Testing the NEW Aluminum, Ultralight, Bolt Action, Super Accurate, Havak Element by Seekins Precision

Seekins Precision Havak Element in 6.5 PRC with Sightron S-Tac 4-20×50 in a Burris P.E.P.R mount, a Rebel Silencer SOS-450 and a Harris Bipod shooting Hornady ELD-M and ELD-X ammunition.

As everybody becomes more interested in long-range shooting, specifically long-range hunting, premium rifles made specifically with this task in mind are beginning to show up on the market from manufacturers. Seekins Precision is an Idaho company with a longstanding track record for quality products that yield accurate results due to their focus on extremely tight tolerances and strenuous quality control. Every rifle and part that gets produced in their factory gets examined by the QC team and shot before it leaves the door.

I managed to get my hands on Seekins’ new Havak Element soon after it was announced, and immediately put it through the hardest tests that I could think of: I brought it with me on several hunts including Idaho mule deer and whitetail deer. But first, let’s talk about the rifle itself.

Staring down the mean end of the Havak Element, peek the spiral fluting and generous space around the free-floated barrel.

First Impression

Upon unboxing the Element in 6.5 PRC, I saw an attractive, custom-looking rifle laying on the counter in front of me. The paint is a sponge applied Cerakote camo job which is done by hand and consequently, unique for each rifle. The barrel is also unique in its own way because of how the Mountain Hunter taper starts from further back, narrowing down the diameter of the barrel quicker than most; further reducing the weight of this system. As I started touching the rifle, I discovered that the recoil pad is extremely soft and forgiving. This is important because light rifles tend to have a sharp recoil impulse. The grip and forend’s gridded texturing felt great to the touch as well, helping to improve your grip on the firearm despite the weather conditions or grime that you will undoubtedly get into while hunting.

The raised gridded pattern on the carbon composite stock acts to provide friction between your hands and areas where you need to grip the rifle.

Now I was finally getting to the point of picking the rifle up. As I pulled it out of the box, it almost continued upward out of my hands and into the ceiling! The Havak Element is EXTREMELY light, surprisingly so even. Sorry for yelling in text, but this fact put a huge smile on my face because it is 1 of the 2 selling points of this rifle (the other being accuracy).

Some Details that Make the Havak Element Lighter than Others Rifles:

The Havak Element is not lighter because of witchcraft, I noticed a few changes from the normal, which include:

  1. Aluminum action with steel thread insert.
  2. Aluminum Bolt Body with steel bolt head
  3. Carbon composite stock
  4. A shorter than conventional 21″ spiral fluted, light profile barrel
  5. Carbon fiber magazine
  6. Weight reducing cuts where possible, including locations on the integrated scope rail
Seekins Precision took every bit of extra material out of the Element, as is evident from this scalloped Picatinny rail.

Accuracy Testing the Havak Element

I’ll start off this section with a disclaimer: I consider myself an exceptional shooter, but I was not able to replicate the results that guys at Seekins were able to produce. I was using a rear bag and front bipod; they used a front and rear bag. The only other difference was the 5 round groups that I stuck to vs. their 3 round groups. Take this information for what you will; below is an accompanying picture of a 3 round group shot by the guys at Seekins with this rifle.

Each square on this paper is 1″, so this 3 round group shot by my Element is under 1/4 MOA.

To begin the accuracy test, I stole an optic off of another rifle of mine; a Sightron S-Tac 4-20×50 and also mounted a Harris bipod. Being a hunting rifle, I would typically complete the accuracy-test with 3 round groups, but because of its precision, long-range focus (as hinted at by the integral bubble level on the rear of the scope rail), I chose to use 5 round groups. I tested 2 different muzzle attachments as well as bare muzzle condition with two different types of Hornady factory ammo: giving me 6 different groups to examine. Each group was shot on the 100-yard range. With the suppressor attached and with the bare muzzle condition, recoil was sharp and the gun tended to hop on the bipod at each shot. This is typical of a lightweight firearm. The Timney Elite Hunter trigger set at crisp 2.5 lbs was a huge help to shooting. Also, the high cheekpiece provided a positive point of contact and made for a comfortable shooting experience when coupled with the soft recoil pad.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Generally only 3 shot groups would be fired to test accuracy on a lightweight hunting rifle due to light barrels heating up and throwing rounds. The fact that these groups are under MOA with 5 shot groups and factory ammunition is extremely impressive. Statistically, they’d likely be much smaller if they were only 3 round groups.

