Click pictures for a larger version.
Hog Reaper hog-skull camouflage pattern.
Checkering on synthetic stock for a positive hold.
Bolt stop release (top), three-position safety
Drop-plate magazine holds five cartridges.
Hog Reaper (right) compared to Vanguard
257 Weatherby (left).
About two years ago, Weatherby introduced
their newest generation of Vanguard rifles; the
Vanguard Series 2. The Series 2 rifles retained the best
features of the Vanguard,
with several improvements over the original Vanguard rifles. The
manual safety on the Series 2 is a three-position unit, instead
of the two-position unit on the original Vanguard rifles. The
rear position blocks the trigger and locks the bolt in place.
The mid position still blocks the trigger, but allows the bolt
to be operated for loading and unloading, and the fully-forward
position allows the rifle to fire when the trigger is pressed.
The entire line of Series 2 Vanguard rifles now has Weatherby’s
Sub-MOA guarantee, which guarantees that the rifle with shoot
sub-minute-of-angle (.99 inch) or less at 100 yards using
premium ammunition in the standard chamberings and Weatherby
ammunition in the Weatherby magnum chamberings.
The latest of the excellent S2 rifles is the
Hog Reaper shown here. This is a Vanguard S2, set up perfectly
for hunting in thick brush and heavy timber, but having the
power and flat trajectory for shots over open fields and power
lines as well. The Hog Reaper wears a slender twenty-inch
barrel, measuring 1.2 inches at the receiver, then tapering to
just .56 inch at the muzzle. The Hog Reaper has an overall
length of only 39.75 inches, for quick handling qualities. The
weight on this 308 Winchester version shown here is just
slightly under seven pounds on my scale. The magazine holds five
cartridges, for a loaded capacity of six. One great feature of
the S2 rifles is the superb trigger. The new trigger is a
two-stage match-grade unit, offering a very crisp, precise
trigger pull without sacrificing safety. The trigger pull on the
test rifle released crisply at just barely over two and one-half
pounds, as delivered. Perfect.
The stock of the Hog Reaper differs from the
standard Vanguard S2 stock. The Hog Reaper stock does not have
the soft inserts on the pistol grip and forend, instead having
checkered panels molded into the synthetic one-piece stock. At
first glance, the stock appears to wear a standard camouflaged
finish, but upon closer examination, the camo pattern is made up
of many hog skull images. This gives the Hog Reaper a really
unique appearance, while still being very effectively
camouflaged. The pattern is Proveil Reaper Hog camo, and looks
very good with the matte-black finished steel and aluminum on
this Weatherby rifle.
For all shooting of this Hog Reaper rifle, I
mounted the excellent Leupold VX-II 3 to 9 power scope. This
particular version has a camo pattern, while having no hog skull
images, still matches the look of the rifle very well. The VX-II
has very clear optics and the Leupold Duplex reticle. This scope
fits well with the size, weight, and intended use of the Hog
Reaper, and like all Leupold Golden Ring scopes, is guaranteed
Velocity and accuracy results are listed in
the chart below. Velocity readings were recorded at an elevation
of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 62
degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of forty-seven
percent. Velocity readings are the average of several shots
fired at twelve feet from the muzzle, so actual muzzle
velocities will be slightly higher. Accuracy results are the
average of five, three-shot groups fired at a distance of one
hundred yards. For testing of varmint rifles, I like to use
five-shot groups when possible, but on a hunting/fighting rifle
such as this Hog Reaper, three-shot groups are indicative of the
weapon’s capabilities within the likely use of such a rifle.
Bullet weights are listed in grains. Velocities are listed in
feet-per-second (fps). Group sizes are listed in inches. XLC is
a coated Barnes X bullet. SST and BST are polymer-tipped hunting
bullets. SMK is the Sierra Match King bullet.
|Set Point Custom SMK
|Buffalo Bore Sniper SMK
|Handload Barnes XLC
|Federal Gold Medal
|Federal Soft Point
As indicated in the chart, this rifle is
capable of superb accuracy. The groups shown in the photos are
representative of the rifle’s accuracy, and keep in mind that
these groups were fired using a three to nine power scope, set
at its highest magnification. With a proper high-powered target
scope, and a better shooter, I am sure that the Hog Reaper’s
accuracy would have been even better. However, since this rifle
is a hunting rifle, I tested for accuracy with the hunting scope
in place, and the rifle turned in an excellent performance,
which is a testament to the accuracy of the rifle and the
precision and clarity of that Leupold scope. The Federal 150
grain hunting load shot like a match load from this Hog Reaper,
and would be an excellent choice for whitetail, but I prefer
either a 180 grain cup-and-core bullet, or a solid copper
hollowpoint such as the Barnes TSX for hogs.
The Hog Reaper is a great-handling and very
unique-looking hunting rifle that beat Weatherby’s accuracy
guarantee by a comfortable margin. The Hog Reaper is an
excellent choice for a hunter going into the fields or woods
after any medium game, and would be equally suited as a mountain
rifle, where the shots are long but the terrain calls for a
light, handy rifle.
In addition to the excellent 308 Winchester
chambering, the Hog Reaper is also available chambered for the
223 Remington, 7mm-08, and 243 Winchester cartridges. As of the
date of this review, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price
on the Hog Reaper is $749 US.
Check out the entire line of Weatherby
firearms, ammunition, and accessories online at www.weatherby.com.
For the location of a Weatherby dealer near
you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Hog Reaper online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
For a look at the extensive line of quality
Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
To order quality 308 Winchester caliber
ammunition, go to www.midsouthshooters.com,
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Leupold VX-II 3 to 9 power scope.
Weaver Grand Slam scope rings.
Variety of ammunition tested.
Inc. Model 1000LP rifle rest was used for all accuracy
Left to right: Setpoint 175 SMK; Buffalo Bore 175
SMK; Federal Gold Medal 168 SMK; Winchester 168 BST; Hornady
165 SST; Federal 150 SP; Handlad 168 Barnes XLC.
LaserLyte bore sighter.
Weatherby Hog Reaper easily exceeded Weatherby's