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  1. #1

    Default Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    I've been looking around for a compact, minimalist set-up that will give me the ability to shoot small/varmint cartridges, big game rounds, and shotgun shells (ideally .22lr/.308win/12ga). I further am drawn to break-barrel single shot rifles for their lack of complexity and break-ability. My budget is also rather limited. The following are the options that I'm aware of for single-shot long guns with interchangeable barrels, listed (roughly) in order of increasing cost (MSRPs used where possible to keep pricing fair, though obviously I can expect to get them cheaper) with some details, pros, and cons:

    Rossi W (previously called Wizard)
    • Pros: Rossi seems to make decent rifles at a low price. Considering my current desires and budget, I'm pretty comfortable with this option. This is also the only option other than T/C for rifle that accepts .22lr in addition to shotgun and centerfire barrels.
    • Cons: I've heard mixed reviews about these Rossi rifles, primarily regarding quality control and customer support. Overall quality is certainly considered lower than the other options I'm considering. There are also some possible supply issues with some of the components I'm wanting to get (particularly the .22lr barrel).
    • Cost: .308 rifle ($378) + 12ga barrel ($161) + .22lr barrel ($185) = $724 msrp



    H&R Handi-Rifle
    • Pros:The Hand Rifle seems to be a popular and well respected bare-bones rifle. There are lots of these floating around, including used ones, which is a bonus for me. Seems like a good value and a good bet for longevity of the rifle and the production line. Additional barrels are also quite inexpensive.
    • Cons: I'd be limited to centerfire calibers for this gun and would have to settle with something like .22 Hornet for plinking instead of my much preferred .22lr. H&R requires you to send the gun in to have new barrels fitted, which is a bit of an inconvenience, especially since I would prefer to get new barrels intermittently.
    • Cost: .308 rifle ($314) + 12ga barrel ($58) + .22 Hornet barrel ($101) + barrel fitting/shipping ($70) = $543 (msrp for gun and actual cost for additional barrels)


    CVA Apex
    • Pros: The Apex seems like a well made gun indeed. Would not mind getting one of these as a gift at all.
    • Cons:Well, it's not quite in T/C territory, but the price is enough to make me balk. Also there is now .22 option.
    • Cost: .308 rifle ($651) + .223 barrel ($360) + 12ga barrel ($360) = $1371 msrp


    Thompson/Center Encore/Contender
    • Pros: Pretty much everything but the price.
    • Cons: The price.
    • Cost: Encore Pro Hunter Blue/FlexTC frame ($563) + .308 barrel ($357) + 12ga barrel ($464) + .22lr barrel ($361) = $1745 msrp


    Other:
    Mossberg SSi-ONE: Well, couldn't find much out about this short-lived model. Looks quite nice though, but I'm not sure it's readily available enough for it to be a viable option for me.

    Well, I'd love to hear what I missed in my research as well as anyone experiences and recommendations. I'm not in a rush, so I plan on continuing research while I keep my eye on local and online shops for a good deal.

    So, any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Your in luck. I have very recent ( Saturday) experience with the Rossi. I went with my buddy to get the combo .22LR/.410 from academy on Friday afternoon. With the gun, recoil pad, and 3 boxes of .410 ( I furnished the .22LR), it came out to $205, the rifle was $149 I think. He purchased it for his 11 year old son who is a little recoil sensitive. We were apprehensive, but, holy Jesus, there was almost NO RECOIL!!!!! We were floored!!!!! His son put all 3 boxes of .410 through that thing in about 1-1 1/2 hours. BIG GRIN from him. We then gave him the .22LR barrel and a massive box of Remington golden bullets ( I only use them in single shots or maybe bolt actions), and I swear he went through almost 200 rounds ( takes forever with a single shot). We adults even took our turns. In all this, only one hiccup; half way through, the kid couldn't get a .22 to chamber, so I wiped out my bore snake, ran it down the barrel, no more problem. Highly, HIGHLY recommend this firearm. For the money you get 2 very useful, very fun, very affordable firearm.
    Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity. Airplanes fly, but helicopters beat the air into submission

  3. #3

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    A youngster I know had a 22/20 gauge combination Rossi and fired it hundreds of times without problem. Another one I know had the exact same combination of firearm and the shotgun barrel locked up on him with less than 100 rounds fired. Couldn't get it to open up no matter what. I have no experience with a centerfire Rossi, but everything I have read about them mentioned the poor accuracy.

    If I was going to go the handy rifle route (and I would, if it was me doing the buying) I would just go ahead and get a .223 instead of a hornet. Ammunition is much more plentiful and you can always download it. If you don't know about this site already, spend some time at graybeard outdoors to learn everything there is to know about this gun.

    The CVA I know very little about but there is no way I would spend that much money on something marked CVA.

    I don't believe I've ever read anything bad about Thompson Center.

    I read little about the Mossberg when it first came out and nothing since. Perhaps there is a reason for this? I would hate to try to get parts for one.

  4. #4
    Patron AKguy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    I'd go with the H&R/NEF. They seem to be pretty common.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    You can do a lot of the barrel fitting yourself if you're handy any at all.
    Go check out the H&R forum on Greybeards outdoor.
    http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/hr-centerfire-rifles/
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Thanks everyone, for the input. It seems like a Handi consensus is developing here which agrees with the further research I've done (immense thanks to Old Fart and 44minimum for the Graybeard Outdoors recommendation, I've spent some valuable, if excessive time on their in the last coupld days). While I've gone back and forth between Rossi and H&R/NEF, I seem to be pretty settled on the Handi-Rifle setup. One of the big kickers was finding out that there are so called NEF "Versa-Packs" floating around that include an offset .22lr barrel that can fit the standard Handi-Rifle frame. They are discontinued, but I can hope that I can keep my eyes peeled and snag one someday (another major benefit ofthe Handi-rifle: they are much easier to find used).

