Introduced in 1957, the Weatherby Mark V is one of the few sporting rifles that has been produced continuously for more than half a century and maintains its number one spot. The Mark V has been Weatherby’s flagship rifle since that time, with an excellent reputation for accuracy and reliability and for featuring an ultra-strong action. Although the heart of the Mark V (its operation) is mostly the same, Weatherby has constantly updated the platform. Recent notable additions to the Mark V line are the Mark V Backcountry Ti and Backcountry 2.0 (which we showed off in our 2022 test guns). Another (albeit less significant) introduction in late 2021 is the Mark V Hunter. The Hunter is the most affordable rifle in the Mark V family and is a great value for a quality rifle.
- Cartridge: .270 Win.
- Capacity: 5 + 1 rounds
- Weight: 6 pounds, 2 ounces (weighed)
- Receiver: Mark V six-barrel receiver (nine holes for magnum movements)
- Receiver finish: Cobalt Cerakote
- Bolt: Six-head, single-piston ejector, M-16 extractor, fluted body, oversized bolt handle, black Cerakote graphite finish
- Barrel: 24 inches, 1:10 twist
- Muzzle: Hollow crown, threaded 1/2″ x 28″, thread guard included
- Optics Mount: Drilled, tapped receiver
- Stock: New Mark V Advanced Polymer Stock, in gray with an urban finish and black
- Overall length: 45 in
- Trigger: Trigger Tech Trigger, curved shoe, 3 pounds, 2 ounces (measured)
- Price: $1,349
Weatherby Mark V Hunter nuts and bolts
Six and nine loop actions
At its core, the Mark V Hunter is just a Brand V. If you have a history with Weatherby rifles, you know what that means. For everyone else, the Mark V movement is a very robust push-feed design that features either six or nine lugs (depending on the size of the movement) and an extremely short 54-degree bolt throw.
Unlike some other actions, the lugs on the Mark V are small. It is common to see two- and three-lug push-feeds, but usually the lugs protrude beyond the outer dimensions of the bolt and slide back and forth in the raceway channels cut into the receiver. The Mark V locking lugs are very similar to the screw thread sections. Its outside diameter matches the bolt’s overall diameter, and the front of the bolt is machined to a smaller diameter to allow for this. Nine-lug actions have three rows of three lugs, while six-lug actions have two rows. The bolt face is hollow, locking the case head in and, when locked, is a solid connection.
The Mark V Hunter I received was chambered in .270 Win. It has a work of six arms. The rifle is available in nine barrels chambered for .300 Weatherby Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum, 7mm Weatherby Magnum and 7mm Remington Magnum. It is available in a variety of Weatherby cartridges and standard cartridges in a six-bar action.
The most notable difference between the two procedures is the weight. The nine-lug action is a beast. Designed to handle high-pressure Weatherby Magnum cartridges, the gun weighs just over a pound. The .270 six-lug I tested was relatively light, easy to use, and comfortable to carry. It is also excellent in a cartridge such as the 6.5 Wby. round per minute. The bolt is fluted, and the oversized bolt body and knob are finished in black Cerakote. The movement body and lower part are finished in metal in Cobalt Cerakote.
The Mark V hunter uses an externally adjustable TriggerTech trigger—but you probably won’t need to touch it. Mine came in at just over three pounds and broke great.
My Mark V Hunter sample in .270 has a 24-inch barrel finished in Cobalt Cerakote. It is the #1 lightweight sidearm barrel without a flute. It is slightly heavier than the Mark V Backcountry steel barrel. It has a 1:10-inch wrap, well-protected target crown and comfortable fit. The muzzle is 1/2″ x 28″ threaded for brake or caliper use and comes with a thread guard.
Weatherby makes its own coatings and string protectors in-house. Weatherby string guards feature a snug, seamless fit. In fact, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the muzzle is threaded in the first place.
A suppressor is often a great hunting accessory, but note that a heavy suppressor will likely cause a significant shift in the point of impact of this rifle—simply because the barrel is so thin. A purpose-built lightweight suppressor such as the AB Raptor titanium would be ideal for this rifle.
The only departure the Mark V Hunter makes from the traditional Mark V line is with its stock. The Mark V Hunter has what appears to be an injection-molded polymer stock, rather than the foam compound stock that other models like the Mark V Weathermark have. It’s comfortable and feels solid, with a solid toe. Some molded polymer stocks have a hollow sound and this sound is not felt. This stock has a beautiful texture molded on both the grip and sides of the forend. It has a simple but beautiful paint job. The gray stock is speckled with faded gray and black flecks that I love—but it’s a bit like a “roll and spray” garage floor finish at the hardware store.
