Weatherby Backcountry 2.0: The Ideal Backcountry Rifle?

Weatherby’s brand-new Mark V Backcountry 2.0 is the next generation of lightweight, flat-shooting rifles designed for the demands of the backcountry.

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Weatherby Backcountry 2.0: The Ideal Backcountry Rifle?

For many hunters, a rifle is an intensely personal thing. While some will buy whatever gun is on sale and shoot it in all big-game applications for the rest of their life, others invest considerable time and money searching for that Goldilocks rifle: Not too big, not too small, not too powerful, but just right.

And what does “just right” mean for a hunter? It’s an entire matrix of qualities, which makes the hunt for the elusive “ideal rifle” equal parts exciting and frustrating. The ideal rifle needs to come chambered for a cartridge that’s appropriate for the intended use. It can’t weigh so much that it’s burdensome to carry, but the weight has to be balanced to keep recoil manageable. Of course, it needs to be accurate and functional, with a good trigger. If it looks attractive, all the better. And the kicker? For some hunters, when they change quarry or intended use, the “ideal rifle” changes. That’s why we own more than one, right?

If you’re primarily a treestand whitetail hunter, you have a lot of leeway in what constitutes your ideal rifle. Any one of a hundred calibers will be appropriate, and while you still want a good trigger, you’re not too concerned about weight or length. You’re a generalist, and a generalist rifle serves you very well.

But backcountry hunters are specialists, requiring specialist rifles. If you’re a backcountry hunter in pursuit of elk, sheep, mountain goats or any hard-to-reach species, a generalist gun won’t tick the boxes on the “ideal rifle” checklist. What you need is a rifle that can withstand the elements, and because you might be shooting at longer distances, you need a fast, hot chambering that shoots flatter trajectories while still carrying lethal force at distance. And because you’ll be packing gear, climbing mountains and covering many miles a day, every ounce of weight savings will count, so you want a lightweight rifle you can carry without undue fatigue.

Weatherby has your answer in the Mark V Backcountry 2.0, the next generation in the Mark V Backcountry line. It’s built around the legendary Weatherby Mark V action in titanium or steel, and thanks to a Peak 44 Blacktooth carbon fiber stock — the lightest production carbon fiber stock on the market — the gun weighs in starting at just 4.7 pounds. Paired with Weatherby’s lightweight fluted #1 or #2 carbon steel barrel or with the BSF tensioned carbon fiber barrel (which we’ve previously seen on the Mark V Carbonmark and which set a new Weatherby company accuracy record this year), the Blacktooth stock and other weight-saving features make this gun astonishingly light and easy to carry. The Mark V Backcountry 2.0 comes in four configurations and a number of chamberings, including the hot .30-378 Wby. Mag. and the perennially popular .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor. Bottom line: This is a super lightweight rifle chambered for the hot rounds backcountry hunters need.

Fast chamberings in a lightweight gun are a classic recipe for recoil — and that just doesn’t fit our “ideal rifle” criteria. Fortunately, Weatherby has mitigated that with a couple of cool features, including the stock itself. The Blacktooth stock, which weighs less than 20 ounces depending on the model, uses a Rock Solid Carbon Link Bedding System that distributes recoil evenly throughout the stock, allowing it to be both lighter and stiffer than a traditional stock. On top of that, Weatherby invested years of development to create a new recoil pad, called the 3DHEX. It’s 3D printed and uses a 3D honeycomb pattern of collapsible voids, which draws out the time component of recoil. Though it won’t really be perceptible to the shooter, this longer recoil period takes away the sharp punch of all-at-once recoil, greatly reducing felt recoil even with some of the fastest cartridges on the market. An Accubrake ST muzzle brake redirects gasses at the muzzle to further reduce recoil. It all adds up to a lightweight rifle that’s surprisingly easy to manage and shoot.

Weatherby's Backcountry 2.0 Ti
Weatherby's Backcountry 2.0 Ti

A deeply fluted bolt and a skeletonized removable bolt handle contribute to the weight savings on the Mark V Backcountry 2.0, and the crisp, single-stage TriggerTech trigger is adjustable from 2.5 to 5 pounds, incorporating TriggerTech’s Dynamic Overtravel and Zero Creep Technology. Adjustability is simple and fail-safe, and TRK Technology further minimizes overtravel and allows for a short but tactile reset.

And although looks aren’t at the top of our “ideal rifle” must-haves — function and durability top that list, without question — Weatherby has given the Backcountry 2.0 a unique paint scheme, Cerakoting all metalwork to keep the gun protected from the sometimes harsh backcountry conditions. You can even get the Mark V Backcountry 2.0 in a left-handed version in some magnum chamberings!

An exceptionally lightweight and practical rifle in hot chamberings, with superb recoil management features and the craftsmanship that comes with the Weatherby name — what more could a backcountry hunter ask for? For more information on the Mark V Backcountry 2.0, visit


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