Howa 1500 or Ruger American Predator?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TBL65, Apr 26, 2019.

?

Which is the better option?

  1. Howa 1500

    63.2%
  2. Ruger American Predator

    36.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. TBL65

    TBL65 Member

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    Hello everyone, long time lurker, but first post here!

    Looking at getting a cheaper .223 bolt action for something to mess around with. Recently got into reloading and figured a .223 bolt gun would give me a good platform to tinker with for different loads, use to shoot out to 500-600 yards, use as a Varmint gun and possibly as a trainer for when I want to step into a caliber/budget and find a place to shoot 1000+ yards!

    Have it narrowed down to two guns. Looking for some real world opinions/accuracy results on two similarly priced guns!

    Howa 1500 heavy barrel Hogue
    vs
    Ruger American Predator

    The plan is to top it with a vortex Diamondback tactical, primary arms, Bushnell or similar mid level scope and maybe drop into chassis later!

    Thanks in advance for the help on the decision!
    (Yes this was also posted on AR15 forums but seems more apropriate here!)
     
  2. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    Hello, and welcome to the High Road! I am in the same boat wanting a small bore bolt gun, and after owning a howa 1500 30-06, I KNOW the platform is capable of amazing accuracy. I also own an American Predator unfired atm, but it is a pretty nice rifle in 6.5 Grendel. I am also looking at tikkas and CZs for a 223, but for a bench only gun the Howa has a lot going for it. Don't overlook the howa mini action, it is 223 sized.

    Either of your picks could stand a stock upgrade for bench work, but the Houge on the Howa gets the nod from me. Lots of options for trigger and stock upgrades, but look at magazine compatibility on upgrades before buying the ruger. Bottom metal can be an issue there.
     
  3. onegunred

    onegunred Member

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    I have a Howa 1500 in 270 Win. and a Ruger Predator in 223. The Ruger is a good rifle but the Howa is a much better rifle for about a $100.00 more.
     
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  4. high country

    high country Member

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    To echo the comments above, I would lean towards Howa. For 223, the mini/micro actions like CZ and and Howa have really nice short throw and slightly lighter weight compared to a full short action like the 1500 and Ruger, so I would look towards the Howa Mini action. I have one in 7.62x39 in a boyds stock that hits way above its weight class (and price point).

    The CZ is another great micro action, but is a bit more expensive (although worth it in many people's opinion, mine included if it suits what you want to do with it). That said, with the Howa you get a 10 round magazine rather than 5 with the CZ, the CZ can be a little finicky with scope fit due to the 90 degree Mauser bolt throw, and the Howa has a 1-8 twist, which opens up some heavier, higher BC options for your reloading adventures.

    Now if you were talking 243, 6mm Creedmore, or 6.5 Creedmore, then the Howa 1500 or Ruger would be great choices. Both of those options have a lot to offer in a long or short action cartridge.
     
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  5. onegunred

    onegunred Member

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    I checked what I had paid and it only cost me about $20.00 more for the Howa over the Ruger American Predator.
     
  6. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ive ownd and really like both. I'd probably go for the howa as a fixed position rifle.
     
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  7. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I like the Howa, but honestly if you're looking to reload, why choose the 223? Get a Howa 6.5 Grendel, reload and still shoot 1K yards. Reloading for the .223 doesn't make financial sense IMO
     
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  8. TBL65

    TBL65 Member

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    Sounds like both are solid guns for the price range. Looking at the spec sheets the howa 1500 is a 20” 1:9 twist and the Ruger is a 22” 1:8 twist. In theory the Ruger should be better at stabilizing the 75/77gr bullets correct?

    I actually just found a closeout deal on a 223 howa heavy barrel for $350+ shipping!

    I completely get where you are coming from. The reason I am looking at the .223 is I have A TON of brass and some other components and dies already. So I’m already set up to reload 223 from recently getting into for my AR. And right now I am limited to about 400 yards and am looking at the 223 as a Inexpensive round to reload for as something to tinker with. Later on I may look at a 308 or 6.5 creedmoor when I find a place to shoot out to 1000+ yards. Hope that makes some sense haha
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  9. TN Outlaw

    TN Outlaw Member

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    I like both rifles you named. If given a choice between the two, I'd go with the Howa.

    It's a nicer rifle, plain and simple. Smoother action, shorter action, better stock, better fit and finish, a better rifle. A Howa with a Timney trigger is a really good start to a good shooting rifle. IMHO

    Nothing wrong with the Ruger Pred. I have one in 6.5CM that when testing factory loadings shot 7 different loads (120gr-142gr) into about a 2" group at 100yds. (3 shot groups) With 140gr Nosler Custom Comp it printed tiny cloverleaf groups but I really like that it'll shoot every load I tried to the same POI and that it liked pretty much everything so far. I have some rifles that are alot more picky than that.

