The Most Accurate Ultralight Rifle: Seekins HAVAK ELEMENT

The Seekins Precision HAVAK ELEMENT uses cutting edge technology and design to shave weight without compromising accuracy, safety, or reliability. This review is of my own personal HAVAK ELEMENT chambered in 28 Nosler. 

The barrels on all HAVAK rifles are cut and contoured in house at Seekins Precision using Rock Creek stainless steel blanks. Most ultralight rifles use insanely small whippy profiles and deep flutes to cut weight out of the barrel. The ELEMENT has a beefy solid profile and the barrel is anything but skinny. The spiral flutes aren’t overly deep and the muzzle tapers down to a ⅝-24 thread with a shoulder. Mine came with a Seekins Precision brake installed. The barrel on mine is 22 inches long, which is what I wanted because it’s a good compromise between velocity and manageable length with a suppressor. 

The barrel is a 5R 1:8.6 twist barrel which allows me to shoot 180gr 7mm/.284 bullets without having to worry about whether they’ll stabilize. 

The entire rifle with integrated scope base, bottom metal, magazine, muzzle brake, and steel QD mounts weighs just 6.1 lbs. Remove the muzzle brake and I’d be under 6lbs.

The barrel plugs into the action via a stainless steel sleeve that is pressed into the action much like the barrel extension on an AR-15. In essence, you have the barrel, the sleeve, and the action all creating a rigid, stiff, and safe platform. 

The bolt has removable bolt heads that feature four locking lugs and a 90 degree bolt throw. The extractor is an M16 style extractor, something you used to only see in custom builds. The bolt body is fluted and the bolt handle is knurled and slightly longer than what you’d normally see from a factory gun. The bolt body and handle are also aluminum, which saves a ton of weight.

The action itself is all aluminum and features an integrated 20MOA scope mount rail. This means that there are no screws and no holes in the top of the action. The scope mount rail is literally part of the action. It also has a bubble level in the back of the rail that can be seen while behind the rifle and which is nice for shooting and mounting scopes. 

Also integrated is the precision machined recoil lug. 

The finish on the action is a black anodization. 

Because of the “barrel sleeve” and the steel bolt, everything that contains pressure or that locks or rubs is steel on steel. Everything else is aluminum. 

Aluminum is substantially lighter than titanium and allows for an ultralight rifle without sacrificing the barrel. 

The trigger that ships standard is a Timney Elite Hunter that is pre-set at 2.5 lbs. I adjusted mine down to just under two pounds and did a series of tests that included dropping the rifle on its butt to test for safety with no issues. The trigger is crisp and easy to shoot. I prefer slightly flatter triggers but that’s just a personal preference. 

The stock is made and designed by Seekins Precision and is an ultralight carbon fiber stock. It is extremely stiff and even with a bipod, I noticed no flex in the forearm. There is a generous amount of space around the barrel so even if you torqued the stock hard it would likely be impossible to get it to touch the barrel.

The shape of the stock is comfortable prone or standing. The stock features a sling swivel stud in the forearm. All of the stocks have inlets for QD studs in the forearm and buttstock. I ordered mine with them already installed and then still added one on the side of the forearm because I like my rifle to lay flat on my back. 

The camo paint on the stock looks fantastic and it’s my understanding that the custom shop has other colors that they can do if requested. So far it’s held up well.  

The grip and forearm of the stock feature a “waffle iron” texture and do their job adding some grip to the gun. This is the one stylistic feature that I personally don’t like. Nothing wrong with it, I just don’t like how it looks.  

The buttpad is soft and helps reduce felt recoil, which is surprising in an ultralight rifle. Usually, ultralights have nothing but a thin piece of rubber to save weight. 

Every HAVAK is hand bedded before leaving the factory and features aluminum pillars butted up to the aluminum action. 

The bottom metal/trigger guard and magazine are also Seekins proprietary. The trigger guard and bottom metal are all one piece of anodized aluminum. They look sleek and stylish.

The magazine release is textured, sits in the front of the trigger guard, and is out of the way and unlikely to snag anything and drop your magazine. This happens with other designs and magazines are accidentally lost. 

The magazine is one of my favorite features of the gun. It’s another Seekins proprietary design and it’s made completely of carbon fiber. It looks amazing, is light as a feather, and has the ability to house ammo with an OAL that you’ll likely never need. I measured the magazine to see how long my ammo could be in my 28 Nosler and it would allow an overall (OAL) length of 3.9 inches. Even seated out my loads are only 3.55 OAL. For reference, maximum SAAMI OAL is 3.340”.

Accuracy

All that stuff is fine and dandy but does it shoot? You better believe it does. Might be the most accurate magnum rifle I’ve ever owned. 

Ammo, as all of you know, is pretty hard to come by. Luckily, I handload. I used brand new Peterson brass which I can’t speak highly enough of. (I’ll do a full review on the brass soon.) My load is under the Nosler MAX load so I’ll share it. ***Remember to always start with the minimum and work up as every rifle is different. Never exceed the maximum load***  I used a CCI magnum primer, 81 Grains of Retumbo, and both Hornady 180gr ELD-M and Nosler 175gr LR Accubonds. The bullets were seated to be .02 off the lands. Both loads shot amazing and I carry both loads with me for different shots. 

This is my personal hunting rifle so I shoot it for sight in and groups the same way I would shoot it in the field, which is prone off of my super light SnipePod bipod that I’ve been hunting with for years. The bipod weighs less than my cell phone and can be used prone, sitting, or kneeling. 

I shoot it with my SilencerCo Omega and a lightweight rear bag. 

I chronograph with a Labaradar sonar chrono. Here’s the results: 

Six shots. An extreme spread of 16 is fantastic considering I only tried one load and one primer.
This six shot group, shot prone off of a flimsy bipod, was with Hornady 180gr ELD-M bullets. I took about 45 seconds between each shot. This six shot group measures right at 0.449 which is under half moa.

This four shot group was shot using the same load but with Nosler 175gr LR Accubonds. The extreme spread was higher at 20 fps. I likely pulled the flier but it still measures at 0.345

The rifle took this nice public land, over the counter, general season, DIY Mule deer buck at 450 yards with one shot in the rain. You can see the video of the shot through the spotting scope on my Instagram account @true1911. 

The author with his 2020 over the counter, public land, DIY mule deer and Seekins HAVAK ELEMENT in 28 Nosler. The optic is a Leupold Mark 5 3.6-18 with TMR FFP reticle. The Suppressor is a SilencerCo Omega
The author dialing for a 450 yard shot on a mule deer.

Honestly, I like the idea of building my own lightweight (under 6lb) rifle rather than buying one. Picking the components and paying to have it put together. Here’s how that looks:

Custom Action (Might be Titanium) – $1000-$1400

Custom Barrel – $500-$900

Gunsmith Barrel Install (Chamber, crown, thread for muzzle brake) -$500-$700

Trigger – $150-$250

Carbon Fiber Stock (inletted, slingswivels, QD’s) – $500-$900

Bottom Metal – $150-$300

Magazine – $40-$90

Bedding $75-$150

Scope Base $40-$100

Totals – $2955-$4790

There’s no guarantee that all my components will work together. If it doesn’t shoot well then I’m on the hook for a new barrel, etc. I might be able to spend a little less and I certainly could spend more but the numbers are a good estimate. 

The Seekins Precision HAVAK ELEMENT weighs 5.5 lbs for the short action and 6lbs for the long action. Everything is custom designed and built to fit together using some of the most precise machinery in the industry. Price is $2884 and includes the Seekins Precision Accuracy Guarantee: if you aren’t satisfied with the accuracy you can send it back and they’ll fix it or else they’ll refund your money. If you’re going to shoot it, you can’t beat that guarantee, and if you’re going to build it, you can’t beat that price. 

