My Two-year HOWA Experiment

ajricketts

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Yup you are probably right on the targeted audience, but why wouldn't you give a caliber the best barrel length to help it preform to its potential. Can't cost that much more to add 2" barrel length. But I suppose 2" cost adds up on thousands of rifles. Oh well I wish them well on their builds!!
That's probably part of it, but I think if you look at the pro vs cons in the types of hunting scenario's the target audience will likely be in, there is little benefit. Shots under 400 yards don't need every ounce of FPS or energy squeezed out. Plus it adds weight, cost, and awkwardness to wield in the field.
 

Panda Bear

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Although I do not hunt with the 4 calibers decided upon, I congratulate you for a job well done. Two years, is not a knee jerk reaction but a decision made on a lot of research as well as years of rifle/hunting knowledge plus hands on testing. Well done! I believe many first time hunters will benefit from your effort. Thank you

Was a stock for females considered sir or is that market still to small ? Probably even smaller than gentlemen shooting left handed and I see that is not being considered .
This post works for me as I also dont use the calibers decided upon but I am not the targeted market.

Those calibers, rifle, and scope will all work for the market targeted

April, I do not see an answer to your question, but as you stated if no left hand models are in the works, probably no stocks made for females are either. However, making stocks for females would be easier to accomplish.

I wish everyone involved in this project the best of luck and hope the project is a huge success.
 

BluegrassBilly

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Thank you, BF. As someone who grew up hunting, took a decade or more off, and is now joining the late-onset hunters to get back in it (and with a wife whom tolerates, rather than fully embraces the lifestyle) I appreciate your efforts.

And now my planned deer/antelope rifle purchase is going on hold to see where your package is priced. It's not exactly what I was looking for, but I am very value conscious and willing to give it a look.
 

wllm1313

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BF I think what were are all kinda forgetting, is that this rifle is not necessarily for the personal who is so entrenched in hunting that he belongs to a hunting forum. This rifle is more for
Yup you are probably right on the targeted audience, but why wouldn't you give a caliber the best barrel length to help it preform to its potential. Can't cost that much more to add 2" barrel length. But I suppose 2" cost adds up on thousands of rifles. Oh well I wish them well on their builds!!
I shoot a .264 win mag with a 24” barrel and I get the performance add, but for a hunting I wouldn’t want anything longer... speed is only slightly better and it adds weight and makes for a more clunky rifle in the field.
 

88man

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I know the average Joe doesn't care about twist rate. However, what twist rate will those calibers have individually? Also I think the marketing % of sales cost and program will dictate overall sales more than specs.
 

mtmuley

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The average Joe doesn't want 2 more inches of barrel. Standard twists I bet. The market for these rifles has already been established. If the price is right, they will probably sell. Competition is fierce these days. mtmuley
 

thusby

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If it is your 5th time buying a rifle for hunting you are not picking up a rifle/scope combo anymore. When I think of these combos, it is like picking up an easy solution for a new hunter. Typically this is what I buy for a niece/nephew that wants some range time or to hunt for the first time. I think all the calibers are right there.
 

Europe

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actually I was trying to answer the questions I was asked or others asked, that had not been answered,

Carry on fellows
 
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3855WIN

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Looks like a real nice combo. Now put that Cripplemore in a Lefty and I bet it will sell fairly well.
 

Hudge76

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I'll add my two cents to this. While I think the calibers all listed are capable of doing the job, and this sounds like a great combo with the Leupold VX31 2.5-10 CDS and all, I think the make or break will be the price point. The scope alone is $499 at most retailers and then add the scope with a HS Precision stocked Howa 1500, that rifle alone is $850 plus dollars in most cases. That puts you at $1349, and that's not counting rings and bases. Lets say we knock $200 off for it being a combo package. we are still sitting at $1149. The average Joe Hunter isn't going to pay that. People that come to these types of forums might, but the average hunter, I say no way. Why should they when they can go buy a Savage with a Nikon on it for $699 or less, and spend the extra savings on ammunition. After all, they may use the gun two weeks a year at most.
 
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iiiNelson

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If I might interject...

The 6.5 Creedmoor, while fine, is not a legal round to hunt elk in many Eastern states. While it is documented that smaller calibers have taken elk (such as the 243 Win.) it does eliminate one chambering from consideration in some states where it’s required to use a cemterfire rifle of at least 27 Caliber to hunt elk. We can argue about what SHOULD ave but that doesn’t help if a person is fined, imprisoned, or in legal trouble over choosing and using an illegal caliber to hunt elk with. All that to say this is a major reason I chose 7mm-08 over the 6.5 Creedmoor that the dealer was trying to push on me. That’s not to say that I will choose 7mm-08 first should I be lucky enough to get drawn for a tag... I do believe in consolidating ammo types to a few common components. As such I made sure all pistols are 45 ACP, all defensive rifles are in 5.56x45, and all rifles to hunt with are 7mm variants to keep it more simple for reloading.

Just something to keep in mind.
 

BWALKER77

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The original Howa Alpine with a bit longer barrel would be the perfect rifle.
Cant like the H&S stocks at all.
 

