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Thread: H&R Handi-Rifle strength?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master XWrench3's Avatar
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    H&R Handi-Rifle strength?

    i own a handi-rifle that is chambered in 223 remington. it is a bull barrel model. i inherited this gun with no paperwork, so it is not like i did a bunch of investagation before buying it. before i get myself in trouble with it, i figured i would ask a couple of questions. since it is a bull barrel, i would think that it would be fine to use N.A.T.O. military rounds in it, am i correct? also, again, since it is a bull barrel, i would think that loading near the top of the PUBLISHED load data would be ok, of course watching for pressure signs like normal. again, am i correct? i guess, i am assuming that there is more steel all the way around the full length of the barrel, thus it sould be stronger. maybe i am mistaken? i would also asume that since the "frame" of this is used all the way up to a 45/70, i shouldnt have to worry about that part of it with a 223. one last thing, anybody know what twist rate this thing has? i tried the tight patch thing, and it looks like ABOUT a 1 in 12, but i am not real sure. i got a couple of different readings, depending on how "tight" the patches were.

  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    They are plenty strong for a 223.
    People sometimes tell me they dont own guns because guns are too expensive. I tell them guns dont cost anything. They are essentially another form of currency.

  3. #3
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    handi's are chambered for .500 s&w. i wouldn't worry about anything you'd shoot through a .223. 1 in 12 is one of the twists used in handi's. www,go2gbo.com has a whole section devoted to h&r/nef and people there who probably know as much as the factory, check'em out. enjoy your gun, the one i had was an excellent shooter. for what it's worth, bubba.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I would like to ask a question. But please dont bite. Why do all of you like the Handy Rifle? The consept is good but i find the weight rediculous. Most bolt guns dont weigh that much.
    Kevin

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    The Handi-Rifle is plenty strong for a .223; that said, you still need to stay within published load data for the cartridge. Just because it's got a big honking barrel and the action is also chambered for the (low-pressure) .45-70 cartridge, doesn't mean that you can ignore caution.

    Get a source of published data for the .223. Better yet, get two or three. Read them, and follow the precautions described there. Enjoy your Handi!
    Boycott YouTube

  6. #6
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    In the smaller cal handi's are fine and durable. I have several (2-30/30 (one is old topper version),2- 223's and a 243)and I like them for front door/truck type beater guns. I shoot nothing but cast in one of my 223's and it is accurate way out of porportion to it's cost.


    I have seen 2 of them(280REM and 30/06) that have had issues with the barrels underlug setting back though. They were both shot with a steady diet of factory rounds. The hinge pin and frame are very strong but apparently the underlug where the hinge bolt rests is the weak link in the chain.....I would say that the steel in the underlug is of the wrong composition for such calibers.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



    Tazman1602's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbstenberg View Post
    I would like to ask a question. But please dont bite. Why do all of you like the Handy Rifle? The consept is good but i find the weight rediculous. Most bolt guns dont weigh that much.
    Kevin
    Accurate, Strong, Tough as nails, ugly right out of the box.............


    .............and cheap, er, I mean inexpensive relatively. I've got a few I use for beater guns and two .17hmr wife and I use for squirrel hunting.

    Mainly for me, accuracy and $$$$$$
    ________________________________
    "Only accurate Rifles are interesting"
    "Calling criminal invaders Illegal immigrants is like calling dope dealers unlicensed pharmacists"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by XWrench3 View Post
    i own a handi-rifle that is chambered in 223 remington. it is a bull barrel model. i inherited this gun with no paperwork, so it is not like i did a bunch of investagation before buying it. before i get myself in trouble with it, i figured i would ask a couple of questions. since it is a bull barrel, i would think that it would be fine to use N.A.T.O. military rounds in it, am i correct?

    ...
    ...

    one last thing, anybody know what twist rate this thing has? i tried the tight patch thing, and it looks like ABOUT a 1 in 12, but i am not real sure. i got a couple of different readings, depending on how "tight" the patches were.
    I bought a well used Handi Ultra Hunter in .223. The manual says not to shoot military rounds in it. Mine has a 1:12 twist, but some of the newer ones have a faster twist.

    BTW, mine hates the 55gr Remington UMC ammo. 3" groups @ 100 yards

    It likes the Federal 45gr loads and will group 1.25" @ 100 yards consistently. I've been able to improve on that a little bit with handloads, but have never achieved outstanding accuracy from it.

    It is a fun little rifle to shoot though.

    Chris.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    The SB2 receivers / frames are cast from 4140 steel ( or that series anyway) in the same foundry that casts the receivers for Rugers, and they are through heat treated so they should be pretty tough, and made by folks with a lot of experience in that field. This was true a few years ago anyway though H&R may have other sources now.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master XWrench3's Avatar
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    that said, you still need to stay within published load data for the cartridge. Just because it's got a big honking barrel and the action is also chambered for the (low-pressure) .45-70 cartridge, doesn't mean that you can ignore caution.
    i have 7 load books, so that is not a problem. and, no, i wasnt looking to make a a 22-250 out of a 223. i just wanted to be sure there were not any weak links i should know about. several of the loads listed call for compressed charges. i have not loaded any of those as yet. i was always a little nervous about doing so.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub beng's Avatar
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    I have the Buffalo Classic 45-70, Handi Rifle 32" barrel. I wanted it for only one thing, to use it in a Buffalo silhouette match. (100 to 300 yds) My friends got me into it. They all have "Sharps" (If you have the money, good, go get one) I found it for about $300.00 last year. (new) I use a RCBS mold 405 bullet with IMR-4198. I started with Acc-5744. Found out, It was better with the imr 4198 (30 gr, 405 bullet @1350 fps) I did get a Williams receiver sight with the target aperture and kept the front globe. It will get to 300 with more to spare. (our range is only 300yds) It will out shoot many of the bigger guns ($) It was out matched with one gun, and it was one of the 45-110 Quigley Sharps. For a 45-70 or any cal. I think H&R makes one hell of a good gun. This gun can be loaded up to 25,000 psi and be safe.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazman1602 View Post
    Accurate, Strong, Tough as nails, ugly right out of the box.............


