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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a low-cost, simple, and versatile general-purpose rifle, probably in .308. It will have a scope and bipod, and would be used for plinking and backpacking gun. I really like that they can be taken down compact and can be fitted with multiple barrels, but I have some concerns regarding some of the things I read about these rifles and their nature.

Am I expecting to much to think that, with maybe a .308 Survivor, I could drop just about any load in there and shoot at least 3MOA? I will probably try a little to work up some more accurate handloads (though not nearly as hard as some here), but if I get some bulk ammo or just whatever is on the shelves, should I still be able to get at least some decent groups (like 3MOA)? Also, I've read through the FAQs and such and know these rifles can sometimes take a little bit of work. But, is this going to be a rifle that requires me to hold each finger just so, and line up the receiver just right, and wait just long enough, and close the action just like that between shots to get the bullet to go where the crosshairs lie? If I shoot more than one shot every 30 seconds will I be shooting the targets in the lane next to me?


Don't get me wrong, I love the elegance and romance of single-shot rifles, but I want a rifle that will provide a relatively simple path into longer-range shooting (I've got a 9mm pistol, a 10/22, and a Mossberg 500...), and that will suit me well, and that I can use in high-speed drills on multiple (paper / wood / cardboard) targets. However, I have read far too many potential negatives to really feel this will be the case with this rifle.

So, what do you guys think? Should I just get a bolt-action?
 

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Just going by what you want in a rifle, and that would be one that you can take down and put into a backpack, without a scope, and be pretty much on target even after it's been taken down and put back together I would go with a rimmed cartridge as in a 30-30.

You can go with the leverlution cartridges and they shoot really well to make it a 200 yard rifle.

The rimmed cartridges give the least headaches and the 30-30 is a consistent shooter out of the box, as well as the .357 mag. Also the 45-70 is just as dependable if you want a little more umph!
 

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308 is generaly pretty acurate. I bought the Dick's SG ultra varmint package put a Nikon scope on it did the JB bore paste thing and had it shooting 1.5" with rem 150gr core lokt and it's getting better the more I shoot it. a week and half ago I put a deer down at 160 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the responses guys. Never thought about going .30-30 in a handi (though I have been looking at lever-actions also), but using a rimmed case does make sense and now I do remember seeing that recommendation.
 

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Did you read the post in the FAQ's from Mac that whole thread just about sums up what to expect from a H&R single shot. But that being said your results may vary. Kurt
 

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J ,

You also have the luxury with the 30-30 of using spitzer bullets ( should you reload /or plan to) which would allow you to save some cash and tailor the load to your rifle versus buying factory ammo i.e. the leverevolution ammo , But nevertheless the cheaper factory ammo for the 30-30 has always been your best bang for your buck .. Before the panic buying took off , my local wally world was selling a box of Win. ,Rem. ,Fed. for $8 and change..
I think it has gone up to around $10+ now ..

The 308 is another one that doesnt kill the pocket book , And one I will buy sooner or later due to our fellow Handi-holics recommendations and accuracy reports .. Even guys in my area that have had them, praise their good shooting prowess and they didnt use any of our common knowledge tricks to tweek it into accuracy.. To me that is enough for me to give it a chance ;)

Either one is easy to find once fired bass for ( thank god for non-reloaders ;D ) Should you be reloading or planning to. If you are looking for iron sights in this packing package , Then the 30-30 has the advantage , it comes from the factory set up with them..
But either would suit your requirements well I would think.

My two cents,

Default
 

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i've found that the NEF/H&R's i've owned, and do own, will normally offer MOA right out of the box.

a few years back i purchased the .223 Handi-rifle and it was less than 1" at 100 yds out of the box using factory made ammo...what more can a person want?

i was working on more accurate handloads when my circumstances changed and i had to put reloading efforts on the back burner. :'(

it's shortcoming was that it was recommended by the factory not to use a bullet heavier than 55 grains due to the twist rate.

things have changed...now i have the H&R Ulta Varmint and the NEF Sportser and are developing them.

wonderully simple, functional and as a rule, quite accurate rifles IMO. :)
 

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You mentioned that you wish to backpack the rifle. The older Toppers in 30-30 were a lot lighter than the present day offerings, so after comparing the two I went with my older Topper and added two more to the gun cabinet. With a low power 20 mm scope the Topper will weigh in just under 6 lbs. with scope.

The difference is the barrel is of slimmer profile and has Lyman sights the rear flips down and had adjustable elevation. The Topper is a joy to carry as well as put in a pack as I have stored mine in the longer duck decoy pack that I use for my bibs and parka when packing everything out from my old deerstand when I use to hunt a couple miles in during the Michigan season.

As far as the Handi .308, they are nice rifles and that caliber is great!
 

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JMcDonald said:
I am looking for a low-cost, simple, and versatile general-purpose rifle, probably in .308. It will have a scope and bipod, and would be used for plinking and backpacking gun. I really like that they can be taken down compact and can be fitted with multiple barrels, but I have some concerns regarding some of the things I read about these rifles and their nature.

