What’s the advantage of buying half a gun?
A while back Bud’s Gun Shop, one of the largest online gun dealers, announced that they had cut a deal with Legacy International, one of the largest firearms importers. Bud’s was now going to be the exclusive seller of Howa 1500 barreled actions.
Most people under the age of fifty probably heard this and shrugged, wondering why anybody would want to buy a rifle with no stock.
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The fact of the matter is that, aside from gunsmiths, not too many people have much interest in buying half a gun.
However, a whole lot of people are missing out by thinking that buying a barreled action is a dumb idea. Just because all the parts don’t come in the same box doesn’t mean you can’t end up with a very cool gun.
The heyday of mail order, do-it-yourself, guns was way back in the 1950s. Back then most of postwar Europe was cleaning out its bolt-action arsenals to replace them with automatic rifles in keeping with the trend set by the M1 Garand.
A whole lot of these guns were sold as parts. Anybody with a subscription to a hunting magazine could order receivers, barrels, stocks and all other minor parts until they were blue in the face.
To help make these military castoff parts into more utilitarian rigs for American sportsmen, an entire aftermarket industry cropped up.
Companies like Flaigs, Brownells, Fajen and countless others started selling stuff to bend, grind and glue all those gun parts into hunting rifles.
Until roughly 1970, the American shooter was just bonkers for piecemeal gun projects. Sadly, when the supply dried up so did the interest.
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So why buy half a gun today? For starters the Howa 1500 is a heck of an action. The 1500 is so good that Weatherby uses them for their Vanguard line of rifles.
Strength, reliability and a surprisingly nice trigger are built into every Howa to establish a high potential for accuracy.
The barrels attached to these actions are nothing to sneeze at, either. You have your choice of either lightweight or heavy contours, along with being able to choose from blued or stainless models.
Howa chambers these barrels at the factory for standard calibers running from .223 Remington up to .375 Ruger, but like any barrel, nothing says they have to stay that way.
If you’ve ever wanted a .222 Remington Magnum or an Ackley wildcat but didn’t want to shell out a lot of cash, this is your chance. It only takes a trip to the gunsmith and a few minutes with a reamer to give these barreled actions whole new chamberings.
Last, but not least, there have probably never been more aftermarket stocks around for the 1500 in terms of availability and affordability.
You can get wood, laminate, synthetic and just about every combination thereof for Howas, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
If you’re a little bored buying factory rifles off the rack, why not try a little amusement from the good old days?
The prices at Bud’s are pretty darn reasonable right now for these barreled actions and they offer the chance to put something together that will be unique and all your own.
Maybe putting together gun parts is just the hobby you’ve been looking for.
Featured image via LegacySports.com