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Old September 26, 2015, 03:58 PM   #1
littlephil
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Why no custom H&R 922s?

I just did a Google search, and came up with very few examples. My question is, why? From what I've heard, they were always inexpensive and plentiful, so why weren't they customized more? It seems to me that they would make some pretty neat little customs. They're not super complex, are they hard to rebarrel or weld on? Does anybody have one, especially customs? Any input is appreciated.
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Old September 26, 2015, 04:30 PM   #2
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Unless you just want to practice, why would you want to? Make a custom what? IMO it would be like a custom Studebaker Lark, when the smoke clears away you still have a Studebakers Lark. Again m just my HO.
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Old September 26, 2015, 04:38 PM   #3
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I don't think there were many people interested in putting $500 worth of work into a $40 gun.
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Old September 26, 2015, 04:50 PM   #4
littlephil
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I understand those points, but what about the people who did, and still do, have milsurps built? Especially the mosin now. And like was said already, what about practicing smiths? Also, why not? They're a pretty dependable revolver, and speaking of revolvers, what about putting a suppressor on a nagant revolver? My point is, why don't we see more of them, there are lots of different oddball rifles that get customized to some degree.
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Old September 26, 2015, 04:54 PM   #5
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You might be surprised. I watched a youtube video recently, by a guy who claimed to have over a grand in parts and modifications in his WASR 10.
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Old September 26, 2015, 05:21 PM   #6
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Just because you can does not mean you should.
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Old September 26, 2015, 06:27 PM   #7
DPris
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The 922 was simply not a good enough candidate as a base gun to bother with.
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Old September 27, 2015, 11:38 AM   #8
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Denis is correct. H&R tried in its ads to make its guns sound as good or better than guns like the S&W K-22 or Colt OMM, but they just weren't. Barrels were not as accurate, chambering and cylinder alignment was not as good, cylinder lockup was not as good, good trigger pulls were impossible due to the design, cylinder ratchets wore out rapidly due to small teeth and sharp hands, even the target sights were sloppy.

H&R (and also Iver Johnson) had the same basic problem for decades. While they made guns that were competitive at one point, they chose to remain in the "affordable" category, so they never had the capital to do a complete overhaul of their designs and manufacturing. They fell further and further behind as other companies improved their products over the years. It is as if Chevrolet and Toyota were making fast, economical, and reliable 2016 models, while Ford was still producing the Model T, just offerning new colors each year.

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Old September 27, 2015, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
...what about the people who did, and still do, have milsurps built?
Ah, there's a fundamental difference there. Milsurps are cheap and plentiful because they're being obsoleted by the government that used them. They're not cheap and plentiful because they're inexpensively made.

So it makes sense to start with a solid foundation that just happens to be inexpensive and build a custom firearm on that base. That's why you see customized milsurps but not customized H&R top-breaks.
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Old September 27, 2015, 01:35 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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P.O. Ackley said the H&R Sportsman, especially the single action 199, was a very decent gun, although not equal to a K22 or OMM.
A friend was bidding on an Ultra Sportsman 777. I wish he had told me when he dropped out, I would have carried it up another $50 or so.
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Old September 27, 2015, 01:48 PM   #11
kilimanjaro
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I'll take my old man's Studebaker Lark over a 922 any day!

We were a Studebaker family until 1963, cars and trucks, then got a Chevy.
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Old September 27, 2015, 05:43 PM   #12
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Jim K, I never really thought about it that way. It makes a lot of sense.
John, I realize that milsurps like the mausers and springfields and the like were of great quality in most cases. But others like the carcanos and especially most examples of mosin nagants aren't all that well finished and aren't known for great accuracy. But I've seen several of each sporterized and even quite a few mosins rebarreled.
So I guess the biggest limiting factor for the 922, and most of the H&R revolvers, is the lockwork right?
I did see a couple that I thought were pretty neat, one had a wire buttstock welded on and a longer barrel, and another just had a longer (really long) barrel. Thanks for the input guys.
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Old September 27, 2015, 08:29 PM   #13
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I had a H & R at one time. Customize it? Why? They were cheap wheel guns that were affordable . . . a basic Yugo and not a Ford Lincoln. The only way I could see someone (back when they were popular and sold through magazines and at the local gas station) would want to do anything to them would be either out of boredom or practice. And . . . if a person had extra $$ to spend on customizing one . . they'd dump it and buy something nicer like a good S & W, etc.

