Check out more at Legacy Sports: http://legacysports.com/mini-action-package
But a Howa Rifle on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search/Category/346/4/Guns/Rifles/Howa-Rifles.htm
The 6.5mm Grendel was introduced by Hornady in 2009 as a commercial round and was designed specifically to be effective at 200-800 yards. This round was conceived in 1984 as PPC round, then–at the 2004 SHOT–show Alexander arms introduced it as a replacement for the 5.56 NATO round. This round has always appealed to me as an ideal game round. So, I jumped at the chance to test the new Legacy Mini Action Package in 6.5mm Grendel, as I had not yet had a chance to really work out the cartridge. This package includes a Howa barreled action, matched with a HTI stock in OD Green. Mounted atop the rifle is a Nikko Stirling Panamax 3-9X40 half mil dot scope.
Legacy is the exclusive world supplier of Howa rifles and barreled actions. Howa Machinery Company, Ltd. is a Japanese machinery manufacturer that was founded on February 9, 1907. The company is known worldwide for their production of military and civilian firearms. Howa has been in the armaments industry since 1940, when they began manufacturing the Arisaka rifles. During the early 1970s, Howa produced the AR-18 and AR-180 rifles on a license from Armalite. Howa currently produces a full line of civilian rifles in a wide range of calibers, and manufactures components for other firearm companies such as Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, and Weatherby.
The Legacy makes use of the Howa barreled action, which features a forged steel receiver and bolt. The bolt face is square to the barrel chamber. The extractor style and design are based on the M-16 extractor for 100% reliability. The barrels are hammer forged and chambered symmetrically at the center of axis for accuracy.
The two stage trigger was crisp and light with a consistent let-off, in my experience. This factory trigger allowed for accuracy right out of the box. The rife came equipped with a 3 position safety, which allows for the barrel to be locked down and also enables the action to be unloaded while on safe. The test rifle came with a detachable 5 round magazine, but there is an optional 10 round magazine conversion kit available as well.
The Nikko Stirling Panamax 3-9 x 40 Rifle Scope has a half mil-dot reticle, designed to provide precise holdover and wind correction. The 1-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum matte finish tube on the scope is built with 3.5 – 4” eye relief. The waterproof lens has fog-proof protection for all weather use. The windage and elevation adjustments are in ¼ MOA clicks.
The scope is a great starting point for the gun, but the 3-9 x 40 lacks the magnification for the longer ranges that the 6.5 was designed for. So if you want that kind of performance, you could skip the package option and go for the rifle as a stand-alone.
|Howa Mini Action STANDARD – WITH 3-9X40 PANAMAX|
|Barrel Length & Contour||22″ #2|
|Length of Pull||13.87″|
|Weight||7LBS 2.5 Oz|
On the Range
I had the opportunity to take this gun out for a few range sessions. By the end of the first session, I was so impressed with its performance at 100 yards that I knew I had to get to a 300-yard range to try the zippy little cartridge out. Prior to taking the rifle to the range, I did a cursory bore-sighting and got on paper at 50 yards. After moving the target out to 100 yards, I began to dial the scope in. I ran a couple of different Hornady rounds through the rifle, being careful to avoid over-heating the barrel. I quickly concluded that I was able to deliver 1 inch groups off the bench at 100 yards fairly consistently. These results sparked my interest in what this rifle was capable of delivering at 300 yards.
To satisfy that curiosity, I made arrangements to get access to a 300-yard range on a crisp January morning. Having confirmed my hundred yard zero, I immediately switched to my 300-yard target. I was able to use the mil dot holdover method that was recommended by Legacy Sports. After some experimentation, I was holding 3 ½ dots (using the hash below the dot) above and one dot to the side. This method allowed me to compensate for the 16 ½ inches of drop between the 100 and 300-yard distances. The group size that I was able to achieve was closer to two minutes of angle than the one minute of angle I had consistently achieved at 100 yards.
The ergonomics of the gun were reliable, consistent and easy to use. The bolt was quick and short, and the two stage trigger was easy to predict and control. I am a big fan of the box magazine in particular. Although I never had a failure (in terms of operation from the box magazine), I did have issues with it locking in place. I also experienced several accidental magazine releases while handling the rifle.
I really enjoyed this rifle chambered in the 6.5 Grendel. I think that the long-range accuracy of this particular package was limited more by the optic than the rifle or caliber. I felt that the scope was adequate for the hundred-yard range, but doubling the distance pushed this optic, as well as my spotting scope, out of its comfort zone. I’m interested to find out how others experience this rifle with a different optic- I think that change would definitely make this rifle a “one minute of angle” rifle at 300 yards.
Prices for the Mini Actions all have MSRPs below $800, and should sell for less than that.