Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Handi Rifle

For those of you not familiar with the Handi-Rifle, you're missing something.  For years they were produced by Harrington and Richardson, who also produced a line of shotguns called the Partner.  These are simple starter rifles available in a wide range of calibers from .22LR to .45-70.  At one time or another, many small runs of obsolete calibers were produced, but for the most part, the little rifles come in the standard rifle caliber flavors.  I own four, in .223, .30-30, .308, and .45-70.  Nowadays they are produced by H&R 1871 at the Ilion plant that produces Remington firearms.  (Yeah, Remington owns Marlin, who owned H&R.)  Bud's Gun Shop stocks them, as does others.  I see that they're currently being sold for a street price of about $300.00, depending on flavor.

That rifle pictured is my .308.  It's made in a variety they call the Ultra.  It has a laminated stock with pressed checkering and a medium-weight 22" barrel.  It weighs 8.2 lbs according to my bathroom scale, and has an overall length of just 38 inches.  I've mounted an old Tasco World Class scope on it.  This particular rifle exhibits honest 2" accuracy at 100 yards with my standard .308 load.  I currently load for five rifles in .308 and I don't worry about such things as OAL for each rifle.  I've got one load set for a son's target rifle and all .308 ammo produced on my bench is set for best accuracy for that rifle.  Keeping records on every rifle would be onerous, so I've settled on a standard load.  Still, a 2MOA rifle is nothing to sneeze at in the hunting woods and while I'm sure this one would do better with proper load development, it suffices for my purposes.  With great glass and ammo tailored to the rifle, it might be a tack-driver, but I'll never know.

The beauty of this rifle, in my opinion, is safety, durability, and ruggedness.  It's a single-shot which means when the grandkids are shooting, I can control the ammo very closely.  It's got a transfer bar action which means that the trigger must be pulled for the rifle to fire.  It's very safe.

It's also handy.  I have no trouble ringing the 200 yard gong at a local range, set up to simulate the heart-lung region of a whitetail deer.  In short, the little rifle is shootable.  It's a great rifle for a youngster and a good rifle for the frugal hunter who is willing to accept the limitations of a single-shot rifle.  If you're casting about for a great little rifle made in the USA and you're thinking that a single shot is all you need, you could do a lot worse than the Handi rifle.  I did a more complete review in 2010 for Castbullet.  If you'd like to read it, clicky here for more information.

5 comments:

Rivrdog said...

That Handi in 45-70 would be a great intro to that old caliber. That rifle, a lead pot, a small stash of primers and a Lee Loader with those dies, and you would have your "one-gun only" set up...

Old NFO said...

Nice little rifles, no question. And they are well within most budgets!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they are nice guns, but with one of the local big box stores selling the Axis and the 770 with scopes for $300 on a rotating sale, I don't think the Handi is competitive.

Gerry N. said...

My Handi is an "old" one made in 1968. It is in .30-30 and it lives on top of of a carpet scrap in the water tank/battery bay of my pickup camper along with enough components to load plinking loads for a five day weekend. Kids love shooting buckshot powered by five Gr. Unique then reloading the case. It will keep a pair of 12 yr olds busy for days. It's also a damn fine little deer rifle with 139 Gr. cast boolits. Kills 'em dead it does. No appreciable recoil, either.

Sarah David said...

I think one must use this Gun if he is a good shooter