    Either are great in my experience.
     
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  10. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    For me the tiny ejection port on the Ruger is a nonstarter.
     
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  11. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Barrel twist dictates the ruger, but honestly if you're wanting to STRETCH it, get a rem or savage and drop a 7 twist heavy barrel on, with a niceish stock and a good scope. Used .223 actions aren't expensive, the new barrel will run between 2-350, the stock, depending on flavor, could be had for 2ish. Regardless, good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
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  12. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    I currently own 2 howa 1500's in 30-06 one has about a 2" longer barrel than the other, they both shoot very well, the one with the longer barrel shoots 300yrds as good as my rem 700bdl. I purchased both used and they came with Leopold scopes.
    I don't think they hold there value, last month I purchased a 308 with a Leopold vx3 for 300 and then sold it with a bushnell for 300.
    223 is cheap to reload but as stated above, a 6.5 grendel or a 224 valkyrie will gain you some yrds if you are planning it later on
     
  13. HankC

    HankC Member

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    Same here. It is a big turn off for me. I looked into Ruger Americans and was thinking if I can mill the tiny ejection port open to allow top loading if I buy one! All my bolt guns have top open receivers that I can top loading. I have a classic Howa 1500 in 308, a great shooter, with a mauser style action and excellent build quality. 223 is also available in Howa mini action with box magazine, I have a Howa mini in 7.62x39. I prefer traditional fixed magazine like in classic 1500. T/C Compass is a good option to consider if you want a starter bolt gun. It has a top open receiver. I bought one in 223 for under $200 after rebate, $179 I think, but I have not shot it yet, T/C is known for accuracy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  14. saiga308

    saiga308 Member

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    trucker long hauling everywhere LOL
    i went with a howa this is my 308 with a
    Axiom stock
    DSCN1425.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    You are looking at the future of bolt rifles. Rifles with a solid top receiver are proving to be much stiffer and more accurate than the older open top design. That and doing away with an internal magazine and going to a DBM are features that lead to making an accurate rifle. Not that you can't have an accurate rifle without those features, but it adds expense and is simply another thing to go wrong. It is much simpler and less expensive to build an accurate rifle with those features.

    It isn't an accident that inexpensive rifles like the Ruger Predator, Tikka T-3, Savage Axis, Browning X bolt, Winchester XPR, TC Venture and several others all have solid top actions and detachable magazines. And out shoot rifles costing 2-3X as much. It is by design.


    The 1500 is a good rifle, but not even close to a Mauser action. It is very close to the Rem 700 action with a different extractor.

    I'll never say a bad thing about the standard Howa other than it is heavier than it needs to be. The Howa's on the mini action are more problematic and suffer from poor magazine design. The standard rifles are solid rifles, but in this case, and for the OP's intended use the barrel twist on the Ruger is a better choice. The rotary magazines in the Ruger are their weak link. The versions that take Accuracy International style of AR style magazines are very reliable and are my pick.
     
  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I'm a big fan of Ruger firearms but, in this price range, I think Howa makes the better rifle.
     
  17. TBL65

    TBL65 Member

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    I’ve considered the T/C my complaints with them is the thinner barrel profile and not many chassis companies have inlets for them. Lately I’ve been seeing them go for $299. Which is only $50-$100 less than the howa or Ruger American Predator.
    I do like the threads muzzle and 5R rifling though

    That’s my biggest hang up between the howa and the Ruger is twist rate. Howa’s 1:9 vs Ruger’s 1:8. And build quality, seems everyone says the howa is a nicer rifle. Accuracy from the reviews I’ve seen seems comparable but how’s sub moa guarantee is nice. Price is negligible as they are similar priced with finding a sale on a Heavy barrel howa being $50 cheaper.

    Leaning towards the howa as of now. Only being able to shoot out to 400 yards I’m sure the 1:9 would do find with 69gr bullsets maybe even 75gr, who knows every rifle is different.
     