    .............and cheap, er, I mean inexpensive relatively. I've got a few I use for beater guns and two .17hmr wife and I use for squirrel hunting.

    Mainly for me, accuracy and $$$$$$
    That pretty well covers it.
    I have a few including one in 12FH and two dedicated .730DDR

    I shoot Ruger level 45/70 loads and top end 30/06 published loads.

    They have been rechambered to 22-250 with no problems (other than not having enough barrel).

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I had a laminated stock Ultra Varmint in 223 Rem. In the summer here in Arizona even with factory ammo the cases would not extract from the chamber at times. The make these guns with an extractor or an ejector. The ejector is much better at getting the fired brass out of the chamber.
    I would not use NATO spec ammo. There is a dimensional chamber difference between 5.56 and 223 Remington as well as pressure.

    You can call H&R with the serial number and they should be able to confirm that this is an SB2 reciever made for rifle cartridges unless you are sure this came from the factory as a rifle.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadman View Post
    I had a laminated stock Ultra Varmint in 223 Rem. In the summer here in Arizona even with factory ammo the cases would not extract from the chamber at times. The make these guns with an extractor or an ejector. The ejector is much better at getting the fired brass out of the chamber.
    I would not use NATO spec ammo. There is a dimensional chamber difference between 5.56 and 223 Remington as well as pressure.

    You can call H&R with the serial number and they should be able to confirm that this is an SB2 reciever made for rifle cartridges unless you are sure this came from the factory as a rifle.
    Leadman, the SB1's also came with rifle cartridges, just low pressure cartridges.
    You're right about the ejectors. I hate them. You can buy the camming extractor parts from the factory and I am going to have all mine extractor soon.

    I have already removed the transfer bars and replaced the hammer with an older half cock notch, on all my Handi's. The transfer bars break and unless you pull the trigger completely back and hold, you get misfires and light primer strikes.

    http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.p...c,26264.0.html
    Can I put a rifle barrel on a shotgun frame?

    Rifle barrels other than 357mag and 44 mag cannot be put a shotgun frame since the shotgun frame is not heat treated to handle the pressure. Since rifle frames are heat treated investment cast alloy, they are safe to use higher pressures, the lower pressure shotgun barrels don't present a hazard to the firearm and/or user as the inverse does. The larger firing pin and surrounding hole in the frame is also an issue.

  15. #15
    Banned Bucks Owin's Avatar
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    LIGHTER!?! No thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by kbstenberg View Post
    I would like to ask a question. But please dont bite. Why do all of you like the Handy Rifle? The consept is good but i find the weight rediculous. Most bolt guns dont weigh that much.
    Kevin
    They're strong, inexpensive and accurate. But I certainly wouldn't want my .45/70 Handi any lighter! Kicks to the point of flinching with a heavy load. I'm thinking of either ADDING weight to mine or shelling out for a real good recoil pad!...FWIW, Dennis

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Many years ago I was told by a gun shop owner that using either 5.56 in a .223 or 7.62 in a .308 were not good ideas. The throating of the chambers was his cause for concern. He said the throat of a .223 was not suited to the military bullets and would cause increased pressures and affect accuracy.

    I have noticed that some manufacturers of civilianized clones of military long arms state they use a sort of compromise chamber and throat to allow use of either military ball or civilian hunting ammo.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    I agree with Multigunner. Also some military .223 ammo is loaded "hotter"(more pressure) than civilian versions.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I have a heavy barrel 223 with 1-12 twist. I load near top end published loads of Varget or RL-15 with a Hornady 50 gr. SX bullet or their 52 gr. HP. It shoots well for the price. I got it to put in the tractor cab and keep the coyotes cautious while picking corn. For the price I haven't been dissapointed but if I had it all to do over again, I probably wouldn't.
    Rex

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Peter, I may be wrong, but I think when the original H&R went out of business, the recievers were changed to SB2s and only the shotguns could be had on the SB1 reciever. I don't remember anything but the cast iron recievers from the "old" company with shotguns and low pressure rifle and pistol cartridges. I'll have to go to Greybeard Outdoors to check this for sure.

    I have 2 "old" 58 caliber Huntsmans, 1 "old" Shikari that was 44mag., now 445 SuperMag, and a "new SB2 30-30. Have had at least a dozen others both old and new.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadman View Post
    Peter, I may be wrong, but I think when the original H&R went out of business, the recievers were changed to SB2s and only the shotguns could be had on the SB1 reciever. I don't remember anything but the cast iron recievers from the "old" company with shotguns and low pressure rifle and pistol cartridges. I'll have to go to Greybeard Outdoors to check this for sure.

    I have 2 "old" 58 caliber Huntsmans, 1 "old" Shikari that was 44mag., now 445 SuperMag, and a "new SB2 30-30. Have had at least a dozen others both old and new.
    You might be right. There was a period when they outsourced all the receivers and those serial numbers can't be fitted with rifle barrels.
    It's all on Greybeards,
    I have a couple of the old shotguns but all my rifles are SB2.

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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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