Howa 1500 Varminter in 308 and Center Point 4-16x scope range report. (pic heavy)


January 6, 2010, 09:44 PM
Just went to the range today to test out some loads and fire a few off for fun. Took my Howa 1500 .308 with Center Point scope and I was pleased with the results. Howa is a subsidary of Legacy Sports international and is made in Japan. I happened upon the "varminter" model which comes with a floated Hogue overmolded stock and a 1 in 12 twist heavy barrel, the MSRP is 550 dollars. I outfitted my rifle with a Caldwell bipod, Center Point 4-16x scope and Winchester sling. The rifle has a smooth action and crisp trigger especially compared to my last bolt gun (Remington 710). The action is a Mauser type with locking lugs and is smooth as butter. The trigger has no signs of grittines with a crisp break. Recoil is very manageable and I put 50 rounds down range today without a shoulder pad and without shoulder pain probably because the rifle already has a pretty beefy recoil pad installed.

Center Point is made in China and is owned by Crossman, however this is no Air Soft scope. This scope has held zero over 100 rounds of 308 and is very rugged for 70 bucks at your local Wal-Mart. This scope is no Leupold not even a Burris but it is clear and does hold zero. My particular model is the 4-16x illuminated mil-dot, the package stated the scope could withstand recoil up to the 416 rigby so don't think you can go and mount it on a 50 BMG without damage. The rings that came with the scope fit nicely and have not rattled loose, the screws also have not stripped out. I used blue LocTite when installing my scope and rings and that may attribute to the previous fact. The scope has the mil-dot recticle with the option of green, red, or no illumination with 5 setting sof brightness for each color. The magnification was clear and at 12x I could see my bullet holes at 100 yards. The scope supposedly adjust up to 16 x but I could not tell any difference in magnification between 14 and 16x. Overall it is a good scope and I would say the best scope 70 bucks will buy.

The cartridges used today were hand loads of the following recipes, all used full length sized Winchester commercial 308 brass and primers.
147 grain Hornady FMJ in front of 44.5 grains of IMR 4895 OAL of 2.7835
168 grain Barnes Tipped TSX with 39.5 grains of Reloader 15 OAL of 2.8
168 grain Nosler HPBT with 42 grains of Reloader 15
The lighter bullets didn't do so great today, the Noslers performed best. The shots were made from 100 yards out with bipod support on a shooting table in 50 degree weather with a 5mph crosswind.

147 grain Hornady FMJ

168 grain Tipped TSX

168 grain Nosler HPBT

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January 6, 2010, 09:54 PM
Hey Mags -- nice pics of the Howa! I have a friend who owns one and it's a nice shooter. I want to see if I can pick up one at the upcoming Raleigh gun show. Thanks for the sharing the report and photos...good stuff!

January 6, 2010, 09:59 PM
I'm no pro, but those are looking like pretty wide groups. It might help if provided group size in inches. Looking at the last target with the Noslers I would guess at about 2+ inches??? Also might check to make sure you scope is on straight as it looks a little off in the picture. Could just be the camera though. I hope what you are hunting is pretty big...

Nice looking gun though.

January 6, 2010, 10:06 PM
The scope is on straight just was kind of hard to get a pic of the recticle. Just measured the groups from the last pic and the circle is in fact 2 inches however the shots were fired in 3 different strings with the best group measuring .80 of an inch. I will agree and say the other two targets had alot of fliers but that is what happens when you work up a load. I am satisfied with the performance of the Nosler though. Maybe neck sizing will decrease the groups some more. I ain't to familiar with bolt guns much, I am sure the rifle shoots better than I can.

January 6, 2010, 10:09 PM
This scope has held zero over 100 rounds of 308 and is very rugged for 70 bucks at your local Wal-Mart.

:confused: :confused:


The scope is on straight

No, it's not. Look at the background.

January 6, 2010, 10:12 PM
What is confusing about that statement?

January 6, 2010, 10:17 PM
Did you think maybe the rifle is tilted? The scope is on straight.

January 6, 2010, 10:23 PM
What is confusing about that statement?

and is very rugged for 70 bucks at your local Wal-Mart

Did you think maybe the rifle is tilted? The scope is on straight.

No, it's not.

I'm done.

January 6, 2010, 10:26 PM
You know what, let's just see if a mod will close this thing. I post a review that took some time to make and all you stuck ups get from it is my scope is crooked and junk.

January 6, 2010, 10:37 PM
I will politely second that sentiment, but would also ask that everyone adhere to THR's rules.

