Author Topic: H&R model 349 Gamester  (Read 6436 times)

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Offline Ganjiro

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H&R model 349 Gamester
« on: March 23, 2010, 10:03:54 pm »
Aloha Gentlemen,
  At the Honolulu gun show this past weekend I found and purchased a shotgun for my nephew.  It is a 1954 vintage H&R model 349 Gamester a 3 round bolt-action 12 gauge shotgun with 26" barrel with an adjustable factory vari-choke, and the "exclusive Mulno sighting dome".  The bluing is 98% as is the walnut stock, great shape and hardly shot from what I can see, and what I thought was a very fair price of $100.  I am not familiar with this gun at all but very cool, reminds me of an elephant gun.  Anyways the front "bead" also serves as a stop for the rotating collar of the vari-choke.  Instead of a bead there is presently a screw.  Does anyone here know if this is the original arrangement?  It looks funky and I'd like to replace it with a brass bead if screw not original.  Does anyone here know what thread size this vintage H&R used for their front beads?  Also from what I gather this 'Mulno sight dome" is simply a steel arch placed on the action ahead of the bolt to sight over so as to raise the muzzle.  The closest thing to a flaw this shotgun had is a rather crudely cut notch into this "sight dome" so it functions as a rear sight.  This sight dome comes off with one screw, and I was considering installing a Williams WGRS sight made for the Topper/Pardner as I think the barrel diameter matches or would be very close.   I think my nephew plans on using this shotgun mainly for turkeys but also for the occasional wild boar.  Thank you for all your help and input.

Aloha, Ji

Illegitimus Non Carborundum


Offline Lucky Joe

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 06:47:28 pm »
That's really great, thanks for posting that little bit of history. Hope your nephew has many enjoyable hours with that one.
Lucky Joe

"There's always a way."

Offline a4beltfed2000

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 08:59:51 pm »
I have 3 of these. One in 12 ga, 16, and 20 ga. The only concern that I have is that sears did have a recall on them several years back. They were also another variant I believe as the sear 348. I personally have never had any problems with mine, just thought I should share the info.  They are wonderful guns and have put many squirrels,rabbits, and turkeys in the freezer.

I purchased mine as when I was a kid, I use to drool over the sears catalog in the fall, and always dreamed of owning these, but never had the money. I had to settle for the 20 ga and 12 ga H&R topper that I still own. Loved the 20 ga but learned to hate the 12 with heavy loads. Always wanted a .410 after shooting a buddies H&R but never got it, till I got old enough to buy it........

Interesting I just found a model 158, and a 088......
H&R/NEF 10, 12,16 20 28 ,410 .243 45 357 45lc. 1919a4, uzi, sten mK 2,3,5 M2HB, 1917a1, ak74(2) amd 65, RPK (2) 11 aks and 50 other guns....

Offline Ganjiro

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 05:44:33 am »
From my Google research what I gathered was 348 is the model 349 but without the Vari-choke so instead has a straight barrel with a fixed choke.  Also from what I gather Sears was selling both the 348, and 349.  There was a case where someone who removed the bolt for cleaning forgot to replace the bolt-stop screw so the next time he worked the bolt quickly from the shoulder the bolt came out and hit him in the eye.  He sued Sears and won even though it was no real design flaw but maintenance flaw of that shooter.  Sears took those models off their shelves after a recall and refund.  H&R's solution to prevent future stupidity was to introduce the Munlo Sighting Dome which served the second purpose of covering the bolt-stop screw to if not prevent removal as least make it one step more difficult.  That's what I read, wish I could recall the website.  I am very happy with this shotgun, very solidly built though a tad heavy but my nephew is 6'2 and weighs 250 lbs. so no problem for him.  ;)
Thank you for all your input.
Illegitimus Non Carborundum

Offline FLNT4EVR

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 03:34:49 pm »
I'm old enough to remember shooting one of these. As I remember they realy delivered the goods. They were as good as any with birdshot, And definately minute of deer out to 60 yds or so with rifled slugs. As young men ,we all gave it our ,"Hey !  This gun is alright." It functioned without a hitch and shot where it's crude sighting system pointed. We never looked for much beyond that.
" Act civilized...even if you ain't " 
 
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Offline scout4

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 04:31:31 pm »
Hey Ganjiro! Great! I have one of these old baby's and I love it! scout4<><

Offline Ganjiro

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2010, 08:30:55 pm »
Aloha Ray, awesome twin to mine, thank for sharing the picture.
Can't wait to hand it over to my Nephew but he still has over a week before his permit to acquire is ready for pickup.
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Offline scout4

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Re: H&R model 349 Gamester
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2010, 02:13:47 pm »
You are welcome Ganjiro! Since that picture I've changed the original butt pad for a packmaur pad, and refinished the walnut stock. It is a great shooting vintage H&R shotgun! I'm still waiting for a good weather chance to get out an shoot some buckshot loads from the old gun. I'll let the folks here know how that works. Thanks! scout4<><