Author Topic: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?  (Read 8417 times)

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Offline jeepmann1948

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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
Thanks
George
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  it's where you hit em "

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Offline bikerbeans

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 02:53:54 am »
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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Offline kevinsmith5

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Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 02:58:23 am »
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!

Offline wganz

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 03:03:34 am »
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.

Offline 44 Man

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 03:24:44 am »
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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Offline thejanitor

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 03:27:03 am »
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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Offline LaOtto222

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2012, 05:42:49 am »
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 a matter of personal preference. It is just the way I 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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Offline mauser98us

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2012, 07:59:44 am »
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.

Offline jjas

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 08:02:41 am »
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..... ::)   
thejanitor

As a resident of Indiana, I can tell you that  the handi-rifle is a good seller.  There aren't very many rifles chambered in .357mag, .44 mag., 45lc, etc to begin with.  Throw in the fact that a Marlin lever or a Ruger 77/357 or 77/44 run around $600-700,  and the handi business should be good around here for years to come.
 
Hopefully, more states that are slug gun only will see the light and understand that a pistol cartridge rifle in .44 magnum is very similar from a ballistic standpoint to a 20 gauge slug gun and many muzzleloader loads.  And while I'm sure Rossi and CVA have their fans, I've looked @ both and decided to keep my handi.
 
 
 

 

Offline 8uck5nort

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 08:29:46 am »
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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Offline Spanky

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 09:55:52 am »
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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Offline thesandman

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 03:22:24 pm »
You are not going to like this;  just came from china Mart.  they have new americans on the rack 359.00 dollars. That is a nice gun(ruger).  another nail in a handi coffin.

Offline 30calflash

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 03:37:17 pm »
 One thing I thought of years back was for H&R to expand the chamberings to common and popular military calibers. Inexpensive milsurp ammo being available at the time. They have '06 but what about 30-40 Krag, 303 British, 8X57 Mauser, 7.62X54R. There's a few others that would work also.
Rimmed and rimless with enough interest it could go for a while. They could release one chambering every 4-6 months.

 Until the low buck bolts get popular and the makers start running the prices up!

Offline kevinsmith5

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2012, 05:23:45 am »
I think adding a 7.62x54R would be a good idea. More and more gun shops are stocking them due to the Nagants.

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Offline kennyd

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2012, 05:30:26 am »
I don't see much H&R in the shops.  At $300 per, plus scope and rings, they do have competition from the "starter" kits.
Here if you ask for "advice", you will be handed a a Remington or Savage kit in 30-06.  That isn't a bad deal for a starting "elk hunter".  There are also fewer hunters, fewer places to shoot, and a disconnect to outdoor sports.  A lot of the shops now carry lots of golf, football and all.


For those of who already have guns, the extractor/ejector thing also comes up.  Wish they would offer a combo or ejedct rimless and extract rimmed.


There is a point where the market may be saturated.  I imagine everyone who wants a Win 94 has one.  I never could get a handle on the angle eject change, or the price they wanted at the end.
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Offline Sourdough

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2012, 05:55:07 am »
I quite buying new Handis when they quite making ejectors.  I won't have an extractor.  If I want to shoot a gun with an extractor I'll shoot a T/C.  In cold weather, cold arthritic fingers can't remove shells from an extractor gun.  I want that shell gone when I open the action.  So the dropping of Ejectors killed the Handi for me.  I will not buy a new Handi with extractors.
 
Yes I just bought a 25-06/ but it was a used gun with ejectors.
 
Three 30-06, two 25-06, one .35 Whelen, one 45-70, one .243, two .223, two 12 ga, and one 20 ga, all with ejectors.   There is always a Handi on my 4-wheeler or snow machine, the T/Cs get left home, unless I need a Belted Mag.  But there is still a Handi with me as back-up.
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Offline cjrjck

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2012, 05:58:08 am »
Nothing lasts forever, but the Handi is still a good value. Few rifles handle as well. None are safer in my opinion or easier to teach someone to shoot - nor designed to take a beating without worrying the owner. I have a very accurate Remington Model 7 stainless in 7mm08 that is tailor made for where I hunt and it takes a back seat to several of my Handi Rifles when I hunt. Two of my Handi Rifles are more accurate than all my other bolt actions. Still a good value.