High Desert

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I think the approach is great, particularly for the hunter looking for his or her second rifle. Someone who is deciding whether he really wants to get into hunting will likely opt for the bargain basement combo in 30-06 or .270. If he decides he likes the sport and wants something nicer but has not gotten to the point where he has spiraled into puzzling over pointless ballistic minutiae, he could find this very appealing as a higher quality rig in a different but utilitarian caliber and yet it won’t break the budget. Of course, this combo may also appeal to the avid hunter parent/grandparent who is able to spend more to get something a bit nicer for child/grandchild as a first rifle.
 

brnsvllyjohn

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I think the approach is great, particularly for the hunter looking for his or her second rifle. Someone who is deciding whether he really wants to get into hunting will likely opt for the bargain basement combo in 30-06 or .270. If he decides he likes the sport and wants something nicer but has not gotten to the point where he has spiraled into puzzling over pointless ballistic minutiae, he could find this very appealing as a higher quality rig in a different but utilitarian caliber and yet it won’t break the budget. Of course, this combo may also appeal to the avid hunter parent/grandparent who is able to spend more to get something a bit nicer for child/grandchild as a first rifle.

That is exactly my situation. I am looking for a good 7-08 for a grandson.
 

noharleyyet

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It's sensible and upgraded specs for the average right handed buyer who doesn't reload or tinker. Once you take the wrench and recipe plunge it's a whole nuther ballgame.
 
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OutdoorsMan67530

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I think you could narrow it down to 3 calibers.
  • 300 Win Mag
  • 308 Win
  • 6.5 Creedmoor
You have to remember the philosophy of use of the cartridges out to reasonably hunting ranges, about a 400 yard max range out west. The 6.5 Creedmoor is very good for game up to 400lbs, the 308 is good for game up to 600lbs, and the 300 Win Mag game up to 800lbs.

Now if I were not stricken with the cross-eye dominance issue, I would look very hard at the 308 Win option. However, I'm going to look at different brands that offer left-hand options, which sucks, because Big Fin has proven the reliability of the proposed combo.
 

std7mag

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I applaud your efforts, Big Fin.

But i see some issues with the apple cart.

As for not including the 30-06, 270, 7mm-08 due to keeping costs down is, well malarkee.
I'm sure Howa does things just like every other manufacturer out there.
Barrel blank which is rifled to a certain caliber. Then the chamber is cut to a specific cartridge.
I'm sure Howa already makes barrels chambered in the 3 above mentioned calibers.
Their "cost prohibitive" is in producing a rifle in a cartridge that they feel may not sell as well.

I do like the choice of scopes that was chosen for the package.
But...
They need to include which specific manufacturer, bullet type, bullet weight for each package.
And know/be prepared for the certain phone calls of complaints that are sure to follow.
Example would be the 308 package calibrated for 165gr Nosler Partition ammo at your 5-7 thousand feet elevation. Then new owner doesn't want to spend the money on that ammo and instead is shooting 150 or 180gr Rem Corelokts, at 1,200 ft elevation in WV.

I personally don't buy factory ammo. And i shoot many different weights of bullets, and different types of bullets from the same rifle depending on my intended use for it that week.
 

Big Fin

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As a bullet manufacturer the twist of the barrel is more important than the length.

For the reloaders the length if the mag is also important. Saami length mags are a bummer.
Here is what the barrel twists will be for each chambering.
  1. .300 win Mag- 1 in 10
  2. .308- 1 in 10
  3. 7mm Mag- 1 in 9.5
  4. 6.5 Creed - 1 in 8
I suspect very few of these buyers will be reloaders. Some might, but the large majority will be shooting factory ammo. Or, at least that is what was set as one of expected customer profiles when this project started.


As for not including the 30-06, 270, 7mm-08 due to keeping costs down is, well malarkee.
I'm sure Howa does things just like every other manufacturer out there.
Barrel blank which is rifled to a certain caliber. Then the chamber is cut to a specific cartridge.
I'm sure Howa already makes barrels chambered in the 3 above mentioned calibers.
Their "cost prohibitive" is in producing a rifle in a cartridge that they feel may not sell as well.
As for cost, it is not cost related to one chambering being more expensive than the others, say a .308 being more expensive than a .30-06. It is about costs of this project; the cost of multiple SKUs, management of inventory levels for both Howa and retailers, minimum order quantities, and the many other costs that come with managing a wide array of chamberings where the sales of some would cannibalize the sales of others. Add the additional costs of chamberings that won't sell as well and the project costs go up. That is where the effort is being made to keep costs down.

I don't know the final retail of this package, but when you start adding a stock upgrade, cerakoting, and a high quality optics companion, the cost is getting up there. Adding more chamberings that do not sell any better than what has been picked and will create a lot of overlap to what is already in the lineup, adds more costs to the project, albeit not direct production costs of each individual rifle. That project cost gets recovered somewhere and the only place to recover it is at the retail counter.

Also, someone above asked about threaded barrels. I replied they would not have threaded barrels. Howa has informed me that they have decided on threaded barrels and that doing such has added no cost.
 
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