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Old March 1, 2013, 06:04 AM   #1
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Smith and Wesson 1500?

My dad has always been a huge fan of .243 caliber. He has always used a Belgium made browning BLR for everything from woodchucks to deer. Now he wants to get into shooting long range with a 243 but the BLR no way set up for it, so he wants to buy a bolt gun without spending too much money. I told him to get a rem700 but he came across a smith and Wesson 1500 for pretty cheap and from what I have been reading they were actually made by Howa and weatherby. Anyone have any experience with these rifles? And are parts interchangeable ie. barrels? With any Howa or weatherby rifles?
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Old March 1, 2013, 01:24 PM   #2
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They are good utilitarian rifles. I don't know what kind of distances he wants to shoot, they are basic sporters not HB target guns. I think some of the parts are somewhat interchangeable with Howa 1500's. Don't know about the Weatherby Vanguards.
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Old March 1, 2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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Howa made that gun for Mossberg , S&W and Weatherby plus they sell it under their own name ! I've had a Mossberg 1500 in .243 and a Howa 1500 in .270 . They are nothing special in the accuracy dept. , and they're heavy !
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Old March 1, 2013, 04:47 PM   #4
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Howa made the S&W Model 1500, the Mossberg Model 1500 and still makes the Vanguard model for Weatherby. They all essentially share the same actions, barrels and trigger groups with the parent Howa Model 1500 rifle. They all have reputations for being nice, well-made and accurate rifles, if a bit on the heavy side. I've also read a lot about these rifles having less than exemplary trigger pulls but, I have to say, the trigger that came with my Vanguard (not the series 2 model) has as nice of a trigger pull as I'd ever want on a rifle intended for big game hunting-and I'm pretty picky when it comes to triggers.
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Whats the price on the rifle he found? New Howa's are about $400. You can usually find those S&W/Mossberg 1500's cheap because people often dont know their potential. They are a little heavy but that will work to your advantage in long range shooting. The barreled action is as others have already said, the same as a Howa 1500. The only real difference in a new Howa and the old S&W is the trigger. The new ones come with a two-stage trigger and a 3-position safety that allows the bolt to cycle without the safety in the "fire" position. I bought a new Howa last year in .25-06 and once I found the right factory load for it (Federal Fusions), it shoots consistent 3/4" groups at 100 yards. I'm sure I could do better with handloads. Im not sure what kind of stock comes on those older S&W 1500's but it may not be the best for accuracy. Also the older style trigger on those guns isn't the greatest, but its not bad. Maybe a trigger job or aftermarket trigger and possibly a better stock should make that "cheap" S&W shoot with rifles that cost much more. But you will need to invest in those items for most rifles if you want to do well shooting long range. Buy it.
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