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  1. Default Home come Howa's don't get more love?

    I know Randy and his guest(s) hunt with Howa's. I love my Weatherby Vanguard which is basically a Howa with a 24 inch barrel. Tikka's and customs get all the "headlines".

    I'm a flatlander so my shots (in the brush) rarely go past 125 yards and if I guess I would say 65 yards is about the average. So I don't experience the 300 yard shots, but there are some challenges "threading" a shot thru the brush, so I appreciate the accuracy.

    So it would seem they would be a great lightweight, mountain type, accurate rifle. Why don't they get more attention?

  2. #2

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    If I had to guess....
    I would say marketing and availability. I've never heard of them outside of Randy, and Cabelas, Basspro, and Academy Sports don't carry them which are the main sporting good chains in my area. I don't think Dick's carries them either. Nothing really sets them apart enough (that I know of) for people to spread the word about them, or to convince people to go somewhere outside of their normal shops to buy one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Eden Prairie, MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexAg09 View Post
    If I had to guess....
    I would say marketing and availability. I've never heard of them outside of Randy, and Cabelas, Basspro, and Academy Sports don't carry them which are the main sporting good chains in my area. I don't think Dick's carries them either. Nothing really sets them apart enough (that I know of) for people to spread the word about them, or to convince people to go somewhere outside of their normal shops to buy one.
    Howa seems "out of sight, out of mind" in the upper midwest. That said, I view the Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 and the Tikka 3 lite as the best of the "cheap" plastic guns. I really like my 25-06 WVS2. I chose the WVS2 over Tikka because I wanted the 24" barrel for the 25-06 round and their monte carlo stock really fit me in the store and seemed better than your average budget plastic stock (but it is a relatively heavy gun). The very low weight and solid "feel" of the Tikka really is appealing to many, so my guess is that is why it is chosen/discussed more. Basis my experience with the WVS2 I would definitely consider a Howa for future purchases, but my next gun will probably be a Tikka.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    I would also say it is a question of marketing. Hopefully the association with Randy is being fruitful on both ends. I can personally vouch for how great the service is working with Matt at LSI (the distributor who runs the Howa sticky on here). Since getting the Hunting Princess' rifle set up we are very happy with the accuracy and the action itself. When it comes time for my next rifle I will do a build similar to what we got her.
    "Never apologize for being a Patriot!"

  5. #5

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    Marketing, weight, and lack of aftermarket parts/accessories are 3 reasons I can think of. I would have bought two from them by now, but the shelved their idea for LH rifles.

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    For me its that Made in Japan sticker. May just be my pre-concieved negative outlook on Japan made products but I just can bring myself to buy one. I love the Kuiu stocks tho.

  7. #7

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    I guess other manufacturers of similar guns have better marketing or spend more on marketing, especially Savage Arms. I hear more about Savage than any other budget rifle.

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    The Howa Alpine rifle is kinda pricey compared to other budget guns. Seems to run around $900-$1000. The standard 1500 is cheaper, of course, but heavier than the Tikka (which u can get a lightweight stainless for $750).

    That said I would love to have an Alpine in 7mm-08

  9. #9

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    I actually like the alpine mountain. I've come within inches of buying one. It's just the whole Japan thing for me too. Yes,I have rifles from Finland. Scandinavia is hunting country. I don't think there is much of it going on in Japan. Just rubs me the wrong way I guess. I watch Randys videos on you tube a lot. Enjoy them immensely. It's no reflection on him or the people that sell them. It's just my own little quirk.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7Remmy View Post
    I actually like the alpine mountain. I've come within inches of buying one. It's just the whole Japan thing for me too. Yes,I have rifles from Finland. Scandinavia is hunting country. I don't think there is much of it going on in Japan. Just rubs me the wrong way I guess. I watch Randys videos on you tube a lot. Enjoy them immensely. It's no reflection on him or the people that sell them. It's just my own little quirk.
    The Japanese make some very good firearms. Browning uses Japanese manufacturer for their over/unders. The Miroku factory turns out splendid side by sides & O/U's. The Weatherby Orion is a Japanese gun. Japan does have a significant hunting culture as well. Plus, they have been making firearms since the mid-1700's, iirc. I would not hesitate to purchase a firearm made in Japan, and in fact, my Browning BSS is my trap gun, and it's solid as a rock.
    Last edited by Ben Lamb; 09-12-2017 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Ryan Zinke stole my negative qualifier.
    A lesson was learned to not mix together silver bullets and a forum site.
    Fowl_Minded

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lamb View Post
    The Japanese make some very good firearms. Browning uses Japanese manufacturer for their over/unders. The Miroku factory turns out splendid side by sides & O/U's. The Weatherby Orion is a Japanese gun. Japan does have a significant hunting culture as well. Plus, they have been making firearms since the mid-1700's, iirc. I would hesitate to purchase a firearm made in Japan, and in fact, my Browning BSS is my trap gun, and it's solid as a rock.

