In the fall of 2021, Weatherby announced their all-new 2.0 version of the classic Mark V Backcountry lineup which debuted in 2019. This new product line features multiple upgrades such as a new carbon fiber Peak 44™ Blacktooth™ stock, a second-generation 3DHEX® recoil pad, and a more pronounced/lighter weight spiral fluted bolt. Combining some of the best of modern material science with current manufacturing capabilities allows Weatherby to bring a very lightweight and solid-performing rifle to the market.
The Backcountry 2.0 lineup is available in four configurations including a steel or titanium action with either carbon fiber or a traditional fluted barrel. Each option is available with up to nine different chamberings. I chose to review the Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 TI (Titanium) chambered in 300 Weatherby Magnum.
First and foremost, this rifle is light. While sporting a 26″ barrel, this bolt gun weighs in at a mere 5.6 pounds. Weatherby incorporates multiple features to make this happen with one of the main weight savers being the new carbon fiber Peak 44™ Blacktooth™ stock. Boasting “aerospace-grade carbon fiber” the Peak 44 has the distinction of being the lightest production stock on the market. While I didn’t get the data for how much the stock weighs for my configuration, the lightest versions weigh in at just under 20 ounces.
The stock includes a “3DHEX recoil reducer” which is a patent-pending energy-diffusing 3D printed lattice that is “designed to distribute specific directional forces and reduce muzzle lift.” This is an integrated low-profile pad that is more lightweight than alternative rubber options and engineered to provide maximum perceived recoil reduction and weight savings. Pushing on it with my thumb, the 3DHEX feels much more rigid than traditional rubber pads, yet it tames the recoil produced by these large magnum calibers on such a lightweight platform. Shooting this 300 Weatherby magnum from a tripod or standing is no issue at all, however, I will not lie that when shooting from a bench or prone you are still going to feel this beast thumping. The material is also not as tacky as other rubber pads which I prefer since it doesn’t grab and pull on my shirt as much.
Built around the strong and lightweight titanium Weatherby Mark V action, this TI model shaves off extra weight while retaining all the properties needed to provide a durable and reliable platform. Titanium provides a 58% reduction in weight when compared to identical traditional steel receivers. When looking at the listed information on Weatherby’s website, the TI version ends up saving 0.6 pounds over the standard Mark V Backcountry 2.0.
Barrel lengths are only available in pre-determined lengths from the factory ranging from 22″ to 26″ depending upon the caliber chosen. Each non-carbon fiber Backcountry model is equipped with a threaded, fluted, super thin, lightweight contoured barrel. I noticed when looking at the Backcountry 2.0 options that the thin-fluted traditional barrel was 0.5 pounds lighter than the carbon fiber model. While carbon fiber is lighter than steel, much more carbon fiber is required to gain the rigidity needed for a barrel creating an overall heavier system. While carbon fiber barrels have other perks, I wanted the lightest system possible and loved the non-carbon model I used for testing. I am sure both would be great, but if you are going for ultimate weight savings, the Mark V Backcountry 2.0 TI is the rifle for you.
While magnum cartridges and lightweight rifles can scare off the faint of heart, Weatherby provides their Accubrake ST which reduces felt recoil up to 53%. This muzzle brake does a great job of making this rifle more comfortable to shoot. Their muzzle brake is also replaceable, so those who would prefer to run a suppressor are good to go straight from the factory! No need to send off your rifle to get the barrel threaded. This is a great perk and should be standard for all modern rifles.
Weatherby includes a TriggerTech trigger with each of the Backcountry 2.0 models. This wide-faced trigger feels great. It is precision cut from stainless steel to provide a reliable and corrosion-resistant package. This trigger is externally adjustable and provides a true zero-creep break. Between dryfiring and actual live fire, I cannot notice even the slightest bit of creep with this trigger. This gives an ideal user interface, and I am a fan. TriggerTech triggers are the most popular trigger for Precision Rifle Series shooters, and they are now being utilized in hunting rifles for their obvious benefits.
The Backcountry 2.0 models also offer a 54-degree bolt which is the shortest in the industry and much less than the traditional 90-degree throw. This design requires less movement leading to faster follow-up shots and greater bolt-to-scope clearance. While this doesn’t sound like much of a difference, I can say that I find it to be quicker and more natural than traditional bolt guns. While not many people are going to be burning down competitions with this platform and shooting thousands of rounds, many may need the opportunity to make a quick follow-up shot on big game, and this bolt will help you get there. It also comes with a removable skeletonized bolt knob for anyone seeking more personal customization. Adaptability is fantastic to have, however the lightweight oversized bolt knob that came with the rifle works just great for me.
