SHOT Show: Favorite New Bolt-Action Rifle

Each North American Hunter editor hiked 10-plus miles per day at the recent 4-day Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in search of cool new gear, and one of them has made his pick for the No. 1 bolt-action rifle from this year’s show.

First a disclaimer: I’ve been a fan of Weatherby for several years, and my go-to big-game rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard. It has a black synthetic stock and blued barrel, so it’s nothing fancy, but the gun is a tack-driver, no matter what ammo I feed it. As a result, my .270 Win. rifle has done a great job feeding my family with whitetails, muleys and pronghorns.

I mention these facts because you can bet I spent a good amount of time in the Weatherby booth at this year’s SHOT Show, and the gun above really caught my eye. It’s called the WBY-X Vanguard Saratoga, has a suggested retail price of $749, and features an injection-molded, composite Monte Carlo stock that’s dipped in One Nation Vintage American Flag camo.

In addition to the obvious “cool factor,” the Saratoga sports a 24-inch #2 contour cold hammer forged barrel, two-stage trigger and is available in the following five popular cartridges: .223 Rem., .243 Win., .270 Win., .308 Win. and .30-06. Depending on model, the rifle weighs either 7.25 or 7.5 pounds.

Would I take the Saratoga into the field deer hunting? Hell yes. The way I figure it, when a mature buck stops to give the stars and stripes an antler salute, I’ll give him a nod of respect and then take his life with a single well-placed shot.

God bless America!

P.S. If you’d rather not wear your patriotism on your sleeve—I mean rifle—the WBY-X is available in several other killer models and camo patterns, too.

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