Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ontarget, Jun 23, 2016.
Any opinions on the Howa M1500?
Howa 1500, are great quality rifles, and they shoot excellent. It is also the same action as a Weatherby Vanguard. I have 2 Vanguards, a.243, and a .308, and a custom built 1500 action, in .270. All three are great rifles.
You can usually get a Howa 1500, for a little less than a Weatherby Vanguard. There are some slight build differences between the two, also.
It's a very good rifle at a reasonable price. The receiver is heavier than most similar options, which is good for durability and bad for hiking several miles across mountains. Other than that, you're getting a forged receiver, forged bolt, and cold-hammer-forged barrel for the price of far inferior stuff from other brands.
I'm using a Howa 1500 Varmint for F-class (precision) and it's working very well.
The Howa 1500 and Weatherby Vanguard are the same rifle, except that (as I understand it) the Vanguard has certain dimensions to inch spec vs. metric on the Howa, so it's possible that some parts like scope mounts will fit one correctly but not the other.
In the same approximate price range the Tikka T3 is another excellent rifle.
They are very well made rifles although the triggers are not the best. In my experience, if you adjust all the creep out, the safety won't engage. Not good. Timney offers a very good replacement.
All of the Vanguards I have worked on are identical to the 1500's except the stocks.
If you keep one long enough to rebarrel, be prepared to spend a little more in labor. The barrel threads are metric which most smiths charge extra for. Takes me twice as long to thread as inch threads.
I have one in 25-06. I think the trigger is great. Gun itself feels a bit unbalanced to me in the hogue stock. The action itself is great and I like the 1 piece bolt and the sako extractor is a step above either savage or Remington in my opinion.
A friend has the same gun as myself and it is very accurate with hornady factory ammo. I haven't played with mine too much yet but I think the potential is there to be quite accurate.
I'd go as far as to say it the best bolt action for the money as it can be had at the price of the axis, 783, or American.
Have one in 6.5x55 and it is mine and the boys primary deer rifle. Shoots very well and was very economical.
i have had a older S&W 1500 in .223 varmit for years with heavy parked barrel and dark oil finished checkered walnut stock made by howa that has killed a ton of groundhogs and crows. it and my rem 700 .223 varmit are minus MOA rifles. eastbank.
I LOVE my Howa 1500! It's a .30-06, and shoots very well. They're slightly heavier than a lot of the rifles on the market, which actually attracted me to it. Also a 24" barrel instead of 22".
I have two Howa 1500 rifles that were made before they started using Hogue stocks. One is in 30-06 and the other in .223. Both are main hunting rifles and both do sub 1/2MOA out to at least 200 yards. I highly recommend Howa 1500 rifles.
NOTE: Both rifles do sub 1/2MOA with my handloaded ammo. I have never shot them with factory ammo so I can't say how accurate they are with other ammo.
ArchAngelCD, Likewise, I also have one in the 30-06, and one in the .223, and both are extremely accurate using my hand loads. Incidentally mine are the much older versions with the walnut wood stocks nicely done btw.
Howa 1500 is about the best you can buy for the money spend, I have a 308 with 24 inch barrel and 223 with 20 inch barrel, both with bull barrel.
Both shoot ½ MOA out of the box with appropriate ammo.
I own a 1500 in 223. The twist is slower than what you find in AR's and it only handles 55 gr bullets. I put a mil dot scope on it. We had a steel target, about 18 inches on a side mounted at about 550 yds. Was easy to get consistent hits on that target. Nice rifles for the price.
I've had a couple. They are well made guns, but the heaviest rifles made. I'd not mind another in a magnum chambering where the weight might be welcome. I'd not have another in a standard cartridge.
Best factory trigger of any rifle I own (it's a two stage). Mine is plenty light at 6 3/4 pounds, but I have the youth model (20" #1 contour barrel) in 308. Accuracy is as advertised. I prefer the Weatherby over the Howa because the Weatherby stock is made for using a scope, whereas the standard "American" style stock of the Howa doesn't seem to be real good for cheek weld IMO (more like chin weld).
I've had 4 of them. Two 1500s and two Vangards. Excellent rifles but I agree.....heavier than I would like.
I have a Howa 1500 and two Weatherby Vanguard rifles. They're a bit heavy but otherwise great guns. All three of mine had good triggers out of the box.
I have one of the new Mini Action Howa M1500 rifles (there is a thread about it in this section). I love the gun and ironically find out a very light rifle! The Mini Action made the Howa in .223 lighter than most of its competitors yet retained (and increased) the extremely rigid action.
The one-piece bolt is a new concept to me and is awesome. The action very smooth and accuracy is great. I really like this rifle:
Is the Howa's .223 chamber good with 5.56 ammo? Thanks!
According to Weaver, both the Howa and the Vanguard take the same scope mounts (36 & 35, same as the Remington 700).
There are some cosmetic differences to make a Vanguard resemble a Mark V, but basically the Howa and the Vanguard are the same gun.
FWIW, at one time Howa made all Weatherbys, including the Mark V, until Mark V production was moved to the US.
I sent an email to Legacy Sports with this same question about the mini when it came out and was told it was meant for .223 only. It seems like maybe you could run a wylde reamer in the chamber and be good to go, but that's speculation on my part.
Thanks. The claim of inch/metric difference was told me by a CS rep of Bell & Carlson when I asked why their Vanguard short-action stock didn't fit my short-action Howa 1500. They also said I was OK to very slightly modify the stock to fit, which I did without problem. I don't know if there are actually any dimensional differences or if this is some sort of legend.
Could you provide more detail on the modifications needed?
Had a 1500 Varmint bull barrel in .223, was the most accurate factory rifle I've ever owned, truly sub-.5 MOA consistently @ 200 yards (5 shot groups). I should have kept the thing, but I was itching for a .220 Swift and needed to fund it. The .220 I got is also pretty accurate, holding 0.72 MOA average, but it took more load development to get there, and that's still not as good as the Howa was.
Last year I ordered a Howa barreled action and dropped it right in a Fred Choate stock no issues. The rifle is great and very accurate, my only issue is the twist rate. It is a 1 in 9 twist and I really wish it were a 1 in 7 what I have noticed is that most all of the Howa's have slower twist rates. I would love to see what this rifle could do with 75gr or 77gr at 600 yards but it doesn't seem to like them. But it will drive nails with my 69gr load.
I built up a Howa 1500 with a Shilen barrel in .30-06. It is more accurate than I can be. I took a deer last year at 70 yards and hit right where I aimed.
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