Howa 1500 Questions in .223 Questions

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by jaredagreen, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. jaredagreen

    jaredagreen New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    I recently purchased a thumbole stock Howa 1500 with a bull barrel in .223 caliber. I am trying to figure out what all size bullets I can shoot through it. Someone told me that it depens on the twist of your barrel but I cannot find this information anywhere. I'm not sure if I can shoot 55 gr, 75 gr, or what. Can you guys please help me out!

    Does anyone know what twist my barrel is? I found somewhere online that it is 1 in 12" twist....can anyone verify? If it is 1 in 12", what size bullets can I shoot?

    In addition, can you give reccommendations on what the most accurate cartridge and/or bullet has been for you. I would like to begin reloading in the future so I'm trying to figure out what would might be the best place to start. Any information is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jared
     
  2. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    853
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    you can check the twist yourself with a cleaning rod.
    put a brush on a rod, then put masking tape on the rod and scribe a line down the rod parralel with it.
    shove the rod into the barrel,
    mark the tape where it lines up with the rear of the action, with the parralel line in the up position,
    then push the rod into the barrel untill it rotates one turn, and line is in up position
    mark again at rear of action,
    remove rod and measure between the two marks along the parralel line. if for example its 9", you have a 1in 9 twist.
    as a general rule a faster twist will allow for heavier bullets
     

  3. jaredagreen

    jaredagreen New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Thanks! I found out online that it's a 1 in 12" twist. Given that, what size bullets can I shoot? I want to find a good accurate bullet for hunting and target shooting out to about 300-400 yards
     
  4. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    853
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    i would still advise you to check it yourself. with a 12 twist you will probably need to use bullets of 55 grains or so. some of those light blitz bullets are devestating on varmits at those distances.
     
  5. jaredagreen

    jaredagreen New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    YoBuck -

    Thanks for the information. Can I shoot 65 grain bullets out of this gun with 1 in 12 twist? I assumed a 65 grain bullet would be more accurate at long distances than a 55 or 45...is this true?
     
  6. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    I have had the Howa Varmiter suprem for over 4 years and love it. I dropped in a timeny trigger, and beded it.(if your trying to learn to bed its pretty easy).

    For loads, It shot the 52 Serria HPBT really well, The 55 gr noslers, well, 50 gr Vmax, but I settled on the 40 gr vmax behind 28 gr W748. It will shoot .75 MOA most of the time and will do better, MUCH better.

    It holds up well to 300 yrd in little wind, but If i want to shoot futher I have different clubs for that.

    It should have a 1-12 twist, I might stabilize a 60gr but that is pushing it. I would stay 55 gr and below.
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    I got a Howa 1500 varminter in 223 many years ago. I tried and tried to get the rifle to shoot 55-60 gr bullets, it would not, not at all. 1.5 moa was about the best I could get.

    I wanted as much reach as I could get in the 223 and did not really intent to shoot any lighter bullets but because of its lack of accuracy with the medium weight bullets.

    I had a box of 40 gr Blitzking bullets sitting on the rach and figured I would try them before I moved the rifle down the line.

    With those bullets loaded to around 3800 fps it was a legit 1/4 moa rifle for five shots. Again, I did not want to shoot the lightweight bullets but it shot them so well I just have a hard time pulling the barrel just to shoot the heavier bullets.

    Not sure why it prefers the light bullets, its a factory barrel and is supposed to be the 1-12 twist as well. Just goes to show that you have to listen to your rifle and it will tell you what it likes, it seldom works that you can tell your factory rifle what you want it to shoot.
     
  8. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    853
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    jaradegren.
    not only is it important to listen to your rifle, its also important to listen to good advise. you just got some, so no need to reinvent things.
     
  9. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,108
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    I have the Weatherby Vangard tactical version in .223 which is a Howa1500. Probably the best $429 I ever spent and I bought it brand new from Sportsman Wharehouse. Last time I was there they still had them for 429 bucks.

    It's a 20in. 1-12 and loves 25.5gr of Benchmark and 50gr. Nosler BT's.

    Best thing In my opinion you can do soon as you open the box is throw the trigger away and get a aftermarket trigger. The stock trigger is a POS. I put a Timney in mine. Best 150 bucks you can spend on a Howa and I can't begin to tell you how much difference it made.
     
  10. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Yes, the triggers are a pain. THey can be adjusted down to a very quality trigger pull but you have to then modify the safety plunger rod so that the safety will function.

    My 223 still has the factory trigger and it breaks at a clean 1 3/4 lbs and has less then 1.5 oz variation but its not easy to modify them to get a really good trigger pull. I did mine just to "learn how to do it".

    An aftermarket trigger is much easier and probably no more money.

    My main problem with these rifles is that if someone wants one worked on, in my experience, about 80% of the time, the barrel is so tight to the receiver that it has to be cut off and bored out of the receiver threads before you can install a new barrel. Not an overly hard thing to do but just a pain.

    I tried to take the barrel off a 22-250 Howa 1500 last year. The customer wanted the barrel back if at all possible. I had a 4 foot cheater bar on my receiver wrench handle and all my weight on it and it would not budge, tried all the tricks to break it loose, nothing worked, in the end had to cut it off.

    The interesting thing is that they do not use a thread locker on the threads. IF you relieve the tension on the barrel shoulder, generally the barrel can be thread off by hand!!! Those Japs know how to torque a barrel down hard!!! LOL
     
  11. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Kirby, do you think they thread the barrel in extreme cold conditions to a warm receiver to get them on so tight? just curious
    mark.
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Messages:
    6,848
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    I don't think so. I see no reason why they would. The thread fit is to loose to show any benefit from that, I think they just really lean on the lever when torqing the receivers on.

    They may be doing the thremal thing but I see no reason why they would and the cost would not be worth it.
     
  13. nwcook

    nwcook Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    I've had my Howa 1500 Tumbhole Varminter supreme for three years now. I've tested loads using 40gr bullets (Amax, Vmax, Barnes and Nosler) with various powder combinations and Benchmark gave the best results with Nosler or Vmax. I've since moved up to Nosler 52gr for better wind bucking ability out west on long range Pdogs. Again Benchmark worked best in my gun (24grs, Win brass, Win primers). This gun consistently shoots .75" groups at 200yds with a 100yd zero.

    One think for sure each gun is different, my wife's 1500 Varminter supreme likes 52gr Vmax a little better with 23.9gr of Benchmark. You just have to test it to be sure.

    Trigger is the worst part on these guns, but nothing a quick Timney swap can't fix. Hope this helps and enjoy.
     
  14. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    I know this is a way old thread, but I'm at work with a lot ot down time. I have that same barreld action in a Bell & Carlson medalist stock. This gun absolutly loves both the Fiochi 40 gran vmax and my hand loaded 50 grain vmax rounds.

    My best load to date is:
    Brass: Winchester brass full length sized and trimmed to 1.75
    Powder: 26 grains of vitavhori N133 (manual lists this as a compressed load)
    Primer: wolf small rifle primer
    COAL: 2.42

    The vitavhori manual books this load at 3500 FPS but I have not verified it with a chronograph. This load will consistantly group small enough to hit prairie dog sized targets at at reasonable ranges.