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Marlin Junky
06-06-2011, 09:58 PM
Any opinions on what's the best Handi-Rifle barrel(s) for shooting cast boolits. Accuracy is always paramount. I'm currently casting for .30, .35 and .44 calibers but will consider the .45-70 as an option.

MJ

singleshot
06-06-2011, 11:21 PM
I've done a fair amount of research and shot/owned a few Handi's. It seems to me the bigger caliber, lower pressure Handi's are more consistent and accurate, but YMMV.

There was a fellow a few years back that seems to have stumbled on a problem with Handi's in general...the barrels weren't stress relieved. Never tested myself, and not sure if that has changed, but it would fit with the above observation.

If you take your barrel off and suspend it, and strike it with a stick, it should ring like a bell. That guy claimed every Handi he tested had a dull thud instead, indicating a lack of stress relief.

Crash_Corrigan
06-07-2011, 03:51 AM
Thanks a lot.......I just took delivery of a new H&R Handi Rifle tip up thingie in 38-55. Never been fired and today the brown truck came with a Lee 255 Gr .379 dia two banger mold, a Saeco 255 gr tapered two banger that has a narrow nose and gradually bulges out to .381 at the base, some veggie wads for BP and a set of RCBS Cowboy style dies....another $198 on top of the $395 buy price and the gouging lovingly inserted to me by my Gun Shop. I am going to have to find another FFL for my incoming shipments as this is getting too expensive for about 10 minutes work on his part. I think $100 is mite too much for receiving my rifle and running me thru NCIC again for the umpteenth time. He does not even call me when the gun gets there........end of rant.

Dan

PS I feel better now.........my bad. D

nanuk
06-07-2011, 05:00 AM
CC: I just bought a H&R 45/70... $330

and I thought that was overpriced.

they were $229 last year

Catshooter
06-07-2011, 03:56 PM
Marlin,

In my experience and from what I've read the .38-55, .30-30 and the .45-70 seem to the most consistanly accurate of the Handi calibers.

Many calibers are accurate out the Handi, and you can find lemons in the above calibers if you look, but you have to look kinda hard.

The first load I shot out of my .45-70 three went into 1.125" at 100 yards. Cast over Universal Clays.

Chronographing that load was an eye opener for me. I'd get readings: 1304,1304,1305,1304,1303, 1311. I think my total variation was something like 8 fps! Never seen that before myownself.

My Handi was un touched, box stock with only the addition of a scope. Not bad for a $200 rifle.

If you haven't gone before go here: http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php Scroll down and you'll find a Handi forum. Best on the web.


Cat

JTknives
06-07-2011, 04:14 PM
500 S&W lol, I love mine.

curiousgeorge
06-07-2011, 04:35 PM
I currently own 3 H&R barrels in different calibers, .22 Jet, .30-30, and .357 Maximum. I have had two .22 Hornet barrels (H&R) and a .45-70 (NEF) but have parted with them. From my limited experience in calibers, my .30-30 barrel is the most accurate, followed by the .357 Max and the .45-70 running neck & neck for a distant second place. All of the .22 barrels have been somewhat disappointing, but like I stated, these have been and are the older lighter weight H&R barrels. The .30-30 barrel (smaller 20 guage receiver cuts with an older Tasco / Japan 3 x 9 world class scope) will shoot honest 1" groups at 100 yds with 180 gr cast. The .357 Max has been used more as a glorified .38 Special wadcutter rifle than anything close to the cartridge's velocity potential. Even with the Grand Canyon like jump of the boolit to the rifling it was very successfully used as a small game rifle for years until Kentucky made centerfire illegal for small game a few years ago.

I didn't give the .45-70 a fair shake while I owned it and wished later that I had kept it. I was shooting 300 gr jacketed at around 1900 - 2000 fps. The recoil from that particular gun ruined two scopes and we parted company on very unfriendly terms. Just my experience, but the .30 caliber and up have definitely been more accurate for me than the .22's.

Steve

*** Addition- I had totally forgotten about the .44 Magnum barrel that I used to have. At 50 yards it was O.K. but nothing to brag about. I shot the Thompson gas check 260 gr bullet (429244 ???) and used it for short range deer hunting. Was a thumper on whitetails at close range. Wow, getting older and forgetting stuff isn't pretty.

harvester
06-07-2011, 05:04 PM
I have 357 and 45colt and both shoot very well. The 357 is a tack driver and 45 colt will hold 1.5 inches at 50 yds with Williams peep sight.

white eagle
06-07-2011, 05:30 PM
My USH
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v730/kempobb/abnewtarget.jpg,
I also had a ultra varmint in 204 rug that would make on large hole at 100 yds
so they are good no special things done to them either

Marlin Junky
06-07-2011, 05:37 PM
The .30-30 barrel (smaller 20 guage receiver cuts with an older Tasco / Japan 3 x 9 world class scope) will shoot honest 1" groups at 100 yds with 180 gr cast.

Steve,

What's the rate of twist on your 30-30?

MJ

XWrench3
06-07-2011, 06:52 PM
the only handi i own is a 223 bull barrel. it is definitly accurate, but not with the cast boolits i tried. it likes to think speedy gonzales. the faster, the better as far as this one is concerned.

Marlin Junky
06-07-2011, 08:29 PM
I'm thinking either .30-30 or .444 or both. Purchasing a 45-70 barrel for this action would mean dies, brass and boolit molds all taking a bite out of my budget and actually costing more than the barrel/fitting/shipping.

MJ

singleshot
06-07-2011, 08:56 PM
I had a Handi in 25-06 that would put the first shot in the center of the bullseye at 200 yards everytime. If I kept shooting it, the groups would open up to patterns, and quickly you couldn't even chase it with the scope settings b/c you'd run out of adjustment. On the other hand, why more than one shot anyway?!?

