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Thread: Howa 223 , sporter or varmint ?

  1. #1

    Howa 223 , sporter or varmint ?

    Is there much diffence in accuracy between these models? This purely as a foxing rig, 1 or 2 shots a night. Once the setup is complete the weight goes up a lot, so wouldn't mind using the sporter as a starting point, to save some weight.

  2. #2
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    My son has the howa .223 sporter ss and has had the trigger done by Brock and Norris the rifle is extremely accurate don't think you would go far wrong with a sporter.

  3. #3
    I have both in .308, for single or double shots I actually think my sporter is the more accurate, but after 6-8 shots you start having trouble seeing through the heat haze off the mod the heavy barrelled version is the one I use on the range and without a mod, so heat isn't so much of an issue.
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  4. #4
    I have had a Howa 1500 sporter weight for over 20 years. It is actually a Smith & Wesson 1500, in a nice walnut stock and polished blue.

    The barrel contour 22 inches long and the same taper as .308, so with the smaller bore, it is actually pretty heavy. Mine is a slower twist, as most were in those days, before the heavier bullets were developed for the US M16, with 1:9 twist. Mine shoots 55, 53 and 50-gr bullets very well. I shoot heavier bullets in my AR-15 match grade rifle.

    Bottom line, I don't see the need for a heavier barrel or more bulky stock on the Howa.

  5. #5
    Thanks. Good to know. I will only use it for foxing, so multiple shots will be rare. If I do my part. I will start with a 20" sporter and add the necessary tools to do the job.

  6. #6
    Ive personally been on the search for a sako L46, 461 vixen in 222, ive tried the heavy barrel , monstrous scope rifle, for coyote, and to a lesser extent, fox. I found I was carrying more than shooting, the sporter weight, to my way of thinking , is optimum.

  7. #7
    I've shot rifles with pipe cleaner barrels that shoot cloverleaf groups and heavy barreled rifles that wouldn't hit a flock of barns.
    The advantage of the Varmint rifle is a heavy, long(usually) barrel that will shoot higher velocities all day without a change in the POI (point of impact).
    The lighter barrel will be a little harder to hold still and more subject to heating up and a move of the POI.
    Personally I'd go with the sporting wt. The odd shot now and then of a night won't upset it.

  8. #8
    Done the varmint barrel bit sporters for me now.to heavy to hump about

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hammer 1 View Post
    Ive personally been on the search for a sako L46, 461 vixen in 222, ive tried the heavy barrel , monstrous scope rifle, for coyote, and to a lesser extent, fox. I found I was carrying more than shooting, the sporter weight, to my way of thinking , is optimum.
    I have a Sako L461 Vixen in .222 - it is a fantastic rifle: ultra short action, slick bolt and compact size in a very accurate calibre. I tend to use mine as a mid-range crow popper with 40gn Nosler BTs but it shoots 50gn SPs just as well so I'll switch out the big Zeiss varminting scope and pop on a Zeiss 7x50, then take it to Scotland this year for some Roe stalking. For a carry rifle, lighter definitely works for me as i get older!

    I previously owned a Howa Varmint .223 with a 24" heavy barrel , big scope and giant reflex moderator - uber accurate but not much fun to lug about. I have a similarly weighty Ruger-based foxing rig now in .22-250 and while it's also fearsomely accurate, I tend to only use it off the truck roof or from a fixed position these days because it weighs a ton.

    A.

  10. #10
    I shoot a Ruger No1V in 22/250. It's a heavy rifle to tote around after foxes. I used a Tikka T3 a few weeks ago. I was initially dubious about the light barrel. Best shot was at 260 yds so my next idle of choice will not be a heavy barrelled rig.

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