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Been looking for a rifle for my niece, the Howas weren't even on my radar, but I looked at a couple of them at a gun shop the other day. I really liked how it looked, felt, and shouldered, and the price was pretty good, too :). Trigger seemed pretty decent, but that can and probably will change when actually shooting it. All in all, it seems like a pretty nice rifle, nice enough I may get one for myself and just let the niece use it :). I was originally thinking .243, but further research and suggestions here (thank you all!) have me leaning toward 7mm-08. A little more versatile, a little more power, but no appreciable increase in recoil over the .243, and still well under the recoil of my .308.

So what say you? Good choice, or should I stay with one of the big names like Savage or Remington? I like the Savage trigger, but I also like my Remington X-Mark Pro, despite what many have said about it, and I'm pretty picky about triggers. Thanks in advance.

Dave
 

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IMO I would stick with the .243 for your niece especially if you have a .308 already. The .243 is a very versatile gun with loaded ammo anywhere from 55grs to 105grs. The Howa rifles are a good well built rifle, a friend has one in 22-250 and is extremely accurate. The 7mm-08 and the .308 really have about the same recoil if your using 140grs in the 7-08 and 150grs on the .308. It's quite frankly hard to tell the difference in the two. If the over all weight of the guns are quite a bit different or your using 180gr bullet in the .308 then you can tell a difference otherwise not really. They both although still mild in recoil compared to others do have quite a bit more recoil than the .243. The Winchester 95gr XP3, a well bonded 100gr bullet or even the Nosler 90gr E-Tip ( Nosler's lead free ) would all be good choices for the .243. Good luck
 

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There are a few 120gr offerings and at least one reduced-recoil load for the 7mm-08. My 13 yr old nephew had no problems whatsoever in handling the 7mm-08 and he was pretty slight in build at that time. I wouldn't hesitate in picking the 7mm-08 over the .243.

I would check out the Marlin XS7 also. It is a feature packed budget gun. I have been very impressed with the 4 that I have shot.
 

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I have one in .308. It's quickly become one of my favorite rifles to carry in the field. I LOVE the Hogue stock. (Full disclosure - I own and enjoy Savage, Winchester, Ruger, T/C and Marlin rifles). Still, none of them beat this Howa.

Personally I lean towards the 7-08 as my top choice, then .308 and the .243 last if I had to rank them for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses...

I have one in .308. It's quickly become one of my favorite rifles to carry in the field. I LOVE the Hogue stock. (Full disclosure - I own and enjoy Savage, Winchester, Ruger, T/C and Marlin rifles). Still, none of them beat this Howa.

Personally I lean towards the 7-08 as my top choice, then .308 and the .243 last if I had to rank them for you.
I really like the Hogue stock too, I have virtually the same one on my Remington SPS Tactical in .308. I've decided on the .243 and the Howa, it's just waiting for me to pick it up. Will post some impressions once I've had a chance to shoot it a bit. Thanks to all again.

Dave
 
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