Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Default Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

Been talking to several gun dealers here in Texas and New Mexico. Their sales of Handi's have dropped off greatly.The common opinion is the entry level, ie ,cheap bolt guns are rapidly causing its demise.
I know we are a dedicated, loyal following but unfortunately there is not enough to keep H&R in business. They depend on the casual hunter / shooter for their volume of sales.
Your thoughts please

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post #2 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

I have been thinkin' the same thing since the Savage Edge/Axis was introduced. Bolt gun for the same money as a break open single. Then you also have the Braztech/CVA singles to compete against. I hope we are both wrong. On a positive note, this is all the incentive I need to buy a NIB 45-70 Talo Trapper than is sitting in a local candy store. 8)


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post #3 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 05:58 AM
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Default Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

In the area I live in, with the heavy brush and swamps, lightweight single shots remain popular with deer hunters. I know the single shot 45-70 is the #1 gun for bear hunters around here too. And most folks can't afford TCA and view Rossi's as cheap junk.

If he's carrying a singleshot, don't expect a warning shot!
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post #4 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

The $89 Mosin Nagants and bolt actions at the same price point do cut into sales. The Maverick 88 pump is also at the same price point. The 'just the rack the slide' theory for home defense will always trump a single shot shotgun in the economy model scattergun market. The average hunter when faced between a single shot and a bolt action will go with the increased capacity and what appears to be a more traditional hunting rifle. Those with a better heeled income with a single shot itch to scratch will go with the T/C line and the ability to buy immediately switchable barrels instead of sending their receivers back to Remington to get it fitted.

Let's be realistic. The single shot is an anachronism when the best selling firearm is an AR15 pattern rifle and a full quarter of Remington's ammunition production is .223.

Don't see any big push to innovate on this product line. Note that they dropped the R&D on a version that could handle belted magnums due to perceived low sales. I don't see them closing H&R out immediately; but only a further reduction down to high selling models. Not sure how the Barrel Accessory Program fits into their production line, but it may well be on the short list also.

ETA: The bright spot is that the rules are changing on 'primitive weapon' deer seasons to allow a single shot exposed hammer rifles >= .35 caliber that will help drive sales.
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post #5 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

Unfortunately, big corporations like big numbers. Although we have survived the 'send production to Russia' movement. The Remington 'Spartan' single shots are no more. Our local dealer here in central michigan has around 30 H&R's on the racks. The nicer ones with the laminated stocks seem to sell first and the youth next. There are lots of standards there in the smaller centerfire calibers. So sales seem to be pretty healthy here. I'm sure the cheap bolt actions have cut into sales. I'm even considering one myself, and I think a bolt action is the most awkward action ever inventer. But there is a little Savage youth there in 7-08 that's light, short, and has the accutrigger for $400. I'm thinking..... Of course I should be able to get my hands on my 7-08 lite in a few days and that may very well cure my itch for that Savage. 44 Man

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post #6 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

A friend of mine who lives in IL by the Indiana border said one of their favorite gun shops over in Indiana can't keep the H&Rs on the shelf with the new low power (his words) rifle season with pistol calibers they just recently ok'd. He hopes IL adopts the same rule. As stated above those new state ruled may dictate which caliber production runs and where the rifles are most available. I would hate to see it happen, but honestly most of my friends think I am nuts just carrying a single shot around..... :
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post #7 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

I have said in the past that the Handi rifle is pricing itself out of existence. It was a low cost, quality product. Then budget bolt guns started coming out by about every manufacture, including Remington. Then the Handi rifle started to creep up in cost. The cheapest center fire SB2 frame rifle is $300 or more in our area.I live in Indiana and the Handi is still selling well, despite the price increases because the alternatives are lever guns that cost $200 more than the Handi or Ruger 77/44 or 77/357 that cost $600 or more. So the Handi rifle is not competing against the cheap bolt guns in Indiana, for deer. Or they change the cartridge rules. Varmint calibers are a different story. The Handi is still a good place to start with a rimmed case, where the bolt guns do not do that well or are not offered. For cartridges such as 30-30 and 45-70. There are lever guns able to handle these cases, but they still cost more....for now. Yes the price for Handi rifles have went way up in comparison to the price of bolt guns. Just a few years ago, you could buy a plain Jane Handi for under $200 and a cheap bolt gun was just under $300. Now the Bolt guns are still around $350 up 17% or so while the Handis have went up in price 50% or more. They are getting much closer in price. Besides the rimmed cases that you can still get cheaper in the Handi rifle or just the love of the rifle no matter the cost, there is little reason to buy a Handi rifle any more.

I do not want to start another rimmed vs rimless debate, it is[/color] a matter of personal preference. It is just the way I[/color] see it. The only thing that the Handi can still handle relatively economically is the rimmed cases, because in general the bolt guns can not. If I could get a decent new inexpensive bolt gun in 30-30, 44 Mag, 357 Max and 22 Hornet, I would have no reason to buy another Handi. I would sell what I have and buy some thing else new, but I would take a bath on the trade ins, so I will stick with what I have and not add any more. After all I have them paid for, they shoot just fine, they look great (mine are all Cinnamon Lams) and I have a weakness for single shot rifles. I like single shots so well that all my varmint/bench caliber bolt guns have been converted to single shots with the exception of a Remington ADL 700 in 243 (BTW it was $399.95 with a camo stock and scope/mounts included). Of course I know better than to say never, because I might walk into a heck of a deal on a Handi that I can not pass up. Last fall the Local Gander Mountain had a .204 marked down to $260. The legal deer caliber rifles were all setting on the self at $299.99. Handi Varmint guns just do not sell that well here, because you can get bolt guns as cheap or just a little more.

Good Luck and Good Shooting

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post #8 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

Problem I see is that one of the wholesalers in Prescott Arizona has the Buffalo classic @ $459.00 .
add the local taxes and transfer fees,now we are over 5 bills.As much as I like my BC and target model, it isn't worth 5 bills. Glad I bought them when they came out. They were both under 3 bills then.Also the decision to drop the Topper models seems ill advised. What a wonderful shotgun for young ones. Heck,I have pretty much given up my shotguns to only using my Topper classic,which is a joy to use in the field.
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post #9 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

Handi rifles did not do themselves any favors by jacking up their prices eespecially against the bolt guns ie the Savage axis, and Marlin x series in the rimmless cartridges. I just picked up a 30-06 Marlin xl7 under under 275 used and it is pretty nice considering that it generally retails for 20 to 30 more than a handi.

Where the Handi just shine is the pistol rimmed calibers. I too live in Indiana and sprang for a ruger 77/44 and it did OK. I sold it and bought two handis and managed to get decent scopes on both. My handi in 44 mag and 357 max outshoot it any day with any ammo at a fraction of the price of a single ruger.

The other thing I don't understand is why a Handi single shot 22lr in is now priced more than what a really nice marlin x series bolt action rimfire sells for... Baffles me. I was going to get one at Dicks and they just jumped 60.00 bucks and are priced over the Marlins and Remington semi-autos and bolt actions!

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post #10 of 102 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?

I like Handi's and have a few of them but I'll be the first to say they ain't worth the money. Rossi and CVA have both stepped up the game and you can buy a great shooting bolt gun for the same money or less.
Quality issues, pricing and cheap bolt guns are going to send the Handi's packing plain and simple.

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