PDA

View Full Version : Actions: Remington, Savage or Howa?


Phil3
09-29-2011, 1:26 PM
I plan to build a bolt action tactical style rifle and really can't decide between Remington, Savage, or Howa actions. I know the weaker aftermarket and support for the Howa vs the others, and that Savage permits easy barrel changes, and that Remington has a zillion upgrades, etc. But, I have not had the opportunity to operate a Howa action and hoping to hear from someone who used one and can comment. Nothing against Remington or Savage...just intrigued about the Howa and wanted some feedback. All opinions welcome!

Thanks.

- Phil

dvsdev
09-29-2011, 3:00 PM
In order of smoothest actions: Tikka, Howa, Savage, Remington. In order of quality extractors, Tikka (Sako style), Howa (Sako style), Savage, Remington (metal clip).

The Howa action is very smooth and the bolt comes with a Sako style extractor. The factory trigger is very similar to a Timney. It is easily adjustable down to a little over a pound. If you are planning on re-barreling the rifle, you need a gunsmith who knows that they are doing. I hear the barrel is torqued at a ridiculous high value.

If you can make a trip over to Coyote Point Rifle Range, I think I can get you in for free and let you check out my Howa. It's under maintenance at the moment, but should be available by next Friday.

Paper Boy
09-29-2011, 3:07 PM
I have a Howa and the action is amazingly smooth and a bit better (IMO) than the nice 700 I also have. I love the rifle and am sold on them. The trigger is super crisp.

Phil3
09-29-2011, 3:33 PM
In order of smoothest actions: Tikka, Howa, Savage, Remington. In order of quality extractors, Tikka (Sako style), Howa (Sako style), Savage, Remington (metal clip).

The Howa action is very smooth and the bolt comes with a Sako style extractor. The factory trigger is very similar to a Timney. It is easily adjustable down to a little over a pound. If you are planning on re-barreling the rifle, you need a gunsmith who knows that they are doing. I hear the barrel is torqued at a ridiculous high value.

If you can make a trip over to Coyote Point Rifle Range, I think I can get you in for free and let you check out my Howa. It's under maintenance at the moment, but should be available by next Friday.

I too have heard the Howa barrels are so tight, some have resorted to cutting a groove in the barrel close to the action, to relieve the pressure and get the barrel off. That is only viable if you no longer need the barrel!

Kind of you to offer an opportunity to check out the action. Yes, I will do that. Are we talking 10/7 or later? Is yours a Howa rifle or a custom using the Howa action?

- Phil

Peter W Bush
09-29-2011, 3:40 PM
I prefer Savage. DIY barrel change, lower in price, and accurate as can be.

dvsdev
09-29-2011, 4:01 PM
I too have heard the Howa barrels are so tight, some have resorted to cutting a groove in the barrel close to the action, to relieve the pressure and get the barrel off. That is only viable if you no longer need the barrel!

Kind of you to offer an opportunity to check out the action. Yes, I will do that. Are we talking 10/7 or later? Is yours a Howa rifle or a custom using the Howa action?

- Phil

Should be ready by 10/7. It is currently factory, going into a B&C stock. I also need to readjust the trigger. It is sticking at the sear engagement causing a two stage feel, but sticking at the second stage.

ERdept
09-29-2011, 4:02 PM
How will be the smoothest because the lug design.

I had a remmy, binds when the bold is way back sometimes. The Howa you can buy a Lilja barrel, he has them in stock.

Will be greatly accurate and smooth and cheap.

nrakid88
09-29-2011, 4:16 PM
Isn't another important factor going to be the magazine internal length?

I am a handloader, and for VLD (very low drag) type bullets you need a lot of OAL to seat them to the lands.

How do these makes stack up in that department??

Phil3
09-29-2011, 4:23 PM
I might be able to help here. What caliber are we talking about? I saw in one place that 308 at 2.810" would fit in the factory box. - Phil

nrakid88
09-29-2011, 4:31 PM
I might be able to help here. What caliber are we talking about? I saw in one place that 308 at 2.810" would fit in the factory box. - Phil

It will be a while till I go bolt action, but it will probably be .30-06, .284, or if I am feeling crazy 7mm Rem Ultra Mag

toby
09-29-2011, 4:38 PM
Unless you want a caliber Howa does not offer, just get one of their barreled actions. They do offer heavy barrels as well. Follow your Idea for a rifle not the other guy's.

