[SHOT 2016 Range Day] Howa MINI ACTION series

At the SHOT 2016 Media day Howa premiered their new Mini Action series of rifles in 6.5 Grendel. The Mini Action series features an action that is 12% shorter than a 6.9″ action. These rifles are incredibly lightweight and very compact. The two models I got to shoot; a heavy barrel Multicam model, as well as a thin barreled OD green model, were very accurate. Howa will be introducing a 7.62×39 model later this year.


Howa Mini Action rifle. This rifle was chambered in 6.5 Grendel. It was very accurate and I had no problems hitting steel at 300 yards. There was very little recoil. The trigger was crisp and broke clean.


Getting it done at 300 yards.


Howa Mini Action model with small profile barrel. Note the Hogue OverMolded stock.

These rifles are part of the Howa 1500 series. They come with 20 and 22 inch barrels. They feed from a 10 round detachable magazine and feature Howa’s two stage H.A.C.T trigger. These rifles include a 3-9 scope.

The Howa Mini Action rifle would be perfect for varmint hunting, “plinker” for a recoil sensitive shooter or as a long range training rifle. I like to practice the fundamentals of precision marksmanship with both a .17 HMR and a .223/5.56 rifle. I have around 500 rounds of 7.62×39 in my safe. I will probably add the 7.62×39 version of this rifle to my collection when it hits the market. The Howa representatives were extremely nice on Range Day. Thank you for the opportunity to shoot your rifle.

Howa is at Legacy Sports International. Booth’s 3036 and 3035.




Thomas Gomez

Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at LOADTHATBIPOD@gmail.com


  • Anon

    Only 500?

  • Tierlieb

    Finally an alternative to the CZ 527 in 7.62×39.
    As usual at SHOT, the incremental improvements are more interesting than the innovations.

  • HenryV

    I wonder if any in 7.62×39 will arrive here in the UK?

  • iksnilol

    10 round mag bolt action in 7.62×39.

    Waited… very long for this.

    How much are the mags?

    • notalima

      Heh. Seriously.

      I have a CZ527 Carbine in 7.62×39 and will still probably pick one up.

      • Paul White

        I want 2 in .223 for the kids and one in 7.62×39 for me (I have a nice bolt action 223 already)

      • StickShift

        A CZ 527 is my next centerfire purchase. One of these might be the one after that.

  • Paul White

    if it’s as affordable as Howa usually is…I may be a bad bad boy and buy one 😀

  • Todd

    Are you sure that is the picture of a multi cam mini action? 1. It’s got a one piece base on it that I don’t believe exists yet for the mini action. 2. The barrel is cerakoted which doesn’t appear to be an option on the mini actions. 3. The barrel looks longer than 20″ which is the length of a heavy barrel on the mini action.

    • Dave

      Looking at Legacy Sports’ catalogue it seems you’re right, the multicam/cerakote rifle is a regular Howa 1500 in this new variant/colour scheme/calibre, the other rifle shown in this article is the mini-action.

  • Adam D.

    Yay for the 7.62x39mm version!
    For those following Legacy Sports on Facebook,
    this wasn’t entirely new, but still it’s great news!

    These Howa/Vanguard rifles are really nice guns!
    I’ve handled a grey synthetic stock version from Weatherby with a light profile barrel a few weeks ago in a shop, it was a very light, comfortable, good quality firearm.

    It would be even better if they used AR or AI standard mags, but I’ve read some good things about the Legacy magazines too.

    • Dave

      I’m entirely unable to find their facebook and their media/press page for their website seems broken.

      • Adam D.

        Legacy Sport’s FB page worked for me just a few days ago or so.
        I never had trouble with their page, try checking back later, Dave!

  • John Daniels

    So, when are they making a version that takes AK magazines?

  • Griz

    Howa missed the .300 blackout bolt boat. Savage had said no, Howa was too slow. The Ruger RAR was a short 3 hour trip to Cabelas away, after calling every gun store in 150 miles.