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Thread: Howa 223 not shooting well and my quest to fix it

  1. #1
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    Howa 223 not shooting well and my quest to fix it

    My buddy recently brought a brand new howa wood/blue hunter in 223
    On my recommendation
    Ive had dealings with probably close to 20 howa 1500 rifles everything from long action to the newish mini action
    And all of them were tack driverís
    I currently own 2 and they both live upto those same standards

    My mate just couldnít get his to shoot and nether could i
    We are both normally Reasonably good shots
    He was useing very cheap ammo federal American eagle 62gn fmj
    And pmc bronze I forget what bullet that was
    But the best group we could get was like 3 inches which is just completely Unacceptable even considering the cheep ammo
    the rifle is a 1:9 twist so should handle the 62ís no worries

    So being a somewhat experienced handloader i done some handloads and tested a few loads
    Still no good!

    Just out of interest I screwed my dpt on to the factory threaded barrel
    As all my howas have preferred being supressed

    This did somewhat improve things as ive found it dose on most howa rifles
    But apart from a couple of fluked groups at an inch or better
    It was still far from where it should be in comparison to the other howas ive experienced

    My mate left the right in my hands to explore
    I had the stock off and noticed that the recoil lug was very poorly fitted to the stock
    With heaps of space under it and a small amount of space arround it and the action fit in the stock was sloppy at best

    So with my mates permission for obvious reasons I took to glass bedding the rifle
    Ive glass bed several rifles before but this is my 1st time doing a howa
    My two have been done by the smith

    The bedding job came out awesome 😎

    On top of that my mate has brought himself a supressor

    My gut is telling me that the very poor recoil lug especially but all up horrible stock to action fit was 99% of the issue

    Ill Cook up some handloads tomorrow with some hornady 50gn soft point and some 65gn serria game kings
    As that will give us a couple of good tests one lighter one heavyer

    Hope to head out to the farm Friday for a shoot so weíll find out

    Whatís your thoughts?

    Results will be posted
    Cheers
    Darryn

  2. #2
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    Took my Howa in 204 up to our private range to confirm zero's 2 weeks back. It shot 1/2" groups at 200m so called it good. Went to a farm to cull bunnies and magpies later that day and it was all over the place. Got home and found the action screws had come loose. Pulled the rifle out of the sock and noticed the wood stock had a bedding area touching the barrel about 2" from the front of the stock. WHile I had the action out of the stock I ground enough wood off to free float the barrel.

    Went back to the range saturday to re-zero the rifle. Shot a group first to see what had happened after free floating the barrel. .....3 shots into 2 touching holes at 100m. Put a drop of loctite on the screws and torqued it up. Its now shooting 1/4" 3 shot groups at 200m.

    All this to say say that the action screws can and will back out quite frequently on the Howa's according to the guys at Wills at Kumeu ..... when I called in to pick up some more factory ammo....
    Bill999, Moa Hunter and Micky Duck like this.

  3. #3
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Fitting to the stock and the recoil lug is most likely the cause and from the sound of it you've fixed both.
    Double grouping is a common indicator of bedding issues, the action recoils in the stock and with each shot moves between two different rest points. The result is sort of 2 groups, shot one eg shots goes left and high, shot 2 on point of aim, shot 3 back close to shot 1, shot 4 back towards shot 2 unless you Mark each shot it can be easy to miss the sequence.
    Moa Hunter likes this.

  4. #4
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    my mini isnt that flash with 55 hornady steel case at around an inch. it is a shame because I bought the rifle to use it up
    my ar15 would stack it with both barrels it had
    im hoping it has a bit more accuracy but possibly just need to go up in projectile weight and find something the 1-8 barrel likes

  5. #5
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    I also like to recrown rifles that are being troublesome if not remove a few inches of barrel

    Iv been reading quite a few threads recently about screws being too long affecting accuracy
    both from the front base and also from the underside winding into the threads of the barrel
    i looked at a few of my rifles and one definitely was having a problem with it

  6. #6
    Member andyanimal31's Avatar
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    I have had issues with most new howas re bedding.
    By the time you pay to get it bedded and get a trigger job done just go buy a tikka.
    I'm sorry but it's the truth!

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    mimms2 likes this.
    My favorite sentences i like to hear are - I suppose so. and Send It!

  7. #7
    Member dogmatix's Avatar
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    Just keep the powder charges down in those hand loads you are rolling from the thermonuclear Rambo loads I've had the joy of firing.
    superdiver likes this.
    Welcome to Sako club.

  8. #8
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    If it's new, and didn't shoot right I'd just take it back for another one under the Consumer Guarantees Act.... Probably too late now though if it's been bedded....
    tetawa, zimmer and Moa Hunter like this.

  9. #9
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    I've got one in 7.62 x39 shoots 1 inch groups and goats with chinese mil surp, can't complain.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogmatix View Post
    Just keep the powder charges down in those hand loads you are rolling from the thermonuclear Rambo loads I've had the joy of firing.
    That was a good load that one Hahaha

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyanimal31 View Post
    I have had issues with most new howas re bedding.
    By the time you pay to get it bedded and get a trigger job done just go buy a tikka.
    I'm sorry but it's the truth!

