Modify what I have, or sell and buy something else?

HoLeChit

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You already have 2 Howas, why not just get a Howa Mini-action ?

I've got one in 223. Much lighter than some others, designed as a walk around hunting rifle. 20" threaded barrel.

It comes pretty close to fitting the bill, but I’ve heard about issues with the mags? Also the fact that they’re proprietary and seem hard to find is a big downside.
 

swampratt

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Do you have any short barrel bolt guns?
I can shoulder a bolt gun and get on target faster than an AR 15.
Scope height being higher on the AR messes with me and I can't shoot it as accurate as a bolt gun 200 yards and farther.
Not talking bench resting the rifle here.

I have cut many barrels and would never pay to have it done.
Crowning is just as easy.

If it is a good shooter at 24" it will be a great shooter at 18".
A friend told me if I do not shoot past 800 yards the 24" vs 18" .308 barrel does not make a hoot of difference.
Long accurate barrels are needed for those 1000 yard matches.

I do not do matches so a non issue.
Once you cut your first barrel yourself you will want to cut them all.

You can buck up and buy a crowning tool but there are other ways to crown that do not require spending a lot on a tool for a specific job.

This is a good read on one .308 with different lengths of barrels and the accuracy and velocity.

I know you are dealing with .223.
 

HoLeChit

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Do you have any short barrel bolt guns?
I can shoulder a bolt gun and get on target faster than an AR 15.
Scope height being higher on the AR messes with me and I can't shoot it as accurate as a bolt gun 200 yards and farther.
Not talking bench resting the rifle here.

I have cut many barrels and would never pay to have it done.
Crowning is just as easy.

If it is a good shooter at 24" it will be a great shooter at 18".
A friend told me if I do not shoot past 800 yards the 24" vs 18" .308 barrel does not make a hoot of difference.
Long accurate barrels are needed for those 1000 yard matches.

I do not do matches so a non issue.
Once you cut your first barrel yourself you will want to cut them all.

You can buck up and buy a crowning tool but there are other ways to crown that do not require spending a lot on a tool for a specific job.

This is a good read on one .308 with different lengths of barrels and the accuracy and velocity.

I know you are dealing with .223.
I definitely agree on the scope height/ergonomics sentiment. I have a 16” Ruger bolt gun chambered in x39, I absolutely love the thing, in spite of its shortcomings.

so I did some math, not my strong suit. From what I have read between 20-24” most rifles chambered in 223 do not benefit from the extra length, compared to a 20”. Cutting it down an extra 3.5” to 16.5” is only going to net me a loss of a little over 100fps from a 20”, 200 something FPS from a 24” barrel. I have no issues losing a couple FPS, considering 99.999% of my shots will be under 300 yards, most will likely be under 200. But, according to PacNor’s barrel weight calculator, cutting for my 24” barrel to a 16.5 I’ll only be losing a pound. If I cut my scope weight in half, there’s another .8lbs, and if I skeletonize my 2.5lb B&C stock I MIGHT lose another pound off the total weight. I’ll have an easier to transport package due to a smaller size, but I’m only losing 2.8lbs, which still puts me at a 10+ lb rifle unloaded.
 

Dumpstick

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It comes pretty close to fitting the bill, but I’ve heard about issues with the mags? Also the fact that they’re proprietary and seem hard to find is a big downside.
When I ordered my Mini-Action I ordered 2 extra mags with it. They are indeed proprietary, which is a consideration.
I have 3 - 10 round mags now. I see no need for more.


BTW, I have a couple extra 10-round mags for that Howa 223 Short Action. I can't use them. Wanna trade something ?
 

swampratt

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I cut my .880" diameter .308 barrel from 24" to 20.5" and not a lot of weight removed but I will say it swung and handled like I took 5 lbs off of the end of it.
My 18" .308 is even better.
Balance may go farther than the actual weight reduction.
I can't confirm I only know it handled much better.
 

HoLeChit

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When I ordered my Mini-Action I ordered 2 extra mags with it. They are indeed proprietary, which is a consideration.
I have 3 - 10 round mags now. I see no need for more.


