Howa Superlite 308win Field Evaluation

Reburn

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I would like to hear from these MFGs that they do not QA rifles or at least do a basic function test before sending them out to influencers and yes, even for reviews. I would like them to say that EVERY TIME they send a rifle out to one of these influencers, it's a brand new randomly selected rifle, and that they do not have a bank of rifles that are sent around to these influencers, including from out of one reviewers hands into another. Just like Canon cameras, Nikon cameras, Vehicles, etc. I want these "reputable" MFGs to say that they send hundreds of brand new rifles, cameras, cars out to pressers and writers and tv personalities and shows, and then tell us how they deal with all of these now used pieces of equipment.

What you are describing are companies that make great products and have great quality control and in some cases are much more expensive (Sako, BLASER??). The rest about reviews you are making assumptions about. You certainly don't know their protocol or the terms and even if you did, you said yourself, no MFGs can really be trusted...

Forms right.
All your posts have read as, "Howa is stupid for not cherry picking a rifle to send out for a test but its ok to send not QC'ed rifles out the door."
 
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grfox92

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Does anyone know if Weatherby does anything at all to the magazine, trigger etc on the Vanguard series to improve any of these items on the 1500? Guess what Im asking, what is the difference between a Weatherby Vanguard and a Howa 1500? Anything? Thanks in advance.
The Weatherby Vanguards have a hinged floor plate and don't take a DBM, and feed fine. I believe the triggers are the same. Under normal use I don't believe the trigger is an issue, just when your running the bolt fast and hard.

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wildcat33

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Without reading further I can nearly see the eye rolls that your response generated so I thought I'd add my own eye-roll fodder:


Last year I send back 2 items to Leupold, 4 items to Vortex, and have one new rifle to unfuck the chamber in but the guy who did the chamber is a local guy of who has gotten nearly legendary status for making GREAT rifles. But he is getting older and has retired twice so I kinda knew I was rolling the dice so I ain't mad.
That's just rifles and scopes.

As far as back country gear I'm due to return for repair the following this spring:
2 Thermarest cots (cots + pack goats don't mix)
A major brand name quilt (bad seam sewing)
2 inflatable sleeping pads (valves won't hold a.seal with air in them)
Etc.
Don't ask about the range finder I haven't seen since last March (repair) or half a dozen other items.
I'm not abusive on gear but I actually USE my shit which means it breaks.
The OP is NOT an a one-off. Folks who use their gear do exist despite what customer service reps says.
This is seperate from broken gear for my off road vehicles, fishing gear, dog vests, etc.
At some point it's.only fair that I do a post on companies with the best customer service regarding my.broken gear

More and more it’s just easier to have the consumer do the QC for you (as the company). I think they figured out that most consumers are too lazy or don’t know any better.

Guns are the best opportunity for this scheme. You buy a gun at the store, shoot one box through it and find out it’s total shit, you can’t return it. Only fight tooth and nail for mfg to fix it (at your shipping expense of course). Or most people just can’t shoot good enough or have enough experience to tell the rifle is junk and just live it. Win for mfg either way.
 
Joined
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Howa sent Rokslide a new 16.25” barrels Superlite for a review. It was asked if I would eval it in the same vein as normal.



Rifle: Howa Superlite in 308win with 16.25” threaded barrel.

4lbs 9.3 oz without mag, but with included pic rail-
View attachment 698746


6.2lbs as it sits- scoped and suppressed with a SWFA SS UL 2.5-10x36mm and suppressor-

View attachment 698750


The detachable mag and bottom metal (it’s plastic, stiff- but plastic) are new versions.
View attachment 698766




Initial Thoughts:

It is of course very light. There is some function and fit issues out of the box. The included pic rail is functional, but ridiculously tall.




Issues:

First and most serious is that the rifle fails to feed about 30-40% of the time regardless of what is done. The bolt rides over the rear of the cartridge in the magazine-

View attachment 698761

View attachment 698763


The cause is that the bottom “metal” is not latching/locking the magazine fully.

Without mag, magazine latch fully flush-
View attachment 698759




With magazine, and latch will not lock-
View attachment 698760

View attachment 698764

No amount of fiddling would correct it in the 30 minutes or so that I played with it.


The bedding/inlet will need to be addressed, as there is about an 1/8” of movement when tightening the front and rear action screws.

The barrel is not free floated-
View attachment 698765



And finally when running the bolt quickly, the decent, to good two-stage trigger becomes a 6-8lb single stage. This is not unusual with Howa’s Two-Stage triggers.



