Howa helped kick off the Accuracy for Peanuts Era with the Model 1500 Hogue, which is still a solid all-around rifle and an excellent value at $570. But that model is a tad stout if you hunt the mountains. For that, you need to check out the company’s brand new Alpine Mountain Rifle, which weighs a wispy 5.7 pounds. The Mountain Rifle is built on the same proven 1500 action, which, by the way, is the same action and excellent two-stage trigger you’ll find on a Weatherby Vanguard. But there are some major upgrades on this model, including a sleek Banser High Tech fiberglass stock, as well as a Cerakote finish on all the metal parts. The gun has a 20-inch No. 1 barrel, a Pachmeyer Decelerator pad, and can be set up with a hinged, metal floorplate or a polymer box magazine. A shaved receiver and hollowed bolt handle further trim weight.
But like the heavier Hogue, this one is also a great value. Available in .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem., 6.5 Creedmore, and .308 Win., the Mountain Rifle costs under $1,200 for the bare gun, or under $1,600 with Talley rings and a Vortex Viper 3-9×40 scope.