Howa Supalite 308 Win

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Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 05 Apr 2023, 6:58 pm

Just a quick review of the Howa Supalite in 308 Win. I wasn't planning on getting one of these till later in the year but after handling 1 and being super impressed with the Carbon Fibre stock and a few online reviews showing that they are as accurate as most of the other Howa offering I couldnt wait.

Had a couple of clean and run in session over the last week and Ive now fired 60 plus rounds. It feeds without hesitation and I put that down to the inline 3 shot flush fitting magazine. It has extracted and ejected every case also with out issue.

The Trigger is the usual Hact set up and this one is crisp and broke around 3lbs, I dropped a 1lb spring kit in and its now good to go.

This new action is essentially the Howa mini action lengthened by 6mm with the ejection port opened up by 18mm. The receiver and bolt body diameter is the same as a Howa mini. The lugs are about 20% wider and the gas ports in the bolt body also larger.

So how does it shoot ? well Ive only cobbled a few handloads together and its showing a lot of promise. I threw 51.6gr of CFE223 behind some 125gr Nosler BT today and the first group went 0.6 moa for 3 shots, with an extra grain of powder it put 3 shots into just over 0.5 moa. I suspect with a bit more tuning this gun should shoot even smaller groups.

With Easter on the door step it looks like I might have a couple of opportunities to blood the Howa :drinks:

I paid $1399 for the rifle ( Magnum Sports) which included an alloy pic rail. I also fitted a Pachmayr magnum recoil pad to lengthen the pull and protect the lovely CF stock. Even with a heavish scope the rifle still comes in under 6lbs :thumbsup:
Last edited by Billo on 05 Apr 2023, 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 05 Apr 2023, 7:13 pm

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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Blr243 » 05 Apr 2023, 7:28 pm

Whete are you taking it and what are you looking for ?
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by bigpete » 05 Apr 2023, 8:04 pm

So it only has a 3 shot mag ? I thought they had a 4 round floor plate mag ?
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 05 Apr 2023, 8:14 pm

Blr243 wrote:Whete are you taking it and what are you looking for ?


I might go for a spot light with a mate tmw nite so anything that walks in front, I've loaded these a bit light as the 125gr BT aren't that tuff apparently. I tried to get 150gr BT but they are no where to be found locally.

Sunday/monday I'll be going to a mates place for a crack at fallow :thumbsup:
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 05 Apr 2023, 8:16 pm

bigpete wrote:So it only has a 3 shot mag ? I thought they had a 4 round floor plate mag ?


Nope a new 3 shot mag that is flush with the CF stock. :thumbsup:
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by bigpete » 05 Apr 2023, 8:19 pm

Billo wrote:
bigpete wrote:So it only has a 3 shot mag ? I thought they had a 4 round floor plate mag ?


Nope a new 3 shot mag that is flush with the CF stock. :thumbsup:


So a detachable box mag ? :(
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Shootermick » 05 Apr 2023, 8:25 pm

I’ve had a look at one in the shop. I’m not in the market for a 308, but it felt nice, seems like a good bit of kit.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 05 Apr 2023, 8:32 pm

Hey Shooter Mick its an interesting offering for sure. Howa have created a niche rifle, probably not everyones cup of tea as lightweight offerings have their down sides in skinny barrels but this one seems to be producing the goods. Competition is good and the rifle seems to function as you would want. :thumbsup:
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Oldbloke » 05 Apr 2023, 8:47 pm

Two of those groups are very impressive
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Gun-nut » 06 Apr 2023, 12:14 am

What barrel length are we looking at?
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Blr243 » 06 Apr 2023, 7:19 am

I like flush mags
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 06 Apr 2023, 7:46 am

Oldbloke wrote:Two of those groups are very impressive


Hey Oldbloke, Ive found Howa's generally shoot better than most and I'm pretty happy so far. :thumbsup:

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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 06 Apr 2023, 7:47 am

Blr243 wrote:I like flush mags


Yeap the magazine is step up from the Howa Mini :thumbsup:
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Oldbloke » 06 Apr 2023, 7:58 am

Billo wrote:
Blr243 wrote:I like flush mags


Yeap the magazine is step up from the Howa Mini :thumbsup:


That howa mini magazine turns off a lot of potential buyers, including me. A 5 shot would increase sales for sure.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by in2anity » 06 Apr 2023, 10:29 am

I do like it when a product is designed for a very specific purpose. Better to do one thing well. In this case a dedicated stalking rifle. The space guns these days try to do it all, but IMO they are too heavy for out in the sticks. 4kg+ sucks when you are walking any great distances.

