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Slick
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Posted: March 13 2008 at 4:19pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

In my search for a heavy-barrel .223 rifle, I came across the “H&R Ultra Varmint”. It’s a single-shot break open with a heavy barrel and a stock that fits me perfectly…



My local Sportsman’s Warehouse has it for $329 – which is cheaper than all of the other .223 bolt-guns I’ve looked at. I’ve heard this rifle has a 1 in 12 twist, and I’d prefer a 1 in 9 for shooting heavier bullets.

Does anyone have one of these? Please let me know what your thoughts are on this rifle – Thanks!


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Buffalogun
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Posted: March 13 2008 at 4:32pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

Slick,

Being an accuracy minded feller, I bought one of the earlier models of that rifle. Mine has the hollow stock that offers some storage.

I bought the rifle for use as a "tractor" rifle and carry it in a rifle-rest on my 4-wheeler.

While the rifle has become a fairly accurate rifle with it's favorite loads, that darned stock had to GO. I've also had problems with "FTE" and have polished the chamber in an attempt to remedy the problem.

The stock fits nowhere but on a shooting bench, on sandbags. I replaced the stock with a plain jane synthetic from my 45-70 Handi!


Mike





Edited by Buffalogun on March 13 2008 at 4:33pm


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BigBlue
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Posted: March 13 2008 at 4:37pm | IP Logged Quote BigBlue

Slick,
Here's a whole bunch of reading on the Handi and Ultra-Varmint. http://forums.handloads.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=159&KW=Handi &TPN=1
Don

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Posted: March 13 2008 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote Quickdtoo

Current production .223 fluted Ultras are 1:9" twist, any .223 made by Marlin since early 2007 HX serial number prefix will be 1:9" with the exception of the Superlight barrel which is or was still 1:12" due to being an old run of barrels. H&R switched back and forth between 1:12" and 1:9" during 2006, but when Marlin took over barrel production for most of H&R chamberings in early 2007, they made them all 1:9" with the above noted exception. It would still behoove you to run a tight patched jag on a rod thru the bore if you absolutely want a 1:9" barrel, H&R has no record of what serial numbers got what twist rate, so check before you buy.

Tim
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Slick
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Posted: March 13 2008 at 7:48pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

Thanks guys! I just was stricken by its similarity to my .308 varmint gun->



..and kind of hoped the rest of the gun would "follow up" in terms of accuracy & quality. I should admit that I added that horrendously heavy Choate stock to my Savage intentionaly (for the weight) and was thinking that maybe the H&R might follow suit.

Unfortunately, I've had enough replies to this question to rule out the H&R rifle for any "serious" accuracy work.

Looks like I'll be back to seeking out a Savage 12BVSS for a decent deal.. ->



All further input is encouraged & welcome!

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Slick
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Posted: March 13 2008 at 10:23pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

BigBlue wrote:
Slick,
Here's a whole bunch of reading on the Handi and Ultra-Varmint.

Don


Thanks Don,

I *fianally* got caught up reading!!! I was un-aware the H&R was the same-o-same-o as the NEF... And while I see nothing "wrong" with this concept, it's just not quite as "precision" as what I'm looking for in my next rifle.

I want to make all my five rounds touch at 100 yards (if I can do my part). That said, I'll probably get another Savage with the accutrigger!

Did I mention how much I was sold on my 10FP?

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davemuzz
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Posted: March 14 2008 at 4:04am | IP Logged Quote davemuzz

Slick,

Way cool lookin .308!!

Dave

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Slick
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Posted: March 14 2008 at 6:48pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

davemuzz wrote:
Slick,

Way cool lookin .308!!

Dave


Thanks Dave! I got lucky (and am VERY happy) with this rifle as it's a great shooter. I have no doubt that it's going to print under half/MOA before I'm done looking for "the" load.

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50DEP
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 10:25am | IP Logged Quote 50DEP

Slick, I would not give up on the H&R just yet. My frind has one with laminated wood front and back and makes ground hog kills out to 400 yards with it and a cheap ol Tasco Target scope.
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Slick
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 11:03am | IP Logged Quote Slick

50DEP wrote:
Slick, I would not give up on the H&R just yet. My frind has one with laminated wood front and back and makes ground hog kills out to 400 yards with it and a cheap ol Tasco Target scope.


I've been thinking about driving back out there and looking at it again... I DO like the price!