To be continued…..
Just curious is it if the bolt is ran fast or short cycle I just got one and it seem to do that if I short cycle the bolt
 

matchu865

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Feb 20, 2023
Messages
7
I own a Howa Superlite in 6.5 CM. I had the same feeding issues as Form had. Contacted legacy and asked for a new stock since the feeding issues are obviously caused by poor inletting of the bottom metal. They obliged and sent another stock. It was inlet just as badly as the first. I took matters into my own hands and inlet the bottom metal properly. I then glass bedded the rifle and opened up the barrel channel to free float it. The rifle now feeds 100% but I’ve only been able to get it to reliably shoot 2-3 MOA. I don’t have the trigger problems mentioned. If Legacy/Stockys/Howa just did some QC they’d have a real winner of a rifle, but the state they send these rifles out is sorry.
 

PsRpOiGrRiAtM

Lil-Rokslider
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Messages
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Montana
Form, did you ever hear back from Howa on this rifle? My 6.5 needed minor barrel channel sanding to get it floated, but it has been a consistent shooter w/ 136gr Scenars every time I've gone to the range, and my son shot his first deer with it this last season. Granted the Scenar performance is deserving a thread of its own, which corroborates much of what has been said (long neck length, delayed opening/upset), but the gun did its part at 340yds. It almost pains me because I have setups that cost 5X what this did, but don't compare to how nice it is to carry and shoot, even with a "cheap" Burris.

I haven't run into any feeding issues, nor trigger problems, but I'm not negating your experience.

This is the first group I shot with it after sanding the barrel channel and torquing it as tight as I dared. It's the only group I photographed, but the next session shooting a 5 round group was under one inch as well. All other shots have been on steel or on game. I'll most likely get another one at some point since my son will probably take this one.
 

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Grundy53

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The Weatherby Vanguards have a hinged floor plate and don't take a DBM, and feed fine. I believe the triggers are the same. Under normal use I don't believe the trigger is an issue, just when your running the bolt fast and hard.

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My Howa 1500 also has a hinged floor plate. It feeds fine. Is it just the superlites that have DBM?

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mxgsfmdpx

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"Influencer" I am not a party to the agreement between you and Howa or the terms. If the agreement was some kind of "independent, scientific, certified, unbiased review where it was supposed to be a "random pick rifle", and a promise was made to supply one under that scenario, then that's a different story. And usually under those circumstances, the reviewer goes and purchases the rifle with their own money from a third party source, to be 100% sure. And then on top of that, the reviewer has to then *also be honest* and give an unbiased review (rare). You pretty much said yourself that reviews are typically BS. So whoever is reading a review, has to question that too, including yours. Not saying that's the case here, but how does one truly know that you are given on honest account? There are just as many bad reviews done for nefarious purposes as there are good. Fake reviews good and bad, paid for all the time. In every industry. Companies trying to destroy each other or take market share and sometimes using reviewers or negative PR to do that. In many ways, it's an attempt to circumvent litigation, or have a patsy if litigation happens. Politicians can say what they want because they are considered public figures, but the rest of us can end up in court for what we write or say. That's the world we live in. And that's why "reviews" can no longer be trusted. Influencers? That's a slightly different story, because I don't think anyone really trusts them anyway. But they like them or follow them and support them and the products they like. It's more entertainment and fandom. And I hate it. Somewhere in this thread, I said not to believe anything that you read, and only half of what you see. And I stand to that for every review, even yours.

And for the record, this forum has advertisers right? I have seen all kinds of shenanigans on forums over advertising and sponsor competition, as someone who has purchased advertising and helped build several forums over the last 30 years. You clearly have influence on this forum. Are you paid by the forum or share in the ad revenues? If so, the lines get blurred quickly. Is Howa an advertiser? All important questions. And I'm not making accusations, just playing devil's advocate here and pointing out that it's all relative. But I expect that just raising these points will probably get me banned. Even though I tried like hell to steer it back to the damn rifle. ;)
Imagine coming in with “this thread should have never happened and a known rifle should have been sent” and then landing all the way on this asinine nonsense of a post.

Wow.
 

grfox92

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My Howa 1500 also has a hinged floor plate. It feeds fine. Is it just the superlites that have DBM?

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Super lites, minis and of course their chassis rifle.

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Apr 17, 2024
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I just got one of these rifles. Was worried I’d have these issues also. I bought a stockys stock for my savage ultralight. The previous model without the mdt26 chassis. The stock was horrible. Made the rifle unfireable and unsafe. This Howa superlite hasn’t been bad. Had some stiff bolt lift had to clean and relube the bolt works great now. No feeding issues. But best group has been a 1” 1/2
 

Riflman

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Jan 3, 2017
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Fargo, North Dakota
Would switching to a metal magazine help with feeding? I’ve heard all kinds of feeding problems with plastic magazines. Of course the supplied ones should work, but at least with steel you can tune them so might be an option.

