Making a Handi a Little More Handy
Copyright 2006 by Junior Doughty

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Here in north Louisiana deer season and duck season overlap for about a month. During that time, I like to hunt the river bottom early in the morning for deer, and along about 10 am I start duck hunting. I don't even have to change my truck's parking spot. I swap my orange hat for a camo hat, my rifle for a shotgun, and I duck hunt in the sloughs along the river.

For that special month of hunting, I ordered a shotgun barrel for my 45-70 Handi-Rifle. I don't have the hassle of carrying two firearms. I simply remove the rifle barrel and install the shotgun barrel. Here's a look at some things I did to make my Handi-Rifle a little more handy.

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  • At the left, see a #3 Phillips head bit attached to a key ring which is attached to the zipper of the rifle case. The bit is for removing and reinstalling the forearm, necessary for swapping barrels.

  • In the center, see a barrel case made from an old pair of pants. Here, it contains the 45-70 barrel.

  • On the Handi-Rifle's action, see a saddle ring installed so I can use one of the saddle ring slings I sell here.

I zip up the case, throw it in the truck, and I don't have to hunt a screwdriver in the woods, and the extra barrel doesn't scratch the Handi-Rifle's stock.

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Here's a close up of the Phillips bit. It was too hard to drill easily, so I heated it red hot and let it cool slowly, softening it.

The key chain came out of my junk drawer. Like I said above, it's tied to the zipper of the case. It won't get left at home.

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This shows the homemade barrel case which fits neatly inside the rifle case with the Handi-Rifle. The leather was scrap, like the pants. The rivets are the bottoms of some of the blue jean rivets I sell here.

The other end of the barrel case is simply folded over and tied.

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Here's the saddle ring with a sling attached.

The saddle ring came from and cost only $5.10. Do a search on their site for "saddle ring" and look for item # 537430. It's threaded 10-32 and was easy to install.

I've drilled and tapped several of my rifle receivers for this 10-32 saddle ring, and the Handi-Rifle receivers were the easiest. Placement of the drilled hole isn't so critical due to the wide empty spot on the other side. And before you ask, No, I won't install a saddle ring on your rifle. Call your local gunsmith.

I keep a camo hat, a pair of hip boots, a box of shotgun shells, and a dozen or so 45-70 rounds behind my truck seat. When I get ready to go hunting, all I have to do is grab the case and go. The correct firearm is inside it.

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