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davemuzz
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 1:50pm | IP Logged Quote davemuzz

Slick,

Do you already own a Contender or Encore frame?

Dave

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Slick
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 2:46pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

Quickdtoo wrote:
Current production .223 fluted Ultras are 1:9" twist, any .223 made by Marlin since early 2007 HX serial number prefix will be 1:9" with the exception of the Superlight barrel which is or was still 1:12" due to being an old run of barrels.

Tim


Thanks for educating me Tim! I'd been mulling this over and decided to call Sportsman's Warehouse and ask what the first two characters of the serial were...

They said "HX", so I asked them to hold it for me (they're 45 minutes from me), and I drove out and looked it over good and bought it! Looking down the bore - it sure looks like a 1 in 9, as the twist looked faster than the CZ 527 they had in 1 in 12.

It checked out fine - but the trigger is a bit heavy (maybe 6 lbs?) but there's no "grit" or other nastiness.. The stock works really good for me and I should be able to swap rails with my Savage 10 FP's bi-pod. So now I get to start the "longest ten days of my life" - again. In the mean time, I'll be reading up on these rifles and see what it'll take to get that trigger pull lightened up.

Oh yeah, Sportsman's Warehouse was having a "balloon sale" today (where you pop a balloon and get the discount on the paper inside) and I got a 5% off - which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick...

Dave, I don't have any TC guns yet.. Maybe someday..

Edited by Slick on March 15 2008 at 2:49pm


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Rigmarol
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 2:54pm | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

I went to the sale too Slick, I popped a balloon and it said "a poke in the eye with a sharp stick" so I went back home.



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Slick
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Posted: March 16 2008 at 11:56am | IP Logged Quote Slick

Rigmarol wrote:
I popped a balloon and it said "a poke in the eye with a sharp stick" so I went back home.


That's the balloon that I usually get~!

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50DEP
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Posted: March 16 2008 at 2:10pm | IP Logged Quote 50DEP

Sounds like me, If it were not for bad luck I would not have any!
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Paul5388
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Posted: March 16 2008 at 2:49pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Slick,

Don (BigBlue) has done a couple of the Handi triggers, so you might do a search for the thread where he told about it. He may also remember which hammer it is that has the lower profile to make scope mounting a little easier and lower to the center of the bore.
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50DEP
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Posted: March 16 2008 at 6:10pm | IP Logged Quote 50DEP

The handy rifles are not that complicated to do a trigger job on.

Edited by 50DEP on March 16 2008 at 6:15pm
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 5:47pm | IP Logged Quote BigBlue

Paul5388 wrote:
Slick,

Don may also remember which hammer it is that has the lower profile to make scope mounting a little easier and lower to the center of the bore.


I do remember that it was purchased through Brownells and that it was a shotgun hammer which gave a bit more scope clearance.
I used a tutorial on trigger work by Perklo. You can find it here:Handi Trigger Job Once you get through the disclaimer, just check download listed as Handi-Rifle Trigger Work, Part 1 and Handi-Rifle Trigger Work, Part 2
Here's a link to a lot of great information on Handis: H&R HandiRifle FAQ The trigger jobs are a bit tricky, but doable.
Okay, a whole bunch MORE reading. LOL
Don

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Slick
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 9:52pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

Many thanks for the helpful suggestions!

I've been spending LOTS of time on the Greybeard site reading up in the Handi forum. Also I have the Perklo .PDF's on the trigger job. I may give it a whirl, but if the local gunsmith can do it for a reasonble price, I may go that route as now that I'm older my eyesight and steady hand are not what they once were..

Oh yeah, I have heard that if you send your Handi back for extra barrels, that you can request them to lighten the trigger to 3 lbs and there's no charge. So maybe I'll order a barrel in .308 and .45-70 + a 12ga rifled slug barrel.

Edited by Slick on March 17 2008 at 9:54pm


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Posted: March 18 2008 at 3:53pm | IP Logged Quote BigBlue

If you can get the trigger job done at a decent price, by all means do so. Just making the jig and pin needed for the job is worth having it done. When I did mine I had more time than money.
I believe the last I heard was that if your trigger pull is over 5 lbs., request a trigger job and send for a new barrel, H+R will do the trigger job for free. That may have changed, so ask quickdtoo(Tim) at Greybeards and he'll know their latest policy.
Don

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