opaww - I personally LOVE the Howa actions, but here is some due dilligence so you are an informed purchaser.
The Howa's are CNC machined at a state of the art factory, but it's in Japan, they are not a US owned or operated company. They are imported under the Howa line and also as the Weatherby Vanguard line.
It's a very solid, flat bottom action that is perfect for glass bedding. The front recoil lug is built into the action and is very solid. Much larger/beefier than any other "factory" action.
The bolt handle is a one piece drop forged unit that is very durable.
The extractor on the Howa is the Sako style, made of a real good, solid steel construction.
Howa's have a three position safety that acts as a trigger block and locks the bolt closed in the third position.
All in all I find it to be an excellent design, one capable of shooting extremely well right out of the box and would have no problems recommending one.
I built my grandfather a .25-06 on a Howa action and he said it was the finest rifle he ever owned. Though some of that might have been the fact that I made it custom for him.
Depending on the condition of the rifle, and what you are getting with the package, $400 could be a steal...
Thanks JD, It is just the rifle right out of the box, Synthetic stock, and that is all I know about it. So thought I would ask sense I have never shot one or even seen one until yesterday.
MY choices are That Howa, or a Savage 10FP, or a Remington 700 all .308. The Savage and Remington are around $150 more but I know their reliability, which I did not know about the Howa, and neither did Kenny at KCR. I am hoping to get into some long range shooting before long and the $150 I would save buying the Howa could be used to get a better scope is one way I was looking at it.
The Howa was the only one he had that was a 24 inch BBL in that price range so that was a plus again.
$400 for a Howa 1500 in .308 with the 24 Heavy Barrel is a fair price. It's not the lowest I have seen, but here is an on line site that is offering what I am envisioning you are looking at for about the same price.
The Howa is a good, reliable, well built action that will treat you right. It's also a hell of an action platform to blue print out and build a real tack driver on should you be so inclined down the road.