  18. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have the RAR predator in 6.5 CM and another ranch in 300 B-O. I am 100% satisfied with both. My 223 bolt action rifle is a Mossberg MVP thunder ranch model. With good ammo like 77 gr Black Hills or 75 grain Hornady BTHP, I get 1" groups all day long. I am also very satisfied with this rifle, it works too well to get rid of and replace with anything else.
    My MVP
    MVP turkey.jpg
    My RAR in 300 B-O
    300 B-O fox.jpg
     
  19. TBL65

    TBL65 Member

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    So I wanted to update this thread a little. I haven’t made a purchase on a rifle as my time and attention had to be directed elsewhere for a bit. But I’m still looking and am hopefully going to be able to take advantage of one of the good holiday deals.

    still considering a 223, but have started to consider a few other rifles. Below are what I’m looking at and rough pricing.
    1. Howa 1500 heavy barrel ~$375
    -or weatherbt vanguard for around $400
    2. Ruger American Predator ~$400
    3. Savage 12FV ~$320 on sale $420 regular
    4. Remington 700 ADL ( saw a sale at bass pro the other week for around ~$400)

    my plan is to get the basics of load development, reloading and build on proper shooting techniques with the 223 as I have the reloading stuff and it’s cheap. Possibly put it in a chassis and then later on add the same action style in a 308 or 6.5 to stretch out to 1000+ yards.

    Any advice or first hand opinions on the best platform with the other added rifles? I’m thinking either the howa or savage 12 (not sure on the 26” barrel on the savage especially for 223 or 308, 6.5 I imagine it would make sense.

    thanks all!
     
  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I’m partial to the Vanguard. Same action as the Howa but better fit and finish IMO. If you want strictly a donor action I’d go 700 ADL.
     
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  21. CptnAwesome
    • Contributing Member

    CptnAwesome Contributing Member

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    Vanguard would be my first choice. I too am partial, I have two and both of them are shooters.

    Savage would be my second. Savage is producing some very very accurate rifles.
     
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  22. dranrab

    dranrab Member

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    That Vanguard from CDNN is a slamming good deal. The stock is nicer on it than it is the Howa. I have probably bought 20 new Rugers in my life. I have had it with their faltering QC, so no more Rugers for me. Out of those you have listed there this is my order. Vanguard, Howa, ADL, Ruger. When you hold the Vanguard side by side with the Ruger, the quality differences will be palpable.
     
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  23. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I have the Vanguard from CDNN, though I haven't gotten to shoot it yet due to weather so can't comment on accuracy. I will say, though, that the action is very smooth and the trigger is nice especially when adjusted down. I dropped mine in a Hogue Overmold stock w/ full bed block that I got crazy cheap, was gonna save for a Bell & Carlson but got the Hogue for around half price. The twist rate isn't an issue for me because I'm not shooting at the ranges you will be so I don't really NEED the ability to shoot heavier bullets. Heads up, though, the OEM stock is not free floated and that is by design according to them. I don't buy their reasoning so I free floated mine in the new stock.

    20191007_235840.jpg

    I also have a Savage 10 (same family as the 12) in .308 and it's a nice rifle. Boringly accurate at the limited range I have available, a bit of a hoss weight wise but I knew that going in (it's a 22" fluted barrel). Accutrigger is one of my favorite triggers. I dropped it in a Choate Tactical stock which REALLY made it even heavier but I don't mind it since I'm not lugging it through the woods. I did go to Bass Pro and check out the 12 FV, I just didn't want a 26" barrel (wanted something more compact) but otherwise it seemed like a nice rifle.

    20190519_163004.jpg

    The other two I don't have any experience with but both have good reputations. Things to consider, the Remington and Savage will be easier to replace the barrels from my understanding. If you think you may want to get into real heavy for caliber stuff, you'll probably end up looking to swap a 1:7 twist barrel eventually. That said, the 1:8 on the RA Predator should be able handle all but the very heaviest.

    The way I'd look at it personally, if barrel swapping may be in your future go with the Savage or Remington. If all you're going to do is maybe swap out the stock, go with either the cheapest option OR the one you like the feel of the best, whichever is more important to you. They should all be accurate enough for your uses I imagine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  24. Poper

    Poper Member

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    I have had a Savage M12 with the 26" bbl.
    As BigBL87 said: Boringly accurate. Nice thing about the Savage is it is a snap to change the bbl. Anyone that can figure out which end of a wrench to use and can use a dummy round can change the bbl and set the headspace.
    Don't over look the .243 Win. chambering. Those heavy for caliber 6mm pills will really reach out and drill some nice groups out at 600 yards and beyond without punishing recoil.
     
  25. TBL65

    TBL65 Member

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    Appreciate the reply! I’m thinking it’s really coming down to the howa/vanguard or the savage based on the reviews I’m seeing.
    I like the vanguard has the threaded barrel for $25 more than the howa.

    Price between the vanguard/howa and savage 12Fv is within $20, but if the savage went on sale like it normally does, it would be $100 cheaper. Definitely hard to determine the better gun for the price
     
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