Experiences with older Howa 1500's?


Sep 21, 2012
With a forever tight budget for "toys" I'm looking at an older Howa 1500.

A bit of research shows it to "probably" be a 1993-1994 version. Synthetic stock.

I'm reading a lot about the triggers and that most have replaced the trigger with, what I ASSUME is, a new factory trigger. Cost unknown.

Any and all opinions based on previous use or ownership would be appreciated.

Prices have gone a little insane IMO, even on used rifles. While I'd much prefer to stick with my lifelong affair with a 700.......used prices are just nuts. DOUBLE what I gave for them 10 years ago.

While perhaps a "normal" situation...my income is NOT double what it was then. LOL.
Use would be for just a standard deer hunting rifle, if that's of any consequence.

God Bless for any thoughts and experiences with one.
I have a Howa 1500 I purchased last year in .223. It has the hogue stock which I think is the weak link. However, the gun feeds like it has eyes. Extraction is solid. It shoots somewhere between 3/4-1 MOA. However, I think this is due to the stock. If it’s priced right, I’d buy it. I like the one piece bolt.
The Weatherby Vanguard series was made by Howa and they were very good rifles and shot well once you put them in a decent stock. I had one in 300Wby and it would kill on one end and cripple on the other with the factory stock. Had it been any other caliber I might have kept it but I couldn't take the recoil even with a up graded stock.
Thanks to those who have responded so far.
All good info.
I've had a few of these in both Howa and Vanguard form. All of them shot very well and the Howa folks machine them as clean as anyone does.

I'd give it a shot.
Howa's have been in production for over 50 years, iirc, and have made the Vanguard series of rifles for Weatherby from the beginning.
I have never heard from someone who has owned or shot a Howa, that had one that would not shoot at least acceptably well with factory ammunition. Many shoot well to very well. Always seemed like the sleeper rifle in the crowd to me, that would perform well at a good price point. And I would definitely buy one over a budget Savage Axis or even a Remington 710/783 any day!
As mentioned, the Hogue stock may not be very rigid, but was a grippy stock that would make for a great rainforest, truck or tractor rifle.
If they had made left handed rifles, I would have bought one.
Shot my one Howa 1500 30-06 today, though I own several Vanguards.
Swap the trigger for a Timney and you’ll do fine. You “can” play with the factory trigger but they are finicky. I find the Timney to be a better option.

My one Howa has a Hogue stock, and it works fine. My Vanguards are all bedded in Bell & Carlson stocks, which I would do in a second if yours comes in a plastic stock.
Thanks again to all. I do appreciate you taking the time to reply.
God Bless
I’ve had two of the heavy barrel howa’s and they were the two most accurate rifles I’ve ever owned.

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