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Old January 30, 2013, 09:30 PM   #1
steveNChunter
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H&R Handi-rifle

Im looking into getting a Handi-rifle for a brush/short range deer gun. Ive heard they are a pretty accurate, well built gun considering they go for under $300.

Just wanted to hear from some Handi-rifle owners, what kind of accuracy are you getting? Have you had any problems? If you had it to do over would you buy one again?

As far as caliber choice from what's available, I'm looking at .30-30 or .308, maybe even 7mm-08 or .30-06.
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Old January 30, 2013, 10:14 PM   #2
kilotanker22
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I would buy a 30-06. And I have owned several hand I rifles I would see if they still make the survivor I had one in 308 it was sweet and yes they are accurate at least the seven I have had were
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Old January 31, 2013, 12:08 AM   #3
SGreve32x
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I had one of the Survivor models in 223. Worst thing I did was sell it. Very good, accurate, and reliable rifle.
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Old January 31, 2013, 12:30 AM   #4
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I have two synthetic handi's and I'm very pleased with them, one in .45-70 with irons and the other a scoped .243. I haven't gotten to take them out very far but they've always put rounds on target. For what I paid for them I don't see any reason to ever sell them
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Old January 31, 2013, 04:50 AM   #5
steveNChunter
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What did y'all think of the stock trigger? Ive heard they are pretty darn heavy. I assume a lighter spring would remedy this

At the moment I'm in favor of the .308. What do you think of it as a close range "brush gun?" I know everybody's favorite is the .30-.30 but the ballistics are miles apart.
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Old January 31, 2013, 05:21 AM   #6
Bamashooter
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I have a handi-rifle in .243 caliber. It has a Burris FF2 scope and it shoots 1.5-2'' groups with 100gr Cor-Lokt PSP ammunition. Ive had it for several years now and I have no complaints. Its a good rifle. I need to get a 30-06 barrel to go with it.
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Old January 31, 2013, 06:17 AM   #7
Picher
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With the advent of the Ruger American bolt-action being sold for $260 +/-, the Handi-Rifle is a less attractive alternative.

I've had a Handi-Rifle in .243 Win and though it shoots 2-3" groups at 100 yards, ejection of handloaded shells has been problematic. They also tend to string shots vertically, depending on how the forend is held/rested. Although the transfer bar is a pretty safe mechanism, cocking the rifle to shoot is slower than flipping a safety.

The Ruger American often shoots under an inch at 100 yards and is proving to be a very good rifle. I don't own one, but considered one before buying a Tikka T3.
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Old January 31, 2013, 07:11 AM   #8
Kreyzhorse
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My buddy has one in 30.06. We use it as a back up on hunting trips and while it isn't used a lot, I have hunted with it and found it accurate and very reliable.

If I needed a new rifle, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
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Old January 31, 2013, 12:15 PM   #9
Old Grump
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Mine is the Model SB2 - 808 Ultra, caliber .308. It is literally the most accurate centerfire rifle I own. My brothers K31 comes close and my 300 Wby mag comes close. Two of my brothers and I have a fairly large collection between us of centerfire rifles from 25-20 up to .348 but none come close to touching the H&R for consistency and since the day I got it this gun has been my go to deer rifle when shooting from a stand.
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Old January 31, 2013, 12:20 PM   #10
603Country
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I reloaded for Dad's Handi Rifle in 223. It shot pretty good, though I didn't get real serious about measuring groups. The trigger was really pretty good. Not a Timney, but not bad at all. The two things that I did notice were:

- The stock comb wasn't high enough to get a cheek weld and see through the scope, so we got a cheek pad. That solved the problem.
- The rifle wouldn't let me get too close to 'book maximum' on reloads. I got flattened primers and tough extraction well before I got to book max.

And one more thing...when I'd open the action and wasn't putting my hand over the chamber, that extractor would fling the empty brass case about 10 yards over my shoulder. I'd be digging in the leaves looking for the case.

I considered buying one, but when I went to look at them I found a Ruger Hawkeye in stainless for not a whole lot more money. I bought the Ruger and have been very happy with it.
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Old January 31, 2013, 03:07 PM   #11
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
And one more thing...when I'd open the action and wasn't putting my hand over the chamber, that extractor would fling the empty brass case about 10 yards over my shoulder. I'd be digging in the leaves looking for the case.
That's not a problem, any more.
H&R eliminated ejectors for all centerfire and rimfire models. They're only available with extractors, now.
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Old January 31, 2013, 03:19 PM   #12
TacticalDefense1911
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I've owned a .22 Hornet Handi-rifle for nearly 20 years now. I've killed more groundhogs with that gun then I care to count. The finish isn't great, they are heavy and the stocks are cheap but for the money they are hard to beat if a no-frills, single shot rifle is what you are looking for. The trigger is heavy compared to that of a say a Remington 700 or Savage bolt gun but they break clean. They are usable but could stand to be lighter.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:20 PM   #13
bigghoss
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Quote:
That's not a problem, any more.
H&R eliminated ejectors for all centerfire and rimfire models. They're only available with extractors, now.
That's kinda a bummer. I guess it's not that big a deal, it's better for reloaders who save their brass. But it can make follow-up shots more difficult.

