A new addition to the Howa 1500 family, the Howa H-S Precision Carbon Fiber was on the floor of the 2020 SHOT Show. The H-S Precision Carbon Fiber is an extension of the Howa H-S Precision product family, which beds a Howa 1500 action to an HS Precision stock.
The original edition put a barreled action in H-S Precision’s stock, but the Carbon Fiber model adds a carbon fiber (duh) barrel with a threaded end cap. Carbon fiber barrels are larger, similar to benchrest rifle barrels in size, but add significantly less weight than a competition barrel.
Carbon fiber barrels are increasingly in vogue, given their inherent weight reduction as well as stellar accuracy. They’ve become something of a trend in hunting rifles and elsewhere, so expect to see a lot more of them in coming years.
If you want a serious performance rifle for hunting or for competitions the rifle is eligible to take part in, it’s a solid platform for either.
The H-S Precision stock is a Kevlar/fiberglass/carbon fiber laminate, laid over an aluminum bedding block, giving the stock serious rigidity but without making it overly heavy. This helps in the quest to push the envelope in how sub-MOA your sub-MOA groups can get.
At the time of this writing, the Howa HS Precision Carbon Fiber is only offered 6.5 Creedmoor. Since the 6.5 CM is the long-range hunting round du jour, this rifle will make reaching out and touching a critter quite easy so long the hunter does their job as a marksman in the search for tasty meat treats from the backcountry.
While the synthetic stock and carbon fiber barrel don’t make this an ultra-light rifle – unloaded weight, without scope, is a respectable 7.8 lbs – it still saves a pound or two compared to many precision hunting rifles of blued steel and walnut.
The stock is available in four finishes, with your choice of H-S Precision Gray or their OD Green pattern, though KUIU Vias 2.0 and Verde 2.0 are also available.
While it’s certainly trendy, precision rifles of this nature command some pretty heavy premiums when other names are on the receiver. Howa is known for making excellent rifles at accessible price points. While the MSRP is a bit stiff at $1819, street prices will likely cut that down by a hundred or so dollars, which actually makes this a precision hunting rifle with carbon fiber barrel that’s closer to attainable for a lot of people.