Trueing a Howa

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by B23, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    To me the Howa looks like a Rem. 700 with a M16 extractor so for you gunsmiths out there can or do you use the same tools to true a Howa that you do for a Rem. 700????

    I ask because so many smiths are only set up to blueprint a Remington and if the Howa and Rem. are, in my uneducated eyes, nearly the same can you do a Howa too.
     
  2. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    A turn bolt action is a turn bolt action. A gunsmith is limited only by a few things.

    1. Is the machine capable of both Imperial and Metric threads? (Howa actions are metric if memory serves me right)

    2. Is the fixturing able to physically locate/hold the part being machined?

    3. Is the smith capable/interested/motivated to do the work?

    Beyond that its pretty fundamental. It's not rocket science to make things square, concentric, and parallel with good surface finishes.
     

  3. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Kevin Cram did my HOWA the only thing wrong with it was the threeds where a little out of round that it.
     
  4. kemen4

    kemen4 Member

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    I appreciate it may not be a direct help but I have a Howa smithed by Pete Lincoln aka Roedale in Germany. He is the Howa accuracy specialist there,and builds on his own actions too...
    He has written on several boards (inc The Hide) about the strengths & potential and how to's of the Howas .. Under his own name ... could be worth a search?
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Truing/blueprinting of any action is basically the same, the methods may be different but
    the goal is to square and true all surfaces that you can based on the center line of the
    bolt including the bolt it's self and the fit between the bolt and the receiver.

    The Howa,s make fine custom rifles and stocks and aftermarket triggers are available
    for them.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    I recently picked up another Howa 1500 long action that I am considering making a 6.5-280AI. It's kinda interesting because this one has a really decent trigger unlike my .223 which took a freight trane to pull the trigger no matter how much I adjusted it.

    Thanks for any and all information guys much appreciated.
     
  7. kemen4

    kemen4 Member

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    Yes it does make a fine 'semi-custom' build .... my only regret is that a CG 2-stage for it has yet to appear!
    good luck with your project? it sounds like an interesting round.
     
  8. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

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    Trueing or Blueprinting a Howa isn't a whole lot different then a Remington as stated above. The bolt bore is a tad smaller around .690 for a Howa and .700+ for a Remington. The threads for a Howa action are M26-1.5 .
    I use my own 8 positional fixture similiar to that of GTR. I then use a GTR Bolt Bore Reamer/Mandrel. This uses bushings in the bolt bore to give you a true centerline. Most actions will have a difference between the front and rear bearing area. I pick the right bushing that fits snug into the bolt bore for each end even if the difference is a couple thousandths the through hole is the same size. I then slide the mandrel through the bushings and use two .0001" indicators to adjust the action to its center axial alignment. Once running perfect I can remove the mandrel without disturbing my set up and I have the entire front of the action to work on in one set up. I re-cut the receiver face and internal locking lugs perpendicular to the centerline of the action, I then pick up the thread pitch and single point open the thread size up until it's running concentric with the center axial alignment of the bolt bore.
    I've seen some very good ways and some very poor ways of trueing an action. The way of using a single sized arbor through the bolt bore is giving you a false reading of the centerline due to the differences between the front and rear bearing surface diameters. The worst way is using a undersized "fits all" arbor that is held in the chuck and in the tailstock with a screw and fender washer holding the arbor to the action. The screw goes through the magazine cut out and threads into the arbor with the fender washer holding it tight against the bottom of the action. What you have done is pull the arbor to the bottom of the action and now the action is running off center and tilted and the bolt bore is now spinning egg shaped. It gets worse from there but I won't go on as I can get pretty long winded talking about blueprinting an action correctly vs incorrectly. Just make sure that whoever is trueing or blueprinting your action has an actual concept of what's being done. Talk to them and have them describe their way of truing an action. I know we're not all mechanically inclined so sometimes you just have to trust word of mouth who does the best job.
    As ICANHITHIMMAN stated I did his Howa. The receiver face and internal locking lugs were very close and cleaned up in about .001" . The threads are commonly out of round and are tapered. I was able to open his threads up about .015" and make them true to the centerline of the action. Then transfer the enlargement of the action threads when I thread the barrel.
     
  9. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    If your lucky Kevin Cram will do your rifle to. Mine is a thing of beauty!
     
  10. Crane

    Crane Well-Known Member

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    Kevin did my Howa long action in 25-06AI. He will be getting more of my business for sure.
     
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Kevin,

    Great write up! Good stuff to know when talking to a smith.

    A side question that I asked Kiwi Nate in another thread... What's your opinion of the built-in recoil lug in the Howa receiver vs the Rem 700 recoil lug design?

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Anyone else feel free to chime in also.
     
  12. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

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    Mark,

    In terms of accuracy I believe the built in style lugs are better for a couple reasons. You don't have to worry about a seperate piece of material between the action and barrel being out of square. Once the action is blueprinted correctly the receiver face should be perfectly square to the center line of the action and as long as the machining of the barrel is done right and square you should have a perfect lock up when the action is screwed on. I check the sides of the lug to make sure they don't get bigger towards the bottom and you don't end up locking the action in bedding. If it's close I usually grind a slight taper, this also helps in removal of the action from the bedding. On a Remington style with a seperate lug as long as you have a square action, a square barrel shoulder and a parallel lug you shouldn't have any trouble.
     
  13. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    my howa vs Rem700 shpeal:
     
  14. kemen4

    kemen4 Member

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    When I got my Howa I enquired about a CG 2 stage trigger for it. Then it was 'a possibility'.
    So when I saw that Tom Myers at X-treme is now making the units I asked if one for the Howa is likely. He replied that he has been approached by Roedale of Germany and it is being discussed: so it is still a possibility .... is there any other suitable 2-stage trigger for it???