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HomeOutdoorWe Check the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber

We Check the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber

Howa Equipment of Japan has been making rifles for many years, and the Howa Mannequin 1500 H

S Carbon Fiber is among the newest of their hottest line: the Mannequin 1500. They manufactured Arisaka rifles within the early Forties and there’s an extended listing of manufactures that they’ve labored for since, together with Weatherby, Mossberg, and Smith & Wesson. Howa launched the mannequin 1500 in 1979, and it’s their very own area of interest within the rifle world. The Mannequin 1500 is understood for its accuracy and affordability; the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber is on the top-end of their spectrum of non-chassis rifles. It includes a carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel, and an HS Precision inventory with an integral bedding block.

The Howa Model 1500 HS Carbon Fiber
The end on the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber’s inventory offers and wonderful grip. The port-side barrel centering screw is seen beneath the receiver. Tyler Freel

My sentiment for the 1500 runs deep—again to my youth. I nonetheless keep in mind tagging alongside as my dad purchased one in .223 together with 100 rounds of ammunition loaded with 55-grain Hornady V-max bullets. It was to be our coyote rifle, and it put numerous fur on our stretchers. Later, I owned one other Howa 1500 for just a few years—a second-hand heavy-barreled .308 that was one of the crucial correct rifles I’ve ever owned. I want I’d by no means bought it.

In an age of futuristic-looking chassis weapons, the Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon has the look of a extra conventional precision rifle. It’s easy, good-looking, and I couldn’t wait to get it to the vary.

Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber Specs

  • Caliber: .308 Winchester
  • Capability: 5+1
  • Weight: 7 kilos, 8 ounces
  • Total size: 43 7/8 inches
  • Receiver: Metal, Mannequin 1500 receiver
  • Bolt: 2-lug, M16-style extractor
  • Barrel: 24 inches, 1/10-inch twist, carbon-wrapped, stainless-steel
  • Muzzle: Threaded, 5/8-inch x 24, stainless thread protector
  • Optics mounting: One-piece, Picatinny-style rail, 20 M.0.A.
  • Inventory: HS Precision, with aluminum, bedding block
  • Security: 3-position with bolt lock
  • Set off: HACT 2-stage, 2 kilos, 14 ounces (measured)

Anatomy of the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber


The center of the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber is its motion. It’s strikingly just like the Weatherby Vanguard motion, which is smart: the Vanguard was impressed by the Mannequin 1500, and continues to be manufactured by Howa. It’s a easy and dependable two-lug push-feed motion with a 90-degree bolt throw. It makes use of two heavy motion screws and has a notably thick tang to provide the rear motion screw loads of seize.

The bolt options a big M16-style extractor that’s positioned at 10 o’clock on the bolt face, and a push-button ejector positioned a bit over 60 levels clockwise from it. In contrast to Remington-style extractors that sit up inside a recessed bolt face, the Mannequin 1500’s extractor is externally seen and serviceable. The bolt additionally options three fuel stress vent holes. Within the case of a primer blowing or case failure, extra stress directed into the bolt is meant to bleed out via these holes. The Weatherby Vanguard options these holes as properly, however they’re positioned on the aspect of the bolt when closed: the Mannequin 1500’s vent holes level down towards the journal when the bolt is closed.

The two-stage HACT trigger on the Howa Model 1500
The HACT two-stage set off is easy and secured to the motion with a single Allen screw. Tyler Freel

The Howa Mannequin 1500 motion is easy and strong, and it includes a stress vent gap on the left aspect of the ahead portion of the receiver. The bolt is eliminated by urgent a button alongside the port aspect of the receiver, simply ahead of the tang. The three-position security lever locks the bolt when totally to the rear. The security operation is stiff, and the folded metallic tab security lever is okay, however may use some refinement.


As its nomenclature suggests, the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber options an HS Precision composite inventory. The inventory isn’t a single materials. As a substitute, it has has carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass, and aluminum elements. Its most important function is a one-piece full-action aluminum bedding block. The barrel is free-floated and the inventory options two barrel-centering set screws on both aspect of the recoil lug. These are used to heart the barrel within the barrel channel. If the barrel isn’t completely centered, the screws might be adjusted to maneuver it to the middle of the barrel channel, then tightened to carry it in place.

The inventory’s design is easy and comfy. It has a straight comb, snug grip, and a flared and flattened fore-end. It has two customary sling swivel studs on the fore-end, one on the butt, and might accommodate a bipod on the entrance. It’s clearly a drop-in inventory, so the match isn’t to the extent you’d count on from a customized rifle. It seems to be good, though there’s some further house in the back of the tang and across the set off guard and journal bottom-metal.

My pattern is the HS Precision Grey shade and is properly completed. It has a Bell and Carlson-looking spiderweb drip end of matte black on grey, and that coating doubles as a wonderful non-tacky grip texture.

Bedding block inside the HS Precision stock
The HS Precision inventory options an aluminum full-action bedding block. Tyler Freel


The Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber includes a carbon-wrapped stainless-steel barrel. The one I bought in .308 Win. is 24 inches lengthy and threaded in a 5/8×24 pitch for a muzzle brake or suppressor. The barrel is fairly stiff, and I didn’t discover an enormous point-of-impact shift when utilizing a suppressor—a drop of about 3 inches. I’ll usually see the P.O.I. drop considerably with sporter-weight looking rifle barrels because of the weight of the suppressor—typically as a lot as 8 or 10 inches. The barrel has a 1-in-10-inch twist charge and will be capable to deal with any bullet you’ll discover generally loaded in .308.

