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Discussion Starter #1
So I just picked up a worn H&R Topper 158 with a serial# AH23xxxx which after digging through the above FAQ looks to be from 1971? The barrel is a Hand Rifle SB2 in 223 Remington. The barrel shows some finish wear, but appears to be blued, and the bore looks good. The receiver finish is VERY WORN but looks like paint in the stampings? Anyway to tell if they are both the same vintage or original and matching? It appears to lock up firm, no wiggles/rattles.

Is this a safe receiver/barrel combo? I thought Toppers were shotguns? I read in the FAQ's about the receivers varying in heat treat and therefore strength. This won't see a ton of use but I value my eyes :) I plan to keep this as a barn/shop gun for ground hogs and varmints to replace the SKS that is now to valuable for that duty and level of neglect.

Thanks for the info!!
 

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H&R Inc frames are ductile cast iron, only meant for shotguns and low pressure rifle chamberings like Hornet and 30-30, the 223 Rem with a SAAMI MAP of 55kpsi is not a low pressure chambering, as neckisred said it's not a safe chambering on that platform, you need a steel alloy SB2 frame, then fit the barrel properly, see the barrel FAQs fitting info.

Tim
 

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I agree with neckisred
The model 158 receiver is not strong enough for the 223. The pressure is too excessive.
There were some calibers that came with a model 158. Such as
30-30,22 hornet,357 mag,44mag. They are a lot less pressure and were factory rounds.
I WOULD Not shoot that combination.


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Discussion Starter #5
Well this is my 1st H&R Single. Was really liking the patina on this old girl for a shop gun. I even ordered a new scope for it. I talked to the FFL and he said he'd make good on it. He took it on trade with a few other items as part of an estate, but nothing that would fit with this.

So I guess I need to find an SB2 receiver with a barrel I need or go back to the FFL?

I've seen mention of a "sculpted" receiver. What era is that and how does it matter when swapping parts?
 

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The sculpted receivers are older H&R guns. Same basic design and limits as the receiver you have - barrels may fit but most likely will need fitting. Watch the classified's here and look for an SB2 receiver for that .223 barrel. You might look for a shotgun barrel to fit the receiver you have as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
Ok I took things apart a bit. No serial numbers on the barrel, maybe an "H", but can't tell. So that means this is an accessory barrel? Anyway to date it to determine twist? It shows similar finish wear to the 158 Receiver.

I bought this along with a couple other single shot 410s and some ammo all total for $500. So this Topper158/223 was maybe $150-$175 in the deal. So maybe I at least did good on the barrel? Or like I said the FFL will take it back and make good on the mismatch with a refund.
 

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If the other 410's you bought are H&R/Nef single shots, pull the stocks and check to see if they are SB2's. If the FFL is local, check any other H&R/NEF frames he may have gotten from that estate. Its possible barrels just got mixed up in that estate and the correct fitting SB2 is there somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I already checked with the Pawnshop FFL as he is a buddy. No other HR/NEF were in the lot so I’m thinking some nephew/grandson somewhere has an SB2 with a 410 or 12 barrel. 1st 410 was a new Stevens Camo furniture he had on the rack for $195 and the 2nd was a Hatfield with “walnut” furniture From the Estate lot For $100. Then I bought $60+ in Ammo and this HR158 for $500 out the door.

So is a .223 Barrel “valued” at $150? If so I may just hang on to it and swap parts around with another Receiver.
 

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If the barrel is in good condition it is worth $150. If it's an ejector barrel it should be 1:12 twist. If it's an extractor it could be 1:12 or 1:9.
 
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Post an ad in the Want to Buy H&R forum for an SB2 frame or any barrels you want.

Tim

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some more clarification please? So a case hardened receiver, even if NEF made is not any stronger than my early H&R from 1971, and does not mean high pressure chambering capable. So an early NEF frame, Ser# NAxxxxxx which indicates 1986 mfg is still too early for this .223 barrel I have. I need a 2000 and up frame, which will specifically be tagged SB2, to go with the 223 barrel. Based on reading this:
 

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Take your stock off, your frame needs to look like the one on the right to use the 223 barrel.
medium.jpg
 

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Some more clarification please? So a case hardened receiver, even if NEF made is not any stronger than my early H&R from 1971, and does not mean high pressure chambering capable. So an early NEF frame, Ser# NAxxxxxx which indicates 1986 mfg is still too early for this .223 barrel I have. I need a 2000 and up frame, which will specifically be tagged SB2, to go with the 223 barrel. Based on reading this:
Frames aren't marked SB1, SB2 or otherwise, the only way to tell SB1 from SB2 is check the tang construction as 45/70fan suggested, or contact H&R customer service, they can determine how it left the factory by the serial number. H&R Inc/NEF/H&R 1871 never made any color case hardened frames, they were only faux case colored which there are different methods of doing, case color hardening is an expensive process, not done on inexpensive firearms. The 2000-on criteria for accessory barrels had more to do with product liability and who made them, Marlin bought NEF in 2000.

Tim

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Frames aren't marked SB1, SB2 or otherwise, the only way to tell SB1 from SB2 is check the tang construction as 45/70fan suggested, or contact H&R customer service, they can determine how it left the factory by the serial number. H&R Inc/NEF/H&R 1871 never made any color case hardened frames, they were only faux case colored which there are different methods of doing, case color hardening is an expensive process, not done on inexpensive firearms. The 2000-on criteria for accessory barrels had more to do with product liability and who made them, Marlin bought NEF in 2000.

Tim

Ok, so I’m going to try and attach a pic. I have the threaded hole for the stock, an oblong shallow triangular hole above that, and a slight depression below the threaded hole that has a couple small holes and appears to be a thin part of the casting. It does not just have a single hole. Thanks for putting up with me!! image.jpg
248184
 

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I'd strip that one for parts or toss it. Looks like it's been used as a hammer. Here's a better pic of SB1 and SB2.
A34F7193-30A1-4D0A-B37B-72D10BB5C4BE.jpeg
 

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Ok, so I’m going to try and attach a pic. I have the threaded hole for the stock, an oblong shallow triangular hole above that, and a slight depression below the threaded hole that has a couple small holes and appears to be a thin part of the casting. It does not just have a single hole. Thanks for putting up with me!! View attachment 248184
Those are just voids in the casting, common in ductile cast iron frames. Heat treated investment cast alloy steel SB2 frames don't look anything like that.

Tim
 

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I agree with 45-70. Don't remember seeing one that looks this bad. Could be dangerous. Nice to have site with all this experience. If you don't want it for parts I'd tell your buddy about it if he takes it back so nobody gets hurt. Get yourself a good one, I love mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I picked up a SB2 Receiver of GunBroker for $100. Luckily the .223 Barrel locked up tight with no fitting needed. Got a Bushnell Banner mounted up too. Now I just need to get time to shoot it a bit. There seems to be a slight difference in the old/new receiver as the wood stock does not fit the same. There is a sharp edge that catches my hand. So I will need to look for a Choate stock or bubba mod it with a file.
 
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