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H&R & nef handi rifle youth 243?

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H&R & nef handi rifle youth 243?

Old 03-01-2011, 07:10 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: South Dakota
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Default H&R & nef handi rifle youth 243?

comments for and against please
also any used??...where do I find?

looking for something for grandkids to use....10 Yr olds
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:12 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,517

I do not own one of these, but a friend got a used NEF Handi Rifle .243 one for his daughter, and I've had lots of experience shooting it, and it's been nothing but a headache. To start off, his daughter didn't want it in the first place and she doesn't like it at all either. He wanted to get her something like this since she was left handed. He figured that a single shot was the best option since he couldn't find a decently priced left handed bolt action. She said she'd rather just have a right handed bolt action.

All that aside, he got it and noticed that when you shot it it was kicking open and kicking the shell out towards your face. After checking it out some and looking online, there are reports of them doing this if you don't keep it completely dry of oil. Some reports still have it happen if it's dry, but it seems to happen a lot less. Once he cleaned it good, and then dried it off and kept it free from oil it didn't do this again, or so far hasn't. It's not been shot all that much.

He thought all was well until they ran a few rounds through it and a shell stuck in the barrel. He took it to a gunsmith to have it checked out this time. The gunsmith said the chamber wasn't cut deep enough from the factory and it was out of spec. So he cut the chamber deeper. He thought it was fixed, but we took it shooting a few weeks ago and on the first round it stuck again. We had to take a cleaning rod to knock it out. It did fire the next 20 or so fine, but it obviously still isn't fixed.

So I did a search online for this and it turned up a ton of people complaining that shells stick in theirs. There really doesn't seem to be a fix that I can find other that people saying they carry a cleaning rod to the stand with them so they can get the shell out if it does stick. Several people also said the new ones had a notch cut in the barrel so when the shell does stick you can pry it out. They recommended cutting one of these in the older ones that didn't have it so at least you can get the shell out without carrying a cleaning rod around. Several guys had tried polishing the chamber, several had sent it back to the manufacturer, and they all still had this problem. So it doesn't look like there is a fix for this on them.

Now I will say that my buddies shoots decently. There are lots of reports I found online while searching saying the accuracy was horrible too, but his does shoot fairly well. It shot right at 1" groups with reloads, and about 2" groups with Winchester Power Points.

The trigger on his isn't the best, but it certainly isn't the worst in the world. It seems like the trigger varies on each of them as some guys report having gotten great triggers, while others say theirs is horrible. His is a little heavy, but it's not bad and it breaks pretty evenly.

Overall, the quality just doesn't seem to be there on this gun. After searching trying to find solutions for the problems his had, it turns up a ton more reports of the same problems, and mostly saying that there is no fix, just things to help it not happen as often.

I personally think you'd be much better off to go with a bolt action. You can get a Stevens 200 that's a much better rifle for the same price. The NEF's sell for about $270 on clearance here at Walmart, but they normally are $300 with a cheap no name scope. This is the price the Stevens 200 is in. Or for $100 more you can get a Savage Model 10 243 with a Simmons scope, and a sling at Walmart. They are $387 here. This gun has the accu trigger and is a much nicer gun as well as a great trigger that's fully adjustable. Not only is the quality of the gun much nicer, but it's much more accurate. The one I've shot was shooting right at .5" groups with hand loads, and .8" groups with Winchester Power Points and Federal Power Shoks.

Another decent option is the Marlin XS-7 for right at $300. This is also another great option.

I just don't see a reason to mess with one of these pieces of junk when you can get so many other options that are better for a similar price.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:09 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,320

Look at it like this. They are the cheapest new center fire rifle you can buy. I can't for the life of me figure why anyone thinks they are a great gun for a beginning hunter. Slow lock time, cheap finished, nasty trigger with a poor stock. Whats to like ?

Buy them a gun they will be proud to own not one they need a pry bar and cleaning rod to shoot.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:11 PM
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Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,973

I'll tell you what. I had one in .223. And yes it was as ugly as sin. And the trigger was a bit rough. But damn that thing could shoot. On one occasion I had put 10 rounds into a 3/4" ragged hole at 100 yds off the bench. I had purchased this rifle as a cheap groundhog gun and it served he purpose well. What I didn't like about it was the balance. It was much to butt heavy for me. Maybe it would have been different in the synthetic variation.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:53 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Allenton Wis.
Posts: 186

I got one for my son and it shoots 5" groups at 50 yds. Can't get it any better no matter what. I'm getting him a Marlin xs7y next time.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:01 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: 5a
Posts: 183

I had one in .280 and it was a POS. 4" groups @ 100 yards was the best I could do even with reloads. Alot of people love em, but just as many hate em. IMO you're taking an aweful big gamble when buying one. There are better rifles for darn near the same money available.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:15 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 882

I would go with Savage or T/C Venture or even a Marlin Bolt ; I had a 243 cal. in the Handi I think I spent more money on bullets then the rifle itself.I will say it shot decent but nothing to brag about but it was finicky.
I also had a Remington SPR18 another bomb but the price was right so I also played with it.
The Handi are a luck of the draw in 243 cal. and I also had a 7-08 another bomb.
I do have a 30-06 and 38-55 both shoot outstanding: The 30-06 100 yds can but 3 shot in a dime
The 38-55 another lucky draw it was the last year marlin took over the barrel and were made correct to spec:
I was lucky to buy the other day a Remington Mohawk 243 cal.
I will say I was lucky on this short bolt action gun
MAN just a one hole group gun:shoots outstanding
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:19 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 47

I have one in .243 and judging by the previous comments i must have the exception to the rule. Yes the trigger is a bit heavier then on my other rifles, but the accuracy is great. i have also not experienced any problems with it as far as performance goes.

I used mine as my hunting rifle last season and took my bear, elk and mule deer with it. For me it was a fathers day gift from my kids and i've been 110% satisfied with it, and wouldn't hesitate to get myself another barrel for it in a caliber that i don't own.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: illinois
Posts: 2

CANT SPEAK FOR THE 243 BUT I have sorry caps lock was on i have a nef ultra slug hunter single shot in 20 guage and its really nice
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:18 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 32

My kids have a H&R Handi Rifle, dont know if its the same or not, in 243. It shoots pretty good. My son killed a big 8 point year before last at 117 yards. I have noticed that if the barrell gets warm it really starts walking. Dosent take many shots either.
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