Recently I was lucky to have the opportunity to shoot a brand new Howa Gamepro in 6.5 Creedmor, right out of the box.
From Howa’s website:
.223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, .308 Win, .25-06 Rem, .270 Win, .30-06 SPRG, 7mm Rem Mag, .300 Win Mag
22″ & 24″ Standard Barrel
Nikko Stirling Gamepro 3.5-10×44 Scope
Available in short action, long action and magnum calibers.
Howa 1500 barreled action
20”, 22” & 24” standard, magnum & heavy barrel options
Blued barrel & action
One-piece base & rings
Hogue® pillar-bedded Overmolded™ stock & recoil pad
Forged, one-piece bolt w/ two locking lugs
Two-stage HACT trigger
Sling swivel studs
Out of the box, the fit and finish on this rifle were adequate – about what you might expect for a rifle in this price range. The rifle shoulders nicely, although I found it to be slightly heavy on the fore stock. The Hogue stocks are nice – rugged, well-designed and able to get knocked around a bit due to that unique rubbery material. This rifle comes equipped with a threaded barrel – a nice feature as many people are adding suppressors or muzzle brakes these days. This model was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor which, believe it or not, I hadn’t fired before. What a nice round – I can see why it is so popular.
The trigger travel was a bit long for me but definitely shootable – it was by no means sloppy or distracting. The rifle comes with a Nikko Stirling Gamepro Scope Package (3.5-10 x 44) which was quite clear, easy to use, and had a nice reticle.
Out of the box, with little effort, this rifle easily shot MOA. I am sure with some practice and fiddling and tweaking; or maybe some handloads, this is a 1/2 MOA gun as advertised. The gun performed well on the bench, using Match ammo from Hornady. The stock is great, easy to align and grip. Recoil was negligible. The bolt wasn’t precision fit by any stretch but again – adequate for the price point. The rifle fed nicely, the bolt locked solidly, and no malfunctions.
Shopping around online, this rifle and scope package retails for around $500. Based on the look and performance of this rifle, that is a super value for the price point. This would be a great basic rifle package for a new hunter, but an experienced shooter would appreciate it as well. If you’re looking for a solid, reliable rifle with some nice features, ready to shoot MOA out of the box, you should seriously consider the Howa Gamepro.