Howa 1500?? Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by bvolcic, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. bvolcic

    bvolcic Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Anyone have any experience with this rifle? I have never heard much of them until recent. Are they very light? Are the very accurate?


  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    They can be very accurate . The Weatherby Vanguard is based on a Howa action and they also
    have a reputation for accuracy.

  3. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2009

    I have one in 30-06. Shoots about .3moa at 100 yards with Hornady 190gr SPBTs.

    I wouldn't say it was heavy but it isn't light. I think it just a little over 7lbs without scope.
  4. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    If you are comparing it to factory guns then I would say it is very good and at the very top of your choices.

    Accuracy is very good in my experience right out of the box. They are supposedly a better designed action than the Rem 700, more durable and better tolerances.

    They have aftermarket triggers available too if that is important.

    The negatives would be that there are way less aftermarket accessories than say for a Rem 700. There are stocks etc. just not as many as other brands. I am not sure there are aftermarket box magazines available for them if that is important. There aren't as many smiths that will work on them but that is growing all the time. With the resource of this site you will be able to find a good one if needed.

    They are a metric based action so if work needs to be done you will need to find a smith that has the correct tools.

    Mine is a 20 year old 30-06 sporter version that shoot just about anything I load or even factory loads under an inch. My hand loads are under 1/2 inch and I have a 110g, 125 gr, 165gr, and 180grain load that will shoot that tight. My gun is about 9lbs with scope, sling etc. I think they new plastic version stocks may be a bit lighter than that.

    Hope this Helps.
  5. padd54

    padd54 Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2009
    I have three Howa's and all of them are very good shooters. My favorite is the Vanguard Backcountry. This is a very light rifle and a pleasure to shoot. Mine is in .270 win and shoots .5 to 1 MOA all day long. I have a load developed for the 160g Nosler Partition that shoots .75 MOA at 200yrds. after that it drops pretty heavy. I am taking this combo elk hunting next week, I will let you know how it performs.

    I can't say enough good about these rifles.
  6. zupatun

    zupatun Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    I had Kevin Cram put a .308 win Broughton 26" 5.5 contour barrel on my Howa action. Shoots Black Hills 168gr match 0.75 MOA at 200yards and 0.58 groups with 165gr Swift sciroccos.

  7. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    I have two one on 223 and one is 308. I just built the 308 fro a barreled action and had Joel build me a stock. It's shoot as well as my custom tactical rig!.5MOA.

    As for aftemarket part, ya not as many as rem 700 but there is enough to accomplish what ever you need. Triggers, stocks mounts, and detachable bottom metal.

    Very well built gun easy to pillar and glass bed. One of the most underrated gun buys out there.

  8. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    Never gave them much notice up till few years ago when I bought a brand new Vanguard 20in. barrel little .223 for $329 from Sportsman Wharehouse. Put a Timney trigger in it and it is a .5 @100yds gun all day long. Bought a nearly new Howa 1500 270 last winter as a donor gun and it's coming back as a 6.5-06AI in a Manners T2.

    IMHO, they are the best bang for your buck.
  9. vanhornsky

    vanhornsky Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
    I have a 22-250 howa 1500 that will shoot the same hole at 200 yards. This gun did this from when I got it. It shoots great and pretty light. I would definitly recomend the gun to buy!gun)
  10. Ranger Jim

    Ranger Jim Active Member

    Oct 23, 2008
    The standard Howa w/a 22" barrel comes in at 7.75lbs. The Ranchland series comes in at 7.15 lbs. with a 20" barrel. Depending on the purpose of the gun you can see which one fits you. You can also purchase a barreled action from them and do your own custom build. It's an option to look at, the website is, I've met the VP a few times when he comes out west to hunt turkeys next to my park and is a real nice guy. Good Luck,

    Ranger Jim
  11. jthod

    jthod Active Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    I shoot a 1500 Varminter in .223, it weighs in at 12.5 with scope. I'm just starting to build loads, but I shot a .51" group at 100 yards laying prone in the snow at 17*.

    I have had issues with measuing the throat. It seems that the rifling lands are further than they should be, or the throat is erroded after 600-700 rounds. But, it may also be a false measurement on my side.
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    what twist is your barrel? Mine shoots best with 150 grain bullets, but shoots 165's very well. Accuracey is in the area you speak of (well almost as good), and seems to shoot extremely well with generic 150 Corelocs from Remington! I figure my barrel must have a slow twist in it.
  13. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Twist rate of .30/06 is 1 in10" , Weatherby Vanguard or Howa 1500. The chambers in .223 Rem. are throated long, I believe to accommodate 5.56mm ammo.
  14. gunwalker

    gunwalker Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    This is too scary similar, I bought a brand new Vanguard in 257 Wby, put a Timney trigger in it and it shoots .5 @ 100 yds all day long. This fall I bought a nearly new Howa 1500 270 with a Timney already in it and it became my 6.5-06AI, only in an Axiom stock, that shoots under a .25 @ 100 yds. I think they are a great deal.