View Full Version : H&R 500 S&W rifle woes

September 14, 2007, 11:39 AM
How to tell scope problem from rifle problem, without buying another scope?
Yesterday I took my new Handi rifle to the range, 500 S&W to take advantage of Indiana's new hunting rules. A Leupold scope was securely mounted. This scope came off another gun where it has been working just fine. Ammo was Hornady 300 gr SST (about 2250fps) and Hornady 350 XTP JHP (at estimated 2100). So it does have substantial recoil, somewhat more than 3 inch slug loads. Accuracy was very poor, with some groups larger than 8 moa. One of the loads gave me two groups of about 1.5 " at 100 yds, but switching to the other load it wasn't even on the paper, meaning it was some 18 inches or more from the first load. I suspect but don't know those too better groups were flukes. Moving to 50 yards and back to the intermittantly sucessful 350 grain load, it printed a two inch group at 50 yards. Not encouraging. The 300 grain pointy number put one on paper at 50 and a second off the paper, requiring it to plop at least 7 inches from the first (at 50 yards). Rifle seems tight and normal.
I could chase this problem forever, at $3.00 a shot to change scopes, then loads, etc. I won't tool up to handload until I know it will shoot.
Any wisdom will be gratefully accepted. I suspect there is a simple way to determing scope vs rifle problem.

Many thanks

September 14, 2007, 12:39 PM
Just checking, but have you rechecked to make sure the scope has not loosened up? You mentioned substantial recoil...

Also, how many shots are down the barrel without a cleaning? Did you thouroughly clean the barrel when it was brand new? Just some ideas to try to eliminate the easy stuff.

Harry Bonar
September 15, 2007, 06:52 PM
I'd check your scope base and rings for looseness - other than that a loose but-stock.
Other than that I must say that I don't have much confidence in the handi-guns or the Encore.
Harry B.

September 15, 2007, 08:07 PM
Put the scope back on the gun it came off of and test it. If it tests OK, then the fault is the Handi-rifle.

Harry Bonar
September 22, 2007, 09:01 PM
I traded for a Savage 110 - 300 mag. and the guy said he couldn't hit anything with it.
I traded anyway and found the front scope base screws totally loose - suffice it ti say it's now 416 Taylor and is AOK.
Harry B.:)

September 23, 2007, 06:44 AM
I removed scope, checked bases which tight, rings were tight. Gun went back to H&R as it was opening on firing as well as poor accuracy. Got it back and found best accuracy was with Hornady 350 grain XTP at 2100. This varied between 3 and 4 MOA. The other load I had, thier 300 grain sptizer at 2250 would not stay on the paper so I don't know but it was greater than 8 inches at 100. Then it started opening on firing again. Bad gun.
Too bad. I like the gun. Even if it were not so cheap I'd still like it, much to my surprise it just fits me and is...well....handy. Never had a 22 inch barrel on such a short rifle. One surprising thing, this little cartrige kicks harder than any I've shot, including 300 RUM, 338, etc.

I continue to hear great things about the accuracy of their slug gun. Even some ammo manufacturers use it for testing accuracy. Same gun as far as I can tell. Thanks for the support and suggestions.
Next idea is the 410 GNR of Gary Reeder. That can go into a Marlin 1894 and has surprising ballistics from a 454 Casull necked down to 41.
The whole idea is to find the best I can do to take advantage of INdianas new law allowing rifles for deer. Pistol calibers only, case not to exceed 1.625. Hence the 50 S&W idea. Slug guns just dont satisfy a rifleman, although they have become amazing out to about 150 yards with 2 moa.
Thanks again. More news at 11.

Harry Bonar
September 23, 2007, 08:12 AM
I'm sorry to hear of your trouble. African, double rifles suffer from inaccuracy too. It seems as though the breeching system as used on this type of rifle is inherently weak. The best single and double rifle breeching is the type that really bolts up both top and botton. Your "opening on firing" is caused by a mis-fit under-lug. You'll never get away from that unless its repaired.
These types of rifles (viz. - the handi-gun) have had re-engineering done to stand the pressures they are chambered for. These actions used to be used for shot-shells only - now, there had to be a different steel used.
Both the handi-gun and especially the encore are faulted in their locking systems and I do not work on them - I cannot abide their looks! Yes, they shoot, yes, their popular but they're like the bubble-packed abortions called muzzle-loaders of the in-line type. They are no more a "muzzle-loader" than a sows ear!
There has never been an action better for converting than the 98 Mauser action! You can buy one for less than $100.00, do some work on it (which you can do) and end up with your pride still intact and a fine, fine rifle.
We ALL start out and make mistakes but that's how we learn - no-one is perfect! You can do far, far more than you think.
If there is anything I detest more than poison it's a so=called "gunsmith" who acts like Gods' brother and won't help you. Us, characters will help you with anything - welcome!
Harry B.:)