New rifle for my son.

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Roy Sparks, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Roy Sparks

    Roy Sparks Member

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    Hello friends ,

    My son is itching for his first rifle and has asked me to post and enquire what you experienced riflemen think of the Howa brand of rifles.

    I have grown up shooting with original Win pre '64 rifles so he has actually been shooting a bunch with these for several years now. As you can imagine a 17 year old to be - he wants his own rifle !!

    I have an original 22 Hornet in pre ' 64 , 220 Swift in pre '64 with a Shilen barrel , 243 pre '64 just gone away for its 3rd barrel , 7 Rem mag on pre '64 action with Shilen barrel , 300 H&H on pre '64 action with Musgrave barrel.

    As you will notice I shot the 243 a bunch and so has Simon.

    I suggested he look at a 308 as I have not had one of these and I have read many impressive reports on this cartridge.

    So what do you think of the Howa. We are accuracy freaks and do a lot of long range culling in mountain terrain and on the plains. Will this make of rifle please us ?lightbulb
     
  2. digger11

    digger11 Well-Known Member

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    Get him a Tikka. Better reputation and same money spent.
    Hard to beat a T3,in my opinion
     

  3. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    +1... they dont call me Tikkamike for nothin! ..ok that was cheesy. tikka t3 in 243 would be pretty hard to beat. if you are going to go 30 cal I would go 30-06 over 308
     
  4. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    I've been debating this same question for a first big game rifle for my son. I don't have any experience with Howa, but I have recently had a lot of luck with out of the box Savage's.

    cartridges all under consideration are 243, 7mm-08 and 308 win.

    243 is a great first gun for the light recoil, but as we primarily hunt elk, I think it's a bit small. Right now I'm leaning towards the 308 since I can load a light charge 120 grain bullet for practice that will effectively have the same recoil as the 243, but then make hunting loads with something like the 150 grain TTSX that will have plenty of energy for the first few years. Then with the 308 you still have the option to load heavier bullets and stretch out the effective range as they get older and experience progresses. I think the "little" 308 win is a very effective and efficient cartridge that can very easily last somebody a lifetime of hunting big game.
     
  5. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

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    I think the 308 would be fine.
     
  6. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    +1! I'm sure this is not going to be his last rifle.:cool:

    No hands on experience on Howa but there are members that are very happy with them.

    Roy, welcome to LRH and enjoy! Happy safe shooting/hunting.
     
  7. Roy Sparks

    Roy Sparks Member

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    Thanks for all your input. I really like the 308 idea. I think it may just produce a good hunter and a good shooter out of my boy.

    I really think this is a most awesome site - so glad I found it.

    I'm on facebook under Roy Sparks ( timeline ) , I will add you to my secret group if you like where you can share and view pictures of what we do here at home.
     
  8. DrillDog

    DrillDog Well-Known Member

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    Just put a stainless Howa together with a Shilen barrel for my son's first hunting rifle. It is chambered for 6.5x55 Swede. Got a great deal on Lapua factory ammo and it shoots it sub half MOA. Barrel isn't even broke in all the way yet either. Just shooting up the factory ammo to get to the Lapua brass for reloading. Judging by how it shoots factory ammo, this thing is gonna be a hummer for sure. Especially since the barrel is twisted 1 in 8" for the 140's and the factory ammo is only 108gr Scenars. With handloaded 140gr Berger VLD's, i expect this rifle to put them all in the same hole :)

    This was the first Howa I have ever worked with and I personally think it is a superior action to many others. It's as if they took the best features of the Rem 700 and the Win model 70 and put them all together, then added even better features like the M16 extractor. The Howa even uses two piece 700 scope bases. Many aftermarket parts are also available.

    The only down side to the Howa action when thinking of youth hunters is that it is a pretty heavy action. Mostly because of the flat bottom receiver with integral recoil lug and the heavy duty thick metal used on the bottom metal. But because of that you will surely see that it's obvious Howa actions are built to last through a lifetime of heavy abuse.

    Anyhow, here is a picture of the rifle and the target it shot with Lapua 108gr Scenar factory ammo.

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  9. Roy Sparks

    Roy Sparks Member

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    Thanks Drill Dog , that looks very encouraging.

    Obvious choices we are considering now are Howa , Ruger , Savage unless something else falls into place.

    Cartridge choices 243 Win , 260 Rem or 308 Win.
     
  10. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    This is excellent feedback on the Howa action, thanks for posting it up.
    As far as the action being maybe a little too heavy for a young hunter, I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. A bit more weight will help steady the rifle for the shot, and even just hiking/hunting through the woods, slow is good. Maybe help teach them proper gun control and safety because they'll always have to use two hands. If they get tired, take a few minutes to stop and rest and listen.

    Nice work putting this 6.5x55 swede together it sure looks like it's going to be a tack driver!
     
  11. DrillDog

    DrillDog Well-Known Member

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    The weight kind of appealed to me because it would help tame the recoil a bit. It's not a hard recoiling caliber, but it's got a little bark. And you are absolutely right about slower is better in the woods. I agree 100%.

    I wanted to build him a rifle he would use for the rest of his life. The robust build of the Howa left me with no doubts. The 6.5x55 is just enough gun to take down elk with heavy bullets and still light enough to avoid meat damage on Antelope and deer. Would even make a nice long range coyote gun. I personally thought it to be the most versatile choice for a youth Hunter. He should be able to use this same rifle on everything. I know there are many other good youth calibers out there, but this is the one I chose for him. The fact that I have over 800 6.5mm Berger VLD bullets kinda swayed me too :)
     
  12. 257WTBY

    257WTBY Well-Known Member

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    I know it is different but I bought my 14yo daughter a weatherby mk V ultralight in 280 rem. I had to put a break on it as recoil was a little heavy in it with bear/elk loads. But it's a thought anyway good luck on your choice...
     
  13. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    I would think about what your son needs are for hunting, specifically thinking about what cartridge to get. Then choose a rifle of your choice. Seems to have work well for me.

    When I buy rifles, I buy the caliber I need and the gun I want. We hunt with smaller, non-magnum guns locally and magnum guns for elk. So we each need around 4 guns, or an extra gun or two in camp, as we hunt on horses and always bring a back-up gun to camp. We have broken, damaged or dropped many guns over the years and it's nice to have another gun ready to go.

    Recently I bought my son a 7-08 youth hunter Savage. But he is only 12. He isn't going to be doing any magnum hunting anytime soon, unless he gets a special draw. But luck would have it we won a Tikka T-3 7mm the other day. so everyone, including the wife, has rifles for whatever they choose to hunt.

    When I was 17, I had smaller cartridges and needed something bigger so I got a 7mm. Still have it.
     
  14. Dontana

    Dontana Member

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    I am a new member also, but not new to the Howa. I bought a .243 for my oldest daughter to get started. Two years later moved her up to the 7mm08 and gave the .243 to her younger sister. Great guns, tack drivers out of the box with factory ammo. Best to start with low recoil. They are on the heavy side, but that contributes to steady shot and lower felt recoil. LOVE the Houge stocks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014