used #3 vs new H&R handi rifle

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lctrcjim

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
78
I'm looking for a rifle for my wife. A single shot, 'classic' 'old-timey' 'cowboy' looking. Two that have caught my eye & are in my price range are the H&R 45 Long Colt Classic Carbine & the Ruger #3. From what I've been able to find, the H&R's are supposed to be a pretty good little rifle for the price. Used #3's are going for roughly twice the price of a new H&R - do you think the Ruger is twice the gun the H&R is?

I'm gettin pretty wishy-washy & indecisive in my old age - I'm gonna pass the buck & let you guys make up my mind for me - ha!!!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts & help & advice!!!

ps - if any #3 owners out there want to talk about general characteristics
of the gun, pro's & con's, ect, I'd love to hear anything you have to say about them - thanks!!!
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,300
As fit and finish, and engineered beauty goes, yes, the #3 is worth twice the price, or more, of a Handi Rifle.

As far as shootability goes, there is nothing at all wrong with a Handi Rifle. My experience is, they are very accurate, in spite of the price.

WAYNO.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,068
You say you are looking for a rifle for your wife. You mention the 45LC H&R. While the #3 is much stronger and is starting to become a collector piece, it has limited chamberings. It was typically chamberd in 22 hornet, 223 Rem, 45-70, 30-40 Krag, 375 win, and 44 Mag. The one closest to your pistol cartridge is the 44 Mag. They are quite rare. For an economical shooter, I'd go with the H&R. My 2 cents.

Dave
 

mcknight77

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
657
Generally for the cost of a No.3, you can buy a used No.1. I'd be on the lookout for a 1A in 7x57 for her.
 

Stan in SC

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
85
I have had Handi rifles in three or four different calibers.At present I have a .44 magnum and a 45/70.They are good accurate rifles and reasonably priced.The #3 is about 2-1/2 times as expensive as a Handi but not 2-1/2 times better.

Stan in SC
 

Bob/Olallawa

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
27
mcknight77":2jxre9br said:
Generally for the cost of a No.3, you can buy a used No.1. I'd be on the lookout for a 1A in 7x57 for her.

+ 1 The No 1 is a fine rifle and the 7x57 is a great round for the lady.
 

Florida-boy

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
20
I'm a Handi rifle fan. I own ??? better not in case the wife reads this.

Anyway I own a few. I think people that have never used one tend to underrate them due to their cost. IMHO they offer much more in the way of options than a #3. Once you buy the , say .45 LC you're looking at it can also be fitted at the factory with many other barrels. As far as being a stronger action, I's say if it is it's not by much. If you got one in .45-70 for instance, I'd bet your shoulder would give out before the gun did.
 

picketpin

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
1,544
Apples and bannanas, they are both fruit. H&R and the #3, they are both single shots. The differences are far greater than the similarities.

RWT
 

luvs2hunt62

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
572
the big question is----which rifle is your wife more comfortable with? I'd try to let her shoot both, and go with the one she is more comfortable with. As far as quality vs price, what can your wallet handle?? The &7R is lighter, smaller, and generally more comfortable for young shooters and ladies because of the lighter weight and smaller LOP. I teach new and young shooters at my local gun range, and many times the husband picks the wife's gun, rather than letting her choose. If she decides to go with the handi-rifle, you're only out a few bucks when she decides she wants more gun.

You say you want an old, classic gowboy looking gun---how about a Marlin 1894 in 44mag. They're light, low recoil, and quality made. for 350--400 bucks all day. just a thought...
 

lctrcjim

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
78
Luvs, I wanted to get her a Marlin 1894 cowboy, but she doesn't want another lever action (I have a recently restored 1881 Marlin 45-70) she wants something a little different...............

hey, I gotta count my blessings, at least she's interested in shooting & wants a rifle of her own...........
 

Malamute

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
20
I apologise if I come across as a wet blanket, but in all the museums I've been in, and all the old gun books I've read and seen, I don't recall anything that would lead me to think that the H&R's are old time and traditional. There were a few Frank Wesson break actions around back in the day, but they looked quite different, and were stocked nicer (not to mention being a bit odd looking also). The H&R's may be fine guns in their own right, but they aren't old time and traditional "old west style". The Ruger No 3's aren't really very close to anything that was around in the late 1800's either, but has much more style than the H&R's, as well as much better fit and finish of the wood and metal.
 

lctrcjim

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
78
guys, here's a little more clarification - I'm not actually looking for a vintage rifle, or even a replica............I'm looking for a rifle for my wife & trying to go by what I think she'll like & enjoy shooting. We already have an original Marlin 1881, made in 1883 - for some reason she doesn't want another lever action.............she loves the Colt Lightning replicas, but the good ones (AWA & Cimmarron-Pedersoli) are way out of my price range, & the Taurus Thunderbolt has a terrible reputation..........she doesn't want a bolt action cause they're too 'military looking' to her................so that pretty much leaves single shots................

The two that I think she'll like and are in my price range are the H&R 45Colt Classic Carbine & the Ruger #3 - of course neither is an actual old west cowboy gun, but she'll think they have that look & flavor & that's all that matters. I have found a #3 and am in the process of buying it for her - I'm keeping my fingers crossed she'll like it.

I have come to the point in life where I've learned to count my blessings whenever they appear - ie: even though she may be a little particular about what she likes, I'm married to a gal that actually likes to go out shooting & hunting.....................
 

luvs2hunt62

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
572
Count your blessingd for sure. When my wife got interested in hunting, she wanted a gun just like mine---a Weatherby MK V deluxe----so I got her a MK V in 257 Weatherby, and never regretted it. Sh rarely hunts anymore, and I have a super little gun added to my collection!!
 

Ruger_rules

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
19
I bought my H&R 45LC Buffalo Classic Handi-Rifle

http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Rifles/buffalo.asp

to complement my 2 SS New Vaqueros in 45LC. I consider it my 'hi-power' plinker and a 'working rifle.' JMO, for the money (in my case, $320 OTD) I think you will be impressed by the rifle and its fit and finish, as I and my LGS were.

Okay, okay,...I confess. You'all can put away them thar brandin' irons. If money were no object, I would get this, the Charles Daly Little Sharps in 45LC

http://www.charlesdaly.com/cowboylg.asp#

but still would NOT get rid of my H&R.

Best in your decision!
 

MMichaelAK

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
361
The Charles Daly Little Sharps is sweet! A shop here in town has one in .45Colt and if I didnt own a Puma M92 in .45 Colt Id be looking and fingering my wallet. Good thing I like the M92 a lot.

Jim, what #3 did you decide on getting for your wife? I have a #3 in .22 Hornet and am selling my #3 45-70 since I just bought a Pedersoli 1874 Sharps No, they arent very "cowboy gun" looking but they are nice light rifles with a neat look to them.

I am still on the lookout for one in .30-40.
Maybe someday.
 

Malamute

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
20
I think you'll (she'll) like the no 3, I had one in 45-70 many years ago. They are very nice carbines, with excellent trigger actions on them. Mine was very accurate, as in about 1" for 3 shots @ 100 yard with iron sights.

As in anything, if you get what you want and like, you're ahead of the game. You already know that you're ahead of the game in that she likes to shoot.

If semi-custom things appeal to you or her, I've seen a couple of very nice customized No 3's, restocked with Hawken type wood I believe (Gemmer style).

I reread the thread and didnt see what caliber the No 3 was in? Whatever it is, fun, light loads can be made for it. I've even shot round ball loads in 45-70 for plinking, and grouse loads.
 

MADISON

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 4, 2000
Messages
175
My vote is for the Ruger #3.
I have had several H&R, break open rifles and 2 #3 Rugers.
I favor the strength of the Ruger and the way it loads.
 

lctrcjim

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
78
guys, thanks for all your comments & thoughts & opinions & help & advice..............as a matter of fact, I was able to find a #3 in 44 magnum. I think that should be a great caliber for her - such a wide range of loadings available - light loads for the range up to +p buffalo bore for serious hunting.............

with that said, that little H&R 45 Colt Carbine is such a great looking rifle, I'm saving my nickels & dimes, hoping to have enough in the ol fun money account to buy one some time this summer ...............

I hope I wasn't wasting anyone's time, now that I've come to the conclusion that we actually need one of each
 

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