May 10, 2023
By Tom Beckstrand
The Seekins Havak HIT is a rifle unlike any other bolt-action currently available due to its unique characteristics. No other rifle (at any price) combines all of these relevant features. The Havak HIT is easily re-barreled to short-action standard and magnum cartridges with just a change of the barrel and bolt head using a single Torx wrench; it has tunable magazine height for maximum feeding reliability; and a two-lug bolt design that places one lug at 6 o’clock to enable reliable feeding from double-stack magazines. Additionally, there are more details that make this a desirable rifle that’s suitable for everything from long-range hunting to precision-rifle competition.
I became friends with Glen Seekins almost 10 years ago when we were squadded next to each other in a Precision Rifle Series (PRS) match. These were the early days of the PRS when there was a variety of rifles and cartridges at every match. Seekins was shooting one of his gas guns chambered in .243 Winchester and I had a bolt-action chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor (before it became so popular. We’ve stayed in touch ever since, and I’ve visited his factory in Lewiston, Idaho, many times.
About 20 years ago, Seekins was fresh out of high school and wondering what to do with his life. He told me, “All my friends at the time bought nice trucks, and I bought a milling machine.” He started making really good scope rings in his garage, which were quickly noticed by the shooting community. The business took off like a rifle shot. “I have a nice truck now,” he said.
What started in his garage is now a factory on the edge of town. (It gets bigger every time I visit.) Seekins Precision makes everything on the rifle sent to Guns & Ammo for testing except for the trigger, the rubber grip and the buttpad. Making all of this in-house was a deliberate decision, which made the Havak HIT possible.
Seekins designed the bolt body for the HIT a few years back. What I immediately noticed when I first saw it at the 2022 SHOT Show were the location of the bolt lugs. My first instinct was to tell him, “Thank you. “Thanks for putting the bolt lugs in the right place.” His response was, “Sure thing. How about that extractor and ejector?” That original bolt is in the HIT receiver, but the receiver is new. The combination has such a unique and thoughtful design, it’s worth taking a look at the details.
Most two-lug actions, of which this is one, feature lugs at the 3- and 9-o’clock position when the action is open. Mauser and Remington Model 700 receivers follow this pattern, Mausers because the large claw extractor mandated it.
Seekins moved the bolt lugs 90 degrees to ride at 12 and 6 o’clock with the action is open. This allows the bottom lug to have massive engagement with rounds fed from the magazine. This is also why this rifle pairs well with the 10-round Accuracy International AW magazine. The AI AW double-stack magazine can create feeding problems with traditional two-lug actions, but the HIT has no issues at all. The AW magazine extends down from the rifle about a half-inch farther than a five-round AICS magazine. There are 2 inches of additional protrusion for an AICS 10-round magazine, which doubles the rifle’s capacity with minimal additional length extending below the magazine well.
Placing a bolt lug at the 6-o’clock position when open also means the recess for that lug near the breech functions as a large feed ramp for cartridges coming into the chamber. I tested the Havak HIT in 6mm GT, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC. Normally, short-and-fat magnum cartridges rattle into the chamber, but these slid right in. There was no detectable change in feeding from the more slender 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges than the fatter 6.5 PRC cartridges.
Another significant feature for which I’m thankful is that Seekins didn’t feel obligated to make the receiver on a Remington Model 700 footprint, a point that many complain about regarding other actions. The problem with the M700 footprint is that there is little action screw engagement with the receiver. The action screws on an M700 need to be checked regularly to ensure they haven’t come loose. The HIT receiver has so much action screw engagement, you only need the front screw to accurately shoot the rifle. Far from a parlor trick, a knowledgeable machinist would tell you that two times the fastener diameter in thread engagement is required to ensure it doesn’t come loose. The HIT meets this qualification, so it increases sustained reliability in the field.
The receiver also has a series of flats on the bottom that correspond with inverse flats on the chassis. The result is a lot of supporting contact between the barreled action and chassis; the two don’t move around under recoil. The Havak HIT is accurate; it will stay that way even during prolonged use.
One of the HIT chassis’ most valuable features is the height-adjustable magazine catch. Elsewhere, this detail gets almost no discussion because many consumers don’t know why it’s there. All AICS-pattern and AW magazines are not created equal. They may have the same external dimensions, but the location of the magazine catch varies, as does the feed lip geometry. Even magazines made by the same manufacturer can have a lot of sample-to-sample variation.
