Howa 1500 Barreled action from PTG: .223 Trainer Setup/ DMB Tactical Feeding

HairyDemon

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Mar 10, 2013
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My friend and I were able to snag a pair of Howa 223 barreled actions from PTG for a song and I am going to build mine up into a 223 PRS style trainer. I have an AXMC as my proper rifle so hard to do a true mirror, and I want to keep cost down as well. I am aware of the 9twist, and for my use this will be fine, I don't need any opinions there.

I am curious about stock/chassis setups and how well this .223 action feed as a tactical AI mag repeater? I was looking into an MPA I am military and get a solid discount?
 
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308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
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    Mine feeds flawlessly out of a KRG 180-xray chassis with MDT plastic magazines. The only modification I had to perform was to grind the front edge of the bolt stop back about .180". The Howa's internal magazine box is only SAAMI length (a little over 2.26"), while the MDT mags allow a much longer cartridge length. The bolt stop would not let the bolt come back far enough to pick up a cartridge out of the MDT mag.

    Took about 10 minutes with a dremel, shop vise, and a file.
     

    Mordamer

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  • May 11, 2010
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    I dropped one of those barreled actions into a cheap hogue stock with PT&G bottom metal. It feeds great from AI .223 mags and the Ruger .223 AICS style mags just take a small modification to feed fine. They are awesome actions for the price. I also had to do the bolt stop modification mentioned above. It is obvious what needs to be done and takes about 30 seconds to remove the bolt stop and another 30 seconds to do the work with a bench grinder. Be careful not to lose the small spring under the bolt stop.
     

    solson

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    Apr 28, 2013
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    Have a Weatherby Vanguard S2, so a rebranded Howa, in a MPA chassis in 6.5 Creedmoor. No issues feeding or extracting that I have ran into, using 5 and 10 AI mags as well as the Magpul 5 and 10 round mags. This is the first one I have had built up but it is my 3rd Vanguard, love the action. Has a lot of features built in that people pay extra to have done to a 700, also the aftermarket is starting to pick up quite a bit for them.
     

    HairyDemon

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    I've had three over the last 15 years and two are still in the safe (both short actions). What would you like to know?

    I have heard alot of very good things and I am kinda naive to the action even though I have heard good things. Got a really good deal on the barreled action and I love a 223 supressed trainer, I had one before but I was dumb and made it in 223AI which was more overhead than needed and I got rid of it. I am pretty set on doing an MPA chassis, and I think it should work good from what I read on here it should be GTG just need some modifaction to the mags and then let it run. I am sure I can find something the 9 twist will like that will work out to around 600yds, that is the goal. Then run it ragged like I stole it.
     

    308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
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    I didn't have to modify the magazines I bought. See my explanation several posts up about the bolt stop modification needed for AICS-style magazines to work.

    The action itself seems to be very well machined though I have not set one up to indicate it (don't have the right jig). Some videos I've seen on youtube about them show very true machining. Completely flat bottom.

    The recoil lug is an integral part of the receiver, the front action screw threads into the bottom of it, and the front face of the lug is heavily tapered. This means that bedding a Howa in the area of the recoil lug is significantly different than a Remington or Remington clone. You must bed to the bottom of the recoil lug, you must not leave a gap between the bedding and the bottom of the lug (like you do with Remingtons) or you will give the receiver a place to flex to when you torque the front screw. The front edge taper means that you do not have to put tape on the front face of the recoil lug to prevent mechanical lock when the epoxy hardens. You can bed the Howa recoil lug 100% on every surface and the action will release just fine.

    The bolt is a one piece forging, your bolt handle will never pop off (unlike what can happen to Remingtons. The trigger is OK, I recommend replacing the factory trigger with a Timney.
     

    308pirate

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  • Apr 25, 2017
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    So do R700 scope bases fit the Howa actions? Just curious heard a rumor?
    The contour of the top of the front and rear bridges is the same as the Remington 700 and so is the screw hole spacing for each of the bases, but the distance between the front and read bridges is not.

    Which means that two-piece ring bases from a 700 fit, but one piece bases do not. Not a big deal, as there are plenty of one-piece bases for the 1500 for sale at Midway and Brownells if that's what you want.