What is the big deal about Nef and H&R single shots in Bushcraft?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by prairieofthedog, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. plumberoy

    plumberoy Guide

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    It is because in bushcrafting hunting is not our primary goal . What I call woods bumming you carry a gun a lot and shoot a little . A H&R fits that role nicely . I happen to shoot my camo H&R full choke 12 gauge better than any other shot gun I have.
     
  2. MandrakeRoot

    MandrakeRoot Supporter Supporter

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    First shotgun I ever fired was a single shot 20 gauge that belongs to a very good friend of mine. The same gentleman was also responsible for my first hunting experience. First squirrel hunting, in which I used his .22 while he used the 20 gauge, then deer hunting. He used his 30-30 and I finally got some alone time with what was the coolest gun in the world to me, the single shot shotgun. It was passed to him from his father, and it just felt like it had a million stories in it.

    That's why it's my favorite gun. I could give 2 shits about what Dave Canterbury thinks of it, or any hipster bushcrafter wannabe that thinks he's cool in his red check plaid, neatly trimmed beard, $400 knife and SS shotgun.

    Because when it comes down to it, a real woodsman, a real hunter doesn't need anything fancy, he just needs a tool to get the job done.
     
  3. Swampyankee101

    Swampyankee101 Scout

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    They are simple and rugged. Plus very easy to convert to a smaller gauge with an insert. A nice light 20 ga will take a .410 insert and you have a very nice set up for birds and squirrel.
     
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  4. bluecow

    bluecow Scout

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    No. H&R /NEF was bought out by big green when Remington got its dirty hands on Marlin. they discontinued H&R/NEF as they already had a ss imported from russia. the ss should have gone the way of the passenger pigeon and at about the same time, or so one might think. there will always be a place for a simple, light, low $, easy to use shotgun. i've used sxs ou autos, bolts and pumps, these days i happy to sit on a stone wall in the woods with the leaves blowing smoking my pipe. bird or hare is an extra bonus and a ss works just fine for what i need.
     
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  5. Wasp

    Wasp Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    You also can't pack a bolt action like you can a single shot.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Supporter Supporter

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    Big deal about NEF single shots for bushcrafters? They're cheaper than bushcraft knives of course:) lol

    My first gun was a Stevens 20ga Single shot. Got quite a few squirrels with it, and it will do the same for my boy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  7. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    The old 1900 is a nice looking single, I agree :dblthumb:

    I liked the bilateral opening lever on the old Stevens guns, and can work with the right-hinged levers on most double guns, but I honestly find the push-button, H&R style release faster & easier to use - this, despite using my left hand to operate things.

    People like to pick on the wood-to-metal fit of the H&R/NEF guns, but I never found that to affect function or handling. The guns work & shoot well from what I've seen, and, at least up until the last few production years, you got a nice case-hardened receiver or a nickel-plated one if you bought a Topper :dblthumb:
    Some of the Remington-made H&Rs may have been "clunky" (while also suffering from poor QC and significantly higher pricing), but I don't recall any Gardner, MA guns I've handled being that way...

    Having had two Baikal MP-18s, I can say they are superior to the H&Rs in two ways, and two ways only. They feature a quick-release fore end & have that neat, sometimes-functional, selective ejection/extraction switch :D The Russkies have heavy triggers, and an oddly long trigger reach compounded by a somewhat awkward crossbolt safety apparatus - there is enough space between the trigger blade and the safety for me to reach across and disengage it with my left (shooting) hand & not endanger the 'bang switch' :rolleyes: :D In typical Russian fashion, the Baikals are roughly hewn, stiff operating, and contain more sharp edges than is normal for such guns in my experience. With better sights, ergonomics, and maybe a tang safety, I think the solid, little Russians would be great, but I've found the H&Rs and other outside hammer single shots easier to use overall.

    I like single shots, both rifle & shotgun, having started out on - and taken the most game with - such types :dblthumb: I have a special affection for them, but like to shoot & hunt with all types; I've hunted with O/U, SXS, semi-auto, and pump shotguns & enjoyed them all....I'd like to spend more time with some autoloaders in the future, and would certainly take a Henry leveraction .410 afield if someone would give me one to try out :D :dblthumb:

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
  8. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Only SS I own is a Gamo Magnum .22cal springer. It kills squirrels just as dead. Heck, it can take out a pig at 25yds.

