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Thread: Howa - Accuracy and Quality Questions

  1. #21
    Member Brian Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyTime View Post
    I PM'ed Brian Richardson to get his thoughts on the 375. He said that I could repost his response so here goes.

    By the way, thank you for the response Brian!

    AJ

    **********************Brian's response to follow******************************
    Hello AJ,

    I have 3 rifles in .375 H&H at present.

    Two guns are semi-custom (series of 20) Model 70 Winchester Classic Stainless/Synthetic w/ 20" bbls. One of these is my do-all anywhere anytime reliable. High cards are handling, weatherproof, shoot-ability, tradition, dependability, and accuracy. --- pretty much in that order.

    The other rifle is a Remington Custom Shop Kevlar/Stainless further refined to 22" bbl w/ Magnaporting and additional Teflon matte black finish coating. This gun is varmint/sniper accurate!!! Now quite an expensive firearm, yet this is the extended range gun of my choice. Not as handy as my Winchester, but delivers optimum accuracy past the 250 yard mark. My gun is a .25 - <.5 gun at 100 yards with any factory ammo selection.

    Both guns have a heavier bbl profile... much like the Ruger Alaskan you may be considering.

    Would I purchase a Ruger Alaskan... Maybe??? That said... every Ruger w/ exception being my childhood .243 WIN has never been the real-deal in super-accurate dept. --- so I have no Rugers other than their very reliable handguns in my user-group. If you look at the Ruger Alaskan in .375 Cal... It has all the optimal features (I see necessary) for the Alaska all-around rifle. The Remington XCR series of rifles (in my opinion) do not; unless the niche is mountain/hiking rifle & that would be a stretch.

    As to the merits of the .375 H&H... plenty out there to determine that the cartridge is near perfection all the way around. Talking the .375 Ruger... Solution to non-existent problem! Now the .416 Ruger... That's the one worthy of serious consideration on dangerous and heavy 1000+ lb. game!!!

    If you would like to re-post a copy of my PM response in your forum inquiry... please feel free, as it may clarify things for others viewing the thread.

    Brian
    Hello AJ,

    Thanks for the PM and re-post here regarding my response.

    I wasn't' positive where this .375 H&H thread was... lol - now I'm on the right page and following along.

    In your original post I believe it was this one: (My comments are in blue.)

    "Use: Mostly trying to make little tiny groups on paper so when I get out hunting I'll have confidence in my rifle, my ability to hit with it, and a rapid second shot if needed. I agree... practicing and realizing the potential capability of shooter/rifle/load combo is fun, additionally building self-confidence using your preferred equipment.

    My questions for people that have owned a Howa rifle in 375 Ruger, or have fired one:
    The hottest Howa I've had experiences with are .300 WIN, .300 WBY, & .338 WIN mags. No .375 H&H Howa trigger-time at present, and I have not seen one on the range.
    #1: Accuracy: What should I expect, what is common? Howa accuracy tends to be better than average... in the ballpark of <2" with just about anything you feed 'em. Most I've fired were honest 1.5" guns with good factory hunting ammunition. A few hovered near 3/4" 3-shot groups. When I say 'better than average - I mean all guns preformed right about the same. I'd wager a select new manufactured gun with best load should hit <1/2" at 100 yds.
    #2: Is this a quality rifle? I do feel that Howa 1500 is a rifle of pretty darned consistent factory quality and reliability... Japanese manufacturing with attention to detail seems to be there throughout the years - no matter who's name was stamped on the receiver. Keep in mind a few a few safety precautions, issues, and upgrades over the years - same with many manufacturers.
    #3: Any known problems with it? More or less - I'd say the answer is no. Some triggers tend to be a bit rough, maybe slow, not quite crisp in fire controls... if that makes sense!
    #4: Do you recommend for it, or against it? I'm fairly certain it would put you in the breakfast club of Tikka-fried-over-Weatherby w/ sides of Ruger-RemChester & lightly Browning-Savage
    #5: What should I have asked about this rifle that I failed to ask? What other rifles or barreled actions are available in this price-range? The Answer is SAVAGE 'Alaska-Giude' if going stainless/synthetic, but would not be my first choice. Used guns may be a better option. The Zastava Yugo Mauser can be had from a bunch of import names over the years. However, many are not true .375 H&H receivers... you'll find a finger-tip cut in the top, forward end of the receiver to accommodate the bullet tips. It works, but I do not recommend the kind of short-cutting.
    #6: How does it measure up to other brands under $1000.00?
    Safe to say it likely measures up well - unless you find something more desirable used.
    As for the stock...If it's lousy then I know that HS Precision or another stock manufacturer can probably fit the Howa. I'm not opposed to replacing the stock."
    I think people make much too big a deal about stocks. I've fired many dozens of fine shooters with less than the best fits or pretty furniture.

