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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Nelson
    Posts
    56

    Howa 223 Extended Mag Follower

    Hello.
    I have a Howa 223 short action, which I had intended to load with big heavy projectiles. It has an internal box mag and unfortunately the mag length is fairly short which would limit me to single feeding for those projectiles.
    I noticed the other day when I had the stock off that there is a stopper (for want of a better word) in the mag box which can be removed and frees up the full length of the mag, probably adding another 1/2 inch or so. I tried it out but because the follower was so short it just floated around in the mag.
    So, a long question short, does anyone know if there is an after market 223 follower designed to fit the full length mag box in a Howa S/A?
    Thanks,
    HHB

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    312
    I had a brief look around when I got mine back in May - no luck at that point.
    Name:  IMG20200526075541.jpg
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    I took a different approach and lengthened the space available by moving the 'block' back a bit. I'm still using the stock magazine follower and it mostly works fine. The pic showing the feed rails is to illustrate how they need to be opened up at the rear if you want to sit the cases further back in the mag box. The bolt stop will also need reducing but that's very simple.

    I used the cutting wheel on a Dremel to cut the slot a few mm's back where the box widens out. I had to shorten the top part that's bent over. I can now fit rounds in to about 2.46 overall length. This seems to be sufficient for the majority of the projectiles available to be able to get close to the lands if required. The only one that is still too long is the 75 grain Eld-M. As it turns out my rifle just won't shoot them really well so they're down the road!

    Anything less pointy like the Sierra TMK has loads of room in the mag. It has to be pointed out that my rifle is fairly new and has the 1/8 twist barrel. It seems to have quite a long throat so can digest some very long loads that won't work in a much shorter chamber/throat setup.

    I don't have pictures of the modified box as yet. I will try to remember to take some when I pull it apart shortly.
    Last edited by Steelisreal; 22-03-2021 at 09:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Nelson
    Posts
    56
    Thanks for that reply Steelisreal. That seems like a good option. I understand what you are saying, but would be interested to see the photos if you take some.
    I too have the 1/8 twist and I hear what you are saying about the throat - if I load 75gr eld-m to the lands then an unfired round is too long to fit out the ejection port. I quickly gave up trying to load anything to the lands.
    Cheers.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    312
    I only tried to get the 75s close to the lands as a reference point - they are an extreme VLD profile and are very sensitive to seating depth (in my experience). The 69 & 77 TMK, 69 Targex and 75 Gold Dot can all be seated to the lands (but don't necessarily need to) with 2.46 mag box length available as they have more conventional ogive shapes. 75 Good Dots shot best so far at 2.375 OAL and 77TMK at 2.400 - to anyone else reading this *THIS IS SAFE IN MY RIFLE AND SHOULD NOT BE TRIED UNLESS YOU HAVE MEASURED YOUR RIFLE. Despite industry standardisation there is still a lot of variation in chamber and throat dimensions.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Nelson
    Posts
    56
    77 TMK's are my next port of call. They are sitting in the shelf and just need to be loaded up. I'll be starting at 2.32 OAL which is my current mag length.
    Cheers.

 

 

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