    Ammo is cheap and SUPER light. Just need a little pellet loading pen and come home with meat for the pot.
     
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  9. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    Sometimes I don’t take the mrods d in the tractor or wheel barrow sometimes it’s a 50 dollar nitro at around 1000 fps with 1/3 cent lead pellets . Excellent low cost solution
     
  10. drobs

    drobs Scout

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    I'm blame this guy for me buying a single shot 12ga H&R.

     
  11. scottman

    scottman Guide

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  12. drobs

    drobs Scout

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    I might have a H&R single shot 12ga for sale in December. Don't think I'm going to purposely fire that one ever again.
    Kicks like a mule.
     
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  13. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Hmmmm... the firearms equivalent of a basic Mora knife.
     
  14. ManyHammers

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    I enjoy the simplicity of the H&R.
     
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  15. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    It's like canvas and leather.... wooden cups, and wall tents... people just like them. I have one. It was my first firearm, a 20ga youth model. It was my first firearm because it was $75. I don't use it anymore, but I still have it. I find a 12ga pump with 28" barrel and removable choke tubes to be far more versatile... The single shots are fun for squirrel or bunny hunting though. It's all I ever used until I was 18, it worked. but now that I have an auto .22lr, a mag fed bolt action 308, and a pump 12ga, I have not used it in at least a couple years, and the last time that I did, it was just for fun.

    As far as simplicity... don't ever take the trigger and action mechanism apart. And if a part breaks, and you are not a blacksmith or machinist, good luck. The progression photos show the hammer in different cocking and firing positions, and how the inner workings correlate with those positions.
    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/what-an-nef-break-action-looks-like-inside.168291/




    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    Speak for yourself! :)

    Hunting and fishing is my primary goal, "bushcrafting" is a result or side product of those activities. I'm hunting somewhere, so I camp there. I'm fishing somewhere, so I camp there. Im trapping, so I look for sign , etc etc... Although I still maintain and use all the woodsman-like skills in my daily activities in the woods, river, creek, ditch, farm, shop, etc -- I rarely just go out in the woods anymore to make a fire and sit under a tarp for no reason, not that there is anything wrong with that at all, by any means, at all.... but it's just not how my life has been working the past few years.
     
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  17. jstert

    jstert Tracker

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    my journey into h&r/nef singles started not as a kid but when i retired early from an overseas career in the midst of the anti2a obama era. my reasons: handy. lightweight (good as 20 and 410, not so for 12). chamber adaptors. swapable barrels, stocks, forends. found cheap used (then) and little abused. simple manual of arms. easy to keep safe (open action secured with a short combo cable lock to prevent closure). perfectly unobtrusive trunk or household gun, politically correct everywhere in north america.
     
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  18. swissarmy67

    swissarmy67 Scout

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    Every damn time. The recocking procedure on a Contender is just silly o_O

    What I like is the simplicity, combined with modern manufacturing.


    There are tons of old single shots out there. But they have questionable strength, lots of wear, and parts are hard to come by for some models.

    Take a look at the firing pin on a Savage 219/220 and tell me you'd rather have it over the H&R/NEF.
     
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  19. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    I have both a pump 12 ga & a SS H&R. I like them both for different things. The ability to have a follow up shot(s) for water fouling & pheasant hunting is pretty important to me, so the pump fits the bill. But the SS is much lighter and more comfortable to carry, and I can get it on target like I can point my finger. Its a great small game gun, and I still use it a lot. My SS also has a rifled slug barrel so its my deer gun as well, although you sure know your shooting something when you crank off a 3in mag sabot.
    Like 556mp mentioned, I don't really go out in the woods just to bum around, if I do its usually on a walk with my wife, and a handgun on my hip is more than sufficient in the event we interrupt a meth-head busy in a cook. My firearms are for hunting (mostly) and the SS has its own place.
     
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  20. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    my pdws are lighter and legal to carry a lot of places. My single shot 12 weighs 5 pounds isn't legal to carry concealed ammo is heavy recoil is stout. I havent real ly taken my singles out in a while
     
  21. oldpinecricker

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    I find them overly complicated compared to things like my Mausers, Ruger GSR and pump shotguns.

    Nothing wrong with H&R singles if one chooses to use, but they're not the end all be all.
     
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  22. randyt

    randyt Guide

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    dance with who you are with
     
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  23. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    but we do have a choice of what partners we take out
     
  24. randyt

    randyt Guide

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    usually yes
     
  25. 6gun

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    I love my single shots for a variety of reasons. I can choose any firearm I want to take to the woods but most of the time, my long-arm is a SS of some variety. As far as the comment of trading up to anything else. I've traded repeaters for SS several times.
     
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  26. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Not quite sure what you mean there buddy...o_O :33: Getting the bolt in or out of a '98 Mauser is more complicated (and requires much more dexterity) than any & all actions involved in running an H&R-style single shot - or at least that has been my experience :D In addition, every pump shotgun I've fired has at one point or another suffered a malfunction (user induced or otherwise); in quite a few years of shooting H&Rs, I've never seen or experienced a functional failure I can recall....until this year, I'd never heard of - much less seen - the supposedly rampant transfer bar failures attributed to these guns o_O
    Otherwise, I understand your point clearly and can generally agree :dblthumb:

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 1:47 PM
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  27. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    were you loading the pump one round at a time? ;)
    my favorite single doesnt have a hammer just a safety.

    my hs12 has a different safety but pretty easy to use to o
     
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  28. Gii shi kan dug

    Gii shi kan dug Supporter Supporter

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    I kept expecting the Road Runner to come running past the camera.
    The ACME pathfinder reloading kit.
    Beep Beep!!!!!
     
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  29. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    That's weird. I could have sworn I posted one of Dave's single shot videos earlier, but it might have been a similar thread.
    For sure. Single shots were never on my horizon until I saw the versatility DC was showing in using them as muzzle loaders, making your own ammo in the field, dropping a different caliber adapter into the barrel, all that good stuff that makes them so dang versatile. I have a few firearms, but none as versatile.
     
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  30. tcshooter

    tcshooter Supporter Supporter

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    I started hunting with an old single 410 of my dad's. Then be bought me a fancy stainless receiver folding 410 - then I graduated to an 870 in 12ga.
    Years later with my kids I started hunting with them with the H&R 20ga. because Indiana required a 20ga as a minimum for deer. I discovered muzzleloaders later and never went back to the shotgun/slug. Great little shotgun and at under $100 for a used one I didn't care about cutting down the stock to fit the kids.
    But, like has been said - lightweight, dependable, accurate - all you need.

    For 4 years I was a member of an Indiana hunting website. The members held a youth hunt weekend during the special early youth deer season. Every year I donated a New England 44mag. rifle to be given away in a drawing to one of the kids. I donated the rifle and the rest of the group put in to give a scope, sling, targets, ammo and more and have it scoped up and ready to hunt with that weekend. My 25 year old sone still has one I gave him and he still hunts with it in Indiana.
     
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  31. tcshooter

    tcshooter Supporter Supporter

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    Love the collection. I went away from the H&R/New England and went the way of Thompson Center.

    I am likely just like you - started with the ideology that I could get a replacement barrel on the cheap and have many more calibers...then I bought another gun...then another...then more barrels, then another gun...it's a disease...I swear it is...I can't seem to stop
     
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  32. plumberoy

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    There is always the exception to the rule:)
    Personally when it comes to my style of deer hunting I am fine with a single shot . I like to stalk the flats on the lee side below the ridge. You won't get a second shot . So a light short rifle with a lot of thump is more important than a second shot. 45/70 handi-rifle fits that niche perfect. I recently purchased one in 35 Whelen too
     
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  33. tranders

    tranders Tracker

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    I was always a H&R /NEF fan until my trigger bar safety broke on my H&R Topper 20 gauge. After taking apart the trigger group, my thoughts changed drastically. I now much prefer my Winchester 37 20 gauge when it comes to single shot shot guns for hunting.

    Having said this... I am a guy that detail strips my Glocks,1911s, and Perazzi shot gun on a normal basis.
     
  34. Seacapt.

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    The above pro/cons of the SS are quite interesting but I think the division has a lot to do with the generation gap or two. I believe more than a few over 55 respondents here in favor of them including me were probably brought up in a rural environment at a time when one parent income was the norm and before the days of credit card or home equity loans where household economics were taken seriously and nothing was bought until saved for, this included the usual household armory (working tools) of a SS shotgun, low caliber LA rifle and perhaps a low caliber revolver if you were fortunate which main purpose was to economically supplement the grocery budget with in season meat. Ammo was an added expense, the luxury of range and target shooting was limited to a few extra sight in shots the day before open deer season. A lot of us were limited to 2 shells and learned quickly you better come home with 1 shell or 2 game critters. These formative years taught us what could economically be done with the basics in life and have stuck with us through out our lives. The old SS Stevens and H&Rs are long gone but if not fortunate to still have family pass downs to use we can still use and relive those times with the modern day clones of same.
     
