Like most other gun people, I like to attend all of the gun shows I possibly can...

and every now and then, I find a gun I just can’t stop myself from buying.

A few months ago I was at one of the local gun shows, just walking up and down each aisle, sort of looking and occasionally stopping to handle something of interest. I really don’t need any more firearms, but I have an addiction that makes me WANT THEM ALL!

I had made a list of things I needed, like gunpowder, a few bullets and some primers if I could find a deal. After walking a short distance I was able to find a few pounds of powder that I needed for some loads I was working on, but that was about all I’d seen that I really needed. (There is that “need” word again...where does it keep coming from?)

Suddenly, there it was, sitting on a table all by its lonesome. This was the H&R Ultra Hunter in .30-06, another H&R single-shot rifle, and a pretty one at that. This rifle has a good-looking, cinnamon-laminated, American hardwood, Monte Carlo pistol-grip stock with checkering and matching foregrip.

Now, I need another rifle like I need the flu. BUT, what has need got to do with anything? I wanted it!

I asked the owner if I could pick it up. With his permission, I broke open the barrel and proceeded to inspect the rifle. I closed the barrel a few times to be sure it locked up as intended, looked down the very dirty barrel, pulled the hammer back, pulled the trigger and performed an all-around good inspection.

Once I was satisfied it was in good condition, I asked for his asking price. To my dismay, his reply was $150.

Now, I knew this was a real good price, but I always like to haggle. I am that way about the asking price on just about everything I buy. So I offered him $75. The instant expression on his face told me this was not going to work.

After a few minutes of back-and-forth, we agreed on $125. I opened my wallet and slid him the greenbacks, and he handed me my new-to-me rifle.

I had accomplished my goal! I’d found some gunpowder and a real good deal on a gun. I was done at this show, so I headed to the house and my gun room to break my new toy down completely and give it a well-deserved cleaning.

Afterwards, it went into the safe to visit my other toys. I later installed a new scope and bore-sighted it. This is really easy with a break-open single-shot. I placed the rifle in a gun vice with the barrel open, looked down the barrel to see a dot I had on the door, then adjusted the crosshairs so they were on the center of the dot, and I was done.

Back into the safe it went. Oh yes, I also free-floated the barrel. I am a firm believer that this step is important with all rifles that allow it, if you want consistent groups.

This is very easy with the H&R rifles. All you have to do is remove the foregrip screw, remove the foregrip and place two rubber o-rings in the hole in the foregrip.

Then slip the foregrip back on the rifle and put the screw back. No sanding, no varnishing – just two rubber o-rings, and your barrel is free-floated.

One day while I was working on loads for the H&R .25-06 (discussed in my May article), I decided to take the .30-06 to the range to see how it shot.

I looked in the ammo box and found three different factory loads and none of my hand loads, but what the heck, I just wanted to see if it shot halfway straight. I set up the rifle on my Caldwell Lead Sled and put a target at the 25-yard distance to fine-tune my bore-sighting.

Afterward, I moved my target to the 100-yard line to try my three boxes of factory ammo (Remington Core Lokt 180- and 220-grain and some ammo I had found a while back on sale for $8.99 a box – Privi Partizan in 150-grain soft point).

The first three shots were with the Remington 220-grain, and the grouping was what I’d expected (around 3 inches). The next was the Remington 180-grain, and these groups were about 2 inches.

It was getting better, but nowhere close enough for me to hunt with. The next was the Privi Partizan in 150-grain soft point. The first shot was dead-on the little dot on the target. I couldn’t see where the next shot hit, so I looked through my spotting scope, and low and behold, it was touching the first hole! 

No way was this bargain basement ammo shooting like that! I loaded another round, placed the crosshairs on the dot and slowly squeezed the trigger. I again looked through the spotting scope and could not see a new hole. After a few seconds, and a little adjustment to the spotting scope, I could just make out one hole that looked like a small clover leaf.

NO WAY could this rifle shoot that bargain ammo that good! I chambered another round, found another dot on the target and sent another round downrange. Dead-on again! I followed this procedure two more times, and each shot touched the first shot’s hole.

I could not believe it. I'd found a rifle that shot sub, sub, sub-MOA (minute of angle) with bargain-basement hunting ammo! I've been shooting for many years, and the instances you can find a rifle that shoots this accurately with good factory ammo (much less ammo for $8.99 a box) are few and far between.

When I got home I went online and found this ammo for around $14 a box, as well as many posts about its effectiveness on deer-size animals.

My overall impression of this rifle:

• Lightweight and easy to carry.

• Shoulders good with a comfortable pistol grip.

• The checkering makes for a non-slip grip.

• The trigger is extremely crisp with little or no creep and breaks solid at around 3 pounds.

• The Monte Carlo-style stock is just right for my cheek with a high-mounted scope, and the recoil pad is more than sufficient for this caliber.

• They come with sling swivel studs, scope mount rail and mounting screws, hammer extension, no iron sights. This rifle looks good, and most importantly, IT IS DEAD-ON ACCURATE!

The customer support for H&R is very responsive if you need help. You can purchase one of these new for around $300, or used from, well, $125. For the money, you will end up with a quality shooter.

I am glad I went to that gun show and even happier that I ended up with this extremely accurate shooter.

I currently own several H&R rifles and slug guns, and I now have three of them that are “three-shot, one hole” rifles. This squirrel found a nut!

Shoot straight, shoot safe.

If everyone treated all firearms as if they were loaded,

there would be no accidental shootings.

 

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Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”