H&R rifles


April 22, 2011, 12:30 AM
OK those of you that have been keeping up with my posts know that I am getting the itch for a 25-06 (never owned one) and I have been looking at Model 70s and X-Bolts. Well one common theme I have run across with the hardcore 25-06 crowd is that although they perform good in a 24" barrel the 26" is noticably better. Sadly none of the rifles I want have such a long tube. I did happend across the handi-rifle that does come with a 26" and the price is right to say the least. I have never put a round through an H&R or any centerfire single shot come to think of it. How do these perform? How is the trigger? Most internet reviews I have read concerning their 25-06 have been very good, but I trust the gun nuts here much more then any yahoo question page.

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April 22, 2011, 12:46 AM
I am new to these rifles as well. I found a lot of good information here:


Hope it helps,


Arkansas Paul
April 22, 2011, 12:46 AM
I have a Handi Rifle in .280 Rem and it has a 26" barrel. I love it. It shoots very well, with me getting 1.5" groups fairly consistently. I have no doubt that the gun is capable of better.
The trigger isn't great. It's probably 6-7 pounds and you can't adjust it yourself. You have to have it done. If you're like me you do anyway, but I'm no gunsmith.
Overall, it's a good rifle.
However, I would not let 2" of barrel length cause me to get a Handi Rifle over an X-Bolt. I assure you, if I could have afforded a Browning when I bought mine, that's what I would have got. Trust me, the 24" will do just fine. I would suspect you'll lose less than 75 fps. Not enough for an animal to tell any difference.

April 22, 2011, 12:52 AM
Well the price thing is nice too LOL. I am willing to pay good money for good equipment, but good equipment on the cheap is even better :) The way I read it the X-Bolt is about a .80 MOA rifle with handloads, if I can get the 26" barrel (75-100fps more + less muzzle blast) and sub MOA for $200 I would be crazy to turn it down even if the X-Bolt is so sexy it is gun porn.

April 22, 2011, 12:59 AM
BTW I am aware I might have to do some trigger work to get sub-moa in the real world, I have read a few people say the stock trigger is kinna rough, though it can be smoothed out and lightend.

April 22, 2011, 01:12 AM
I've been wanting a Handi-Rifle in .223 for some time now. One of these days.....

April 22, 2011, 08:01 AM
Kachok...I have had numerous
H/R rifles and shotguns over the years. Coincidently, my favorite was an "Ultra" series model in 25-06. My oldest son shot his first deer over a soybean field with that rifle. It shot 1" three shot groups with Winchester Balistic Silver-tip ammo. I also used it for long range predator hunts. The "Ultra" series rifles had nice laminated stocks. I like the rugged simplicity of the H/R rifles. Also, as with all breach loading single-shots, you don't have the extra length from the action. A 26" barrel is still a relatively compact rifle.
I have had great accuracy with all the "Ultra" series rifles. Some of the other "Handi-rifles" I have owned did not shoot as well. If I come across another one in 25-06, I will grab it. By the way, if you are fond of the 25-06, Savage came out with a Long Range Hunter model with a 26" barrel in 25-06. It is a beautiful rifle. It is set up to get the most out of that cartridge. Good hunting!

April 22, 2011, 08:09 AM
Sounds like a real winner of a budget gun. I am kinna diging the short overalll length, and the utter lack of moving parts.

April 22, 2011, 08:10 AM
Normally I don't diss any rifle/firearm however the Handi rifle is an exception, any break open two piece stock can be a nightmare don't expect out of the box accuracy, I've owned two one now sets in the safe accuracy so bad I would not sell to anyone,. Greybeard site is a fan of these rifles they explain each and every trick to achieve accuracy. If you have a love of tinkering you will love the Handi rifle, me I consider them a farm truck gun at best.

April 22, 2011, 01:53 PM
My dad has one in .223/.357/.22 Hornet.

I've shot the .223 barrel a bunch. Killed 3 groundhogs with it
1 through the clavicle at 200 yards.
1 though the ears at 150 yards
1 through the shoulders at 20 yards.

All of those shots I took before I ever shot it at paper.
Take it to the range and it is a 1.5-2.5MOA gun. Trigger is pretty horrible, and I usually don't complain about a trigger.

So I have proof that it will get the job done in the field, but the groups at the range aren't pretty.

Also shot it with the .357 Magnum barrel. With my dad's handloads at 100 yards it was about an 8 MOA gun. Switched over to some Federal factory loaded 125 grain hollow points and it turned into a 2 MOA gun which IMO is pretty good at 100 yards with a pistol cartridge.

Personally, I would prefer a more expensive 24" bolt action over a 26" handi-rifle, if I had the money.

April 22, 2011, 03:20 PM
Pretty good value for the dollar. Normally, triggers are horrible but some come in good. Most are pretty light and will kick the snot out of you. We got in a youth 243 the other day. I took it out and shot it and it would take a pretty tough youth to handle it.

If the 25-06 came in at 7 or so pounds and you added a scope/mount it would at least have the weight for comfortable shooting.

You can tune the trigger but please have a gunsmith do it.

April 22, 2011, 04:05 PM
a buddy of mine and I had identical H&R handi rifles in stainless steel .22-250, his is a tack driver,mine shot all over the place with several good optics, also would break open sometimes when I fired. I got rid of it. for the same price get you a Stevens 200,ugly rifle but tack drivers.

April 22, 2011, 09:51 PM
Seems like the H&R rifles have a better reputation with some calibers then others. 280 and 25-06 reviews have all been positive. 22-250, 243 and others are mixed. I would just get another Savage/Stevens/Tikka since they ALL shoot really well, but the 22" barrel in such an overbore caliber is a blast factory! Every hardcore 25-06 guy I have spoken with says to avoid them. Ruger makes a heavy 26" barrel, but I have heard very mixed reviews of them as well + they are on the expensive side.

April 23, 2011, 01:54 PM
I've got 3 H&R Ultra Varmint Handi rifles in the safe. 2 in .223, 1 in .243. All of them have had the occasional 'pop open' during recoil. A trigger job improves the rifle substantially.

April 23, 2011, 05:01 PM
My .357/30-30/.410 bore Handi is nice, but it's not the same as a good bolt gun. My 30-30 does impress me with 3 shot groups right around an inch with factory ammo at 100 yards and under two inches with light lead hand loads.
.357 does well too, today I shot a 3" 100 yard group with Hornady 140 grain LFP 'cowboy' bullets.

Handi's are sensitive to how hard you close the action and where you rest the forearm.

If I were thinking of shooting out to to 200-300 yards (you don't buy a .25-06 for 100 yard shooting, do you?), I would only consider a bolt action.

April 23, 2011, 09:14 PM
No way, my 6.5x55 has a wounderful trajectory out to 350 yards, and brutal killing power. I bought a 270WSM for my long range hunting (up to 500yd), but have found it to be a bit of an overkill on any deer (more then any 7mm rem mag) Probably the perfect canyon elk rifle, but massive nasty overkill on any whitetail that ever walked. I am thinking that a 100gr .257 cal premium bullet with WSM speeds (3400+fps) would be a little more ideal for our 140-200lbs whitetail here. I can live with heavy magnum recoil but I like light kicking rifles for the most part, the 25-06 (w/handloads) seemed to fit the bill nicley. Accuracy is a must for me because hunting a 982yd long peanut field rarely affords me the luxury of a close range shot, though I perfer them over 400+yd bragging rights anyday.

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