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Thread: Howa 1500 Mini Action in 7.62x39 at the range

  1. #1
    CGN Regular mossler's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Howa 1500 Mini Action in 7.62x39 at the range

    Time spent on the range trying the Howa 1500 Mini in 7.62x39.



    Dec 11 was a cool day, with the temperature hovering around just below 0, with a cold wind and mostly overcast. The shooting began at 13:00 and when all said and done, the sun was setting.

    My particular rifle is the 20" #1 contour in black Hogue stock. This is essentially the "pencil barrel".



    It weighs 91.160 ounces without scope.

    The rifle was a combo setup, price included a set of Leopold Rifleman base and a Nikko Stirling scope with rings. Although I used the Remington style base, I mounted my Primary Arms 1-6x24 SFP scope with ACSS 7.62x39 reticle and some slightly too high Medium UTG scope rings.



    Scope wheighs 16.9 ounces and the rings add another 6.18.



    Before final setup, I weighed everything and checked the stock for free floating. There was a small plastic burr that I cleaned up, but otherwise, the Hogue style setup is pretty well done.









    For this outing, I wanted to follow the official break-in procedure and also test some milsurp ammo.

    The slow break in process was done at 25 yards using PRVI Partizan 7.62x39 123gr SP, which somewhat appropriately resemble old school 30-30 rounds with their round nose lead tips. For the first target, each shot was followed with cleaning and cooldown. This felt like slow going, but I was curious about the barrel and copper traces. I'm happy to report, nothing out of the ordinary.

    The milsurp represented was from both Chi and Rus at 50 yards.





    The target below is #2, shot at 25 yards. At this point, the rifle wasn't sighted in and I used target 1 below #2 as a catcher in case I was low. The capital letters is where I aimed, the lower case where those bullets landed.



    I made some adjustments on the horizontal, but did not make large changes on the vertical until 50 yards. I also gave the barrel time to cool between all the shots.

    The very first shot seemed to be a flyer, above right to the letter "a".

    All the shots were with PPU at 25 yards on this target.
    Target #2
    A = 4 rounds
    B = 3 rounds
    C = 12 clicks right, 3 rounds
    D = 4 clicks right, 3 rounds
    E = 2 clicks right, 3 rounds


    Move to 50 yards for targets 4 and 5.

    #4 was above #5. The first round, a PPU cartridge, is seen on target #5, even though aimed for center on #4. Correction was made one in elevation and left alone.



    Target #4
    A = PPU, 3 rounds
    B = PPU, 3 rounds
    C = RUS, 5 rounds
    D = CHI, 5 rounds



    Target #5
    A = RUS, 5 rounds
    B = CHI, 5 rounds
    C = RUS, 5 rounds
    D = CHI, 5 rounds
    E = PPU, 5 rounds

    Conclusions

    1) Pencil barrels should be kept to 3 shot groups. The heat was good to heat up my cold fingers.
    2) The Howa trigger is fine, much better then I expected.
    3) On a 5 round magazine load, the first cartridge can be finicky if the bolt isn't fully back for the load.
    4) The Hogue stock is very comfortable.
    5) Recoil is minimal, but due to the super light weight, there is a snap.
    6) PPU ammo looks to be a great whitetail hunting round.
    7) I have to go back to the range for 100 and 200 yard shooting.
    8) 7.62x39 might just be the best way to practice snap shot, follow-up shot as it costs peanuts and is accurate enough for "whitetail moa".

    I really like this rifle.

    The scope is mixed bags in this setup, so I will switch to a Leopold 1-4x20 with Talley bases, kinda like cableguy.

    Thanks Prophet River for carrying this.!

  2. #2
    CGN Regular wolf300H&H's Avatar
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    Son of a .....

    And now I'll read more than title

  3. #3
    CGN Regular spoc's Avatar
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    Good review, thanks for posting it.

  4. #4
    CGN Regular wolf300H&H's Avatar
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    Son of a .....

    And now I'll read more than title

    Cool write up. Thanks for posting. Been thinking of getting one myself. Ya I agree about the pencil barrel / 3 shots too .... My kimber 308 ( it's my tiny carbine so idk if I need another )I do that with. I assume your gonna handload ? Good to hear about the trigger and stock. Question. How much was she ? I was initially thinking of that calibre too .... But now my mind is wandering to 6.5 Grendel or 22 hornet ( cz carbine I think )

  5. #5
    CGN Regular mossler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolf300H&H View Post
    Son of a .....

    And now I'll read more than title

    Cool write up. Thanks for posting. Been thinking of getting one myself. Ya I agree about the pencil barrel / 3 shots too .... My kimber 308 ( it's my tiny carbine so idk if I need another )I do that with. I assume your gonna handload ? Good to hear about the trigger and stock. Question. How much was she ? I was initially thinking of that calibre too .... But now my mind is wandering to 6.5 Grendel or 22 hornet ( cz carbine I think )
    Prophet River's sale is what had me pull the trigger, in a manner of speaking. ~800$ shipping and tax in. I did buy 100 Lapua cases and my other pre-x-mas purchases have me ready for plenty of reloading.

    My original plan was to get a barreled action only, preferably the heavy barrel 20" model. Then place it in the newly released MDT chassis for the Howa 1500 Mini Action.

    Sadly, the platform is in not in great circulation up north, unlike the US where Brownells has everything seemingly in stock.

    The MDT LSS is ordered, but has not shipped yet. Once Warne picatinny bases are available, I think I'll have my defacto practice rifle ready.

    This may even upset my Ruger Frontier, my normal go-to rifle. The Ruger's 16.5" barrel is a little boomy ... not an issue hunting, but at the range it gets rather annoying.

  6. #6
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Mumbles Marble Mouth's Avatar
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    Throw those UTG rings in the garbage and get a set of Leupold PRW.

  7. #7
    CGN Regular mossler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumbles Marble Mouth View Post
    Throw those UTG rings in the garbage and get a set of Leupold PRW.
    Glad you found something interesting in the posting. I will be replacing the entire scope setup, so yes, the spare UTG will go back into the drawer.

  8. #8
    CGN Regular trigger'06's Avatar
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    Nice review, did you happen to weigh the stock or the barreled action. I will have a Mini coming soon and am really interested in the stock weight.
    I have an LSS on my MVP Patrol 223 and I am doing some thinking.
    He can't shoot like that with a stock Savage and a Bushnell scope

  9. #9
    CGN Regular mossler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger'06 View Post
    Nice review, did you happen to weigh the stock or the barreled action. I will have a Mini coming soon and am really interested in the stock weight.
    I have an LSS on my MVP Patrol 223 and I am doing some thinking.
    Unfortunately, I missed the step of weighing the action or stock. I got preoccupied about the space for the picture and removed the scale from being in the way and promptly forgot the reason it was there. I will followup shortly, as the MDT LSS stock is now in transit. Likely have details first days of Jan, since I'm off to visit family during the holidays.

  10. #10
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer hakx's Avatar
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    Some reloading time would tighten those groups right up. Thanks for sharing.
    Take an hour a day to learn something new and always strive to be the person your dog thinks you are.

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