  35. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    Lynn Thompson in his never unarmed dvd has a good over view of single shots
     
  36. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    I believe part of the reason for the popularity is that there are lots of young people who have taken an interest in outdoorsy things that they had little exposure to growing up. That's not a slam, just fact.

    The single shot shotgun is a relatively inexpensive way to get started, it's easy to understand, operate and maintain. It's also fairly light and weight and "packability" are attractive to that particular consumer. There is a perceived durability/multi function element that is attractive to this group as well. Th “bushcraft knife” is a another example of this mind set, where multi functional trumps specific function like skinning or slicing.

    There is a new group of hunters who are not classic "gun people", they just want to be able to shoot some small game and see where it goes from there. They don't want a lot of things to choose from for each type of hunting but prefer a good "all arounder".

    There is often a logical progression for a "bushcrafter" to want to do a bit of hunting as it is recognized as important in a well rounded skill set. Being able to acquire some meat and hides while at the same time developing a desired skill is a different motivation from hunting as sport. The common posts regarding using all of the meat, "only shooting what you intend to eat" and tanning every hide possible are further evidence of this different mind set. A new hunter may end up recognizing how fun hunting is and may come to see it as a pleasurable sport but they are not as likely to start out there.

    Squirrels and rabbits often seem to be the popular bushcraft/hunter targets vs something like ducks where the benefits of a double or autoloading shotgun become readily apparent. The types of hunting require only a pocket full of shells and a gun are more attractive than a specialized type that may require more tools and investment. The single shot fits this role and meets the demands of this group well.

    And yes, I would agree that YouTube videos have had an impact on what is desirable as a bushcraft/woodsman all around firearm.

    I'm not saying its necessary a beginners gun but it has historically played that role more so from its affordability than anything. Nostalgia is another reason for a different group who are trying to simplify and go back to the things they remember using when they were young.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 8:30 AM
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  37. Squirrelhunter

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    Nope lol :D I've just seen (or maybe created, being the fumbled-fingered sort I am) numerous malfunctions when shooting & watching others shoot pumps. The biggest one I think is stovepiping, especially with empy hulls being ejected; it is easy to induce if you don't work the pump hard enough, or back quite all the way. Even if you do, it can still happen, as can shell feeding problems. My former Mossie 500, despite its dual extractors, would do it this, no doubt in part due to poor handling (stock length, pump reach, etc.) ergonomics. I've even seen the best shooter I know, with the best pump gun I've ever seen (a Hastan Escort), stovepipe an empty on a slight short-shuck. I like pumps, and rigorous practice can help deal with their quirks, but they aren't quite the paragon of shotgun reliability as is so often claimed - at least not in my experience.

    I love the idea of a hammerless single shot with a tang safety, but they are very few & far between. The Turks make some (the Yildiz guns sold by Academy Sports come to mind), but they are rare, and no one else currently offers such a setup to my knowledge...

    Either I've been very lucky over the years with these H&Rs (all the guns I've used had the transfer bar system I believe, and I've dry fired more than one) or this issue is quite recent - and possibly overblown to an extent as well :33:

    I do agree that such a problem sucks, and it is most certainly true that these guns, while they rarely fail (my father had to have the firing pin replaced on his old 20 gauge Topper Jr. but it may have already been busted when he bought the gun used many years ago...) are extremely difficult to work on if & when they do; as has been noted, they are put together so that they don't readily come apart for repair without specific tools and knowledge. Pretty much all double guns are the same way, and much more complicated internally than their simple operating nature & basic appearance would suggest.

    The only H&R/NEF transfer bar inccident I've experienced was due to factory error. I sent a pre-owned .17 HMR Sportster back to them for repair because the previous owner had done a trigger job which made for a very nice pull, but he apparently got it too light & I was experiencing chronic misfires as a result. The gun came back cured of that, but they had failed to 're-crimp' both ends of the roll pin that held the transfer bar in place, so the bar kept slipping out & blocking the hammer :rolleyes::mad: We couldn't fix it here on our own, despite my good buddy's best efforts, so back it went to H&R again. It came back properly crimped, and I had no more trouble, but as hard as these guns are to work on 'at home' I would have been SOL if it couldn't have been sent back to the factory; of course, the factory caused this particular problem by being unattentive, but the point is certainly a valid one :D

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 2:32 PM
  38. scottman

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    the hs12 has a tang safety and two choke tubes... one of my favorite single shots has a safety consistent with 870s

    here ya on the pump I wasn't trying to be a smart ass its just like my vz 58s w i t h large exposed breech. I can use them as single shots if i want.
     
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  39. swissarmy67

    swissarmy67 Scout

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    I'd really like to find a Beretta 412 20ga to replace the one I sold 30 years ago.

    They have style, and are quite simple on the inside.

    [​IMG]
     
  40. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    winner. can't really come apart too if y ou have to mellee and use it in y our other hand while your other goes for another weapon with more capacity or doesn t run on ammo.

    simple. sp are parts.
     
  41. swissarmy67

    swissarmy67 Scout

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    Other decent single shots are the Hatfield and the old FIE.

    I think the appeal of the NEF and Hatfield for many is the low price. A $100 shotgun is simply a gun you are not worried about scratching (or losing) while bumming. boating, or backpacking.

    FIE for reference.
    [​IMG]
     
  42. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Ah, so you have the Mossberg tactical O/U.....how do you like that?

    No problem :D :dblthumb: You can certainly single load most pumps (and many autos) easily enough, though I prefer a magazine cutoff for that - allows you to switch out rounds fairly quickly, say birdshot to slug or vice versa, all while not affecting your on-board magazine loadout. A number of autoloaders have these, but I think only the Benelli Nova does among pumps; Browning initally offered that feature on their BPS line, but now it is only featured on their Trap models.

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
  43. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Nice old single there :dblthumb: Looks to be a pre-Stoeger 'Boito' made by E.R. Amantino in Brazil; it is apparently still being made as the Reuna. I don't know how well this link will work (had to use Google translate to get English), but they have a pretty decent array of shotguns available down there: http://www.armasboito.com.br/files/file-60.pdf I wish they (Stoeger) still imported the Silverado Coach Gun, and maybe the double trigger variant of the Condor...

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
  44. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    image.jpeg image.jpeg
    They are nice singles. This one is in 20ga and below it is my beloved H&R Tamer 20ga. I like both of these a lot and they are my favorite single shot shotguns, but that H&R has not been reliable in the field and has gone done twice while out hunting grouse.
     
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  45. tcshooter

    tcshooter Supporter Supporter

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    That is the same kind of folding stainless receiver I got in .410 as my very first shotgun. Loved that thing. Killed a ton of squirrels with that little shotgun. If you ever want to part with that one....just holler
     
  46. tcshooter

    tcshooter Supporter Supporter

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    Yup - my first gun ever. And I see in the specs that it came in 24ga. That's hilarious because I had a 24ga. double one time. I thought it was a 28 but apparently it's some kind of European metric round or something??? Anyway - it was apparently shipped to the US by mistake and I ended up with it. Ended up selling it to a collector.
     
  47. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Nice looking pair there :dblthumb: What went wrong with the H&R if I may ask?

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
  48. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    Notice the large gap between barrel and frame. In snowy cold conditions it freezes the arm up solid. At first I thought it to be lubricant but it isn't. It was ice buildup.

    The Beretta 412 won't do this because there's zero gaps in the fitment and my Mausers and Ruger GSR also don't have this issue.

    After the third freeze up event happens in late grouse season I left the H&R home. To bad really because this is an favorite size shotgun that patterns well and shoots slugs very well.
     
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  49. scottman

    scottman Guide

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    My fav single doesn’t have that gap either
     
  50. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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    So is it ALL single shots you have a gripes about or just the H&R/NEF? I have owned and shot a Winchester model 37 in 12 gauge, a couple NEFs a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge, and a small frame 410 made by Rossi. I also own Winchester model 1300, and a Browning Citori O/U 20 gauge. They all have a purpose. My NEFs I like for trekking because it relatively lightweight and very rugged but very few times it will be actually shot. I have tried my NEF in a dove field, and when they are flying overhead the NEF can be slow to reload and kicks like a mule so what's bearable when shot just a couple times if at all trekking versus hundreds of round an afternoon can get pretty sore. NEF great truck gun, not so good dove gun but doable if need be.
     
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