The Howa 1500 in .223 is one of a few heavy-barreled varmint guns I rely upon. This reasonably priced rifle, purchased two years ago, is equipped with a Burris 10X Mil-Dot scope, and the combination reliably delivers sub-MOA groups at 100 yards with my carefully assembled hand loads. It has served well on Belding's ground squirrels, though the .223 has proven a bit excessive or heavy-handed for these sage rats. I've spent much more on varmint rifles and gotten much less. Colleagues have questioned the Hogue stock, but the results speak for themselves. The rifle shoots accurately.