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JRAgunmaker 02-05-2018 03:57 AM

Mini Howa Custom Floormetal etc...
Hi guys
Been lurking for years. I'm an avid fan of little rifles. Many of you have probably seen pics of the custom mini MarkX Mauser I built several years ago.
Later I bought a CZ in 204 thinking I would build some custom parts for it as well, but there isn't enough metal left to make it a staggered magazine.

Then along came the Howa Mini action. I had some left over parts from the mini Mauser floormetals I made 20 years ago and took a trigger guard and floorplate and drew up some "rails" to fit the mini howa with these parts. I really like the mini markX customs I've built, but they are a truck load of work to turn into something I want to sign my name to. The Howa action is a well made slick action. The floormetal and magazine. well.... I don't want to break any forum rules being brutally honest here. The price of the rifle is beyond reasonable. It just needs some chrome valve covers, chrome air cleaner and some cool braided hoses to complete the package.

I've got a prototype mag box folded up (requires minor feed rail mods), robbed the mag spring and follower from my full size 223 1500 Howa and made the floormetal to match that seen above in the custom MiniX pics. Feeds great and loads from the top like a normal rifle. Other metal parts to be made are a three position safety and custom bolt handle that can be installed with some dovetail machining and silver solder to match custom classic parts like in the pics above. For custom stock parts I make all my patterns from scratch and recently acquired a full size CNC with digitizing capability so I can offer a CNC inlet and CNC machined outside shape for those interested in doing a little finish work of their own. Back in the early 90s I built& digitized patterns for Dakota Arms. It's not the latest tech, but very effective in producing a semi inlet that requires little work to finish. I also have access to a synthetic stockmaker that will make stocks off my pattern. Just takes some startup cash to build the mold.

Hope there's a little interest in the project. I also have a thumbhole pattern I got 25 years ago from my TSJC instructor Ed Shulin that I've never used and he had no problem with me using it for profit.

Hope I'm not steppin on any toes with the shameless plug, just thought those that read this forum are as big a fan of little rifles as I am.

James Anderson

ben lurkin 02-05-2018 04:03 AM

Yes. A traditional floorplate for the Howa 1500 Mini would be great. Thanks for the write-up.

Tackdriver 02-05-2018 08:43 PM

If it were reasonably priced, I'd love it. But remember, these are guns that can be had for around $400.

drewh 02-05-2018 10:16 PM

That would be a great help to that rifle, the bottom part scares me away -most of my shooting is single shot. I think Tackdriver has the point, if the price point is reasonable I believe people would gobble them up.

JRAgunmaker 02-06-2018 12:58 AM

At this time I don't have anything for sale. Just building one for my self. Nobody is paying me to get it done, so it's only getting worked on in between full days in the shop, fixing every vehicle I own and going to my boy's Sturgis High School Basketball and Baseball games.

I know the Howa rifles are very competitively priced. The reason for that is the quality of everything except the action, barrel and bolt. Everything else is designed to be cheap. The action is a very well made rendition of a small Sako. Barrels shoot quite well out of the box.

As mentioned above, a single shot floormetal and static follower would be much less work than building custom 09 Argentine style floormetal along with a follower and spring and the limited machine work on the action required.

Machining out of aluminum would be faster/cheaper than steel. It just doesn't rust blue very well. Still an economical option though.

As far as building parts to fit existing stocks. I probably won't go there.

I tried to source the mag spring and follower from the 2 US suppliers with very little luck. I did try several different ones like Rem, Ruger, Savage, MiniX and nothing worked as smooth as the spring and follower from my 223 "full size" Howa 1500. Followers are not too difficult to make from scratch, but the spring will take some tooling for my Richards Multiform bender. As well as outsourcing the heat treating.

The prototype mag box was bent around a plug machined to the inside dimensions. Works for one or 2, but I'll probably have the blanks laser cut then bend them here on the above mentioned bender.

Here's a few pics of where it's at now. The trigger guard isn't TIG welded to the rails yet and the hinge pin isn't drilled yet. The trigger might function well, but looks like an afterthought. It's gotta go.

Bill K 02-06-2018 01:28 AM

Mini Howa Custom Floormetal etc....
The rifle photo's are gorgeous and the work you are doing on the floor plate and all look very well made. Thanks for sharing that. Bill K :)

ray h 02-06-2018 02:49 AM

James that Mini Mauser is absolutely beautiful. When you first posted it on the other site, I kept going back studying it. I have a question on the Howa, what will you do to the upper rear tang angle to get the graceful transition into the pistol grip you have on the Mini. Thanks for posting examples of your work.

camel 02-06-2018 08:13 AM

That little Mini Mauser is a bloody cracker. One question though, why the thumb cut out on the left side of the action ?
I also reckon the Howa mini floor plate and magazine are very nicely done. :)

JRAgunmaker 02-06-2018 02:49 PM


Originally Posted by ray h (Post 266268)
what will you do to the upper rear tang angle to get the graceful transition into the pistol grip you have on the Mini.

Good question Ray.
The bolt stop return spring hole limits the amount I can flatten the angle of the tang. But a little flatter is possible. The sides of the tang have NO draft and that pesky spring hole is close to the edge. I could probably get by with running around the tang with a 1 deg taper instead of the 2 deg I usually use on MiniX tangs, and making clover leafs on a newer M70.

Here's a few Brno Mod1 pics with a fairly steep tang. I did run the 2deg around the profile as well as flattening it a little. Even though it's steeper than the MiniX, I can fake it! Can still make a graceful looking stock profile though.

JRAgunmaker 02-06-2018 02:57 PM


Originally Posted by camel (Post 266277)
why the thumb cut out on the left side of the action ?

The client wanted the G33/40 look. Shane Thompson whittled that part of the receiver.
If you have ever hunted with a MiniX you know how frustrating it can be to load the magazine. I cutout a loading gate thumb slot that mimics the cutout on a pre64M70 receiver for bolt guide clearance.

I would definitely do this on the Mini Howa as well.

Here's my personal MiniX with the above mentioned treatment.

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