The week before Labor Day, I ordered a Handi-Rifle from my favorite gun shop. I want a .30-30 for several reasons. First, I want to try the cartridge with pointed bullets. The normal .30-30 rifle is a lever action and it's dangerous to use pointed bullets in a rifle with a tubular magazine. If the point of one bullet contacts the primer of the following cartridge, that following cartridge might fire, resulting in a hearty Ka-boom in the magazine. That would be disastrous.
Secondly, I want to scope the rifle so I can wring out the accuracy. I've always considered a scope to be a heresy on a lever gun. It ruins the balance and the lines of the rifles. I don't happen to own any Marlin .30-30s right now, both of mine are Winchester 94s, which don't lend themselves to scope mounting.
Third, the Handi will make a dandy grandkid rifle. One cartridge, one shot, I like breaking in new shooters with single shots. It teaches them to shoot and it's safe. The .30-30 can be loaded down for young shooters so that the recoil doesn't bother them enough to induce a flinch. The recoil from my .45-70 is punishing when I load it heavy. Light bullets and moderate velocities might be just the key for a light, easy recoiling kids rifle, but one that will still have enough punch to take deer-sized game.
I've been checking regularly with the counter-folk at the gun shop and they can't find a .30-30 Handi, new in box. I talked to the guy today and he's been checking with all his distributors and they don't have any.
Those that know about these things tell me that Harrington and Richardson, the grand-daddys of the Handi Rifle, was acquired by Marlin in 2000, and then in 2007, Remington bought Marlin. Because of these acquistions, Remington is now making Handi-Rifles. The guys at Greybeard Outdoors tell me that the rifles are now made in the Ilion plant and there's a satisfaction poll at that forum. Reviews are mixed. Some are getting great service, some are complaining of long wait times.
The Handi is still shown on the H&R 1871 website and the .30-30 is still listed. Why they're not available is a mystery, but I've got my order in and I'll be happy to see it when it gets to the shop.