Has anyone bought a Howa rifle in the last year?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bigfellascott, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. bigfellascott

    bigfellascott Active Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    I'm just wondering if anyone has bought a Howa in the last year? If so are you happy with it, does it shoot, do you have any issues at all with it?

    The reason I ask is I'm getting one in 22.250 HB and have heard there may be quality issues re the barrels and bolts?

    So I thought I would put it out there and see what you guys who have bought within the last year have to say about them.

  2. Daryl licht

    Daryl licht Active Member

    Sep 1, 2012
    Just picked up a .308 with a 20 inch fluted barrel. Put a zeis 4 x 14 scope on it and with federal fusion ammo in 150 gn. I'm getting 1/2 to 3/4 inch five shot groups at 100 yd., and that's just breaking the barrel in. The bolts based on the old Mauser extractor and is as sure as hell. The trigger is absolutely phenomenal. Ill be using it mainly on hogs here on the ranch in Texas and it will spend most of its life getting beat up in a four wheeler. Saw no reason to spend hundreds more with little hope getting anything better at least not for my purposes. Most of my shots will be between 50 and 800 yds so I don't need anything that shoots better than this howa especially once I work up some good hand loads for it. Accuracy is all subjective anyhow. I was on Pershing nuclear missiles back in the early seventies and even then we could put a 30 kiloton warhead within 10 yds of ground 0 and that was at 2000 miles...one shot a hundred thousand kills.

  3. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    A friend just picked up a 223 with the Axiom stock. He loves it and it is shooting exceptionally well.
  4. glewis

    glewis Member

    Sep 5, 2012
    I just purchased a 20" heavy barrelled 308 with the Hogue stock. I'm impressed with the quality of fit and finish. It's heavy, but shoots better than I'm capable. Its got the 2-stage trigger that breaks cleanly at around 2-3/4 lbs. The stock is free floated and pillar bedded. I'm still working on consistency in bench rest set-up and basic shooting technique, but I occasionally get moa/sub moa results. I'm definitely learning its set up and the guy pulling the trigger. I researched the rifle a good bit prior to purchasing and I feel real good about the decision. I also picked up a left-over Weatherby HB-ST in 308 not too long ago. I replaced the stock with a fully aluminum bedded Hogue stock. It has the old 2 position safety and the factory trigger breaks around 3-1/2 lbs. It's a fine product as well with similar if not better results at the range. My thinking is you'd be satified with the Vanguard series 2 as well. I followed the Howa barrel break-in recommendation with both rifles.
  5. BiG tRaV aus

    BiG tRaV aus Member

    Jul 19, 2013
    Hi all this is my first post on the forum and yes I know it is on an old thread, but was just doing some reading up as I am looking at buying/building a 25 06 in the near future and was looking for info regarding howas. I have heard mixed reports about them since they started to become a mainstream in australia. the majority of the bad reports I have heard about them are from people who have little idea of how to properly set up a rifle, and some of the issues related more to the selected optics the aforementioned put atop them. like all brands out there you get good and bad depending on many factors throughout manufacture and assembly. Although I haven't looked at any howas in recent times, in the past the level of finish reflected the pricetag and was not as good as some of the other more expensive brands but was perfectly functional and practical, lets face it most of these are rifles that will get a bit of abuse in their lifetime, not a range gun which will be cared for with kid gloves.

    Anyway the experiences I have had with them have been that they are a good honest shooter right out of the box and with a bit of work can be made into a very good accurate rifle with little but a bit of time and attention to detail. I have several mates who own them in all kinds of calibers and all are happy with them. The biggest complaints I have heard from friends and relatives were to do with bedding and floating of barrels in the stock(occasional interference when new between barrel and stock, easily fixed with a little sanding.) My cousin is a professional vermin shooter and has pretty much exclusively shifted to howas as his rifle fodder, and has been using them for many years. A lot of his work used to be with 17 remingtons and 22-250s and he would pretty much load as hot as he was able to thus he would replace barrels very regularly in his more expensive actions (as many as 4 or 5 barrels per year) after switching to the howas he regularly gets barrels that will outlast many of his replacement barrels, and now rather than replace barrels he just replaces rifles, as with trade in it costs about the same.

    Anyway hope my first post has been useful to those out there considering one.

    basically they are an economy rifle built to suit a market that can be easily modified into a very accurate rifle, they are intended to be a NO FRILLS kind of rifle designed to do the job, and they are reputed to have good barrels.
  6. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Howa,.. yeah I remember that, got one 4 years ago, never again... Good thing gun store owner refund me money when repair shop told him how long it will take to fix its issues. The main issue, it couldn't hit anything at 100 yards, I wasn't able to sighted because I was getting 5 - 6 inch spread... So go figure "Howa" ;-)
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    I bought a S&W M1500 (Howa) 7 RM in 82 and it was a .5 - 1 MOA shooter out of the box. Bought another S&W and a Vanguard (also Howa) for donners for a couple of projects. Just picked one of them up today. Bought a Vanguard SII a couple of months ago in 223 and am very happy with it. I had to sand out the barrel channel to float it and it's shooting 53 gr VMax's over Varget @ 1/2 MOA. This is with various headstamp mil spec brass. It has a 2 stage, 3 postion loack safety trigger that breaks very cleanly at just under 3 lbs which is the only thing I am not completely happy with. I'm going to try to get it a little lower. If I can't, I'll get a Timney 3 postion trigger for it but for now the factory trigger works just fine. When I went to break it in using the 1 shot and clean method, I found a little carbon fouling and no copper fouling after a couple of 1 shot and 3 shot strings with no copper, I did a 15 shot string and only found a slight bit of copper on the first patch. Went out in the field shooting gophers and rocks and put about 50 rounds through it, and again only a little copper on the first patch. This is using Bore Tech Eliminator and CU+2 which are the best cleaning/copper solvents out there.

    Jinx, not sure what's wrong with yours but every now and than you'll get a lemon when it comes to factory rifles. I've got a SAKO M85 Finnlight that cost 3x what a Vanguard or Howa cost and it shoots a very inconsistent 2-4 MOA. It will soon get a new barrel and stock.