These two groups were shot at 100 yards with a suppressor on the Havak Element. I added 2 extra rounds to the group on the right because of shot number 4 being a flyer. This makes that group a 6 round sub 1 MOA group, pretty good!
Again, targets were shot at 100-yard distance, velocity is listed next to the group and correlated to the shot number.

More About the Aluminum Action & Bolt Body

The main construction of the Havak Element consists of aerospace grade 7075 aluminum, which makes this rifle different (and lighter) than most. The biggest construction change was the swap from steel to aluminum for the action and bolt body. This is allowable because the forces acting on the action and bolt body are minimal, with the exception of where the explosion takes place. Even then, the barrel encases the cartridge and takes the majority of the blast. This leaves us with the rearward force being applied by the cartridge against the bolt face, bolt lugs and the locking lugs of the action. In this area, Seekins Precision did some re-imagining and designed the Havak Element with a steel insert in the action as well as a steel bolt head which is held onto the bolt body with pins. This keeps the force from the blast contained by high strength steel while the aluminum just provides structure for the rest of the mechanics to work properly.

Here, you can see the steel insert which provides the strength needed to thread a barrel into the aluminum action as well as the strength needed to lock the bolt head in place during firing.

The action is a hard-anodized aluminum and the bolt body is nitrided. While breaking this rifle in, the all-too-familiar smell of wearing anodization reminded me that this rifle was, indeed, built by a company with their roots in high-end ARs. The short action construction and magazine of the Element is slightly oversized to allow for a COAL of 3.14″, keeping the door open for handloaders to tailor their load for heavy bullets seated to the lands.

Because of the oversized magazine, there is plenty of room left to hand-load heavier, longer bullets and still feed them reliably through the magazine.

Because of the choice to use Aluminum on the action, the recoil lugs are integrated on the underside of the action and are different than what you have seen before. Basically, they are 4 recesses in the bottom of the action that locks into the bedding compound, dispersing the force of the recoil upon firing.

Seekins Precision’s Beyond MOA Guarantee and Warranty

The guys at Seekins know that they make an incredible product, but they will not give you a quantifiable MOA guarantee on the accuracy of their firearms. Instead, they do one better with the Beyond MOA Guarantee. Basically, this means that if you are not seeing the accuracy you would like to see out of your gun, send it on their dime and they will test it and repair the rifle, or replace it. The Seekins Warranty is also amazing; it is fully transferable with no paperwork required. In the event that something happens to your Seekins firearm, they will repair or replace it at no cost.

Performance on the Hunt

While deer hunting, for both mule deer and whitetail, I got rained on, snowed on, fogged in and iced up. The weather was extremely cold and wet, which is terribly hard on firearms. This causes rust to form, actions to get filled up with gritty mud, and even frozen shut. Because of the major lack of high-carbon steel on the Element, I was not worried about rust and did not see any form. And due to the spiral-fluted bolt, I also noticed the action stayed smooth and grime free. With each manipulation of the bolt, the fluting scraped up any debris and carried it out of the action.

The spiral fluted bolt helps keep the action free of binding grime and debris. Also note the oversized trigger guard, allowing gloved fingers to fit inside with ease.

When the moment came, I was able to make a pretty impressive, unsupported standing 300 yard shot on a running mule deer buck. I contribute this to the lack of torque at the end of the firearm because of the light profile barrel and overall lightweight system. And also maybe a bit of shooter skill? In the end, the gun was a pleasure to carry around the mountains on the hunt because of its overall shorter length and light weight. The Element also performed the way it was designed to when the moment came.

Thanks to the low weight of this rifle system, I was able to harvest this double main-beamed mule deer.

Specifications and Features:

  • HAVAK ELEMENT billet 7075 aluminum action body
  • 20 MOA integrated Picatinny rail
  • Integrated bubble level
  • front and rear flush cup attachments
  • Integrated recoil lug
  • Helical extraction cam
  • Hard anodized black finish
  • Trigger: Timney Elite Hunter set at 2.5lbs
  • Full diameter bolt body for smooth bolt operation
  • Heat-treated alloy steel bolt head
  • 4 locking lugs with 90 degree bolt throw
  • M16 style extractor
  • Spiral fluted billet 7075 aluminum bolt body
  • 5/16″ threaded and removable bolt knob
  • 21” barrel with Mountain Hunter contour and 1:8 twist (6.5 PRC)
  • Threaded muzzle (5/8″ x 24) with thread protector
  • Camo carbon composite stock
  • Detachable carbon fiber 3 round magazine system
  • Extended cartridge overall length (COAL) magazines allowing up to 3.14” Short Action
  • Weight: 5.5lbs
  • Calibers Available: 6.5 Creed, 308 Winchester, 6 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC (unlimited options available through the custom shop)
  • Price: $2,795.00
From the shooter’s position, the integrated bubble level is perfectly visible and extremely convenient.

Final Thoughts

Seekins Precision’s new Havak Element is a home-run in my mind. The fine balance of light-weight and precision makes this rifle perfect for hunting out west, where the hikes and shots are often long. On top of this, Seekins made more than a bare-bones, lightweight rifle and provided a few nice touches that make this a high-end rifle. First, the mechanics are extremely well thought out and designed including a 4 lug bolt and 90-degree throw. we also have an integrated bubble level, 20 MOA scope rail, flush cup locations, detachable extended-length magazine, carbon composite stock, threaded muzzle, and a rather nice recoil pad.

The rifle performed at least as good as my skills would allow it (peep the tiny 3 round group that was shot at Seekins), and my results were consistent with two types of ammo and 3 different configurations of the rifle system. Because of the lack of weight on the end of the gun and the light overall weight of the system at only 5.5 lbs, I was able to make a jaw-dropping shot on a mule deer and put some meat on my table. Overall, I am extremely happy with the Havak Element and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a light-weight, high end hunting rifle.

Find out more about the Seekins Precision Havak Element HERE:

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

Additional Images:

The muzzle is threaded 5/8×24 tpi.
Yes, my bipod rusts, but the Havak Element doesn’t! Here you can also see the front swivel stud and forend’s textured grip.
The rear swivel stud and generous recoil pad.
Here, you can see the front swivel stud is reinforced by a washer inside the stock, keeping it in place no matter how hard you pull on it.

About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Singleshotcajun January 4, 2020, 7:42 am

    3 shot groups huh ?

  • trenace January 3, 2020, 11:27 am

    “Statistically?” (With regard to three shot groups tending to be smaller than five.)

    Statistically, a three shot group proves about nothing. A substantial percentage of the time, even a rifle of poor accuracy will put three bullets into practically one hole. It’s like a coin landing heads three times in a row. It doesn’t mean there isn’t another side that’s tails.

    A single three shot group just doesn’t mean jack.

  • jack January 3, 2020, 7:27 am

    I never liked the idea of an aluminum action, the anodizing eventually wears off or get scratched of by dirt and grime and if you oil it that makes it even worse, I’ve seen this in AR’s and similar guns. I suppose if you just use it once a year for hunting it could last but if you want to shoot it a lot, good luck with that.
    Another thing, if you have to spend upwards of $3000 for a gun because you are to lazy and out of shape to carry a “normal” weight weapon around then you should start going to the gym rather than chugging down another beer. I haul around 30 pound target/varmint rifles all summer long to hunt varmints with, it keeps my shooting skills sharp and when hunting season comes that ten pound rifle feels like a “ultra-light” and I’m in my 70’s

    • Hoby January 3, 2020, 10:00 am

      Yeah ok.

