H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
May 4, 2013

H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

In this part of my H&R AAC 300 Blackout Handi-Rifle Review, I cover all the external and operational features of the rifle.  To start with, the combination of black phosphate finish on the barrel and action along with the black synthetic stock and forend give the rifle a nice look.  Throughout the review I may show the rifle on a bipod, but the bipod does not come with the rifle.

 

These next four photos give you some isometric views of the rifle.

Figure 1
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Figure 2
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Figure 3
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Figure 4
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle has an overall length of 29.7".

Figure 5
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The stock that comes with the rifle is H&R's youth stock with a length of pull (LOP) of 12".  Me being 6' 2", I found it took me a little while to get used to shouldering a stock this short and would have loved for this package to include stock shims to add another inch to the LOP.  I think there exists an opportunity for someone to make a little money by providing a grip adapter to allow the use of standard collapsible buttstocks for his rifle.  This would allow an adjustable LOP.

Figure 6
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Figure 7
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Figure 8
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The rifle weighed in at 5 pounds just as advertised at the AAC website.  I believe a typo exists in the 2013 catalogue where they state a weight of 6.9 pounds.

Figure 9
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The barrel comes threaded with a 5/8"-24 TPI thread measuring 0.62" in length.  The end of the barrel has a slight bevel crown and comes with an aluminum anodized thread protector. 

Figure 10                                                             Figure 11
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review   H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The barrel has 5R rifling which is advertised that it results in less deformation of the bullet jacket and produces a better gas seal.  I have some other rifles with this same rifling and have been pleased with the results.

Figure 12
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The barrel measured 16.31" which is slightly longer the the 16.1" advertised at the AAC website. The barrel has a light weight profile. The diameter measured 0.65" rear of the flare at the end near the thread protector and about 0.71" at the midpoint.

Figure 15
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The barrel comes drilled and tapped with a Picatinny styled optics rail mount already installed.  The front 40% of the Picatinny rail is cantilevered over the barrel and is unsupported.

Figure 16
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The forend is held in place by a single screw and the forend has a steel sling swivel stud installed.  A nice touch would have been to provide the rifle with some type of knurled ended screws so you could takedown the rifle without any tools.

Figure 17
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The forend has a textured surface that gets rid of the slick feel you get from some polymer forends.

Figure 18
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Because the rail mount is cantilevered over the barrel, the three rear attachment screws are in the rear half of the mount.

Figure 19
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Before I ever install an optic, I first check the solidness of the mount and tightness of the screws.  I first checked the fit with a feeler gauge and was able to get an .002 blade part way under the entire perimeter of the mount.  This lets me know that the mount and receiver are making contact mainly near the middle of the mount.  Next I checked the torque and the fasteners appeared to have only about 10 in-lbs of torque.

Figure 20
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

I removed the mount and found there to be a lot of oil underneath and there was some type of thread locking compound in the screws holes.

Figure 21
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Because I know the importance of starting with a good foundation when mounting optics, I thoroughly cleaned all components and bedded the mount to the receiver as shown below.  After bedding, I then reinstalled the screws with thread locking compound (purple) and torqued the screws to 18 in-lbs.  If you do nothing else, I recommend removing your mount and thoroughly cleaning all the surfaces and screw holes with some type of solvent.  Next reinstall your screws with some type of thread locking compound (purple which is designed for this size thread or blue at the most) and torque the screws to at least 15 in-lbs.

Figure 22
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The controls for the Handi-Rifle are simple.  The rifle has a hammer, trigger and release lever.

Figure 23
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The right side of the barrel is marked with a generic WARNING.  The right side of the receiver has engraved the AAC logo and "AAC".  I feel that the engraving of these items could have been a little deeper because they barely stand out depending on the lighting.

Figure 24
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The rifle includes a solid steel trigger and the trigger pull averaged 4.82 pounds based on 10 pulls using a Lyman Digital Trigger Pulls Scale.  I couldn't detect any creep and the trigger seemed to break crisp at this pull weight, although there was noticeable overtravel.

Figure 25
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The trigger guard is made from some type of black polymer (synthetic) material and there were no markings on the lower portion of the receiver.

Figure 26
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The left side of the barrel and receiver were marked as shown below.

Figure 27
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The barrel is marked "HANDI-RIFLE", "300 AAC BLACKOUT 1:7" and includes a date stamp "BH" which I think means January 2013 and an oval proof mark with "REP" on the inside.  The receiver is marked "HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON", "MANUFACTURED IN ILION, NY U.S.A" and with the serial number.

Figure 28
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

This next photo shows the hammer in the uncocked (forward) position and the cocked (rear) position.  You can see that in the cocked position the transfer bar has moved into the up position which will allow the hammer to contact the firing pin when the trigger is pulled.  When the hammer is uncocked, the transfer bar is in the down position and there is no way striking the hammer will cause the rifle to fire.

Figure 29                                                               Figure 30
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review   H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle comes with a short youth style black polymer stock.

Figure 31
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The length of pull on this rifle measured 12".  The rubber recoil pad is relatively firm in the center, but vented areas on each side help it to conform to your shoulder.  The stock contains the same texturing as the forend and provides a nice no-slip feel.

Figure 32
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The bottom of the stock has a rear sling swivel stud and a cap at the bottom of the grip area.

Figure 33
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

Figure 34
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The rear of the recoil pad contains the New England Firearms logo "NEF".

Figure 35
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

To open the action, you press the release lever and push down on the barrel/forend while holding the grip and the rifle will break open as shown below.  The release lever rattles a slight amount in the receiver.

Figure 36
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

One of the first things you will notice is how thick the barrel is around the chamber.  I believe that this extra thickness has to do with H&R standardizing their receiver and barrel blanks to accommodate much larger calibers.

Figure 37
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

When you insert a cartridge into the chamber, you see that the extractor pushes up on the cartridge.  When the cartridge is inserted fully into the chamber, the rear of the cartridge sticks out as shown below.

Figure 38
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

As you close the action, the extractor pushes against the breach face and doing this pushes the cartridge the remainder of the way into the chamber.

Figure 39
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

The extractor is not spring loaded and you will have to pull the fired case from the chamber by hand.

Figure 40
H&R 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle Review

 

Thoughts

Overall, I like the fit and finish of the 300 AAC Blackout Handi-Rifle.  I feel that a little TLC is always needed to ensure your optic mounts have the best integrity possible and that was the case on this rifle and typically most rifles.   The release lever rattles some, but other than that, I like this shooting platform.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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