Howa 1500 Carbon Fiber Barrel Review

Howa 1500 Carbon Fiber Barrel Review

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Howa Rifles.

You may never have heard of them. 

But they are a genuine leader in manufacturing hunting rifles that accompany pro shooters during the hunting season. 

This article reviews one of Howa's latest firearms with a barrel made of carbon fiber by analyzing the specs to see if the new material does any good to hunting.

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In This Article:

Howa 1500 Review: Can Carbon Fiber Barrels Shoot Better?

Howa Rifles: Where Armaments Meet Innovation

Headquartered in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains in Nevada, Howa Rifles builds and develops hunting armaments for those who enjoy hunting. From the firing pin to the barrel, every Howa rifle is perfectly designed and made of the best materials to ensure innovation is present in each product. 

To continuously improve the quality of their products, Howa has been seeking the most optimal material that can enhance the attributes while minimizing the disadvantages of traditional hunting rifles, like chunky weight or a lack of durability.

Eventually, Howa Rifles chose carbon fiber, one of the most advanced materials at the moment, and fitted it on their recent hunting gun - the Howa Model 1500 Rifle

So, what's unique about this gun? Is carbon fiber any better than the forged steel on traditional rifles? That I cannot say, but there certainly is a reason why carbon fiber is at the forefront of hunting guns.


The Howa 1500 HS Features a Carbon-wrapped Barrel 

The Howa Model 1500 HS can be considered a "flagship" in the Howa 1500 series in terms of overall balance. This upgrade comes with an HS Precision composite stock and an integrated aluminum bedding block.

At the end of the day, when the chassis rifles feel no longer comfortable to carry, the HS Precision stock is the preferred choice for an extended hunting season.

But, the built-in stock is not the only feature of this new Howa 1500 HS.

The 24-inch barrel of the Howa 1500 HS is actually carbon fiber-wrapped with a stainless steel core on the inside.

We've heard so much about guns that use carbon fiber for their stocks, grips, or handguards, but never on their barrels. The Howa 1500 HS is one of the few hunting rifles, along with those made by Christensen Arms or AG Composites, that introduce a barrel with elements made of carbon fiber. 

The biggest question is: does carbon fiber affect the power and accuracy of a rifle? What advantages and disadvantages does this material bring to the gun? According to a review based on hands-on experience on the Howa 1500 HS, here's how this firearm performs.


Carbon Fiber Barrels Weigh Less at the Same Length

In armament manufacturing, carbon fiber can be used to reduce the weight of a firearm without compromising the barrel's length, strength, or durability. 

Carbon fiber allows guns to perform relatively similarly to steel guns but at a fraction of the weight. As a result, we have a lighter carbon fiber gun that maintains its power and accuracy. The Howa 1500 weighs 7 pounds at 43 inches long, which is at least 1 pound lighter than the typical hunting rifles of the same length.

So what does it mean to have a lighter hunting rifle? 

When setting off for a hunt in the wilderness, you need to carry enough hunting supplies and equipment. The hunting gear you bring along determines whether you'll have a successful search.

However, having to carry cumbersome firearms, tools, and kits can make you feel tired even before the hunting session ends. And, do you know the item that weighs the most on the hunting gear list? It's the gun.

Let's put the Howa on a scale with another well-liked hunting rifle - the SAKO S20. At the same barrel length and caliber, the SAKO is 8 pounds and 4 ounces. The Howa 1500 HS carbon fiber weighs less to make your long walks as straightforward as a "picnic day."

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Carbon Fiber Barrels Cool Faster for Follow-­up Shots

Carbon cools faster than steel, meaning that replacing carbon fiber for some of the steel in a gun barrel allows the entire structure to cool faster. 

According to testing, a carbon fiber-wrapped barrel is less thermally conductive than a steel barrel. In addition, its temperature drops faster since carbon fiber quickly draws heat away from steel. This enhanced capacity to dissipate heat is vital because the faster the barrel cools, the less abuse it receives during subsequent shots.

Carbon fiber can also maintain the barrel's mechanical properties under dynamic loads rather than gradually deteriorating over time. On this account, a carbon-wrapped barrel like the Howa 1500 can remain more durable and serviceable.

For example, a rifle with a carbon fiber barrel that shoots the 308 Winchester caliber would have an estimated lifespan of 10,000 or more rounds, meaning you may not need to replace the barrel for many years.


The Howa 1500 HS Carbon Fiber Proved to Be Accurate

With all the above advantages over traditional hunting guns, is the Howa 1500 HS a better candidate to carry along in a hunt?

We need to know how the Howa 1500 HS shoots to answer this question.

We all know how stiff carbon fiber can be. Carbon fiber is five times stronger and twice as rigid as steel. For this reason, its rigidity improves the overall harmonics of the barrel, leading to better shot-to-shot accuracy.

Furthermore, the HS Precision stock design makes the rifle very comfortable to use, even with the bipod attached. And, as the gun's bolt lift is light, the action is smooth, allowing it to function flawlessly and eject spent cases with authority. Overall, the gun's accuracy is sufficient for almost anybody's needs.

In conclusion, the Howa 1500 HS carbon fiber is an all-rounded hunting rifle that meets all the criteria for a long-running gun: lightweight, reliable, durable, and accurate. There's nothing like carbon fiber on the barrel, as it makes the weapon a "sweetheart" to fire.


If you have questions about the Howa 1500 review or any details discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

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