December 3rd, 2017

Howa How-To: Basics of Howa Rifles and Barrel-Swapping Tips

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com built this tactical rifle (top image) with a Howa 1500 action, Shilen barrel, and MDT chassis. Below is a factory Howa 1500 Multi-Cam rifle.

Many of our readers are thinking of purchasing a Howa rifle or barreled action. These feature smooth-running actions with a good two-stage HACT trigger. But some folks have heard that it may be difficult to find stocks, or to fit an after-market barrel. That’s not true. There are many stock options available, and in this article, Bill of RifleShooter.com shows that it is easy to remove the factory-installed barrel with the right tools. We think a Howa makes a fine basis for a varmint rig or field rifle. Or you can build a tactical as Bill did. You can start with the factory barrel and when you want/need more accuracy, then have a gunsmith install a custom barrel from Krieger, Shilen, or other quality brand.

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

Tech Feature by RifleShooter.com
Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”. AccurateShooter.com’s editor mentioned there’s been a lot of interest in Howa rifles and barreled actions imported by Legacy Sports International. In addition to being able to buy a complete rifle from a dealer, Brownells sells barreled actions in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. In this post we are going to take a look at the Howa 1500 series.

Howa Rifles — General Background
Howa is a Japanese heavy machinery company. One of its product lines are firearms, which, are imported into the United States of America by two different companies, Legacy Sports International and Weatherby. Legacy sells the 1500 under the manufacturers name while Weatherby re-brands the guns as the Weatherby Vanguard. In general, the finishes on the Weatherby rifles are more refined than the LSI-imported 1500s.

General Evaluation of Howa 1500 Rifles
I’ve found Howa 1500s to be solid, entry-level rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. I’ve actually purchased two Howa rifles I’ve tested because I like them so much. The gun below, a Howa Mini-Action in 7.62×39 Russian, is one of my favorite factory guns to shoot. I’m running a Tract Optics Toric on it, these are solid little rifle scopes that offer great performance for the money.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Check out this three-shot group I drilled at 100 yards with the rifle above and 125-grain Sierras. It took a lot of work and load development to get there, but when it did, it worked well.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1600 HACT Two-Stage TriggerHowa 1500 HACT 2-Stage Trigger
Howa 1500s feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. There is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition. Rifleshooter.com says the Howa trigger is “one of the best factory triggers, along with Tikka. I’ve found the Howa trigger superior to a Remington 700 — the Howas doesn’t need to be replaced.

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Howa Actions — Three Options
Howa offers three action lengths: Mini, Short, and Long. You can see the bolts for the three action lengths in the image below. The Mini-Action has similar external dimensions to the Remington Model Seven, however, the Mini-Action’s bolt does not travel as far to the rear. This is a mixed bag. The upside is you have a quicker action (shorter bolt throw). The downside is you are limited to shorter rounds such as the .223 Remington, 7.62×39mm Russian, and 6.5 Grendel. But if you need a bigger cartridge, just choose the standard or long action Howa variant.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700 — Important Differences
Is the Howa 1500 a Remington 700 clone, or some kind of improved Remington 700? No, not really. While the top radius of the Howa 1500 does match the Model 700, and they can both use the same two-piece scope bases, there area number of differences.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

If you look at the Howa 1500 alongside the Remington 700 you’ll note the M700 is a round action, while the Howa is a flat-bottom action. In many ways the Howa’s bottom half reminds me of a push-feed Winchester. This means the chassis and stocks that support a Howa 1500 are not V-block based like you’ll find on a 700, instead they have a flat bottom. While the bolt of the Howa is similar in external appearance to the Model 700, it does offer some improvements, notably an M16-style extractor and a firing pin assembly that can be easily removed without tools.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 action screws are metric and are in a different location from the 700. The Howa 1500 has an integral recoil lug that accepts the front action screw, this means you have more of the front action screw engaging the action. WARNING: If you install it into a poorly-fitted stock or action you may bind it.

Can a Howa Action Be Used for a Custom Rifle Project?
Absolutely! You can either buy a barreled action from Brownells and throw it in a chassis system/stock of your choice or you can use a stripped action to build a custom rifle. If you are in the chassis market, MDT offers a wide variety of chassis in different price ranges. All have worked well for me.

How to Remove Howa Factory Barrel from Action
You may have heard internet grumblings about removing Howa barrels. Some keyboard commandos say they are extremely difficult to remove without a relief cut. Well Bill at Rifleshooter.com demonstrates that Howa barrels can be removed without trouble, provided you have the right tools. Watch this video:

Watch Howa Barrel Removal Video — Quick and Easy (Click Speaker Icon for Audio)

Q: Is it difficult to remove a barrel from a Howa 1500?
A: Not very. I’ve heard from some smiths that worked on Howas (years ago) that the factory barrels are difficult to remove. However of the half dozen or so Howa barrels that I’ve pulled, they’ve been very easy. I use a Brownells action wrench with the top piece for a Rem Model 700 and the flat bottom resting against the flat on the wrench.

