Author Topic: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems  (Read 1844 times)

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Offline Val

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Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« on: September 24, 2007, 06:23:36 pm »
I wanted a inexpensive .223 and I bought a Howa 1500 (boy, I wish I would have bought a Savage instead). I've had nothing with problems with this rifle. I did develop a load that would yield .75" three shot groups sporadically. I found the cheapo stock too sensitive to the torque on the stock screws so I bought a Bell & Carlson stock. This stock also had some sensitivity to the tightness of the stock screws but not as bad as the Howa stock. I was also getting groups from .75 to about 2 inches with the B&C stock (although it was a better looking stock). I could see the barrel moving relative to the stock when tightening down the screw. I decided to glass bed the stock and float the barrel. I had this done at a gunsmithing store. The sensitivity to the screw tightness went away but I was still getting groups from .75" to up to 2" with this bedded stock. I checked the barrel float and determined it was a bit tight in some areas, so I hit it with my dremel tool to insure the barrel was properly floated.

I took it to the range today and my first three shot group was 7/8" and I was happy. After that the groups started opening up. I tightened down all the scope screws and the same problem, groups up to 2". I'm going to change the scope and try again, it could be a scope that went South. I took my early 1980s vintage Remy 700 to a gunsmith today for a trigger job (that rifle shot very well with a heavy trigger, should do better with a lighter trigger). I asked the gunsmith how I can add the front stock pressure point back to the stock and he suggested just putting in business cards. He said if one business card improves things add more until there is no improvement or degradation.

Anyone have any spiffy ideas on how to add pressure to the front of the stock? Boy, I wish I bought the Savage instead.
Hunting and fishing are not matters of life or death. They are much more important than that.

Graybeard Outdoors

Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« on: September 24, 2007, 06:23:36 pm »
 

Offline Matt_243

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2007, 10:47:17 pm »
Val,

I have a Weatherby Vanguard Stainless Synthetic in .243win.

I also free floated the barrel and the accuracy went down like a wrought iron hang glider.
I placed small shims between the forestock and the barrel made from a cut up plastic credit card/club membership card.
This improved my accuracy to about 0.5 MOA at 100 metres.

Having a couple of credit card shims placed under the barrel didn't look real great, so I removed them and replaced it with a small block of high density rubber. This was bought in the form of a sheet and cost about 2 bucks for a lot.

The block was approx 4-5mm length and width and approx 2.5mm in depth. 
I used a small razor blade to cut a very shallow V shape into the block and placed this between the barrel and the stock. Its rock solid and does not move. The V helps the barrel to locate itself.

Now she shoots about 0.5 MOA again and does not have credit card bits sticking out of it.

I got the idea about the credit card shims from a Graybeard post some time ago. The rubber was my own brainbox thinkin. If I was half smart, I would know how to look for that post and and post it again......  Graybeard, if your listening????????

good luck, keep us informed.
Matt

Offline Val

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 09:03:21 am »
Matt_243,
Thanks for the info.What kind of a store did you buy this high density rubber at? Sounds like a good approach. I'm going to change the scope and then try credit cards or business cards and see if the accuracy improves. I'll try your approach for the permanent fix if it likes the pressure point.
Hunting and fishing are not matters of life or death. They are much more important than that.

Offline Inrut24/7

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 04:34:02 pm »
My vanguard 270 wsm is shooting best full floated,

Offline Matt_243

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 05:37:41 pm »
Over here in Australia, we have a shop called Clark Rubber, they stock all kinds of rubber. I just bought it in a sheet. I originally bought it for putting under my furniture to stop it sliding over and damaging my timber floors however, I have found many more good uses for it.

You should be able to get it from any sort of decent hardware store over there.

Just remembered that I used a small wafer thin piece of doublesided tape under the block to secure it in place, this roll of tape I bought from a craft shop when the wife and I were making our wedding invitations. If only she knew! You can see the tape under the block in the photo.

What I did was put in a thick block and shoot it and then gradually slice small wafers off the bottom of the block til it shoots just right.

I have attached some photo's.

Let me know!
Matt

Offline Val

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2007, 02:24:46 pm »
Well I changed out the scope and loaded some additional rounds with another powder. Between my club skeet and trap shoots and the opening of the spiny lobster season,  and tuning up my boat, I'm having a tough time finding the time to get back to the range. Retirement is a tough life but someone has to do it.
Hunting and fishing are not matters of life or death. They are much more important than that.

Offline Ahab

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2007, 03:16:03 pm »
I've had worse problems with the Savage I bought last spring. Been back to the factory twice. Finally working as it should. At least your Howa shot some decent groups to begin with. Hope the shim works for you. :)
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Offline Val

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 04:00:56 pm »
I got back to my club shooting tunnel today and shot my .223. I changed the cheapo Sterling scope that came with the rifle when I bought it to an old banner scope that was in my gunsafe from a previous used rifle acquisition. The Sterling scope was the culprit. I had some of my previous Benchmark loads and some new Varget loads. The best three shot groups I got with the Benchmark loads were right at 1" (100 yds). My best groups with the Varget were from .5" to .75" 3 shot groups. This was a pleasant thing since I use Varget in my 22-250. I'm out of Benchmark and I can reduce by one, the number of different powders I have to stock. I now like my Howa.
Hunting and fishing are not matters of life or death. They are much more important than that.

Offline Mac11700

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2007, 07:44:40 am »


I hate cheap scopes...Always have...Always will...I'm glad your Howa is shooting good now...I am sure with the right load...you probably will shrink those groups as well...

Mac
You can cry me a river... but...build me a bridge and then get over it...

Offline tigmaned

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2007, 09:06:24 am »
i am glad to hear it shooting well too! i just bought a howa in 223 rem myself.

Offline EVOC ONE

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Re: Howa 1500 in .223 Problems
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 03:55:28 am »
Val,

Having a couple of credit card shims placed under the barrel didn't look real great, so I removed them and replaced it with a small block of high density rubber. This was bought in the form of a sheet and cost about 2 bucks for a lot.


Very good idea.  Thanks for sharing and the photo's. 

Currently, I use felt weather stripping for the same purpose.  I've found that 1/2" wide adhesive back does well.  It can be trimmed to desired dimensions.  I generally use a 1/2" square piece.  Peel off the protective paper and stick the pad at the location of choice. 

 

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