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Old May 15, 2012, 09:34 AM   #1
Psycareyo
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Target/ Range Rifle: Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700SPS: .223 vs. .308

So I've been debating between a Howa 1500 and the legendary Rem 700.

I like the aftermarket support for the 700 and the legacy behind the gun. The Howa seems like a better value and the trigger was awesome.

The stocks are irrelevant to me because I plan on getting a Blackhawk Axiom full free float stock for the collapsible stock (max my storage capacity in the gun cabinet) and for the tactical look.

I'm back and forth about caliber also. 99.99% of this rifle use will be at the ranges near Plattsburgh, Peru and Champlain in New York state.

I really wanted to stick with a .308 for the true sniper feel. I also had planned on building my own AR15 in .223/5.56NATO so I couldn't see the point in having two rifles the same caliber in my very small rifle collection.

I also own a Arsenal SLR 94 and a S&W MP15-22.

What do you guys think?
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Old May 15, 2012, 10:23 PM   #2
Clark
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My schpeal

I have a Howa 270, Rem700 6mmBR, and lots of Mausers... comparing them...

The book to get is "Bolt Action Rifles" 4th edition by de Haas.
Modern Firearms + Amazon webstore - Bolt Action Rifles

The 98 Mauser has:
1) flat bottomed receiver to take torque from rifling
2) controlled feed
3) claw typed extractor
4) safety on firing pin, often modified to be 2 or 3 position M70 type
5) multi stage gas filter on firing pin hole for safety
6) bolt handle is integrally forged as part of bolt body
7) safety lug below rear bridge
8) integral recoil lug
9) knife ejector in bolt lug slot
10 an inner C ring to put the tenon threads in compression

The rem 700
1) receiver made from round tubing
2) push feed
3) little wimpy extractor
4) safety on trigger
5) simple bolt
6) bolt handle tacked on with screw and solder
7) nothing for safety if bolt lugs fail.
8) recoil lug is a modified washer that is captured by the receiver and barrel
9) plunger ejector
10) No inner C ring, so the only thing holding the barrel to the receiver is the tenon threads in tension

Of the ~100 bolt action covered in the above book, they seem to all be on the spectrum somewhere between the simple Rem700 and the complex 1898 Mauser design.

The Howa 1500:
1) flat bottom receiver
2) push feed
3) short claw extractor is bigger than rem, but smaller than M98
4) three position bolt safety
5) simple bolt
6) Integral bolt handle
7) nothing
8) integral recoil lug
9) plunger ejector

I would give the Howa Mauser scale = ~50% Mauser
I would give the Howa Rem700 scale = ~50% Rem700
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Old May 18, 2012, 03:31 AM   #3
ndking1126
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According to their website, you can buy barreled actions from Howa. That would save you even a little more money.

As far as to which name brand, I would feel perfectly fine buying a Howa. I've shot them and they are great rifles. If you pick up the Remington and it grabs you, then go with it. Get what you want.. if you are only going to have a few guns (haha, we'll see how long that lasts!) then get something you like.

If you are just punching paper, I don't think the caliber is as important. The 308 will have excellent bullet selection, whether you are looking for accurate match loads or cheaper-to-shoot surplus ammo.

However, there are definitely calibers with better ballistics. .260 Remington will outshoot it all day long (ballistically speaking). The heavier .243s also have good long range ballistics and less recoil than the .308.
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Old May 18, 2012, 07:00 AM   #4
Picher
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The Rem 700 action is known for it's accuracy. It is the best-shooting action of the three. I've never seen a benchrest rifle built from a Howa or Mauser action, not that people haven't done it, but the Rem is proven to shoot with many of the best custom actions.

Buy a good, used 700 ADL and have a custom rifle made from it.
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Old May 18, 2012, 08:46 PM   #5
ronz
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if you’re as lucky as I was when I bought mine they will have both Compare them side by side
You will go with the howa the rem will need a new trigger
the howa 1500 is sweet right out of the box
the rem you will have to make sweet
side by side there was no comparison but I did get mine a few years ago so maybe the Remington is made better now
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Old May 18, 2012, 09:55 PM   #6
4runnerman
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I have to disagree with one poster. I think the Howa will out shoot the remmy any day. seen it many times out on the range. Could be the shooter to,but all the time would be to much for me to believe. Howas are very very accurate rifles. Take a close look at the Howa Target Master. That is one very sweet and accurate rifle
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Old May 18, 2012, 10:35 PM   #7
zulthor
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Nothing against 700's but Howa's are dollar for dollar some of the most accurate bolt guns you can get.

There are plenty of rifles that are more accurate but usually much more $$$.
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Old May 20, 2012, 12:24 AM   #8
brmfan
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Quote:
I think the Howa will out shoot the remmy any day.
I'd sure like to see that!! I've not seen a single Howa at any of the F Class matches I have competed in. Not saying there weren't any... just never laid eyes on one. Almost always a Remmy or Savage (several Winchesters and FNs as well) as far as stock off-the-shelf rifles go.

