H&R Handi rifle in 22-250 issues


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Col. Plink
January 1, 2011, 11:16 AM
Recently picked up one of these at a good price but without much info on it (seller said he had not fired it since acquiring from someone else). Took it to the range and had had some good groups out of it, some not so good, but with some interesting issues.

Several times after firing, the breech did not have to be released with the push-lever to break open the action to remove the case.:scrutiny: It seemed to happen when the rifle was cool and when I wasn't snuggled up to it as firmly as other shots (allowing for more movement on recoil). Some of the cases also showed a second tiny dent under the ignition dent in the primer.

Are these common, repairable issues or am I looking at larger problems? Thanks!

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody!

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32 Magnum
January 1, 2011, 12:36 PM
Sounds like the locking lug is worn out, broken or out of position. The second dimple is probably due to the barrel moving upward under recoil and contacting the firing pin. These guns should stay locked. The newer ones are equipped with a rebounding hammer and the firing pin should retract into the standing breech after firing. ????

rbernie
January 1, 2011, 12:48 PM
This is common with the H&Rs and others of similar design (e.g. underlug O/U shotguns). The symptom is caused by the spring-loaded locking lug moving back enough under recoil to allow the action to unlock on its own. It's not dangerous, since the pressures are low enough when it unlocks to not pose a case rupture risk, but it is certainly disconcerting.

The most common fix is to remove whatever oil you put on the locking block and locking lug of the barrel - lubing the locking surfaces in this sort of design is not a good idea. If the issue persists, then you likely have a weak spring on the locking lug and will want to replace it.

NCsmitty
January 1, 2011, 12:53 PM
Try cleaning the latch area to remove oil where it catches, you may be better off removing the barrel to clean it. You may have excess oil on the latch plunger and notch where it locks. Try that first and see if it makes a difference.
Maybe an email to H&R to see what they recommend.



NCsmitty

Col. Plink
January 1, 2011, 01:00 PM
Might this unwanted breech unlocking have also contributed to poor accuracy? I'm thinking it added some extra movement?

rbernie
January 1, 2011, 01:03 PM
It might, but the breech usually unlocks when the action's reward recoil is stopping and the floating/spring loaded locking lug continues rearward. The bullet should have long since left the barrel at that point.

Col. Plink
January 1, 2011, 01:40 PM
On a rifle like this in 22-250, if I'm using bags that make it more difficult to absorb the recoil with my body, how much can that affect accuracy?

NCsmitty
January 1, 2011, 05:02 PM
if I'm using bags that make it more difficult to absorb the recoil with my body

Recoil of a 22-250 should not be an issue.

A bag under the forend or better yet, under the hinge pin, not the barrel, and a bag at the heel of the stock, gives you the best support for accuracy.
Singleshots can be finicky about resting the barrel forend on things.
Early Ruger #1 singleshots also can suffer erratic groups due to improper forend to barrel tension.

You are not the first one with the H&R breech opening after firing but it can sometimes be cured by cleaning the excess oil from the locking block and barrel notch.
As I mentioned before, an inquiry to H&R might be the way to go if you cannot fix it by cleaning.
If you have to send it back to H&R, I heard that they will smooth and lighten the trigger for you, if you ask. Something to consider.



NCsmitty

sansone
January 1, 2011, 05:29 PM
rbernie nailed it:
The most common fix is to remove whatever oil you put on the locking block and locking lug of the barrel - lubing the locking surfaces in this sort of design is not a good idea. If the issue persists, then you likely have a weak spring on the locking lug and will want to replace it. .........

also, only 50% of the spring-loaded locking lug is making contact when locked. It is angled in such a way as to ensure the breach locks without play as the gun wears.

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