial designed Accubrake which is proven to reduce felt recoil by up to 50%. For those that choose to shoot suppressed, the Model 307 comes suppressor ready with 1⁄2-28 threads. The final shared feature between the two models is a Cerakote finish on the barrel, bolt, receiver and trigger guard to combat corrosion from the unforgiving elements that hunters face.
The Range XP and Alpine MDT models are differentiated by the stock design and subsequent price tag. The Range XP utilizes a molded composite stock that closely mirrors the shape and design of the Peak 44 stock used on many of the Mark V rifles. It also features an adjustable cheekpiece and rear spacers to easily customize the length of pull and comb height to your exact specifications. Textured touch points on the grip and forearm, as well as dual front swivel studs, round out the functions of this very capable and comfortable stock. The Model 307 Range XP is easily one of the best “bang for your buck” rifles on the market, offering hunters a rifle with custom features and a sub-MOA guarantee at an extremely reasonable price tag of $1,200. The cost of the Range XP also bridges the gap nicely between the Vanguard and Mark V rifle lines.
The Model 307 Alpine MDT has a much more modern appearance, featuring MDT’s HNT26 Chassis System. Chassis-style rifles have become increasingly popular in recent years, specifically amongst the backcountry hunting community, and with good reason. They promote precision, shave weight and when the stock is folded and the gun is strapped to your pack, it eliminates wandering the mountain with a two-foot antenna protruding above your pack. The HNT26 chassis consists of a magnesium-alloy stock and car- bon-fiber forend, pistol grip and buttstock that weigh in at a mere 26 ounces. Other noteworthy features of the HNT26 chassis include easily adjusted length of pull and comb height and an integrated ARCA rail along the bottom of the forend.
The overall weight of the Alpine MDT will vary slightly depending on cartridge selection, but weights start at an impressive featherweight of 6.38 pounds. This lightweight rifle is a backcountry hunter’s best friend as well as a serious contender as a crossover rifle to be used in PRS competitions. The weight savings and additional features are noticeable, but they do come at a substantial cost over the Range XP. The Model 307 Alpine MDT carries a much heftier price tag of $3,000.
The instantaneous report of lead impacting the gong nearly 500 yards down range left a lasting first impression when I first shot the Model 307. While on a duck hunt in central Texas with some of the boys from Weatherby earlier this year, I had the opportunity to spend some time at the range with one of the first prototype Alpine MDT Model 307s. After sending a single box of ammunition down range and center-punching gongs from 300 to 500 yards, it was difficult to not become infatuated with the design and pinpoint accuracy of this rifle.
Fast forward several months, and I anxiously picked up a Model 307 Alpine MDT of my own, chambered in the smoking hot 6.5 Weatherby RPM cartridge, at my local gun shop. The first order of business was dressing the rig with Burris Optics’ new Veracity PH 4-20X50 riflescope. The Veracity PH incorporates several cutting-edge technologies to create a precise aiming solution built right into the riflescope. Paired with the BurrisConnect app, the Veracity PH provides shooters a heads-up display above the reticle, showing the dial-to-yardage of the Programmable Elevation Knob (PEK) turret, wind holdover, rifle cant and angle and battery level. The heads-up display took me a minute to get used to, but there is no denying the valuable information that it offers shooters without ever coming out of the scope.
Finding a day when I wouldn’t be bombarded with snow at the range proved difficult this spring in southern Idaho. Finally, in early April, I caught a short window of sunshine and spent an enjoyable afternoon date at the range with my Model 307. For accuracy-testing data, I used three different Weatherby factory loads and fired three five-shot groups from each to determine accuracy. It always makes me a little bit nervous to accuracy test rifles that tote sub-MOA guarantees, as the rifles capabilities typically far exceed my own. However, that fear was quickly put at ease as the rifle repeatedly delivered sub-MOA groupings with multiple loads.
All three test loads met Weatherby’s sub-MOA promise with one of them nearly eclipsing the half-MOA benchmark. The Weatherby ammunition, loaded with the 127-grain Barnes LRX bullets, narrowly edged its way into the top spot, averaging an impressive .59-MOA five-shot group. The 124-grain Barnes LRX load came in just behind with an average of .68 MOA. Hornady’s 140-grain Interlock may have come in third place, but still produced a solid average group size of .98 MOA. All three of these loads are extremely capable and with those accuracy results, I would not hesitate to shoot any of them this fall with the utmost confidence.
My fall plans are still up in the air with pending applications across the West, but rest assured my Model 307 Alpine MDT will get her chance in the field. However, several Weatherby employees had the opportunity this past season to put the 307 to the test with impressive results. From the rugged and unforgiving mountains of West Texas stalking wild sheep, to the rolling sage hills and river bottoms of the Cowboy State pursuing mule deer and whitetails, the rifle performed in spades, delivering terminal results with precision. Their successful hunts are the first in a long line of success stories that the Model 307 will play a vital role in.
While it is new, I am confident that the Model 307 will become a staple of precision and reliability for hunters across the country. Its sub-MOA accuracy, paired with its light weight and customizability, make it nearly impossible to not consider next time you are on a quest to find your next hunting rifle. The Model 307 is available in several Weatherby-engineered cartridges as well as some of the timeless classics to include .243 Win., 270 Win., .30-06 Springfield, .300 Win., .308 Win., 7mm Rem. Mag. and the wildly popular and capable 6.5 Creedmoor. With a little luck, the Model 307 will carry on the Weatherby legacy for another 50 years.
Weatherby Model 307 Specs
- TYPE: BOLT-ACTION RIFLE
- CARTRIDGE: 6.5 WBY. RPM (TESTED)
- BARREL: 24 IN.; 1:8 TWIST
- WEIGHT: 6 LBS., 6 OZ.
- STOCK: MDT HNT26 CHASSIS
- FINISH: BLACK CERAKOTE
- TRIGGER: 2.5 LBS. (ADJUSTABLE)
- MAGAZINE: POLYMER AICS, 3 RDS
- MUZZLE DEVICE: ACCUBRAKE, 1⁄2-28 THREADS
- MSRP: $3,000