Anybody have experience or knowledge with Howa 1500 Custom Varmint Heavy Barrel .223 rifles...?? I Have an opportunity to pick up one brand new in box for a very attractive price, I have always wanted a nice bolt action target rifle in this caliber, and these seem to get generally favorable reviews everywhere I've looked, and they won't break the bank. The 1500 custom I'm interested in has a black synthetic (Hogue I believe) stock that is reportedly free floated out of the box, with a 2.5-3 lb. trigger pull standard. A review on a similar Howa rifle at Sniper Central indicates a Right Hand 1 in 12 rifling twist, and the ability to handle either .223 or 5.56mm NATO. I'm not thrilled with the 1 in 12 twist, as it would seem to limit the rifle to 55gr. bullets, although some people claim they get good accuracy with 62 gr. bullets in rifles with 1-12 twist rates, but heavier 69-70 gr. bullets would likely not stabilize well enough to produce consistent accuracy at that twist rate. It would be nice to be able to shoot both commercial .223 & Milsurp 5.56 in this rifle, but I would also be a bit hesitant shooting 5.56 in a rifle chambered for .223 until I heard enough reports from shooters who do it routinely with this particular rifle, and have no problems with signs of high pressure. Would appreciate comments from anyone who has experience with a Howa 1500 in .223, thanks.
I have a Howa Supreme Varminter in .223 and it is one of the most accurate guns I own. I shoot 55 GR Nosler BTs with Varget and can usually punch the same hole at 100 yards. Have taken it prairie dog hunting twice and it is extremely accurate out to 300+. The action is slick as snot, the trigger easily tuned and I've never had a problem feeding even with my longer COAL reloads. I personally have no hesitation with them and currently own 4 and am looking to build a custom on the action.
Thanks for the reply SShooterZ. Two questions if you don't mind.... One, how do you adjust the trigger...?? Mine is a nice smooth 3 lbs or so right out of the box, but it might be nice to bring it down a tiny bit, but there's nothing in the owners manual that covers it, unlike my Savage 10FP. Second question... Have you fired any 5.56 ammo out of this rifle...?? I have heard conflicting information on whether it's OK to do so or not, and at least a couple places I've seen on the net (sniper central for one) list it as dual .223/5.56, but the barrel is clearly marked .223. Thanks again.