Offline Sourdough

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2012, 03:50:14 pm »
As for accuracy, can't beat them.  I am a neusence animal shooter.  Beaver are my target.  Can't trap them since there is a bike path along the channel and kids or anti trappers will find the traped beaver and steal the trap, and toss the beaver in the bushes where I won't find it till it starts smelling.  By then it will probably have brought in a bear.  There is a big camp ground near by, and now we have a bear hanging around the area. 
 
I go in late in the evening after the bikers and hikers are no longer there.  I quitely walk along the channel till I see a beaver.  I sit till I get the shot I want.  A small spot right behind the head, about the size of your thumb nail.  If I hit that spot the beaver just quivers and floats.  instant kill.  If I don't hit that area, the Beaver will dive.  Now I have to go home and get the canoe.  I come back two hours later, when the gases build up and the Beaver floats.  I have to search the channel down stream of where I shot it to find the floating Beaver.  If I wait any longer than that, either a Fox, Coyote, Wolf, or Bear will find it.  Since my shot has to be right on the money, I use either my Handi Ultra in .223 or the Sportster in .17 HMR.
 
A few years ago I was in the position of having a Grizzly walk out between me and my truck.  I had the .223 in my hand.  Began to think I was going to have to try and defend myself with a .223, not my choice of guns.  Notice I said "try".     
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Offline Rustyinfla

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2012, 04:15:49 am »


   I wonder how many people like the handi because they are left handed?

   It is a definite advantage foe me even though I don't think about it much any more. I can SHOOT right handed or left handed but operating a right handed bolt action left handed is a problem. Even a pump or a semi-auto doesn't work quite right.

   The Handi on the other hand is equal for both. In fact I find it slightly easier to operate it left handed.
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Offline ihookem

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2012, 05:36:26 am »
It's their own fault. If Marlin can make an XL7 for 300 bucks, H&R can make a single shot for 250. There is very little to a single shot. The barrels are made by the thousands too. The plastic is cheap and the wood stocks  they use is one step up from crate lumber.

Offline Duckdog

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2012, 05:44:36 am »
The fact that you can not just buy a barrel off the shelf doesn't help either.  You can do that with Rossi and Contenders.  I wonder why that is?  Face it, if they can do it, so can Handi.
 
Handis used to be the best value out there, but not really any more.  They will be gonne in the years to come unless things change.

Offline twoshooter

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2012, 06:12:06 am »
For literally decades, I thought of handi's as just a junk gun. I bought the first one because it was simple to operate and safe, and if something happened to it, not much loss. AND, it was a combo gun, in 20ga and 243, a youth model, for 239$ at wally world. It was for my grandson and the wife who had cancer surgery on the one arm/ shoulder, I downloaded it a lot. Then I heard about the barrel accessory program and saw the BC barrel, I think it was $110 at that time. Then I found you guys the next year, around 2007 I think, and as they say, the rest is history. I have bought them since strictly because of the chamberings. I prefer extractors because there is no looking for brass, but ejectors are doable. The draw was the Hornet, the pistol calibers that I load for, the older rounds . The new bolts are fine and cheap, but you cant get one in 357, or 45/70. Newer high speed rounds are more trouble to cast for. I have paid a few dollars more for that feature, but will not spend that on an '06 or 7mm 08 or something. I have not looked at the CVA and Rossi, do they have the pistol / straight wall chamberings?
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Offline jjas

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2012, 07:10:21 am »
(As I stated previously), in Indiana handis sell well.   Other than a couple of newer rounds, the vast majority of what is legal here for deer are handgun cartridges.  I know there are other manufacturers but in single shots, I like my handi.

But....if gun companies offered bolt action rifles in handgun calibers would I keep my handi then?  If they cost what the 77/44 or 77/357 do, then yes I'd keep my handi.  But if  Savage or Remington brought out a bolt gun in legal handgun calibers (like the Axis or Ruger's American) in the $300-$400  price point,  then yes I would purchase one.
 

Offline 8uck5nort

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2012, 08:02:46 am »
Ditto to what jjas said. 
 
