HOWA HS PRECISION RANGE TEST

We spent a day at the range with the new Howa 1500 HS Precision rifle in 30-06 Spr. Here’s what we did and how the rifle performed.

I’ve been a lazy man. I haven’t been to the range to do any serious shooting since before we went to Namibia almost eleven months ago. That’s what happens when you own a gun shop and make your living off of serving people who do make time to go. Add in a couple of bright but very busy teenagers and you have a recipe for general mayhem and very little spare time. Thankfully, as the school year winds down and the weather improves we can find a bit of time to sneak away and make it happen.

And it needed to happen. A few months back the good people at Legacy Sports in Reno, Nevada shipped me one of their new Howa 1500 HS Precision rifles. It’s the standard 1500 barreled action (with hinged floor plate) in 30-06 Spr set into an HS Precision rifle stock. They told me to shoot it and see what I thought.

Howa3

So we topped the rifle off with a Nikon Prostaff 7 3-12×42 BDC and some Talley 30mm rings and headed off to the range. Here is a list of the ammunition we tested:

  • Remington 30-06 Spr 150Gr Core-Lokt
  • Federal 30-06 Spr 165Gr Fusion
  • Hornady 30-06 Spr 165Gr SST Superformance
  • Barnes 30-06 Spr 168Gr TTSX

Now just so we’re clear I put minimal maintenance/break in into the rifle. That means I ran a bore snake though it to clean out any grease that may have been lingering from shipping then sat down and shot it. I ran three shot groups from everything once except the Core-Lokt because it shot so well on the first group for cheap ammo that I assumed it was an anomaly. It wasn’t! Both groups (one pictured) were almost identical.

All three-round groups were fired from the bench to 100 yards off of bags by a rusty shooter without cleaning in between groups. The barrel was allowed to cool between strings but nothing more.

With one exception the results were pretty consistent. Here they are:

With the exception of the Hornady (which generally shoots very well out of most of our other rifles) each load shot just around 1″ at 100 yards.

I’m convinced this rifle will shoot tighter once the shooter (me) is broken in for the season so I’m going to leave this post up and update it each time I head to the range to see how this thing progresses. At this stage it is more than accurate and consistent enough (even with the economy ammo) that I would trust it in the high country.

Stay tuned for future updates…

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