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Towsey

Howa 1500 6.5cm...would you???

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Brilliant cheers folks

i didnt start this thread wanting it to be about comparisons, I know some rifles are 'better' than others, I was just wondering if a howa would be a worth while starting point to see how I get on or are they best avoided...but then those cheeky bergaras stuck their head through the door...

so howa and bergara owners please keep the info coming...

thanks again 

towsey

and I hope you have a fruitful night no I deer 

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Having handled, shot or owned all three, my take is this:

Purely on VFM/performance, the new Bergara HMR beats the howa offerings hands down.  Howa action and trigger are not up to the Bergara.

The Bergara barrel is too short imho for a 6.5 as their offerings I think are 20 or 22 inches.  It'll never be a competition rifle but would be fine for some 1000 yard plinking and deer shooting.

For quality/consistency and to buy a package where nothing needs changing, buy a Tikka.  Mine shot sub moa out of the box with standard crappy plastic stock which simply isn't as bad as some make it out to be.  The action and trigger are very good.  I invested in a used GRS stock and for an outlay a little more than the Bergara HMR, it's the better rifle (for me).

In terms of accuracy, all three are capable rifles.  If deerstalking wasn;'t on the cards, and most shooting was longer range target, I'd say tale a look at the TAC A1 or Sabatti STR.  

You can also put a T3 in a KRG stock and have a great rifle.

Depends what's important to you.  Will a Howa be a risk?  No, it'll likely shoot well in the right stock package deal, but buy one knowing that the trigger is what most people seem to change very quickly.  Howas are a little like Trigger's broom.  They start out looking cheap but by the time you've dropped them into a decent stock and changed the trigger, they're not looking like the same bargain that a standard Bergara offers.  As someone said earlier in the thread, there's little to better the Bergara in VFM/quality of action straight out of the box.

Of the three, I went the T3 route and have no regrets.

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A good objective post above. Longer range targets is a different game to ethical deer and fox Shooting range

On the Howa a trigger job is a must . Mike Norris did a cracking job on mine it was about £40 ish.

i had hold of a tikka super varmint the other day and thought the stock seemed pretty good

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I’ve got to say folks that I’m more than happy with my stock Howa trigger. I’ve never felt the need to change it. It breaks crisply and consistently for me, it feels just right. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but when I bought the rifle about 3years ago, my mind set was it was just a relatively cheap rifle I’d have a bit of fun with away from my passion for Enfield's. In fact, I’ve found it to be a very competent piece of kit, especially if you avoid the Hogue stock, put a decent scope on it and are a capable shot.

I did anticipate doing a trigger change, but seriously, for me, I can’t see the point.

Ive not owned a Bergara or Tikka but have shot both. The Tikka is nice, no two ways about it and the Bergara, to me, felt very much like the Howa. I must admit to have become a Howa fan, I’d definitely buy another, in fact I’ll probably get another barrelled action and drop it into my KRG stock when I finally shoot this barrel out. I still find myself saying “ it’s just a Howa”, but I have surprised others with much more expensive kit when they find out what I’ve been shooting.

Remember though, informal shooting is a different world to competition, the Howa can hold its own in that informal setting but I wouldn’t pretend it’s a full on option for serious competition or long distance precision work.

The choice is yours Towsey, I’d recommend a Howa, but get one with a decent stock and put a decent scope it. The alternatives are all good though and I’m sure whichever you go for you’ll be pleased.

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Newer Howa has the 2 stage trigger which may be better than the older single stage. Mine was the older single stage and had a gritty creep on it that was easily sorted to a nice light crisp break.......scared the life out of me the first time i tried it but what an improvement!

 

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Thanks again chaps for all the replies

il be honest, I've never yet fired a tikka t3 but from looking, holding, cycling and dry firing I'm not that much of a fan so far...I know this will maybe make some of you tut but I just want something else, and are they not all long action with spacers in the mag instead? Maybe if a tikka was in a grs stock like the howa I tried or if the howa was in its standard stock then I might be thinking differently.

i never paid much attention to bergara rifles but I am liking the look and idea of a hmr in 6.5, and I think I found somewhere that the newer ones are 24" barrel...but I could be getting mixed up with something else, you folks will know better than me. 

I don't have a lot of experience in aftermarket stocks on centrefires and I did think the grs stock was a bit 'fancy' but I was very comfy behind the rifle and I found it effortless to get set up and keep very steady indeed, more so than I do with my own rimfires 

whatever I buy it won't really see that much deer or fox work but it needs to be legal and able, and really a .243 would do as we have mainly roe round me but, well, I just want a 6.5 and I want to push it out if all other components, and me, are able...so 1000 yard plinking as said above is a good description 

if I have enough money when I can wait no longer for my new purchase then il be looking for a bergara but please keep the info coming in on howas and bergaras alike 

cheers 

towsey 

 

 

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You wont get a good idea of how a rifle shoots by just dry cycling and dry firing.  Of the three, I preferred the T3 trigger by a country mile to shoot, adjusted for a clean 2.5 lb break on the single stage T3 (mine being .308) and about the same on the T3 double stage (6.5 A1).  I prefer the build of my A1 by miles over anything in 6.5 that Bergara have to offer, or Howa come to that, but it is admittedly at higher premium.  The Tikkas are all long action with bolt stops.  Barrel length on the B14 HMR is just 22 inches, not 24.  There is one rifle though that does it better, and arguably provides better value for the task in hand:

 

fSAB5B65CREED-large_image.gif

26 inch heavy barrel though so probably not one you'd want to drag across the fields but a far better long range proposition and no more expensive than the B14, but a hell of a lot better rifle imho.

