Solution to Howa stock issue
I write in reply to the letter by Daryl (Australian Shooter, October) referring to my review of the Howa HCR combo and the question he poses. Lightweight stocks for the Howa with a pistol grip is a tough one. The Talon your friend has is an excellent unit and the big plus is it’s affordable. I’ve found that fore-end flex can be reduced by filling in the barrel channel with Devcon epoxy putty or similar - I’ve done this with a few Hogue stocks with good results.
Other than that I don’t know of any other non-chassis type stocks that have a pistol grip. A custom walnut stock by someone like Hatchers here in Australia could be an option but will be pricey.
The lightest stock I ever had on a Howa was a McMillan EDGE fill carbon fibre unit on a long action 30-06. The stock weighed around 800 grams and cost about $800 from the US some years ago. Today, waiting times make ordering a McMillan direct from the US a very lengthy proposition.
My advice is go for the Talon if you can get one and try stiffening the fore-end - it may only add 100 grams to the stock so will still be great to carry.
Con Kapralos, SA
05 February 2019