January 2016

Rifle Stats: Howa 24 in. HB HKF92507KH+AB 6.5 Creedmoor, $1000

GUN TESTS GRADE: B+

This is the list price. We found the package retailing for $795 at RichiesPNG.com, but it was also out of stock. You can find a retailer on the Legacy Sports website under Contact > USA Dealers.

Based on the company’s 1500 action, the Howa rifle was the most straightforward in terms of profile, offering a Sporter-style Hogue Overmolded stock with an aluminum bedding block. It was treated to a Kryptek Highlander camouflage coating, as was the Nikko Stirling 4-16x44mm GameKing scope included in this package. The barreled action was sheathed in Austrian Brown Cerakote and free-floated, connecting to the stock with two pillars fore and aft of the trigger guard and the hinged floorplate of the magazine. The Howa rifle felt quite rigid, and the surface of the stock was friendly to the hands and cheek. A beefy rubber buttpad was mounted, and there were sling swivels front and rear. The forend of the stock was broad enough to make good contact with a sandbag or any other surface. The No. 6-profile heavy barrel was 24 inches long. The result was a heavyweight hunting rifle (9.5 pounds loaded) with a commanding presence.

We couldn’t help but notice that Ruger’s Marksman adjustable trigger looks and acts very much like Savage’s AccuTrigger, each with a hinged lever integrated with the trigger face. Howa’s two-stage HACT (Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger) looked common in comparison, but is renowned in its own right. The Howa HACT trigger offered a short take up to a soft, but predictable, break. Measured using a Lyman digital scale, weight of resistance averaged just under 2.6 pounds, with a maximum deviation of no more than 6 ounces. At no time did anyone on our team find the fluctuation so obvious that it affected accuracy or the shooting experience in general. One member of our team thought the trigger was further to the rear than they liked.

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