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Thread: What barrel options for Handi-rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    What barrel options for Handi-rifle

    I am slowly but surely embezzling money from the household account and stashing it back for some handi barrels.

    Since remington took over, it appears they have raised shipping and fitting fees for each barrel. Therefore,it'sgoing to take more than I had planned on spending.

    I can only go for about 3 barrels and I am torn on what to get.
    Here are my choices: 22 Hornet
    223 Remington
    30/30 Winchester
    45/70 Government
    357 Magnum
    410 gauge
    28 gauge
    12 gauge

    The receiver I am sending in has a iron sighted 357 barrel already. Ihave entertained the notion to chop a new barrel to 16.5 " with a re-chamber to 357
    Max, 35 rem or 356 Win.

    I thought about 2 of the 30/30 keeping one and re-chambering the other to 30/40 Krag

    I have dies/brass/bullets for both the Hornet & the 223 and currently have neither in the armory.

    I could use all 3 of the shotgun barrels since I have shells in all gauges mentioned, but no gun to shhot them up.

    I have a Buff Classic barrel for another handi but it is too long to be handi, but I don't want to cut it down.

    What's a guy to do? Help!!

    Jeff

  2. #2
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    garandsrus's Avatar
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    Jeff,

    I don't think that the 45-70 would be too comfortable to shoot in a Handi. It is a pretty light weight rifle.

    I would probably pick .223, 30/30, and another 357 Magnum barrel.

    John

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I would go with .22 Hornet and 30-30 for sure.

    Jack

  4. #4
    Black Powder 100%
    cajun shooter's Avatar
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    The 45-70 BC is the way to go if you want to shoot that round. The short bbl will not do the round justice. The 308 is a good choice.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have played with these quite a bit and have formed a few opinions............. not absolutes, just my opinions..... The rimmed cartridges seem to work best in a Handi.. generally.. but my 223 w/ the 26" barrel drives tacks. The 45-70 makes a great rifle with cast boolits in either barrel length and is probably the most popular Handi. The 30-30 runs a close second and is a joy to shoot in this small rifle. I reamed my 357 Mag to a 357 MAX and it is my favorite Handi, with Ranch Dogs 190 gr boolit it can approach 35 Remington performance and it shoots very well...it sees a lot of use. Switching barrels sounds good, but I find it doesn't work as well as it sounds. These guns are fussy about forearm fit and pressure, and the latch shelf is different on each, so you go thru a sight in process each time you change barrels. A dedicated frame is much simpler and with the cost of these, it doesn't take a lot of ammo to make up the difference. Graybeard Outdoors has a Handi Rifle section and it is the best source for Handi info that I have found.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    My first go around with Handis was a 22 Hornet with 30/30 45/70. It was sold with many others to get the down payment on our first home. When I think of the guns I kept instead of that rig, I get teary-eyed and start kicking myself everytime.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master OBXPilgrim's Avatar
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    Yep, mine started with the 22 Hornet, sent in for a 30/30 & 44 mag barrels, neither was available, so I went 7.62x39 and 357 Mag (now reamed to 357 MAX).

    It won't stop there. Now it's a 223/30-06/444 set - in addition to the first.

    OldBob's right, switching sounds better than it works, especially if you're using the same forend for all the barrels. I've had some promising luck with the 223/30-06/444 after glass bedding the forend hanger stud in each barrel to it's own seperate forend.

    Killed deer with cast in the 7.62x39/30-06/357 Mag (as 360 Dan Wesson) - and the 444 is next!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have handy rifles and extra barrels in several calibers including 223, 243, 308, 357 mag, 45-70 (short barrel) 45C/410, and 38-55. I just put som rounds through the 45-70 barrel day before yesterday. I I was buying barrels I would get the 223 as it is more flexible than the 22 hornet and brass is easier to get. My 223 shoots very well and in fact prints better groups than my CZ 527. Next choice would be a 30-30 barrel I wish I had one in lieu of the 308 bull barrel I have now not that there is anything wrong with the 308 I just prefer the 30-30 fr cast bullet loads. I have thought of other barrels and think that the best plinking barrel is the 357 mag. My most accurate barrels are the 38-55 and the 223. The others are good but not as good as those two.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I'm happy with my 30-30 and .410 combo. Old time 30-30 barrell thou.
    ( a 12 guage me helpfull but I think it would boot some)

    From what I have read the rimmed rounds have less issues. Some of the rimless cartridges are more prone to ejector/extractor ploblems than the others I belive.
    Some of the chamberings of certain rounds were dogs in general Batches.

