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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

Question for you Plainsman shooters: good starter rifle that won’t break the bank?

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I’m kicking around the idea of putting together some guns to try out the Plainsman side match with. Shotgun isn’t an issue, and I know what type of pistol I would buy, but I haven’t a clue about rifles. If I do decide to bite the bullet, so to speak, I would be on a shoestring budget for gun purchases so I need to get the best rifle I can for the least amount of money possible. Any info I can get on caliber, maker and availability would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks, y’all!

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H&R Handi-rifles are popular.  With an ejector they fit in the modern category.  45-70 and 38-55 are good calibers if loaded lightly.  Handgun calibers are legal but loading short cartridges one at a time is slow.  I have rolling block I shoot 38 specials from with pretty long stage times.  Why not borrow rifles at a Plainsman match and find out what you like?

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Most folks I have seen use and H&R Handi rifle. It seems to be the fastest out there with the ejector that shoots the spent shells out fast and far. Around here we usually have an East and West plainsmen, or a modern and traditional. For the traditional, you can't use the Handi rifle. I like this category and shoot it as often as I can. My preferred rifle is a trap door carbine. Really fun rifle to use that handles well and can be loaded really fast.

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I shoot an original 1884 Trapdoor rifle in 45-70 I got for a good price.  Not fast but it has style.

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Agreed, original Trapdoors are reasonably priced and perfect, historical examples for Plainsman.  Both .45-70 and .50-70 are easy to load straight walled black powder cartridges. 
 

Seamus

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Handi Rifles may also be had without or disabled ejectors. 45-70 can be downloaded to .45 cowboy loads. Very versatile gun.

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Posted (edited)

 

PLUS A COUPLE for the H & R Handi Rifle.  Very versatile.  Reasonable price.  Available in most common CAS pistol cartridges as well as 45-70 and 38-55.  My personal favorites are a 44 Manglem and a 38-55.  Fun Guns yepper.

 

PS:  You might also want to give the Henry Single Shot in traditional calibers a good look.

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker

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A Henry single shot in 45-70 might be another one to consider.

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Hi Charlie,  I use a handi rifle in 45-70.   I load the 45-70 with real black,   I only gave $125.00 for it at a local pawn shop.   If you want to try it let me know.    If you buy one make sure you also get a bore snake of the correct size and solvent to clean it out every other stage.   I use smokless bullet lube.   Bullett 19707

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1 hour ago, Bullett Sass 19707 said:

  If you buy one make sure you also get a bore snake of the correct size and solvent to clean it out every other stage.   I use smokless bullet lube.   Bullett 19707

If you use Big Lube bullets, you won't have to swab it until after the match.

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Thanks, folks. While we’re on the topic, has anybody used one of the Henrys for Plainsman? If so, how does it work?

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H&R Buffalo Classic Rifle...can find them around 400-500....That's what I use for Plainsman!! I had the 32" barrel cut down to 26".

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The Handi-Rifle or the Henry version would be good choices.   And unlike most, I prefer a pistol caliber.  While I've only shot a few Plainsman matches, nowhere have I seen distances such that a light recoiling pistol caliber doesn't do the job just fine.  Much quicker to get off follow-up shots with light recoil.

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Thanks for your input, folks! I actually got offered an H&R 1871 Target in .38-55 as a result of this thread and it now resides in my gun safe!

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I have a Henry single shot in 45-70 it's a good shooter.

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Congratulations Charlie Mac.  You're gonna like that Handi you betcha.

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48 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Congratulations Charlie Mac.  You're gonna like that Handi you betcha.

Thanks! Took it out to play in my front yard a couple of days ago with some smokeless loads that came with it (burnin' 'em up for the brass). Whackin' rocks across the crick 50 yards or so away was a piece of cake if I got my sight picture right. I think I'm gonna really like this one!

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