My Two-year HOWA Experiment

ImBillT

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
617
Gotta disagree. Not what this package is targeted for. Seems to me it's the non handloader with no ballistics knowledge who thinks they need to twist at moderate ranges. Just my opinion of course. mtmuley
I agree with mtmuley.
 

mtmuley

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
4,666
Location
montana
Yeah may be true...moa is just so complicated.
For some I think it is. When I think rifle packages, I see the non handloader that will pick the best factory stuff and send the dial. Some I bet don't even verify velocity and use the box numbers. But, I like long barrels, what do I know? mtmuley
 

FLS

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
97
This package is perfect for people like my brother in law. He loves to hunt but only gets out a few days a year. Work and family obligations take up the majority of his free time. He’s not interested in nit picking ballistics tables or reloading, he just needs a solid rifle to hunt with and has the means to buy something better than one of the cheap combos for sale in the discount stores.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
2,125
Location
In the middle
From what I have learned from people here, that list of cartridges seems very light on the "light" side. That is, for younger shooters, women, or guys that like less recoil, your list of 4 has exactly one option, the 6.5 MB. Seems like a .243 or 7 mm option is definitely needed. You are not much of a fan of the 6.5 MB esp for elkish things, from what I have gathered from your posts and elktalklive, so where is the gentler, kinder elk/Bbear/moose rifle?

Of course, I'm only interested in proper cases (with rims), preferably straight, and with a least a 3 for the first digit (mouse guns) and a 4 for everything else, so what do I know?
 

dirtclod Az.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,297
Grew up with .308 and .30-06,prefer .308 because of a bolt action
chamber on the model I have.Seems to be more accurate. 😎
 

mtmuley

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
4,666
Location
montana
From what I have learned from people here, that list of cartridges seems very light on the "light" side. That is, for younger shooters, women, or guys that like less recoil, your list of 4 has exactly one option, the 6.5 MB. Seems like a .243 or 7 mm option is definitely needed. You are not much of a fan of the 6.5 MB esp for elkish things, from what I have gathered from your posts and elktalklive, so where is the gentler, kinder elk/Bbear/moose rifle?

Of course, I'm only interested in proper cases (with rims), preferably straight, and with a least a 3 for the first digit (mouse guns) and a 4 for everything else, so what do I know?
You're lucky you don't have to cloud your mind with ballistics. mtmuley
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
2,125
Location
In the middle
You're lucky you don't have to cloud your mind with ballistics. mtmuley
Oh, my mind is far cloudier than yours in that regard. Ballistics are EVERYTHING if I want to hit anything at range, drops and windage being what they are for sluggards of bullets that trundle along at barely sonic or even less velocities. I however, get the joy of waiting in anticipate for the outcome of a trigger jerk, and, if a partner is with me and the sun to our backs, he may even get to watch the bullet wandering along its arc of fate.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
2,125
Location
In the middle
Yeah may be true...moa is just so complicated.
How many people know or care what true moa is? Nominal MOA, yes, but true MOA? Not many. Personally, True MOA is pretty useless and this is one place where nominal values work much better. Even better yet, when you have a 36" sight radius.
 

mtmuley

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
4,666
Location
montana
Oh, my mind is far cloudier than yours in that regard. Ballistics are EVERYTHING if I want to hit anything at range, drops and windage being what they are for sluggards of bullets that trundle along at barely sonic or even less velocities. I however, get the joy of waiting in anticipate for the outcome of a trigger jerk, and, if a partner is with me and the sun to our backs, he may even get to watch the bullet wandering along its arc of fate.
Shoulda hit the sarcasm font. I understand what you do. Ballistics matter, no matter the weapon. Someday I might give up the fire breathers with unnecessary barrels. Ha. mtmuley
 

GlockZ

Active member
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
342
Location
New Jersey
I can't wait to see what the final product is when it comes out, this post has definitely peaked my interest. Thanks Big Fin!
 

theddguide

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
38
Location
Central wisconsin
Gotta disagree. Not what this package is targeted for. Seems to me it's the non handloader with no ballistics knowledge who thinks they need to twist at moderate ranges. Just my opinion of course. mtmuley
I get your point here, but I myself like to turn a dial so I can aim where I want the bullet to go without holding over, and I don't shoot real far. It's that simple. What's the point of having multiple pins or an adjustable sight on a bow? To hit where you are aiming.
 

