Consistent readers may have deduced that I live in a household with several women. Several women who happen to really enjoy guns. As such, I am particularly attuned to the pulse of the firearms industry as it pertains to females. Women are quite literally the future of the shooting sports and the Second Amendment. Figures indicate that as many as 1 in 5 hunters, not just shooters, are female, and you may not be aware, if you haven’t taken stock lately, but females account for right around half of the population.
You may have also noticed somewhere along the way that women are physically different from men. Not only does the average female trend toward smaller height, weight, and size than the average male, they are proportioned differently. Up to now however, making a firearm for women has generally been a “shrink it and pink it” affair. This is a disservice to women. First not every female wants a pink gun (some do, and that is great). Secondly, women are not simply smaller versions of men. Typically women have a choice between a firearm designed for a man or a firearm designed for a child. Female physiology differs from the average male’s (and adolescent’s) in several important aspects as it relates to how a rifle fits.
One company that has set out to actually do something about this is Weatherby. Weatherby is a legendary name in the firearms industry. The company is best known for the high-powered Magnum cartridges that carry the Weatherby name. Founder Roy Weatherby was always at the forefront of designing faster, better magnum cartridges, and the rifles that could handle them and look elegant doing it. For those of us who grew up reading paper gun magazines the name Weatherby conjures up pictures of hunting in the Western plains, the Rockies, and the wilds of Africa. A Weatherby was, and is, something special not just some average deer rifle your buddy used to hunt whitetails with. No, a man with a Weatherby was a man of distinction, he appreciated the finer things in life. Mr Weatherby’s wife, Camilla, literally sold the farm in Kansas to help get Weatherby Inc. off the ground. The company began in Southern California, but will soon relocate to Sheridan, Wyoming. Weatherby continues to build some of the nicest production rifles on the market.
Back in 2015 Weatherby began the project to build a gun designed by women for women. Starting with their proven Vanguard 2 Action, they began to garner feedback from some of the industry’s top female shooters. They would send out a stock, take feedback, make changes, and do it again. They did that until they felt they had it right and released the Camilla, named after Mr Weatherby’s wife.
What they have come up with is a rifle “designed by women, but built by Weatherby”. It appears that they have succeeded better than anyone could have hoped. The core of the Camilla is the Weatherby Vanguard 2 action. A modified mauser style, flat bottom, machined action and cold forged steel barrel. Every Camilla comes with a sub M.O.A. 3 shot guarantee. Where the Camilla really differs from other Weatherby Vanguard 2’s is in the stock. First it is Fine Turkish Walnut, made in Italy, not polymer, attractively checkered with a fleur-de-lis pattern, and has rosewood grip and butt caps (not plastic) all of which is satin finished. That is very, very, nice, but still not the best part. The best part is that that stock is specifically shaped to fit a woman. For a woman’s smaller hands and fingers the stock has a slimmer grip with a sharper grip angle than standard creating a shorter trigger reach. The Camilla has a slimmer foregrip and, thin profile 20”, barrel to lessen forward weigh and fit the hand better. The stock has a shorter length of pull to go along with a females typically shorter arm length. The rear of the stock has a higher comb allowing longer slimmer necks to get a proper cheek-weld and eye position on the sights creating a better more consistent sight picture with less effort. The stock also features a thinner recoil pad, and is actually slightly twisted (emphasized cast-off) with a negative canted toe angle which all contribute to a stock contour that better fits a woman’s upper body physiology.
Put it all together and the Camilla’s stock simply fits a woman’s chest and shoulder better than most other guns. A rifle that fits better to the shooter, allowing the shooter to position their body properly behind the gun, will result in less felt recoil which helps accuracy and creates smiles.
It is all executed elegantly and beautifully like a Weatherby should be. It comes in standard calibers of .243 Win, 7mm-08, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. All are serious, proven calibers that will anchor all but the largest or most fearsome animals in the world without punishing the shooter with excessive recoil. The Camilla comes with a 13-inch length-of-pull, 20-inch blued barrel, 5+1 magazine capacity (4+1 for the Creedmoor), fluted bolt, a user adjustable trigger, and weighs around 6.5 pounds.
Ladies, this is not your Daddy’s rifle; he probably never had one nearly this nice. These semi-custom rifles are not nearly as unattainable as you might think, in fact they are INCREDIBLY competitively priced and completely within reach of the average shooter.
Get yours at Liberty Tree Guns, Eli and the Gang can set you up!