BTW from a comfort perspective, how good is the 125gr pill!? - interesting load you got there ... 51grs!!! That's more powder than my palma loads!! I use 36gr AR2207 under a 125gr in my smallring mauser cavalry carbine - bloody amazing little offhand package. In my experience those little flat base 125gr pills always group well at 100m - just like your findings.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 08 Apr 2023, 10:40 am

Conditions were pretty bloody good thurs nite so I went for a run with a mate. I wouldn't normally stick a 308 out the window at nite but the Howa was a heap of fun and easy to handle in the cabin. Not once did think about the recoil of the rifle, left the Meopro on 6x. I was hopping to see a few pigs but they'd been hit pretty hard in the previous week.

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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 10 Apr 2023, 3:14 pm

The inletting in the CF stock is pretty tight around the recoil lug but Ive generally seen more consistent accuracy when you bed the lug.

I used less than teaspoon of acraglass to get the job done, mixed in some graphite powder for colour :thumbsup:

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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 16 Apr 2023, 1:29 pm

Managed a quick morning hunt today, wind was up around 40kmh with gusts ripping the tops of the trees at around 65kmh.

I haven't bothered chasing deer as they have been holed up on neighbouring properties this weekend and the last. Anyway I went straight to a paddock where the pigs have been consistently ripping up the thistles and chasing worms. Only a lone boar and the wind wasn't doing me any favours as I tried to get in closer, on chambering a round he paused from feeding and started trotting off having heard the bullet falling into the chamber.

With the boar looking to get back to the overgrown creek he copped a 130gr Woodleigh, a little too rearward and at around 140m and he took off, bit surprised he didn't drop and when he slowed to a walk I put 1 into his spine.

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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by bigpete » 03 May 2023, 3:46 pm

Well,I just ordered one in 308w as well. Will be here next week. Going to fit it with a nikon 4x32 I've got home in keeping with the ultralight theme of the rifle. Hopefully I find mine as accurate as Billo has found his. I nearly went 6.5cm just for something different but I have all the dies,powder,cases,and projectiles for 308w and have been loading for it for 20 years,plus its Vic sambar legal.....makes sense to stick with it.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Oldbloke » 03 May 2023, 4:36 pm

bigpete wrote:Well,I just ordered one in 308w as well. Will be here next week. Going to fit it with a nikon 4x32 I've got home in keeping with the ultralight theme of the rifle. Hopefully I find mine as accurate as Billo has found his. I nearly went 6.5cm just for something different but I have all the dies,powder,cases,and projectiles for 308w and have been loading for it for 20 years,plus its Vic sambar legal.....makes sense to stick with it.


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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 03 May 2023, 8:16 pm

Wicked bigpete, looking forward to a hunt report when you get it
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by bigpete » 04 May 2023, 6:59 am

Billo wrote:Wicked bigpete, looking forward to a hunt report when you get it


May take a while to post something worthy seeing as I lost my good hunting block but I'm sure I'll take it after foxes and roos ( cull permits ) fairly soon lol.
I think I'm going to load it up with 230gn speer hollow points to begin with. While my other 308 loved hornady sst' 150gn, I really don't need to run that heavy a projectile unless I'm hunting deer and even then the 130gners will be fine on fallow.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Harronek » 04 May 2023, 4:45 pm

Billo wrote:The inletting in the CF stock is pretty tight around the recoil lug but Ive generally seen more consistent accuracy when you bed the lug.

I used less than teaspoon of acraglass to get the job done, mixed in some graphite powder for colour :thumbsup:

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Would you be able to expand a bit on how you bedded the recoil lug ?
Do you put the action screw in , drop the bedding compound around it and then lower the action into the stock ?
I’ve been trying to work out how to do it successfully without pushing the bedding compound up into the internal threads .
Do you torque the action screws down ?
Do you bed the rear tang of the action as well ?
Sorry for all the questions, but Id like to try this myself on one of my Howa’s.

Cheers

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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Oldbloke » 04 May 2023, 6:14 pm

Harronek wrote:
Billo wrote:The inletting in the CF stock is pretty tight around the recoil lug but Ive generally seen more consistent accuracy when you bed the lug.