Howa Actions Require Metric Barrel Threads
It’s easy to thread a barrel for a Howa Action. You just have to cut metric threads — most lathes out there can cut them. I cut the threads below on a manual lathe using change gears. [Editor: John Whidden cuts metric tenon threads with a CNC lathe. “It’s easy,” John tells us, “No issue whatsoever.”]

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Using Howa Actions for Custom Rifles
I have built a few customs with Howa actions. Below is one of my favorite, a .308 Winchester. It consists of a Howa 1500 action, Shilen Select Match Remington Varmint contour barrel, and Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis. Great rifle and it hammers!

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

To learn more about Howa rifles and actions, visit Legacy Sports International. To buy a Howa barreled action, visit Brownells.com.

To learn more about modular chassis systems for Howa rifles, visit MDTTAC.com

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 30th, 2017

Bargain Finder 110: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Whittaker Guns — Howa 1500 Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting

Great “Bang for the Buck” — If you’re looking for a hunting rifle for your son or daughter, here’s a very good gun that’s light-weight and sized for youngsters. Right now the Howa Mini Action Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel is just $349.99 at Whittaker Guns. This special Youth model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull. Weighing under 5.7 pounds with 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a boy or girl to carry easily. Factory hunting ammo is available from Federal, Hornady, and Alexander Arms.

2. MidwayUSA — 1500 Rounds Norma Tac-22 Ammo, $109.99

Deals of Week Norma Tac-22 Tac22 ammo
.22 LR 22LR rimfire smallbore ammo Norma Tac-22

Check out those groups. That’s impressive accuracy at 50 yards. You’d expect to pay $10.00 or more per box for rimfire ammo that can shoot this well. But you can now get the Norma Tac-22 for the equivalent of $3.66 per box in this package deal — 1500 rounds in Ammo Can for $109.99. This works out to just 7 cents a round for very good .22 LR rimfire ammo — that’s a steal. NOTE: The target photos come from Champion Shooters Supply, which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.”

3. Grafs.com — Caldwell Rock Front Rest, $119.99

Graf's Grafs.com Caldwell Rock Benchrest BR front rest iron with bag

The Caldwell Rock BR Front Rest is sturdy and stable. It ships with two front bags, a wide tri-lobe plus a conventional bag (shown above). The latter works quite well for rifles with narrow forearms — such as hunting rigs or ARs. This is a good option for a young shooter or someone getting started on a tight budget. We’ve used this rest on a varmint hunt and it worked well. Use the Mariner wheel for gross elevation changes and “fine tune” elevation by squeezing your rear sand bag. This same rest costs $139.61 at Amazon. Save $20.00 by purchasing through Grafs which also offers a single, flat $7.95 handling fee per order — no extra shipping charge. Purchase multiple items from Grafs.com and pay just one $7.95 fee.

4. Precision Reloading — Nosler Brass and Bullets 20-25% Off

Nosler brass bullets discount sale Precision Reloading

Here’s a good sale at Precision Reloading. If you are looking for great pricing on Nosler-brand brass and bullets, save now — components are discounted 20-25%. Check out the great pricing on 250-bullet quantities. Here are some of the better deals:

Nosler .204-Cal 40gr B-Tip Varmint Bullet: $40.99 for 250ct (marked down from $51.99)
Nosler .243-Cal 107gr Match Bullet: $40.99 for 250ct (marked down from $51.99)
Nosler .284-Cal (7mm) 175gr Accubond Bullet: $39.99 for 100ct (marked down from $55.99)
Nosler .308-Cal 155gr Match Bullet: $199.99 for 1000ct (marked down from $256.99)
Nosler .308-Cal 190gr Match Bullet: $65.99 for 250ct (marked down from $83.99)

5. GunBuyer.com — S&W M&P 9mm M2.0, $419.00

Smith Wesson M&P pistol handgun 9mm 9x19mm sale rebate

Here’s a good deal on a very reliable, accurate full-size 9x19mm pistol — the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm in handsome Flat Dark Earth finish. We like the distinctive color with contrasting matte black ambidextrous controls. This 9mm pistol is now on sale for $419.00. When we featured this same pistol in September, it proved very popular and sold out at the vendor. If you like it, you might want to act soon.

6. Bruno Shooters Supply — Halloween Sale through 10/31/2017

Bruno Shooters supply Halloween discount sale Sierra Bullets Kreiger barrels

To mark Halloween, Bruno Shooters Supply is running a store-wide sale this Monday and Tuesday (through 10/31/2017 at 11:59 PM). There are notable savings on a wide range of products including powder, bullets, brass, primers and even premium-quality Krieger barrels. If you need reloading components, or a new barrel for your rifle, check out this sale — but don’t dawdle. Sale prices expire on Halloween Night, Tuesday, October 31st at 11:59 pm.

7. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $39.00

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $39.00, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

8. CDNN Sports — Ruger 17 HMR American Compact, $269.99

Ruger 17 HMR American Compact

This is a good little rifle in our favorite varmint chambering. With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for prairie dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. CDNN Sports is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire Compact, with 18″ barrel, for just $269.99. That includes two (2) comb units and a FREE padded carry sling. FFL required.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week, 37% Savings

Mystery Amazon Deal shooting mat rifle tactical carry case

This double-duty product safeguards your firearms during transport AND provides a comfortable foundation when shooting prone. With a solid 4.5-star rating (240+ reviews) this item has impressed rifle-owning purchasers. Right now this product is being offered for around $52.00, a bargain considering all it can do. This versatile product performs multiple tasks and would be well-suited for PRS competitors. If you read the reviews you’ll see that recent purchasers have been very happy: “Superb for the money”; “Very practical”; “Really nice and well-constructed”; “Heavy Duty and versatile”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
October 23rd, 2017

Howa HCR Rifle Named NRA Gun of the Week

Howa 1500 HCR Luth stock modular

We like Howa 1500-series rifles. The major attractions are the smooth-running action (feels almost like a custom), a very good two-stage trigger (way better than most domestic factory triggers), pretty decent barrels, and excellent fit and finish. Howa also offers a “mini” action that’s nearly an inch shorter than a conventional short action. The only negative is that the Howa actions have metric barrel threads. That complicates the re-barreling task for some gunsmiths who don’t have the right equipment. All-in-all the Howa 1500 series is still a fine value, offering excellent “bang for the buck”. If we were choosing a new varmint or hunting rifle, the Howa would be one of our first choices.

Given our positive outlook towards Howa rifles, we were pleased to see that American Rifleman just named the Howa 1500 HCR rifle (with scope package) as the NRA Gun of the Week. Check it out:

Designed for PRS “factory class” competition and tactical applications, the Howa HCR offers the smooth-running 1500 action with HACT 2-Stage trigger in a fully-adjustable aluminum chassis. The Howa’s MSRP is $1299.00, with “street price” around $990.00 in black or $1180 with Camo finish so the HCR is directly competitive with the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). Available chamberings are: .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Howa 1500 HCR Luth stock modular

Mounted on an AR-style buffer tube system, the Howa HCR utilizes the fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-3 stock. Length of Pull is adjustable from 12.5″ to 16.75″. Comb height is also adjustable to fine tune for scope height-over-bore. Weight with a 24″ barrel is 10.2 pounds (before optics), so this Howa HCR is lighter than many similar rifles on the market.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
September 28th, 2017

PT&G — Howa 1500 Barreled Actions with Trigger, $250.00

Howa 1500 Barreled Action HACT Trigger discount sale

GREAT DEAL — Complete Howa Barreled Actions (With Trigger) for $250.00
Howa makes excellent, smooth-running actions, and the Howa HACT 2-stage trigger is WAY better than most domestic factory triggers. Right now you can save big bucks on Howa 1500 barreled actions, complete with HACT trigger and trigger-guard. Pacific Tool & Gauge (PT&G) sourced a truckload of Howa barreled actions, which are now on sale. Available at $250.00 are: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22-250. All these chamberings are offered with either light- or heavy-barrel contours. There is no extra charge for factory camo finishes.

Guys, this is an incredible deal — you can get a complete high-quality barreled action for less than the cost of a custom barrel. If you’re looking to put together a varmint rifle project this is a great option — just add the stock and scope of your choice.

Howa 1500 Barreled Action HACT Trigger discount sale

These barreled actions would be great for custom hunting/varmint rifle projects — many have factory camo finishes. Howa barrels typically deliver easy sub-MOA accuracy (and often much better). NOTE: Some of these barreled actions may carry Weatherby or Nosler markings, but they were all made at the Howa factory in Japan.

Howa 1500 Barreled Actions Have Excellent 2-Stage Hact Triggers

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT TriggerPT&G’s Howa 1500 barreled actions feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. In our opinion, the HACT trigger is clearly superior to the trigger on the Ruger RPR, as well as the Savage AccuTrigger. And there is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition.

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
September 22nd, 2017

Great Deal on 6.5 Creedmoor Howa for PRS and Tac Comps

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT Trigger

Here’s a great deal if you are looking for a smooth-running 6.5 Creedmoor rig in a modular chassis for PRS and tactical competitions. Right now you can get the Howa HCR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor for just $867.00 at Bud’s Gun Shop (Check, eCheck or M/0 price). The new Howa HCR (Howa Chassis Rifle) combines a Howa 1500 barreled action with a modern, fully-adjustable aluminum chassis. MSRP for this HCR rifle is $1299.00, so this $867.00 price is a great deal for a 6.5 Creedmoor Howa with a very good two-stage trigger and 1:8″-twist 24″ barrel. Other chamberings are: .223 Remington, .243 Winchester and .308 Winchester (price may vary).

Mounted on an AR-style buffer tube system, the Howa HCR utilizes the fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-3 stock. Length of Pull is adjustable from 12.5″ to 16.75″. Comb height is also adjustable to fine tune for scope height-over-bore. Weight with a 24″ barrel is 10.2 pounds (before optics), so this Howa HCR is lighter than some similar rifles on the market.