Set off

One factor I actually admire concerning the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber is that it has a two-stage set off. Maybe it’s from my years of capturing service rifle, however I’m a sucker for two-stage triggers. The HACT (which is brief for Howa Actuator Managed Set off) is a self-contained set off group that’s hooked up to the receiver by way of a single Allen screw and supported by nesting right into a notch within the backside of the receiver.

My pattern Mannequin 1500’s set off is superb total. It has a clean take-up via the primary stage, and a really tactile cease on the second stage. The HACT has a really clear and crisp break via that second stage. Mine breaks over at 2 kilos, 14 ounces, which is an efficient weight—not too heavy and never too gentle.

Howa M1500 bolt face
The Mannequin 1500 options an M16-style extractor and push-button ejector Tyler Freel

Dealing with and Taking pictures the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber

For testing, I fitted the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber with a Nightforce NX8 2.5-20×50 scope, and a Magpul MOE bipod. The rifle may be very snug to deal with, and the widened fore-end aids with capturing off luggage, barricades, and different helps—even with the bipod put in. It’s a peach to shoot, and the inventory design and recoil pad make lengthy days on the vary a nice affair. I used to be concurrently testing 4 funds looking rifles in .308, and the Mannequin 1500 was considerably extra interesting to shoot than any of these.

Really feel and Operate

The motion of the Mannequin 1500 is clean, and it has a lightweight bolt raise. It has a 90-degree bolt throw and standard-sized bolt deal with. The rifle single-loads okay, however cartridges will typically dangle up when chambering when you simply drop them into the receiver. It really works higher to snap single rounds into the journal. Some rifles have magazines that may line up and feed single unfastened cartridges, however not this one. You’ll seemingly run into issues when you’re making an attempt to drop single rounds into the Mannequin 1500 receiver in a rush.

Straight Comb on the Howa Model 1500 HS Carbon Fiber stock
The straight comb on the HS Precision inventory is glossy and appears good, however isn’t nice for taller-mounted optics. Tyler Freel

The inventory is a extra conventional, sporter-style design. I actually just like the clear strains and streamlined look of the straight comb, nevertheless it’s fairly low. Contemplating the peak of the 20 M.O.A. rail, and the way far a scope with a 30mm or 34mm tube might want to sit above the bore, an adjustable or raised comb would make a greater cheek weld and constant head place potential.

This Mannequin 1500 functioned flawlessly and ejected spent circumstances with authority. I famous that the ejector flipped circumstances round onerous sufficient to mark up the rear portion of the receiver—not an unusual situation. When you’re afraid of the “new” getting nicked off your rifle you may take situation with it, nevertheless it’s not a degree of competition for me. I admire the complete five-round journal capability—many .308s will solely maintain 4.

Action of the Howa M1500
The Mannequin 1500 doesn’t feed unfastened rounds simply, nevertheless it ejects circumstances with authority—typically hitting the rear of the receiver. Tyler Freel


I had excessive expectations for the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber’s accuracy. My previous, well-used .308 Mannequin 1500 was exceptionally correct—and it wasn’t even bedded. I used to be a bit underwhelmed by the accuracy of this rifle. I attempted every thing I may consider to make sure that person error wasn’t at fault. To be thorough, I recorded 25 5-shot teams at 100 yards via the Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon with 11 totally different .308 hundreds. For an accuracy combination, I averaged my finest 10 recorded teams.

Common of Greatest 10 Recorded 5-Shot Teams at 100 Yards: 1.428”

The Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon shot Barnes Vor-Tx 168-grain TTSX, Hornady 168-grain ELDM, and Federal Premium 185-grain Berger Gold Medal OTM hundreds with related accuracy—at a 1.684-inch common. Essentially the most correct ammunition that I examined on this rifle was the Norma 168-grain Golden Goal load—which averaged 1.314 inches.

Learn Subsequent: My Rifle is Higher Than Yours—and All the time Will Be

The rifle had some erratic teams within the combine with most hundreds, and through testing I checked and re-checked the scope base and rings. I additionally checked and re-torqued the motion screws and tried to fine-tune the barrel-centering set screws. I cleaned the rifle roughly each 25 to 50 rounds.

Barrel-centering screws on the Howa M1500 HS Carbon
Set screws on both aspect of the recoil lug are used to heart the barrel within the barrel channel on the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber. Tyler Freel

The place the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber Excels

The Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber is a great-looking and well-balanced rifle. The look and end of the inventory are good, and the carbon-wrapped barrel is a pleasant addition. It’s very snug and steady to shoot, and I actually like the complete bedding block. The 2-stage set off is great for a inventory manufacturing set off. It’s distinctive in a subject that’s primarily populated with single-stage triggers.

The place the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber Falls Brief

Total accuracy is the largest shortcoming of the rifle I examined. Though it’s completely ample for nearly anyone’s looking wants, I anticipated higher—particularly at its worth. It has all the precise elements, however on this case, they don’t add up fairly in addition to they need to.

Remaining Ideas on the Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber

The Howa Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon Fiber is a properly executed high-end Mannequin 1500. It’s a rifle that’s paying homage to the times earlier than chassis rifles, when bedded sporter-style shares had been king. Chassis rifles have their advantages, however there’s nothing like the texture of a extra conventional inventory. The Mannequin 1500 HS Carbon has a terrific really feel, good elements, and options, and is a sweetheart to shoot suppressed. I anticipated higher accuracy with manufacturing unit ammo from mine, nevertheless it may seemingly be improved with handloading.

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