BTW, I have a couple extra 10-round mags for that Howa 223 Short Action. I can't use them. Wanna trade something ?
I don’t have much use for them, I have the OE hinged bottom metal. I like it, keeps me from having to deal with losing a mag while out and about, so I dont see the need to change it.
I cut my .880" diameter .308 barrel from 24" to 20.5" and not a lot of weight removed but I will say it swung and handled like I took 5 lbs off of the end of it.
My 18" .308 is even better.
Balance may go farther than the actual weight reduction.
I can't confirm I only know it handled much better.
I’m using a tripod on my predator hunting stands, so handling/balance isnt a huge factor. Cutting 6lbs off my pack weight is my primary concern. Having something shorter and easier to strap onto my pack and use from cramped shooting positions would be nice though, as is not having to weasel a 45” monster into my truck every time I make it back. Yesterday I almost fell down a hill because my rifle got hung up on a tree over my head as I was walking up hill.
 

retrieverman

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Yeah, @retrieverman got me on the blaser train, and I’m hooked on the multi barrel option. But the cost though….

Im heavily pondering just using an AR for a while, selling my Howa, and saving up for the Christensen/talking with a Smith about the cost of building something similar. Many would just use the AR, but man, I just can’t get behind using one as a hunting rifle. After dragging one around in the Marines I understand it’s a great rifle, and plenty useful, but it’s just lost it’s appeal to me. I really prefer bolt or lever guns for hunting.
You wouldn’t regret going the Blaser route. Buy once cry once. :anyone:
 

HoLeChit

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Thoughts on a switch barrel build?

One stock, one optic, multiple calibers. So switch barrel it is. But I don’t have a sky high budget like many do for custom switch barrel rifles. I also am having a hard time bringing myself to purchase a custom action. So here’s my thought: buy a Remington 700sps tactical in 308, buy the West Texas Ordinance switch lug system, and get the factory barrel machined to match up, as well as a lighter profile 223 barrel with matching bolt for song dogs. As time goes on and I find more funds, I buy a timney trigger, new stock with pillars and bedding, etc.

The end hope is that I can build myself the perfect setup over time, and any time I want a new caliber, I just purchase a new barrel/bolt face. High buy in costs, but hopefully saving a little cash in the long run when we look at buying new optics, accessories, stocks, etc for new platforms.
 

Cold Smoke

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Here’s my dumb question at the end of the conversation? Does it really really need to be a .223? For the shooting you have described a .204 is absolutely the bomb. Admittedly I haven’t shot anything with mine past about 325-350, but every yote I’ve popped has hit the ground stiff as a sheet of plywood. Using Hornady and HSM factory rolled BBs it shoots every bit like your Howa. When I first took it out to zero it I had five three round clover leaves inside of an inch square on the target. That was shooting off a rolled up coat across the hood of my truck. Mine is a wood stocked CZ 527 American with the set trigger and is bone stock. It’s one of a few rifles I own that makes me look like I can shoot. Only thing it doesn’t have that is on your list is a threaded barrel but that is probably the least expensive mod to do to a rifle.
 

HoLeChit

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Here’s my dumb question at the end of the conversation? Does it really really need to be a .223? For the shooting you have described a .204 is absolutely the bomb. Admittedly I haven’t shot anything with mine past about 325-350, but every yote I’ve popped has hit the ground stiff as a sheet of plywood. Using Hornady and HSM factory rolled BBs it shoots every bit like your Howa. When I first took it out to zero it I had five three round clover leaves inside of an inch square on the target. That was shooting off a rolled up coat across the hood of my truck. Mine is a wood stocked CZ 527 American with the set trigger and is bone stock. It’s one of a few rifles I own that makes me look like I can shoot. Only thing it doesn’t have that is on your list is a threaded barrel but that is probably the least expensive mod to do to a rifle.
I like the idea of sticking with the 223 due to ammo and component availability/my already established stockpile of ammo and components, my established familiarity with the round, the fact that I’m already set up to reload it, the fact that I have a few other firearms that use the round, and it’s flexibility. With careful selection of bullets, it doesn’t do much fur damage, but it can be “enough bullet” to take the occasional pig I see while I’m out. In my mind, the 223 REM is the middle of the road choice when picking from 204 Ruger, 22-250, and 220 swift.
 

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