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Howa Mini action caliber choice?


Sergeant of the Hide
Full Member
Mar 27, 2019
North Dakota
I have a Howa Mini w/ 223 bolt face I want to barrel up over the winter. I am liking the idea of a shorty but I'm open to ideas. It'll live it a MDT LSS. Any one here remarried a Mini? What did you do?
.223 Ackley?


.300 Ham’r for a deer hunting rig?

.204 varmint rig?

Lots of possibilities……
I'm thinking maybe a 17rem for ground squirrels but 20 practical sure looks easy.
If that’s the one where you just size .223 brass down to .20, I’d think that would work swimmingly for the purpose (though admittedly, while I’ve shot squirrels on the ground, I’ve never shot a “ground squirrel”)
Good .223 brass abounds……
Ground squirrels here in ND the Richardson ground squirrels can really take over areas. They are smaller than prairie dogs. More like a White Claw can or smaller. Mainly use use 17hm2 or 17wsm for longer shots but getting that wsm ammo has gotten pricey.
Were it me, I would probably turn the Howa mini into a 6mm Mongoose, MDWS has done the Mini Mauser 6 Mongoose conversion barrels in the past. Understand they make a very good small package that hits hard with light recoil. I have an AR-15 in a 18" 1-8 twist in the Mongoose. It uses LC military brass 223 cases shortened by .050 with shoulder and body blown out to give 31 grains of water capacity and to still fit 105s or 110s in the AR-15 mag and the 223 bolt face. The 80 grains will do 3k fps as will the 95s.
This s what the Mongoose looks like.


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That's interesting. Never heard of it. If I go wildcat it will involve me starting down the path of reloading. If that's the case I've thought about 20vartarg or 6x45 also. I may keep it simple and do a 6arc but I already have a nice 6.5 Grendel
I’m considering the 17 Fireballl as an option. I love my 221 Fireballs, very accurate and efficient.
The fireball fills the niche between 22 LR and 22-250 for me, but a sub caliber would be cool. I’ve also considered a 17 ARC/Grendel too
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The 20VT has been calling to me for a couple years. I like the idea of store bought ammo but I've been meaning to start reloading for a while. It just makes sense for some cartridges I have. I'm also a big fan of highly efficient cartridges
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6mm ARC, you have plenty of bullet choices from 58gn to 115gn. it is a very versatile round from range plinking and prairie dog, deer, hogs. It is also pretty cheap to reload, maybe a few pennies more than reloading .223, and has ballistics that out do .308 by a slight margin. stays subsonic out past 1200 yards with some of the secant olgive bullets in the 105 to 110gn. And you can get 3000+fps with the under 100gn bullets.
.350 Legend would be my pick for ground squirrels with a bad attitude…..