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    I agree and disagree
    If you’re a rich bugger ond don’t mind paying Exorbitant money for a basic rifle
    Go tikka 100% aggree
    If you don’t mind spending the time glass bedding and trigger jobs are all but free
    The hact trigger is so easy to work on you’re self
    And glass bedding is easy if you have the compound which I get for free

    Most howas ive played have shot well out of the box
    But id rather save $5-700 and do a bit of work if need be

  12. #12
    Member andyanimal31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rambo-6mmrem View Post
    I agree and disagree
    If youíre a rich bugger ond donít mind paying Exorbitant money for a basic rifle
    Go tikka 100% aggree
    If you donít mind spending the time glass bedding and trigger jobs are all but free
    The hact trigger is so easy to work on youíre self
    And glass bedding is easy if you have the compound which I get for free

    Most howas ive played have shot well out of the box
    But id rather save $5-700 and do a bit of work if need be
    Fair call but a commercial bedding job is $300 and trigger job $100 and you get the tack driver out of the box when ya buy a tikka.
    I have never seen a dud tikka but a few howas that havnt gone well out of the box.
    Just saying


    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    My favorite sentences i like to hear are - I suppose so. and Send It!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyanimal31 View Post
    Fair call but a commercial bedding job is $300 and trigger job $100 and you get the tack driver out of the box when ya buy a tikka.
    I have never seen a dud tikka but a few howas that havnt gone well out of the box.



    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    Exactly mate
    Ive had Several tikka’s and they are fantastic apart from the price
    I just prefer howa even if the very odd one does have issues
    As I have enough experience with them I can easily fix them
    Out of all the howas ive delt with only 2 have been less than satisfactory and a couple of hours work has brought them right back to tack driver statis

    Comes down to personal preference
    Marty Henry likes this.

  14. #14
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyanimal31 View Post
    I have had issues with most new howas re bedding.
    By the time you pay to get it bedded and get a trigger job done just go buy a tikka.
    I'm sorry but it's the truth!
    There's nothing wrong whatsoever with the barrelled action. You might have seen what mine do on some of the videos. What's let Howa down in the past is the stocks. If you have 5 mins, take a look at the current Legacy Sports catalogue, to see what they've done about that.

    But there are some wonderfully OTT expressions of nonsense about what to do about them. Like go buy a Tikka, that's quite a good one.

    The Hogue stock needs the application of a scalpel for about 2 minutes to fix. It's already pillar bedded. Just trim off the overmoulded rubber at the tip of the forend. Job done. You can pull down on the forend with a bipod as much as you like, ain't gonna touch after that. And try go hunting in mid-winter rain and mud with the rubber coated stock - I love them for their grippiness and toughness.

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    I own Tikkas too. Both laminated stocks needed pillar and epoxy bedding as they shifted around enough to chew the lip of the silly alloy recoil lug. Which needed replacing with a stainless steel or titanium one. And the bottom metal sorry plastic is prone to compressing the laminate, so I've had to epoxy bed that too.

    Both plastic Tikka stocks I own required pillar bedding.

    And who pays for bedding jobs anyway? Easy as, just take yer time.

    Just sayin'....

    Nothing's perfect mate.

    EDIT

    OH YEAH! I almost forgot. Get some lighter trigger springs from the Gunbloke for $15. Job done.
    Just...say...the...word

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    There's nothing wrong whatsoever with the barrelled action. You might have seen what mine do on some of the videos. What's let Howa down in the past is the stocks. If you have 5 mins, take a look at the current Legacy Sports catalogue, to see what they've done about that.

    But there are some wonderfully OTT expressions of nonsense about what to do about them. Like go buy a Tikka, that's quite a good one.

    The Hogue stock needs the application of a scalpel for about 2 minutes to fix. It's already pillar bedded. Just trim off the overmoulded rubber at the tip of the forend. Job done. You can pull down on the forend with a bipod as much as you like, ain't gonna touch after that. And try go hunting in mid-winter rain and mud with the rubber coated stock - I love them for their grippiness and toughness.

    Attachment 131601
    Attachment 131602

    I own Tikkas too. Both laminated stocks needed pillar and epoxy bedding as they shifted around enough to chew the lip of the silly alloy recoil lug. Which needed replacing with a stainless steel or titanium one. And the bottom metal sorry plastic is prone to compressing the laminate, so I've had to epoxy bed that too.

    Both plastic Tikka stocks I own required pillar bedding.

    And who pays for bedding jobs anyway? Easy as, just take yer time.

    Just sayin'....

    Nothing's perfect mate.

    EDIT

    OH YEAH! I almost forgot. Get some lighter trigger springs from the Gunbloke for $15. Job done.
    Even cheaper option is a ball point pen spring cut to length and installed in place of the factory spring
    gadgetman and xtightg like this.

 

 

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