Thoughts on rebarreling a howa action.

Discussion in 'Gun Project Questions & Gunsmithing' started by furhntr, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. furhntr

    furhntr

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    Is a howa 1500 action worth putting the money into it to customize it? I have a shoot out barrel from a howa 22-250 and I am debating sending in the action and have it trued and a new barrel put on or just sell the rifle and buy a different gun? What do you guys think.
     
  2. skinnj1

    skinnj1

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    Depends on what you want to use it for. Howa's a great actions for a tactical / varmit / hunting rifle but are not going to be a top contender as a BR action. Has a good extractor design, but they are a little limited in the trigger and stock selection department. They are metric threaded (some smiths can't / won't cut metric threads....) and factory barreled actions are hydraulically assembled (read mega torque). Most people I know use a parting tool to make a relief cut just to take a barrel off.

    Just depends on what game you want to play or what your doing with it......

    Factory barreled actions are relatively cheap from distrubitors, if you were happy with the old factory barrel (and want to role the dice again on a factory barrel) you could probably get a new barreled action for about the price of a "premium" barrel fitted by most smiths if you find an FFL without a lot of markup.
     
  3. kjcpoint

    kjcpoint Site $$ Contributor

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    Well worth the money to re barrel it. Integral recoil lug, smooth action and they feed well. Same type of barrel tenon setup as a rem 700 (1.5mm threads) with a better extractor. Trigger needs a little work, no big deal.

    The barrels are torqued damn tight and do need to be parted off.


    Kyle
     
  4. jasonf

    jasonf

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    They are machined very true from the factory. Once you get the barrel off (not easy as mentioned above), they don't need much work if any to square up before rebarrelling.

    Overall, a worthwhile action to rebarrel. I wish they made left hand versions.
     
  5. Rustystud

    Rustystud Site $$ Sponsor

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    A thought on Howa actions: There is nothing wrong with metric threads it is just a pain in the back side if one doesn't have a metric lathe. There are three ways to deal with metric threads.

    1. Cut your barrel tennon threads metric

    2. Put your action in a truing jig and remove the metric threads with a boring bar and recut the
    internal threads standard. This may require the action be reheat treated.

    3. Machine the action to accept an insert converting the metric threads from standard.

    The first is the least expensive and easiest.

    Nat Lambeth
     
  6. furhntr

    furhntr

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    Thanks guys. I am going to have a new barrel put on. and it is my varmint rifle so no BR here. thanks.
     
  7. GregT

    GregT

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    Good plan furhntr, I wouldn't go to the effort of getting it trued. The actions are machined amazingly well to begin with and the lug abatement and the face of the action appear to be machined in the same setup, they're milled, not turned. After measuring mine I decided not to machine anything, I have some pretty good gear and I've been a machinist for well over 20 years and I doubt I could have got it any better than what it is, particularly mounted up in a spider setup on the lathe. If I was you I'd give the lugs a light lap to make sure they are bearing evenly and rebarrel it. Don't mess it up by trying to change the barrel thread, pretty much any quality lathe made in the last 30 years will cut a metric thread if the operator has a clue what they're doing.

    I rebarreled one of my Howas to a 6BR, no mods to the action at all. I did mill the bolt face from a 223 to a 308 diameter and modified the extractor but that was it. It's shot under .2 MOA when I've had a good day so the rifle just doesn't need to be any better, particularly for what you want it for. I shot the rifle in an 800m F-class open match here and scored a 56/60, I reckon that's pretty good for a 22" barrel rifle off an ebay bipod!.

    I posted up a thread here> http://forum.accurateshooter.com/index.php/topic,3769830.msg35977744.html#msg35977744 with some photos of when I did mine.

    Cheers,
    Greg
     
  8. Plugger

    Plugger

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    I have used Howa's in long range benchrest and have been pleased with the results.
     
  9. deanq

    deanq

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    Nat,
    Why would you need to re-heat treat after re-cutting the receiver threads?
    Dean
     
  10. dksac2

    dksac2 Retired Gunsmith, Retired LEO

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    They are a really smooth action, not a BR type, but a very good design.

    I also had to make a cut in the original barrel right by the receiver to get the barrel off.
    The metric threads, no big deal.

    All of that said, if you plan on re barreleing more than once, like from a shot out barrel, it may be best to sell it and get a good Savage. The Remingtons, a good used one, the new one's are horriable, last one I saw, a 300 mag had one lug touching, the other was off the enbuttment by .005". Quality has gone way down hill.

    My Best, John K
     
  11. kendog

    kendog

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    I built one a few years back that accepted M14 Magazines and Remington barrels. Simply ran a 1-1/16-16 tap into it to re-form the threads (the metric threads were so close) and barreled it like any other Remington. Barreling worked suprisingly well and shot decent too. It was a take-off Rem Varmint 308 barrel so wasn't expecting new Krieger-like results with it. Also, M14 mags are not the ticket for a bolt action. WAY too stiff of a spring for hand operation.
    Not sure why one would have to re-heat treat a receiver that is probably finish machined in the heat treated state. That is one of the beauties of using 4140 for gun parts, it is relatively easily machined in a hardened condition.
    Ken
     

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  12. Empty Pockets

    Empty Pockets

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    Howa actions are real "sleepers". Likely one of the most under appreciated actions around. If you're lathe will not cut metric threads, give PAC Nor a call. They will thread it proper and short chamber for you.
     
  13. dansig

    dansig only here to get better at what I do :) Site $$ Contributor

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    I just finished rebarreling my Howa 1500 with a bit more work, made a new stock and change it from .243 to a 6mm BR

    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/index.php/topic,3781354.0.html

    my gunsmith removed the factory barrel without puting a scratch on it, I have it as a replacement barrel if I need to shoot .243.

    when it comes down to acuracy I don't think you'll be dissapointed.

    with factory barrel I shot constant .5 MOA 5 shot groups but rarely any better than that

    with a new barrel and new caliber this is how it shoots of a bipod, I havn't tried it from a rest yet but I know it will do better..


    these are all 5 shot groups at 100m and the largest is .4"
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Rustystud

    Rustystud Site $$ Sponsor

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    Dean:

    If you removed the original threads and re threaded you would have removed the surface hardening and the new threads may be soft. It is a risk I would not want to take. If I am not mistaken The Howa actions are the same as the old Smith & Wesson 1500 actions. The are made in the same factory in Japan. I am not sure that they are not investment cast.

    Nat
     
  15. Gundoktr

    Gundoktr

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    So...to answer the question, I will ask another. Why the hell would you need to re-heatreat the action?
    ::) ::)

    Is there a bull$hit flag to be raised here?
     
  16. kendog

    kendog

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    I'd like to know that, too.

    'Splain it, Lucy.
     
  17. MWDG3

    MWDG3

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    Nat, are you saying the Howa's are case-hardened?

    I did call Weatherby and confirmed Vanguard/Howa actions are cast.
     
  18. metaothel

    metaothel

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    Have the GS to get off his ass and cut metric, if he can not cut metric, grab your rifle and run. He's a gun butcher, not a GS. My Howa with a Pac-nor barrel (barreled by Pac-Nor) will hold under .2 with a five shot grp at 100 M, no brag just fact!!!
     
  19. jscandale

    jscandale

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    Good question...maybe the stock should be heat treated as well. :eek:

    JS
     
  20. boltman223

    boltman223

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    I am wanting to convert a howa to standard threads also and would like to know why it needs to be re-heat treated too?
     

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