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Old August 2, 2000, 07:33 AM   #1
BMiracle
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Join Date: February 12, 2000
Posts: 159
I just recently acquired a New England Firearms single shot .223. It has a polymer pistol grip stock and a 22" heavy barrel. Has anyone had any experience with this rifle and if so do you have any good loads for it. Any info is greatly appreciated.
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Old August 2, 2000, 01:51 PM   #2
Fred
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Join Date: November 3, 1998
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A friend has the NEF .223 like yours, while I have its sister rifle -- an H&R .223 with 22" heavy barrel. Loads that work well in my rifle don't necessarily work well in his, so it might be more valuable for you to work up loads for your particular rifle.

One sidenote - I prefer neck-sizing to full length, so use that method whenever possible. I used to scrounge brass from a friend's H-Bar, first full length sizing, then neck sizing from then on. Apparently the chambers in these NER and H&R rifles are on the generous side, since experimentation revealed that I didn't have to full length resize the first time. Yes, I mean that I pick up his discarded brass, neck size only from the first time on, and use it without difficulty in our rifles.

Both of us have had some minor difficulty with extraction when the loads were near or at maximum. I'm not sure the extractor is strong enough, but that's just a guess.

I can tell you that both of these rifles will shoot extremely well with the load they like. Not too bad for a rifle that originally cost me $189! Hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

------------------
Regards - AZFred


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Old August 2, 2000, 03:10 PM   #3
BMiracle
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Thanks for the info AZFred. I had already planned on the neck-sizing stage of the reloading process. Should really work well on this rifle. I am planning on shooting Hornady 52gr HPBT. Thanks for the info.
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Old August 2, 2000, 04:15 PM   #4
Fred
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Forgot to mention that the chamber im mine will allow me to seat 55 grain bullets at least .025" longer than published maximum OAL's. Don't have the books here, but if memory serves, max OAL is listed as 2.250 and I seat my bullets out to 2.275 to 2.280. This definitely helped improve accuracy for me.

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Regards - AZFred


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Old August 2, 2000, 06:32 PM   #5
beemerb
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Join Date: October 2, 1999
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,759
Brother had one and shot 1/2 inch or less all the time.He did a little trigger work on it beforehand.
I have one in 45-70.Haven't realy grouped it but seems to have good hunting groups.They are neat guns and seem to be well built for the price.

------------------
Bob--- Age and deceit will overcome youth and speed.
I'm old and deceitful.
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Old August 26, 2000, 11:44 AM   #6
DaMan
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Join Date: July 16, 2000
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Range Observations: NEF .223 standard contour barrel.

I was able to break the 1MOA barrier with my NEF Handi in .223 with handloads that were intended to be used in my AR-15s.

Lessons learned:

1. My standard contour barrel tends to walk, if I don't allow about 5 minutes between shots for the barrel to cool. Groups shot with a hot barrel tend to string straight up vertically. Horizontal dispersion remains around 3/4" at 100yds but vertical dispersion is much greater!

I don't know if you guys with the heavy barrels have the same problem. If you do, it's probably not as noticeable. My advice..... get the heavy barrel!

2. Although I haven't loaded specifically for this rifle, I know that it would benefit accuracy by using fireformed cases that are neck sized only and the bullets seated longer (AZ Fred mentioned this before).

3. The trigger on my Handi sucks! Gotta do something about this!

4. I experienced no ejection problems. I've fired about 150 rounds without cleaning the chamber (just the barrel every 10-15 rds.) The only time I had problems with extraction was when I tried to catch the ejected round and inadvertently bounced the case back into the chamber over the extractor. Note: I have not fired what I consider HOT cartridges.

The load I used to crack the 1MOA barrier was a Sierra 52gr. MK with 21.5 gr. loaded at 2.260" with I4198 in a Fed. case sized to ANSI min., and a WSR primer. Avg. of five 5-shot groups 1.059" at 100yds. (smallest .806" largest 1.140"). Remember..... this ammo was loaded for my ARs for magazine length function! I'm sure these groups can be improved with loads designed specifically for this particular gun!

Regards! DaMan

[This message has been edited by DaMan (edited August 26, 2000).]
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