View Full Version : old 158 topper 30/30 will handi rifle barrel fit?

February 18, 2014, 04:05 PM
I have an old H&R topper 158 it has a 30/30 barrel and a 20 gauge...I would like to buy a 44 barrel and there is one for sale that is a handi rifle 44. Will it fit my older gun? thank you for any help you can give.:D

February 18, 2014, 11:38 PM
I don't think so, best place to ask this question is Graybeard Outdoors forum. They have a dedicated following of the Handi Rifle. They would know far more about making it work with your topper if at all.

February 20, 2014, 08:04 AM
There is a reasonable chance that the .44 barrel will fit. There is a ton of info on the graybeard site on barrel fitting. Those barrels are not necessarily a drop-in fit. Most anyone with average mechanical skills can do it, as long as you don't do like one that came into my shop with the barrel pivot shimmed with electrical tape. By the way, your frame is ONLY suitable for shotgun, 30/30, .44Mag, and .357Mag, all low pressure cartridges. It is made of ductile cast iron which can convert to shrapnel in a moment. The Handi frames for rifle calibers, know as SB-2, are made of investment cast steel, much stronger. A secondary problem in the older, also the SB-1 shotgun frames, is the larger shotgun size firing pin which leads to primer extrusion around the pin and difficulty opening the gun. GW

February 20, 2014, 11:12 AM
I used to have a 20 ga H&R and I asked the factory about a rifle barrel. They would only mount a rifle barrel of any type on a steel receiver, not the iron shotgun receivers. FWIW.

February 20, 2014, 12:41 PM
In theory, the barrel should fit without a problem.

In reality, you have about a 5% chance of it fitting properly. You're much more likely to run into a situation that requires fitting (anything from the barrel lug being too long, to too wide; the extractor/ejector causing interference; or needing a thick shim to get even moderately reasonable lockup).

The best bet, if you don't want to take a chance on ending up with a barrel that will cause problems, is to see how it fits on your frame, before you buy it.

February 20, 2014, 07:13 PM
I like the H&R so much I think I will just buy me a new 44 handi rifle...You can't have to many toys! Thank you for the reply. I love the 30/30 and would not want to damage it...or me!

February 21, 2014, 09:29 PM
I had one back in the 60's in 28 gauge, also borrowed one that was .22 Hornet once, What sticks in my mind is that the very early models had a quick release forearm, a notch cut in the wood you stuck your finger in a popped the wood off then broke the barrel and now the gun was ready for packing in a case. I believe that type of forearm was outlawed as all the later versions had a screw holding the forearm in place. That might stop your switch from new models to old.

February 24, 2014, 01:42 PM
Yup, buy a separate rifle. Cross fit the barrels in the future only if needed.
.44 Mag is my next Handi caliber. Right now I have .45 Colt, .357, 30-30 and .410 bore. I need a 20 gauge and a Hornet too.

February 25, 2014, 09:00 PM
I have a goodly number of H&R single shots and I am sure that I will find more in the future.

However, if I were in the market for a .44 Mag, I would spend a couple of months finding a CVA Scout in .44. The H&R in .44 has bores that are often too big for most cast bullets and almost all jacketed bullets. ????? only H&R knows????????????

Scouts in .44 are hard to find but worth the effort. They tend to be more accurate out of the box than H&Rs. If you are a tinkerer, you could fit a H&R barrel to your topper frame, but I think I had rather have the Scout.

I don't know what the management at CVA is thinking, they could own the break open single shot market if they offered .357, .44 and .30-30. AND if they would manufacture and deliver products. Their web site is impressive and their guns are good, but it is very hard to find their guns or get an idea where they are sold. Frustrating enough to ignore their guns and the very good spanish Bergera barrels that they import.

February 26, 2014, 05:26 PM
Here is the H&R / NEF barrel accessory program info.


Now this only addresses the issue from a factory - safety / liability point. Whether it can be physically done is another issue altogether that I will refrain from commenting on.