I've heard good things about the 45-70s and 38-55s as well.

JIMinPHX
06-07-2011, 10:52 PM
I'm looking for a barrel in 7.62 x 39. If anyone has one that they want to get rid of, please let me know.

I've had surprisingly good luck with a .223 in that gun. You have to watch when you buy those though. Some are 1:9 twist & others are 1:12.

harvester
06-08-2011, 08:08 PM
I like the 357 with a red dot sight for training younger shooters on safety and gun handling.

warf73
06-09-2011, 03:48 AM
Any opinions on what's the best Handi-Rifle barrel(s) for shooting cast boolits. Accuracy is always paramount. I'm currently casting for .30, .35 and .44 calibers but will consider the .45-70 as an option.

MJ

I have a few H&R's/NEFís and barrels, but personally I think they have out priced themselves.
As for which cal to shoot cast in I would say the 44 barrel. Had a 44mag barrel fitted to my receiver by H&R, then hand reamed the chamber to 445 Super Mag. Accuracy with the iron sights off hand is sub 1/2" at 50 yards. Using a 300gr PB slug with a case charged with 296 will get you over 2000fps and the accuracy is what I posted above.
If you feel that a 300gr XTP is needed to do the nasty it will also get in the upper 1900fps range with the same accuracy with the same powder.


As for the 7.62 X 39 barrel I screwed around and didnít send my receiver in, in time before they discontinued that caliber. I want one to ream out to 7.62 X 54R to go with all my 54R brass.

Handy rifles are fun and were cheap at one time but as mentioned before they are getting over priced for what you get. That new Savage (I think) "AXIS" bolt gun is the same price as a handy. If I was buying new it would be the new bolt gun as the single shot has way too many disadvantages in my eyes.

Good luck in venture as it will be fun.

NHlever
06-09-2011, 09:00 AM
I've done a fair amount of research and shot/owned a few Handi's. It seems to me the bigger caliber, lower pressure Handi's are more consistent and accurate, but YMMV.

There was a fellow a few years back that seems to have stumbled on a problem with Handi's in general...the barrels weren't stress relieved. Never tested myself, and not sure if that has changed, but it would fit with the above observation.

If you take your barrel off and suspend it, and strike it with a stick, it should ring like a bell. That guy claimed every Handi he tested had a dull thud instead, indicating a lack of stress relief.

Thanks for adding a smile to my morning. It's always nice to hear about someone who can be a metalurgist by listening to a stick striking steel. I've heard that some custom / semi-custom barrel makers do stress relive barrels but I don't know for sure of any gun manufacturers who do. I do know that one company tried it, and could not detect any difference in barrel performance than with those that weren't stress relieved so they gave up the expensive process. If you carefully slug both the muzzle, and breech end of most factory barrels you can tell how the barrel was produced if it has a tapered barrel. Barrels that are button rifled tend to be a hair larger at the muzzle, and barrels that are hammer forged tend to be choked, or smaller at the muzzle so that shows you which direction the "stress" was induced to the barrel. I found that pretty interesting when I found it out in the process of prototyping some .22's. I just picked up a used Ruger Ultra Light in 30-06, and the muzzle of that gun is nearly .0005 smaller than the breecch end. That should make it a hair more accurate with cast boolits especially, but it will be interesting to find out. Right now the gun has a tupperware stock, and not the best trigger around so I may have to do some tinkering. My initial groups looked promising enough to work with it anyway.

NHlever
06-09-2011, 09:11 AM
I spent too much time at the GB site, and bought a few Handi rifles. I think it is more a matter of there being accurate Handi rifles, and inaccurate ones than any special caliber. Of course that makes things more difficult. Everyone raves about the 30-30 in the Handi, but two out of the three that I tried ( yea, I trade a lot sometimes) were not very accurate even after trying the Handi accuracy tips found at GB. I kept my 45-70 since it is pretty accurate, but certainly not the most accurate 45-70 that I have owned, or do own. It is just a fun gun to shoot once in a while with lighter loads. One of my friends has one in that caliber that he has taken moose, deer, and bear with using shoulder breaking loads, and he loves it. I do agree that they are pricing themselves out of that market. The biggest advantage of the Handi's is that it is a great gun to tinker with, and I suspect that a lot of Handi owners like that........ kind of like the old Contenders.

cajun shooter
06-09-2011, 09:15 AM
Crash, Your FFL is not only making a ton of money but he is playing you for the town fool. He has no respect for you as a person and probably gets off every time you bring a shadow to his front door. I would treat this guy with the same respect he gives you. It would require a dark alley and a blanket if you catch my drift. I had a similar guy who kept adding charges to my purchases. He would charge me $40 for transfer and then on one rifle he added $80 to my ticket. I asked about the charge and was told it was tax. I advised him that he never owned the gun or had it for sale in his store so he could not charge a tax. I wanted my gun and had received it for a good price so I paid and never went back. I found another business just 1/4 mile away that charges me $20 a transaction even if it's 2 revolvers in one box. Your store owner will pay his price one day.

Junior1942
06-10-2011, 08:00 AM
My FFL charges me $10 per gun usually or $15 sometimes. Blade 'n' Barrel, Jena, Louisiana.

JIMinPHX
06-10-2011, 10:31 PM
As for the 7.62 X 39 barrel I screwed around and didnít send my receiver in, in time before they discontinued that caliber. I want one to ream out to 7.62 X 54R to go with all my 54R brass.


Can you not do that with a .30-30 barrel? Were the 7.62 x 39 barrels .311 groove diameter or something like that? I had always assumed that they were .308 diameter, like the mini-30 was.