    @2' at 100 yrds be worst I'd expect. 1 1/2 " should be easy enough to achieve.
    1" or less Well we all do that....!!!!!! don't we????

    The trigger anit that hard to lighten a "tad" and polishing the inerds makes 'em smooth and nicer.

    I got to seperate forearms for my barrells.

    I floated my 30-30 with just a small o-ring under the barrell lug screw and its shoots good enough with out walking when heated. around 1 1/4" groups with a low power cast loads 1 1/2" with pp and @1" maybe a tad more with Jword stuff at 100 yrds with a 4x

    No bench rester and still playing having fun to see what I can get it to do while learning this cast bullet caper.

    I'd check out the post about different rounds. 38/55 is one that seems to have isssues but not sure in the handi thou.
    Greybeards has a swag of stuff on them.

    What about a 30-30 reamed to a 303 .

    Wouldn't that be better than 30/40 krag and still have the rim and no issues with 312 size bullets.

    I believe the 45c/410 is not a success with either round as the long freebore for the 45 buggas accuary and the pellets lead the rifling...


    NickSS may want to elaberate on this as he has one.

    Barra
    Last edited by barrabruce; 09-04-2009 at 09:31 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Make sure you have the right frame. I think they have to be a HX or HN for some of the rounds you mentioned. SB-2's are OK also. SB-1's can't be fitted with a lot of choices. I have 30/30, 308, 243, 357 mag, 44 mag, 45/410 and a 357 Max. The 308 and 243 are for one frame, 357 mag, 44 mag and 45/410 another frame, 357 Max and 30/30 are on their own frames. No issue with any of them. You just have to patiently find loads for the 45/410 . I use slugs in the 410 and not shot that much. Mark

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub Morrison Machine Shop's Avatar
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    My dad has a .22 Hornet and it is deadly accurate, I have a Tracker II 12 ga. which I took a 7 point buck at 140yds using a remington sabot, shot him right in the mouth, dropped like a rock, he was looking straight at me too. The shotgun is zeroed in at 100yds. I wouldn't trade it for anything. So I would go for what you use them for, if you deer hunt, bird hunt, varmint hunt, target, the choice is yours.
    "In the field I will be a sportsman in word and deed, observing all game laws and regulations and avoiding shots that may cripple rather than kill instantly."

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    I would go for the .30-30, .223 and .357 mag. .30-30 twist is 1 in 10. The .223 is 1 in 12. Don't know the .357. I do know a lot of people rechamber the .357 to max. I rechambered a .30-30 to improved and another barrel to .30-40. You can add the pthers later. I have a .308 and .22 hornet as well. I'm happy with ALL of them. I'm sure you will be also.
    Enjoy.
    Tom

  13. #13
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    I think that .223 is a must have in a Handi. It's a great little caliber for plinking & game up to 75 pounds. You can load it hot or mild to suit your specific needs. You can get a lot of shooting out of a single pound of lead too.

    .357 is a another real versatile choice that you can do a lot of different things with. I don't think that I even need to list all the options that one opens up for you.

    After that, I would go with either the 30-30 or the 45-70, depending on what you want to shoot at & how far. I'm not that big of a fan of the scatter gun barrels on those things, but that's just me.

    One thing to watch though, is which version of the barrel you get. In addition to checking which lengths you get, I would make sure to get iron sights on them. I think that Handi Rifles just handle much better with iron sights than they do with a scope. I also find that it is much easier to add a scope rail later than it is to add sights later. Drilling & tapping that thin metal up near the muzzle is something I prefer to let the factory do.