I used less than teaspoon of acraglass to get the job done, mixed in some graphite powder for colour :thumbsup:

Image


Would you be able to expand a bit on how you bedded the recoil lug ?
Do you put the action screw in , drop the bedding compound around it and then lower the action into the stock ?
I’ve been trying to work out how to do it successfully without pushing the bedding compound up into the internal threads .
Do you torque the action screws down ?
Do you bed the rear tang of the action as well ?
Sorry for all the questions, but Id like to try this myself on one of my Howa’s.

Cheers

Ken


I'm also interested.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Billo » 05 May 2023, 12:13 pm

Hey Harronek and Ken I'm big fan of bedding rifles and the Howa was probably the easiest rifle I ever done.

The inletting was about as good as you can get with the Carbon fibre stock and the only potential for movement of the recoil lug was sides ways, less than 15 thou each side, this was really a very light skim bedding job.

I used some 25mm painters tape and wrapped the barrel about 3 or 4 times just near the stock fore end so that the barrel is perfectly centred. You might need to add or remove tape to get it perfect. Take note before you tape too see how much barrel clearance you have under the barrel at the fore end, you don't wont this changing

I always clean the action metal work with cleaning alcohol ( Isopropyl ) Aldi sells a 100ml spray bottle. After cleaning I will spray the lug and surrounding metal with Hornady 1 shot lube twice, let it dry for 10 mins before applying a 2nd coat ( the stuff you use for sizing brass). I then fill the front action screw hole with blutack to prevent bedding material getting into the threads.

I mixed about 1 tablespoon of bedding material for the Howa but I probably only used about 1/2 teaspoon. I used a cotton bud to get it into the corners of the inletting.

I then pressed the action into the stock very firmly. I then used the painters tape to wrap the front and rear of the action into the stock ( no bottom metal or action screws required)

Cure time was overnite, job done. :drinks:
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by bigpete » 22 May 2023, 1:35 pm

Well,I picked mine up today

So,my first impressions is that its extremely light.....and with its lightness is a certain plasticky,toy like feeling.
The trigger is nice and crisp,the bolt seems a little coarse but it'll wear in.
The supplied mounts sit the scope way too high for my liking even with low rings,I'm getting more of a jaw line weld rather than a cheek weld.
Everything seems to work fine on it.
Only major problem I seem to have is it won't load my handloads,they're either a fraction long or the shoulder needs bumping back as I only neck size.

If anyone knows of better rails for these things let me know.
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Oldbloke » 22 May 2023, 2:04 pm

bigpete wrote:Well,I picked mine up today

So,my first impressions is that its extremely light.....and with its lightness is a certain plasticky,toy like feeling.
The trigger is nice and crisp,the bolt seems a little coarse but it'll wear in.
The supplied mounts sit the scope way too high for my liking even with low rings,I'm getting more of a jaw line weld rather than a cheek weld.
Everything seems to work fine on it.
Only major problem I seem to have is it won't load my handloads,they're either a fraction long or the shoulder needs bumping back as I only neck size.

If anyone knows of better rails for these things let me know.


:clap: :thumbsup:
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by bigpete » 26 May 2023, 12:40 pm

Weighed mine at a mates night before last. 5.74lb scoped but empty. I reckon I could knock it down a tad more with better mounts. Also shot it the other day,haven't stretch its legs but it was showing more than acceptable accuracy from a light gun firing untuned loads from the door of a running vehicle...
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Re: Howa Supalite 308 Win

Post by Wapiti » 06 Jun 2023, 8:17 am

Mate what an awesome rifle for the price, and the potential performance is unreal.
Great to see better manufacturers making nice, cartridge specific actions rather than a big 30-06 size jobs blocked off for smaller cartridges.

As it's not a culling rifle, a 3-shot mag is no impediment at all.
Great to see you're getting out there and getting some results!

Would a set of Leupold 2-piece weaver slot bases designed for the normal 308-length action fit the action screw spacings you have?
I know that coupled with a "low" set of PRW2 rings. a 40mm objective scope clears the barrel by about 4mm. Maybe another brand woukld get a teeny bit lower, but that's pretty close to lowest fit.
Bit more access to the open action too for your fingers for cleaning or any other stuff with 2-piece.
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