New Rifle on a tight budget.

Larry in SD

Nov 8, 2004
My late cousin's son had a H&R Ultra Rifle with the Laminated Wood Stock and Forend in .25-06. Since he bought other rifles he did not shoot this .25-06 any longer.

I knew it was a tack driver as I had talked to him quite a bit while he was working up a hunting load for it. All totaled it has fired about 75 - 80 rounds of Barnes TSX Handloads. It would group 3 rounds in 3/4" or slightly less, and all of a sudden it quite shooting that well, the owner got frustrated with it and didn't shoot it any more.

I asked him one day if he wanted to sell it. He said SURE, what'll ya give me for it. I said I am not playing that game, tell me a price and we'll go from there. Well when he asked if I would give him $150.00 for it I said SOLD.

Now I bought this rifle sight unseen and wasn't prepared for what I saw when I picked up the rifle. The barrel had a coating of something really sticky / gooey on it and rust. I spent over an hour with Break Free CLP and 0000 Steel Wool Pads and now you could not tell it was ever rusty.

The next day I started in on the bore after letting it soak in KROIL overnight. There was so much copper in the bore I could barely get a patch soaked in Barnes CR-10 through the bore. After a couple hours I was still getting copper out. I asked myself what would is the next step, so I brought 2 quarts of water to a boil on the stove and poured it through the bore. I then started cleaning again. In about an hour I had it spotless, ran 2 more quarts of boiling water through the bore and oiled it.

The next day I started in on polishing the bore. I had read about a new method of polishing a factory bore so I decided to try it. This involved Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover and Bore Snakes. The instructions stated to insert the bore snake rope through the barrel from the chamber end and inject a teaspoon of Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover into the bore. Then pull the bore snake through the bore 10 times. This was to be done 6 times total (60 pulls of the bore snake and 6 teaspoons of Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover). Once the 60th pull was done the instructions stated to pull the bore snake through the bore 10 more times without adding any more chrome polish.

Again I poured 2 quarts of boiling water through the bore and oiled it when it was cold. I was quite impressed with this process and the bore is indeed a lot smoother than before I started with the polishing. Now a tight fitting patch on the proper sized jag just glides through the bore and I can not feel any difference in resistance from one end of the bore to the other.

Next the crown was messed up. It was almost like this barrel was rifled after the crown was cut as there was a raised ridge all the way around the muzzle down inside of the taper of the crown. It took quite a while with a Brownells Crown Lapping Tool but it looks much better now, each land and groove is visible and it passes the Q Tip test.

In the process I traded the Laminated Wood Stock and Forend and ended up with H&R's New Style Checkered Synthetic Stock and Forend which was my intent when I purchased this Ultra Rifle.

Since I didn't have a scope or bullets as yet and wanted Roger (my local gunsmith) to bed the scope mount to the barrel and pillar bed the forend the .25-06 went to Roger's. I filled Roger in on how I wanted it bedded and Roger agreed that would be the best way to start. Roger filled in the hollow spots inside of the synthetic forend between the attachment point and the receiver. He then glassed this area of the stock perfectly to the barrel. From the attachment point forward Roger free floated the rest of the forend. In addition Roger also glassed a steel pillar in the forend for the attachment screw to pass through and seat against the forend stud on the barrel. The forend sits around the forend stud attached to the barrel. Roger didn't like the fit of that so he made a secondary pillar. This pillar sits over the forend stud on the barrel and fits inside of the recess in the forend. Roger took it a step further and when he drilled the center hole for this secondary pillar to fit over the forend stud attached to the barrel he drilled it off center so as to make a tuner of sorts to vary the amount of pressure the rear of the forend would mate with the front of the receiver with.






Roger finished everything up and I picked up my .25-06. When my scope finally arrived, a Weaver Series 40/44 4x12x44mm AO with Weaver's Ballistic X Reticle I was now ready to shoot. I mounted the scope on the bedded factory scope base using Weaver 1" High Quad Lock Scope Rings. My eyepiece just barely clears the hammer and the cheek weld with these height rings is perfect for me.

I did secure 3 boxes of Remington .25-06 Factory Ammo loaded with 120gr. PSP Core Lokt Bullets. This will get me started for now. I do have 100 new Remington .25-06 Brass and a couple boxes of 115gr. Berger Match VLD Hunting Hollow Points but still need to find some Hodgdon Retumbo Powder.