    My go-to grouse gun is a 20 gauge Browning Citori made at the Miroku factory that my dad bought at the Seoul Rod and Gun Club when he was stationed in South Korea. It's killed hundreds of birds.

    Much like its owner, it's sexy, and stout.
    "To all those who work come moments of beauty unseen by the rest of the world." - Norman Maclean

  12. #12

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    Tikka began with and has kept a good accuracy to price point reputation....doesn't hurt to have a limb in the Sako family tree either.

    I truly believe the Alpine would get much more attention in magnum chambering and adult sized barrel lengths...wink on the *adult sized.

    ...my .02

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1_pointer View Post
    I would have bought two from them by now, but the shelved their idea for LH rifles.
    Same here.
    Everything I need to know about this site I learned from Jose: "You are a fool to argue health insurance with Nemont, Resource management with Buzz, or spelling with Moosie.."
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  14. #14
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    I think Scheels carries Howa and that might be the last of the box stores that carries them. I have a miniaction in 223 that shoots great.

    My vintage Charles Daly is a Miroku over/under...beautiful Japanese shotgun

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by noharleyyet View Post
    Tikka began with and has kept a good accuracy to price point reputation....doesn't hurt to have a limb in the Sako family tree either.

    I truly believe the Alpine would get much more attention in magnum chambering and adult sized barrel lengths...wink on the *adult sized.

    ...my .02
    Yep. More barrel, and lose the Hogue stocks. mtmuley

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmuley View Post
    Yep. More barrel, and lose the Hogue stocks. mtmuley
    Those houge stocks are horrible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgeb View Post

    So it would seem they would be a great lightweight, mountain type, accurate rifle. Why don't they get more attention?
    The Alpines are the only Howa that could be considered a "lightweight, mountain type" rifle.

    The rest of the Howas I see are heavy and handle poorly.

    A pretty good chunk of the market is in the cheap and (relatively) light category right now. Think Ruger American as well as Remington and Winchester's current cheap copies. So the low end Howas have those to compete with. The Alpines are double the price.

    I'd like to get an Alpine sometime. As others have said though, there is an issue with distribution. I saw a few Alpines around when they first came out. I haven't seen one in a store for a while though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo and Ned
    Thin out their numbers

  18. #18
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    Dec 2013
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    Southern Indiana
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    Around here, odds are you're not going to walk into a gun shop and find a Howa. You have to already want one and order it in. Most guys like to handle a gun before making the commitment to purchase. Also, since they're not in the shops, I've talked to a lot of guys who have never even heard of Howa.

  19. #19

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    if howa would build a 24in barrel mtn rifle like the remington 700 mtn rifles, trimmer stock, longer barrel, the right contour doesnt need to be fluted, there allready purchasing a stock, why not purchase a stock that is trim , same money,,, i would buy a few of them ,,,, they dont have to charge double because they ligtened and shortened the barrel, like there alpine model,,,

  20. #20
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    Agree on the Hogue stocks...absolutely horrific clubs. Bell and Carlson would be a huge step up.

    Barrel length at 22" (max) for the 308 family is all you need...#1 or #2 contour for the win.
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

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  21. #21

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    I have a Vanguard in .270 Win. Its a great gun, and the Weatherby stock fits great and looks great too. Like the 24" barrel. Since Tikka has been brought up, why not go whole hog and get a Sako? GJ

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    I just weighed mine. I thought it was closer to 7.5 pounds, it's actually 8.8 pounds scoped. So I might have over-stepped the light weight. I can see for the guys packing in that you want to cut weight. The 24 inch barrel adds a little too.

    My Vanguard doesn't have the Hogue stock, but it's a "tupper-ware" stock none the less.

    I bought mine (Weatherby Vanguard) at Cabelas, I guess they were phasing the out for the VG2's. I think they were selling for $359 if I remember correctly. It was in that range anyhow. I couldn't pass it up. Had they guy at the counter start bringing out the .308's they had in-stock and looking at the test targets found one that looked like a 3 leaf clover and told the guy thats the one I want. I have been very happy with it.

  23. #23

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    If it wasn't for Randy I don't think I would have even heard of Howa rifles.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Hulburt View Post
    If it wasn't for Randy I don't think I would have even heard of Howa rifles.
    True....and HSi-ESi being a knowledgeable rep and valued contributor here.

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    Just bought my 1st Howa...after breaking in barrel and shooting several different bullets to see what it liked...I can say it won't be my last!!!

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