The Howa Model 1500 is being offered with a choice of seven different style stocks, ranging from classic through radical to suit every taste. SK Woodland Green Thumbhole is really way out.
Over the years I’ve tested innumerable Howa rifles and as the mechanical features of the action differs only in length and minor details, this evaluation will focus on the SK Woodland Green Thumbhole stock, which would not be my first choice for a heavy- barreled varmint model, since my preference leans to more conservative styling. However, looks are largely a matter of taste, and a rifle’s lines can vary a good deal within the limits of functional efficiency. What appeals to one shooter may strike another as vulgar.
The Howas are based on a short or standard length, turnbolt action. Highland Sports “ Dream it, Build It” sales promotion offers each buyer a choice of barreled actions in carbon or stainless steel and a choice of calibres and Nikko scopes as well as eight different stock styles. There’s the laminated SK Woodland Green Thumbhole Ambidextrous stock; four different classic Hogue stocks – Black, King Camo, Green and Green Machine; a Blackhawk Axiom stock, a Blackhawk Talon Thumbhole Ambidextrous stock; and a laminated Thumbhole Nutmeg stock.
The radical laminated stock on the test Howa is made by Boyds Gunstock Industries, U.S.A. The SK Woodland Green Thumbhole is a.k.a the Boyd SS Evolution, while the Nutmeg Brown is a.k.a Boyds Ross FT. The “ambidextrous” stock is suited for use by right and lefthanded shooters alike, just as long as cackeyhanders don’t mind having the bolt on the wrong side, because Howa doesn’t make a lefthanded bolt action.