As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











October 31st, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Howa Rifles — Factory Rigs and Custom Builds

Howa 1500 rifle KRG Bravo Bill Rifleshooter.com
At top is a Howa 1500 in KUIU Vias Camo stock. Lower image is a Howa 1500 with KRG Bravo chassis.

If you are looking to acquire a reliable, accurate rifle for a late fall hunt, Howa can be a good choice. Howas feature smooth-running actions with fine two-stage HACT triggers. A Howa barreled action can also be a good basis for a DIY project. 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 rifle 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 Barrels, Lilja Barrels or other quality brand.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com
Howa mini action carbon stalker hunting rifle
The Carbon Stalker is an excellent ultralight factory option, weighing just 4.6 lbs. with Mini Action (before optics). All Howa Carbon Fiber Stalker rifles come with a Sub-MOA Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty.

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

Tech Feature by Bill, editor of RifleShooter.com
Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”. There has 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.

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 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 are a 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 Rem 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, 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 - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
January 13th, 2020

Bargain Finder 225: 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 Sunday afternoon or 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. Bruno Shooters Supply — Seb NEO Rests in Stock

Seb NEO Brunos

The Seb NEO Coaxial front rest is often considered the finest rest available for F-Class and benchrest shooting but there can be a long wait to get one. Head over to Bruno Shooters Supply which has the standard NEO and Ratigan NEO in stock and ready to ship. If you’re looking to upgrade your gear before the match season starts, this is one of the best ways to do it.

2. Stocky’s — Rem 700 Composite Stock with Accublock, $99.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

These stocks were the first run of Stocky’s Long Range Composite Sporters. There is nothing wrong with these “factory seconds” except the barrel channels are narrower than current versions, so you may have to open up the barrel channels a bit (simple task). On Sale for $99.99, these are an Amazing Bargain. Designed for Rem 700 and Rem clone actions, these LRC Sporter Stocks are constructed from a high-fiber composite with precision aluminum Accublock® chassis molded into the stock.

3. Grafs.com – Happy 2020 Sale — Save 20% or more

grafs 2020 sale

We saw plenty of large-scale sales before the holidays but here’s the first multi-category sale of 2020. Grafs is running a Happy 2020 Sale featuring products from Lapua, Lyman, Caldwell, Hornady and more. Some of the hot deals we found are: Lapua brass (6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 7.62×39), a Lyman Micrometer for just $14.99, and a Caldwell wind meter for $39.99. In addition, Aguila .22 LR rimfire ammo is on sale for $2.99 per 50rd box. That works out to just 6 cents per round!

4. Amazon — Griffin Portable Range Stool, $34.95

portable range stool

Too many ranges seem to have hard, uncomfortable seating options that never seem to be the right height for the benches. One of the best solutions is to bring your own adjustable drummer stool. This Griffin “Drum Throne” features a comfortable padded seat. The Griffin seat adjusts easily for various heights and the tripod legs fold for transport. Next time you’re shooting from a bench, do it in style and comfort.

5. Cabela’s — Ruger 10/22 Carbine, $179.97

ruger 10/22 carbine sale

Shooting .22 LR is more popular than ever. With its low cost and wealth of aftermarket accessories, the Ruger 10/22 still dominates the .22 LR entry-level rifle market. Right now, Cabela’s offers the Ruger 10/22 Carbine (blued barrel, gray stock, no sights) for a super-low $179.97 price. A basic 10/22 rifle is $249.99 at MidwayUSA so you can see Cabela’s is offering a great deal.

6. EuroOptic — Nikon BLACK Riflescope Closeout Sale

Nikon black scope sale

Nikon’s decision to stop selling riflescopes shocked many in the industry. However, Nikon’s exit from the scope marketplace has created an amazing opportunity. If you’re in the market for a tactical scope, check out EuroOptic’s Nikon BLACK riflescope sale. EuroOptic has a big selection at prices up to 47% off. Choose MOA or MRAD versions with a variety of reticle options. NOTE: These BLACK Nikons are quality scopes that have performed well in the field. You’d have to pay hundreds more to do much better.

7. Natchez — Leupold BX-2 Binoculars, $174.49

leupold binocular sale

For hunting and general outdoor use, a good pair of binoculars is invaluable. While we appreciate binoculars that cost $1000 or more, for many purposes a basic, affordable set of binoculars will get the job done. Natchez now has the Leupold BX-2 8×42 Cascades binoculars for $174.49. That is a great deal — a savings of $80 or more over the original price.