Last edited by brmfan; May 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM.
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Old May 20, 2012, 12:42 PM   #9
Mobuck
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If it makes any difference, I have a Howa 223 HB that is about 4-5 years old. It does not shoot any bullet (that I've tried anyway) over 55 grains worth a hoot. My 3 year old 223 Vanguard is the same-it's best with 50 grain bullets. If you want to use heavier bullets, I'd determine the twist rate of the barrel before making further decisions.
The Howa uses a metric barrel thread which seems increase rebarreling costs in the shops I checked.
I'm not against the Howa, I just want to point out some of the things that aren't in the ads. In my opinion, the quality of the Rem 700 has dropped over the last few years. I've talked to a couple of shooters who used to be solid Rem fans but have switched brands lately.
I have 1 Howa and 3 Howa built Wby Vanguards that are all solid shooters although the newer Vanguard series 2 has a better trigger.
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Old May 20, 2012, 12:53 PM   #10
brmfan
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Mobuck: I am a 700 fan but I will admit the QC lately has been a concern.
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Old May 20, 2012, 02:14 PM   #11
223 shooter
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Quote:
I think the Howa will out shoot the remmy any day.
My 700 SPS , bought new in 2007 , is one of the most accurate factory rifles I have ever fired. With the Sierra 52 match and H335 or N133 powder. This one was actually the first time using N133 in the SPS.



Remington bashing is a pretty much a gun forum staple these days. And I'll admit to having no experience with any of their products made after 2007.

I have one Howa too , actually a Weatherby Vanguard Deluxe , the quality is quite good.
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Old May 20, 2012, 04:23 PM   #12
tobnpr
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SAVAGE.
Caliber depends on range, ammo budget and whether you handload.
What's a "sniper feel"?
You planning on shooting two-legged targets?
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Old May 21, 2012, 07:57 PM   #13
wnycollector
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Quote:
Howa 223 HB...It does not shoot any bullet (that I've tried anyway) over 55 grains worth a hoot.
Howa .223's are 1:12 twist, so if you want to shoot heavier .223 SMK's, the Remington would get the nod in my book. That being said, I have a .308 Howa 1500 Varminter Supreme with a Boyds Ross thumbhole stock. With FGMM 168gr it will shoot .6" 5 shot groups at 100 yards. If you decide to go with a .308, check CDNN, they have Howa 1500's for $399.
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Old May 21, 2012, 08:00 PM   #14
mnhntr
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Read my mind
Quote:
SAVAGE.
Caliber depends on range, ammo budget and whether you handload.
What's a "sniper feel"?
You planning on shooting two-legged targets?
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Old May 21, 2012, 09:17 PM   #15
bigalshootmupper
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I had the same dilemma about 2 years ago: Howa 1500, Rem SPS Tactical, or Ruger, all 308 with Hogue stock. I got the Rem and it is super accurate. Somebody said something about the trigger, well, it is a sweet trigger. Everyone that has shot it first says the trigger is best they have felt. I wouldn't say it is the best, but if someone had a $250 trigger replacement and said they would sell it to me for $50, I would say no need. I have many nice triggers on other guns I own, by the way. The best I have is actually a Rem Model 7 custom job.

I haven't yet had time to work up a reload for it, but it shoots Nosler Custom Competition 168gr under 1MOA 5 shot groups every time, sometimes can get all 5 touching. My brother has the Ruger, and it is about as good in accuracy, definitely best fit and finish and nicer looks, but more expensive. Don't know much about the Howa, but hear good things.
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Old May 24, 2012, 01:55 AM   #16
Clark
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The Rem700 action is as cheaply built as cheap can get, and that leaves room in the budget for Remington to put a better barrel in it.

The 98 Mauser has everything. It takes more than 10X as much work to make a Mauser than a Rem700. Count the machining steps.

So what is un Mauser like about Rem700 actions?
What can can gunsmiths do about it?

1) Bolt hand falls off..... TIG weld it back on
2) Round bottom..... glue it in a flat bottom shroud [Not needed on Howa]
3) Wimpy extractor.... Sako extractor conversion [Not needed on Howa]
4) Recoil lug not attached... drill and pin to receiver [Not needed on Howa]
5) No inner C ring..... glue barrel threads
6) Safety blocks trigger, not firing pin..... Gentry 3 position safety
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The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
Are we a nation of competing ideas, or a nation of forced conformity of thought?
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Old May 24, 2012, 09:28 AM   #17
Joe Chicago
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If you choose Remington, find a used one manufactured before Freedom Arms bought the company. I bought two Remington rifles last year, and both had to go back to the factory because of serious defects. One was a Model Seven (same action as the 700 with a short barrel) with headspace issues. Sadly, I agree with those that say Big Green's quality as slipped.

I sold the M7 and bought a Vanguard S2, which I like so far. The Vanguard is heavy, but the build quality is great and the two stage trigger breaks like glass. It also comes with a one MOA guarantee.
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Old May 24, 2012, 10:55 PM   #18
BIG P
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Old 700 & trick it yourself,Not that much trouble.everybody has a box rife.
build your own you wont be disapointed.
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Old June 2, 2012, 08:04 PM   #19
shanzlik
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I have an SPS in .223 and a Howa in .308. Both are setup identically with heavy barrels in B&C tactical stocks, Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x50 scopes, padded stock packs, Harris bipods, etc. Both are accurate to about 0.75 MOA on multi-group averages at 100 yards for 5 shot groups.

The Howa feels a little better made to me (smoother action, feels like better production tolerances), has a little bit better trigger feel both in the pull and the shape of the shoe, and has a nicer finish if that matters to you. I did add an oversize bolt knob to the Howa but haven't gotten to it on the 700 yet.

Either one would serve you well. Both of mine were made in the last three years.

If you're only going to shoot paper and under 600 yards or so, .223 is cheaper so you can shoot more.

Here is the Howa. I don't have a picture of the 700 handy.
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