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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am leaning toward a Handi in .223. I started out thinking 22 hornat but my research indicates that I can shoot .223 pretty cheap whileI wait to sart reloading.

Well as things happen once I got serious about shopping I stumbled on a TC walnut stocked .204 Ruger for a good price.

Any hardcore point by point comparisons would be appreciated. Both for the rifles and cartridge 223 to 204. I realize I'll have to handload but the rifle is new and is only a slight premium to the Handi.

One thing I've noticed, the Handi has a better twist rate for heavier bullets.
 

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There really isn't any comparison in my opinion Bob. I have both and like the Handi's. They are inexpensive guns that I can experiment with, shoot, hunt with and do most of what I want. My TC is different. It is a more expensive gun that I can switch between rifle and handgun and has a much larger choice of barrels, accessories and trimmings. The TC may be a little stronger, but not much. I did stretch a TC frame in my misspent youth.

OTOH, the barrels are expensive for the TC. You could buy a used Handi complete for the cost of one TC barrel.

It's like comparing a Fox sterlingworth and a Fox model B.
 

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Depends on which TC you're looking at, a Contender platform isn't as strong as an SB2 rifle frame, the Encore is stronger that the SB2, so it depends on which you're looking at and what your plans are for future barrels, the Contender won't handle the high pressure rounds with larger case heads, 270, 30-06, 500 S&W ect.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good points.

I will not require a heavy weight cartridge or shotgun barrel. I own a trusted .444 Marlin, in my opinion the best hunting rifle ever built (I'll duck and cover now).

I want a light weight carry gun for carrying while out in the bush. My job takes me out in the oilpatch in all of western Canada. The breakopens interest me because I can put them in my suitcase and not carry a long rifle case.
 

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I think Contenders make great handguns, so-so rifles at least with the factory stock option. If you put a thumbhole stock on a Contender you have a fine setup. However a tuned Handi will cover all the bases I need covered in Texas and a scratch or two won't bother me a bit.
 

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I've had both and I much prefer the Handi.
 

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quickdtoo said:
Depends on which TC you're looking at, a Contender platform isn't as strong as an SB2 rifle frame, the Encore is stronger that the SB2, so it depends on which you're looking at and what your plans are for future barrels, the Contender won't handle the high pressure rounds with larger case heads, 270, 30-06, 500 S&W ect.

Tim
Since he was talking about the G2, all my comments were directed at the Contender. I won't get into the strength debate. As to the Encore...TC can keep it. Nuff said on that.

You are entirely correct about the higher pressure rounds.

One other thing to consider since the OP said he was going to carry it broken down. In my experience , which is more in depth with the Contender than the Handi, the TC will maintain zero better than the Handi when removing the barrels.
 

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Canuck said:
Return to proper zero after break down is important. I will be using that function a lot.
Wait for some other opinions on that. Some have no problems while others keep a dedicated receiver to avoid changing.

So far, mine require some adjustment after changing barrels but I'm still working on it.
 

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It's been a long time since I swapped barrels, but when I did, I had no problems with zero changing on multiple barrel swaps at the range, shooting 3 barrels on one frame in turn as I swapped them out to cool, the secret is forend screw torque, I've always used a torque sensing screwdriver to install the forend screw. I keep a 17hmr Sportster broke down in a travel case in the under deck storage, it's been in there for several years for the occasional coyote or ground squirrel encounter, it's always spot on when I put it together for some action. ;) I have several Utica tools, keep one in the case with the rifle.

Just an FYI, I have experience with an Encore, no Contenders, my biggest hang up with them is the ugly stock, my 375H&H Prohunter was stocked with the PH t-hole stock, their only stock that I liked. I still have the Encore frame and an unfired 7mm-08 15" PH barrel that is being sold, but already sold the 375H&H barrel months ago.

Tim
 

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I've had both, the Contender is well made and I can't say anything bad about it. The Contender has the versatility of going from a handgun to a rifle but for me the bottom line is I use them for hunting and the Handi will do anything the Contender will do as a rifle for less than half the cost. I had to sell off some guns recently due to the fact that I'm going through a divorce and my Contender went first. It was nice to have but I'd pick the Handi over it every time.
 

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only experiance i've had with t/c, is other peoples t/c's

i learned purdy quick.. i don't own any and prolly never will.

i like my handi's as a 2 piece... and my marlins, salvages, sprangfields and ruggers
along wif the wife's kimber and jsr's

she shoots tha high dollar stuff, but not me !!! ;D
an she don't own no t/c either.

its just an onion--- ;D i guess,
but i'ma happy-handi-holder....and yes, i'm terminally ILL ;) !!!!
 

