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NEF SB2 .223 Varmint - Should grab it?

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 27,682 Senior Member
edited November 2019 in General Firearms #1
My LGS got a trade in NEF Varmint in .223 Rem that’s in pretty good shape. 

Has a crap Banner scope on it that I don’t care about. 

Only reason I ask is it’s a pretty “Handy” rifle, they don’t make them anymore, and it’s cheap.  Besides, I’ve always had a soft spot for them. Childhood growing up with a .410 NEF. 

I now have my own .410 NEF and a .357 Mag NEF. Like both. 

Asking $295 but I thought I’d offer $250 and see what they say. 

My only concern is the twist rate. I don’t want a slow 12T. This one was made in 2006 and they switched to a 9T in 2005, so I think I’d be safe. 

Thoughts?

👍🏻👎🏻
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

Replies

  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,746 Senior Member
    Any way you can find out the twist before you buy?
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    My experience has been they are hit and miss. Some barrels shoot well others shoot a pattern. There's no way of telling until you do a work up. My son's 223 didn't shot well until he had well over 200 rounds through it and decided to lap fire it. As the LGS owner told me " For every penny they put into manufacturing a gun they have to charge six cents more."That said they can be made to be an acceptable rifle. The trigger isn't hard to repair an there are a lot of small adjustments you can make to accurize them. If you like to tinker it would be worth the experiment. There are some really nice stocks and accessories available for them from laminates thumb hole stocks to survivor stocks. 

    There is another web site that has a great board on how to fit barrels and accurize a handi rifle. I'll PM it
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Fun rifle to tinker with and the price AND twist are right.  You can always get your money back out of it later.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,127 Senior Member
    Yes!  I have an NEF 308 and it is one hell of a shooter. 
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    I think those rifles give you a bit more barrel length in a package of shorter over all length than a bolt action?

    If so......... B)
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    There is also a project called a stub barrel. a cheap shotgun barrel is cut off and threaded for a new barrel to be inserted. you can create almost anything your mind can think of. that gives Zee a whole new universe.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,682 Senior Member
    That’s more effort than a NEF deserves. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,261 Senior Member
    The NEF is great platform and they all seem to be accurate.  I have had my eye open for one in .308 and  45-70
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,682 Senior Member
    I just went and handled it again. Action is crazy smooth but the trigger SUCKS!

    I’m still tempted. Just afraid to get a lemon. I mean, why would someone trade a NEF?  Not like you’re gonna get a lot of trade value. Unless the gun sucks so bad any trade value is worth it. 

    Decisions. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,161 Senior Member
    My NEF story...A friend had a .308 NEF and he was having issues getting it zeroed. So after tightening up everything scope related, we fired a few of his 150 grain factory loads and got the thing shooting where it was supposed to.
    At this point I thought I would try some of my "warm" 125 grain NBT handloads I had loaded for my bolt gun....
    First shot...action pops open and the empty files out and drills me right in the forehead..
    Thinking that I must have inadvertently hit the release when I pulled the trigger, I thought another one was in order...BOOM!
    and I get linked in the head again.
    Switched back to the factory stuff without an issue...

    Moral of the story...be careful with warmish handloads in these things.
    .
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,127 Senior Member
    Depending on if it has extractor or ejector, warm loads can also hang in the chamber- which takes a cleaning rod to knock out. 


    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,642 Senior Member
    Not unless you really need a .223.  Or have a secret ban account in the Caymens.  I know people who have them with no problems they're willing to talk about, and I used to see them at my LGS for repair.  I think they're "acceptable" accurate, the one I shot wa about 1.7", but I have several .223s that are far more accurate than the one I shot.  Are they still in production?
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #14
    No, Remington bought them moved them and stopped production. Their customer used to be top notch! Then Remington bought them....

    Zee the trigger is repairable mine has a good trigger. I have had up to 13 barrels for mine but I must admit I haven't used it much. I bought them for my boys as a good starter gun with youth stocks and 410 and 20 gauge barrels. My Handi was a broke butt childhood wish, H&R Topper, and the thought that I've never needed a second shot from a rifle. It's just a fun gun that can be adaptd to smaller statured persons quickly and cheaply.

    When you have one shot you make it count. I had a single shot Rem 514 22 and a single shot 37 Win 12 gauge. Both had bad triggers and the shotgun was way.... to long! It kicked like a Kentucky mule. I hated that thing and dumped it as an adult. Alas a single shot taught me to shoot straight.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    You are asking us?  Seriously!  
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,682 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #16
    Using one shot to accomplish a goal is a mental thing. 

    If you can’t set your own standard and need a physical limitation to do so........well........weak minded comes to mind. 

    I never, regardless of how many or how few rounds I have in the gun.......plan on the second shot to accomplish my goal. Sometimes it has to........but it ain’t the plan. 

