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Old June 20, 2018, 05:45 PM   #1
Moongelly
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A little help for the new guy

I'm looking at buying a HOWA .308 or .300 win mag 26" threaded heavy barreled action to build a precision rifle. I enjoy tinkering. I'd like to go play with the boys on some long distance ranges, up to 1000 yds. Is the HOWA any good? I'm wondering which would be better and why? And what some good choices for stocks might be? Any thoughts for the new guy?
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Old June 20, 2018, 06:17 PM   #2
dakota.potts
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I would think .300 Win Mag is very punishing for a new shooter, will limit your shooting time, and cost a lot in ammo.

I would recommend getting a .22 set up. You can get a very accurate one with a scope for what you'll pay for the barreled action.

.308 is a good standby round with good barrel life and ammo availability but has more recoil than might be necessary and requires more hold for wind and drop at those distances. There are some rounds which are more suited to the task and easier on the shoulder (.243 Win, 6mm and 6.5'll creedmoor, .260 Remington etc.) but then it's a trade between performance and ammo availability/ barrel life.

Plenty of great stocks available but it depends on what you want. You'll probably want a polymer, fiberglass, composite, aluminum etc. As they are more stable than wood. You will need to decide if you want a sporter stock, benchrest style, aluminum chassis, etc. This will depend on your personal ergonomics and the type of shooting you're doing and you may end up experimenting with several styles.

I also highly recommend epoxy bedding your rifle with Marine Tex or a similar substance (a professional can do this) and consider a nice trigger like a Timney.
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Old June 20, 2018, 07:22 PM   #3
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"Is the HOWA any good? "
IMHO it's one of the better over the counter platforms.

308 or 300WM?
Having used both calibers in heavy target rifles, I'm going to suggest the 308. Even a 12# 300WM will beat the shooter pretty hard and variance in recoil attenuation will cause vertical stringing and/or inconsistent POI at longer ranges. Learn to shoot with the .308 before shifting to the 300WM will save some frustration.
My current heavy barrel rifle stable includes .223, 7mm08, and .308(3x) mostly because I can no longer stand the heavier recoiling rounds.
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Old June 20, 2018, 08:02 PM   #4
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If I started today with the task of building a long range rifle, I would first try to figure exactly what's long range.
Second a suitable action would be on the grocery list, and there's plenty of superb actions to build a true long range rifle.
The cartridge would be either .338 or larger.
Barrel and stock, with trigger and scope filling out the rear.
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Old June 20, 2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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If i were building a serious long range rifle i think i would get hold of Savage for one of their actions.
By the time you buy a rifle, and swap everything out, you may as well start with just an action.
Put barrel of your choice on.
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Old June 21, 2018, 12:22 AM   #6
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If you want a big bore long range rifle get a 6.5 Creedmoor. Lighter recoil than 308, better performance, especially at 1000 yards.
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Old June 21, 2018, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Is the HOWA any good?
It's been my experience that just about anything the Japs have made during the last several decades are good, from motorcycles to lawnmowers to cars to optics and certainly to firearms; Howa included.
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Old June 22, 2018, 04:13 AM   #8
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In what universe is the 6.5 Manbun a bigbore??
And if i were building a single feed bolt rifle in 6.5mm it would be 260 Rem.
No constraints for a magazine.
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Old June 22, 2018, 06:45 AM   #9
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The Howa is a good enough rifle. The 6.5 Creedmoor is a 2000 yard cartridge with 25% less recoil than 308, 75% less than 300 WM and is more accurate than either. Cost of factory match ammo is about the same as 308 and about 1/2 the price of 300 WM match loads. And accurate match loads are just as readily available. You can buy cheap plinking ammo in 308 for less and find it easier.

The 260 was the inspiration for the 6.5 CM. While they are very similar, the 6.5 CM corrects design flaws that the 260 has. The 260 was designed as a deer cartridge shooting 120 gr bullets. A 260 holds slightly more powder and in theory should be faster, and with 120 gr or lighter bullets is. When loaded with 140-147 gr match bullets that you need for long range work they have to be seated deep in the case in order to fit in the magazine and chamber. That limits powder capacity and reduces velocity. Also, all 260 barrels are twisted for the lighter bullets and don't shoot the heavier bullets accurately.

The long range target shooters discovered that if they re-barreled their 260 rifles with barrels twisted to shoot heavy bullets, with longer chambers designed to shoot the longer bullets, if they modified the magazines to hold the longer bullets, and finally if they loaded the 260 ammo to a longer OAL and used off the charts loads they could get much better performance. If you want to buy a 260 and do all of those modifications and hand load special ammo you can match 6.5 CM performance. Or you could just buy a 6.5 CM rifle and off the shelf ammo and do the same thing.