However;  If you genuinely need a field rifle for fox and Roe control and occasional long range plinking, you may be better off with something lighter.  The T3x CTR fits the bill better in some respects than any of the above; it's a great package for the money too and much lighter at 7.5lbs.

None of the rifles you're considering are really dedicated field hunting rifles...none are light enough for regular field use unless your shooting is all prone off a bipod....the B14 HMR is 9.25 lbs before you fit anything else to it, the MRR above is even heavier at around 9.6 lbs so both those with a decent scope and mod would be closer to 11 to 12lbs all up.  From what you've said, you won't be using the rifle that much for hunting and not really sure what you mean by "must be legal"?  Why would any of them not be legal to own...it's you that needs to demonstrate "good reason" so if I understand things correctly, you may not be a club member of any range (otherwise wouldn't you be choosing something more range specific) so are looking for a package you can use for your demonstrated "good reason" on land you have permission to shoot over for the purposes of vermin and deer control? 

Any of the above can be justified, it's whether in reality they are the right rifles for the job.  I'd have said not, except perhaps for the T3x CTR.  These are all range specific type rifles.  I'd maybe be looking at a lighter hunting rifle in 6.5CM or 6.5 x 55 if you're going down that route, with occasional range use.  Less of an overall compromise.  The novelty of carrying a heavy outfit over fields wears off quickly, and once you've shot your Roe, you have to carry both back out.  Whilst I've done that with two different 12.5lb outfits, it's no fun to be carrying the extra mass, trust me!

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Yeah, I like many things on my semi-c How but the trigger had to go.  

Interesting shout on the Sabatti, I see they offer an off the shelf 7 SAUM.

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Thanks for the pic varmlr and yeah I'm aware that 'pretending' to shoot one isn't the same, it's just all I've had chance to do. I'm happy to change things as I go, especially if I'm going to see an improvement but yes budget is a limiting factor initially, partly because I don't want to have too much in this build a) because it's my first own long (ish) range rifle, and b) because it's going to be 'dual purpose' and I may well decide to get 2 rifles both better at their respective jobs in the future? Oh, the legal thing was just about it being legal for deer in England before anyone mentioned a 22-250 or the likes that's all. 

Although barrel length is related to range, does it do a lot for accuracy within the capable range of the shorter barrelled rifle...so all other things being impossibly identical would a 26" barrel do better at say 500 than a 22" or 24" for example???

it NEEDS to be able to be used for fox and deer control but I WANT it to be ok at 1000 yd plinking for my own pleasure, and it HAS to be accurate enough to make it worth while at all ha, but as I said before this is a bit of a trial and I may decide to get 2 rifles at a later date. I only mentioned howa because of the price and I have heard and found mixed reviews and the bergara was suggested to me as an alternative but I've also had hold of a browning (x bolt or a bolt can't remember, think it was a bolt) but it didn't really tickle my fancy but again it was only a dry fire so??? 

What are people's thoughts and experiences with those Brownings?

thanks

towsey 

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Longer barrels give you more velocity as the pressure acts on the bullet for longer.

You will hear arguments that shorter barrels (of the same profile) are more precise as they are stiffer. I am not sure that is backed up really. My view would be that precision is independent of length or at worst the effects are small. Diameter will be a much bigger influence than length.

You have competing desires (not new!). Fox and deer => length not really important other than weight or inconvenience. Long range plinking, depends on calibre and bullet as to what muzzle v you need to at least get there. Longer is better would be a crude rule of thumb but certainly possible to have fun at 1000 with a 20" barrel with the right load.

I have done both, lugged a 24" varmint up a Scottish mountain for deer (not as big a deal as everyone seems to make out) and shot out to 1000 with its 20" successor (possible but pushing it). FWIW now have a 20" varmint for all deer and 28" 'plinker' for the range. No such thing as one ideal rifle. YMMV

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I agree with Chononry here...no such thing as one rifle which is ideal for all circumstances, it's always a compromise. You just pick one that is less compromised in the role that you will find yourself using day to day and for 6.5, I'd suggest you look at barrel lengths around 24 inches as they are far less a compromise at 1000 yards and light enough as a hunting rifle. No heavy varmint profile needed. 6.5 will keep you deer legal in the UK no problems.  Length is independent of precision because all barrels exhibit harmonic sinusoidal whip so barrel time is what matters (ie the bullet exiting whilst the barrel's on an axial node). Longer barrels allow more of the powder to be burnt (some loads wont achieve complete powder burn in 20 inches), have less muzzle blast and for pressure to act longer as chanonry has said.  In your shoes, I'd not agonise too much but if you like the idea of a 6.5 (and there's a lot to recommend them for your intended purpose) then buy whatever rifle you can afford and like the handling of, and target one with a 24 inch tube if possible.  