Bluejeep

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
342
Location
Billings, MT
@Big Fin

Do we know if Howa will have these available before next season (2020)?

I feel if they were trying to have them available for this year's season, we would already be seeing them in stores.
 

tzone

Active member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
178
Location
MN for now
For some I think it is. When I think rifle packages, I see the non handloader that will pick the best factory stuff and send the dial. Some I bet don't even verify velocity and use the box numbers. But, I like long barrels, what do I know? mtmuley

I would agree most don't verify the velocity. Especially if they're going to buy one of the package deals. I reload and still don't have a chrono, but you can get pretty close.

The key is to verify what you're using on the dial.
 

WVgoodguy22

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
80
I love the howa barreled action I have in a H&S Precision stock. Very nice pairing at the price point. (But mine is happily a 25-06 that is solely an antelope gun for me - I am just not a one gun guy - more like golf clubs - each shot needs its own rifle :)
Sweet the next two bottleneck centerfire bolt action rifle that I want to get after I get my .300 WSM is a .25 caliber (either a 25-06 or a .257 WBy Mag that I have been reading about.) and a 22-250. I really do want to try out a Howa rifle in either of those two or maybe build my first bolt gun in that caliber. A friend of mine built one in a 25-06 and .30-06. Since I have a .270 Win that handles that 130-150 grain pills, I think the 25-06 will fill the gap with the 75-125 grain admirably, and be a fun light recoil shooter.
 

WVgoodguy22

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
80
Sucks for me, I'm left handed.
However I love the scope choice. So many times these packages come with entry level type scopes.
As to price.....my guess is $1000, add $100 for magnums. Just spitballing
I am a right handed person that is left eye dominate and my first bolt action rifle that my Dad bought me when I was around 16 is a .270 Win in a Savage Model 110 that is left hand and I still have it and use it. So I thought for years and years a decade even that my next rifle has to be left handed. My Dad is also right handed, but left eye dominate and both of his Winchester M70s in .300 Win Mag and .243 Win respectively are right handed bolt action rifles that he has shot plenty of deer with over the years. So after some talking with him and some gun people that I trust in their knowledge I let go of it has to be a left handed rifle or else thought. One can actuate the bolt with one's right hand without moving one's finger from being close to the trigger and still have your eye in the scope. I actually ordered a Savage Model 110 Long Range Hunter in .300 WSM that I am saving $300 on and didn't care anymore about left vs right handed. Sure it may take a little while to train myself, but I am not going to let that restrict me anymore, which opens up ones options to everything and anything that is within your budget. I did the same thing when learning how to use a baitcaster while fishing now I can use both interchangeably. Pick up a buddy or family member's rifle that is right handed and give it a try to see how works and if it could work for you.
 

WVgoodguy22

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
80
I wish more manufacturers would take this into account. I also seem to find that more and more left eye dominant/right handed shooters exist but have a difficult time using a left handed stock because of right handed dexterity. I personally have this "Amazing Anomaly" myself. Ambidextrous stocks with right hand bolt seem to be far and few between. I have learned to adapt over the years to almost any right handed stock and can shoot just about any rifle brand but it would be nice to see more ambidextrous stocks on the market.