Howa HCR Features

• Howa 1500 Barreled Action with 24″ Heavy Barrel
• Black 6061-T6 Aluminum Chassis with Free-Float M-LOK Forend
• LUTH AR Buttstock with LOP Adjustment (12.5″ to 16.75″) and Adjustable Comb
• 10-RD ACCURATE Detachable, Teflon-coated Steel Magazine
• Two-Stage H.A.C.T. Trigger
• 3 Position Safety

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT TriggerThe HOWA HCR features an adjustable, two-stage HACT trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. In our opinion, the HACT trigger is clearly superior to the trigger on the Ruger RPR, as well as the Savage AccuTrigger. And there is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade.

Also available in .223 Rem, .243 Win, and .308 Win chamberings (price may vary)

NOTE: For all chamberings, 24″ barrels are offered, with 20″ options for the .223 Rem and .308 Win as well. Twist rates are 1:9″ for .223 Rem, 1:10″ for .243 Win, 1:8″ for 6.5 Creedmoor, and 1:10″ for .308 Win. We think .243 Win shooters will NOT be happy with the 1:10″ twist. We would prefer to see a 1:8″-twist for the .243 Win so it can shoot the 105-115 grain 6mm bullets. Most competitive 6mm shooters will want a true 8-twist or even a 1:7.5″.

Permalink News No Comments »
June 19th, 2017

Bargain Finder 91: Accurateshooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Browning Stainless Buck Mark, $279.99 After Rebate

Browning Buckmark Stainless Camper UFX Pistol Handgun .22 LR 22 rimfire

Everyone needs a good .22 LR rimfire handgun, and the Browning Buck Mark is a classic. This stainless, bull barrel version is marked down this week to $329.99. That’s a very good deal, but you can save even more with Browning’s $50 Rebate. Buck Marks, with their excellent triggers and great ergonomics, are fun to shoot and VERY accurate. This is a pistol you can keep for a life-time. Browning says: “Every Buck Mark starts out as a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy, and then is CNC-machined to exacting tolerances. The crisp single-action trigger, hand reamed chamber, target crowned barrel and finely adjustable target sights mean the Buck Mark comes ready for fun straight from the box.” There is also a blued Buck Mark version priced at $289.99 (or $239.99 after Rebate).

2. Grafs.com — Caldwell Long Range Target Cam System, $329.99

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera
Labradar chronograph

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $330.00. Graf’s offers free shipping after a flat $7.95 handling charge.

3. Midsouth or Bruno’s — Labradar Chronograph and Accessories

Labradar chronograph

Midsouth Shooters Supply is now carrying the advanced Labradar chronograph. This unique unit allows you to measure your shots without having to set up a tripod and skyscreens downrange. When you start using a Labradar, you’ll never want to go back to old-style chronographs. You can also purchase the Labradar from Bruno Shooters Supply. Price is $559.95 from either vendor. NOTE: Very soon Labradar plans to offer Bluetooth functionality, allowing you to control the machine remotely with your mobile device. This functionality will come via new software — the Bluetooth transceiver is built-in to all current Labradar units, so you can buy one now and use Bluetooth later (when the software is released).

4. Lyman — $25.00 Off Top-Selling Products

Lyman rebate mail-in borecam cyclone powder measure, Case Prep Xpress

You can now get $25.00 Off five of Lyman’s top-selling products: BoreCam, Case Prep Xpress, Gen6 Powder Dispenser, Cyclone Rotary Tumbler, and AutoAdvance Target. With Lyman’s Summer Mail-In Rebate Program, you can earn a $25 rebate per select item bought from any Lyman dealer, online or direct from the Lyman website. Items must be purchased between June 9 and August 31, 2017 to qualify. CLICK HERE for the Rebate Redemption Form.

Products included in this Sizzling Summer Rebate Program include:

Case Prep Xpress (Item #7810220)
Borecam Borescope (Item #04055)
Cyclone Rotary Tumbler (Item #7631550)
Gen6 Compact Digital Powder System (Item #7750550)
AutoAdvance Remote Control Target System (Item #4320051)

5. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $299.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $299.99. That’s $150.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($449.99 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $299.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

6. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

7. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.79

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With 2850+ customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.79, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

8. Midsouth — 17 HMR V-Max Ammo, $9.75 for 50 rounds

17 HMR Hornady Midsouth V-Max Vmax Sale

Need 17 HMR ammo for your planned 2017 varmint safaris? Then grab this Hornady V-Max ammo while you can at $9.75 for a 50-round box. This is a great price. Other vendors are selling the same Hornady ammo for as much as $13.50 per box. We’ve used this ammo and it was very accurate out of both semi-auto (Savage A17) and bolt-action (CZ 455) 17 HMR rifles.