    So, here is my game plan as of now.

    Find a deal on a Handi-Grip in .308 or a used Handi-Rifle workhorse to which I'll add a Handi-Grip stock. I could do this for $300 pretty easily but I'm going to try to take my time a find a good, quality deal.
    Get a scope for the .308 barrel (I don't know much about optics and am very open to recommendations for an inexpensive but well-built, no-frills scope to fit this set; I'm okay with something like a fixed 4x and would like to keep it under $100 or thereabouts).
    Send in my frame and get a .12ga, modified choke barrel from H&R ($115 or so, all told).
    Be hypervigilant about finding a used Versa-Pack or a .22lr barrel from one (these seem to go for around $200 lately user-to-user, but they certainly aren't getting any cheaper as time passes).

    Well, that's it. Maybe after a couple of years and 5 or 6 hundred bucks, I'll have the complete set-up. Wish me luck.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Keep an eye on the classifieds at graybeards. Those guys buy, sell, trade and swap stocks, forends, barrels all the time. And by now you've probably seen the instructions for fitting barrels yourself. There are aftermarket stocks available for those guns as well. If you want a half decent scope, your $100 limit is really pushing it. I would stay away from BSA, Simmons and Tasco. Some guys have good luck with them but they seem to be in the minority. If you could bump it up a little and spend $150 or so then you could get some pretty decent glass. Bushnell elite 3200, Burris fulfield ii, vortex has something in that price range, Nikon as well (maybe a pro-staff?), Redfield, They all have pretty good reputations and warranties. Check out places like Natchez shooters supplies and Midsouth shooters supply for good scope deals.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by 44minimum View Post
    Keep an eye on the classifieds at graybeards. Those guys buy, sell, trade and swap stocks, forends, barrels all the time. And by now you've probably seen the instructions for fitting barrels yourself. There are aftermarket stocks available for those guns as well. If you want a half decent scope, your $100 limit is really pushing it. I would stay away from BSA, Simmons and Tasco. Some guys have good luck with them but they seem to be in the minority. If you could bump it up a little and spend $150 or so then you could get some pretty decent glass. Bushnell elite 3200, Burris fulfield ii, vortex has something in that price range, Nikon as well (maybe a pro-staff?), Redfield, They all have pretty good reputations and warranties. Check out places like Natchez shooters supplies and Midsouth shooters supply for good scope deals.
    Thanks for the extra pointers; quite valuable to know. I'm actually waiting on my registration approval on the go2gbo.com forums. Scope-wise, my hope is that, with a little patience, I can get a lightly used fixed lens from one of the quality makers. That's kind-of how I'm approaching this whole project: keep your eyes open and wait and maybe you'll get a $155 scope for $95. Thanks again

  9. #9
    Patron Toney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Our 22 Rossi barrel wouldn't shoot good enough to sight in, the 243 barrel didn't do much better.

    I've had two handy rifles, my 223 would almost shoot into a inch, my 270 didn't do as good,

    I wouldn't recommend a Rossi at all!!! There just to dam rough on the inside.
    A handy is alright if you not gonna put a lot of rds through it.

    To me a breakopen just don't balance right

  10. #10
    Patron Toney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Find you a old savage or Stevens, then you'll have something ...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    I would indeed have something. I have looking at pics of Stevens Ideal #44s and Savage 219/220s--pretty fine looking guns. I'd get rather excited if I ran into one of those for sale (presumably to be deflated after seeing that, yes, it has a collector price tag). I also stumbled upon Ed Yost sing shot (falling block) rifles. That Schuetzen stock might not be my cup of tea, but, my goodness, the action aesthetics are incredible. Made in the 80s but look more Art Deco. Too bad there were only 50 made.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Thompson Center is certainly the most widely advertised breakover on that list, but I didn't notice an accuracy difference between my TC and the cousins CVA. The TC trigger was better, but the CVA was also nothing to snort at. Both are smooth, CVA a little stiffer, both clean break. Both seemed to shoot equal. With the exception of the turrible trigger, the CVA Optima was another good option on a budget.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Well, I think I've made my pick, thanks to you folks here and some Graybeard fellas. I update in a couole days if and when my first purchase happens.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by sethk View Post
    Thompson/Center Encore/Contender
    • Pros: Pretty much everything but the price.
    • Cons: The price.
    • Cost: Encore Pro Hunter Blue/FlexTC frame ($563) + .308 barrel ($357) + 12ga barrel ($464) + .22lr barrel ($361) = $1745 msrp
    Do they really cost that much?

    My experience:

    1. Stainless steel Pro Hunter frame (new) in the $325 range.

    2. Composite stock (I don't have a Flex Tech stock) in the $115 range new. Actually, I wouldn't even want a Flex Tech stock since they way they've attached the forward sling swivel stud would make bipod mounting problematic.

    3. 12 gauge barrel used about $155.

    4. 308 Wincheser barrel a little over $200 new but that was before prices were increased incredibly. The most I've ever paid for a used Encore barrel was $210 and I've bought many for much less; even for new ones.

    5. 22 LR barrel; I've never had one in the rifle version.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Single-shots with Interchangeable Barrels

    No, they don't cost that much on the market. I was using the MSRPs for all of my price comparisons so that everything would be on a level playing field. On a side note, I found out my dad still has the Encore pistol (w/ 2 or 3 barrels) that I thought he had gotten rid of. So, I can look forward to shooting that (and maybe borrowing it) next time I get out toward Guthrie.

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