    • idaho2786 February 4, 2020, 6:28 pm

      HAHAHAHA why in the hell would a varmint rifle way 30lbs. I have built some pretty hefty rifles but i don’t think I have even broke 20lbs heck I am pretty confident I don’t have on close to 20

  • HERBERT W FITZER. JR December 4, 2019, 4:26 pm

    I will give SEEKINS their “ATTABOY” – for loosing the weight ! However, a little too late. KIMBER has had the lightest centerfire rifle in the industry, and under $800.00 to this day for many years now. Not withstanding, also a lifetime guarantee to fix or replace, and they also guarantee MOA on their firearms. My personal “go-to” rifle is a Kimber 84 Mountain, all stainless steel, 308cal., Leupold VX-L 3.5x10x50, with a DNZ 1pc. aluminum mount, all coming out at 6Lbs 4.5oz. Yeh…, I’ll carry that around all day ! And did I mention it comes in at 1/4 M.O.A. @ 50yds., 150gr. ballistic tip Federal, off the shelf ammo.

  • michael bagetis December 4, 2019, 7:59 am

    Outstanding innovation!

  • Archie Brown December 3, 2019, 5:04 pm

    I am very far from being an expert hunter, and I do understand that an able person wants the best to hunt with to go with his skills. But the $2700/$2800 rifle is out of reach for some. Which is why the 94 Winchester in 30-30, and in other calibers have killed more game than these top-end rifles ever will. And how many Mossberg Patriots in 308 and 6.5 Creedmoor can you buy with $3000? No sour grapes here. Just thinking of the one man/woman with one rifle in their own element.

  • tim December 3, 2019, 12:51 pm

    For .2 lbs more and 1000$ less, no thanks I will keep my Barrett Fieldcraft!

  • Kendall December 3, 2019, 11:04 am

    How do people shoot rifles with scopes mounted four inhes above the bore line? Are those see through rings for fast bus followups?👍

    • Phil December 9, 2019, 10:51 am

      There’s no cheek weld any more, you just rest your chin on top of the stock to look through the scope.

      • Michael Lindley January 3, 2020, 5:33 am

        You noticed that too?!?! Who in the hell decided on THAT mount for the rifle? Ridiculous.

  • D. Archerd December 3, 2019, 10:50 am

    Now if Seekins would just be so kind as to make a mirror image of this with a Left Hand action, I will be throwing money at them. (Although I prefer straight flute cuts on my barrels and have it chambered in 7mm-08. That would be Perfect.)

  • Don December 3, 2019, 9:15 am

    Unfortunately, aluminum does “rust” or oxidize. However, it has to be in contact with water for a long time. If you have seen a white material growing on aluminum you have seen its form of rust. If there is a nook or cranny where water can sit without air circulating to evaporate it, aluminum will suffer. Google thermite to get a general idea how iron and aluminum like oxygen.

  • Jason December 3, 2019, 7:55 am

    12 inch barrel?

  • Joseph Reynolds December 3, 2019, 7:52 am

    Mr. Baxter,

    Very nice review, thanks for the accurate and honest review. I had the pleasure of shooting almost an identical rifle back in early 2001, made exactly the same as Seekins. I was absolutely amazed at how lightweight the rifle was and the balance was surprisingly superb, considering it had an aluminum outer receiver.

    The accuracy of the rifle was also astonishing, considering how lightweight the entire rifle was. We were achieving one-hole accuracy at 100 meters, which rivaled anything I had seen up to that point. Seekins should do very well with this rifle, certainly a solid design that has been proven in the past.

    J. Reynolds

    • Raymond Waugh December 9, 2019, 4:44 pm

      WoW, This is a Rifle Review. NOT A DEBATE. It’s Amazing how so many people will post crap on these reviews. NO ONE CARES IF YOU KNOW of a SIMILAR RIFLE THAT YOU SHOT or SAYING” ALUMINUM DOES TO RUST “! Shut Up and Keep Your Ignorance COMMENTS To YOUR SELF! Let the WRITER DO THE REVIEW! People are reading these to find out about the rifle in question. They are not reading these to listen to you cry and be a hater or say that steel rusting and Aluminum Oxidizing are exactly the same thing. Read the review and shut up.

      • Dwight Williams May 25, 2021, 1:13 pm

        Mr. Waugh,

        After reading your reply/comment, I would suggest that you take your meds and go back to bed. Hopefully, after a year and a half, you have regained your senses and back to reality. For the point in the discussion, the aluminum receiver has been done by several people over the years. I for one, have built an almost identical rifle as Seekins has done and it was extremely successful, just never took it to market.

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