    An additional comment:
    By nature the .375 H&H with 300 grain loading will rarely be picky... this is the only grain I use for everything.
    Brian Richardson

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Smitty,

    I'm not trying to butt heads. It's obvious I like the Rugers and you don't, no big deal.

    By looking at your two posts there are plenty of negatives and not a single positive, again no big deal. However, mine shoot great and so do others that I make an effort to load for. As far as making one that shoots 1/2" groups shoot better goes, that's what I like to do.

    As far as the stocks go, many manufacturers use junk stocks that's why the aftermarket stock makers are doing well. A lot of shoppers are looking for a bargin and the manufactures are responding with entry level products at a reduced prices. Some use cheap import actions and barrels and others use cheap stocks. Personally, I like the Hogue rubber-over aluminum pillar stock. Some will say it flex's, that's true but it doesn't seem to affect the accuracy in my examples.

    The original poster asked about the Howa. I steered him to it in another thread. He was looking for a less expensive alternative than the Alaskan or African in a 375 Ruger chambering.

    It's well known that the Vanguard is a Howa for all practical purposes. As a matter of fact my Nephew has one in the 7mm-08 youth model that shoots very good. However, putting a stock on a Howa does not make it a custom rifle by any stretch of imagination just like working the trigger on a Ruger doesn't make it a custom rifle.

    marshal:
    I'm not trying to butt heads either. I was just enjoying the conversation. I don't dislike the Ruger Rifles, as much as I like to low rate them. If you do, and have had good luck with them, more power to you.

    The Vanguard stocks are the "Cat's Meow" to my way of thinking. I really like the Weatherby Monte Carlo design.

    I like the Howa Actions, better than the Rugers, and the Hogue stocks better than the regular Ruger stocks.

    I think that a Howa action would lend itself to a custom rifle better than a Ruger action, but I don't recall ever seeing a Custom Ruger.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  3. #23
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    I bought a Weatherby Vanguard in 338win mag about 15 years ago. It was low price and i figured if someone should break into my cabin and steal it i would not be out that much $$$.
    Over the years i have shot 338's in other brands. Ruger,Winchesters etc. and the Vanguard is the best as far as recoil. The stock style (Syn) with what ever recoil pad that came with it works for me. It is not MOA but it is very good MOM/ MOB/ MOG
    min. of moose, bear, and goat at 250+ yards.
    Never been sorry i bought it. It is not a replacement for my true Weatherby, but for the price i can not complain.

  4. #24

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    I just got done doing an extensive test of a Howa in 308 and I liked it so much I bought it. Great rifle for the money. The .375 Ruger by Howa should be a great gun. You have 2 choices in barrel length and it is available from Howa with the Hogue stock.

    Triggers on new Howas are much improved but still just average. I did some adjusting and got my new 308 into the acceptable range. Remember that Timney makes a great drop-in trigger for the Howa action.

    If I can convince Hornady to set me up with some test ammo, I'm going to snag a .375 from them and will give you all the run down.


    www.outwriteoutdoors.com

  5. #25

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    Smitty-- "never seen a custom ruger"?? I built my 1976 tang safety mod. 77 into a .30 Belted Newton back in 1982. Put a Douglas #1 barrel, 20.5", on her with a Canjar trigger and Brown precision kevlar stock. Using a 30mm 3x9x56 Australian SAS red dot scope. Has worked well for me over the years for all big game in Alaska, Russia, and the South Pacific. Very strong solid action. Do you consider this a "custom" rifle?
    Goo
    ALASKA WILDWATER

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigler916 View Post
    I just got done doing an extensive test of a Howa in 308 and I liked it so much I bought it. Great rifle for the money. The .375 Ruger by Howa should be a great gun. You have 2 choices in barrel length and it is available from Howa with the Hogue stock.

    Triggers on new Howas are much improved but still just average. I did some adjusting and got my new 308 into the acceptable range. Remember that Timney makes a great drop-in trigger for the Howa action.

    If I can convince Hornady to set me up with some test ammo, I'm going to snag a .375 from them and will give you all the run down.
    C'mon...let us know about the Howa. I'd really like to know about that 308's accuracy and what you think about the quality! AND...if you get any info about the 375 Howa...that's going to be an interesting read!

    Thanks for the info!

    AJ

  7. #27
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    I think the Howa action, or a slightly modified Howa action, is what Nosler is using for their rifles.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Like someone said, the Weatherby Vanguards have Howa Actions.

    To my knowledge, and too bad, it isn't made in .375.

    IMO, the Vanguard is far superior to any Ruger, I've ever seen. I don't know why a Howa wouldn't be as good as a Ruger. The Ruger Action is a bit odd, a bit heavy, and has the gosh-awful angled front action screw.

    You can put another stock on most any old gun. Another stock on a Howa would pretty much make it a CUSTOM rifle, You put another stock on a Ruger, and alls you got is another Ruger, with hopefully, a better stock than the original.

    You'll probably be happy with the Howa, because there's no reason to think you wouldn't be.