The historic fix is to “tweak the feed lips” by using a special tool (or pliers, for the Bubbas). Nobody gets excited about this fix because it’s trial and error, and, once those lips bend, there’s no undoing the handiwork.
The adjustable mag catch in the HIT allows the shooter to easily set the magazine height that’s ideal for the rifle. For example, I found that my AW magazines do best when the feed lips sit flush along the bottom of the action. My AICS metal magazines run better with a gap between the feed lips and action. Other AICS magazines may work best flush with the bottom of the receiver, depending on the feed-lip geometry of that particular magazine. The way to adjust the catch is to first loosen it with a 1⁄16 Allen wrench. The process to find where that magazine likes to sit for optimal feeding is trial and error, but repositioning the magazine catch does not result in a permanent alteration of the rifle. Once the magazine is in the sweet spot, tighten the mag catch in place.
The chassis’ forend is flat on the bottom. It includes M-Lok slots on both sides at the bottom, which is removeable. There is also a night-vision bridge that bolts onto the forend for using with clip-on thermal and night vision devices. There is an integral barricade stop where the forend meets the chassis’ center section, which prevents a barricade or field support from interfering with the magazine.
Also important, the recoil lug for the HIT is integrated in the chassis, and it protrudes up into a recess in the receiver. Seekins said, “It’s a lot more durable solution when a barreled action is put in and removed from a chassis multiple times.”
One Rifle, Three Chamberings
My range experience with this rifle was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I’d shoot a few groups with various loads in one chambering and then remove the hot barrel so I could keep shooting another barrel in a different cartridge. I cycled through 6mm GT, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC. I didn’t adjust the magazine catch while at the range and was surprised with how smoothly the 6.5 PRC fed. The catch must have come in the perfect position, because I’ve never had a 6.5 PRC round feed so smoothly.
Part of the fun was how easy it was to change barrels. The 6mm GT to 6.5 Creedmoor switch only required a barrel swap, so I grabbed an old T-shirt, loosened the single Torx bolt at the top of the receiver face, and unscrewed the old barrel. The new barrel threaded right in, hand-tight, and a quick spin of the Torx had me shooting groups with that one. I never had to stop and wait for the barrel to cool.
The switch to 6.5 PRC necessitates a bolt-head change, which requires no tools. A quick twist of the bolt shroud separates the firing pin assembly from the bolt body. A cartridge nose pushes the retaining pin out of the bolt body and the bolt head drops free. Reverse the process with the new bolt head and you’re back in business.
Any time quick-change caliber conversion comes up in discussions, shooters wants to know if putting a different barrel on the rifle in a different chamber will move the point of impact (POI). Yes, of course it will. Even if there are two different barrels of the same chambering cut by the same reamer, the POI will change. The number one contributing factor to how much the POI changes is how consistently the barrel is torqued to the receiver. The next most important issue is cleanliness. The barrel shoulder, action face and treads all need to be free of dust and debris because any foreign material will change the barrel’s headspace. The biggest change I saw regarding POI shift from one barrel to the next came when moving from 6.5 Creedmoor to 6.5 PRC. I saw about 8 inches of movement at 100 yards. The accuracy of both barrels was exceptional.
The Havak HIT has been a great seller for Seekins Precision, and I understand why. Seekins offers barrels for the rifle and has released the drawings for anyone to make pre-fit barrels available. A guy could have his local gunsmith spin up a lightweight carbon-fiber 6.5 PRC barrel for hunting, or he could use the heavier contour when there isn’t a lot of walking. The competitive shooter or recreational steel-dinger has lots of options, too. Since Seekins’ barrels sell new for $400, that would be my first stop if I was in the market for a new chambering in my Havak HIT Pro.
Seekins Precision Havak HIT PRO
- Type: Bolt-action
- Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor (tested), 6.5 PRC (tested), 6mm GT (tested), 6mm Creedmoor, .308 Win. (1:11.25)
Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds.
- Barrel: 24 in.; 1:8-in. twist, 416 stainless
- Overall Length: 34.5 in. (folded); 41.5 in. (extended)
- Weight: 11 lbs., 9 oz.
- Stock: Chassis; adjustable comb, adjustable length of pull
- Grip: Ergo Vertical
- Length of Pull: 12.75 in. (collapsed); 14.25 in. (extended)
- Finish: Type III hard-coat anodized (aluminum); Cerakote (steel)
- Sights: None
- Trigger: Timney Trigger HIT
- MSRP: $2,400
- Manufacturer: Seekins Precision, 208-743-3400, seekinsprecision.com
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