I would like to see H&R or Marlin with entry bolt gun without the rotary mag. With a Ruger style rotary mag you can't easily ream and extend the mag for maxi or 445 SM! That is another strength of a Handi single shot. The realitvely easy ability to ream for another caliber without a major rework of a magazine, etc...
 
Would be nice to see pistol caliber in a semi-auto carbine again (A H&R or marlin made 357 or 44 mag with the trigger upgrades would be awsome) That would compliment a Handi reamed to maxi very well. Marlin already has the 9mm camp carbine... Why not make a tube fed or magazine version for 357 or 44 or 45 caliber magnum cartridges?
 
Would pay a little more for that cause it would be a deer legal cartridge in Indiana in a fast handling 4 or 5 shot semi-auto in 44 mag or 454 casull... Man that would sell very well in Indiana if priced to compete with the ruger 77 series.
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Offline Ganjiro

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2012, 05:19:57 pm »
I think Remington is trying to price the H&R line right into oblivion.  I remember when I could pick up a handy for way under $200.
Even their accessory barrel program has risen to a point where they are not the bargain they used to be, and the barrel choices have dwindled down.  Quality control has gone down in the opposite direction from the price.  I LOVE my Handis but can't imagine buying a new one anymore.
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Online Doublebass73

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2012, 06:36:29 pm »
Quote
I wonder how many people like the handi because they are left handed?

I initially got into Handis because they are ambidextrous. They also used to be a real bargain, I remember buying a Versa Pack 22/410 for my daughter at Wally world for $139. Lately I've been buying older ones because the quality was better than now.
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Offline ratdog

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2012, 02:24:15 am »
yep you don't see a lot of handy's on the shelves here even pawn shops .a lot of rossies. i dont like having to pay shipping to get a barrel fitted it's a hastle. i really like single shot's though i hope we can still get parts for them if the go under.don't like foriegn stuff other than military guns.stuff made out of this country is hard to get fixed. :)

Offline ironglow

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2012, 03:03:03 am »
  Past Saturday, I stopped by my closest Wally World (16 miles)..a store that usually carried several Handis.  They had one 12 ga in stock..that's all.  If it had been a 20ga..I would have bought it ($127).
  Upon further inquiry of the dept manager, when I asked him if he had a 20 ga..he said that's his last Handi and likely the last one he will ever get.."they are not selling"..
   Why aren't they selling ?  As I see it, the sharp increase in price as well as lowered confidence in the product due to the Cerebus buyout is doing it.  The single-shot idea (IMO) has little to do with it since some hunters simply like the "single shot challenge"..  That is why the Ruger#1 , Thompson center, Browning , Winchester and European stalking rifles have brought premium prices..
      I believe the sharply elevated price on dubious quality is where the answer lies...   It doesn't have to be a problem with the original product, that is just what happens when the "bean counters" move in.  Remember what AMF did to Harley Davidson ?
  Perhaps H&R will be "rescued" by some group that appreciates them; after the bean counters have run them into the ground..
" Truth is 'hate' to those who hate the truth" ..J Matt Barber)

Online AtlLaw

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2012, 07:33:14 am »
I wonder how many people like the handi because they are left handed?

Or suddenly find themselves in a position where they have to learn to shoot left handed!   ::)
 
I sure am glad I have a safe full of Handi's now!   ;)
Richard
Former Captain of Horse and keeper of the peace.  Current interpreter of statute

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Offline Rfltrck1

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Re: Are our Beloved Handi Rifles headed to the Endangered Species List?
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2012, 01:28:09 pm »
 Hey everybody, I'm new here, I really liked the handi but when they got rid of the ejector I called to ask why, some customer  service person said because there were too many people using foreign ammo and they were getting stuck in the chamber. I told him to show me a foreign box of .35 whelen. He didn't like that. Then I said its probably to cut cost right, he said no. I said yea right... and hung up. If they would give a person more caliber options (instead of the same old thing) and maybe choice in nice wood, color-case just some different things and bring back the ejection I'd even pay extra for some things.sometimes I think the bigger companys that own them are trying to just raise the price and lower the quality so people will quit buying them so a person would go buy something in the line of a bolt and more expensive. I'd like a handi in 405 winchester color cased action with nice walnut and nice checkering. Just my 2 cents. 

 

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