View Full Version : What kind of accuracy can i expect from my Howa lightning 1500?

August 28, 2008, 06:57 PM
Thanks for you input.

August 28, 2008, 07:11 PM
i think you'll be pleasantly surprised. i have a vanguard which is basically the same rifle & it shoots just about any load moa or better.

August 28, 2008, 07:18 PM
It's a good rifle. I have two and MOA or close to it.

Ozark Tracker
August 28, 2008, 07:38 PM
I have one in .270, at a hundred yards I've taken several squirrel, just to see if everything is right, always just took off the head. real good shooting rifle.

August 29, 2008, 05:06 PM
Depends mostly on the stock. Every action I have seen has been more than fine for hunting.


August 29, 2008, 05:12 PM
I just sighted in my scope on my Howa/Hogue 1500 in .308 Win. I achieved a 1" 5 shot group at 100 yards. My rest was a sandbag on a step ladder, with me sitting in a lawn chair = not that great.

sneaky pete
August 30, 2008, 08:05 PM
Sneaky Pete here: The sight in target that came with my '06 Weatherby Vangard (NOT advertised sub-MOA) 3 shot [email protected] 100 =0.378 inches cen-to-cen Not bad for an under $400.00rifle. THANX--SNEAKY

August 31, 2008, 10:18 AM
Many factors affect accuracy.

Trigger pull is far more important than most people think. For maximum accuracy a match grade trigger that goes off in the ounces instead of the pounds will result in much more consistent small group accuracy.

Many people will say they get 1 inch groups out of a sporter rifle but in my experience with a factory trigger that is set in the pounds most factory rifles with factory barrels generally will occasionally shoot 1 inch 5 shot groups but the average is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches with match grade bullets.

Three shot groups are much easier to shoot into an inch with a factory trigger and a factory barrel.

It must be remembered that factory barrels vary a lot in accuracy as they are mass produced. Some shoot very well and some will always throw a flyer. Many will foul out far sooner than a custom hand lapped barrel will. Some in as little as 10 rounds.

The Douglas barrel company has stated that the barrels they throw away are often way more straighter than many factory barrels. Most people are shocked when they find out that there is no such thing as a straight barrel, not even in a very expensive custom barrel.

Glass bedding will enhance accuracy even with the so called aluminum bedding blocks as not all blocks mate to the action exactly.

A super high quality scope will enhance accuracy and the higher the power the less the aiming error but of course when you are using a hunting rifle a high power scope for big game hunting is seldom needed.

Few people realize that the cheap scope often causes many accuracy problems as well.

A good stable stock is also necessary. If your gun as a factory made injection molded stock they are sometimes not even as stable as a wood stock as they tend to expand and contract in heat and cold just as a wood stock that is not sealed with varnish will soak up moisture and expand. The expensive composite synthetic stocks are much more stable but they are cold to touch in the winter and slippery when wet.

In other words there is no perfect stock. Some people like the outstanding beauty of wood and gripping surface of custom "hand checkering" not machine cut checkering and some will sacrifice aesthetics for the stability of an expensive custom composite stock.

In conclusion the Howa is a very good rifle for the money but do not expect miracles either. Its more than adequate for hunting because even at 1 ½ to 2 inch groups this is more than accurate enough for big game hunting.

For super accuracy:

1. Re-barrel with a very good grade custom made barrel.

2. Glass bed the action

3. Float the barrel

4. Properly install a high quality scope without binding it in the rings.

5. Use match grade hand-loads.

6. Install a set trigger or match grade trigger that goes off in the ounces not the pounds.

I often shop around for older quality shot out rifles and then rebuild them. I rebuilt a 1915 Mauser sporter 22-250 for a total of $600 bucks including the price of the shot out rifle that was $250.00. I shopped around for parts and did the polishing job myself before having it blued which cut the cost of the blue job to only $40.00. Bought a used set Trigger and installed it myself, glass bedded it, refinished the stock, installed a recoil pad and floated the barrel and re-cut the checkering. Had a Shilen match grade hand lapped barrel installed (chrome moly not stainless)

I now have a rifle that will shoot 3 shots into ½ inch. And 4 shots into 5/8 of an inch and it does it consistently from sporter weight barrel not a heavy barrel. Many people who shoot an occasional 1 inch group will proclaim the gun a 1 inch shooter but the accuracy you get consistently from multiple groups is really the true accuracy of a gun not the occasional small group

September 10, 2008, 10:10 PM
i get 1/4 inch 3 shot group with a cold bore 100 yard with handload from my howa hogue 308 sporter barrel no mod. i have shot 20 round under a inch just recently. great gun. the only thing broken so far is the red bead on the hogue stock located next to the safety switch was easily rubbed off with my finger. lets see what i could harvest next week when deer season opens. new gun i just bought few months ago.

September 11, 2008, 12:30 AM
In general, Howa 1500s are very accurate.

September 11, 2008, 01:52 AM
i have a vanguard in .243 i get MOA or better at 100 yds with most target shooting i do. Rifle is stock from the shop but i have a Pecar Berlin 4x12 scope on it. To me the quality of the scope is very important as Scorch stated.

The trigger is quite light and i think the barrel is free floated , not too sure though. I love this rifle it has never failed me and i have achieved many memorable shots with this outfit out in the field on game.

September 11, 2008, 12:45 PM
Building a semi custom on a Howa 1500 action as we type. So yeah its a good start.

September 11, 2008, 12:56 PM
let me know how it goes im thinking of doing one in 204

September 11, 2008, 01:25 PM
Yeah, all you guys using triggers @ around 2.5-3#, run out and buy a benchrest trigger that pulls @ 2oz. Yeah, go out and do that...today! :rolleyes:

September 15, 2008, 06:12 PM
Ill stick to my timney

September 21, 2008, 09:20 PM
This is what I have and I took it one weekend to do a prairie dog shoot last year and I can say with my poor shooting it took dogs out to 400 yards with the leupold scope.
By the way ot is available if anyone needs one..... I doubt I will ever get to go againand this caliber is not my fav because it will not take down a deer or other large game animals. Drop me a line if interested.