Problem with NEF Handi Rifle - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Default Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

I'm asking here for my buddy as he doesn't have a computer. He bought one of these used. Actually traded a nice lever action that sells for around $650, for one of these and got totally ripped off, but anyway, he got one for his daughter to use. It's a NEF Handi Rifle in .243 Winchester. It's been nothing but problems. It seems to be an older one as it has the ejector, not the extractor. Anyway the first issue is that it seemed to have an issue kicking open when shooting it and kicking the shell out in your face. Doing some research on this said to make sure the bolt face was completely dry of oil. So he did this, and found it was also a little dirty so he cleaned it well and then dried it and so far it's not kicked open any.

The next issue is that a shell stuck in the chamber when shooting it after just a few rounds. He decided to take it to a gunsmith to get him to check it out. The gunsmith claims that the chamber was out of spec and wasn't cut deep enough from the factory. So he cut the chamber deeper and gave it back. My buddy shot it a couple of times and assumed it was fixed. Then, we went to shoot it after that, I was there this time and on the first shot guess what. The shell stuck in the chamber again. We knocked it out with a rod, and went on back to shooting. We shot it 20 more times and it didn't do it, but it seems to do it occasionally. Not as often as it did before having the chamber recut, but it is still doing it. Doing some research online turned up a ton of complaints on this issue, but I've yet to see anyone suggest a solution other than to cut a notch in the barrel so that you can at least pry the shell out with a screwdriver.

Is there a solution to this? Or is the solution to sell it?

My buddy seems to think this rifle is the greatest thing since sliced bread even though it fails to function properly, and fails to really be anything good about it. Yet his daughter who he got it so she could hunt with it absolutely hates the gun and everything about it. I can't blame her as after getting in a lot of trigger time I don't like it either. It shoots decently but not great. About 1.5-2" groups with Winchester factory ammo, about 1" groups with handloads at 100 yards, it's unreliable, and the trigger is horrible on it, while a similar priced Savage shoots .5" groups with the exact same handloads, and .8" groups with the same Winchester factory ammo. However, it would be nice if they could actually get it to function correctly, which is why I thought I'd ask and see if there were any fixes for the cases failing to eject?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-16-2011, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Welcome! Now ya know one of the main reasons why H&R doesn't offer ejectors on centerfire rifles, hasn't for several years. See the ejector tune info and info on chamber polishing in the FAQs. If you read the ejector/extractor thread down the page, you'll see there are plenty of very happy ejector lovers here that have no problems, they can be easily made very reliable, but maybe not always 100%, a little oil or solvent left in the chamber and it may still stick, that won't happen on an extractor barrel. It can be converted to a factory style extractor, but not easily, that's in the FAQs too.

Tim

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Handi's aren't for everyone, and since your buddy doesn't have a computer, and you as his friend are helping him, and you already have a negative opinion of the rifle it would probably be best for both of you and your friendship if he went ahead and got rid of it and bought a Savage as you are suggesting.

I'm sure he will eventually get tired of listening to the critcism and decide that on his own.

Handi rifles are great little rifles, and some can be great out of the box, and some that just need a little TLC to be great rifles, but it sometimes takes a little determination and some FAQ research to get them there.


My culled down Handi's are the 45-70, and then I have a few others to keep it company...357 Mag/Max. .45 LC/.454 Casull Carbine, .243 Ultra, and 20 gauge Tracker II.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

You are right after getting a fair bit of trigger time behind this rifle, I really don't like it, nor do I see any benefit to it. However, I know a lot of guys on here do like them and I can respect that. I just feel sorry for this guys daughter who is stuck using this to hunt with, so I'd like to be able to help them figure out how to fix it if possible, so she at least has something to use that works properly. Is the modification to swap in the extractor the fix to this, or are there any simpler fixes?

I'm also willing to listen to what it is that's great about these rifles. I really wanted to like them, but after getting lots of trigger time behind this one, I find myself not. So I'm just wondering what I missing, and what's great on these rifles? It seems like half the posts I read on here even from guys that do like them are guys having issues with them. Seem to be lots of issues with chambers being out of spec causing various brass bulging issues and other issues. It's not like these are much cheaper than other decent bolt actions which is why I'm wondering if there is something performance wise that makes these great that I've missed so far. Like I said, I'm here to listen and you guys all certainly know a ton more about them than I do.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Quote:
Is the modification to swap in the extractor the fix to this, or are there any simpler fixes?
The answers you seek are in the FAQs, spend some time reading there.

http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.p...#msg1098473988

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Originally Posted by quickdtoo
It can be converted to a factory style extractor, but not easily, that's in the FAQs too.

Tim

"Always do right, this will gratify some and astonish the rest" - Mark Twain
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

If you look below my signature line, you'll see I have a bunch of Handis, and have never experienced a problem like this.......but, I don't and won't own a .243. Also, all mine are extractors. I had a 6mm Remington Model 7 that gave me fits years ago and that was the end of 6mms in my life. I'm happy with big, fat, slow bullets. My Handi 7mm-08 seems to be accurate and reliable. One of those might be a viable trade.

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The growing Handi/Sportster/Pardner/Topper Family: .22 WMR, .22-250. 223, Two Superlight 7mm-08s and one Superlight .243, standard .243, .30-30, 16.5 inch .30-40, .308, 32-20, 18 inch .356/.358 Win., Two 16.5 inch .357 Max., 18 inch 38-55. 16.5 inch .445 Super Mag., .45LC, 16.5 and 22 inch .45-70s, .50 Huntsman SS, .410, 20 ga., 12 ga., 20 ga. Pardner Pump, Versa-Pack .410 - .22
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Welcome to GBO Forums and in particular the H&R Handi-rifle Forum where there is a wealth of information and there are many-many satisfied and happy Handi-Campers - issues or no issues.

The sad story here is in his trading a lever gun, which he valued at $650, for a single shot rifle that most of us paid less than $300 to own, BRAND NEW. Had he consulted the GBO H&R Classified ads he would have been in a better bargaining position. He does not sound to be an old man as he has a daughter, unless she is in her 50's. Unfortunately, he has not yet entered the modern age of computers and the Internet so that wealth of information is unavailable to him. Caveat emptor.

The FAQ's describe taking the ejector apart and CAREFULLY honing the ejector surfaces and housing. I have a .223 that needs this "tune up". It too fails to eject cases, but then, I am bitten by the Handi-rifle and have a few, as well as a few level guns, bolt guns, and semi-autos too. Handi's can become an addiction.

Failure to lock up may be indicative that a shim is needed at the pivot pin beneath the barrel lug mating surface. This too is covered in the FAQ's. Check the barrel lug and receiver for the same LAST THREE DIGITS of the serial number sequence to determine if the barrel and receiver were made together and factory fitted. Check the barrel lug for non-factory filing on the barrel lug to pivot pin mating surface. If the bluing is gone and filing marks are present, it could well be that a former owner made modifications that would now require some shimming.

Not every gun out of its box shoots to 0.50" accuracy at 100 yards. Tuning one that at first is problematic can be very satisfying. Let the daughter get involved in accurizing HER rifle and she may turn into a Handi-holic too.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Here's my reason for liking them. $240 rifle @ 100yds

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Thanks. Looks like the first thing for them to try is the ejector tune up.

Also, looked on the barrel lug and it has the last 3 digits of the serial number from the receiver carved into it. It looks sloppy where it's carved in though. Would this be factory?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Problem with NEF Handi Rifle

Yes, the factory cut pivot looks kinda rough more often than not.

Tim

"Always do right, this will gratify some and astonish the rest" - Mark Twain
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