NOTE: These 8×42 Leupold binoculars have been very highly rated for the price, when compared to other budget-priced binoculars. See Video Review above.

8. Midsouth — Lyman Hearing Pro Earmuffs, $34.99

lyman pro earmuffs sale

Quality hearing protection is vital for shooters. If you have old or worn-out muffs, upgrading your earmuffs can help protect your hearing for years to come. Right now you can purchase these Lyman Electronic Hearing Pro Earmuffs for only $34.99. That’s a great price for electronic muffs that let you hear range commands and talk to fellow shooters. At this price you can pick up an extra set as a spare. Choose either Flat Dark Earth or Matte Black colors for $34.99.

9. Amazon — Two Pairs Safety Eyewear, Cords, Covers, $13.50

safety shooting glasses

Eye protection is important! All you need is one case separation or blown primer to cause serious eye injury. Don’t take that risk. Plus the CMP has made Eye Protection mandatory for all CMP Pistol and Centerfire Rifle events. Here’s a great kit with TWO Sets of safety eyewear, each with a neck strap and carry bag. These feature ANSI Z87.1-rated lenses that are anti-fog and scratch-resistant. The lenses also block harmful UV rays. Get the full SuperLite and SuperClear Lens Technology Kit for just $13.50.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 22nd, 2019

Hot Ticket for NRL22 — CZ 457 or CZ 455 in MDT ACC Chassis

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

We love the NRL22 rimfire tactical series. When you consider the amount of fun you experience per dollar expended, NRL22 .22LR rimfire competition is hard to beat. You enjoy the challenge of PRS-type shooting at reduced distances, and much reduced cost. In the NRL22 series you can be completely competitive with .22 LR ammo costing 15 cents a round. That’s a fraction of what you’d spend making your own centerfire handloads, or buying match-grade, factory-loaded centerfire ammo.

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

There’s a new option for NRL22 competitors competing in the Open Class. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) now offers its ACC Chassis for the popular CZ 457 series of rimfire rifles. There are nine different CZ 457 variants currently offered. You can get the CZ 457 Training Rifle for around $400 (MSRP is $449.00). Simply install your CZ 457 barreled action in the MDT ACC chassis and you’re got a high-quality rimfire system with ergonomics that duplicate a full-size centerfire ring. NOTE: MDT also offers an ACC chassis that fits the CZ 455 series, predecessor to the CZ 457. The ACC CZ 457/455 chassis systems cost $999.00 — too expensive we think, but then quality ain’t cheap. Purchase from MDTTAC.com.

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

MDT ACC Chassis System (Shown with Centerfire Actions)

MDT Tactical ACC adjustable core chassis PRS rifle system

The MDT ACC (Adjustable Core Competition) Chassis was designed around an integrated, modular weight system that allows shooters to fine tune chassis weight and balance point. A series of weights (up to 9 lbs. of steel) can be added to either the buttstock, interior fore-end or exterior fore-end. With action, barrel, scope and accessories, shooters can configure their rifles upwards of 25-30 lbs. in the ACC. Other features include: full 17” ARCA/RRS fore-end, flared mag well, extended barricade stop, widened thumb shelf, and adjustable cheek riser/length of pull.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 13th, 2019

Build Your Own Rifle with Affordable Howa Barreled Actions

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Right now, Brownells is running a big sale on Howa Barreled Actions, in a wide variety of chamberings. You may want to pick up one of these barreled actions, which start at $259.99. We like Howa actions — they are smooth, and they feature an excellent two-stage trigger. Howa also offers a unique Mini Action, which is great for a small-caliber varmint rig.

Howa Barreled Action Basics

The above video shows the basics of the Howa barreled actions, which are offered in Mini, Standard, and Long Action versions, with dozens of chamberings, from .204 Ruger all the way up to .300 Winchester Magnum. If you’re not familiar with Howa barreled actions you should be. Each barreled action comes with Howa’s Lifetime Warranty and is guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance at 100-yards when using premium factory ammo. The Howa 1500 barreled action also features a crisp two-stage trigger, three-position safety, 70° bolt throw, M16-style extractor, two-lug bolt design and a flat bottom receiver with an integral recoil lug.