Just about the only thing I found that I didn’t like about this rifle was the safety. It utilizes a sort of lever mechanism, whereas I prefer the more recessed and sliding types found with Weatherby’s Vanguard lineup. While functional, it’s just not what I prefer. Nonetheless, it worked without issue and has good texturing for flipping back and forth.
The bolt features deeper flutes and a larger radius than the previous Backcountry models, which not only machine away more weight but also increase the smoothness when cycling the bolt. These larger flutes decrease the bearing surface within the action leading to reduced friction while creating a smoother overall system, and smooth it is! Besides functioning better, it also looks a lot cooler as well, and we all know looking cool is half the battle! Featuring a black Cerakote throughout, the Weatherby Backcountry 2.0 is ready to face the elements.
Fitting in line with the whole lightweight theme of this rifle, I had to add the Black Collar Arms forged carbon fiber scope mount to the build. This rigid carbon fiber mount tips the scales at a mere 5.2 oz while providing 1/6th of the thermal expansion aluminum faces. Utilizing the Eotech VUDU 5-25 scope all topped on a 20 MOA Talley Accumark Picatinny Rail, this rifle is ready to rock and roll. While I did most of my hunting during this review at night with a Pulsar Thermion 2 LRF XP50 thermal scope, I mainly intend for this to be a daylight backcountry hunting setup.
Now for accuracy. Straight from the factory, Weatherby guarantees all Mark V rifles to shoot a “3-shot group of .99” or less at 100 yards (SUB-MOA) from a cold barrel when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition within Two-Years of Verified Purchase Date to Original Purchaser.” While I was unable to obtain any Weatherby factory ammunition during the duration of this review, I was able to snag a pile of Norma ORYX 180gr bonded soft point. This ammunition consistently grouped around the 1.0-1.5 MOA mark for me. The tightest three-round group I was able to achieve was .853 MOA with five-round groups approaching the 1.5-2.0 MOA mark. To be fair, Weatherby’s SUB-MOA guarantee applies to a cold barrel when used with premium ammo which I believe it is capable of. However, when shooting 180gr projectiles at 3250 feet per second out of a thin barrel, things heat up quickly, and I noticed my groups widening out past the three-shot mark. After a quick 5-round string of fire, the barrel would get smoking hot. One other thing to note is that all groups were shot using a suppressor, laying in the Texas sun in July. Temperatures were over 100 degrees, and between all the sweat dripping into my eyes from laying in direct sunlight; and recoil anticipation for these suppressed magnum cartridges, I think my groups weren’t quite as tight as they could have been if I was shooting in ideal situations with Weatherby premium ammunition. In the end, this ammo was good enough for me, and the hunting trips I took it on.
Throughout testing, this bolt gun has been a blast to shoot. Launching 180gr projectiles at 3250 feet per second is most definitely a step up from my ole 308. Looking into magnum rifles, I found this Backcountry 2.0 TI to be my ideal big-game rifle for everything in North America. Chambered in 300 Weatherby magnum it has some serious stopping power. I had no issue dropping a Nilgai in deep south Texas with this rifle paired with Norma ORYX 180gr bonded soft point.
One of the funniest stories I got from my time testing this rifle is how good it sounds suppressed. For being a magnum cartridge, I was expecting much worse than what I heard behind the gun. It works so well, that when I shot a coyote from my bedroom window at 1:30 in the morning, no one else in the house heard a thing. The barrel was out of the window so that made the biggest difference, but I will never forget being woken up by a coyote yipping up a storm 75 yards away and me dropping it from the bedroom without waking a soul.
While a bit overkill for whitetail, this rifle still worked great. I had an elk and a whitetail tag, but having never seen elk on our farmland even though they are in the area, I took the sure shot at bagging a nice buck on opening day. Coincidentally, minutes after shooting this buck, a large solo boar came strutting in at 30 yards and 300 Weatherby Magnum launching 180gr Norma ORYX did the trick.
Overall, I am very impressed with this rifle. It feels way too lightweight to be chambered in 300 Weatherby Magnum. It just didn’t feel real. The action is smooth, the trigger is fantastic, and the Peak 44 Blacktooth stock is lightweight with a pretty sweet paint job. The titanium version was just the icing on the cake. The standard Backcountry 2.0 comes in with an MSRP starting around $2,699 while the Backcountry 2.0 TI starts at $3,449. While not the cheapest bolt guns available, Weatherby incorporates cutting-edge modern features into the Mark V Backcountry 2.0 TI to provide a quality high-end rifle that will last more than a lifetime.
Overall Length: 48″
Length of Pull: 13.5″
Barrel Length & Contour: 26” #2 MOD
Action / Barrel OAL: RH 28”
Twist Rate: 1-10”
Mag Capacity: 3+1
Drop @ Comb: .625″
Drop @ Heel: .30″