Howa 1550 query

old keeper

Well-Known Member
A young chap I know has purchased a virtually new Howa 1500 in 243 cal. He has put about forty rounds of 75 and 95 grain Hornady SST through it with no problems. Then one day he extracted an unfired round and the bullet stuck in the rifling and separated from the case depositing the powder everywhere! I cleaned up the resulting mess and everyrhing seemed fine then it happened again after a few more shots.
Last night we were out and he shot two foxes but when we were unloading to leave again the bullet separated. I've just removed the bullet by tapping it out with a cleaning rod, cleaned up the powder (which is a real pain). Stripped the bolt and cleaned everything thoroughly. I've checked COL and checked with a OAL guage, everything seems fine.
With the bolt, chamber and everything cleaned I've just chambered thirty rounds or so with absolutely no problems and the bolt closed easily. However when I tried this before the rifle was thoroughly cleaned the bolt was very stiff to close.
The lad looks after his rifle but it appeares that the bolt face has to be perfectly clean.
Has anyone encountered this problem, and any ideas why it should happen in the first place?


Well-Known Member
Reloaded rounds or factory? If it only happened when the chamber was dirty then would suspect he needs to clean it more often? That said none of the 3 howas I own have ever suffered from that, it maybe worth having the chamber checked for dimensions , if it's reloaded ammo it maybe some of them are loaded too long for their ogive and are being stuffed into the lands,Which is not a good place to be !


Well-Known Member
I had a 1500 in .243 which was eventually replaced. I shot a lot of rounds through the first one trying to get it to work, both factory and reloads. At one point I had it borescoped and it was found to have a ring of carbon built up in the throat, probably caused by the boreguide I was using not allowing the brush to get at it, although it was later found that this wasn’t the cause of its accuracy woes.
I wonder if this rifle has a chamber which is on the short side and if it has a similar carbon ring developing it might be gripping the bullet on extraction.


Well-Known Member
All the rounds used were Hornady factory, no reloads.

Never heard of this before. I shot two box's of PPU 100grn through my howa 1500.with no problems, I then moved on to my homeloads.

Try a different round,if the problem persists,check the chamber depth.Mistakes can happen in production(Friday syndrome :D) however imho,its the cartridge or a tight chamber,hence the need for an enhanced cleaning regime. Good luck, john