    JMHO, Yeah Right.
    Smitty of the North
    A couple of years ago I would have argued with ya Smitty. I was Ruger through and through. I still like them and won't bash them. I have an old tang safety Ruger that passed the 200 mark on coyotes killed a few years ago. It never would shoot under an inch with anything. An inch and half seemed to be plenty good enough. Never seen a coyote with less than MOA vitals anyhoo.

    A while back(last year about this time) a young fella came to me and asked me to set up a Weatherby Vanguard for him in 243 so I ordered one, put a 3x9 Nikon on it and took it to the range. Roy says he promises his Vanguards will shoot an inch and a half. This particular one shot half inch groups from the get go. It is one of the nicest shouldering rifles I've ever hoisted. Your right on about the drop in the stock bit. Fits like a glove.

    The kid was suppose to come back and get this gun when he got his Christmas bonus....last year. Its sitting in my gun case and I'm cosidering it mine now. Probably keep it too.

    Might mention that the trigger on this Vanguard breaks clean at 3 pounds out of the box. Never had a Howa even close to that. I've not had it out of the stock to see if it has the same trigger as the Howa but I have never had a Howa trigger that was anywhere close to the one in this Vanguard!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    I think the Howa action, or a slightly modified Howa action, is what Nosler is using for their rifles.
    At least not according to Nosler. Not knocking the Howa action but its really similar to the 700. They aren't saying who makes their actions but it appears investment cast and looks a lot like a BAT, also from the Pacific NW. Hmmm.

    "by Nosler4 Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:05 pm
    The Nosler action was designed in house by our engineering team and incorporates features from many fine rifles. Our actions are are manufactured in the United States along with the other parts used in the rifle. Nosler4 "

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeaux View Post
    Smitty-- "never seen a custom ruger"?? I built my 1976 tang safety mod. 77 into a .30 Belted Newton back in 1982. Put a Douglas #1 barrel, 20.5", on her with a Canjar trigger and Brown precision kevlar stock. Using a 30mm 3x9x56 Australian SAS red dot scope. Has worked well for me over the years for all big game in Alaska, Russia, and the South Pacific. Very strong solid action. Do you consider this a "custom" rifle?
    Goo
    ALASKA WILDWATER
    I would. (Consider it a Custom Rifle)

    I like the Tang safetly.

    I think you made the barrel too short for a 30 Belted Newton. But, if that's what you wanted, that's what customizing a rifle is all about.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    A couple of years ago I would have argued with ya Smitty. I was Ruger through and through. I still like them and won't bash them. I have an old tang safety Ruger that passed the 200 mark on coyotes killed a few years ago. It never would shoot under an inch with anything. An inch and half seemed to be plenty good enough. Never seen a coyote with less than MOA vitals anyhoo.

    A while back(last year about this time) a young fella came to me and asked me to set up a Weatherby Vanguard for him in 243 so I ordered one, put a 3x9 Nikon on it and took it to the range. Roy says he promises his Vanguards will shoot an inch and a half. This particular one shot half inch groups from the get go. It is one of the nicest shouldering rifles I've ever hoisted. Your right on about the drop in the stock bit. Fits like a glove.

    The kid was suppose to come back and get this gun when he got his Christmas bonus....last year. Its sitting in my gun case and I'm cosidering it mine now. Probably keep it too.

    Might mention that the trigger on this Vanguard breaks clean at 3 pounds out of the box. Never had a Howa even close to that. I've not had it out of the stock to see if it has the same trigger as the Howa but I have never had a Howa trigger that was anywhere close to the one in this Vanguard!
    You can argue with me, anytime EKC:

    I always enjoy your point of view.

    That sounds like a good rifle, and a Tang Safety model to boot.

    You might oughta check the front action screw, and make sure it isn't touching the wood. It sure made a difference for my Wife's Ruger 7x57, also the older model with the Tang Safety.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  12. #32

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    Have you looked at a CZ550 Safari?
    PROUD TO BE A VETERAN

  13. #33
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    Came to Alaska in 1986 my first rifle purchased was a smith & wesson 1500 30.06, it had a beautiful wood stock so I sanded the channel until a dollar bill would slide freely to the action it then drove tacks. I carried that rifle untill most of the blueing was gone (glacial silt & palm sweat) sold it and moved on. One draw back I did not like was the fact that the fireing pin would rattle when not cocked and I do not like to carry a cocked rifle. I purchased the first 375 Ruger African that came to Fairbanks it was a nice rifle, however the stock was just to bulky for my comfort so I sold it. I do belive the 375 ruger cartridge is the best all around cartridge for Alaska period. I now own a Sako 375 deluxe a rifle I dreamed of owning for twenty years, she's a beauty. I also had a browning A bolt in 325 wsm the best shouldering rifle I have ever owned but sold it to finance my sako. If browning chambers the 375 ruger in the A-Bolt with 26 inch barrel it will be mine. I would also like to say that the little remington mowhawks are handy and dandy!

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