If I were to lose this rifle, I’d probably cry for a week and then put another one on the credit card. 

Visit Seekins Precision for more information.

The Author hunting in a snowstorm with the Seekins HAVAK ELEMENT.
This is the weight of the Leupold Mark 5 with Seekins rings.
Scope mounting

About the author: True Pearce is the Managing Editor at GunsAmerica. He’s a competitive shooter, hunter, instructor & attorney. You can see and follow his adventures on Instagram. @true1911 https://www.instagram.com/true1911/

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  • Dan March 10, 2022, 1:21 pm

    I think these Seekins rifles appear to be quality but expensive, which is fine if that’s where you want to spend your money but I am not enamored with the twisted barrel. I understand it is for weight reduction but this will also result in barrel heat, which will impact accuracy when multiple shots are needed. I know some will say “i only need one shot”- well not always, especially with the current fad for long range shooting.

    I’m an old guy and I think the emphasis of light weight rifles is and has been distorted. IF YOU CAN’T PACK AN EXTRA COUPLE POUNDS IN A STANDARD WEIGHT RIFLE, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU FIND YOU HAVE ELK QUARTERS TO PACK OUT IN RUGGED COUNTRY.

  • David December 23, 2020, 12:09 pm

    Quite an in-depth article on the Element. But I don’t think you should have left your statement that “ Aluminum is substantially lighter than titanium” so out-of-context. What do you mean by “substantially?” Aluminum’s low specific gravity makes it a useful lightweight alloy; however, stainless steel is superior in many applications e.g. a rifle’s action or barrel. One would never consider Aluminum for an action, but Titanium shines in that application. Aluminum is our earth’s most abundant metallic element (Mineral Info Institute). It is cheap.
    Titanium’s “inherent strength” is far superior to Aluminum’s, so you need much less of it in comparison to Al. Al having only a fraction (5 – 40% depending on the Al alloy) of the strength of Ti. The space shuttle and other products that need the best, use Titanium.
    Have a Merry Christmas 🎄
    David

  • ryan kephart November 20, 2020, 8:12 am

    Why not just bring back the Remington 700 Ti (titanium)? It was just barely over 5 pounds. Almost felt like a toy without a scope on it. I had 3 of them and friends kept dropping by to see them offering more money than I paid for them. Would like to get another in 308 or 300 SAUM. They never should have stopped making these.

    • Double Barrell November 24, 2020, 7:07 am

      Agree!

      Just don’t know if it would have the same quality given the changes to Remington.

    • David December 23, 2020, 12:11 pm

      Exactly. The Remington 700ti was a game breaker.

  • Gary November 16, 2020, 11:13 am

    These $3000-$5000 custom rifles are fine, if you can afford one. I don’t personally know anyone that can. Sure..plenty of them have the bread, as do I, but I’m not going to spend it on a rifle I will get to use a couple of times a year.
    With the high quality of rifles from the factory these days, a Tika, or a Sako, etc..would do me just fine for anything I would be hunting with it. Or, just my old rifles I still own, 700’s, model 70’s, and some TCs do a fine job, as long as I do my part.
    Thanks for the article. It was a good read.
    😁✌️👍

  • Phil November 6, 2020, 1:40 pm

    So with your scope/rings, sling, and a loaded mag, you’re well over 8 pounds? Very sweet rifle. If someone wants a cheap version, my $400 used Tikka with a lower end Leupold scope, loaded, etc. ready to hunt is just over 8 pounds.

  • Joe Ernst Jr November 3, 2020, 9:51 am

    Very interesting article. Well done. One observation on the photo covering the “bedding”. The “posts” seem damaged or disintegrating. For the big money in this weapon, why do these points look less than pristine?

    • Thomas D Brennan November 3, 2020, 5:48 pm

      Cast and not finished.?

  • Mitchell November 3, 2020, 8:26 am

    What brand is that backpack sling and do you like it or would you buy differently given the choice.

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