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Howa swede

17 Sep 2019
@ 09:54 am (GMT)


Hi Guys,
I've asked about this rifle a while back but just been shooting it.

I've got a howa 1500 in 6.5x55 I've had trouble getting good accuracy from it. I've had it for ages, tried all sorts of bullets and powders. Only success ive had is loading close to the lands with only 2-3 mm in the case. Not ideal.

Otherwise with bullets in the case properly it shoots 2moa or worse with most 140g bullets I've tried.

I've had a couple stocks for it, bedded, it still shot the same.

I've learned to live with this and just used it bush hunting loading long.

My son is ready to start hunting and I'm keen for him to have this rifle. But loading so long bothers me that chance of knocking bullet out or wreck concentricity.

In Nathan's rifle book he mentions stress in the action of howas that inhibits accuracy potential. And some poorly finished barrels. I've polished mine as per accurizing & maintenance book.

I'd like to get it shooting right, im pondering replacing the barrel, is there a chance that I'd still have same issue, ie, the action is the problem?

It's got a nice stock, & timney trigger, im hesitant to give that up.

Any suggestions.


17 Sep 2019
@ 12:47 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Howa swede
Hi Mark,
This is Nathan's comment on the Howa, from a post I started a couple weeks ago, below, about bedding a Vanguard stock:
"Setting up the Howa is an entire process. It is not a case of free float or not to free float. The Lugs need work, the trigger needs work. The Barrel may also need working over. The stocks are best bedded to get a true fit and bedding into the knox helps dampen vibrations. If the barrel is superlight (new 223 model), all bets are off, pressure point bedding may be the only way to overcome a dud barrel (temper issues). Once all of this work is done, the Howa sees continued benefit from neck sized handloads which help lesson and loose fit within the lock up. The Japanese chambers are also highly generic (no Manson / Foster type ongoing research) so its up to the hand loader to really get into experimentation (seating depths etc). Tangent ogive bullets (Sierra / Speer) are the easiest to get going when using high velocity chamberings, secant ogives may prove more finicky in some chamberings such as the .270 (applies to those wanting to make use of the ELD-X and SST). To get the real juice out of these rifles, you have to be willing to go the distance, go over every aspect of the rifle and ammo. This may sound intimidating but it really is a highly rewarding process."
17 Sep 2019
@ 03:16 pm (GMT)


Re: Howa swede
Thanks Scott, I missed that post.
Trigger is good, stock is good, bedding is good, I worked the lugs and polished barrel, hand loaded all sorts. Haven't neck sized though


22 Sep 2019
@ 11:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Howa swede
Hi Mark, yes give the neck sizing a go or if you want to really get into it, start with a concentricity gauge so that you are not guessing outcomes of neck sized versus FL sized ammo.

I quite like this action. Your action (long) is also a perfect candidate for a thumping .30-06 which could also be downloaded to youth specs. I can't see any negatives here. A conc. gauge will serve you well for life. You may lose a few bucks on a 6.5 neck die but thats no major loss. If the neck sized ammo does not work, then on to the next barrel in whatever caliber you choose.

25 Sep 2019
@ 08:35 pm (GMT)


Re: Howa swede
Thanks Nathan, much appreciated. Will find a concentricity gauge I think.

04 Nov 2019
@ 02:03 pm (GMT)


Re: Howa swede
I got the concentricity gauge, turns out I've been turning out good ammo. Within 3thou, it's got to be a barrel issue.

I don't own a 30cal so will be looking into a 30 06 rebarrel.

Thanks all for the advice,

In the mean time i'm still la fan of the 6.5, picked one up in a tikka for a bargain but that's another story.....


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