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading No Comments »
June 18th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor with Howa 1500 Barreled Action in MDT Chassis

Howa 6.5 Creedmoor barrel action tactical rifle Sierra RifleShooter.com
RifleShooter.com built this rig with Howa 1500 barreled action and MDT ESS chassis. READ TEST HERE.

We’ve been telling folks that the Japanese Howa 1500 barreled actions are an attractive option for a hunting, varminting, or tactical rifle. Priced at under $450.00, these barreled actions include the excellent HACT two-stage trigger. These Howa 1500 actions are smooth-running (noticeably more so than some “major-brand” domestic receivers).

Our friends at RifleShooter.com recently acquired a Howa 1500 barreled action in 6.5 Creedmoor and installed it in an MDT ESS modular chassis. This project turned out well. The barreled action mated well to the ESS chassis, providing an ergonomic platform with comfortable grip, adjustable cheekpiece, and adjustable LOP. Most importantly the gun shot well. With virtually no load development, the project rifle delivered 3/4-MOA accuracy right out of the gate.

Howa 6.5 Creedmoor barrel action tactical rifle Sierra RifleShooter.com

As tested with Hornady brass and Hodgdon Varget powder pushing Sierra 123gr MatchKings, the Howa 1500 MDT showed good accuracy right from the start. With more load development (and a few more rounds through the new barrel), half-MOA groups may be possible.

Brownells now sells barreled Howa actions in a variety of configurations. Rifleshooter.com acquired a Howa 1500 barreled action with a 24″ #6 contour barrel chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. RifleShooter.com plans to test this barreled action in multiple modular chassis systems. That should provide an interesting comparison test, providing the pros and cons of various stock/chassis configurations.

Read the Full 6.5 Creedmoor Project Review HERE »

RifleShooter.com’s Editor writes: “I was pleasantly surprised by the number of chassis and stock offerings for the Howa barreled action.” For this project rifle, RifleShooter.com chose the Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) Elite Sniper System (ESS) chassis, for the initial build.

Like MDT’s other chassis systems, the ESS uses any AR-15/M16 M4 pistol grip. The ESS departs from the rest of the MDT product line it does not use a standard AR-15/M16 M4 stock. Eliminating this interface allows for a design that does not increase the length of pull. The stock has an adjustable comb, adjustable length of pull, and horizontally adjustable recoil pad. Comb and LOP adjustments are accomplished with a hand wheel, plus a cap screw and clamp system.

RifleShooter.com’s Howa 6.5 Creedmoor rifle has the following components:

While the HACT 2-stage trigger is very good, RifleShooter.com’s Editor replaced the HACT with a Timney because he favors a single-stage design. The Timney adjusts lower than the HACT, allowing a crisp pull at ~1.5 pounds: “You’ll notice I swapped out the factory trigger in favor of a Timney. I’ve had great luck with their products and Timney’s Howa trigger was no exception. Adjusted to 1.5 pounds, it is a pleasure to shoot with.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
September 15th, 2016

Awesome Deal on Howa 1500 Mini Action Rifle in .223 Rem

Howa Mini Action 1500 .223 Remington Rem Cabelas Bargain 16Stalkup code

Here is a great deal on a great little rifle. Right now at Cabela’s you can get the Howa 1500 Mini-Action in .223 Rem for just $314.99 with Coupon Code 16STALKUP. The rifle (with black synthetic stock) is already on sale, marked down to $349.99. That discount code gives you another 10% off. That’s a bargain — other vendors are charging $515.00 or more for this rifle. We actually “walked through” the online ordering process ourselves to confirm that the discount code works (see below). Note, you order online, but the rifles must be picked up in a Cabela’s store.

Howa Mini Action 1500 .223 Remington Rem Cabelas Bargain 16Stalkup code

The Howa 1500 Mini Action is nearly an inch shorter than a Rem 700 short action, making for a nice, compact carry-around varminter (OAL length is just 41.5″). Your Editor checked out the Howa Mini Action Rifle at SHOT Show. The bolt opens and closes VERY smoothly (way better than most mass-produced bolt guns). The two-stage HACT trigger is excellent — it’s plenty light, with a crisp release and no annoying spring-loaded blade in the middle. I like it MUCH better than standard Remington, Ruger, or Savage triggers.

The standard Howa Mini Action rifle weighs 6 pounds without scope. This particular model comes with a 22″ barrel, black synthetic stock, and 10-round detachable box magazine. The Howa Mini on sale at Cabelas.com is a .223 Remington, but other chamberings are available at a higher price if you shop around. Howa offers Mini Action rifles in .204 Ruger, .222 Rem, .223 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, and 7.62x39mm.