Phil3
09-29-2011, 7:31 PM
I prefer Savage. DIY barrel change, lower in price, and accurate as can be.

I think Howa has everyone beat on price. I can buy an action with 24" hammer forged bull barrel for an MSRP of $549 or as little as $430. Or buy a rifle for as little as $400 and use the action and barrel. Put in a Bell & Carslon Medalist (on sale) and you have a new gun with a good stock for as little as $618 (plus tax, FFL, DROS, shipping, etc).

- Phil

pacifico23
09-29-2011, 7:59 PM
Howa is the way to go. There action is like silk. Ive tried a Remmy 700 and a Savage. The Howa was butter compared to the two. Especially the 700.

bigred76
09-30-2011, 12:43 AM
I picked up a Howa action in .308 recently. I must say it is absolute butter to operate and, with a B&C Medalist stock, a joy to shoulder. Mine is a 24" heavy barrel. With really cheap ammo I was still hitting 3/4" groups at 100yd, after not shooting a precision rifle at that distance in a very long time. I don't doubt with quality ammo and not drinking Monsters (was a bit jittery), I coulda done 1/2" groups.

Wrangler John
09-30-2011, 12:50 AM
There are a few alternatives.

I use New Savage Precision Target Actions purchased separately from a Savage jobber through a local dealer. Currently Savage is offering the stainless steel single shot target action with Target AccuTrigger for $595 to $631 depending on cartridge head. On occasion they also offer the dual port action, varmint repeater and sporter actions.

These actions do not need any truing or blueprinting to work, and the AccuTrigger is good as it comes from the box. They also have a small .062" diameter firing pin, something that has to be modified on the Remington action.

The action can be adapted to any cartridge head size with the exchange of a few parts, any case can be swapped back and forth, small .223 Remington family, standard .308 Winchester family, 6mm PPC, or large magnum. The magnum size bolt head also requires a magnum front baffle and longer firing pin assembly. Parts are inexpensive and there are a number of suppliers including, www.sharpshootersupply.com both Shilen and Pac-Nor Barreling make drop-in barrels.

Barrels can be ordered pre-threaded, pre-chambered and installed in a matter of minutes with a few tools and a set of headspace gauges. Barrels can swapped as needed. You do not need special tools to disassemble the Savage action, a single allen wrench, and a couple of pin punches does it.

The Remington 700 action is available in a few sizes from Brownell's, although these are going fast - I got the last standard short action. Otherwise a used rifle can be purchased for the action.

The above Remington action was sent out to Greg Tannel www.gretanrifles.com for modification. Modifications included double sleeving the bolt and reaming the bolt raceway to allow contact of the top locking lug (the Remington 700's top lug will not bear without this modification - Tannel explains it on the web site), fitting of the locking lugs, bushing the firing pin and grinding the firing pin to smaller diameter, and fitting a .250" double pinned recoil lug designed to fit a Bell & Carlson type stock with aluminum bedding block. Cost was in the $440 range. I have also had him do a complete action blueprint (includes single pointing the barrel threads .010" larger so they are straight and facing the action) and precision barrel installation and chambering on other Remington 700 actions.

However the above action is going to fitted with a Pac-Nor barrel with their Remington Barrel Nut, so it can be swapped out like a Savage. This allows the same flexibility as the Savage in using different chamberings, barrel twists, etc. www.pac-nor.com the Remington nut is illustrated in the Gallery section.

While these two alternatives are flexible, you can also look into a Shilen DGR or DGV action, which fits the Remington 700 stock inlet, uses Remington triggers and bottom metal, and offers the Savage type barrel nut and floating interchangeable bolt heads, all for about $1,000. They offer complete rifles, actions and barreled actions. www.shilen.com/productsCompleteRifles.html

No matter what, a complete product with high end barrel and doing the assembly work your self will cost just around $2,000 at the minimum.

