Leaked Photos: Check Out Weatherby's Secret Mark V Rifle

An anonymous source at Weatherby leaked us these photos of a prototype rifle that you aren't supposed to know about. No press release has been issued, company distributors haven't been alerted and, as they read this, many Weatherby employees are probably seeing the rifle for the first time.

So what exactly is the blued/composite rifle that Mr. Khaki Pants is carrying down the hallway of Weatherby headquarters?

"You realize this could get me fired, right?" my source said. "All I can tell you is that it's a new Mark V rifle, and unlike the last few generations of Mark V's, it's going to be made at company headquarters in Paso Robles, California."

The Mark V has been produced in Brainerd, Minn., since 1999. But since its introduction in 1958, its has been manufactured as far away as Japan and Germany. But Weatherby execs evidently want to more closely observe its machining. So, while gun manufacturers increasingly move factories overseas or cave to the lowest U.S. bidder, expect Weatherby to shift production of its flagship line to the company HQ. Gotta love that.

Based on company history, I don't foresee drastic changes to the venerable Mark V, but a few iterations are always necessary to excite the consumer base. Whatever they are, my source isn't talking.

What changes do you predict for the new Mark V? Are you more likely to buy a California-built Weatherby?