    One more thing that I would watch if you get a .223, is the twist. Mine is 1:12. Some other guys have reported having 1:9 in that caliber. I would give them a call & ask what twist they have on the shelf before placing the order.
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

    "Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset."
    Publius Tacitus

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    1 -9 twist .223 ------ plenty of it around
    .30-30 ------- with a single shot you can use any .30 cal boolit or jacketed (even the pointy ones)
    .45-70 ------- wide selection of booits for any purpose. Short barrel works just fine and if recoil
    is an issue, slip a mercury recoil reducer in the stock, and it'll shoot like the .30-30.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Greg's Avatar
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    Jeff

    I’ve got 2 handi’s

    First one I bought twenty years ago was a 12ga Tracker (smooth bore with rifle sights) I had it cut for choke tubes the first week. later I put a 4x pro-diamond scope on it. My biggest white tail and all my turkeys have fallen with it.

    Had it fitted with a 30-30 barrel, 2-7x scope on it…I’ve worked up loads with lyman 311284, 3118 and the group buy 311-150. I like this barrel a lot. Easy to load for and accurate. I like this barrel.

    I picked up a second frame with a 357 barrel, that I reamed for Maximum. Mostly I’ve worked with a 3589 hp that shoots great. When I get back toit, this will have a peep sight / fire sight set up.

    A buddy has a 223 survivor that was sent in and fitted with a 20ga barrel…in hind sight should of gotten the choke tube option but we hadn’t noticed it was available when ordered. The 20ga wears a 4x pro-diamond also. Sadly, the 223 has only tasted copper bullets…55 grainers hot and deadly, and some blue dot loads (45gr HP) that are about at the Hornet level.


    If I already had the 357, I would ream it to Maximum…cut it to 16½" or 18" might balance better. plenty much power in the woods…

    Got to have the 30-30, shot a few cast boolits, you’ll understand

    223 are very versatile…cast is a learning experience, but rewarding. or if you have to, jacketed from 1300-3200+ fps all according to the load.

    Got to have a shot gun barrel, what has your interest ?

    Squirrels, rabbits? Then the small bores 410, 28, 16ga

    Ducks and geese then the cost of steel loads suggest a 12ga

    Turkeys…uh could be done with a 20; if you load for it, a 16; but again the 12 has it’s followers. I’ve killed all my turkeys with a 1¼ ounce of mag 5’s at 1220 fps. The old WW upland load or Remington’s Sure Shot…patterns great and don’t give you a head ache out the 6lb handi.

    If I lived where it was legal and hunted the open Prairie for Deer and such, then a long barrel 25-06 or the 280 ( improved ) would be a must have. ‘I’ don’t think it would be practical in the timber, but that’s just me
    God Bless ya'll
    Greg

    "You can observe a lot by watching."- Yogi Berra

    Shooters Talk Refugee

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    Marvin S's Avatar
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    I read about sending these in to have the bbls fitted.My only question is how do you receive them back. Do you have to go through an FFL holder? I have a SB2 in 223 and would like a 30/30 and a 357 mag.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Marvin s, you can ship direct to the factory and they can ship back to you.

    There are 2 types of cartridge removal systems for these barrels also. Some are extracters which lift the cartridge slightly out of the chamber and ejectors which will throw the brass in your face if not careful. I've had problems with the extracters not pulling the empty brass out of the chamber.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Guys,

    Thank you for the input so far. I have been thinking it over the last week or so, and have decided on the following. 223 Rem (last i checked, all barrels were 1 in 9 twist for this cal.)
    30/30 Win
    357 Mag (just got to have another or I will regret it)
    45/70 Govt in standard length.

    I KNOW, I said only 3 barrels, but I can't make a cut out of these 4 calibers.! So, I will start
    rounding up and stashing back some more greenbacks and wait a little longer.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master joel0407's Avatar
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    I'm just finding this an interesting thread. So since this is a break action rifle do you just remove the front half and fit the next barrel. One day you can go and shoot rabbits with a 22 hornet and the next you can shoot pigs with the 45/70. Both using the same stock.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    I read about sending these in to have the bbls fitted.My only question is how do you receive them back. Do you have to go through an FFL holder? ...
    You just mail them your receiver & they mail you back the gun right to your home, with the new barrel(s) fitted to it. At least that's the way it used to work before Remington bought them out. Check the website. They should have instructions.
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

    "Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset."
    Publius Tacitus

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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