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 2nd, 2016

KRG 180-Alpha Tactical Chassis for Savage Actions

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Can a budget-priced Savage shoot like a Sako TRG 22? Well, adding a custom “pre-fit” barrel and a state-of-the-art chassis system can transform a “Plain Jane” Savage into a serious tactical rifle. And now Kinetic Research Group (KRG) offers a new fully-adjustable chassis that’s just the ticket for a Savage tactical conversion. Just get a used Savage action, spin on a Criterion, Pac-Nor, or Shilen pre-fit barrel, and add the new 180-Alpha Chassis from KRG.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

KRG offers 180-Alpha Chassis for Savage rifles. This fully-adjustable, light-weight (3.5 lbs) chassis fits Savage short action rifles with 4.4″ action bolt spacing. The 180-Alpha features tool-less cheek-piece height adjustment, spacer Length-of-Pull (LOP) adjustment, buttpad height adjustment, and plenty of accessory mounting positions. Suggested retail price for the 180-Alpha starts at $768.00 for the side bolt-release version. A bottom-release model is slightly more.

CLICK HERE for Specifications of KRG 180-Alpha Stock for Savages.

Compare KRG’s 180-Alpha Chassis to the hardware on the real deal — a Sako TRG 22 with adjustable, folding stock (model JRSM416, shown below). This SAKO TRG22 rifle in .308 Winchester retails for $5,198.00. With KRG’s 180-Alpha chassis you can put together an ergonomically-similar tactical rifle for thousands less.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Using the KRG Chassis, a take-off Savage action, and a premium pre-fit barrel, you can build a similar system for around $1540.00. Here’s how we get that figure: $370.00 for Criterion pre-fit barrel, $400.00 for action (YMMV), and $768.00 for stock (Total $1538.00).

KRG produces other adjustable, modular chassis systems for bolt-action rifles. KRG’s popular Whiskey 3 Chassis system fits the Tikka T3, Remington® 700™, Sako M995, Badger M2008, and 700 Long Action. The KRG X-RAY Chassis fits the Rem 700 Short Action, and Tikka T3, and the 180 X-RAY fits the CZ-455, Howa 1500, and Weatherby Vanguard platforms.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »
May 23rd, 2016

Bargain Finder 36: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Nikon Buckmaster II Scopes, $129.95

Midsouth Shooters Supply Nikon Buckmaster Hunting Scope

If you need a good, basic mid-range zoom for a hunting rifle or general-purpose rifle, this deal is hard to beat. Choose either 4-12x40mm or 3-9x40mm for just $129.95. And there’s free shipping to boot! Both scopes feature Nikon’s patented BDC reticle and are backed by Nikon’s no-nonsense, lifetime warranty. CLICK HERE to see this offer at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

2. CDNN — Howa 1500 Rifle with Vortex Viper Scope, $899.99

Howa 1500 Vortex Viper Scope Package CDNN Sports hunting

Here’s a great deal on an outstanding hunting combo. You get a complete Howa 1500 Alpine rifle PLUS a quality Vortex Viper 3-9x40mm scope for $899.99. Two chamberings are available with this package. Select the 7mm-08 model for bigger game or choose the .243 Win model for predators and varmints. The Howa 1500 has a smooth-running action and excellent 2-stage HACT trigger. The highly-regarded Vortex Viper scope sells elsewhere for $300.00 or more by itself.

3. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Camera System, $399.49

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera

A few Forum members have purchased this system and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera with 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a very nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $400.00.

4. Cabela’s — RCBS Master Reloading Kit, $225.00 After Rebate

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $225.00, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Cabela’s is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $300.00. This Reloading Kit sells elsewhere for up to $360.00. But he’s the real incentive — if you spend $300.00 on RCBS products in 2016, RCBS will send you a $75.00 rebate. With that RCBS mail-in rebate, your net cost is just $225.00 for the entire Kit.

5. MidwayUSA — $75 Gift Certificate with 1-4x24mm Vortex Scope

Midway USA Vortex Certificate Gift $75 off

Looking for a quality, low-power variable optic for an AR or hunting rifle? Look no more. Right now, at MidwayUSA, you can get a $75.00 Gift Certificate with the purchase of a 1-4x24mm Vortex scope with either 1/2 MOA or 2/10 Mil clicks. And you won’t pay a penny for shipping as MidwayUSA is currently offering free shipping on orders of $150.00 or more. NOTE — 1/2 MOA (or 2/10 Mil) clicks are pretty course — this may NOT be precise enough more for Service Rifle Matches (1/2 MOA is about 3 inches at 600 yards). However the scope may be fine for 3-Gun matches or hunting.

6. Bruno Shooters Supply — Free $100+ Shipping and $10 Hazmat

$10 Hazmat Free shipping Bruno Shooters Supply

This is a very short-lived special promotion by Bruno Shooters Supply so act soon. Right now you can get powder and primers shipped with a mere $10.00 Hazmat fee (other vendors charge up to $35.00 for Hazmat). Regular shipping charges apply. However, Bruno’s is also offering FREE
Shipping on orders of $100.00 or more. This offer expires today, May 23, 2016.