Oh well, I only buy used ones when I find them cheap. I'd never spring for a new one when I can get a used savage 110 for as much or less than a new Handi.
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Old February 1, 2013, 09:19 AM   #14
PawPaw
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I've got four of the durned things, in .223, .30-30, .308, and .45-70. The .223 and the .308 are Ultra's the other two are skinny barrel rifles. They all shoot where they're looking, although I've had problems finding a good cast-bullet load for the .30-30.

The Handi is problematic getting the best accuracy off the bench, because of the way that the forend connects to the barrel. Lots of us put an 0-ring over the stud to float the barrel and that seems to tighten groups somewhat. When benching the rifle, be sure to maintain the same contact spot on the front bag. My trick is to slide the rifle forward until the front bag contacts the trigger guard. This puts the contact point at about the hinge and seems to help in load development. Once the load is developed, get away from the bench and shoot the rifle as usual.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:20 PM   #15
wingman
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Quote:
The Handi is problematic getting the best accuracy off the bench, because of the way that the forend connects to the barrel. Lots of us put an 0-ring over the stud to float the barrel and that seems to tighten groups somewhat. When benching the rifle, be sure to maintain the same contact spot on the front bag. My trick is to slide the rifle forward until the front bag contacts the trigger guard. This puts the contact point at about the hinge and seems to help in load development. Once the load is developed, get away from the bench and shoot the rifle as usual.
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PawPaw gives excellent info above, I owned 2 Handi-rifles and must say honestly did not like them, while overall quality was fair accuracy was not up to standards for me. Personnaly if it's a money issue I would look for a used bolt or buy one of the new low cost Ruger rifles.
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Old February 1, 2013, 08:46 PM   #16
steveNChunter
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Im hearing more and more on here and looking at other forums how these guns are picky about how they sit on a rest, and also that they are ammo picky. May go with the Ruger American as there really isnt a big price difference
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Old February 2, 2013, 02:46 PM   #17
Mike38
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I bought a Handi Rifle in .223 heavy barrel about 15 years ago for a prairie dog shoot in South Dakota. With my reloads, it would shoot less then 1 MOA. I put it away and never really gave it much thought until Spring of 2012. I decided I would try to squeeze as much accuracy as possible out of it. Found a load that printed 0.44 inch group at 100 yards. Not sure if I can do better then that, but it sure is fun trying. As for the trigger, it starts off horrible, but it does get better with time. Right now mine is very crisp with just over 5 pound pull. It will lift my 5 pound trigger weights if I do it carefully and slowly. The trigger would be ideal for a hunting rifle. Would I buy another? Maybe.
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Old February 3, 2013, 11:04 PM   #18
AL45
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I've got a .308 Ultra Hunter which shoots a 2 inch group at 100 yards.
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:49 AM   #19
Rifleman1776
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Mine in .243 would only hit where I pointed from a cold barrel. After one shot it needed almost an hour to get back on center. Sold it faster than I bought it.
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:40 PM   #20
PawPaw
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Some folks don't like the little rifles, and that's okay. With proper load development, they shoot just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveNChunter
Im hearing more and more on here and looking at other forums how these guns are picky about how they sit on a rest, and also that they are ammo picky. May go with the Ruger American as there really isnt a big price difference
That's a perfectly valid comparison. A bolt gun might suit you better than the Handi rifle. I like my bolt guns, too. I got into Handi rifles when Louisiana started allowing them for what they call the Primitive Weapon season for deer. I had been using a muzzle-loader and had good luck with it, but centerfire cartridges are so much more convenient.

I bought my first one in .45-70 and for about a year when I'd go into the local pawn shop it seemed that they'd have another Handi coming off pawn. I use mine as beating-around guns, grandkid guns, and teaching tools. With a neophyte shooter, it's awfully safe to give them one round off ammo at a time.

Before long, I had quite a stable of the little rifles, so I wrote a brief review of the guns over at the Castbullet.com site.

But, if a bolt gun suits your needs, by all means, get a bolt gun. There are lots of those on the pawn shop racks, too, and I still pick up the occasional rifle if the price is right and it is in a caliber that I can use.
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