Howa 1500 or Stevens 200


March 12, 2012, 11:39 PM
I'm looking at these two rifles for a new ground hog gun. I want a 223 so that I can keep cost of ammo down for basic fundamentals practice at the range but also a good round for coyotes and under. It will be a range/hunting rifle. I'm just trying to see if the howa is worth the extra money or should I get the Stevens. I own a Stevens in 308 for my "i don't care if it gets banged up" deer gun and it shoots "ok". Great with hand loads though. Remember I will not be reloading for this new rifle. Thanks for everyones input.

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March 12, 2012, 11:46 PM
I am biased, I LOVE the stevens 200. That said, from everything I've read about the howa, it's six to one and half a dozen to the other. I think if you want to modify it you have more options with the stevens, but on the other hand, you already have one of those so you might want to diversify. you could always just flip a coin.

Old Dog Man
March 12, 2012, 11:58 PM
Get the Howa, don't have either myself but have done work on both. Howa is better quality.Al

March 13, 2012, 01:02 AM
If you are just going to stick a scope on it and go shooting, get the Howa. It is a solidly built rifle and a good buy for the $$.

If you plan to play around with it, changing parts and modifying it for better accuracy, get the Stevens. It is basically the old Savage 110 with a plastic stock, lots of aftermarket stuff available for it.

I have experience with both rifles, and either one will do the job. Just pick the one that fills the bill for you.

March 13, 2012, 01:04 AM
get the howa varmint 223 hb

March 13, 2012, 06:01 AM
I'd go for the Stevens 200 :D.... especially one that's all done up and ready to launch Varmageddon on the little vermin right out of the box. ;)

In all honesty, if the rifles are essentially equal, why spend more on one that's going into the field?

March 13, 2012, 07:33 AM
The Howa gives you a lot more gun for the money, literally. The biggest downside to them, or their cousin the Weatherby Vanguad is that they are very heavy. About 7.75 lbs vs about 6.25 for the Stevens.

The Stevens Rifles tend to shoot well for the money, but the Howa is far better long term quality. I think a lot depends on how much weight you are willing to carry. Remember to add 1-1.5 lbs for a scope and mounts. It is easy to get the Howa up over 9 lbs scoped. That is pretty heavy for a rifle to be carried a lot.

March 13, 2012, 08:16 AM
I have both and love both. The Howa is prettier but the Stevens has more options. Accuracy is excellent in both. As already said,the Howa is heavier but not by a lot. The Stevens costs less but does need a trigger and stock upgrade. Quality is excellent on both depending on how "quality" is defined.

March 13, 2012, 08:32 AM
Why not the newer Axis series by Savage? I like the feel of those much better, and I think they are cheaper than the 200.

March 13, 2012, 09:43 AM
I would say they are both great rifles. I would go to a store that has them both and see which one fits you the best. I think the Stevens is going to have the accuracy edge, but the Howa is more stout....tough call

March 13, 2012, 01:34 PM
You simply could not go wrong with either, I have more hands on with the Savages so I am a little bias to them. Howa makes some of the best factory barrels in the buisness and Savage makes the best action in the buisness (accuracy wise anyway) There is nothing more perfect fit then a Savages barrelnut head spaceing and combine that with the clever floating bolt head to adjust for tiny flaws in the brass and you have an awsome setup. Howa has a good and very overbuilt action too, just not as advanced, and Savage barrels are perfectly functional, just not as smooth as the Howa. All of my Savages have been sub-moa shooters right out of the box, and one of them would shoot 1/4moa on a bad day. For then next to nothing price difference between the Stevens 200 and the Savage 110 w/accutrigger I would go with the Savage, I bought my most recent one NIB for less then $400 scoped and all. Still nothing wrong with the Stevens if you don't mind an oldschool trigger, same can be said for the Axis. If weight is an issue skip the Howa, they don't know what a featherweight looks like, Savage makes most of their rifles in the 6lbs range.

March 13, 2012, 01:36 PM
I would get the Stevens since it is cheaper, lighter weight, and has more aftermarket parts available. Also I doubt you will notice any accuracy difference between the two, and if you did, I'm not sure which one would have the advantage anyway.