7. Natchez — Dewey Cleaning Rods 36″ or 44″, $19.99

Natchez Dewey Cleaning Rod Bore coated bearing

We featured this Dewey Deal before, but it’s good enough to be spotlighted again this week. Right now you can get a quality Dewey Cleaning Rod from Natchez for under twenty bucks. These bearing-equipped rods are very well made and can last for many seasons. This editor has a couple Dewey rods that are still going strong after 12 years. For just $19.99, you can get either a 36″ or 44″ coated Dewey rod. NOTE: Select “.22-.26 cal” from the pull-down menu (the other options are for short pistol rods). It’s hard to beat a quality cleaning rod for under twenty bucks. Credit Boyd Allen for finding this bargain.

8. Clinger Holsters — Atom Kydex IWB Holster, $19.99

Clinger Atom $19.99 holster bargain Jay

Our systems admin Jay C. recently acquired a Walther PPS M2 carry gun. After looking at many options, Jay chose a Kydex Clinger Atom Holster. The most important design feature of the $19.99 Clinger Atom is that the belt clip is located over the trigger guard area (not the slide). This design pulls the holster in closer to the body for better concealment. Jay says: “This is a great IWB holster that feels very secure. I still can’t believe it only costs $19.99.”

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 18th, 2016

New Howa Tactical Rifle in Archangel Adjustable Stock

Howa 1500 Archangel tactical Legacy Sports

Here’s a new tactical-style rifle you should consider if you are involved in the Tactical/Practical shooting disciplines. It features a modern, adjustable Archangel stock with the smooth, made-in-Japan Howa 1500 action, outfitted with a detachable 10-round box magazine.

Legacy Sports, distributor for Howa rifles, is offering the new Howa Archangel Rifle in .223 Remington and .308 Winchester. The ambidextrous, carbon-reinforced polymer stock features a click-adjustable cheek-riser, adjustable length-of-pull, grip storage compartment, plus front/rear quick-detach flush cups. There is also a clevet, integrated, push-button bipod attachment system. The Howa actions mate precisely into the stock and ride on aluminum pillars.

In .223 Rem or .308 Win, the complete rifle, with either 20″ or 24″ barrel, starts at $915.00 MSRP, including 10-round mag. We expect the actual street price to be around $800.00. That makes this a more affordable alternative to the Ruger Precision Rifle, which is commanding $1200.00+ these days (if you can find one). Note: Archangel Mfg. offers this Howa 1500-compatible stock in Black, OD Green, and Desert Tan, but it appears that the initial Legacy Sports complete rifle will be in black only. These rifles are fitted with the very good HACT adjustable two-stage trigger and 3-position safety. The Howa Archangel rifle is also available (for about $230 more) in a scoped package with a 4-16x50mm Nikko Sterling Scope (see below). For more information call Legacy Sports at 1-800-553-4229 or visit LegacySports.com.

Howa 1500 Archangel tactical Legacy Sports

Howa 1500 Archangel tactical Legacy Sports

Note: If you already own a rifle with a Howa 1500 barreled action, you can purchase the Archangel AA1500 stock separately (MSRP $355.99) from Arizona-based Archangel Manufacturing. This company also offers similar stocks for Rem 700, Springfield M1A, and K98 Mauser barreled actions, starting at just $202.99 for the Mauser variant.

Howa 1500 Archangel tactical Legacy Sports

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
June 22nd, 2013

CDI Precision Bottom Metal and Single-Shot Loading Blocks

CDI Precision gunworksRun by Jeff Allen in Florida, CDI Precision Gunworks offers high-quality, mag-capable bottom metal for a wide variety of rifles and action types. The CDI bottom metal kits, priced at $209.00, feature an integrated trigger guard, mag-well, magazine release, and, of course, action-screw locations.

Most kits are designed for use with Accuracy International (AI) magazines, sold separately. These bottom metal kits are nicely finished and gunsmiths tell us that the fit is extremely good. CDI currently offers bottom metal kits for all these rifle/action types:

• Howa 1500 Short Action
• Howa 1500 Long Action
• FN-SPR Rifles (Also works on FN-PBR rifles)
• Remington 700 Short Action (.308, .300 WSM/7MM WSM, .223 mags work as well)
• Remington 700 Long Action (300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua, 338 CIP Mag box is available)
• Savage Short Action — (Both 4.275″ stagger-feed and newer 4.400″ Center feed)
• Savage Long Action (Call for Tech Data)
• Tikka T3 (Long and Short Action)
• Winchester Short Action (All Post 1964)
• Winchester Long Action, Short Box (.308 Win Length)
• Winchester Long Action Magnum Length (7MM Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag)
• Mauser 98 Large Ring action (.308 Win Mag box size)

CDI Precision Bottom Metal accurateshooter.com

CDI Precision Bottom Metal accurateshooter.com

CDI Precision Bottom Metal accurateshooter.com

CDI Precision Bottom Metal accurateshooter.com

Single-Shot Loading Blocks just $35.00
CDI has designed a single-shot loading block (SSLB) for use with CDI short action bottom metal kits. The SSLB lets you shoot your rifle in single-shot mode without a magazine. Simply place a round on the black cartridge-holder and close your bolt. This is a good set-up for load testing from the bench, or if you want to shoot very long bullets with a COAL greater than magazine length. CDI’s SSLB costs just $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

