Howa Short Action hinged floor-plate magazine problem

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BigMattZA
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Howa Short Action hinged floor-plate magazine problem

Post by BigMattZA » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:41 am

Good day all,

I have a Howa 243 bull barrel (which I call "Problem Child") that I bought second hand a while back with the intention of putting together a Jackal/Springbuck project rifle on a student budget. Apart from being finicky to reload for, and having a 22inch bull barrel (which seems unusual for Howa) with a not-so-expertly cut thread, it also had a magazine issue from the start. I never followed up with the original owner, and as a result I just undertook to fix the issues myself, but that process dragged on for some time.

The short (but still quite long) story is I could never put more than 2 rounds into the internal magazine without them tumbling, resulting in the head of the third case falling below the travel of the bolt face. As a result the bolt would contact the third round midway up the case and jam up, leading the neck of the case to rise even further and cause a moerse gemors. It seemed initially like the magazine spring had worn over time, so I waited months for the spare from the US only to find it made no difference. I then thought the magazine box was misshapen or misaligned somehow, because it seemed like the follower was either binding on the inside walls of the box, and the rounds appeared to have too much space to move around the head end of the case. I then got a spare box and replaced it and it made no difference either. I then sanded the edges of the the mag spring follower trying to figure out where it was binding. No help either.

I eventually gave up on the idea and just hunted the rifle a bit with 2 rounds in the magazine which is no big deal - but I eventually fell out of love with the gun because I felt like it was unreliable, and difficulty finding a consistent load for the .243 with a limited supply of S365 and an ever-decreasing barrel life made me want to throw this 500kg walking stick in the flipping river :o

I put it aside for a while thinking that I might at some point get the ARMS detachable box magazine to rectify the magazine problem, but was getting to the point where I wasn't sure how much more money I was willing to spend on it, given that its probably already had 650ish rounds through it, many by someone else who I don't know. I live in the middle of nowhere so it was likely to be a chore to get it to a gunsmith, and it was probably out of the budget anyway.

This morning I pulled it out and fiddled some more and suddenly realised when looking at another photo online that the base for the magazine spring, where it attaches to the hinged floor plate, seems to be very far forward? (See photo)
Howa magazine.jpg


When I pulled the spring 1/3-1/2 of the way out of the base towards the trigger and reinstalled it, all of a sudden I could magically put 4 rounds in the magazine that fed without issue. It seems as though the magazine spring would foul on itself because it was forced so far forward within the box, and as a result only two rounds could fit before the spring could no longer move down normally. I would never have guessed that the bottom metal could be incorrect from the start - so I always assumed it was something else minor or something that may have deteriorated from use etc.
Mag spring moved.jpg
My first question is - is the floorplate on my rifle actually out of a short action .223/.204 Howa? The rest of the assembly doesn't seem to be from a mini action, so I am guessing that the guy I bought it from mixed it up with one that came from a short action rifle that had the magazine spacer to accommodate the much shorter .223/.204?

My second question is - does anybody have an old short action 243, 308 or 7mm-08 bottom metal lying around that they are willing sell? I have a renewed interest in making something of this rifle now that I think I have solved the problem ;D

Any help or input would be appreciated!

Thanks

Matt
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Howa .243, BSA 30-06, Baikal 12g, Aya 410, CZ 452 Lux .22

Draegan
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Re: Howa Short Action hinged floor-plate magazine problem

Post by Draegan » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:29 am

BigMattZA wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:41 am

My second question is - does anybody have an old short action 243, 308 or 7mm-08 bottom metal lying around that they are willing sell? I have a renewed interest in making something of this rifle now that I think I have solved the problem ;D

Thanks

Matt
Hi Matt,

Send me a whatsapp on o83 five6five oh7five 8, I have an unused bottom metal from a 6.5 Creedmoor gathering dust.
Johan

CZ P07 Gen 2 - 9mm P
Howa 6.5 Creedmoor

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Gian_dP
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Re: Howa Short Action hinged floor-plate magazine problem

Post by Gian_dP » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:39 am

Yours looks like a 223 short action floorplate, rather than a standard Howa SA floorplate.

Sure someone will have a spare for you. I will have one available for you as soon as my licence is approved.

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danie1966
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Re: Howa Short Action hinged floor-plate magazine problem

Post by danie1966 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:13 pm

Hi Matt
Sorry to Hi-Jack your post,I am also looking for a Floor-plate for my 243,Stainless steel if somebody have one.
Good luck with your project.

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BigMattZA
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Re: Howa Short Action hinged floor-plate magazine problem

Post by BigMattZA » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:50 pm

Thanks for the replies guys - Draegan has has kindly helped me out.
Howa .243, BSA 30-06, Baikal 12g, Aya 410, CZ 452 Lux .22

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