Only a handful of American-made bolt-action rifles have been in continuous production since the mid-20th century, and the Weatherby Mark V is one of them. In today's market of ultra-accurate, feature-loaded budget rifles, the not-so-cheap Mark V (retail prices start at $1,500) remains a viable and attractive offering in large part because the company recognized the quality of the rifle's ultra-reliable nine-lug action and its accuracy capabilities.
Over time, Weatherby has added new updates to the Mark V. For example, take the Weatherby Terramark RC. Aesthetically, it's a far cry from the original Mark Vs and their high-gloss walnut stocks, rosewood inserts and long, blued barrels. But at its heart, the Weatherby Terramark is still a Mark V, with the very same push-feed action that made the original gun so popular.
It still has a long barrel to accommodate the company's hard-hitting line of magnum cartridges, still has the same familiar stock profile. But the Weatherby Terramark RC is not riding on the coattails of the guns that came before it, nor is it a gun that sells based upon nostalgia. It has taken all of the features that made the original Mark V so popular and packaged them in an ultra-modern, updated turnbolt rifle for the next generation of Weatherby shooters.
The Weatherby Terramark RC shares the one-piece forged and machined bolt of its ancestors with nine locking lugs for a secure lockup. The bolt is fluted and ported, and it features a short 54-degree lift. The lugs are the same size as the bolt body, so bolt stroke is smooth and solid.
The cartridge is surrounded by three rings of steel: the recessed bolt face, the barrel and the one-piece steel receiver. The bolt body is fully enclosed to prevent gases from spewing back into the shooter's face in the event of a rupture, and a large, easily visible cocking indicator protrudes from beneath the rear of the enclosed bolt.
The rocker-style two-position safety is located on the right rear of the receiver, and the direct striker intervention safety adds an additional level of security. The adjustable trigger is factory tuned and breaks cleanly without overtravel or creep, something that set the Mark Vs apart long before the current trigger renaissance.
The Weatherby Terramark RC adds additional updates to the standard Mark V rifle. It shares the same stock profile, with its high Monte Carlo comb, but the composite stock is hand-laminated and is covered with a matte gel coat finish and features a desert camo pattern. The receiver, bolt, trigger guard, bottom metal and barrel flutes are treated with a Cerakote finish in flat dark earth, while the exterior of the barrel is stainless steel.
At 8.75 pounds, it's a heavy gun, and you're not going to be lugging it up mountains.
It's available in a variety of calibers, from .240 Wby. to .338 Lapua and .338-378 Wby. Since it is a Range Certified model (hence the RC designation), the Weatherby Terramark RC is guaranteed to shoot 0.99-inch or better groups at 100 yards with Weatherby or premium ammunition and comes with a test target signed by Ed Weatherby.
The Weatherby Terramark RC I tested was chambered in .257 Wby. Mag. and was topped with Burris's new Veracity 2-10x42 scope with front focal plane reticle and side adjust parallax — a serious long-range optic that was a natural fit for the Terramark.
By the time I'd set up to start the accuracy testing, several shooters had gathered to see what I had — a testament to the fact the original Mark Vs with their glossy walnut Monte Carlo stocks were head-turners. And this modern update gets plenty of attention from rifle fans.
It also shoots very well. After the onlookers moved off, I had a chance to see just how well the Terramark shot. For this test, I used Weatherby's 80-grain Barnes TTSX and 120-grain Nosler Partition and Nosler's Trophy Grade 110-grain AccuBond. The loads ranged in velocity from a manufacturer's claim of 3,305 fps for the 120-grain Partition to almost 3,900 fps for the 80-grain TTSX.
The results at the range weren't disappointing. A few groups stretched over an inch, but all three loads averaged sub-m.o.a. accuracy — meeting the RC guarantee. I had no feeding, extraction or ejection issues, and the large-diameter bolt runs smoothly in the receiver without much slop.
The Weatherby Terramark has a suggested retail approaching $3,000. There are those who will decry that the Terramark RC is simply an Accumark RC with a different stock and finish — which it is — but that's not a bad thing. (If Weatherby built a Mark V with Mandarin orange metalwork and a lavender stock, it would still shoot well.) The Weatherby Terramark RC isn't a gun for everyone, but for those who are looking for a serious long-range rifle built to a high standard and have the means to buy one, this is a good rifle.