CDI Precision Bottom Metal accurateshooter.com

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
March 18th, 2012

Amazing Make-Over Transforms Homely Howa into Sizzling 6BR

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BRDansig’s Hot-Rod Howa – Forum member Dansig has been busy during the long, cold winter in his native Iceland. He transformed a homely-looking Howa m1500 Axiom into a beautiful candy-red thumbhole Varminter that shoots in the threes. This was truly a “labor of love” that required many dollars invested and dozens of hours of home-workshop labor. But the results speak for themselves. Dansig now owns what may be the best-looking Howa on the planet. And this rig isn’t just a beauty queen — it’s very accurate as well. With a new Krieger barrel chambered in 6mmBR Norma, the Howa shoots repeatable, five-shot groups in the threes, and Dansig has managed a few “wallet groups” in the low twos.

From this beast….
Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

To this beauty … All it takes is imagination, hard work, and the right components….
Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Read Dansig’s account of the project from start to finish…
For this project I acquired a new Howa m1500 axiom. The transformation began with a $99.00 (USA retail) Boyds’ thumbhole stock.

When I got the stock, I found that even the standard barrel was too big for it, so I had to modify it quite a bit. To help ride the front bags, I added a wood block to make the fore-end wider, and to provide a flat section in the front. This required cutting the sides of the fore-end to mate with the wider block, which was glued in place. I also added an inch to the stock length.

Then I spent a few weeks sanding and filling…

Then it was time for the paintjob ($270). The multi-coat finish was applied by a professional, using car paint and clear coat so it’s very strong and scratch resistant. The color was a customized red with gold metal-flakes, and it looks awesome on a gun.

Bolt Sleeved, Trigger Tuned, and Krieger Barrel Fitted
While I was working on the stock I took the action to the local gunsmith. He fitted a new 1:13.5″-twist Krieger HV barrel and he put a sleeve in the action to make it tighter. He also tuned the trigger, taking it down from 56 ounces (ouch!) to just 14 ounces. Finally, my smith bedded the stock before I took it in for the paintwork.

Project Completed — Looks Great and Shoots Great
And this is the finished product of very hard labor. The project was a lot of work, mostly because it was all done by hand and not with machines. I may do a similar project again, but I would make the stock from oak or other strong wood. The wood I used is a bit soft for this kid of project.

Dansig Howa 6mmBR 6BR

Hot-Rod Howa Shoots as Good as She Looks
Dansig reports: “How does my Hot-Rod Howa shoot? Repeatable 5-shot accuracy with me as a shooter is in the threes, but with a more experienced shooter, the gun could probably shoot even better. I say this because I just started shooting Benchrest for the first time when this project gun was completed. Here’s an exceptional (much better than average) ‘wallet group’ that shows what the gun can do ‘when the stars align’. This group, shot with VV N135 and Nosler Ballistic Tips, made my buddies really roll their eyes! I wish I had more groups like this one!”

Editor’s Note: Groups shown were shot on Caldwell “Tip-Top” laminated weatherproof targets, which display a distinctive punch — similar to a wad-cutter hole — as opposed to the standard gray donut smudge on a normal paper target. The holes appear black because the targets were placed over a black background sheet before being photographed.
Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing No Comments »
November 8th, 2010

New CDNN Fall Catalog Available

Ruger 10/22 bargainTexas retailer CDNN Investments often acquires large inventories of overstocked firearms and then offers them at close-to-wholesale prices. When CDNN comes out with a new catalog you know there will be some amazing deals that won’t last long. The latest 2010-4 CDNN catalog was recently released.

CLICK HERE to download CDNN 2010-4 Catalog.

There are some great deals this month on Howa 1500-series hunting rifles. The lightweight “Lightning” model with 22″ barrel and Realtree camo stock is just $349.99, chambered in .243 Win, .308 Win, 25-06, .270 Win, or .30-06. Without the camo, a tan version in .243 Win is just $339.99. We were most intrigued by the Howa 1500 Custom Varmint models at $399.99. Fitted with 20″ or 24″ barrels, you have your choice of five popular chamberings: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22-250, .243 Win, or .308 Win.

Howa 1500 rifle specials

Listed below are some of the best gun deals we found in the new 2010-4 Fall Catalog. There are also some amazing deals on HK, Sig Sauer, and Springfield Armory handguns with prices “too low to print”. You’ll need to call CDNN at (800) 588-9500 for details.

  • SigArms 522 .22LR Trainer, $399.99 (MSRP $572.00)
  • Ruger No.1 in .204 Ruger, 22″ Barrel. $649.99 (MSRP $1147.00)
  • Winchester m70 Super Grade, .30-06 (24″ bbl) or 300 WM (26″ bbl), Fancy Walnut Stock, Engraved Receiver, $899.99.
  • HK PSP 9mm handgun, ‘A’ grade select. Every serious handgun aficionado should have a P7m8 or PSP squeeze-cocker in his collection. These are beautifully machined, slim, accurate handguns. Call for Price.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »