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H&R semi auto .243

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by El General, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. El General

    El General Well-Known Member

    I saw a H&R semi auto .243 Win at a local gun store the other day. Does anyone have any knowledge about accuracy, reliability, quality of this gun?

    I am thinking about using it for a hog, doe, varmint, plinker type rifle.
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    The .243 has a legitimate reputation as a barrel burner. That's why it's not a popular varmint round. It's not a problem with the kind of round count you get from hunting game, but varmint shooters do shoot a lot, generally.

    However, this does point to several red flags from the start:

    1. Semiauto. If it burns up a bolt gun, do you want an old semi-auto in the caliber?

    2. Plinker. This is not a good plinking round. Get a .223.

    3. Varmint. See #2.

    I don't know a thing about the rifle in question, but I wouldn't have to know about it to avoid getting a .243 semiauto for the purposes stated.:)

    How cheap is it?
  3. El General

    El General Well-Known Member

    Cheaper than a BAR. I am not going to use it to shoot all day at prairie dogs. Varmint wise it will be used against targets of opportunity like javelina, coyotes, and hogs. Some times a quick follow up shot is necessary and the semi-auto would be nice for that application.
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Ah. It would work for that (not plinking, though).

    What I bought instead: Big 5 Marlin 1894C lever gun for under $400. Light, compact, quick, fun. Shoots .38 Specials and .357 magnums, so it's good for plinking and jackrabbits, but also for medium game with hot .357 loads (rifle barrel generates much higher velocity than same load in a revolver and can be bought with .30-30 energy levels).

    I also like my Mini-14 in stainless and synthetic. Carries well, points well, no worries about sweating on it or scratching it up in the brush. .223 might be a bit underpowered, though, and 6.8 too expensive for fun shooting. Maybe the 7.62x39 version would work. Very reliable.

    Also, the Remington 7600 pump carbine is a reliable gun.

    However, the Marlin is a lot more fun than any of the above. .38 Specials don't heat up the barrel real fast, so you can plink away and have fun. Not true of a BAR, Mini, 750, etc. with high-velocity necked rifle rounds. The Mini comes in second, but I do have to let it cool often, and I have burned my hand on the thing.

    I suppose if the H&R is REAL cheap, it might be worth getting. But if it's just "cheaper than a BAR", I'd skip it.
  5. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    The H&R got really good reviews in the 1969 gun digest. Hell if the price is right and it has a decent bore, I'd pick it up just to have something different.
  6. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    That H&R rifle didn't sell a lot of units but I happened to know two people who bought them in .243 in the early 70s and they were both happy with them. One of the guys was still using his as of about 8 or 10 years ago.

    As for the .243 being a "barrel burner".... that information is worth slightly less than what you paid for it.

  7. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    For your reading pleasure...

  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Shawnee, you're wrong.

    It's known for relatively rapid throat erosion due to its case angle. We're talking the difference between a barrel life of 2500 rounds vs. 4000, or so.

    As I said, that's not a problem when you're shooting deer, but he said "varmint". Now, it turns out he didn't mean "varmint hunting" as it's meant when I hear it. But there's a reason that pdog-shooters don't use .243. And the prairie dog guys I got the information from do know what they're talking about, as they chamber their own guns at home, and have built rifles for, and handloaded, anything and everything, for many decades, and take some of their greatest pride in life from being active members of the 600 club. No, that's not some religious guy's TV scam.
  9. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    Hi AB...

    If your p-dogging pals at the "600 Club" say they burned all their .243 barrels out with fewer than 4000 shots I'll believe them. But my experience with .243s is different.... and my experience with .243s happens to be extensive - and that is an understatement.
    For a member of the "600 Club" to go around telling the average American shooter to stay away from the .243 because it is a "barrel burner" is as bad as some die-hard trapshooter running around telling the average American shotgunner they have to buy a 12ga. with a 32" barrel choked "extra-Full".
    There are 100,000,000 shooters in this country but I'll bet there aren't 10,000 members of your "600 Club".
    Anyone can make a mistake but pretending that "600 Club" sport is anything more than just one of several small sideshows in the overall American shooting scene is, IMNSHO, a major disservice to those who come here looking for good advice.

    However - none of that really matters because the OP will have to figure out for himself how long it will take him to fire several thousand shots with the same rifle.
    And who knows - maybe he will even think to ask you to explain what the real-life accuracy difference is between a new .243 barrel and one your friends claim is "burned out". :confused:

  10. Fat_46

    Fat_46 Well-Known Member

    I regularly varmint hunt with my .243. Sometimes, like last July, in 108 degree heat, firing anywhere from 200~ to 350~ rounds per day over a 3 day period.

    I have exactly 1683 rounds through this Shilen barrel on a Savage 110 action:


    I am more than willing to buy a new barrel when needed to get results like that.
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Shawnee, my point is that this is a semiauto. I'd be doubly cautious about a semiauto in any caliber that causes the thing to wear out, vs. a bolt gun. Furthermore, it's a low-recoil semiauto. I'd have to assume that a previous owner might have put more than a few rounds through it.

    I wouldn't be as concerned about a .300 Win Mag, even though it probably burns barrels even more, since it probably wasn't shot thousands of times. Unless it's a long-range target rifle, who'd want to?

    Again, he said he might take a shot of opportunity at a coyote, not small varmints, and, as I posted, the gun is a good choice for everything he mentioned but plinking.

    ...at the right price, not anywhere near a BAR...

    ...especially since parts are probably not exactly easy to find...

    That's all I was sayin'. :)
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    No doubt you are, and it would make sense. But it sure sounds like the OP is looking for an affordable knockaround semiauto, not a project to spend money on.:)
  13. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    I've got a Savage 99 lever gun in .243 that would work for everything mentioned (except for general plinking). Lever is good for fast follow up shots. I don't consider the .243 to be a 'plinking' sort of round, but that's just me. Not sure how the price point differs on the two, but might be another option.
  14. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    Hi AB...

    Gotcha !

    We're agreed on the "plinking" part. Plinking isn't a venue for any centerfire rifle in my book. Maybe an exception for a .357 rifle.:scrutiny:

    And we're agreed on the "price" part. Even if it were in mint condition with box and papers I wouldn't pay more than about $250-300 at most for it simply because it is old, is one of few made, and has been discontinued for a goodly while, and will be very difficult to find parts for (if needed).


    Hey Fat ! You missed that dime every time ! :D

  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    It really IS fun! The accuracy mine gets out of .38 Sp WWB RNFP FMJ ammo is actually really impressive, too.
  16. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

    Hi AB...

    Years ago when I was a kid (roughly the Lincoln Administration) I wrote to my hero, Jack O'Conner, at Outdoor Life magazine and asked him what he thought of the idea of building a .357 magnum rifle. He wrote back saying (in very clear terms) that it would be a waste of time and money. Several years later Marlin did just that and their .357 rifles have been pretty darned popular ever since.

    LOL ! Just goes to show NObody can call 'em right every time ! :D
  17. El General

    El General Well-Known Member

    I would love one, but they are getting hard to find and expensive.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2008
  18. El General

    El General Well-Known Member

    That may be a good way to go also.

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