About now you may be asking yourself WHY a H&R Ultra Rifle. Well the reason is simple, I have always had a fondness for break open single shots whether Handgun or Rifle. I like their interchangeable barrel versatility. My plan is to send this receiver in to H&R to be fitted with a 26" .50 Caliber MuzzleLoader Barrel as soon as I save up the $$$. The reason for this is the declining number of deer licenses where I live and after drawing my first choice for the firearms season this past year, next year all I might be able to hope for is a muzzleloader license.

This past Saturday it was a rare day for March in South Dakota. The temp was in the upper 20's and there was little to no wind. I headed down to my buddies place near Sisseton South Dakota to do a little shooting. Since mounting a new scope and never having shot this rifle I started out at close range. My ballistics program showed that if I zero this rifle with the Remington Ammo at 41 yards that would put me zeroed at 192 yards which would provide the 1.4" midrange height I want for Coyotes.

At 41 yards I did get it zeroed and had a 3 shot group that we had to walk up to the target to tell it was more than one hole. At 100 yards things were still satisfactory with the biggest group going 1". Now I am ready for the coming weekend. I am heading back out to Wishek North Dakota for a weekend of coyote hunting with my oldest daughter and her husband. Yes in addition to my DPMS 16" .223 I am also taking the new to me .25-06 along.

Looks like you got an excellent deal in the end, glad it worked out for you. The H&R guns can be surprisingly accurate. Good luck on the coyotes this week end.
I like your thought process, and yes, the horrific barrel fouling from the Barnes TSX bullets in my .25-06 is the main reason I turned away from them, although they did kill well. Also wasn't convinced that one of them, a 100 gr TSX, actually opened up on a mule deer I shot. It did however kill him.

The copper coating in the bore though - it was pretty incredible. I was cleaning every 10 or 20 shots just to maintain some sort of accuracy. When I went back to standard gilding metal jacketed bullets, all was well.

I think you've got a pretty neat little rifle there. The .25-06 is capable of OUTSTANDING accuracy and of course it's lethal as all get out. Enjoy!

Thanks guys. I can hardly wait till this weekend. According to my son in law (who is a rancher out there) hardly no one actually HUNTS Coyotes out there. Their idea of hunting coyotes is driving around and if they see a coyote they shoot at it.

I am getting my son in law into calling and I am thinking he is liking it.

Larry that was a really well thought out plan of attack on that rifle. Looks like it's going to work our very well for you. I know a rifle is a tool to be used, but some folks don't take very good care of them. I load for a good friend of mine and I had to tell him that if he did not take better care of his rifles that I would not be able to load for him any longer. When I went to work up a load with for his .270 I shot some factory stuff he had and it grouped 3 shots in about 5 inches at 100 yards!!! I spent a great deal of time on it just like you did this one and got it shooting nice 3/4 3-shot groups at 100 yards with 130 gr. Nosler Partitions. He was tickled.

The 25-06 is a favorite of mine too. It's just a great cartridge for quite a variety of uses. I hope you get some coyotes this weekend!

Had to add this. I asked him when the last time it was he cleaned it and he told me he has NEVER cleaned it. He said it gets clean when he shoots it. I guess that's how his father did it. :oops: :shock:
Had one in a 223. Very accurate and the perfect truck gun.
Sounds like it will be a shooter with some good hand loads.
Good luck with the coyotes.

Thanks guys. Had I seen this rifle before I bought it sight unseen I am not sure if I would have bought it or not. At any rate that is past history, it has been quite a project and so far I am quite pleased with the outcome. Besides I guess I just like to tinker from time to time. Next week after I return from Wishek I am sending the receiver in to H&R and having it fitted with a 26" .50 Caliber Muzzleloader Barrel.

Yes JD I have been eyeing a Synthetic Stocked Handi Rifle in .223 at the Pawn Shop. It is a new gun, they are a little high on it and I am just not sure if I need another .223 right now. However I am kind of wanting to try the bedding and bore polishing trick on another one to see if there is something to it.

Larry, just a thought. The black sticky stuff that was on the barrel when you bought it sounds like WD40 after about 5 months. Most people don't know it's 90 percent fish oil. Glad your project turned out well.
Guess I never thought of that. Yes it was indeed sticky and didn't prevent the rusting either.