I don't own a Howa, but I recently shot one and thought that it was a pretty good rifle. I too agree that its fit and finish, and overall quality, is above average. In fact, although I love my Remington 700s (all BDL SS), I believe that the quality of the new Howas is a little bit better than the Remingtons. Howas have very nice triggers (and surprisingly often come out of the box with little or no creep and set at about 3.5 pounds.), and their bolt action are relatively smooth.
Still, I wouldn't quite group the Howas with the superb quality of the Tikkas. Granted, the Tikkas are a little bit more expensive but, in my opinion, worth the extra money. Tikkas have, in my opinion, the best triggers and smoothest action (next to the Sakos) again, out of the box.
You may also want to take a look at the CZ rifles. They too have excellent fit and finish, similar to the Tikkas.
Whether it's a Howa, Tikka, CZ, or Remington, in addition to quality, you should buy the one that feels most comfortable in your hands. Although fit and finish is important, work the bolt, pull the trigger, bring the gun up to your shoulder - which one do you like best? Remember, YOU will be the one that will be shooting it. :wink:
I have a Howa 1500 synthetic stock in 308. with a 3x9 scope.I also have a rem.700 in 223 and a win.mod 70 in 30/06 both with the same setup synthentic and a 3x9. If I had to bye all 3 again they all would be Howa's. I like the Howa triger,fit, bolt action, and the way it shoots. I can't say enough good about my Howa if they are all like the one I have they are a great gun in any price range.My next purchase will be a Howa thumb-hole 223. If you can't tell I am a real fan. The bonus is there price. Well that enough of my hot air. Good luck.
Mtn boy: I have a howa 1500 in 223 and think it is one of the nicest rifles in that price range at present, during the season when I can shoot coyotes I carry mine with me on a daily basis, and I also have other rifles in the 223 caliber that at present are only taking up space in the safe, it you like the caliber of the one you saw and the rifle will fill a need go for it. JIM
Mtn boy, I own two Howa's, 308 and a 270. My 270 is ss and I love both of them and they are real keepers, fit and finish is excellent and the triggers like just great on both. Buy one and you won't go wrong, but if you listen to Zachary the only thing you will buy is a Tikka, I can't get him to buy a Howa and he can't get me to buy a Tikka, just kidding, but they are both great rifles.
Yea, I guess dbuck is right, I probably does sound like I work for Tikka.
Actually, I was at the gun store today to specifically take another look at the Howas. Like I said earlier, I do absolutely love my Tikkas, but I must admit that the Howas are very nice also - especially with the low prices they have.
I might make dbuck happy by then end of this summer by purchasing a Howa in .223.
One of the reasons I have bought Howa's, I was able to put my hands my first one before purchasing. I have never handled a Tikka, but just seen pictures of them and it always seems like their is something wrong in the picture with the rifle, like the swell is to big or something, it just might be my eyes playing tricks on me, it just doesn't seem to have that slender look, but again I have never seen one up close and I guess thats why I have never purchased one. I was thinking about buying a T-3 in 30-06, but again I want to see one first hand and feel it.
When I purchased my Howa's the first thing I did was do away with the stocks. On my 308 I put a Boyd's laminated stock on it and took it to the gunsmith to be bedded and have the barrel free floated. I'm putting a Bell & Carlson Medalists with aluminum bedding system, pachmayr decelerator recoil pad on my 270 (just purchased the action/barrel only), should be here next week.
I will be giving a range report on these two rifles at 200 hundred yards using my reloads/
could someone please give me a run down on where the Howa is made, possible company history etc. I don't know much of ANYTHING about them and have been receiving conflicting info.
I've been told (and looking at them it seems so) that the Weatherby Vanguard line is built on the same action. here the "info" diverges one group says the Vanguard is a Howa with a Weatherby rollmark. and that LSI imports them both from japan. the other says that the Howa came AFTER the Vanguard and that weatherby owns them etc etc.
Personally i'm betting the Vanguard is Weatherby making a deal with Howa and putting their roll mark on it and upping the price a little. BUt i want to get better info and the LSI website is of no help.
Howa's are made in Japan and have been for a number of years. I have a Weatherby Vangaurd that is 27 years old that was made by Howa. They made all of Weatherby's Mark V rifles for years. I'm one of those who thinks they were the best, smoothest actioned Weatherby's ever made. Quality was excellent. Howa also made rifles for Smith and Wesson, until Weatherby complained and they stopped. It was nothing more than the same barreled action with Smith and Wesson stamped on it rather than Weatherby Vangaurd. The actions of the Howa's, not to be confused with the Mark V of Weatherby, is very similiar to a Remington Model 700 with a Sako style extractor. The Howa action corrects what many feel is the weakness of the Remington, the extractor. Safety is in the same place and it also has an adjustable trigger. My heavy barrel .223 came from the factory set at 3 1/2 lbs. Virtually no creep.
The Vangaurds that are produced today are still made by Howa, and are an excellent value. But the only reason I can see for buying one instead of Howa, is if you want a Walnut stock, or .300 Weatherby. I don't believe Howa's are chambered for the Weatherby, but they do come in .300 Winchester.
I paid 379.00 for mine, I stated somewhere else that I paid 359.00 but was looking at the receipt the other day and noticed I was wrong. An excellent value and not my last Howa rifle. Most folks rave about their accuracy.
JBabock, is right on, so I won't repeat what he just said. Buy a Howa or buy a Vanguard made by Howa, its six one, half dozen of the other. On my 270 ss I just bought the Action/Barrel and paid 340.00 plus tax. I then purchased a Bell & Carlson stock for it. I believe I paid around 395.00 for my 308 with stock, but it was blue. Both were great buys.
I own a Howa varmint stainless in 22.250. It came from the factory with Boyds pepper laminated stock. Looks great and shoots sub moa. Like Zachary, I too have Tikkas. They are somewhat more refined, but, you pay a little more for it. The Tikka deluxe is a fantastic rifle for the money.
However, bang for the buck, it is very hard to beat a Howa. They have an integral recoil lug-not bolted on, and the the inside of the laminated stock shows definite hand fitting. Not one size fits all. I don't know anything about their synthetic stocks. As the other fellas have said, fit and fininsh is excellent for the dollar you spend.
I saw a Howa and a Weatherby Vangard next to each other on a shelf the other day. The Weatherby was $429.00 and the Howa was $369.00. Except for the pressed checkering on the Weatherby, the guns were identical.
I sure am no expert but my 1500 syn. stock had a floating barrel from the facrory. I have held one of their lamanate thumb hole guns and that will be my next Howa 223 varment thunb hole. Just my 2 cents.
Gents, just got back from being out of town for a couple of days on business. My Bell & Carlson stock was waiting for me.
1. I order the Medialist stock with the integral alumimum bedding system and the pachmayr decelerator recoil pad plus uncle mikes sling swivel studs came with the stock. I ordered a gray with black spiderweb.
2. Fit and finish was outstanding and it was a true drop in and the barrel is free floating per their catalog. The stock weights 2.5# and I'm very happy with this stock, real happy.
3. Reason why I purchased this stock was to replace a Boyds stock that I ordered a month ago and I was not happy with the fit and finish on that stock. I had to do allot of routing to get my action to fit, it went to the junk room for now.
Let me say this right up front to everyone, Boyds stocks quality and fit and finish can be spotty, so pay your money and take your chance, foretold is forewarned. I got a real good one for my Remington 700 BDL, but I had that rifle taken to a gunsmith to have pillar bedded and add a pachmayr decelerator recoil pad. That should be ready next week and I also got a pretty good one for my Howa 308 which is also at the gunsmith having the same thing done to it.
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