The accuracy issues are something entirely different. Seems like you’re rolling the dice, but I still might get one and take my chances.
 

matchu865

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Feb 20, 2023
Messages
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Would switching to a metal magazine help with feeding? I’ve heard all kinds of feeding problems with plastic magazines. Of course the supplied ones should work, but at least with steel you can tune them so might be an option.

The accuracy issues are something entirely different. Seems like you’re rolling the dice, but I still might get one and take my chances.
No the feeding issues are due to poor inletting that causes the magazine to not sit flush against the receiver. IMO the manufacturing process of the stock is flawed, as they paint the stock after the inletting is formed/cut. The thick rubbery paint used throws the dimensions off. If they masked up the inletting prior to painting I don’t think there’d be as much of an issue. This same paint also causes the rifle to not be free floated from the factory.
 

Riflman

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No the feeding issues are due to poor inletting that causes the magazine to not sit flush against the receiver. IMO the manufacturing process of the stock is flawed, as they paint the stock after the inletting is formed/cut. The thick rubbery paint used throws the dimensions off. If they masked up the inletting prior to painting I don’t think there’d be as much of an issue. This same paint also causes the rifle to not be free floated from the factory.
Hmmm. So I wonder if Legacy is just importing the barreled actions, having stocky's stocks delivered to a warehouse and then literally just having minimum wage labor bolt the stocks to the actions and throw them in boxes... I didn't realize Stocky's stocks had a bad rep too. Seems like there are a few negative comments about them here. It's a shame. I still think there is a market for ultralight rifles, but I guess at this price point they've become kit rifles we have to modify ourselves. I've been there and done that, and would rather just pay a bit more to have it done right. All my hunting guns are custom now. I still have some that I pillar bedded, polished triggers, hawged out barrel channels but those have evolved now and I don't do that anymore. With today's CNC, it shouldn't be hard for most any MFG to make a very accurate rifle for a reasonable price. Hopefully Legacy gets this fixed. Might be why they were advertising to hire a new CEO.
 

matchu865

FNG
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Feb 20, 2023
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It’s been discussed earlier in this thread, but manufacturers not having proper QC is the issues. Returning a rifle to the manufacturer these days is such a pain and added expense that most people don’t bother. For example I have a Glock 20 that has reliability problems and due to FedEx/UPS’s changed policy in shipping it’s gonna cost me ~$100 to send the pistol from WA to Georgia since I now have to go through and FFL both ways. If the firearm is <$1k people that are handy just take matters into their own hand.
 

grfox92

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Hmmm. So I wonder if Legacy is just importing the barreled actions, having stocky's stocks delivered to a warehouse and then literally just having minimum wage labor bolt the stocks to the actions and throw them in boxes... I didn't realize Stocky's stocks had a bad rep too. Seems like there are a few negative comments about them here. It's a shame. I still think there is a market for ultralight rifles, but I guess at this price point they've become kit rifles we have to modify ourselves. I've been there and done that, and would rather just pay a bit more to have it done right. All my hunting guns are custom now. I still have some that I pillar bedded, polished triggers, hawged out barrel channels but those have evolved now and I don't do that anymore. With today's CNC, it shouldn't be hard for most any MFG to make a very accurate rifle for a reasonable price. Hopefully Legacy gets this fixed. Might be why they were advertising to hire a new CEO.
Stockys does not have a bad reputation at all. The comments above in this thread are the first negative I've ever heard about them and they are selling truckloads of stocks.

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Riflman

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Stockys does not have a bad reputation at all. The comments above in this thread are the first negative I've ever heard about them and they are selling truckloads of stocks.

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Okay. That was my impression too, that they were a good company with quality products. From the comments here, I thought perhaps I was wrong. Thanks for clarifying.
 
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Stockys does not have a bad reputation at all. The comments above in this thread are the first negative I've ever heard about them and they are selling truckloads of stocks.

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I hope that’s the case because they’re at a great price point. Like said I had issues with my first one this new one on this superlite seems to be a lot better!
 

ianpadron

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Spent about 5 minutes straight last night racking the bolt and pulling the trigger on my mini trying to replicate that sear issue, seems like I got a good one, as it functioned without a hiccup.

Curious to see how gun #2 performs, cool utilitarian mountain rifle if it doesn't suck as bad as the first sample.
 
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