Weatherby Accumark .300 magnum rifle.
In addition, the Weatherby Accumark has a 26in varmint-style medium-weight fluted barrel. This gives the best possible ballistics. The barrel is coupled with an entirely American-made action.
The rifle is easy to use, combines varmint and deer specifications and has the all-weather characteristics of a stainless steel/synthetic body.
As with all Weatherby models, the Accumark has American flare, which can be over the top, but it looks right in this rifle. The slender fore-end is graceful.
Though there is no chequering, the slight outward cant helps the supporting arm keep a good grip.
This also goes for the pistol grip, which is slender yet very comfortable. Indeed, any chequering would be superfluous.
There is an acutely backward slanting cheekpiece, which looks good and gives adequate scope-to-eye-to-stock height. The recoil pad is soft and very grippy, but I did find the length of pull a little short for me at 13.5in.
The best feature is the finish on the stock, a combination of Kevlar and fibreglass, is hand laminated and has a superb finish with no rough edges or sanding marks. The surface has a raised stippling effect and is in my preferred colour, a grey/black gel coat with a grey spider-web finish which looks excellent and complements the rest of the rifle.
The stock is finished off nicely with QD swivel attachments. Synthetic stocks are long-lasting and will not warp with changes in temperature, so they provide a stable platform for the metalwork of the rifle.
The stock?s solidity is further enhanced by a CNC-machined aluminium bedding-plate, which stiffens the receiver area of the rifle, giving a secure weather and temperature resistant setting for the action and barrel – a rock solid foundation.
A short bolt throw
Weatherby has slotted its own excellent Mark V action into the strong stock design. It is a well-designed machined unit, which combines strength, rigidity and elegance. At the heart of the system are the nine forward locking lugs, which allow a very short bolt throw of only 54° and provide a positive lock up.
The bolt is heavy and long at 8.75in, and extremely solid. Black lateral fluting along its length makes it lighter and contrasts with the stainless bolt body improving its appearance.
The bolt body also has three gas ports for safety in the event of a ruptured case. There is a strong extractor claw in the bolt-head sidewall and the heavily sprung plunger ejector is powerful enough to launch even a large .300 Win magnum case skyward.
The bolt handle is well positioned though I would prefer a larger knob for easier handling, such as that on a Tikka Super Varmint.
With its short lift, the bolt operation needs an initial effort to compress the firing pin spring and then it frees and moves effortlessly. Being a magnum action, it is large and long and the bolt has to be operated to its full extent – otherwise a second cartridge can be left sitting in the magazine.
Trigger, safety and magazine
The magazine takes three cartridges with one in the chamber, which is more than enough for hunting. There is a floorplate on the underside of the action, which is activated by a button on the forward section of the trigger-guard.
This allows the cartridges to be safely unloaded from the magazine after use. I prefer a separate magazine system, but a floor-plate design is more elegant. The single-stage trigger is not bad for a factory unit and is adjustable for sear engagement with a preset let-off of 5lb or so, which is heavy but crisp.
Unusually, the safety is positioned on the bolt shroud, which is handy. In the upright position the rifle is ready to fire and in the rearward position it is safe. It is silent and totally disengages the firing pin/sear from the trigger unit, so it wins my vote as a truly safe safety unit.
Sighting and barrel
The action has a rounded top and is drilled and tapped to accept scope mount bases by various manufacturers. The rifle on test had a Warne scope mount with scope rings of the same make.
It was a quick detachable version. I fitted a Burris 3-9×40 Fullfield scope, which despite costing less than £200 was a competent performer. I also fitted a 6×42 Schmidt & Bender for comparison.
The really impressive part of the rifle and the part that most people comment on is the barrel. It is 26in long, heavily fluted for 19in of its length and free-floating. This stainless steel button-rifled barrel has all the hallmarks of a top-flight target rifle.
To give the Sporter contours even more appeal, the six deep flutes are blacked to contrast with the stainless steel. The muzzle has a diameter of 0.71in and has a recessed crown to avoid damage to this critical area.
It is perfectly squared off so the bullet leaves the barrel without deviating. Despite the long barrel, the balance was good thanks to the fibreglass stock and, in fact, the rifle?s extra weight helped dampen recoil.
This is where most magnum calibre guns can lose their appeal – who wants all that noise and kick for a little extra oomph?
Weatherbys usually come chambered in their own magnum calibres, but I was looking for a more commercially available magnum round and the .300 Win Mag fitted the bill.
Out in the field, 1.25in to 1.5in groups at 100 yards was the norm with Remington factory ammunition and 150-grain bullets. This is realistic accuracy.
If you are so inclined, you can reload the big .30 calibre with 110 V-Maxes, giving 3,700fps for varmints, but most shooters opt for the 150-220-grain bullet weights, which the .300 Win Mag manages easily.
A 150-grain Hornady SST bullet proved accurate with a three-shot group at under 1in at 100 yards. It sped out of the 26in barrel at 3,244 fps and gave 3,506 ft/lb with a load of 78 grains of Vit N165 powder.
The big 220-grain Nosler Partitions were also accurate with 1in groups and an impressive 2,681fps and 3,512ft/lb using 71 grains of Alliant RL 22 powder. Recoil was noticeable but manageable.
Be careful to position your scope so as not to suffer a cut eyebrow, however.
There is no doubt the Accumark is a good looking rifle, but it is a specialist?s gun, more at home abroad than in the UK.
However, for red deer on the hill or fallow lurking at the far reaches of a cornfield, the .300 Win Magnum calibre is highly effective when loaded correctly.
If you like the Weatherby Mark V action but don?t want magnum calibres, you can get other calibres such as .243, .270, 7mm-08 or .308.
As a well-built, rugged stalking rifle the Weatherby certainly fills a niche in the market, and does it well.
Good stock shape
Heavy bolt lift
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