View Full Version : surpise rifle recommendation

January 28, 2010, 11:57 PM
So, I'm talking with a local gunstore owner about purchase for my 15 year old son. Looking for a browning x bolt, savage or tikka rifle in 25-06 or 270 with zeiss conquest or nikon monarch 3-9x40 scope. This is a guy I respect alot as he is trustworthy as well as a very accomplished hunter.

He said he has sold over 600 Howa 1500 rifles with the nikko stirling nighteater 3-10x42 scope package and has no problems with rifles and only one return for a scope problem. Said after this experience, for the money he has trouble recommending some of my choices for roughly twice the price.

I guess I have another to add to the list to look at more closely. I think they make the barrel and action for the weatherby vanguard, so I have to think they must be of good quality? Have others on this board had any experience with this make of scope and rifle?

January 29, 2010, 12:04 AM
No personal experience on the Howa, but everything I've read has been extremely positive.

January 29, 2010, 12:22 AM
Well, a friend has a Howa 1500 and I like it. I've shot it as well as seen him shoot it. It shot pretty decently although we were only shooting it at 60 yards or so. Overall, I like it and I'd buy one if I got a deal on one. However, I wouldn't pick one over a Browning or a Savage either. If it was me my personal choice would either be a Browning or Savage. If I wanted a great rifle that also had a great fit and finish and looked nice the Browning. If I wanted a great rifle at a great price where the looks of it didn't quite matter as much the Savage would be my choice. Both should be great shooters. You can get the Savage I think it's model 14 but don't quote me on that which has a nice wood stock if that's what you are after too.

I'd top either of these off with a nice scope depending on your budget. My choice for a decently priced scope would be a Burris Fullfield II. However, there are others that I'd chose if you had a lot more money to spend on a scope.

January 29, 2010, 12:40 AM
I have sat next to some Howa shooters at the range and they were throwing some pretty good groups (.308 I think he was shooting).
Neat little gun. Small, light, and accurate. Cant say much for looks.
I like the TC makes a neat system if its an issue of one gun for all things:
Those are accurate too. I see them alot on TV.

January 29, 2010, 02:09 AM
i shoot a howa 1500 in .243 and its a great gun. shoots very nice groups. and it is very reliable. i have never had any issues what so ever with it

January 29, 2010, 02:48 AM
No surprise he highly recommends it. The Howa 1500 is a great gun. The Nikko Stirling scopes not so much. IMO, you would be better off buying a different scope for the rifle.

January 29, 2010, 04:24 AM
I have owned for four years a Weatherby Vanguard, 300WBY. I bought it on impulse one day while I was shopping for a good pair of boots at the local Scheel's. I walked over to the rifles and noticed mark down stickers on three rifles, a Vanguard stainless, synthetic, 25-06, a 270 the same and a 300WBY blued synthetic. I noticed a sign saying"ask to see the factory target". I did and all were under an inch and the 300 was .7" I scoped it with a Nikon Monach 3x9. I walked out wearing a new pair of Danner boots and carrying the 300WBY. I am most pleased with this rifle. I have owned and reloaded for many rifles since 1975, including Rem 700, 7mag, BAR, 300WM, Interarms MKX, 30-06, Weatherby MKV, 340WBY, and Savage, 223. Except for the MKV, I consider the Vanguard the best rifle I have purchased, for the price. It is very accurate, I haven't gotten a .7" group yet, but am getting very close. I have taken two Mule deer with it, and it's effectiveness is awesome! My reasoning for buying it that day was that I would not be able to get more rifle for the money. I consider this rifle to be the best value in rifles on the market today.

January 29, 2010, 04:40 AM
The guy that runs snipercentral sells howa packages, it's a howa barreled action with bc stock and a nice scope selection. Everyone there seems to love them for the money.

phil mcwilliam
January 29, 2010, 07:39 AM
A Tikka topped with a Zeiss should cost more than a Howa with a Nikko scope. My brother has a Howa in 22-250 & it shoots ok, but I would still consider the Tikka better. Nikko Stirling scopes are ok for 22's.