DirtRacer151
09-30-2011, 9:57 AM
I know you said youre particularly interested in Howa info.

But since you specified a tactical precision rifle then there can be no substitute. Remington is the way to go. Especially if you're already talking about upgrades. Call up Marc at Spartan rifles. He trues remington actions for $75 per his website. I have 2 rifles built on surgeons from him and his work is top notch. He's a competitor and member of NCPPRC and is highly respected in their crowd.

I know the fan boys will flame me but the truth is the truth. Go to any tactical bolt gun match and count the rifles on the line. I'll bet you see %99 remingtons....

Tikka is my next vote for factory rifles. I've loved all 3 of mine. Great accuracy, best triggers, smoothest factory action. Although I rarely see tikkas on the competition lines either..

Phil3
09-30-2011, 10:27 AM
I know you said youre particularly interested in Howa info.

But since you specified a tactical precision rifle then there can be no substitute. Remington is the way to go. Especially if you're already talking about upgrades. Call up Marc at Spartan rifles. He trues remington actions for $75 per his website. I have 2 rifles built on surgeons from him and his work is top notch. He's a competitor and member of NCPPRC and is highly respected in their crowd.

I know the fan boys will flame me but the truth is the truth. Go to any tactical bolt gun match and count the rifles on the line. I'll bet you see %99 remingtons....

Tikka is my next vote for factory rifles. I've loved all 3 of mine. Great accuracy, best triggers, smoothest factory action. Although I rarely see tikkas on the competition lines either..

I don't expect to do much in the way of upgrades, but there are scope rails, bolt handles, detachable mags, stocks, full chassis, and triggers available for the Howa. Frankly, more stuff than I will probably ever use. I have also found more gunsmiths than expected who have done work on them.

I have been in contact with Mark and he supports Remingtons. He has nothing against Howas, but feels there is good reason for the dominance of Remington. But are those reasons important to me? I can only know that once I hear those reasons from Marc. We have not yet reconnected.

Your comment on the Tikka echoes my sentiment. Reputedly a very nice operating action, but hardly seen on the line. Maybe they should...? Or maybe there is something about them no one likes. Or fear of an unknown. Sometimes, there really IS a better mousetrap that comes along. The Tikka or Howa might be that, maybe not, but for me, I want a very smooth quality feeling action, and feel the Howa or Tikka would be better in that regard.

I still want to hear from Marc and have not made a purchase decision until I hear from him.

- Phil

peter95
09-30-2011, 11:43 AM
Howas are great. Super smooth and to me fells like quality.
Tikkas are awesome too....

DirtRacer151
09-30-2011, 2:12 PM
I don't expect to do much in the way of upgrades, but there are scope rails, bolt handles, detachable mags, stocks, full chassis, and triggers available for the Howa. Frankly, more stuff than I will probably ever use. I have also found more gunsmiths than expected who have done work on them.

I have been in contact with Mark and he supports Remingtons. He has nothing against Howas, but feels there is good reason for the dominance of Remington. But are those reasons important to me? I can only know that once I hear those reasons from Marc. We have not yet reconnected.

Your comment on the Tikka echoes my sentiment. Reputedly a very nice operating action, but hardly seen on the line. Maybe they should...? Or maybe there is something about them no one likes. Or fear of an unknown. Sometimes, there really IS a better mousetrap that comes along. The Tikka or Howa might be that, maybe not, but for me, I want a very smooth quality feeling action, and feel the Howa or Tikka would be better in that regard.

I still want to hear from Marc and have not made a purchase decision until I hear from him.

- Phil

In my eyes there's 3 things holding back the Tikkas

1-limited aftermarket (getting better)
2-recoil lug design
3-long action even in SA cases.

They are still great rifles. Fix the above issues and i think they would be unstopable.

toby
09-30-2011, 4:43 PM
There is nothing you can do to a Remington that you can't do with another rifle, the difference is you can't buy all the part's at Costco or wallyworld like you can for a Remmy. The best thing is all those nice part's are uncalled for for the average shooter, unless he just likes spending money.....;)