Steve Comus – GUN TALK

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Friday, December 9, 2011
Federal Guard Dog ™ Home Defense Ammo
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Weaver 40/44 Scope

Howa’s New Trigger System
Legacy Sports International is now putting the Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger™ into Howa rifles.


steve comus

STEVE COMUS CHECKS out the new Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger™ on a Howa 1500 rifle in .308 Winchester.

This is big news in several ways, not the least of which is that the new trigger system really works great. It also represents one in an ongoing series of things Legacy does to continue to make good things better and great things even more outstanding.


One of the things that separates Legacy from a lot of other operations is that the folks who make the decisions around Legacy truly are serious hunters and shooters. That matters – a lot.


“Howa is now equipping each barreled action with the new Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger system (HACT) that eliminates trigger creep and lightens trigger pull,” Legacy reported. “The HACT system fits all Howa M-1500 rifles that were previously equipped with Howa’s three position safety trigger group.”


The HACT assembly is a completely redesigned trigger and sear unit that actually create a two-stage trigger.


This allows the shooter to take up trigger creep before squeez­ing through to touch off the round. HACT allows for a lighter let-off of between 2.5 and 3.8 pounds, eliminating trigger jerk – or pulling off the shot because the trigger pull is too heavy.


To check out the new trigger system, I used a Howa with a green Hogue stock that was chambered in .308 Winchester. Nice rig. It came topped with the Nikko Stirling 3-10x42 Nighteater scope, which made a really nice, tidy package.


Although single-stage triggers had more or less become the norm in Gundom over time, I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off.


It was something I had learned on the old military surplus rifles, target rifles and the like. Then again in recent times, I have begun to use two-stage triggers more, since some of the more fun trigger systems on AR rifles are two-stage.


So when Legacy announced a two-stage system for the Howa rifle, I became excited. And I wasn’t disappointed in the shooting of it, either.


The take-up on the trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage was remindful of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.


Certainly the trigger itself does nothing to impede the shot, which is crucial at the moment of truth.


When I first took the rig to the range to check it out, it took only five shots from the time it was taken out of the box until it was fully sighted-in and hunt-ready. Actually, it was pretty much ready at three shots, but I fired to more to confirm – which is my normal routine.


Legacy has done it again – taken a great product and made it even better.


Howa rifles tend to be extremely accurate, which means that it is possible to actually take advantage of things like a trigger that really works right.


Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at


howa's new-trigger_illustration

HOWA’s NEW TRIGGER system, called the Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger system (HACT), is a two-stage system that works great.

Reader Comments
I have the new trigger on a Howa in 204 Ruger, it is really a step up from the old trigger. Which I had on a 22-250 Howa.
Bill Kauffman

I am a bit confused. I am interested in buying a good hunting rifle and this seems like an option and the more traditional style I am interested in buying. But is Howa a Legacy brand or a separate company, and what does a two stage trigger system do for a gun. You mention that it is used in AR style rifles. I am looking for a gun that has good components, but I want it to be rock solid and safety when chasing deer over mountains and such is more of a concern than is firing off rounds quickly.
Bob Spencer
Bob. Howa/Legacy are actually Make and/or work with Weatherby.. They are a solid, well built firearm. Check out Legacy Sports (Goggle) and visit their site. Bill K
Bill Kauffman
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