For my take, the Howa is a very fine piece of equipment. I've not heard of the scope brand before, but something you said caught my attention. The difference in magnification between 4X and 16X should be very noticeable. Check to assure that your scope is in fact increasing in magnification when you dial-up. If it isn't get it remedied now while it's under warranty.

In terms of accuracy, it will get even better as the barrel breaks-in, and as you identify the load that this barrel fires best. That, to me, is the most exciting part of the process...working up a best-load.

Congrats! You have a nice set-up, and it will only get better! Post some more pics when you identify the best load.


January 6, 2010, 10:40 PM
Geno, I could not notice a difference between 14 and 16x.

January 6, 2010, 10:46 PM

That is grounds for concern. Did you buy it new? If so, I would have them verify if it is functioning. If it isn't ask for an exchange. For what it's worth, expensive isn't always better (for the money) than some inexpensive scopes I own. My two BSAs are inexpensive, but not "cheap". I had a 3-9 Redfield scope about 25 years ago that after a few rounds, the crosshairs fell off internally! A $300.00+ scope trashed by a .6mm Rem?! Sheesh! I took it back and got a new 6-18 Redfield Accu-Trac; that one was flawless. Go figure.

I've always liked the Howas. Then again, I like my Vanguards...same durned rifle, just I paid more money for the "pretty-effects". You done good! Check your scope and let us know.


January 6, 2010, 10:50 PM
Well the scope has a lifetime warranty, before I freak out I will have abuddy see if he notices any difference between 14 and 16x. But to be honest 14x is enough magnification for me.

January 6, 2010, 10:52 PM
Hey Mags dont let a couple nay sayers discourage you. That is some pretty decent shooting and Im sure more practice and load development will improve your groups.

Thats a nice looking rifle. When I decide to start my long range build, I might have to look at the Howa.

Wanta B
January 7, 2010, 01:17 AM
If I may,please allow me to secound C-grunt.

Enjoy your new rifle and keep us posted.:D

I hear a lot about the Howa but have no experiance with them...I would like to know more.:scrutiny:

Bass Ackwardz
January 7, 2010, 01:47 AM
I agree with the above two posters, Mags. Dont let anyone ruffle your feathers. Great looking gun, and hopefully with some work up loads, those groups will get much tighter. But most of all, if you enjoy the Howa/scope combo, thats all the matters.


January 7, 2010, 01:50 AM
Centerpoint scopes are made in China, with western style equipment and mgmgt, but it is still chinese made. For rimfire rifles, they seem to be quite agreeable, I myself would not put one on a centerfire rifle; I seriously doubt that it will hold zero, or be clear throughout it's power ranges. Just my 2 cents on these. I would do a millet or Leapers before centerpoints , for a centerfire rifle, that is, If I had to use a Chinese made scope. If you can buy another, and don't want to spend a bunch of money, look at nikon, pentax, Mueller, and Weaver. Great scopes, lifetime wrrtnies, and Weaver uses Japanese parts/glass, so does, nikon and pentax as well, I believe.

January 7, 2010, 02:35 AM
looks like a great combo to me! don't get discouraged. if i may offer a little advice, you may want to realign your crosshairs using a plumb bob. just tack a string to your target and hang something heavy on the end. i think you may find that your action and scope are a little out of alignment.

second, judging by the size and shape of your groups, centered mostly down and to the right, i think there may be one or both of the following problems:

your trigger may be a bit too heavy causing unnecessary pressure to be applied to the trigger and pulling your shots down and right, or;

you may have developed a flinch and are anticipating the recoils and pushing down and right to compensate.

i'm sure with a little more range time and load development, you'll have it printing sub 1 inch groups in no time.

congrats on the new rig!

January 7, 2010, 03:51 AM
The Real Mags

A Centerpoint fan here, I have 5 of them mounted on powerful centerfire rifles (up to a 338 Win Mag) and never had any problem at all, so our friend Rangerruck doesn't know what he's talking about...unfortunately it's quite common on THR. ;)
Centerpoint Customer Service it's excellent (I called to get few more extra caps and they sent it for free...when you call you get within couple of minutes someone actually from the US)
Do not let the scope snobs get to you, you know how some people are.....a guy few months ago with his expensive Leupold could not get **** at 300 yards where I was getting in the black with my Centerpoint....he was so irritated that he left...ehehe
Good shooting!!

Johnny Guest
January 7, 2010, 08:53 AM
Closed at request of thread originator.

If you enjoyed reading about "Howa 1500 Varminter in 308 and Center Point 4-16x scope range report. (pic heavy)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!