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Thanks for that, you've pretty much confirmed what I thought I knew. 

So just how much difference do you think there will be between 2 rifles in the same 6.5 chambering but one at 22" and the other at 24", roughly where will they run out of puff and roughly what difference would it make at 1000, and yes although I don't want a heavy varmint barrel am I really limiting my 1000yd chances...I am lucky enough to be able to drive a lot of my land tho 

has anyone any experience with the browning A-bolt please??? 

Towsey

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Any howa, bergara or browning A-bolt owners out there please???

towsey 

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I have a Howa which I have spent money on and am very happy with the results and will put a new barrel on it when / if I shoot it out.

Ivythorne Sporting have some Howa actions for sale at the moment.

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Mine has a 24 inch barrel and with moderate loads using 139gr bullets carries all the way to 1150 yards before it runs out of steam (drops under transonic) with an MV of about 1240fps at 1150 yds.  I have a little extra capacity though to push that out to 1300 yards. Getting there using a 24 inch barrel won't be a problem.  Being competitive is a different matter.

You can't really generalise much about the differences between the models you short-listed...best really to handle them yourself and make the decision after speaking to your local friendly smith or RFD.

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Thanks very much for all the info you lot keep putting up for me

yes that is a good read, so my next question to you all is...22" heavy"ish" barrel or 24" sporter barrel 

spanner- which parts did you spend the money on please 

thanks again

towsey

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If you want to hold accuracy over a longer shot string in a 'shorter' time period then you will appreciate the benefits of a 'heavier' barrel - so target/plinking/varmint/culling ??

If you are really trying to get the best velocity then the 24" will give you a bit more puff. 2" is marginal. in reality, its not going to make much diff to drop and even less to drift. Also starts to get long with a can on. Still, its available. Downside is starting to wander on a 'shorter' shot string.

My very personal view is that a 22" in a heavier, non-varmint profile is a good compromise. A bit more puff than a 20", stiff enough for a field shot string and a bit of playing on the range, but not so heavy you don't want to take it out the safe.

Which is why there are very few production rifles with 22" #5 barrel contours.  Sporting - yes. Varmint -yes. Something in the middle - NO.

So what do I know....

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Yeah thanks for that, it's what I thought I wanted, or needed, but wasn't sure if it would be enough, i know I would really be better off with 2 rifles but this is just for starters.

i think the best thing and possibly the decider will be handling some different rifles with mods on. I have handled the DPT mods and like the lightness, but are they 'good' mods???

so just going back to the rifle choice itself, what would be wrong with picking a bergara or howa (with better stock) over a tikka (also with stock)...are we talking feel and smoothness or reliability and massive accuracy difference?

thanks 

towsey 

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Mods - what's a 'good' mod? Takes your pick, I suspect. SL5 is popular as it is a compromise between price, size, weight and life. So probably not best at any of them!

Bergara vs Howa vs Tikka. Depends on the model and your app so that one is too hard. I have a semi custom Howa - very good but its a semi custom so costs from 'smithing. Tikkas I have known shoot well but stocks and mags are suspect so model selection is important - HOWEVER easy to trick up GRS Berserk, AI style bolt knobs just to swap in, aics bottom metal available. Bergera have 3 barrel profiles across the models, aics poss out the box, as is adj stock.

Kind of have to make your own mind up on the compromises...

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On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 11:14 PM, Towsey said:

Thanks very much for all the info you lot keep putting up for me

yes that is a good read, so my next question to you all is...22" heavy"ish" barrel or 24" sporter barrel 

spanner- which parts did you spend the money on please 

thanks again

towsey

Mine started life as a 204 SS Varmint which weighed a bloody tonne.  Now it has a 22 inch sporter weight Pacnor fitted by Dasherman  a PSE stock and a Rifle Basix trigger.  Not much of the Howa left lol but it is a fabulous rifle.  My point is the action if very sound as the basis for a custom rifle.  

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In NZ we look at them a Japanise copy of the Old 2 lug Sako action .

The only bad thing I have ever heard about them as a hunting rifle , is they are considered heavy by todays ultra light weight standards , I have just picked up a Blued Howa mini action , and the action is very smooth , & just remember , other than when I fire 22 hornet single shot ( CZ527 ) , most of my rifle time is behind a AI  AW , so as I use my AW , I know what smooth IS .

Stock leave something to be desired , I would like a lam/wood option , so impressed with my Mini , that I can see me getting another one in 223 & SS ? , Opps 

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