View Full Version : Howa 308

11-28-2009, 8:17 PM
I was in turners today and looked at a couple of howa rifles, should i purchase the varmint combo 24" 308 heavy barrel or the 20" 308 hogue tactical?
both rifles are the same price and in stock looking to start shooting
at longer distances than my .223 rifle, for now just paper
and steel targets.
I will be purchasing tomorrow.:D

Thanks James

Group B
11-28-2009, 8:46 PM
I didn't think Japan allowed export of their old standard battle rifle, the one that was fed lower-power 7.62x51 Nato ammo...

Group B
11-30-2009, 2:50 AM
Did you mean the Howa Type 64?


11-30-2009, 3:26 AM
Howa makes new rifles too... look in the precision rifle thread there is at least one in there near the last few pages... far as what kind to get I really dont know... someone with more exp please chime in.

Far as rifle brands go for a beginner the Howa will probably do fine. But if you plan on upgrading later down the road save your money and get a remmy 700 sps. There are a ton of after market parts for the remmy. if you just wanna tinker alittle then a savage 10fp will do just fine but with alot less after market for it but there are some aftermarket parts for it.

And as far a scopes go for it it depends on the pocket book. Scopes range from as little as $100 and under up into the 2k-3k range. people will tell you you need to spend atleast as much on the glass as you did on the gun if not more. I say spend what you feel comfortable spending. Just do your homework and make your own informed decision and be happy with your purchase.

here is a good thread about choosing a rifle from randall it goes from 1k-8k in price range to get you going.


ps i went with a savage 10fp .308 with a busnell 4200 elite tactical

11-30-2009, 4:54 PM
I was looking at the Howa 1500 in 308, i think i will take a look at
savage rifles.

Thanks James

11-30-2009, 5:00 PM
Of the two list I'd go with the 20" version.

11-30-2009, 5:30 PM
I am also looking seriously at the 20" version with the scope.

Howa makes great rifles! Very accurate out of the box.

The heavy barrel is of interest to me (you can fire a lot more shots before heat starts affecting the accuracy).

It has aluminum struts for bedding and a free floating barrel. It has the Hogue stock (same as the Remmy SPS Tactical).

It also comes with a Nikkostirling 4-16x44 scope. Nikko makes decent quality mid-priced scopes.

Several companies make replacement stocks, including Bell & Carlson (fully bedded stocks).

It seems like a pretty good deal for an entry level .308. And more importantly, it can be upgraded if need later.

I'm just sayin...

11-30-2009, 5:51 PM
I was looking at the Howa 1500 in 308, i think i will take a look at
savage rifles.

Thanks James

I own a stainless steel Howa Bolt Action Rifle in .308 Winchester. It is an excellent rifle for the money. I purchased the rifle for pig and deer hunting several years ago. I placed a Nikon 3X9 scope on the rifle and it shoots great.

I am aware now that there are many more variations of the rifle now (Varmint, Target, Carbon Fiber barreled variants, etc.).

If you are looking for a hunting rifle which could also be used for target shooting and plinking as well. The Howa 1500 would be a great choice.
However, if you want a rifle that is highly customizable such as a 10/22, AR, or 1911 then you should look at one of the Remington model 700 variants (.308 would be a short action). The 700 series is one of the most copied current production rifles and in fact the Howa 1500 series is a semi-replica of the Remington, with some subtle differences.

I plan on purchasing a Remington 700 in .308 in the future for a long-range target rifle and will have the rifle assembled by a custom maker. After some research I have reached the conclusion that with high grade components (stock, barrel, trigger, and optics) the rifle will likely run in the $3500-4000 range. For my needs this is suitable, but your requirements may differ.

If you choose to buy a Remington 700 for a precision with a standard length barrel. I would take a hard look at the Remington 700 LTR (Light Tactical Rifle/ 20 Inch barrel) in .308. It is an excellent out of the box rifle and I have known several shooters who had this model and the rifles were real tack drivers (1/2" or less groups with Match ammo at 100YDS). Two other comparable models would be the Varmint/ Sendero models, albeit with 24+ inch barrels. If possible, have someone knowledgeable who you trust check the rifle thoroughly, because Remington's quality control is not what it used to be, hence my preference for a custom built rifle.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a quality built rifle that is affordable and more than accurate for hunting or occasional target shooting the Howa 1500 is an excellent choice. I have used mine and found the rifle to be very reliable (rifle has fired 400+ rounds with no problems noted) and more than accurate enough for the purposes it was acquired for. With Federal and Winchester ball ammo .308 Win. 147 FMJ rounds it shoots 1 1/2" groups at a 100 YDS and with high grade hunting ammo it will easily shoot around 1" or slightly less. I have not had the opportunity to develop any hand loaded rounds yet, but I imagine with the right loads it will group well under an 1". The barrel on mine is 22" Medium contour and the total weight of the rifle and scope is approx.8-8 1/2/ LBS. It balances well and is easily fired off-hand. The only complaint I have with the Howa rifles is that most of the triggers (along with many other production rifles) are a little rough/ gritty. This was the case with mine it it was sent-off to a gunsmith to be smoothed-out. Otherwise, it is an excellent rifle and I would highly recommend it for a hunting rifle or general purpose long-gun.

I stumbled across the purchase receipt a few weeks ago and the price for the rifle when I purchased it about 3-4 years ago was $650 and I paid around $200 for the Nikon 3X9 scope. Considering it was all stainless steel and had a high quality camo fiberglass stock I though it was a good price. My total with taxes and DROS, trigger job, and including the scope was just under a grand. I am a very satisfied Howa customer and would not hesitate to purchase another.

Good Luck, part of the fun is the search.

P.S. I would agree with the other member, Savage is also another excellent choice and highly underrated. I just don't personally care for their guns but would acknowledge it is a quality product (excellent barrels).

Also, many are not aware that this same rifle was imported (from Japan origin) and sold under the Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, Weatherby, and couple of other manufacturers brand names as well as being used by some custom gunmakers. The current importer is Interarms. If you decide to purchase a Howa or even a Remington, check the manufacturer websites because many arms makers are offering rebates and it might save you a few dollars.

11-30-2009, 9:14 PM
Also if you are looking to do a budget build type gun and are pretty handy you can look at the stevens 200 line of rifles. Stevens is made by savage and is there budget line but with basically the same action as the higher models. If i ever get around to building my own rifle that is the way i would go...

11-30-2009, 10:00 PM
I own a Howa M-1500 in .243 24" heavy Barrel, I think its a great rifle . Sub MOA , I am still dialing the best round for it but the Win Super-X 100g stuff gives me 1/2-3/4" groupings. As far as aftermarket options there is not as many available as the Rem 700's . But you can get bottom metal and Mags for these rifles . CDI Precision is the place to go , Jeff is a great guy and price wise compares to the 700's bottom metal with AI mags . I am quite happy with my Howa