Howa/Hogue 20” Heavy Barrel Varminter


February 21, 2010, 09:16 AM
Hello all. I hope that everyone is doing well. I would like to solicit opinions on this rifle: Howa/Hogue 20” Heavy Barrel Varminter. It caught my attention because it is a higher caliber than a .243, shorter barrel for maneuvering, but still a substantial weight to help soak up recoil. I do not stalk deer much but I do sit in a box blind. The .35 lever gun I was using was easier to shoot out the small windows than the longer barrel 30-06. This would be a whitetail gun and only up to 225 yards or so until I get a lot more trigger time.

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February 21, 2010, 09:39 AM
many consider Howa to be an acceptable rifle for precision work.

February 21, 2010, 09:40 AM
Hard to find much about a Howa that is not first class.Good look'n rifle. A .308 would make nice 300 yard tree stand rifle . Should work well. For anyone that has to stalk to and from the stands Look at safari slings . Lets the rifle hang in front of you, muzzle up or slightly down and is allways ready to raise to shoot. Leaves your hands free. I have used them for 20 years.

February 21, 2010, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the replies and the tip on Safari Slings. The Ranchland compact has a 20" barrel as well but it is a little lighter with a standard type barrel.

February 21, 2010, 02:28 PM
I came about 1 week away, from getting one in a thick green stock, in 243; I had just gotten a old remmy 788, and saw this the next week for 279!!!!!
I almost crapped a new buick...
Howa is very nice, besides its pappy the Wetherby's, it is proly the tops made, of the entry level rifles in quality/parts.

If you cannot get the howa, then I will suggest two oldies, the remmy 788's,
and the remmy 600/660/mohawk.

The aboves can be had in 6.5 mag, 44mag, 350 mag, and 30.30., but will cost you a premium in those cals...

February 21, 2010, 03:42 PM
Still need to sight my rifle in after changing out scope rings. But here is my Howa 1500 Varminter in 308

February 21, 2010, 06:06 PM
Hey Mags, Thank you for posting your Howa. The only thing I think I would like more on the Weatherby Vanguard is the high cheek piece on the butt stock. Weatherby has a new for 2010 rifle, the Vanguard HB-ST. It has a 22" heavy barrel. But, I cannot find if the new Weatherbies have a 3 position safety like the new Howas. If you could, how about a range report with the specifics on your bullet weight, scope etc. Thank you.

Uncle Mike
February 21, 2010, 07:21 PM
Howa is very nice, besides its pappy the Wetherby's, it is proly the tops made, of the entry level rifles in quality/parts.

Oh my goodness......!

February 21, 2010, 08:42 PM
I will post up a range report when I sight in the scope next weekend. I posted a range report when I first got the rifle but it went off topic quickly as my bolt action skills are not up to par with others and I found out later one of my scope rings had broken.
Here is the link (

February 21, 2010, 09:31 PM
After about 35yrs of deer hunting, with about 100+ rifles, and still have over 30 in inventory, on Jan1st (the last day of the Georgia season in my area) I chose to take the Marlin .35Rem to the stand for the "last forray" for the season. at 15min before the end of the legal hours, I dropped "yet another" buck with the "ole .35" with a handload with the Hornady 200gr FTX. (sorry but I still prefer the 200gr Rem. CoreLokts over a hefty dose of H4895).

I can assure you, that for at or under 225yds, It dosen't get any better than the "ole .35"!

for over 225yds, let me suggest the Weatherby Vanguard in .257WbyMag.

Nothing else quite compares....... But, then again, I had to glass-bed the action, and replace the trigger on the Weatherby with a Timney, and shoot first rate handloads to get the Weatherby to (best-edit) EQUAL the "ole .35" at the bench at 100yds.... And the .35 only has a 1.5-5x glass......
Go Figure !!!

The only two rifles I'm equally as fond of as the "ole .35", is either the custom M98 in .257Roberts, or the Rem M7 in 7mm08. But; the little 7 is just as good in the blinds/towers-has 20"bbl, and neither is equal to the .35 in punch at under 100yds.

February 22, 2010, 05:58 AM
Goose, I am currently using a .35 Marlin. I got my first deer in my life last year at 100 yards, through the shoulder and both lungs. I am sure that I could poke out to 200 yards especially with Leverevolution ammo. Unfortunately the rifle belongs to my wife's grandfather. Where I am shooting a skilled marksman could bag a deer anywhere under 1,000 yards. I am sticking to 200, maybe 250 until I get a ton of practice in. Even then 300 will be my max. I love the lever action .35, but I would like to have a rifle all my own, one that has more range.

February 22, 2010, 06:42 AM
I have a similar setup in FN PBR 308. Hogue stock, 20 inch barrel. I like the fact that the Howa comes with the floor plate for ease of loading/unloading. Mine is very maneuverable. Bud's has one in 270 win for $458 delivered. $279 would be a great deal.

Some people don't like the Hogue stock, I think its fine.

February 22, 2010, 07:06 AM
My deer rifles have standard slings and I carry them barrel down. I can come from any shoulder to firing position quickly. The 742/7400/77/03 are all in '06. I do have a few in 308 but had rather not use an inferior round :D . My first deer was with a '51 out of my first rifle-mod 100 Winchester. It has been dropping deer off and on for nearly 40 yrs and have only moved the scope two or three clicks during that time. Just an old Bushnell "command post" in 3X9.
Try carrying your rifle upside down. You can travel through the bush much easier and with just a tiny bit of practice it will come to shoulder naturally.

February 22, 2010, 09:41 AM
rangerruck A 788 rem is about as good a rifle as you could buy ,both when new and now well used. To bad they command the prices they get. I have a 33 year old + 788 in 308. Oh, Howa is the granddad, weatherby is the offspring. Like the 788 of the day. They could out shoot there higher priced bothers. Man those 600's around here most be made of gold ,or atleast they think so...

February 22, 2010, 09:47 AM
06 Till you have try'd a safari sling,, don't knock it. They are different. And do make a real hands off carry with out barrel down were you can screw up and stick it in the ground. Atleast look them up first . Everone i know that has tried one them has stayed with them.

February 22, 2010, 09:48 AM
I love my Howa 06

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