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Howa Barreled Action Project Videos

Brownells has created a series of helpful videos showing how to put together an accurate rifle using a Howa barreled action. We think this is a sensible, cost-effective option for a varmint rifle, or entry-level tactical rig. Not counting optics, you should be able to assemble a good shooting, general-purpose rifle for under $700.00.

1. Long-Range Precision Rifle Build
Here the Brownells team puts together a nice tactical rifle in an MDT modular aluminum chassis made specifically for the Howa 1500 action. Attached, AR-style, to the back end of the chassis, is a Luth-AR adjustable buttstock also sold by Brownells. An EGW Picatinny rail is fitted to the action for mounting a Nightforce optic. As you can see in the video, the entire build takes less than 10 minutes. Using this Howa 1500 heavy-barreled action, you can save hundreds over the cost of a factory tactical rifle, and we bet the accuracy will be better than you’ll get with some popular brands. We’ve seen heavy-barreled Howas shoot well under 1 MOA.

2. Hunting Rifle Build
In this video, Brownells puts together a general-purpose hunting rifle using the Howa 1500 barreled action. This was attached to a Hogue Overmolded stock with internal aluminum bedding block. Fitted to the top of the action is an EGW Picatinny Rail with a Sig Sauer scope in Leupold rings. As with the Precision Rifle build above, the entire assembly process took less than ten minutes. This was done with a standard-length Howa action, but the same procedure could be used with the Howa Mini Action, or a Long Action. NOTE: No separate bedding compound was used here. That’s an option that would extend build time significantly.

Check out the Prices for Howa Barreled Actions
Here are some of the Howa Barreled Actions currently in stock at Brownells. NOTE: This is just a partial sample — there are many other varieties:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

Howa Barreled action sale Brownells PRS HACT Trigger

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
March 7th, 2019

MDT ORYX Chassis — Quality for under $400

2019 ORYX chassis PRS tactical MDT 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

Looking for an ergonomic and affordable chassis system for your next tactical or hunting rifle? Consider the new ORYX chassis. It’s available now starting with a $399.00 MSRP. That’s less than half the price of many popular chassis systems. The fully adjustable ORYX modular aluminum chassis system has versions to fit Remington 700, Savage, Howa, Ruger American, and Tikka T3 actions.

Legacy Sports International is now shipping the new ORYX Bolt Action Chassis Rifle Stocks by MDT. The solid aluminum chassis can replace your standard rifle stock, providing a more versatile, modern, and ergonomic shooting experience.

2019 ORYX chassis PRS tactical MDT 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

ORYX stocks are offered for Howa’s Mini Action, Short Action, and Long Action. In addition, ORYX Chassis systems are available for Remington 700 Short Action, Ruger American Short Action, Savage 110 Short Action, and Tikka T3 Short Action models. This affordable, aluminum chassis is compatible with AICS mags. LOP adjusts from 13.25 to 15 inches, and there is an adjustable cheek riser. The ORYX chassis features a contoured fore-end grip and overmolded pistol grip designed to fit hands of all sizes. ORYX chassis MSRP is $399.00 from Legacy Sports International.

2019 ORYX chassis PRS tactical MDT 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

The ORYZ is “Drop in Ready” — simply remove your action from your original manufacturer stock, drop it into the ORYX chassis system, and you are in business in less than 10 minutes. There are three color panel options available to go with the black aluminum chassis frame; OD Green, Flat Dark Earth, and Gray. The MDT ORYX Chassis is offered for all these action types:

Howa Mini Action
Howa 1500 Short Action and Long Action
Remington 700 Short Action
Ruger American Short Action
Savage Model 10 Short Action
Tikka T3 Short Action

6.5 Guys Review Howa Rifle with ORYX Chassis

At SHOT Show 2019, the 6.5 Guys visited the Legacy Int’l booth. There they checked out Howa’s new tactical rig with MDT ORYX chassis and Howa 1500 barreled action. The 6.5 Guys were able to shoot this rig during media day and were quite impressed.

Complete M1500 Rifle with ORYX Chassis for $1059.00 MSRP
Legacy also offers the Howa M1500 ORYX rifle model, starting at $1059.00 MSRP. The M1500 ORYX comes in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 BLK, .223 Rem, 7.62×39, and 6.5 Grendel. Howa also offers a long-action model in .300 Win Mag. Color options are: OD Green, Flat Dark Earth and Gray. You can also purchase a version with Nikko Stirling 30mm 4-16x44mm scope.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »