Project Bushcraft Rifle

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by gloomhound, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    Hey

    I'm posting this because I would like your input and help with a project that I am undertaking.

    As some of you may recall a while back I posted a photo of this gun.

    [​IMG]

    I had bought it because of seeing all the guns over in this thread: http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/58995-Harrington-amp-Richardson-lets-see-em

    The first shotgun I ever owned was a H&R in 20ga and I really liked that gun. So a quick trip to Wal-Mart and I was out of $112 and the owner of a new H&R 12ga. I thought I might mod it into one of those "Bushcraft" shotguns I keep seeing on the youtubes.

    Once I got it home and got to take a real good look at it I was very pleased with it. It carried well with good balance and heft. It's light weight would make it a dream to carry when I was out and about. It would be safe to say I was happy with my new gun.

    Then I shot it.

    The recoil was punishing. Even with light target loads it beat me to the point of death. Last year I had my ongoing neck problems looked at and found that I had serious neck vertebra deterioration. It was bad enough that I have given up archery due to the pain. I hunt here in the East and I don't own any heavy caliber rifles, so shooting my .243 or .308 does not cause me any distress. Even firing my 835 judicially is fine but apparently light weight 12ga are no longer in the cards for me. So I got to thinking (scary right) that I could get a 20ga barrel from H&R for it. So off I got to their website for the barrel accessory program. Once I get to looking around I find that while you can't order rifle caliber barrels for the shotgun frame you can order pistol caliber barrels for it.

    So that got me thinking again (twice in one day, really scary now) Why not get a .357 magnum barrel for it. I can use that round for any game I hunt around here. The recoil for that round in a rifle would be negligible. I own a few guns in that caliber and have ammo on had for it. I can shoot .38 special out of it for plinking and small game hunting provided I use fmj rounds. Also I can shoot it a lot more often than I do my other hunting rifles. Seems like a good idea to me. So off it goes to H&R and a few weeks later I get this back.

    [​IMG]


    The first thing I noticed is this gun is heavy! The barrel is the next best thing to a "heavy barrel" and weights a ton. It's muzzle heavy but not in a bad way if you know what I mean, it swings and tracks the target. If it was a shotgun it might be described as being lively. The next thing I discovered was that the butt stock is way to long for me. I have a shorter than average length of pull (don't judge me!) of around 11 inches. This thing was better than 14 inch. How I failed to noticed this when I was shooting the shotgun barrel I can only ascribe to the fact that it was knocking me silly every time I fired it.

    So I was off to my woodshop (i.e. my basement) and in short order I had a gun I could mount and shoot in comfort and ease.

    [​IMG]

    Now this is where you fine folks come in. I would like your input as to how I should mod this into a bushcrafting firearm extraordinaire! You advise me on what to do (and most likely how to do it) And I shall post the results. I've already made one post asking for help and advice on replacing the butt plate with more to follow.

    I hope this can be a fun and instructive project (if only to instruct on what not to do) for us all.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Taliesin

    Taliesin Guide

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    The first thing I would is see what it would take to add iron sights to it. That's a must have option for me on a rifle. Next I would consider a sling. You also might want to consider adding a leather shell holder to the butt. If the stock has a hollow space, you might also want to consider putting together a small survival kit for storage there. Another thing I see lots of people doing is personalizing their rifles like the Indians used to do, but adding brass tacks and such to the wood. That can look really cool!!!

    Congrats on the new rifle!!! And good luck with whatever upgrades you decide on!!!
     
  3. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    It's truely a wonder why they don't provide that barrel with iron sights, and provide the drilled holes for the rail.

    Anyway I like adding sling mounts, as well as the stock cuff ammo carrier.

    With the scope mounted , you might also want a Hammer spur extention.....available from the same place as the barrel.

    Congrats on a wise choice.
     
  4. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    I would like to add an aperture sight to it but to tell the truth what with my advancing age and poor eye sight I might be better served with a red dot sight. A leather shell holder with a place for a nice folder is a good idea, as is a in-stock survival kit. As for a sling I had thought about using a tie on sling that mates to a set on hold not unlike the lanyard holes on a knife. I am not a fan of the brass tacks look if only because a number of other folks have already done that.
     
  5. go2ndamend

    go2ndamend Scout

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    I like all of the recommended additons so far. I am looking forward to following this thread. On one of my "bushcraft" guns, I have an altoids PSK in a pouch attached to the sling. On another one, I have a ferro rod and a Buck Hartsook knife attached to the sling also. There's no end to it, just be creative and enjoy it! Also, a couple of my firearms have the ammo carrier slings which I like. On my H&R that lives in my ranch truck, I have a butt stock ammo carrier which sees a lot of use. It is nylon one which I end up replacing every couple of years as it stretches out. I would like to try a leather one at some point.
     
  6. Kurt992

    Kurt992 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    If you end up trying out brass plate for the butt, you could use some of the brass for an inlay. I bought a Thompson Center muzzle loader and the previous owner had inlaid a hunters star out of brass. Looks really good.

    Cool project by the way. I like the choice of caliber. I will be following to see how it turns out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  7. SimplyMichael

    SimplyMichael Banned Member Banned

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    I would find a decent machinist and have them reprofile the barrel to a tapered octagon to save a ton of weight or get a gunsmith to throw it in a lathe and thin that barrel down, its HUGE.

    It would double the cost of the gun but express sights would look cool.

    Okay, you asked about buttplates. Thick brass would look cool and just use the original as a template. Center punch the screw holes. Clamp the plate and drill the through hole. Then before you unclamp it and move anything, use a countersink to put the relief in for the screw. Repeat for the second hole. Then screw the blank to the stock and scribe out your layout lines and rough cut the shape. Now take three layers of masking tape to the wood, screw the butt to the stock and using a single cut mill file, draw file it to shape with just a tiny amount of taper so as you cut the profile and get close to the tape, you have very little brass left proud from the wood.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  8. SimplyMichael

    SimplyMichael Banned Member Banned

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    I just had to...this is NOT my work and way finer than I am capable of but THIS is a buttplate!
    skeleton-1.jpg
     
  9. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    Man that is nice but it's a bit much for the "poor boy rifle" look I'm going for. :)
     
  10. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Supporter Supporter

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    +1 on adding iron sights & sling. I would have the barrel fluted to reduce weight, which should also increase stiffness.

    I would NOT hang a bunch of stuff on a light-weight rifle and make it heavy! Instead, slide a 6-round bullet holder on your belt (offhand side), along with a leather pouch for your PSK - Rather than hanging them on your rifle. :3:
     
  11. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Supporter Supporter

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    +1 on adding iron sights & sling. I would have the barrel fluted to reduce weight, which should also increase stiffness.

    I would NOT hang a bunch of stuff on a light-weight rifle and make it heavy! Instead, slide a 6-round bullet holder on your belt (offhand side), along with a leather pouch for your PSK - Rather than hanging them on your rifle. You did say you wanted a bushcraft rifle...Not a "survival" rifle. :3:
     
  12. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    What are you guys think about installing a brass compass in a gun stock?
     
  13. almac

    almac Scout

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    i would've kept it as a 12 gauge.
    IMO the 12ga is more versatile in uses, and ammunition can be reloaded easily.
    want to hund birds? no problem with#7 shot. want to hunt deer? no problem with slugs.

    adding a compass to the stock would be interesting... i believe 'track of the wolf' sell nice brass ones for reasonable prices.

    as for 'adding more things to the gun itself? maybe a stock ammo pouch and good sling. i prefer a pouch over an ammo sleeve type because i can put other things into it like hunting lisences, etc.

    have fun with your rifle. ;)
     
  14. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    If you will put a Pachmayr -or other- recoil pad on the but, and cut the wood more to keep the same length of pull, I think you will find the gun much more controllable with 12 gauge loads. The fit of the gun makes a lot of difference in the felt recoil. And, for most brush foraging, the light field loads do just fine.

    As for using the rifle conversion- I would, as others have said, want the iron sights, and I would add a sling swivel set and a butt cuff to hold extra rounds.

    That is about all I would do. (Might have the SG barrel shortened a bit- to 20 inches. Makes a handy carry gun that way. )
     
  15. ron d

    ron d Scout Bushclass I

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    I have the same model.

    I added a limbsaver pad and a paracord sling. The pad made shooting the 12 ga. much more enjoyable. I also bought a 20 ga. adapter from gunadapter.com, makes it more versatile.

    I also re-finshed the stock, mine kinda looked like they used gravy not stain.

    There great shotguns, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

    ron d
     
  16. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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    I would recommend you cut the barrel down to 16.5" (16" the legal minimum .5 over to be safe). From my research I found that the powder contained in the 357 magnum cartridge to burned up in 16" so anything longer besides providing a longer sight radius (moot point with a red-dot sight) is adding friction which actually slows the bullet down (though not enough to matter realistically). Make your rifle lighter and handier especially in thick cover. I would also add sling studs. The sling mount for the forward sling attachment I would recommend one that attached to the barrel. Finally add a inexpensive ammo butt cuff to keep rounds handy. My Rossi single shot I had the barrel cut down from 23" to 16.25", and I love it this way, my most used hunting rifle for several years, SO much fun to shoot.

    Sling hardware for butt stock, and barrel
    [​IMG]

    My shorty Rossi 357
    [​IMG]
     
  17. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    Can't remember the name of the company right now, but someone makes a very nice receiver sight that clamps to a Weaver base. As I recall, the sight would cost about as much as your original shotgun, but it's an option. The nice thing about this set up is you could probably store it (pre-zeroed) in the hollow of your buttstock (under whatever buttplate/pad you ultimately install) as a back up to your optical sight. Then, of course, you'd still have the expense of drilling/tapping the muzzle and adding a front sight. If it's legal in your state, the .357 carbine, properly loaded, makes a pretty nice deer rifle. .38 Spl. loads would certainly make for a versatile small game getter, as well. Cool project!

    PC
     
  18. Bartnmax

    Bartnmax Scout

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    Ok, first thing I would do is get a decent recoil fitted to the butt.
    Make sure the length of pull is right & the recoil pad can only be a positive thing, either with rifle or shotgun barrel.

    Then I'd definitely add a couple of sling swivels & a sling, + a buttstock cartridge holder.

    Next thing I would do is work on that rifle barrel.
    It needs to be lighter for starters so I'd look at either having it re-profiled or fluted.
    It also needs decent sights.
    Personally I'd look at having a gunsmith fit a foresight & then match it with a williams type peep rear sight.
    Accurate yet fast to get on target.

    I'd also revisit the 12ga barrel.
    If you had recoil problems then the problem doesn't necessarilly lie with the gun but the loads being used in it.
    Simply put - go lighter. A 1oz or even 7/8oz load will make the world of difference. Basically it's replicating the std 20ga load in a 12ga barrel.
    You simply don't need ounce & a quater loads at 1400 fps to hunt everything.
    A lighter load that you can shoot well & comfortably is infinately better than a heavy load you can't handle.
    I have had a H&R 12 ga for many years (came down from my Grandfather) so I know exactly what you're saying about punishing recoil.
    Going lighter makes these guns a totally different proposition. For anything larger you've always got that rifle barrel to fall back on anyway.
     
  19. Don'tkillbill

    Don'tkillbill Scout

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    It is a nice shotgun so I wouldn't mess up the wood. If your going to use it with slugs etc I would get sights and then a nice leather sling and maybe a leather wrap for the buttstock. I think you can get one with pouch so you can carry a firesteel and compass along with a few rounds.
     
  20. SlayerOfBunnies

    SlayerOfBunnies Guide

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    I love those little H&R (or NEF) single-shots. I've had a couple in 12ga and have left them like I found them. They shoot great and weigh very little - good for bunnies and so forth.

    Converted to rifle though, I'd say keep it simple and cheap - sling, iron sights (ghost ring int the back, ideally), and I do like the notion of chopping the barrel down a bit (legally, of course).


    ---

    Beckerhead #42
     
  21. Juice

    Juice Scout

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    I have been wanting a .357 barrel for awhile. But the no iron sights really kills it for me.
     
  22. gdpolk

    gdpolk Guide

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    I'd give it the following and be done with it:
    1. Trigger tune
    2. Basic iron sights or maybe a peep sight
    3. Light weight sling with a couple loops for ammo - maybe something like the neoprene Butler Creek sling
     
  23. Yellow Lab

    Yellow Lab Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have a 20ga that is a beginning project for me.

    Yellow Lab NEF Pardner 20ga SB1 with buttstock shell holder.jpg Yellow Lab NEF Pardner 20ga SB1 with buttstock shell holder pic 2.jpg

    I added something like this to the buttstock:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Airsoft-Rif...933?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2286bbf5

    It is for airsoft and I decided to give it a try. It fits pretty well. It has rifle and shotgun shell holders included. I am going to add an Altoid tin fire fit in the pouch.

    Now if I really wanted to add to the overall capability I would need to get this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Butt-Stock-...566?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4abb995ec6

    :55:

    I agree with the sling and this will be the next thing I add to it. Adding sights may take some doing but I definitely like the .357 mag barrel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  24. SimplyMichael

    SimplyMichael Banned Member Banned

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    I found a company that makes lots of custom H&R wood, from fancy...
    handifiddle.jpg

    To historical, this is their version of H&R's buffalo gun/sharps look for only $30!..
    oddsbufclassic.jpg

    And then a bit more modern Choate makes light thimbholes that and forends that have storage!
    Survivor_Stock_Forend.jpg
     
  25. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Thanks for posting, I book marked it.


    NOTE TO ALL... Monte Carlo high/comb stocks can't be used for shot gun or rifles with iron sights.....you can't get your face down on them far enough to see the sights.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  26. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    I want to thank you all for your posts and please keep em coming. There is a ton of good ideas to be found here.

    One of the things that is limiting me is the lack of desire to drop any more serious money on this gun. The .357 barrel cost more than the shotgun itself. If I take it to a gunsmith and have the barrel fluted or lighted it will up the cost even more and start me to thinking that perhaps I should have saved my money and bought a lever gun in .357 instead. Also part of making it a "bushcraft gun" in my mind it doing the work myself. Making do with what I have or can get via trade without throwing money at the gun. I want this to be a gun that is my gun. A gun a can carry daily when I'm out and about on the property. A gun to make stories with. I'm not sure if I'm saying this correctly or getting what I mean across but I hope you get the gist of it.


    I was also wondering what do you guys think of putting Mannlicher style sling swivels on this? Do you think they would be too bulky? One other thing does anyone know of a good leather tie on rifle sling?


    I was shooting 1oz #8 light target loads out of it. I bought a bunch a few years back at the end of the season and use it for all my 12ga blasting needs (mostly soda cans and trees that give me the stink eye) and save my beloved #4 low brass shells for the bunnies and birds I hunt. I can shoot my other shotguns without undue pain but this gun is of too light weight for me to shoot and enjoy with the 12ga barrel on it. If I had gotten it a few years back I would have most likely would have just shot it without comment.



    Believe it or not for a gun that started out as a shotgun (or any gun for that matter) it has a fantastic trigger! I breaks like glass at a tad under 6 lbs with no creep at all. It is literally better than 95% of the rifle triggers I have ever seen.




    I have given thought to cutting it down myself to 17" but I question my ability to re-crown the barrel after cutting it down.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  27. 1773

    1773 Scout

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    I have a handi-rifle as well. Mine started out as a 308 and has since gotten a 12 gauge and 357 barrel. I found 2 solutions to the 12 gauge recoil issue. First I added lead shot to the stock which really dampened the recoil but it also killed the handling of the shotgun as it went from a nice lively 6lb gun to a rear heavy 9 pound gun which for me was unacceptable as it was difficult to hunt with as it made the front end "whippy" when you were swinging it. So back to the drawing board, I put a Simms recoil pad on it and took the shot out. It made it a new gun, basically the recoil with 1 1/4 ounce 3 1/4 dram hunting loads was like a 20 gauge dove load. It added only ounces to the weight of the shotgun and I once again had a lively hunting gun that I could shoot without getting beat up. Other than that the only thing I have done to mine is add a sling (it came with swivels) and spray paint it camo as the original finish left a lot to be desired, I bought it used and the previous owner had not cared for the gun at all and since the 308 barrel needed painting I just did them all so the gun would "match". My 357 barrel is one of the older ones that came with iron sights but it is still a heavier contour barrel.
     
  28. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    You don't happen to know off hand how much your weights with this barrel on do you?
     
  29. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Gloomhound, I think you are wise to leave it pretty much as is was with a couple of personnel touches.

    As this is to be a knock around carry, why spend the money?....better spent on a specialized hunting or target shooting platform.

    That what they were designed for, a truck gun, beside the door gun, barn gun.

    They are inexpensive, simple, sturdy....a tool as it were.....Handi Rifles are just that , Handy.

    They are not stop sign guns as they will recoil, so you end up only shooting at stuff that needs shooting.

    My original Single shot was a Crescent Arms 12, and came with a 2 shell limit....you bring something home, you get two more.
    The NEF/H&R are pretty much a new version of an old proven design.....and has been around for a long time.

    My complements on trying your personnel improvements, easier to chop into a $100 gun that say a $600 buck gun....and know what is practical.....Congrats man, on useing your head.
     
  30. churro

    churro Scout

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    I would have gotten a turkey or slug barrel in 12 gauge with iron sights, or just some iron sights, then gotten one of the many drop-in adapters to take it from 12 g to .357, .22, whatever. I've never tried these things, but have seen a few good reviews around. Here's a link to one company- I'm not endorsing them, just providing a visual-aid. Seems like a cheaper way to gain some flexibility, though maybe at the cost of accuracy. Has anybody out there tried these adapters?

    http://www.gaugemate.com/

    EDIT- a little poking around reveals that my way may not be cheaper, after all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  31. SimplyMichael

    SimplyMichael Banned Member Banned

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    Threads tend to take on a life of there own and I tend ti like underdog guns.

    SOOO...back to your original question, brass buttplate and a brass compass inlaid in the,stock would be cool and cheap. I would make sure the compass is a size you can get,a forsner bit to cut,the opening as inlaying round things is a bitch.

    You talked about getting a red dot. Good choice and you can.mount it on.other guns so it can be versatile.

    Dont do anything else but buy ammo and shoot it!
     
  32. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Just a thought......If you call the guys at the barrel accessory program.....ask them if a .357 barrel is available with the open sights....sometime a little conversation get you where you need to go.

    http://www.hr1871.com/Support/accessoryProgram.asp

    In 2005 I started on my Handi project, and was lusting after a .35 cal Whelen Barrel, but didn't buy one at the time.
    Ordered 10 different barrels instead.

    So when the time came to go for that .35 Whelen, was listed as no longer available, and a few other calibers and shot gun barrels disappeared as well....Like the 16 ga barrel.

    So when I found a new in the box, but not sold .204 Ruger....and decided to go for the 30-30, .357 barrels I asked about the .35 Whelen and was told that there were a few around, and they would be back listed again....as Limited stock.....so added that to my order as well.

    When the .35 whelen barrel showed up after fitting, was all dusty, and dirty....must have been sitting there the whole time....but as the company has changed hands a couple of times, don't know about location, and employees....must have gotten "Lost" in the process....with a gentle reminder...There one was.

    BTW most all barrels are the same outside contour as they use a couple of standard fore arms, and don't need to fit each caliber.,,,witch some exceptions as Muzzeloader and bull barrel shotgun...come with their own.

    Lesson learned is that all variations are not always list on their web page.....ask, discuss, you never know what you might come up with.
     
  33. mario

    mario Scout

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    central NY
    Didn't know you could put a pistol barrel on the shotgun frames. Will have to look into that.

    Mine is a 12ga and with back problems, the recoil does suck. Even with the Limbsaver (which does help), I'll likely get a 20ga barrel for it.

    AFA your .357. I require iron sights for all my rifles. Most gun companies realize that 91.7263% of people will mount a scope and never use them, so they don't bother with the added expense.

    I don't hang a bunch of gear off of any of my guns, except for a sling. I don't use buttstock ammo holders as they keep me from shooting left handed if/when needed.

    Mario
     
  34. holeymoley

    holeymoley Tracker

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    I love the idea of a single shot 357 magnum. If you would like Graybeard outdoors has alot of fellows with thje same affliction. You might get alot of good ideas there.
     
  35. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Point of clarification "pistol Caliber barrels" rifle length.....357, .44 mag and Muzzleloader, as it a SB1 reciever.
    If it's an old shotgun need to call and see if they will fit your reciever....goes by serial number.
     
  36. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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  37. Hit or Miss

    Hit or Miss Tracker

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    Brass butt plate and a good sling would take that gun a long ways. I'd maybe consider a butt cuff to hold some extra ammo and a offset thumb stud for the hammer. Down the road, if you reload ammo, the only thing I would consider would possibly be a chamber ream to .357 maximum, that would really stretch out the potential of the gun.

