H&R Youth Handi Rifle in .243

H&R Youth Handi Rifle in .243

This is a discussion on H&R Youth Handi Rifle in .243 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I took off today to go to the range and shoot my son's H&R youth Handi Rifle in .243 that I picked up a couple ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    H&R Youth Handi Rifle in .243

    I took off today to go to the range and shoot my son's H&R youth Handi Rifle in .243 that I picked up a couple of weeks ago. This is a 20" barrel version which is only 33" overall length. Since he is only 8 and weights about 60 lbs I figured this was a perfect fit for him. I picked the H&R over the Rossi combo set partly because of some of the reviews but mostly because of the Rossi's plastic fiber optic sights. The H&R's sights are actually metal and have both windage and elevation adjustments with well defined tick marks on the elevation adjustment. They seem to be solid and lock down tight once they are adjusted.

    I had worked up some loads with H4895 powder at reduced loads starting from 20 grs in 1/2 grain increments up to 22.5 grs. I loaded with 100 gr Remington SP lead. I have had this stuff floating around since 07 when I bought it for one of my buddies kids who is shooting a .243. We never got around to making any ammo for him.

    So the purpose of today was to go through the loads and find which ones grouped the best. I decided to start at 50 yds since I was using the factory sight on the H&R and they only have a 13" sight radius. Also where we hunt there really aren't any shots past 100 yds or so. I figured if I can get a good grouping at 50 yds, I can work the load from there and then bring it out to 100 yds and zero there once all the kinks are worked out.

    Below is what I deemed the best grouping for the day. It is 5 shots with 22 gr of H4895. The one low right was me. The other two groups of two touching each other are withing 1.25 inches vertically and is probably a result of too much black. The sights on the H&R are solid black front and back and I didn't take time to print any colored targets before heading out. I am assuming that I sighted differently or held at a different point between the two groups.



    The only other load that showed promise was at 20.5 grs. They grouped within 1.5 inches but were basically in a circle. I will work either side of that in .1 gr increments and see if I can tighten it up at the reduced load.

    I had heard both good and bad on the little H&R rifles. Some people claim they can't get more than a shotgun pattern at 50 to 100 yrds. It might be the ammo they are using, it might be their shooting, or it could be the gun. But based on what this little thing did today, I think once I get some optics on this rifle I can make it shoot sub 1" groups at 100 yds if I do my part. Today I was just using an ammo can and small shooting bag on top of it as a rest.

    The gun functioned well. I had a couple of rounds that took a couple of tries to get the gun to lock closed but since these were all my reloads and were made with once fired brass, those might have been a little out of spec. Everything ejected cleanly with nothing hanging up in the chamber as I had heard some reports of. The trigger was ok. Not the best but definately not the worst I have ever shot. It might get better with time, I certainly am not going to attempt to "work on it" as I have read about some folks doing. Not with the gun intended for an 8 yr old.

    I had full intentions of chronographing the rounds, but unfortunately I didn't bring an extra battery for the thing and it was completely dead.

    Talking to guy at the gun shop, he is going to let me borrow a red dot to put on this rifle when we get the scope base in to see how my son can do with it. The thought behind it is there will be no parallax to overcome and since we are talking about 100 yds or less it should work well. My other options were either 4x or 6x short tube scopes I have floating around here, but I will have to check and see if they will be feasible. Before mounting anything, I may see how he does with the open sights, but in the back of my mind I feel that some sort of optics will probably be best.

    Anyone have anything good or bad to say about putting a red dot or similar optic on an 8 yr olds deer rifle?
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  2. #2
    Member Array gixxerboy1k's Avatar
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    about the red dot sights in south dakota it is illegal to hunt deer with electronic sights but i dont know if this constitutes what they are talking about if anyone else on here knows it would be great

  3. #3
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    I had a NEF .223 HB that was a tack driver with WW 40gr hp's. I think a red dot sight would be an excellent addition to your son's hunting rifle given the limited range of his shots.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    In Texas it is legal to hunt with a red dot, I am not asking about the legality of it, simply asking for any pro/cons that others may have on the matter.

    Artificial light of any form that casts or reflects a beam of light onto or otherwise illuminates a game animal or bird may not be used as an aid to hunt, except battery-powered scoping devices that project a light or dot only inside the scope; pin sight lights on archery equipment; or laser sighting devices used by legally blind hunters, or hunters who have a documented permanent physical disability that prevents them from using traditional firearm sighting devices
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Tru Glo makes a 2X red dot that is an excellent short-range hunting sight. The last H&R I fired (.223) was a real tack driver with loads it liked.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    I have always thought the NEF and H&R guns were a great value within their intended purpose.
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    Member Array Cory1022's Avatar
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    been looking at them, I think I read in more than one place that the .243 was the one that had more accuracy issues than the others, and was very load dependent. I still plan to grab one in some as yet undecided caliber. Would love to see your continued results.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Stubborn's Avatar
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    It's been my experience, (4 kids and 12 grandkids) that children shoot better with a scope than irons. It's just easier for them to put the crosshairs on the target than to line up front and rear sights with the target.
    I would be all in favor of a fixed power, probably 4X considering the 100 yd max range. I don't know what you have on hand, but I picked up a factory refurbished Nikon 4X32 "Pro-staff" for $79.99 from Natchez shooters supply and put on my 10/22. It still carries a lifetime warranty.
    Even the little kids can hit with it. Just my $.02

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I'll second the 4x power fixed scope, As with crosshairs are a little easier to shoot with, For a youngin ; )
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I think the Handi Rifle is dandy, and a logical choice for the young lad.
    Concerning reduced loads, my experience has been either feast or famine. I also found that by taking a black marker and a case without primer or powder, complete black the bullet and seat bullet until it shows the lands and grooves mark on the bullet. I have had much better results doing this than the tedious incremental powder adjustments. I think bench rest shooters call it free boring.

    Now, concerning the red dot, I think that would certainly make getting good hits easier to make.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    I knew a guy that had a Handi rifle set up with a scope that used it for his annual deer hunting trips. He had it set up with a good quality scope and mount and it was very accurate with the right load.

    I personally like the red dot sight but that might be my aging eyes! A scope would probably be a better choice for a child.

    I haven't thought about the Handi rifle in years. Now you've got me thinking! And I do have a small stash of 223 ammo and no rifle to shoot it in. Hmmm.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Grey,

    Our thinking on the red dot with no magnification is that there won't be any parallax for him to contend with. Whether he has his eye 3 inches or 6 inches from the red dot scope it won't make a difference.

    Once magnification is introduced matching eye relief each time become very critical.

    Anyway that is our current thinking.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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