The Howa 1500 Hogue Rifle is a Japanese bolt-action rifle that somehow manages to combine superb quality manufacturing and precision in an affordable rifle.
The Howa 1500 Hogue Rifle has numerous calibers in 22” long lightweight, 22” standard and 24” heavy barrels. 22” lightweight barrels are available for .243 Winchester, 6.5 mm Creedmoor and .308 Winchester. 22” standard barrels cover .22-250 REM, .243 Winchester, 6.5 mm Creedmoor, .30-06, 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag. Finally, the 24” barrels are used for .22-250 Rem, .308 Win, .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win and .300 Win Mag.
The 22” barrel length guns are 42.25” long and weigh 7.8 pounds while the 24” barrel guns are 44.75” long and weigh 8.0 pounds.
The Howa 1500 bolt-action rifles have a three-position safety and a red-dot safety indicator, both near the base of the bolt arm. The bolt is a two-lug design made of forged steel with an integrated bolt arm. The receiver is also forged steel and the various barrel choices are hammer forged.
Some Howa 1500 Hogue Rifles may include the optional Nikko Stirling Diamond Illuminated Long Range 30 mm 4-16×50 aluminum scope. This device mounts on an EGW 20 MOA elevated scope base that bridges the ejector area. The scope is nitrogen-filled to prevent fogging. It’s also waterproof, shockproof, 14.5” long and weighs a pound.
The rifle has two color choices for the Hogue overmolded stock: matte black or matte gray. Both are all black for everything else such as the receiver, barrel, trigger, buttpad, etc. The overmolding is soft to the touch and provides a very nice grip surface. The gun has swivel studs at front and back, and it also has a ventral magazine just aft of the trigger.
The gun’s two-stage curved Howa Activated Controlled Trigger. This HACT trigger has crisp, clean, breaks.
The hinged floorplate in front of the trigger guard makes accessing unfired cartridges easy. At back the gun has a thick, but gently curved, recoil pad to mitigate felt recoil.
All this sophistication combines to give the gun its sub-MOA rating, meaning that given factory or premium ammunition, it can shoot a group of three rounds within an inch at up to 100 yards.
This fine firearm is made in Howa’s modern factory in Japan and imported by Howa USA, based in Reno, Nevada. It’s an importer of guns and a subdivision of Legacy Sports International. Howa USA imports its guns from Howa Machinery, Ltd. in Japan, a firm established as Showa Heavy Industries, Ltd., in the late 1930s as a defense contractor to make aircraft parts, rifles and more. In 1941, it merged with Toyoda Loom Works, Ltd., and the name was amended to Howa Heavy Industries, Ltd.
During World War II, the company made the Arisaka rifle, aircraft components, artillery and machineguns. Post-war, it made a variety of weapons for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and entered the US market in the 1950s where it has sold firearms ever since.