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I am partial to single shot rifles. I have even converted all my small bore bolt guns to single shots. I have owned a Contender frame for a long time, and for along time all I had for it was pistol length barrels (14" and under). I have purchased 2 Handis and sent in for 4 more barrels. I have recently (2 years ago) got a carbine barrel for my Contender and long with a couple of stocks and fore ends. I like both, each have thier pluses and minuses when compared. As you know by now, the Handi will handle bigger rounds, but still not the biggest, badest ones out there, which is fine with me. The Handi will handle any thing I am going to be shooting at. The fit and finish on the Contender is better in my opinion. Barrels are more expensve for the Contender as is the whole gun. When people buy a Contender they generally think of 1 frame and swapping out barrels. For the most part poeple who buy Handi's think about a whole rifle instead of swapping out barrels. I have swapped out barrels on both guns many, many times. It becomes a pain in the rear, just to do all the swapping, not an accuracy problem. Once you have come to the realization you really do not want to swap out barrels, you will be glad you went the Handi way. New Handis cost any where from about $250 and up depending the particular model you get. The most expensive being in the $500 range, but the eveyday average Handi is about $250 right now. You will be lucky to get a complete Contender much under $600. If add fancy stocks, or a custom barrel and such we are talking even more money. The Contender can be had with a wider varity of barrels(up to the point of what it can handle) . If you already have a frame you can get a Custom barrel for around $300 or less, say a 7mm Waters. The Handi barrel will be in the $300 range + donor barrel. I personally can not recomend one over the other, because I have no idea what you plan on doing with it or if you are going to change your mind in a couple of years. I have both and I think they both have their place. You are going to need to make up your mind, yourself. Good Luck and Good Shooting
 

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I have not experienced zero change from taking the barrel off and putting it back on the same frame. I think it is important to make sure the spacer not touch the frame at all.
 

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rickt300 - I agree with you. In fact I believe that it not only helps when swapping barrels, it helps accuracy too. It is important that the spacer does not rub the frame, a visible gap is good, IMHO. On the Contender, I do not want my fore end to touch the frame at any time. The "ears" on the fore end are only good to keep the barrel pin in place, other than looks.
 

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I do just the oppisite I like the spacer tight to the frame, I have never had a problem with takeing the barrel off and losing zero. Even if it dose it couldn't be more than a fraction of an inch and at hunting ranges than would not be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks to everyone. I've been getting educated with the Canadian shooting scene after a lengthy break from shooting. A number of issues brought up here don't seem to apply here.

Handi's aren't as cheap here. New $380 to $470 is common with the nice Buffalo models costing the most. TC G2's run $735 to $900!!!

Shipping guns and gun parts over the border is out of the question either direction. Noone I've talked to has ever shipped a Handi to the factory for rebarrelling, they just buy a second Handi. Custom TC barrels are not available but very expensive factory barrels are available in the +400 range. Hopefully some other canucks can help me with further info.

Any advantage with the ability to use the G2 as a pistol is also not an issue here. No handgun carrying here except to and from the range by the quickest route.

Here's what I figure so far.

Has to be wood stock, TC is nice and I still like walnut. The laminate for the Handi would be just fine. The TC shape is a little different but it shoulders just fine as does the Handi.

Big Bore cartridges is not an issue. This will be a dedicated carry rifle in a small caliber for long walks in the bush and long cutlines. A Rook rifle style as our Brit friends would call it.

Value, hands down to a 223 Handi wins. Loaded ammo is cheapest and a reloading packge with the Lee Loader and scoops is still a great value here. Handi's in 223 are all stocked locally. The 204 TC would require a substantial outlay to gear up for reloading. However the ballistics of the 204 are really something! 4000 plus fps with less than 25 grains of powder, no recoil, and th fun of owning something a little unusual is also a factor.

Quality regarding the function as a rifle. Many honest knowledgeable folks on these forum would recommend either rifle. Each rifle has loyal long term supporters and advice is amazingly free and available. It appears each might require a trigger job and bedding work. Fortunetly I couldn't imagine buying a new rifle and not tinkering with it so these are a plus.

Carrying function is hands down going to the Contender. It is a real handy little rifle, pun intended. It is nice and light and the feel is exactly what I imagined I wanted. The Handi carries well but is a little heavier and bulky feeling. If I was buying a 30-30 the handi would win to absorb recoil.

Breakdown and packing would be equal. The best configuration would be a short barrel peep sighted rifle for me. Second would be a longer eye relief scope where the scope does not extend past the breech.

Conclusion, not decided yet. I wrote this long winded post to let all of you know I really listened and respected your advice. This forum is particularly pleasent and decent group of folks. Thanks
 

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Bob,

There's no problem for individuals to send barrels to Canada, I've sent a couple myself and they're regularly bought from the H&R Classifieds here, same for stock sets. Second hand barrels are also commonly bought and fitted by those that have basic do-it-yourself skills and tools, guided by info in the FAQs, they aren't one size fits all like TCs, but many fit right up, or don't take much to get them to fit, no guarantees, but any competent gunsmith could fit one for you aren't comfortable with the task of fitting a barrel.

A 223 Superlight sounds like it would fit the bill perfectly for you, they aren't plagued by barrel heat like the 243, much lighter than a 204 Handi which only comes in the bull barrel configuration.

There are two Canadian service points for H&Rs listed in the FAQs, but they can't do barrel fittings that I'm aware of, but warranty service is available.

Good luck in your decision. ;)

Tim
 

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Bob followed you over fron the T/C forum and read all above. Pick up a good used H&R 223 with the laminate stock and don't look back. Put a set of Warne QD rings and don't scrimp on a good scope. A good scope makes all the difference on any value of rifle. Laminate won't be affected by weather like the walnut. 223 is one of the easiest to find and reload.
 
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