    So, a single shot making me a better shooter.........bull crap. Set your own standard. 

    Ok. Peace.  Love. And naked bunnies. I’m off my soap box now. I feel better. Sorry. 

    The allure is not the number of rounds. It’s the gun itself, as you said, a youthful memory. 

    Just don’t want one I’ll regret. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • farm boyfarm boy Senior Member Posts: 1,001 Senior Member
    Meh, I had one years ago. Mine was a 12T barrel that LOVED Federal Fusion 62gr ammo. 

    Only major problem I had was the rifle had to be cradled just so or it shot patterns. 

    It was fun to shoot but not so fun I kept it after I got a bolt .223. 
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Again, if it’s not a great shooter you should be able to flip it quickly for what you paid.  Good deer rifle for your neck of the woods.  Just a thought.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    Zee I wasn't talking at you, I was saying as a kid it made me a more mindful shooter. I didn't have mentors or teachers outside of scout camp once a year. I taught myself to hunt and shoot.

    I would be afraid of this rifle not being a shooter, you can get your money back if you don't like it, no problem.
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,682 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #20
    Freezer said:
    Zee I wasn't talking at you, I was saying as a kid it made me a more mindful shooter. I didn't have mentors or teachers outside of scout camp once a year. I taught myself to hunt and shoot.

    I would be afraid of this rifle not being a shooter, you can get your money back if you don't like it, no problem.
    I wasn’t fussing at you. Just taking the opportunity to climb up on my soap box (albeit a short one as I’m a Carney) and vent about a mentality in some folk (not implying you) that irks me. That a single shot rifle/shotgun makes one a better shot. 

    And I have and like single shots. Hell, many of my bolt guns are single shots!!!  Simply because I seat my bullets so long......they don’t fit in the magazine!  😁

    No, I like single shots because of the rifle itself. Not their action and capacity. 

    We cool. 🤟🏻
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,682 Senior Member
    As much as I’d like to grab this rifle......I think I’ve scared myself out of it. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,467 Senior Member
    I have a soft spot for single shot .22 "teacher rifles", and it's hard to outclass a good falling block.

    But a cheap break-barrel in a cartridge that you already have WAAAAAY better repeating platforms in?  I'm having a lot of trouble seeing the why.

    Maybe as the permanent truck gun with a low-middle power scope on it?  Suck up the expense of 3-4 boxes of those Barnes 62 grainers because we KNOW those are good for any huge that comes up as a target of opportunity?  If it ends up with some spot rust due to cold/hot humidity shifts. . .well, it's an NEF and the Fate of Western Civilization ain't hanging on it being a show car.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,371 Senior Member
    MEH, you can buy a bolt Savage in .223 for $250-300
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,982 Senior Member
    Mine was stupid accurate until a firing pin problem I never got around to fixing.  Bit I'm only into it for 150 so it may never get fixed.  Fires cheap 223 ammo meant for ARs into sub moa with the heavy trigger and a cheap cabelas scope.  Overall,  I've had positive experience with NEF guns.  But 250 is too high an entry fee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,682 Senior Member
    Fortunately, it sold. 

    The temptation is removed. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,261 Senior Member
    Not a great loss, but those NEF rifles can be very accurate and I think a good platform to teach a new shooter with.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,642 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #27
    Someone did you a favor.  Diver, why do you think a NEF rifle is a good platform for teaching new shooters?  I think this is broadly postulated in shooting sports. I had a single-shot bolt gun as a kid, but I don't think it taught me much that I wouldn't have learned from a repeater.  Lots of people advocate single-shot rifles for beginners, and I'm not sure I don't.  Given what's available in SS .22 rifles nowadays, I might go for a repeater.
    I know I wouldn't start off with a gun that had a hammer on it.  But that's just a bias I have. A few pages back, I told about an unintentional discharge with a Topper (like the NEF) when I was a kid because the hammer slipped off my thumb, almost hitting my buddy.  It wasn't the gun's fault, it was mine, but the memory stuck with me and  made me a more cautious shooter.
    I basically learned about guns on my own.  My father died when I was 12 and during that time, both brothers were in the service.  So I probably learned some bad practices.
    When I was in 8th grade, I found a book in my school library, "A Boy and his Gun" and devoured it, started my love for guns...especially rifles. A couple of years ago, I bought that book, and it's just as good as I remembered it.



    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,261 Senior Member
    Zee explained the part of why i do not think it is good for a newby (single shot) like many advocate. But, the cost, simplicity to use and being accurate are my reasons. Being a single shot will slow a shooter down, so that they can be taught and corrections between shots can be made as they resume their shooting position.  Just my way of thinking.  A single shot .22 boys rifle and Ruger Single Six were my go to guns when teaching the boys.  Once safety and basic fundamentals were learned we moved to a 10-22 and a 9mm.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
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