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Thread: Howa 1500

  1. #1

    Default Howa 1500

    I had a mother call me last friday with the request that I help set her son up with his first rifle. Since the father is out of the picture (making license plates) and the he is a good boy, I obliged. I might add that she is purchasing this gun to reward the lad for getting straight "A's" for his entire freshman (high school) year!

    After 10 minutes of questions the criteria was in place. The boys grandfather owns several farms in northwest Mo and the coyotes are in abundance. She also stated that whitetail deer were part of the game plan. The factor that threw me for a loop was that she had $400 to spend and she wanted a "new" gun.

    I decided that the cartridge of choice would be a 243. They work magic on coyotes with 70 gr soft points and a hundred grain soft point will make a rib cage exit hole on a whitetail comparable to that of a 7mm mag (bullet structure). I am fully aware that this crosses up Elmer's theory when it comes to reaching the boiler room from any angle. However in 40 years I have never shot a deer anywhere but through the ribs and this boy is going to do it the same way. Beside my shelves are filled with more stuff for loading 243 fodder than I'll ever use up!

    I went to gunbroker.com, typed in 243 as the search phrase and went through 21 pages of 243's. Since the lady wants the gun now I was focusing on three things, BUY NOW, brand new and for less than $400. I came across a new in the box Howa 1500 with a od green Hogue overmold stock for $375 + $25 shipping. I will donate a Nikon prostaff 3x9x40 and rings and bases to the cause.

    Now that the gun is bought I'm having second thoughts. My knowledge of the Howa 1500 is absolutely nill. Will this Howa be ok for the kid or did I just buy more trading stock? Howa's website says this gun weighs 7.4 lbs however I remember the Weatherby Vanguards being heavier than sin. So are they the same? Fill me in with pro's and con's please!

  2. #2

    Default

    Howa makes good rifles... I've had a couple over the years. My last one was a 1500 SS in 308 that was one of the most accurate rifles out to 500 yards I've ever shot. Not every one of them is like that... this one happened to spec out as if somebody hand-fitted everything. The other Howa's I've shot have all been at least good on accuracy and craftsmanship.... or better. You made a good choice for the lady and her son.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  3. #3

    Default

    I have an old S&W M1500 (Howa) And it is a solid piece of work. I never fired it much and can't remember the groups I was getting with it, but never reloaded for it either except for a few rounds...never really *worked* up load for it. I stopped using it for hunting years ago because I didn't like the safety (Like a Rem) and went out and bought my M77. I have done some research on them and I think you got a fairly good deal for a NIB. I was offered that for my used one which is about 98%.

    They are fairly heavy (mine is a 24" 7mm RM) and I'm suspecting the 243 is maybe 22"? I' think the website is probably accurate because I don't think mine is heavier than 8 lb. Personally, I think it would be a good rifle to grow into. It's not like he's going to be climbing mountains after sheep and elk.

    Overall the Howa's have a very good rep for build and accuracy. I think you made a good choice. One thing though. How old is this Howa? There is a saftey notice on some of the older ones (early 80's) on the bolt/firing pin. It's an easy fix, just takes a little while.

  4. #4
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    Default I've got one

    It's a S&W 1500 in 223. Nice handling and shooting rifle. They are a good deal, the same gun that Weatherby uses for their Vanguard line. If they use it that tells you something.

  5. #5

    Arrow Howas

    I think you will be well pleased with your choice and I know the young man will and while I haven't met you I see a really good man in this day and time there aren't enough men like you willing to take the time to do this for someone much less give away a scope, rings and base.I know you know as I do this kind of gift comes back to you in spades and helping a young man to get started the right way in shooting and hunting is a great way to insure our hunting and shooting doesn't get voted away in the years to come.I have set up several for customers and friends down here without any problems at all some are a little on the heavy side if in wood but other than that great rifle for the money. My standard do all load down here is 40 grains of 4350 with just about anyones 100 grain bullet for deer seems to shoot very well in just about everything I've shot it in, my rifles like speers 105 grain bullet really kills very well and as usual ,you already know this,this load is in my guns so when in doubt start a few grains below and work up....Good shooting and may God Bless Ronnie That family has a really good friend....

  6. #6
    Member
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    Dec 2007
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    North Pole, AK
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    Default Good rifle and great price

    I think you did a great job on finding a good deal. My 1st rifle was a howa 15yrs ago in 30-06. My friends had two in 270 and they liked them. I went to a gun dealer and $300 for the gun and $200 (Poor college kid new to deer hunting)for a Burris FF and I have a good shooting gun (Nebraska deer hunting). So a few years later I am hunting more and need something for fast antelope in South Dakota, Howa in 22-250 with a Burris FFII. It does its job. So last year I move to Alaska and need a bigger gun, Howa in 338WM with a Burris FFII and Hogue overmolded full alm bedding. I haven't shot it much yet but I am sure it will out shoot me like all the others. I have been thinking about getting my wife one just haven't choosen the caliber. Good luck and thanks for helping out a kid in need. We were all kids once.
    Tim

  7. #7

    Default Howa 1500

    I have a Howa in 30.06, its a great rifle, very accurate. You have nothing to worry about I love mine.