January 29, 2010, 09:29 AM
I have shot the 25-06 Rem for 27 years now.
It drops deer like a lightning bolt, and you can varmint hunt with it too. Supposedly, 115 Berger VLD (very low drag) projectiles increase an already impressive kill range for the 25-06 out to the 600 to 800 yard mark with radical penetration and expansion. I use a 90 grain HPBT for almost everything.
I have tons of 30-06 brass that I use for making cases (watch the neck thickness).
That caliber will serve you well, although some call it a "powder burner", which I cant disagree with, except to say that it is a very versatile caliber and there kinda has to be a down side to everything in life doesnt there?
Good choice there.

January 29, 2010, 12:05 PM
Not to be skeptical....okay, maybe I'm being unreasonably skeptical....I'm sure Howa 1500's are great rifles given the feedback....but 600 of one particular gun and package seems a lot for a local gunstore....if it's not Cabelas or BassPro....

January 29, 2010, 01:32 PM
that does seem like quite a bit but they have been getting sold for a few years now. and from what i understand howa used to make components for several large companies rifles. they have been around for a very long time. their rifles have been gaining popularity over they last few years. i could not reccomend any rifle more. its a fantastic firearm.

January 29, 2010, 01:53 PM
that does seem like quite a bit but they have been getting sold for a few years now. and from what i understand howa used to make components for several large companies riflesHowa was introduced to the US market about 30 years ago. They made rifles for Smith & Wesson (S&W 1500 rifles), they make rifles for Weatherby (Weatherby Vanguard rifles), they have been selling rifles and barreled actions under their own name for about 20 years now. I think they are one of the best-kept secrets in the firearms market. Great shooters.

January 29, 2010, 03:08 PM
Great beginner guns. Cheap decent guns great to start out with with out blowing the bank.

I think its a law in gun shops to push the Howas cause no matter what rifle I asked about they
pushed me twords a howa. Nothing against them just I was tired of going to buy a remington
and getting pushed a howa lol But great little guns. If i had a sun id probably get him one.

January 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Got to say my S&W 1500 7mm Mag is the best shooting rifle I have ever had. I am looking at the Howa 1500 in 204 or 223 with the adjustable stock. Haven't made up my mind yet.

January 29, 2010, 04:24 PM
Never owned one, but I once shot a .223 varmiter (the one with the thumbhole) and was very impressed. Picked it up and without taking any shots to get aquainted with it, I put 4 shots within an inch at 100 yards (For the record, the owner had a REALLY nice scope on it, not the Nikko Stirling you are considering). The owner had nothing to say but good things about it. I very seriously considered purchasing one, but in the end decided on a Stevens 200 so I could have a project to work on. I'm a tinkerer :)

January 29, 2010, 04:51 PM
The shop where I was looking I tried to talk the guy into trading out the scope. No go. So if I get it that would be the first thing to go. Might throw that scope on a 22 just for fun.

January 29, 2010, 07:34 PM
I had a 1500 in .30-06 that shot under an inch at 100, some jerk stole it.

I'd buy another.

Lawyer Daggit
January 29, 2010, 07:50 PM
The Howa 1500 has been marketed by a number of companies over the years with even Smith and Wesson sticking its name on it at one stage.

It has a reputation for accuracy and I understand many of England's best gun smiths like to use it as a basis for a custom gun today.

I do not know much about the Stirling scope other than to say this. A gun store I frequent covered the brand details on a range of scopes and aimed them over the counter at a target that was some distance away out of the store.

Some of the scopes in the line up were high end european scopes and the winner - what most regarded as having the best optics was a Nikko Stirling model.

Of course this says a lot for the quality of the optics and not the build quality, about which I know nothing.

If it were me, and providing I was not planning on taking the gun on a once in a lifetime safari to Africa or something, I would take a punt on the Stirling scope.