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Anybody have any experience with Howa Rifles? All I know is they are a Japanese company that has been making rifles since the 70's. They manufacture the Vanguard series for Weatherby. That in itself tells you something. But I have been looking at a Howa 1500 30-06 spfd that my LGS has as a trade in. It looks to me like a solid rifle. I'm in the market for a 30-06 and the price is right, but I thought I would ask anybody here if they know anything about Howa. Thanks folks.
 

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I don't know much about the HOWA's. I recently aquired a HOWA in .308. I have about 150 rounds through it now, & it is for sure a rifle worth looking at. I'll keep this one for sure! ;)
 

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I won one at a recent banquet. It hasn't made it to the range yet but the fit and finish are nice. I don't have the paperwork handy but I thought it said it was made in Finland. Give them a close look.
 

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Howa is a Japanese company and make an excellent rifle. Many Browning models and other high end rifles and shotguns are also made in Japan and are top notch.
 

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Iowegan, I was hoping you would respond. You always seem to have good advice. The more I read up on these Howa's the more impressed I am. I'm surprised I have never heard about them until a few weeks ago. Maybe I should move on this rifle before someone else does. It's fitted with a Tasco 3x9x40 World class optics. Tasco is another company I don't know much about.
 

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madtown, You won't be disappointed with a Howa. The fit and finish is just as nice as the accuracy and function. I'm not a big fan of Weatherby rifles but since they started using Howas for their Vanguard line, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.

As for Tasco ... a great inexpensive scope. With modern man made lens material and computer driven grinders, you don't see a huge difference in optical quality from a cheap scope to an expensive one like you did just 10 years ago. What you DO get with a more expensive scope is a sealed tube filled with nitrogen to prevent fogging in humid environments. You also get more resistance to recoil with the better scopes plus finer cross hair adjustments, more choices for reticules, and better coatings on the lenses to prevent ghost images and provide better contrast.

So ... it depends on your intended use. If you plan on hunting ... especially far away from home or even competitive shooting, get the best equipment you can afford. For casual target shooting or local hunting, you can get by with cheaper equipment. The scope mounting system is often a weaker link than the scope itself. Weaver type bases are great for lower power rifles but the steel bases and rings are way better for heavier recoil guns.

Back in the mid-70s, I went on a fairly expensive outfitted hunt for elk near Ouray, CO. Quite a trip ... but for several guys, the hunt was ruined by inferior equipment. Our base camp was at pretty high elevation and on the eve of opening day, a storm came through. The barometer dropped like a rock, humidity and temperature went up and it snowed about 6". This would normally be perfect for a first day hunt but the drop in pressure caused moisture to condense inside all the cheap scopes. Only my Burris and the guide's Leupold scopes came through unscathed. The hunters with Tasco and Bushnell quality scopes were sick ... their scopes were ruined.

All scopes have a tube inside the outer tube. The inner tube contains some lens elements and the cross hairs. The front of the tube is contained in a mount so it will allow the tube to move left, right, up, & down like a universal joint. The turret screws (one on top, the other on one side) push against the rear of the inner tube and position it to zero the rifle. With all cheap scopes and even some more expensive models, that front swivel mount is nothing more than a rubber "O" ring. With the more expensive scopes (Burris, Leupold, etc) the swivel mount is metal and is much stronger. In time, the rubber will dry out and the tube will move each time the gun is fired ... time to get rid of it.

A second issue is how the inner tube is held in position against the turret screws. In the cheaper scopes, a single flat spring is installed at a 45 degree angle to the turret screws. This is supposed to hold the inner tube against the screws but often times it doesn't. Recoil or shock from a semi-auto bolt will actually make the inner tube "twang". It will dislodge from the turret screws then bounce back under spring tension. If the spring is adequate, the tube will be repeatable and will return to where it was zeroed. In many cases, the inner tube will dislodge and NOT return to zero. This makes the gun shoot some very strange groups. The more expensive scopes have a much better design for holding the inner tube against the turret screws.

Burris has a neat feature on some of their high end scopes called "Posi-Lock". This is a screw that is positioned at a 45 degree angle to the turret screws so you can actually tighten the inner tube and totally prevent "scope twang".

There's a lot more features on expensive scopes such as better parallax correction, side mount focus, target turrets, etc. These are all nice but can make a scope cost way more than the rifle.

As you may have detected, I'm really fond of Burris scopes. They have a product line for nearly every application. I pretty much stay with the mid-price range Full Field II models. They do everything I need and can afford.
 

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I won one at a recent banquet. It hasn't made it to the range yet but the fit and finish are nice. I don't have the paperwork handy but I thought it said it was made in Finland. Give them a close look.
That's how I got mine, wheelgunner. I won it at the local "Friends of The NRA"
banquet. Mine is a .308 with a synthetic cammo stock. It came equiped with a 4X9X40 NightHawk "Night Eater" Scope & a nice, padded canvas rfle case. I was (am) a very happy guy to have won this rifle. :D I adjusted the trigger a little, it came at 5#'s & now it's 2 1/2#'s. This rifle is a good shooter.
 

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Well I hope they are good. I bought a Weatherby Vanguard in .270WSM today. Now to get a scope. Can't make up my mind 3X9X40 Bushnell Elite 4200, 3X9X40 Bushnell Elite 3200 with Firefly reticle, Burris, or Nikon. SWFA has great deals on all of them and I can't make up my mind....
 

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Iowegan, I was hoping you would respond. You always seem to have good advice. The more I read up on these Howa's the more impressed I am. I'm surprised I have never heard about them until a few weeks ago. Maybe I should move on this rifle before someone else does. It's fitted with a Tasco 3x9x40 World class optics. Tasco is another company I don't know much about.
I cannot recall reading a negative report on a Howa.....they are accurate rifles too. Don't own one......never handled one.....but from what I've read they're an excellent rifle. I would not hesitate to buy one if I was looking at guns in that price range.....which IS w/in my price range for rifles.
 
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