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Thread: Howa 1500 Sporter

  1. #1

    Howa 1500 Sporter

    Hi folks,
    I received my FAC last week and I am looking for some advice on my first rifle. There's a package deal in my local gunshop,
    .243 Black Sporter
    Sonic 45 Mod
    nikko stirling diamond 2.5-10x50 IR Scope
    Scope mounts & Weaver rail.
    Detatchable 5 shot mag
    hard case. All for 800
    the rifle will only be used for some Roe stalking but mostly Foxing.
    any advice on this rifle?

  2. #2
    I have bought one in 223 and am very impressed with the rifle. Any centerfire I buy in the future will be howa

  3. #3
    The rifle is great. The scope reasonable however you could get a used Howa and schmit and bender 8x56 for that money. All you will ever need.

  4. #4
    I bought exactly the same set up 2 years ago and it is great, having put several hundred rounds through it and shot dozens of foxes, rabbits, hares, roe and munties. There will always be Howa-haters, but for the money they are very good. I also now have a T3, that is a much better rifle (in feel, loading etc) but it is much more money and they both shoot similar so as not to worry which is more accurate.

    I used the kit scope for a couple of years and it was good. Most guides I went out with were surprised how good it was at last light. However, my T3 came with a S&B and that was the turning point in my scope collection, I realised how much better expensive glass was and how little I used the zoom (never!) so I upgraded to a s/h Swaro 8x50 fixed on the Howa. Then I changed the rail and rings for some bases and rings from Alan Rhone/Warne and saved 200g in weight.

    The stocks get some criticism. But in my opinion as long as you know it is flimsy and don't press sideways on it/put your thumb on the barrel or generally do anything like that they are good. I will change it one day, but to be honest it is perfectly useable.

    The mod is good. Does what it says on the tin and easily cleaned. Yes, there are smaller/lighter etc but these are perfectly adequate.

    My only criticism is the magazine loading. I assume it is only my rifle, but I have taken it back to the gun shop and they said it was just me and I need to be a bit more forceful. I have since met a few Howa users with the mag conversion and they say the same - fine when done normally/with force, but when trying to load quitely or carefully it does not always pick up a round.

    Despite all the above, if you want a new rifle without hassle and straight away I would not hesitate. If you are happy secondhand, for the money you may get a Tikka and S&B fixed, but you will have to look to find one.

  5. #5
    I have had a Howa 1500 Stainless in .243W for years now: Perfectly accurate and holds its own against the Blasers and custom rifles on the range.
    Ignore stories of the fore-end being too flexible: Yes, there is a little flex (standard Hogue stock) but it doesn't effect accuracy.
    Great for foxing using standard factory amo Ballistic Tips (fox) and Soft Points (deer).

    The advise of a previous poster is good advise: Go for a used Howa and upgrade on the scope. You will not regret it.
    A few wisdom's:
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men
    • If you can get closer, get closer.
    • If you can get more stable, get more stable.

  6. #6
    Have a look at Guntrader online, over 700 .243 listed, plenty of complete s/h packages at your budget. It's a buyer's market and second-hand you could get both a better rifle and better scope. What I mean by better is not necessarily accuracy-wise, Howa are great rifles, if a little agricultural. They all do the job but like everything, rifles come in a variety of grades to cater for all tastes and means, so shop around. If you're not confident about picking something second-hand, enlist the help of someone else to come with you. Remember you can and should haggle a bit, as there are a lot of firearms on the market. I've never bought a new rifle and only once did I buy a new scope, plenty available second-hand and a quality brand will last forever. Good luck!
    Last edited by thibaud; 21-12-2015 at 11:54.

  7. #7
    As Thibaid said, buy used. There are so many used excellent options out there. Can't go wrong with a used Howa. There are a few for sale on here. One has been through B&N for a trigger tweak and larger bolt handle. A friend of mine has one and it shoots sub .5 very happily.

    Second top tip. Whatever you buy in rifle or scope for your first rifle you will want to upgrade. So buy used and buy better. A used T3 will give you your money back when you sell it on.

  8. #8
    As usual, the best advice you could have you have already received. With that budget you can have better quality rifle and scope second hand.
    I will be collecting my Howa (in .308) in two weeks. I'm long enough in the tooth and gullible enough to have made most of the mistakes by now. My selection was quite deliberate, a rifle that was fit for purpose at a price that was reasonable. To that end I've elected to upgrade the stock to a laminated thumbhole, keep my Leupold scope and ASE moderator at the same price of the new combo offer.
    mine was a deliberate choice for specific reasons. That is what should guide your decision too.

  9. #9
    I have had a .223 & now have a .243 both great rifles and very accurate. My .243 came from Brock and norris. It has had a trigger job and large bolt handle. If I were to change cal guess what?
    It would be a howa! 3 shots at 100 yards and a group the size of a 5p with 75g Sst.

  10. #10
    Thanks to everyone for the advice, greatly appreciated. I think I am going to have a browse around over the Xmas holidays and see what is out the second hand wise. Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply back to me. All the best

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