For all the "goofy shooters" like myself I wouldn't hold your breath on the left handed cheek rest/right bolt action rifle to become mainstream but it's nice to dream about it.
I am also a left eye dominant/right handed shooter as well is my Dad. He has shot his Winchester M70 in .300 Win Mag (that has a Monte Carlo Stock) and .243 Win that are both right handed bolt guns for decades and put down plenty of deer. Of course in the late 70s when he got the .300 and early 90s when he got the .243 Featherweight there wasn't much in the way of left hand bolt guns so that is what he learned to hunt with. (even though he thought he ordered the .243 in left lol) ... My .270 Win is a left handed rifle and for years heck decades I didn't want my next rifle to be right handed which limited my options, but recently I let go of that thought as long as the stock isn't funky like a thumbhole or really high Monte Carlo. Would be cool to make one's own left handed cheek rest/right bolt action stock to fit most of the rifled actions out there.
 

WVgoodguy22

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
80
@Big Fin

I for one applaud you, your crew and Howa's efforts over the past two years on chasing/filling in a big white space in the industry. That being a premium semi custom ready to go hunting rifle and scope combo. Unlike most rifle combos that you pretty much take the scope and put it on a rimfire rifle or give it to a young relative for their first rifle. Usually a Weaver, or beginning models from Bushnell, Nikon, Simmons, etc... in 3-9x40. I upgraded my scope on my .270 a few years ago and it is so much better than the Simmons that came on it when my Dad bought it for me 20 years ago and threw that old broken thing in the trash. Now for my next rifle I refuse to buy those combos, but what you have developed here with Howa and Leupold fits the bill for someone like myself who is looking for a second rifle whether it be to fill a purpose that their current rifle doesn't or doesn't as well as they think they need or fits the same purpose, but just want a new rifle to try something different for fun, etc... I am both. I know for a fact that my .270 Win can and has (by others like yourself) take down an elk or moose, especially with a proper accurate shot at REASONABLE hunting ranges with premium bullets. Mine is loaded with 130 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips for whitetails and would work for mule deer and pronghorn perfectly, but if I knew that I was elk hunting I would go to a hardier bullet like the Nosler 150 Grain ABs, PTs, or 130 Grain E-Tips. I have wanted a .30 Caliber just for something different and the wide range of weights of bullets one can tinker or reload with and pack some more punch for big game at least in the Magnum calibers. I have been looking at mostly the .308 Win and .300 WSM both short actions, so different than my LA .270. My Dad and one of my bro's has a .300 Win Mag and my youngest who is going Mule Deer hunting OTC in Idaho this fall has the 7mm Rem Mag so the .300 WSM gives me something different, as does the .308 Win which is versatile, deadly as all those elk, deer, etc.. in your garage can attest, but also widely available.
I wish I would have waited before ordering and putting on layaway a .300 WSM that was on sale for over $300 off (got it for $560 vs $882), but it was obviously a LIMITED time offer and at the time even now after watching the last Elk Talk Live from Tuesday, still not sure when (sometime in August to get ready for the upcoming season)orders will be available or which retailer or retailers will have them so I "pulled the trigger" so to speak on June 19th. Still have to find a Leupold scope for it, probably a VX-3i 4.5-14x50 with 30mm tube or even the 4.5-14-40 CDS with Windplex reticle like my youngest bro now has on his 7mm Rem Mag. Won't be ready for this fall, but next year for sure. Still may have to pick up a Howa Randy Newberg Special Edition in one of the non magnum calibers down the line (got to save up some money again), hopefully after seeing quite a bit of feedback from Hunttalkers and others they will also add the beloved 7mm-08 to the lineup. After seeing the first rifle sneak peek reveal on Elk Talk Live (7/16/19) in 6.5 Creedmoor that is a work of art and a true beauty, pretty much how I would spec out a semi custom rifle as far as aesthetics goes you have in that rifle with the subalpine like camo stock and a light matte grey barreled action. Would save me the time and possibly money to try and get the same look either by DIYing it or having someone do it and paying for the service. Definitely stands out in the crowd of black and blued and even black and stainless rifles that are everywhere or even the Burnt Bronze cerakote action and camo stock craze that Browning started with the Hell's Canyon lineup (still beautiful in its own right).