Am I expecting to much to think that, with maybe a .308 Survivor, I could drop just about any load in there and shoot at least 3MOA? I will probably try a little to work up some more accurate handloads (though not nearly as hard as some here), but if I get some bulk ammo or just whatever is on the shelves, should I still be able to get at least some decent groups (like 3MOA)? Also, I've read through the FAQs and such and know these rifles can sometimes take a little bit of work. But, is this going to be a rifle that requires me to hold each finger just so, and line up the receiver just right, and wait just long enough, and close the action just like that between shots to get the bullet to go where the crosshairs lie? If I shoot more than one shot every 30 seconds will I be shooting the targets in the lane next to me?


Don't get me wrong, I love the elegance and romance of single-shot rifles, but I want a rifle that will provide a relatively simple path into longer-range shooting (I've got a 9mm pistol, a 10/22, and a Mossberg 500...), and that will suit me well, and that I can use in high-speed drills on multiple (paper / wood / cardboard) targets. However, I have read far too many potential negatives to really feel this will be the case with this rifle.

So, what do you guys think? Should I just get a bolt-action?

I'll answer your last question first..If your expectations is for a $300 hunting/back pack rifle that will give laser like accuracy out of the box at long range with off the shelf bulk ammo,under all circumstances..then by all means buy a bolt gun.

If,your expectations are as you say with 3moa,and you are willing to experiment with different shooting techniques and ammo..then your expectations are within the norm for a single shot break action exposed hammer rifle.

No 2 rifles will perform the same for everyone under varying circumstances. There are too many things that can influence the outcome.

These rifles can surprise you,or make you cuss in frustration,more so than most rifles. While some can out perform some bolt guns costing hundreds more..others can be a frigging nightmare of problems.While this may scare you off from buying one..know this..this isn't indicative to just these rifles. I have had many high dollar rifles exhibit the same trait..and I would wager the majority of folks here can and will say the same thing.

The Handi rifle,such as it is,can give you what you are looking for.You may get a rifle that is a 1 hole shooter with most factory ammo..then again..you may get a finicky one..that will take you hours and hours of fine tuning to make it into what you want. This really is the way with any rifle we buy..from any manufacturer...even when that manufacturer has claims of accuracy of such and such groups at 100 yards.

Many of us here have experimented with these rifles and laid the ground work for you. This information has been saved for your usage,and for your future reference if you elect to take up these little single shot rifles. You can learn how to shoot them from the bench to produce exceptional groups..just as you can learn to use the information in how to effect some simple repairs and modifications when things don't go as planned,or you wish to change how your rifle looks.

No one here can say if these rifles will live up to your expectations..we can only hope they will but know this.. most here are willing to help you achieve your goals by welcoming you into the community,and offering you the benefit of their knowledge.

Good Luck to you

Mac
 

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Very profound and well said Mac!!
The love affairs with guns is getting to know them and what they like and do not like. It's like a friendship.
 

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JMcDonald

I have 2 bolt guns that shoot very well, a Rem 7 & a Rem 700. Neither one came that way. Both were bedded and floated, with bedding there is the potential of glueing in and having to buy a new stock.

Both guns had to have the lugs lapped in. Lapping is a process of useing abrasive compound to grind away metal to get the lugs to touch solidly when the action is closed, in case you might not know. With new bolts it is often hard to detect the fit. It is nerve wracking wondering if you are keeping the triger and all mechanical surfaces clean, or you can pull the trigger/fire control assembly, much safer. Then you have to worry about getting the grit out so the lapping doesn't continue.

Anything you have to do to the H&R will be easier and have less expensive results if you make a mistake.

Good Luck, eddiegjr
 

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If you want a .308 then buy a bolt gun. A Remington won't need any work to shoot sub-MOA with factory ammo. In the Handi the .30-30 is a great cartridge and it has a rim.

Bedding, free floating, & lapping bolt lugs are fixes and should never need to be done. If the gun doesn't shoot right out of the box, sell it. Bore paste is just a way to wear out your barrel quicker and should be avoided.

I guess I'm just lucky because I never have gun problems really. Having enough money to buy ammo is my problem.
 

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Swampman

If you get either in a synthetic stock I agree with you 100%. I like to work on things though. eddiegjr
 

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I have a 308 survivor and it is one of the most accurate rifles I have. The crazy thing is, it will shoot silver bear ammo (at least the lot I have) into 1 ragged hole. I have yet to get a handload to shoot as well. (these are under .5 moa)

This rifle is an older H&R from Gardner, Maine and it took 100 or so rounds to settle down and shoot well.

Bobby
 

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If I was gonna have just one it would be 30-06 or 308. Rim or non rimmed cased ammo is just personal prefrence.Those calibers are the 2 that all others are judged by. 3 moa is not a problem.
 

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3 MOA is not a problem?
 

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Swampman said:
3 MOA is not a problem? As in he won't have a problem getting this cause they will shoot a lot better. Remeber that factory standard is 2moa or better.
 
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