Just in case you’re too young to remember, Roy Weatherby was an innovative cartridge designer who developed a series of hot, powerful magnums in the mid-20th century. Originally, these cartridges were housed in rifles built by other manufacturers, but by the 1950s Weatherby decided that if he designed his own line of cartridges he could design a rifle to handle them, and the Mark V was born.
Besides having a number of specialized safety features to protect the shooter (nine locking lugs, gas vents in the bolt and a full shroud), the Mark V also had its own design aesthetic. The California walnut stocks bore a high-gloss finish, a Monte Carlo stock, white line spacers and rosewood fore-ends and grip caps. It was dramatic styling for a dramatic gun, and soon Weatherby was known as much for good-looking rifles as it was for hard-hitting cartridges.
The Mark V has held up well for almost six decades, and the rifles still have a loyal following. But times have changed, and so have the desires of the shooting public. More first-time gun buyers are looking for something to shoot, and many of them don’t want to spend the kind of money that it takes to become the owner of a brand new Mark V.