Howa VS Tikka

grfox92

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So fhe obvious recommendation for a factory rifle on Rokslide will always be a Tikka.

That being said. If a guy wanted a long action magnum, and is a reloader, Tikka isn't the best choice. With UMs nee bottom metal coming out that changes a little but, but, Howa Barreled actions are available, and and putting together a rifle with a premium stock would come out cheaper than a factory threaded and braked Tikka with a cheap factory stock.

Howa has good stock options, and Timney triggers. So besides a barrel that isn't properly stress relieved, what would be the downside to putting together a Howa? I like a blind magazine with a Floorplate rather than a magazine for a hunting rifle. Do howas have any feeding issues? Are there any real reasons to stay away from Howa?



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nobody

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I had a Howa 1500 7 mag, circa 2020-ish. Trigger was actually great, fed very reliably. My qualm was with the 3 position safety, it felt so cheap and sooooo chincy. Accuracy was meh at best.

My brother has an older (circa 2008-ish) weatherby vanguard, which is a Howa stamped as a weatherby. It is EXTREMELY accurate, and the safety is the older style 2 position and feels much better.
 

ElPollo

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The Howa action is a lot rougher and requires work to get anywhere near as smooth as the Tikka. The Howa also has a lot more pathways for ingress of debris/water/ice/snow than a Tikka, resulting in more opportunities for malfunction. The Tikka has a better and more reliable trigger system. You can make a decent trigger on a Howa really easily, but you can’t make it more reliable. The Howas that I’ve had have fed pretty well, but I prefer the factory Tikka detachable mags. I don’t think there is much on the market in the same price range that beats a Tikka action, but I like the Howas better than all the other options.

Edit: My comments about trigger reliability are related to debris, not safety. The Howas I’ve had have all been drop safe based on my testing. That’s not something I would say about R700-type actions.
 
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grfox92

grfox92

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I had a Howa 1500 7 mag, circa 2020-ish. Trigger was actually great, fed very reliably. My qualm was with the 3 position safety, it felt so cheap and sooooo chincy. Accuracy was meh at best.

My brother has an older (circa 2008-ish) weatherby vanguard, which is a Howa stamped as a weatherby. It is EXTREMELY accurate, and the safety is the older style 2 position and feels much better.
That's how I feel about every Rem700 safety I come across. They feel like Dollar Tree safeties haha.

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My tikka is way more resistant to binding than my vanguard, and the trigger is a lot better.

The bolt feel is that the tikka wants to go home always, and my vanguard I have to convince it to do so. It’s decently smooth, but it just is notchy or sticky or something that I don’t care for. Overall ease of use for chambering and quickly getting a round in without any fuss is simply better.

It’s a decent gun though, don’t mean to say it’s not
 
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grfox92

grfox92

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The Howa action is a lot rougher and requires work to get anywhere near as smooth as the Tikka. The Howa also has a lot more pathways for ingress of debris/water/ice/snow than a Tikka, resulting in more opportunities for malfunction. The Tikka has a better and more reliable trigger system. You can make a decent trigger on a Howa really easily, but you can’t make it more reliable. The Howas that I’ve had have fed pretty well, but I prefer the factory Tikka detachable mags. I don’t think there is much on the market in the same price range that beats a Tikka action, but I like the Howas better than all the other options.

Edit: My comments about trigger reliability are related to debris, not safety. The Howas I’ve had have all been drop safe based on my testing. That’s not something I would say about R700-type actions.
What kind of work does it take to get the action smoother? Like gunsmith work or me in my basement at midnight with fine sandpaper?

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ElPollo

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What kind of work does it take to get the action smoother? Like gunsmith work or me in my basement at midnight with fine sandpaper?

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The latter. Sand the bolt body, then add some polishing compound to the bolt lugs and races, and annoy your family while you cycle the crap out of it for hours.
 
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grfox92

grfox92

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The latter. Sand the bolt body, then add some polishing compound to the bolt lugs and races, and annoy your family while you cycle the crap out of it for hours.
Sounds like fun.

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Formidilosus

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What kind of work does it take to get the action smoother? Like gunsmith work or me in my basement at midnight with fine sandpaper?

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You can get it smoother, but you won’t eliminate the bolt binding. @ElPollo has the gist of it. Quite frankly, being that you are taking a magnum and you prefer a floor plate, an old M70 push feed is a really good action- by far the most overlooked action for rifles. One could pick up a 90’s era PF M70 for sub $400, out a Stockys or RokStok on it and more than likely have a decent barrel. Even if you needed to rebarrel, you’d be in it for $1,200-$1,300.
 
