Talk to me about the Howa 1500

Calvin45

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Apr 13, 2019
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Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
im seeing a pretty good deal on a used Howa 1500 in 7mm rem mag. Anyone have any experience good or bad with these? I understand for a while Howa made the weatherby vanguards, which I have nothing but good impressions of. What do you all think of them? I’m a huge fan of functional, accurate, cheap, and modest looking guns (savage savage savage!) so this is really looking like my kind of buy, unless there’s good reason to steer clear.
 

ballisticxlr

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Jul 12, 2014
Messages
12
Really nice rifles for off the shelf. Well made and really consistent. They're a flat bottomed receiver with an integral recoil lug. The recoil lug is a bit short IMHO but that's neither here nor there. The breech face is dished which also is neither here nor there. The barrel tenon depth into the action is a little short for hanging extra long, extra heavy barrels out of but it works just fine for a standard 20-24" x 1" wide bull barrel. Bolts are really smooth operating, probably my favorite part of a Howa 1500. The pre-HACT triggers aren't bad out of the box, HACT triggers are really nice IMHO. Timney and Jard both offer aftermarket bang switches. There's plenty of aftermarket support though not quite as much as for Savage or Remington.

I'm actually building one now.

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Wlfdg

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Teton County, WY

TC338

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Sep 13, 2015
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Central Oklahoma
Just rebuilt mine from .308 to 6.5 creedmoor with a switchlug. Gun shot very well when it was factory. Haven’t been able to shoot it since the rebuild.
 

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Calvin45

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Apr 13, 2019
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1,242
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
I have Vanguard in 7mm RemMag. I've had it 14yrs. I was never really impressed with it. Last summer I bedded it in a Boyd's stock and added a Timney trigger. It's significanly more accurate and reliable now.
I followed Nathan Foster's instruction on bedding it.
https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/MatchGrade+Bedding+Compound+Instructions.html

https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Resources/Discussion+Forums.html
Foster is just a wealth of useful information for sure. Will keep this link in mind should I “pull the trigger”
 

Skimbleshanks

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Jan 8, 2010
Messages
473
Location
Willamette Vally
Really happy with my Vanguard sub-moa stainless. The stock trigger sucked. It was gritty, but a timney replacement was easy enough to do. Bedding it to a Boyd's stock really finished it off. It was a 1+" gun when I got it. Its now a .5" gun. Removed the scope to put on a different rifle. This will be the second hunting season not using the vanguard. There wont be a third. Just a pleasure to carry AND shoot.
 

Memberberries

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Aug 6, 2018
Messages
200
Location
Oklahoma
I just finished my wife's 1500 mini in 6.5 grendel and it's awesome. Got her the lightweight and shortened it to 18" then threaded it and glass/pillar bed in a maple boyds platinum hunter before topping it off with a leupold mk4.

Not quite cheap but it is a keeper
 

RetiredSniper

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Jul 11, 2014
Messages
177
Location
Northern New Hampshire
im seeing a pretty good deal on a used Howa 1500 in 7mm rem mag. Anyone have any experience good or bad with these? I understand for a while Howa made the weatherby vanguards, which I have nothing but good impressions of. What do you all think of them? I’m a huge fan of functional, accurate, cheap, and modest looking guns (savage savage savage!) so this is really looking like my kind of buy, unless there’s good reason to steer clear.
I Bought one in 308 about 15 years ago. It is still going strong after maybe 1000 rounds through it. It's a Howa heavy barrel 1500 mountain rifle. The only changes to it that I made were a Hogue stock and a Vortex 3-12 power scope. It has not missed in 15 years and it was lightly used when I bought it. It likes 165 and 168 grain bullets best. I will never give it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

ThrdKllr

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Jul 18, 2019
Messages
231
Location
La
Go ahead and pull the trigger, you won’t be sorry. I have 3 of them and may get more. They use the same 2 pc. scope bases as Rem. 700 but are spaced out different on the short action but I’m not sure on the long. Their barrels are hammer forged as well as the action. Solid 1 piece bolt that can be stripped down with no tools in the field if necessary. The short actions are longer than the Remington so bullets can be seated longer. I have 1 I rebarreled from 308 to 6.5 Creedmoor with a Bartlein 26” barrel and put it in a B&C Medalist stock. I used to hunt with a guy who had a Smith&Wesson 1500 in 7mmRM (which is a Howa) and it was amazingly accurate. Like I said go ahead and pull the trigger.
 

ntsqd

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Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,173
Location
Upper SoKA
Had a Howa made S&W 1500 Parkerized varminter in .223 and like a dummy I sold it. One of the few that I've let go and seriously regretted. No joy so far in finding another like it.
Now have one of their LW "Mini's" in 7.62X39 that I'm working on getting lighter. Currently it's 6.5 lbs WITH a Leupold 2-7x in Talley rings pillared & bedded in a Boyd's laminated Platinum stock. Very preliminary shooting (barrel break-in) has been excellent. The HACT trigger, out of the box, is what I think a hunting rifle trigger should be.
In KA 'escrow' is a 'Mini' action donor destined to become a .224 Valkyrie mid-weight varminter.

Buy it. Odds are good that its a shooter and if it isn't that its easily fixed to be one.

PS: A note on the scope bases, their threads are different, at least in the Mini's, than the Rem 700 threads. The screws for a Rem are too small to engage correctly in the Howa action.
 
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