Back to Business, I remember when I first heard about this experiment on a previous Elk Talk and I was excited, then when you were with Mathew out in Oregon and did a couple YouTube Live experiments and asked for input on those as well as the calibers that should be included in between a 300 Win Mag and 6.5 Creedmoor. I gave my votes and explanation for each 1.) 300 Win Mag 2.) 7mm Rem Mag = The two most classic Big Game Magnums out there from East to West, 3.) 308 Win = your most well known elk cartridge that you use and have to explain in practically EVERY Elk Talk Live episode. Perfect for deer as well and is a 30 cal for recoil sensitive shooters. Every sporting goods store has ammo for it. 4.) 7mm-08 = Your small to medium game caliber of choice that you are known for. Plus it is an absolute LASER Beam as shown by Mike Spitzer on his Desert Bighorn Sheep Hunt, That mule deer at 450 yards and even the black bear hunt in Alaska and some of your own hunts. 5.) 6.5 Creedmoor = The "Hottest" by popularity cartridge in the "longer range" shooting community, that doesn't have much recoil and would also work well for smaller framed hunters as a Speed Goat and Bouncing Buck rifle. Plus should sell well for Howa given it's recent popularity. My 6th vote was for the .270 Win due to it being used by many hunters, performance, the fact that practically EVERY Elk Talk Live someone or multiple people ask if they could use their .270 Win for elk and of course your answer being that after 6 years you took your FIRST 5 elk with the venerable .270 with 150 grain Nosler Partitions. All in all covering every base for hunting Western Big Game and accomplishing your goal of having some premium options that is one and done for when people ask for a recommendation for a complete rifle set up. Understandably at first you had to cut the list to 4 calibers to reduce cost, with hopes of possibly adding the 7mm-08 that you and many others on this forum use and love even though manufactures say ammo sales for that cartridge isn't that good. Maybe later that can be added and if Howa sees that this does well, even the .270 could be added. Some people don't understand that when someone release something they don't release everything at once. Just like the possibility of bring back the Lightweight Mountain Rifle in a Randy Newberg HS Special Edition. I knew that you would get pushback from the 30-06 community, but I don't associate that cartridge with your brand, as you have stated the .308 is so close (albeit a little bit faster by 20-50 fps or so in most cases) it makes it redundant in the lineup no matter how viable an all around cartridge it is, so it is best to cut it to cut down cost as you explained. Car manufactures do the same thing, they release certain trims, option packages and colors the first year of a new model then add new technologies and options in subsequent years.
Question when you talked about multiple SKU's are you referring to the individual SKUs for each part of the rifle package (rifled action, HS stock, rings, scope) or just the SKUs for the rifle combos themselves which would only be 4? Would there be different colored or patterned HS Precision stocks like the camo one you showed in your Elk Talk video with the 6.5 Creedmoor or would there be options for other color patterned stocks like green, grey, tan webbing stocks that was shown in Michael and Marcus's shooting practice video? That obviously adds to the sku count, not sure on cost since it is the same HS stock just in a different color. Oh and I like that the scope is the VX-3i 3.5-10x40 CDS, keeps cost down and doesn't promote crazy long shots that a new hunter may take, an elk or mule deer sized game can be seen and taken by someone who practices a lot with a 10 mag power scope at 400 yards which is a good max ethical hunting range.
Anyway I congratulate you, the crew, Howa and Leupold on arriving at these all around hunting rifle combos and it fits and hits your target market, even if some prefer longer barrels, different contours and calibers. Balance and Value was your GOAL and by the looks of it, that is what you all have arrived upon. I wish you and this project the best of luck and I look forward to the release of the rest of the Randy Newberg HS Special by Howa.

Best Regards,
Forrest A. Earnest
Aspiring Western Big Game Hunter
 
Top