The 223 Ultra Varmint

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H&R offers the 223 caliber in several variations of rifle.  This seems only fitting since this is such a versatile cartridge.  I'll try to list the various models, but H&R is constantly updating their offering so I may miss one.  If you have any doubt whether or not a particular model is offered, then visit their site.   The address is located on our "Links" page.

Lets start with the base model, the 223 Handirifle.  The stock is made of hardwood and comes with a monte carlo style stock as standard.  It also comes with no open, or iron sights.  It is supplied with a pre-mounted Weaver style scope base.   The working action, the SB-2, is identical to all other 223 models, except the stainless.  In that case, only the finish is different.

The standard weight 223 barrel is nearly the equal to many companies heavy or varmint weight barrels.  The barrel length is 22" for this model.  Fit and finish are about what you'd expect for a $200 rifle.  That said, the receivers lock up like a bank vault and are built strong enough to receive a barrel chambered for the 30-06.   The other calibers offered can be found on the H&R website under the "barrel accessory " link at the top of the page.

They also offer the 223 in an ultralight version, that offers a slimmer profile on the barrel, a shorter barrel (20") and it also comes with synthetic stocks.  In addition this comes in a youth package with the buttstock one inch shorter.

Next is the standard 223 model, except with synthetic stocks, again, a monte carlo style.  This is the only style stock offered with the 223 caliber rifles.

Then there is the Survivor model.  This has a totally unusual stock configuration and is worth a look.  It also comes with a 22" "bull" barrel.  These barrels are considerably heavier and a bit less prone to "walking the shots" than a standard or ultralight barrel would be.  This is good to consider for someone that likes to shoot a lot of ammo in a short time.

Accuracy with the H&R 223's is mostly very good.  I say mostly, because every once in a while someone reports poor accuracy with theirs.  From those reports it is sometimes impossible to determine if it is the shooter or the gun.  I have no doubts there are a few lemons out there, since I got a bad barrel on my Buffalo Classic.   However, H&R is good on their warranties and would most likely replace the barrel if defective.


Shown is the buttstock of my 223 Ultra Varmint

Then there is the cream of the crop.  The 223 Ultra Varmint.  This rifle comes with a hardwood, checkered, laminated stock, 24" bull barrel and a bit better quality of fit and finish.  All this at the sum of only about $50 more than a standard model.

Nearly all the H&R rifles require some "tinkering" to bring out the best in them.  They are sometime tempermental, but I have discussed these same issues with owners of TC rifles and find out they have many of the same traits.

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3 shot 100yd group with my 223 Ultra Varmint

Mine personally has made very tiny groups from the beginning.  Maybe I'm a lucky one, but I don't think so.

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My 223 Ultra Varmint on my homemade bench rest

In the photo above right, you see my Ultra Varmint.   On the barrel is actually leg wrap for dogs.  This unique tape is perfect for camo applications on guns since it does not stick to the gun, but to the tape itself.   This leaves NO sticky residue when you remove it.  In addition you can mix any sort of leaf type camo cloth in the wrapping to provide perfect camo  for your rifle.