Skip to main content

New Weatherby Backcountry Rifles, 6.5 RPM Cartridge Announced

Weatherby has announced two new rifles — the Backcountry and the Backcountry Ti — and the 6.5 RPM non-belted cartridge, their first non-venturi design.

New Weatherby Backcountry Rifles, 6.5 RPM Cartridge Announced
Weatherby has announced several new rifles, including the Backcountry and Backcountry Ti lightweight hunting rifles. They’re built on the Mark V six-lug action and include several new features not found on previous Weatherby rifles.

Weatherby is just full of big news lately. In August the company had its grand opening at its new Sheridan, Wyoming, headquarters, and about that same time several lucky editors and writers were treated to a closed-door meeting where Adam Weatherby and his staff unveiled several new rifles and a new cartridge.

Weatherby Backcountry and Backcountry Ti Rifles

The two new rifles we’re going to talk about here — the Backcountry and the Backcountry Ti — are based on the renowned Mark V, and both Backcountry guns employ the Mark V six-lug action. Weatherby, a company known throughout its history for innovation, has incorporated a number of new features into these rifles. Stocks are carbon fiber and come with the firm’s new 3D Hex recoil pad, which Weatherby claims outperforms other recoil pads while weighing half as much.

The fire control system incorporates a new TriggerTech Mark V trigger. I got to dry-fire it, and it’s excellent. Both rifles also sport a new slim-line Accubrake ST muzzle brake, and the barrels are threaded 1/2x28.

As the name Backcountry suggests, these are lightweight hunting rifles. To that end, besides the carbon-fiber stock the Backcountry rifles have spiral-fluted bolts (a first for Weatherby), scalloped bolt sleeve and hollowed-out handle. The Backcountry (suggested retail, $2,499) weighs 5.3 pounds in standard calibers and 6.3 pounds in magnums. Courtesy of its titanium action, the Backcountry Ti ($3,349) is a svelte 4.9 pounds in standard calibers and 5.9 in magnums. I hefted them both, and they’re dreamy-light and well-balanced.


The rifles are chambered to 6mm Creedmoor, .240 Weatherby, .257 Weatherby (one of my favorites), 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-300 Weatherby, .270 Weatherby, .280 Ackley Improved, 7mm Weatherby, .300 Weatherby and the brand-spanking-new 6.5 RPM.


Weatherby 6.5 RPM

Weatherby-Backcountry-65-RPM-Cartridge
Weatherby has designed a brand-new cartridge the 6.5 RPM (Rebated Precision Magnum). It’s a non-belted cartridge with little taper and a 35-degree shoulder. Initial loads include (from l.) 127-grain Barnes LRX, 140-grain Hornady InterLock and 140-grain Nosler AccuBond.

RPM stands for Rebated Precision Magnum, and it’s Weatherby’s first non-venturi cartridge design. It’s non-belted and was purpose built for the Mark V six-lug action. You can think of it as essentially a longer 6.5-.284 Norma. It has little body taper and a 35-degree shoulder, and with its rebated rim it is compatible with standard .30-06 bolt faces. Ideal twist rate is 1:8.

Weatherby is offering three loads out of the gate: 127-grain Barnes LRX (muzzle velocity 3,225 fps), 140-grain Nosler AccuBond (3,075) and 140-grain Hornady InterLock (2,975). Feel free to run the numbers yourself, but we’re talking nearly 2,000 ft.-lbs. of energy at 300 yards for the LRX and the AccuBond and nearly 1,800 ft.-lbs. at 300 for the InterLock load. Weatherby’s trajectory figures are based on a 300-yard zero and have 500-yard drops of 23.5, 25.3 and 28.3 inches for, respectively, the LRX, AccuBond and InterLock.

Yes, the 6.5 field is a crowded one, but with the Weatherby name behind it I’d say it stands a good chance of success. And while the Backcountry rifles are on the expensive side, you’ve always paid more for Weatherby rifles, and I think these are real standouts due to all the design features. Put the two together, and I believe Weatherby has accomplished its goal of creating an excellent mountain hunting rifle/cartridge combo.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Frankford Arsenal Single Stage Reloading Press, Aluminum Powder Funnel

New for 2021: Frankford Arsenal Single Stage Reloading Press, Aluminum Powder Funnel

Designed by reloaders for reloaders, the Frankford Arsenal F-1 Single Stage Reloading Press and Aluminum Powder Funnel are some great tools to add to your reloading bench.

New for 2021: Nosler Reloading Guide 9

New for 2021: Nosler Reloading Guide 9

Reloading Guide #9 consists of load data for 101 rifle and handgun cartridges with hundreds of new powder additions throughout the book creating a comprehensive data set for today's reloader.

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

RifleShooter Magazine editor Scott Rupp breaks down all the features of the Mossberg Patriot Predator rifle chambered in 6.5 PRC.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the RifleShooter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Rifle Shooter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All RifleShooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now