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grfox92

grfox92

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You can get it smoother, but you won’t eliminate the bolt binding. @ElPollo has the gist of it. Quite frankly, being that you are taking a magnum and you prefer a floor plate, an old M70 push feed is a really good action- by far the most overlooked action for rifles. One could pick up a 90’s era PF M70 for sub $400, out a Stockys or RokStok on it and more than likely have a decent barrel. Even if you needed to rebarrel, you’d be in it for $1,200-$1,300.
I have a 70s Era M70 pushfeed in .308 and was wondering if the bolt face could be opened up to accommodate magnum and maybe do a 7saum. Pretty sure the mag box can accommodate the COAL for book OAL according to load data....

Edit, I have been toying with having it rebarreled to 7mm08 and having UM do the work and +P it. With the right powders I think I could be damn near magnum velocities.

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ElPollo

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I can’t speak to the push-feed M-70, but @Formidilosus is right about the Howa. I’ve never been able to smooth one up to the point where there wasn’t some bolt binding. If they could resolve that, I’d be all over a Howa mini action in 22 arc.
 
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I have a 70s Era M70 pushfeed in .308 and was wondering if the bolt face could be opened up to accommodate magnum and maybe do a 7saum. Pretty sure the mag box can accommodate the COAL for book OAL according to load data....

Edit, I have been toying with having it rebarreled to 7mm08 and having UM do the work and +P it. With the right powders I think I could be damn near magnum velocities.

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Hodgdon's load data for the 7mm-08 using 6.5 StaBall has some impressive velocities. 7mm SAW might be another option as well.

If I was in your shoes though I'd be looking at a 22CM or 6CM rebarrel.
 
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grfox92

grfox92

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Hodgdon's load data for the 7mm-08 using 6.5 StaBall has some impressive velocities. 7mm SAW might be another option as well.

If I was in your shoes though I'd be looking at a 22CM or 6CM rebarrel.
I tried 6.5 SB in 7mm08 X Bolt and it shot 4 groups at 100 yards and shoots 1" or less with everything else.

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TaperPin

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What kind of work does it take to get the action smoother? Like gunsmith work or me in my basement at midnight with fine sandpaper?

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A smoothed up Howa is very smooth - just a little time with some 400 or 600 grit sandpaper. The new Howas I’ve seen lately are pretty smooth.

The machining accuracy on Howa’s has always been quite good - some gunsmiths who work on them a lot say the bore/bolt/barrel threads/receiver face are noticeably more in line compared to other major brands, but I’ve never measured one.

I don’t buy the bolt binding argument - use a good PTFE lubricant and you’ll never have problems.
 
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You can get it smoother, but you won’t eliminate the bolt binding. @ElPollo has the gist of it. Quite frankly, being that you are taking a magnum and you prefer a floor plate, an old M70 push feed is a really good action- by far the most overlooked action for rifles. One could pick up a 90’s era PF M70 for sub $400, out a Stockys or RokStok on it and more than likely have a decent barrel. Even if you needed to rebarrel, you’d be in it for $1,200-$1,300.
You have a rec for a polishing compound? I couldn't resist cerakoting my Tikka bolt and action and it's a little sticky now. Any other tricks? I know.
 
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grfox92

grfox92

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If I was in your shoes though I'd be looking at a 22CM or 6CM rebarrel.

If I was going to do that I would just buy a Tikka in 6.5CM.

I live and hunt in one of the most windy places on earth, and am not overly recoil sensitive. I also get 2 to 3 elk tags a year. I'm looking to shoot heavier bullets.

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grfox92

grfox92

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A smoothed up Howa is very smooth - just a little time with some 400 or 600 grit sandpaper. The new Howas I’ve seen lately are pretty smooth.

The machining accuracy on Howa’s has always been quite good - some gunsmiths who work on them a lot say the bore/bolt/barrel threads/receiver face are noticeably more in line compared to other major brands, but I’ve never measured one.

I don’t buy the bolt binding argument - use a good PTFE lubricant and you’ll never have problems.
I know of a gunsmith who bought a barreled action from brownells for a personal rifle, and went to go through the action to square it up and true it and he said he didn't need to touch it.

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Nhenry

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I'll out myself here as being a 700 fan. Lots of aftermarket support. You can also get a barreled action for cheap, put it in a stock, replace the trigger with a Timney, and have an incredible rifle for not too much money.
 
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