The stock has the classic Weatherby forefoot that ends in a distinctive angle. However, the butt of the stock lacks the typical Monte Carlo-style cheek piece. It is shaped like a Mark V Backcountry rifle stock and features a gently curved reverse comb. With this profile, the top of the arrow is not hit by the shooter’s cheek with heavy recoil.
A feature that shooters may like is the grip, which has a swell in the palm and the hand is lined up nicely for placing a finger on the trigger. The arrow flutes (above the fist and in front of the instep) are deep, and allow the archer to place their thumb comfortably along the top of the wrist and next to the tang. Grip profiles like this allow for a consistent and comfortable trigger pull, and quicker access to the bolt than wrapping your thumb around the back of the stock. You’ll see grip profiles like this on hunting rifle stocks like Gunwerks, ClymR, and others.
Some Weatherby Mark Vs come with full beds or have bedding sets. It doesn’t have the Mark V Hunter, but it does have aluminum bedposts and some glass bedding around the recoil knob and forward action screw. The barrel on my sample was almost completely floated back into action. The barrel in my two port samples is preferred and does not sit evenly in the stock barrel channel, but it does make contact.
I’ve read comments from customers having the barrel make contact with one side or the other of the stock, but I think it may just be an issue making sure it is lined up correctly before torqueing the forward action screw. It’s a detail Weatherby includes in its user manual, and it seems to make a difference.
Overall, the stock’s metallic fit is great for an expectant polymer stock. There is no visible gap or dip between the receiver and the stock on top, even around the tang. There is a bit of excess space in a couple of places around the bottom metal, but that’s just a nitpick.
Handle and shoot the Weatherby Mark V Hunter
I found the Mark V Hunter to be comfortable to hold and quick to shoot and operate. I like the ergonomics of the Backcountry 2.0 stock, and I think they were wise to mimic the ergonomics of a more affordable option. The .270 six-lug action is light yet tough on the shoulder. I think this is where this rifle really shines, and it would be an excellent field rifle in this class of cartridge. Based on the Mark V Weathermark’s larger, heavier nine-bar feel, I think I’d recommend sticking with the six-lug. It strikes a nice balance of power and finesse.
The grip allows for a comfortable and repeatable trigger pull and I admire the reverse comb on the stock. The bolt throw is short, and it allows you to spin quickly and with authority. With the two Cerakote finishes of the receiver and bolt resting on top of each other, the bolt can feel a little sticky when dry. A little oil helps smooth it out, but it won’t look like steel-on-steel work.
Like the rest of its breed, the Mark V Hunter comes with Weatherby’s 3-shot MOA accuracy guarantee. I spent a lot of time shooting this rifle and scored 34 five-shot groups. We have high standards when it comes to accuracy testing of guns with factory ammo, and we use five-shot groups, not three. For accuracy scores, I have two numbers. First, the average group size in the first 10 groups the gun fired. This gives us a good idea of the kind of accuracy the rifle is capable of replicating. Second, the overall average group size gives a realistic picture of the kind of accuracy you can expect across a variety of ammo.
Average of top ten five-shot groups: 1.17 inches
Average of all five-shot groups: 1.78 inches
While I haven’t specifically recorded three-shot groups, I’ve noticed that with quality ammo the gun will typically print the first three shots at or under an inch at 100 yards. Then, the barrel will be hot enough to spread out the impacts a bit. The most accurate ammunition for this rifle was the Hornady Precision Hunter 145-grain ELDX, followed by the Remington 130-grain Core-Lokt Tipped, and the Federal Premium 130-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip.
The .270 Winchester isn’t exactly the most accurate chamber when it comes to factory ammo, but the Mark V Hunter shot it well—especially for its barrel weight.
What the Weatherby Mark V Hunter does well
The Weatherby Mark V Hunter offers an original Mark V action, a good stock with modern ergonomics, durable finishes, and good accuracy—all for a price lower than any Mark V. It’s a quality hunting rifle that will last.
What could the Weatherby Mark V Hunter do better
I’d like to see the barrel fit evenly into the barrel channel of the stock. I also think switching to hex action screws or a torx head would be nice. It will make it a little easier to rotate without distorting or damaging the screw heads.
Final thoughts on the Weatherby Mark V Hunter
This is a good gun at a good price. Although the MSRP is $1,500, you can find it retailing for $1,350. It almost made the $1,200 cut for my mid-price rifle test this fall and it shot very well for a factory .270. It outperformed everything in this test with hunting ammunition and similar barrel weights.
Mark V rifles don’t come cheap, but this is the most attainable model yet. It sacrifices no meaningful attributes for value, and is a great all-around hunting rifle. It’s light enough to pack for sheep hunting, and its paint and materials will weather the worst Kodiak rainstorms. If you’re interested in getting a Mark V, but don’t need a flashy one, this is an excellent option.