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Handi - rifle in .243

ken55ken55 Posts: 782 Senior Member
Stopped by the LGS this afternoon to shoot the breeze and fondle some rifles when I found a consignment Handi-Rifle in .243 with a Weaver 3x9x40 on QD mounts. Synthetic stock - like new condition - scope is excellent - trigger is not bad. Thinking of it as a knock-around rifle. Tag says $225. I'm thinking the scope is worth a goodly part of that price but what say the group? [It's been almost 6 weeks since I bought a rifle so I guess I'm due. :devil: ]


  • farm boyfarm boy Posts: 1,001 Senior Member
    I have the heavy barrel .223. It is very accurate with one load I have found so far. Everything else is mediocore.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • ken55ken55 Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Hmm, the more I read and hear about the Handi-Rifles, the less impressed I am. Sounds like it might be smarter to pass on it.
  • stepmacstepmac Posts: 172 Member
    Honestly I don't know the rifle, but I like the cartridge and it is a good knock around rifle. Good varmit gun and a good dear rifle too. You can load it with a 75 grain hollow point at 3400 fps or the 105 at around 2800. Good rifle.
  • rberglofrberglof Posts: 2,998 Senior Member
    Offer 200 and see if the guy will come down. I have 2 rifles with 5 barrels, bought Boyd's thumb hole stock for one and will probably get a thumb hole for the other.
  • sarg1csarg1c Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    I've got a heavy barrel .204 and like it except for the stock. .204 is simular to the .223...

    Here a handy level made from an old mount and a vial from a $1.00 plastic level from Hardware store. A lille drilling, and some Aluma-Black.
  • sarg1csarg1c Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    The only other Handi I want is the 45-70 Buffalo rifle...
    CPJ, I think my when I bought it was a little over $200.00.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Posts: 12,429 Senior Member
    Yep. For years, my go-to hunting rifle has been an NEF in .308. Great rifle, accurate, and I've never had an issue with it.

    But now? I'd get a Ruger American, Savage Axis or Mossberg bolt gun and be done with it.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • centermass556centermass556 Posts: 3,618 Senior Member
    Until my ex pawned it, I had a Handi rilfe in .223. That rifle was awesome. I always had a feeling that rifle was way more accurate than I was, and I could kill quarters with that thing at 100M with no issues. and the great thing about them is the ability to get extra barrels for the same action. If they will take 200-210 for it, I would snatch it up....
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • ken55ken55 Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    And at that price point they owned that segment of the market. Where else could you get a nice gun, American made and decent quality for that money? Now cruising into the $300 range the field is full of full featured bolt guns.

    Well, if you are comparing a new NEF with a new entry-level bolt gun, that's a good point. But I think it's apples and oranges to compare a used $200 rifle with a good scope to a $300 or so rifle like those mentioned earlier in the thread. If I needed or wanted another bolt gun, this Handi-rifle would obviously not be a contender anyway. I'm just looking at it as a can't-hurt-it, compact, light weight, single-shot rifle in a usable caliber. It's not only 2/3 the price of the others mentioned, it's also much shorter and lighter. It's just a different thing, IOW. Maybe use it to train my grand daughter.

    Anyway, I'm not sold on the thing in the first place - just hadn't seen one in a while and got curious about it.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Posts: 4,997 Senior Member
    I'd pick it up. I mean, the worst that can happen is that it doesn't shoot. Keep the scope, and go sell it for probably close to what you paid for the whole package. I see no downside. You might find that gem of a handi as well and it'll shoot tiny holes with the right ammo and be a good beat around rifle or like you said, trainer for youngin's
  • CMWCMW Posts: 53 Member
    I own a NEF in 223 with a heavy barrel. it is a very tight gun. if there is any carbon fowling the gun takes force to lock up good. that a good thing, and the headspacing is very tight. it shoot great for a gun i gave 150 for. it has a cheap BSA on it which i dont really like all that much and it still prints one moa of a make shift pron position. I also own a rossi single shot in 243 and killed a lot of deer with it. great rifle, moa or slightly over
    "Life is tough, it's tougher if your stupid." - John Wayne
  • FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,755 Senior Member
    I and my son both own NEF Handi rifles. They can be hit and misss but if you take a little time to polish the barrel they really shoot. Mine has a trigger job (you can do it yourself) and can shoot sub moa with almost any barrel I put on it. For every penny the company invests in a weapon thay have to charge six cents more to the customer. What I like about mine is I have .223, .243 ultra lite, 270, 25-05 heavy barrel, 45LC/410, 50 cal ML, 12 guage rifled slug, 12 guage smooth bore with screw chokes, 20 guage modified and 410. With barrels factory fit for less than $100 I added a lot of versitility. I bought Redfield scopes for my barrels and even the smooth bore can be scoped for turkey. My NEF is not my go to gun but I like it. It's also not a bench rest gun but whay break action is? The Ruger #1 isn't great on a bench either. The NEF is a poor mans Encore and gives me options I couldn't afford otherwise.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • ken55ken55 Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Agreed! Wasn't talking to your find specifically, just Handi Rifles in general. At $200 with a weaver scope on it I'd probably buy it.

    I'm with you, brother. It's a nice turn of events the last few years that there are so many "entry level" rifles that will shoot so well - much better than what is really needed for hunting. I'm generally biased towards the old hunters like the commercial FN Mauser you just picked up for about the same price as the dinky little plastic stocked NEF shooter - now, that was a find! I haven't shot my own 1950 vintage commercial FN very much but it sure looks nice sitting there in the rack. :love:


  • FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,755 Senior Member
    I got your dinky hang'n, I have a small battery but and it includes a nice Contender in .22, .223 and 30-30 The NEF has it's place and can shoot. There are nice laminated stocks and walnut stocks for it but... I like mine with it's plastic stock, smooth trigger and consistant heft no matter what barrel I have on it.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • ken55ken55 Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Freezer wrote: »
    I got your dinky hang'n, I have a small battery but and it includes a nice Contender in .22, .223 and 30-30 The NEF has it's place and can shoot. There are nice laminated stocks and walnut stocks for it but... I like mine with it's plastic stock, smooth trigger and consistant heft no matter what barrel I have on it.

    Yeah, that's what attracted me in the first place, Freezer - I like the idea of having a useful light weight rifle that I won't worry about getting messed up. It's for sure a plain-jane gun but like you said, it has a place. I appreciate the input, sir.
  • sarg1csarg1c Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    Is there any difference in the NEF and H/R handies...Mine is a H/R. Is the H/R a little higher priced...
  • ken55ken55 Posts: 782 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Wow you have some fine oldies there!!! :love:

    The bottom one, is it a Mossberg 46?

    It's a J.C. Higgins Model 103.229 with the original J.C. Higgins 4x scope, made sometime in the 1940's. I think it's the same as a Marlin Model 81. I bought it several years ago at a pawn shop for almost nothing ($25 IIRC) in really bad shape - had to pound the bolt open and the barrel was full of crud. It had all the parts and cleaned up pretty good, though. A range test showed it not only still works, it's pretty accurate, too. The scope is like looking through a drinking straw but I like that it's original so I will leave it as is. The top one in the photo is the carbine version of the Marlin 39, from about 1955-56. I had it out plinking a few weeks ago and got back in touch with how much fun it is to kill tin cans with a .22.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Posts: 8,609 Senior Member
    With the value of the scope, buy it and try it.
    If it doesn't meet the accuracy expectations, keep the scope if you like it, and sell the rifle.
    If you like it-Great Buy!

    "The Un-Tactical"
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