The 6.5 does everything a 308 does, and does it better. The best thing you can say about 308 is that it is close enough to 6.5 CM out to about 400 yards that most people wouldn't notice. Other than the 25% reduction in recoil. Beyond 400 yards the 6.5 CM starts pulling away. Even the best 308 loads become unstable at 1300ish yards, the 6.5 will remain stable to around 2000 yards. A 300 WM is only good for another 200-300 yards.

And while Howa is good, I'd save up a bit and buy this. About $900 in blue. The 20" barrel will get you well past 1000 yards. If you want to push it to 2000 get the 24" barrel.

http://www.tikka.fi/en-us/rifles/tik...tactical-rifle
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Old June 22, 2018, 06:55 AM   #10
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"The 6.5 Creedmoor is a 2000 yard cartridge with 25% less recoil than 308, 75% less than 300 WM and is more accurate than either."

That's a refutable claim if I ever heard one.
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Old June 22, 2018, 07:45 AM   #11
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For comparative recoil between two cartridges in equal-weight rifles: Add the powder charge weight to the bullet weight and then multiply by the muzzle velocity.

Divide the results to find the percentage difference.
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Old June 22, 2018, 12:03 PM   #12
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.308 or .300 Win Mag will depend on the course of fire you're shooting. Not all target shooting disciplines allow magnums, period. As mentioned, in like weight rifles, a .300 Win Mag is not for the new guy. Knew a guy who used it and won DCRA(similar to the NRA but without the money and influence.) 1,000 yard matches. His rifle weighs 17.5 pounds.
"...Howa included..." Exactly what Weatherby thinks.
Don't think the Creedmoor has won any titles other than for marketing.
"...is a 2000 yard cartridge..." Is moot since there are no 2,000 yard matches. And a 140 grain bullet drops 44.4" at 500 yards.
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Old June 30, 2018, 12:09 PM   #13
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I don't know where the fella before me gets his info,
But a 143 eldx leaving the barrel at 2750 fps only drops 39.8 inches at 500 yds as noted by John Barsness, and him I e spoken to directly, if he said it, it will do every bit of it.
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Old June 30, 2018, 08:37 PM   #14
std7mag
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6.5 Manbun isn't a Howitzer.

Next someone is gonna tell me it outshoots a 375 Cheytec at 2 miles.
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Old June 30, 2018, 11:08 PM   #15
dakota.potts
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I'm not really sure why we have to disparage caliber choices around here. The guy stated he wanted 1,000 yard rifle. There are dozens of commercially available rounds that will cover that. "Big Bore" might be misleading but I believe it is in comparison to "small bore" which some consider to be .22.

There are some 2000 yard matches here in the U.S. but they're typically steel targets in a PRS or gong style match rather than scored on paper. There was one just 2 weeks ago in Wyoming that ranged from 300-2000 yards. Last one I saw scores posted for, there were a couple 6.5 CMs and 6 XCs followed by some with a little more oomph behind them like the 6.5 SAUM, and 6.5 and .300 Norma.

This discussion reminds me of one other thing. I heard a local match director complaining about 300 Win Mag on his stages. The rules of the matches he runs allow calibers up to .300 Win Mag and velocities up to 3200 FPS. He's required to allow the caliber by organization rules, but was complaining that they were causing too much damage to his steel targets. Might be something to consider if your 1,000 yard shooting includes steel targets (yours or others'), especially if you're going to do shooting on the closer side of the 1,000 yard limit. A slightly milder round, including the .308, will be easier on your shoulder and on the target.
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Old July 1, 2018, 07:38 AM   #16
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Op asked about 308 or 300WM. Invariably if someone asks a question on 50BMG there will be that person that says "get the 6.5 Creedmore".
Hornady made the Creedmore with the intent of fitting the magazine length restrictions for a modular sporting rifle. Marketing hype took over and it's available in every bolt action too.
The 6.5 SAUM, to my knowledge, is a wildcat. Remington never made their SAUM in 6.5mm. And for some competitions is not a legal cartridge, being a magnum.

Don't get me wrong, all are fine cartridges. But none are the end all do all.

As for the OP's request for a 1000 yards precision rifle, as i stated in my first post, is not really a bought over the counter proposition.
And of the 2 choices the OP did list i would recommend the 308, for the following reasons.
First would be the lesser recoil level.
Second would be cost. Both as factory ammo or handloading.
Third would be being able to shoot multiple disiplines of competitions.
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Last edited by std7mag; July 1, 2018 at 07:43 AM.
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Old July 1, 2018, 07:59 AM   #17
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I have a Howa 308 with a 20" threaded, heavy barrel. I put it in a B & C bench style stock and it performs very well for the investment.

IMO the Howa action is a rock solid choice for a foundation. Your final result can be expected to equal the expertise and investment made, just as if you started with a Rem 700 action, Savage or some other mass produced factory action.

If you really want to take it to as far as possible, and money isn't the first consideration, start with a action purpose built for competition. A lot of the steps needed to true up, and match the bolt and barrel may not be needed.
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