H & R Handi Rifle - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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H & R Handi Rifle

Looking to buy a Handi Rifle in .243 or 7mm o8 for my Son.

Any thoughts on the Handi rifle ? the .243 or 08 ?

Son is a lefty. Very slim pickins for lefties under $500 plus
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:44 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

One time I bought a new Handi-Rifle in 450 marlin and another new one in .270 Winchester. The .450 would try to put it's shots into the same hole but the .270 sprayed patterns like a shotgun. They can be great guns but they can be really bad guns too. It's hit or miss and you just have to get lucky. I'd hope there are far more good ones than bad ones.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

Hmmmmmm.
I have read about some being tack drivers and others as one guy put it "couldnt hit the boardside of a barn even if I was standing in it "

What gives ? Why do you think that is ?????
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 10:04 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

Single shots are rather simple firearms so I would figure the culprit would be their barrel making. I also had an H&R Ultra Hunter with the bull barrel and it would shoot sub moa, not by much though. It was just OK accuracy for a .223.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 12:57 AM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

I have had a 223 and a 45-70 that would touch holes most times. I then had heavy barreled 25-06 that wouldn't shoot under 3". They are hit or miss. I have noticed the shorter youth model seem to have more good ones than bad!

"If ignorance is a disease then Ted Nugent is the cure!!!"
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 03:11 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

The 243 has been one of the more problematic H&R single shots. There are a bunch of complaints about stuck cases, poor accuracy, etc. I had 3 243's and none of them were much to brag about in the accuracy department despite a bunch of tinkering. One had the chamber cut so far out of spec i reamed it to a 6mm-284 just to clean it up. The 7-08 has a better reputation, but all of them need a little tinkering to get the most out of it. Certain calbers 45-70, 30-30, the new 44's that aren't oversized, 223, and 204 seem to be a pretty good bet as there are many good reports. Most of the others are hit or miss, the 243 is among the worst.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 03:26 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

Doesn't sound very handi to me. Unless I needed a tomato stake.

The deer didn't disappear.... the 250,000 guys who used to walk around and make the deer move did.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 03:14 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

I bought a 7mm-08 Handi a few years ago when my dad's health had gotten so bad he couldn't manage loading and unloading a bolt gun. The Handi replaced a Mossberg SSi One in 270 that he shot fine but said was too heavy. Not the Hanid!

I replaced the factory stock with a semi-finished aftermarket one (and learned that 'semi-finished' means just slightly more shape than a blank!). Turned out well though. I steel bedded the barrel and forearm screw, butt, and bedded & shimmed the foreend atachment on advice from the Handi nuts on Graybeard. It's got a 2-7x32 Nikon Prostaff on it. The trigger is surprisingly good - crisp and just under 3 lbs (as checked with a digital fishing scale, not a trigger scale).

The gun shoots about MOA at 100 with 140 gr Nosler BT's and Accubond's at 2600 fps, with Rem 9 1/2 primers, fireformed Rem brass, and RL-15. Very mild load with no recoil.

My fireforming load was 139 gr Hornady SP with same components. It shot OK with initial loading @2474 fps, and when I bumped the powder to 40 grs it shot great. Velcoity is now 2516.

That load is now going to be the deer load for my cousin's 9-year old boy's first deer season this year. I cut 2.5 inches off the factory birch stock and added a Limbsaver slip-on pad and a sorbothane cheekpiece for him but left the doctored forearm on it. We shot it with him last weekend and it shoots just like it did (MOA or a bit less), at least with me behind it. His shooting was limited to water filled milk jugs at 25yds from sitting to start out and clay birds at 40 from the bench. He shot it well and recoil didn't bother him. We'll stretch him out to 70 or 80 yards with it and he should be fine for where we hunt. He's a slightly built boy and handled the gun and recoil with no problem. Said the kick was easier to manage than his .410, which is adult size and much more unwieldy for him.

Between 243 and 7mm-08 in this rifle, I'd definitely recommend the 7mm. MUCH more versatile for deer sized game, minimal recoil, plus there are reduced or managed recoil loads available if you don't handload. I've no experience with 243 in the Handi so I can't comment on the issues you read about with it in that gun. I do have 2 in other rifles and have killed deer with both. The 7mm-08's better deer killer IMHO.

Good luck. Have fun! -WSJ
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 07:35 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

Had a co-worker who bought one in 280 Rem back in the
late 90s, shot really well. He bought another on in 30-06
that was a real disapointment and took it back to gunshop
and got his money back.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 09:43 PM
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Re: H & R Handi Rifle

Although I only own 1 of them, and have been both satisfied and maybe lucky with it, it's easy to see why they can be frustrating.

A break-open hammer gun with a 2-piece stock, the front end held on by a screw and the butt by a shotgun style through-bolt all add up to lots of places for things not to be perfect, especially at the price point.

On the other hand, those are all common potential issues with other single shot rifles I own that cost considerably more (Ruger #1 & #3, Mossberg SSi One, Winchester 1885). I bought the Handi with every intention of tinkering with it based on its price point and lots of info/advice out there about. It's easy to see where someone who bought one with different expectations would be disappointed or frustrated, and not unreasonably.

-WSJ
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