March 13, 2012, 01:42 PM
I converted my Stevens Model 200 from .223 Remington to .243 Winchester with just a barrel nut wrench and go/no-go guages. Takes a bit more than that to change calibers on the Howa(should you choose to).

March 13, 2012, 05:38 PM
at their prices, get one of each, you could always sell the one you dont like. for myself, my Stevens 200 7mm-08 with a replacement beautiful walnut stock makes it a reasonable price tackdriver. I own some nice rifles, but the Stevens always seems to go with me, I always take at least 3 rifles to the deer lease, and the Stevens is one of them.

March 13, 2012, 10:54 PM
I have owned or own Savage/Stevens rimfire only, but I like my Howa 1500 in .308 also. I have handled centerfire Stevens 200s also, I think either rifle would be a good performer. Both have good but not great aftermarket parts, and both are kind of the plain sister to the 110 and Vanguard. If you want a rifle that you shoot more than you show off or talk about, I think either will work just fine.

March 13, 2012, 10:56 PM
I've owned three Savage/Stevens and all three were absolute tack drivers. I would go with the Stevens.

March 14, 2012, 12:11 AM
I'd go with Howa. I like the extra weight, seems well built. For the record i've shot both but own neither. I do however have Wby Vanguards that are nearly identical (as far as action) to the 1500. The Stevens are good for the money but IMO you'd sink more into it with aftermarket stuff.

March 14, 2012, 02:33 PM
Well I have decided to go with the stevens 200. I found one I really like. Thanks for everyone that gave there 2 cents. I'll give some range reports as soon as i get out. With this nice weather here in PA that shouldn't be to long.....

March 14, 2012, 06:47 PM
Howa is a better built rifle but Howa 223 has 1/12 twist rate while Savage is 1/9 and able to shoot heavier bullet. I went Savage for the twist rate and cheaper price.

March 14, 2012, 07:35 PM
Heavier bullets make the 223 much more versitle, higher BC bullets and some would even say bullets suitable for deer, not my idea of a deer rifle but several people have done it. I would not use a 40-55gr ANYTHING for deer sized game. 75gr I would think about.

March 14, 2012, 09:07 PM
If you ever plan on changing anything - recaliber or stock etc.....the Savage is the only choice...if keeping it completely stock....the Howa is the one.

March 21, 2012, 09:26 PM
Well, the results are in... I got the Stevens out yesterday using UMC yellow box bulk 55gr MC's and I could not get a group less then 1.75 inches at 100 yards to save my life. I went and bought some Federal Premium 55gr Sierra Gameking BTHP and WOW! What a difference! This is a picture of the first 4 shots that I took today. Please ignore the first shot. It was the first shot after cleaning the rifle so let's call that the "fouling" shot...The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th shots were the ones that I measured at 0.552 inches. These were shot at the local gun club I belong to. There was very little wind at all. let me know what you think. A HUGE Thanks goes out to MikePaiN. I bought it off of him. It's everything you said it was.

March 24, 2012, 07:14 AM
What can I say.....? but I'm glad you're happy with the rifle :D

and may it get even better with the V-max.....

March 24, 2012, 09:21 AM
Marlin xs 7 heavy barrel. They are accurate rifle s on a budget as well.

March 24, 2012, 12:56 PM
If you ever plan on changing anything - recaliber or stock etc.....the Savage is the only choice...if keeping it completely stock....the Howa is the one.

Why would that be. There are are more options for restocking a Howa than the Stevens. The Stevens can be rebarreled without as many special tools and at home, but I don't see that as an advantage.

March 24, 2012, 12:59 PM
The Stevens can be rebarreled without as many special tools and at home, but I don't see that as an advantage. You don't? How much does your gunsmith charge to rebarrel a Howa? Or change bolt head size for a different caliber? Stevens hands down cheaper and easier to modify.

April 27, 2012, 06:54 PM
Trust me! You would be more than happy with the Howa 1500 in 223 Rem. I have the Varmiter and it consistantly shoots 1/4 moa groups at 100 yds using a Lead Sled and good hand loads with different powder and bullet configurations, I have several coyotes and hundreds of ground squirrels to it's credit. It is an excellent rifle.

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