  8. #8
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    Default Howa

    .243 is a great first deer and coyote gun... low recoil and accurate.. nice solid rifle. Very good choice in the Howa.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2007
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    Anchorage, AK
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    Default

    I think I just saw one of these in the .308 down at Great Northern Guns for like 400 bucks... Looked like a nice rifle to me, but I've never shot one before.

  10. #10

    Default

    I assembled the package last night and took it to the range today. Disappointment would be an understatement in regards to how my pet load with 70 grain Hornady's performed. However I've been doing this long enough to know that just because they shoot well in my Ruger 77 doesn't mean they will be the fodder of choice for every gun. A 2 1/2 inch group is not at all what I expected. So I drove the short 5 miles back home to start plan "B". I found a hundred rounds of new 243 brass loaded with 85gr Speer BT soft points on top of a full case of H4350. These rounds were loaded for a buddies custom mauser with a long throat so there was a whole lot of bullet sticking out of the case. I ran one into the chamber of this Howa and it was apparent that they needed to be shoved into the case a little farther. I reseated them so that they were just off the lands and then it was back to the range. I might add that after shooting these rounds in the Howa the primers were flattened out but there was no sign of the primers flowing around the firing pin and the cases looked good!

    Plan "B" left me all smiles! The first 3 rounds made a nice little 3/4" triangle. The 4th round just oblonged the top hole on the triangle opening the group up to 7/8ths of an inch. Round number 5 went a full 3/8ths of an inch higher (vertical stringing as the barrel warmed up). So no matter how you look at it a 3/4" 3 shot group or 1 1/4" five shot group, its plenty good enough to get the boy started.

    As for the rifle itself.....I'm impressed! I would place them a step ahead of Remington as far as fit, function and design!

  11. #11

    Thumbs up

    Good news EKC, glad it came together. Those Howa's are a pretty solid rifle. What did you think of the weight?

  12. #12

    Default

    7 1/2 lbs and very well balanced.

    The only thing that I don't like about the gun is the half a paragraph of crap written on the barrel about reading the owners manual before operating yadda, yadda yadda! Write that stuff all over the box if ya must, even attach a tag to the locking device that comes with the gun and ship it with the locking device locked onto the gun. If that doesn't prompt people to read the owners manual then they probably ain't gonna bother to read the barrel either!

  13. #13

    Default

    You did good getting the Howa, he will like it and the 243 is a great cartridge for the kid to get the job done.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  14. #14

    Default

    I was just thinking...243 was my first rifle (Rem BDL). I used iron sights. Most deer hunting rifles in PA back then had iron sights.

    Let us know how the kid does with his rifle and when he gets his first deer, full detailed report.

  15. #15

    Default

    They're a good rifle for the money. My main complaint on the Howa / Vanguard is that the trigger generally sucks. How is yours?

  16. #16
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    Default

    I worked on a Wally World .300 Weatherby Vanguard for a friend last yr. The trigger felt VERY gritty and had a kinda hvy pull to it. It was so gritty that you couldn't tell anything about creep or overtravel! I took the trigger completely apart,cleaned it good with lighter fluid,reassembled it,flushed it again,and let it air dry. Made all the difference in the world. That being said ,I've got a S&W(HOWA)I've had for almost 30yrs that I had the trigger worked on by a gunsmith who did some other work on it for me. The trigger turned out GREAT except for the slightest amount of creep that he admitted he couldn't safely remove. At the time there were no after market triggers available so I installed a trigger shoe which helped some more. But when Timney came out with a replacement I got one. If you don't feel comfortable disassembling the trigger assembly,try flushing it good with lighter fluid and blow it out with an air hose but do a final lighter fluid flush and let it air dry as it will leave a light lubricating film.

    til later

  17. #17

    Default

    The trigger wasn't really all that bad! I never put a scale on it but it broke clean and my best guess would be in the 4-5 lb range. I would concider that about perfect for a young shooter with a hunting rifle.

    I also purchased a SS Howa ultra light in 308 for me to play with. The trigger on that one needed some tweaking. After a little trial and error it now breaks at 3.2 lbs with no creep!

  18. #18
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    Default

    GREAT!! I guess it's like anything else,sometimes you get a bad one.

    til later

  19. #19

    Default

    Howdy EKC, good to see yer still alive. How is this kid and his rifle doing?

  20. #20

    Default

    I've been kinda sorta busy! Momma's son gradjicated from college and moved back to town onliest he's all married up now. So he bought an old house and we've spent a few months turnning it into a new one. It's pretty much done now so I've spent the last few evenings polishing the whimper off of my poor neglected guns! Ha!

    The lad with the Howa is doing the highschool football thing right now but he has been shooting the rifle some and our schedules conflict so I am unable to be along side but his buddy tells me the critters in northwest Mo are in trouble. He's a smart kid and very safety minded so I have all the confidence in the world that he will do well with it!

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