No disrespect intended in my answer . . . just stating my "old man's point of view". You mention the Moisin so I'm guessing that you may be younger? I can well remember when Nagants were considered "junk" by most folks. When I was younger, many years ago, I bought one. Paid a whole $17 dollars for it . . and it was "junk". A local gun shop has two now that I think they have $200 for them. Personally, I wouldn't pay $20 for them but for most folks today, they are affordable . . as opposed to something like a nice 03A3, etc. But take a $200 Nagant, dump $500 - $600 in to it to "customize" it . . and you could take the same money or save a little longer and have a decent 03A3 shooter.

Don't get me wrong on the H & R . . they were for the most part a good knock around pistol . . . and there are those who are finding them collectible . . . either those my age with "nostalgia" and too much money to spend . . . or a younger generation who finds them "vintage" and "affordable". Nothing wrong with that. But in the end . . . you can't make a Cadillac out of a tricycle.
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Old September 27, 2015, 10:38 PM   #14
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Billy, no disrespect taken. Your guess is correct, I'm only a quarter century old (at the end of December anyway). I too think the prices people are asking for mosins are ridiculous, however I only remember when they were $85-100. The whole reason o even started looking for custom 922s is because I have one and just wanted to see what's been done with em over the years. The reason I was so surprised to see so little done is because I've seen people put crazy money into some odd guns. I saw a video (may have been on here) of a guy who had stupid money in a high point. I just couldn't believe that so few people have played with the H&Rs.
Although I now feel compelled to build a Cadillac tricycle, big fins on custom rear fenders, chrome dipped wheels, leather seat and wood grain handles.
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Old September 28, 2015, 05:51 AM   #15
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Sorry, but as the others have said, if "back in the day" someone had the money to pour into customizing a 922, he bought a better gun in the first place.

If I was to buy one today, I wouldn't do anything to it, because I want it to be what it was originally intended to be. I'd want one in the box, in like new condition, just the way I remember them in display case at some place like "Miracle Mart" or "Bubba's Bait and Gun Shop."

I'd probably never shoot it.
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Old September 28, 2015, 05:53 AM   #16
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I bought two 20+ years ago for snakes (Cooper Heads with snake shot) and general farm use. They have done their job several times and held up very well. Accuracy with 22lr is okay, I have the same gun in 32S&W Long and it shoots much more accurately. They are, for me, inexpensive little tractor/farm guns and better than a sharp stick! They are also a step back to an earlier time, for that they are worth a lot to me. Never thought of customizing them though.
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Old September 28, 2015, 07:22 AM   #17
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Kilimanjaro, My dad bought a new Studebaker pickup in 1950, decided it was a lemon, traded in in on a new 1951 Studebaker pickup. Decided all were lemons, traded the 51 for a Kaiser, I don't think it was so good either. Chevys or Fords after that.
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Old September 28, 2015, 09:41 AM   #18
tallball
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I have several H&R revolvers for plinking. They are fun and dirt-cheap. I remember them being on sale for $87 NIB when I was a teen.
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Old September 28, 2015, 09:52 PM   #19
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I also disagree with the comparison to milsurps. Those guns are cheap because they are obsolete and essentially useless as weapons. A nation does not arm its troops with cheap or shoddy rifles unless it simply cannot afford anything better. Since the survival of the nation might quite literally depend on the quality of its weapons, it will buy or make the best it can afford that meet its requirements.

Those requirements might not seem reasonable to us today, and the choices made might not be what we consider the best, but that is 20-20 hindsight. An example is the Italian Carcano. Today, it is scorned (partly because one was used to assassinate a president), but it was not at all a bad rifle at the time it was adopted. It was at least as good, or even better, than other rifles in use at the time. (If you had to fight a war in 1891, would you have preferred to have a Carcano or the trapdoor Springfield, the U.S. rifle at the time? Custer need not reply.)

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