As discussions turn to “survival rifles,” most of us consider a semiautomatic version capable of accepting detachable magazines, or a surplus bolt action capable of taking big game with a single shot, perhaps something on the order of a Ruger 10/22.
One option most people may overlook is a single-shot rifle. We were dismissive of it, too, until we laid hands on a Harrington & Richardson Handi Rifle commissioned by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) chambered in 300 Blackout.
This rifle was bought on impulse. As a silencer collector, I noticed it in the used area of a favorite sporting goods retailer due to the AAC Blackout Flash Hider that was perfect for installing an AAC 762SD. I noticed the Picatinny rail for scope mounting, but most importantly, the AAC logo engraved on the receiver.
A quick call to a friend working in R&D for AAC confirmed that this was a paradox rifle.
“When we contacted H&R with our specs,” my friend said,” they had to retool as they had never made a Handi Rifle with a barrel as short as 16 inches, one chambered in 300 blackout, or even a threaded barrel. After H&R tooled up to make this design, they remarked that they had never made any rifle in the quantity we were asking. It proved to be their bestselling Handi Rifle model of all time.”
After walking out of the store with it for around $200 (almost half the MSRP, not including the Blackout Flash Hider), I mounted a Lucid Optics Red Dot on the rail, installed a sling and mounted a 762-SD.
One advantage of using a full-sized 308 can on a Blackout rifle is that you can interchange the subsonic and supersonic ammunition without damaging the silencer. A 9mm pistol suppressor may be lighter and cheaper and perfectly fine for use with the subsonic load, but an accidental supersonic 300 Blackout round will ruin your day as well as the silencer.
You don’t have to be a slave to AAC suppressors, either, as the muzzle is threaded 5/8×24 tpi for most 30 caliber silencers.
This compact and lightweight rifle tips the scales at around 5 pounds. The single-shot action makes it extremely quiet when suppressed, and you can go from the ballistic equivalent of a 7.62 X 39 for large game to the equivalent of a subsonic 9mm pistol round for something smaller in your sights as well as being virtually silent.
It makes a perfect scout rifle for foraging or even varmint elimination if you find coyotes or feral dogs in your AO. Plus, its smaller profile looks much less threatening than a typical semiautomatic “black rifle.”
The Handi Rifle can easily be broken down and stowed in a pack if necessary, and I have met a few gun owners who replace the factory screw with a takedown screw from a tripod mount to make this task easier without the use of a screwdriver.
As you might have guessed, the single shot rifle is capable of sub-MOA groups all day long, but if you change ammo types frequently, note that the supersonic loads will have a significantly different shift in point of impact than the subsonic rounds.
For this reason, I might have preferred iron sights over the rail, but there are a variety of dual-reticle sights made these days for use with 300 Blackout.
Have you used an H&R Handi Rifle? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the section below: