Howa M1500 now with fluted barrels

In my opinion the Howa M1500 is one of the most underrated bolt action rifles on the market. The action is a Japanese copy of an old Sako action and it shoots well. Legacy Sports International, the Howa importer, claim MOA or better accuracy for the Howa Ranchland Combo Package (pictured below). Weatherby use the M1500 action for their Vanguard line and S&W used it for their Model 1500 line.

Howa/Hogue Ranchland Compact Rifles (rifle, houge stock, color matched scope, rings + one-piece base): $625

They have now added the option of getting a fluted barrel.

The Howa Fluted barrels will be available in six popular calibers: .270 Win. and 30-06 Spfd. in standard blued barrel, .300 Win. Mag. and 7mm Rem. Mag. in blued magnum barrel and .223 Rem. and .308 Win. in heavy barrel. These Fluted Barreled actions are being pared with the ever-popular Hogue Overmolded™ Stock, as well as the new Talon thumbhole stock from BLACKHAWK! Industries. Pricing is set at between $599.00 to $865.00 MSRP.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • What does a fluted barrel do exactly?

    • Ermac, greater surface area dissipates heat better. A fluted barrel is stiffer than a non-fluted barrel of the same weight and therefor more accurate (note: of the same weight)

  • Vin

    Howas are great rifles. I have a Varminter Supreme in .308 and she routinely shoots .5-.75 moa. I know rifles that shoot much better, but not for the price you can get the Howa for. Now if only they would get rid of those awful Nikko Sterling scopes….. :}

  • Ermac, the flutes also remove material from the barrel which helps to reduce the weight.

    I know several predator hunters who use, and love, a Howa as their primary predator hunting rifle. It seems to me they all say the same thing about their rifles… they all love them.

  • I’ll second the accuracy of the 1500s – I’ve got 1 Howa-branded and one Weatherby-Branded and both are sub-MOA.

  • snmp

    For Howa you could have AICS clone stock in germany with the Roedale Chassis System ( )

    HOWA in japan is former producer of Armalite AR18 & produce the Japanese Type 89 Rifle

    • snmp, they also manufacture the Carl Gustuv reconciles rifle for the Japaneses military.

  • Brian

    I never knew Howa made firearms, only machinery; this looks like a very interesting and comparable alternative to other bolt-guns. Anyone have first-hand experience with it or know anyone with experience? Very curious about this.

  • dt

    Less metal in the barrel makes it stiffer? I too have always heard that fluting makes a barrel stiffer until recently. Lighter? yes, stiffer? not sure. Any metallurgical engineers out there?

  • dt: Given equal outer diameters, the fluted barrel will be less rigid but lighter than its unfluted counterpart. However, for barrels of equal weight, the fluted barrel is thicker and thus more rigid than its smaller diameter, unfluted counterpart.

    A similar concept plays out in benchrest rifles. Many of the competition categories have strict weight limits. For a given weight, you can either have a short fat barrel or a long skinny barrel. Obviously, the fatter barrels are more rigid.

  • Obummer

    ..I have heard from several metal engineers that flutes only stiffen metal on a flat plane. Since barrels are usually cylindrical this is usually not the case. Fluting only dissipates heat and reduces weight.

    This is a good article.

  • me

    regarding fluting

    Metallurgy doesn’t factor in to it.

    Take a 1 m cylinder of x mass. It has a given width (girth).

    Now gouge out flutes and redistribute that material to the rest of the cylinder. The same mass, same length, now wider in the non fluted areas.

    wider barrel is stiffer.

    Instead of thinking of it as a normal barrel with chunks cut out, think of it as a heavy barrel with excess material cut out until it weighed the same as a normal barrel.

    Or even a very thin barrel with Buttresses along the outside to support it.
    Non fluted parts are the buttresses.

  • Yogsothoth

    Hey dt,

    I actually am a metallurgical engineer. In answer to your question: yes, a fluted barrel is stiffer than a regular one. Any piece of metal (or pretty much any malleable material) that is bent is stiffer than a perfectly smooth piece of similar dimensions.

    Go and look at the hood of your car. Is it perfectly smooth? No, unless it’s very small. If it wasn’t bent, it would easily bend out of shape with the slightest pressure.

    Now, the steel used to make a rifle barrel has (or should) such a high carbon content that fluting only makes it very slightly stiffer. It’s the tolerances that the barrel is made to and the quality of the metal it’s made of that really matter.

  • bwaites

    Howa makes a fine rifle. Probably significantly more rifle for your money than most.

    The only disadvantage is the limited number of aftermarket triggers.

    I have mine outfitted for F Class, with a Hart barrel, but not real action work apart from a Timney trigger, shooting 7mm WSM, and it shoots better than I do. I have 200 yard targets that are 5 shots in .5 inches, and it does that regularly.

    I’m considering the heavy barrel .308.

    • gary

      I have the 308 heavy barreled Howa and I put it in a Bell and Carlson medalist stock with my hand loads one half moa all day long great rifle next is the 22-250 heavy barrel

  • David

    I’d like to get my barrel fluted.

  • dt

    Just want to say thanks to all. You are all invited to come shoot anytime.

  • Michael

    I’m convinced that it doesn’t have to cost several thousand or more to deliver tight MOAs. I have a much scrutinized Rem. 710 in 7mm rem. mag. that delivers 5 hand loaded rounds touching each other consistently at 200 yds. . If I were better at the bench rest I would bet this rifle would produce single hole groups!

  • Tom

    The Howa`s are much better quality then Remington 700`s..