    I have a Buffalo Carbine in .45 Colt and it's the bee's knees with a nice peep sight from Skinner Sights. Easy to carry and puts the hammer on deer with 300 grain bullets.
     
  38. JLPettimore

    JLPettimore Supporter Supporter

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    all that bird shot and a finger on the trigger... is is another one of Dog the Bounty Hunter's sons?

    anyway- nice concept for the rifle, I would be afraid to lighten it up too much then you're right back where you started recoil wise.
    a 44 mag is nice in that package as well- mags or specials and big ole cheap lead bullets are heck on a white tail.
     
  39. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    You are well on your way to a fine woods bumming gun, I have a single shot Savage Stevens made in the late '70's, and I love it, like you mentioned, it's a great little carry gun, mine is a 12ga. also and with a full choke barrel it makes for a great squirrel and rabbit gun, and works well on upland birds as well.
    I never thought much of single shot shotguns as serious hunting tools, being a hunter most of my life I've mostly used my Browning A-5's, sidexsides or O/U shotguns, but when I started to incorporate it with bushcrafting that changed, I agree with you that a light single shot shotgun kicks the hell out of you, especially one that doesn't sport a thick recoil pad.
    Now I'm enjoying the heck out of mine, taking small game with no problem, and nowhere near as much recoil and muzzle blast as when I first used it.
    Here's what I did to tame the recoil and make my little single shot a joy to carry and use, first off I'm a life long reloader so that helps, I also shoot trap, skeet, and sporting clays, and in an effort to save money I cut my loads down from 1-1/8 ounces of shot to 1 ounce, and cut my powder charge down by five grains, all by the book (manual).
    I haven't noticed any change in my scores ie. I'm still shooting my share of perfect 25's, so cutting back on the load hasn't made a difference in my breaking birds.
    So for the single shot, I bought some 3/4 ounce wads, kept my powder charge the same and loaded my low brass shells with #6 shot, at the trap field I was still able to break birds, but the felt recoil was only about half of that felt with the 12ga. hunting loads that I had been using, the next test was trying the reduced power loads on tree rats, they are harder to kill that bunnies, I shot at three Gray Squirrels and got one shot kills on all three at a distance of from 20 yds to 35 yds.
    My suggestion is if you don't reload, you may want to give it a try, if not find a friend who reloads 12ga. shot shells, buy a bag of wads, a small bag of #6 shot and pay him to load you some low powered ammo for small game and close up birds, you may find that your new bushcraft gun will get twice a versatile as you expected it to be, and that 12ga. barrel won't be gathering dust in a closet.
     
  40. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    This is how much I've taken off the buttstock.


    SAM_0002.jpg
     
  41. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    Priced brass today.....don't think I'll be using any on this project!
     
  42. demonfurbie

    demonfurbie Scout

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    check ebay for sheet brass and you can cut it to fit your self

    i called them the other day and the guy suggested i look at the 410/45 barrel for mine, and i think ill get that one . i do love 357 but i want it in a lever
     
  43. Bartnmax

    Bartnmax Scout

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    Ok, most likely it's not a weight related issue so much as a poor fitting job that's making it uncomfortable to shoot, although weight could have a bearing on it as well.
    The std H&R butt stock is pretty poorly designed IMO & can kick the crap out of a lot of people.

    I learned to shoot with my Granfather's H&R when I was 9 yo (I'm now 51). He only ever used Eley Maximums (1 1/8 oz)in size 3 shot.
    Used to get kicked so bad I often had a blood nose after 1/2 a dozen shots with it.
    I still have that gun (was passed down to me & is now 78 yo - same age as my father).
    It's still in perfect working order (albeit a bit loose now) & still has a fair amount of the original blueing on the action.
    Barrel is in perfect condition, as is the rest of the gun with the exception of a few dents & scratches on the wood work.
    These days I only use it with 7/8oz #5s for easy, short strolls around the opaddocks, doin' some light 'bunny bustin'.

