Hardware: Weatherby Vanguard Camilla

posted on February 5, 2017

The number of female hunters has dramatically increased over the last decade. According to the most recent data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in 2013 women made up roughly one-fifth of the hunting population—an 85 percent increase since 2001. Regardless of gender, all hunters know that selecting the right rifle is key. When it comes to choosing one to hunt with, however, many women feel that their options are fairly limited. With that said, Weatherby’s new Vanguard Camilla will be a more-than-welcome breath of fresh air to female hunters.

With the recent launch of its Women of Weatherby campaign, the company has committed to providing women with essential information, tools and valuable opportunities to maximize their outdoor experience. In addition, Weatherby spent the last two years crafting its first female-specific hunting rifle. Designed by a select team of women hunters and shooters, but using measurements and suggestions from women all over the world, Weatherby was sure to pay close attention to what features were most important to women when choosing a rifle—whether they were a lifelong hunter or just looking to get started. The end result was the Vanguard Camilla, named after the wife of company founder Roy Weatherby.

With an MSRP of $849, the new bolt-action rifle is currently available in .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. Built on Weatherby’s best-selling Vanguard platform, it comes with many of that line’s much-loved standard features. The two-stage trigger is adjustable for pull weight down to 2.5 pounds. The trigger in my sample rifle broke at a crisp 3.5 pounds, which felt fine to me. The three-position safety is located on the right side of the action, immediately behind the bolt handle. In its middle position, the safety blocks the sear and unlocks the bolt, allowing the shooter to cycle the action with the safety engaged. The 20-inch blued barrel is cold hammer forged.

The most notable and unique aspect of the Camilla is the buttstock, which has been designed to fit a wide variety of women. In addition to a shorter-than-standard length of pull of 13 inches, other parts of the stock are reduced in size as well. For example, the recoil pad is smaller, and the pistol grip is slim and angled to shorten the reach to the trigger.

But Weatherby did more than just shrink the buttstock. Its shape has an emphasized cast-off, and its toe is canted forward—all to better suit the upper female anatomy. A high comb accommodates women’s proportionally longer necks for more comfort and better eye-to-scope alignment. The pistol grip features a right-side palm swell for confident, consistent trigger contact and control. (Left-handed shooters are currently out of luck.) A slimmer fore-end reduces weight and bulk to allow for quick, easy handling.

These features made the Vanguard Camilla extremely comfortable for me to shoot. I noticed the difference immediately upon shouldering the rifle for the first time, and the buttstock design quickly became my favorite aspect of the rifle. And since we are talking about a rifle built for ladies, it’s also worth noting that while other Vanguard stocks are synthetic, the Camilla stock is an elegant satin-finish grade-A Turkish walnut that features fleur-de-lis checkering with rosewood fore-end and grip caps.

As a young female hunter, I grew up shooting what was handed to me by either my dad or uncle, so I certainly was eager to try out the Camilla. From the bench, I noticed the bolt to be extremely smooth with zero hangups. The effort required to lift the bolt handle and unlock the two-lug bolt was minimal, especially beyond the halfway point. I appreciated the quick, snappy bolt throw at the range and in the field, as it made cycling struggle-free. Recoil wasn’t difficult to control, though I didn’t expect much from a .243.

After sighting in, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to settle for anything ill-fitting from here on out. I am 5 feet 5 inches tall, and therefore the 13-inch length of pull and shorter grip-to-trigger reach felt unusually natural to me. At the beginning of the hunting season in Virginia, I became even more fond of the rifle’s light 6.5-pound weight when I dropped the biggest buck of my life, a 170-pound 8-point, with a single offhand shot at 115 yards.

In a nutshell, the rifle was both accurate and exceedingly comfortable to shoot, which makes all the difference when it comes to confidence in the field. Whether you’re a woman in the market for a hunting rifle or a guy looking to purchase one for a special female hunter in your life, Weatherby’s thoughtful design and classy aesthetics make the Vanguard Camilla an excellent choice.

Type: bolt-action centerfire rifle
Caliber: .243 Win. (tested), 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem., .308 Win.
Barrel: 20"; cold-hammer-forged chrome-moly steel; 6 grooves, 1:10" twist
Trigger: two-stage, user-adjustable; 3.5-lb. pull weight
Magazine: internal box w/hinged floorplate; 5-rnd. capacity
Sights: none, receiver drilled and tapped for scope bases
Safety: three-position toggle
Stock: Monte Carlo; A-grade Turkish walnut; LOP 13"; drop at comb 7/8"; drop at heel 2¼"
Metal Finish: matte blued
Overall Length: 39.5"
Weight: 6.5 lbs.
MSRP: $849


MAIN R1000
MAIN R1000

Rogue Introduces R1000 E-Bike

Rogue Ridge’s RG1000 is the company’s fastest fat-tire e-bike so far. Equipped with a 1,000-watt motor and a 13 amp hour battery, the RG1000 has enough power to handle even steep hillsides.

First Look: Coldfjall Hunting Clothing from Code of Silence

Code of Silence has announced the release of its Coldfjall line of hunting clothing, granting hunters extreme warmth and concealment without unnecessary bulk or noise.

The Ones That Got Away: Bucks That Haunt My Dreams

Do you toss and turn late at night over memories of bucks that got away? Our man does, too. Here are a handful of sleep-robbing tales of bucks that never even gave him a shot.

Cupped Waterfowl Releases Hen Hustler Mallard Call

Cupped Waterfowl’s Hen Hustler can help hunters of all skill levels call in ducks.

Savage Arms Introduces New 110 Carbon Predator

Savage Arms has introduced the newest member of the Model 110 bolt action rifle family, the 110 Carbon Predator. Built to withstand the elements and perform when it matters, this rifle features everything needed to pursue predators far into the field.

Field Tested: Muddy Odyssey XLT Treestand

Contributor Frank Melloni takes the Muddy Odyssey XLT Treestand out for a test-drive to determine how well the features on the stable ladder stand perform in the field.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.