    Anyway, I'd look at having a cheek piece inserted into ther butt stock which will not only improve the fit but also add a bit more weight.
    I would definitely NOT shorten the barrel because that's only going to remove weight & combined with increased muzzle blast/flip will almost certainly make the gun even more uncomfortable to shoot.
    Going 20 ga also isn't the answer as the std 20 ga load is 1 oz anyway & the smaller dia barrel is usually lighter than the 12, so you'll effectively only end up shooting the same loads in a lighter gun by going 20ga which won't help at all.

    If it's uncomfortable to shoot then there's two parts to the solution (well three - but you're already shooting light weight loads, although you could downsize further to 7/8oz which might help a bit more).
    The first is to improve the fit of the gun. Best bet there is to go with either a cheek piece insert, slip on cheeck piece, of if you want to go the whole hog get a new butt stock with cheek piece incorperated.
    The second is to add weight to absorb recoil. Often many butt stocks are hollow. Remove the butt plate & check it out. If there is any hollowing in there then you can add some bagged lead shot to increase the weight, although you've got to realise that it'll shift the balance of the gun back a bit & change the handling characteristics a bit. The other way to increase the weight is to use a slip on cartridge holder. That'll effectively add around 5-6oz of weight to the butt when fully loaded.

    So, it's eaither increase the weight/fit of the gun in order to fire the loads comfortably that you're currently using, or decrease the loads to make them manageable to shoot in the gun as it is at the moment, or a combination of both.
    If the gun fits well, has sufficient weight, & is shooting reltively light weight loads, & is still uncomfortable to shoot, then I would definitely not go down the road of mods that will reduce weight even further, or reducing barrel length which will increase muzzle blast/flip. If all else fails maybe that gun just aint for you.
     
  44. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    Well I have decided to go with plan "E" in regards to the butt plate. The materials I tried did not work out in a fashion that I was happy with (including some kydex that Kurt992 was so very kind to send me.) and since I'm too cheap to spend the money I would need to get brass of a size and thickness in would like to use. So I have decided to just re install the butt plate that came with the gun and grind it down to size. :30:

    SAM_0002.jpg

    In this photo you can see with it looked like when I was done with the rough filing.

    SAM_0003.jpg

    Here you can get an idea of the amount of butt plate I had to file away. I wish I had taken a before picture. :(

    In any case I will try and work on this some more when I get home from work.
     
  45. chiefs50

    chiefs50 Banned Member Banned

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    I too would cut the barrel down to 16.5" and have it re-crowned. It will lighten the gun and give you a nice, handy, carbine. You don't have to worry about muzzle rise or back flip with the It is more than enough barrel for the .357 Mag. and you can do it yourself or have a machinist do it pretty inexpensively. A Red Dot will work nicely and is probably cheaper than going with good aperture sights. I would definitely add a sling and perhaps a slip on ammo sleeve. I wouldn't do anything else if it were mine. You don't need any bling on a bushcraft gun. .357 as it is a real pussy cat in a barrel that length/weight. I think you did the smart thing using the original buttplate/grinding it down to fit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  46. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I know what you mean about spending money on the gun. I recently did the opposite; I started with a 20 GA and talked myself into sending it in for a 12 GA barrel. Like you I found the 12 GA to be a handful with my shoulder problems. I am back to the 20 with a 12 gauge barrel, that cost more than the original gun, sitting in the corner.
    I put sling swivels on mine, and called it good. I wanted a light gun and did not see any need adding anything that made it heavy. I did purchase a 20 to .410 adapter that I like, and a 20 to 22 LR that I do not think much of. If I do anything else with my 20 it would be to have the fixed choke bored out and tapped for choke tubes.
    You could have the 12 gauge barrel back bored to lengthen the forcing cones in it, that and some work on reloads and you should be able to find a easier recoiling set up.
     
  47. GittinSkinny

    GittinSkinny Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Skinner sights

    +1 on skinner sights. http://www.skinnersights.com/page_16.html
     
  48. swissarmy67

    swissarmy67 Scout

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    We make a nice peep sight also. You will have to figure out the front yourself as the H&R guns have too many barrel diameters to mess with.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  49. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    yes, you DO make a nice peep. i've seen 'em on greybeard ...
     
  50. gloomhound

    gloomhound Guide

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    Oh my!

    That is very, very, VERY nice indeed!

    I would love to have a set of those but alas I am poor. :(
     

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