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I put together a lightweight rifle 6 years ago? Maybe more. I topped it off with a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot. Took it out today after a long stint in the safe. My wife mostly uses it because of the weight. Still held zero and worked with no issues. I also have a Nikon P223 4x32 and a Sight Mark red dot that's been great for several years. Plus, some early internet triggers that have held up. I can't really think of any cheap gear that went wrong.

I have some, "better" than PSA rifles, but none of my PSA rifles or pistol have ever had a problem. Over the years I never had a problem I hadn't induced except on two handguns that went back for service. I don't think I'll ever have an extended engagement with the Taliban but I believe I'll have something to deal with whatever comes my way. Has any of your less expensive or budget gear failed?
 
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I had a cheap .22 no name scope which had the reticle fall out. Don't know if it was rattling around inside the tube or what but one day it was just like looking down a TP roll. Still could hit stuff if you could fudge to roughly center of the circular void.

Also have a Bushnell scope that will not adjust in any direction but fortunately it broke in such a way where windage is still centered. Ish. Gotta know your hold under for that one

Third, I have a Nikon trophy buck or some such nonsense that has a grainy, yellowish look though the lenses, BUT it adjusts and held zero fine on a .270. now it's my taken off "spy on the neighbors" tool, kinda like a pirate's spyglass.
 
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For optics I was surprised how good the TRS25 held up. I don't have them anymore but they did very well while I had them. I can't think of any optics that failed me.

Over the years I had a few AR platform builds that were on the cheap side and all held up fine. They did the job just not as smooth and nice as the firearms I have these days.

Other gear though, cheap duty belts for work, cheap pouches, holsters, bags, plate carriers (never used cheap plates), boots, pants, watches, field med kits, tourniquets, and that's just to name a few have all failed me a time or 2 and taught me to just save up and buy the quality gear instead.
 
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Other gear though, cheap duty belts for work, cheap pouches, holsters, bags, plate carriers (never used cheap plates), boots, pants, watches, field med kits, tourniquets, and that's just to name a few have all failed me a time or 2 and taught me to just save up and buy the quality gear instead.
Definitely not advocating for cheap gear. Just surprised how most of it has held up.

Not all has been winners. Reminds me of a belt/holster combo I got cheap off Ebay. The belt was garbage. Never used it once. The holster has been great.
 
I have a NEF "Pardner" single shot 20 gauge shotgun.
Bought it new in 2015 when I first heard that NEF was going out of bussiness.

It has held up well and get used as light weight grouse gun.
Shoots good and handles well with both #6 and #7 1/2 shot.
I have read some bad reviews of these guns...but nothing like that has happened to me with this gun.

It used be that one could go to a gun show and find a few NEF / H&R single shot shotguns fairly often...not so much anymore.
My NEF is not the same quality of an older H&R ( not that they were high end to begin with ) , but as I said...
It sure seems to work and hasn't let me down.
Andy
 
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I was deer hunting with a buddy about 40 years ago and he had a brand-new Simmons scope on his rifle. The weather wasn't particularly nasty, but his scope was completely fogged - on the inside. That's the last time I ever saw that scope on his rifle. And as a result, I have never purchased any Simmons products.
 
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I have a 40 year old K-Mart special Bushnell Sportsview that still holds zero and tracks fine :D
I think the older Bushnell stuff was really a pretty solid value. My dad had an old pair of Bushnell binos that he absolutely loved. Not too many years before he died, my mom bought him a nice pair of Swarovskis. He used them, but I really think he missed his old Bushnells. I'm not sure what happened to them. One of my nephews must have gotten their hands on them.

My "40 year old scope that still holds zero and tracks fine" is a Tasco World Class 3x9x40 from Bi-Mart.
 
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Nikon's P-223 Rifle Scope (3-9x 40mm)
$150 bucks.
Super clear for a budget scope. Fell in a creek once camping for a few hours - never fogged up.
Been on a mini-14 for nearly 10 years now.
 
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UTG pro products. Had a rail on an earlier rifle, worked and held up well, even under the constant abuse of being tossed into barrels and such for 3 gun. Their bipods are well priced and work very well. Their fixed iron sights are right up there in quality with major brands.

Most if not all Palmetto State Armory products.

Taurus pistols.
 
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I have a NEF "Pardner" single shot 20 gauge shotgun.
Bought it new in 2015 when I first heard that NEF was going out of bussiness.

It has held up well and get used as light weight grouse gun.
Shoots good and handles well with both #6 and #7 1/2 shot.
I have read some bad reviews of these guns...but nothing like that has happened to me with this gun.

It used be that one could go to a gun show and find a few NEF / H&R single shot shotguns fairly often...not so much anymore.
My NEF is not the same quality of an older H&R ( not that they were high end to begin with ) , but as I said...
It sure seems to work and hasn't let me down.
Andy
My first firearms was a 12g Pardner pump around 2009 for $149.99. I haven't used it in a long time but it still good to go. That was followed shortly by an S&W Sigma, $309.

In both cases I could have got a better gun but the clerks said, that's all you need. I was inexperienced and learned the hard expensive way. Some years later after gun prices went crazy, Keith at Keith's sporting goods, spent a little time and I walked out with a Windham Weaponry AR. $770. That was rough because my wife was waiting in the car since I was just going in to look.
 
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I have a NEF "Pardner" single shot 20 gauge shotgun.
Bought it new in 2015 when I first heard that NEF was going out of bussiness.

It has held up well and get used as light weight grouse gun.
Shoots good and handles well with both #6 and #7 1/2 shot.
I have read some bad reviews of these guns...but nothing like that has happened to me with this gun.

It used be that one could go to a gun show and find a few NEF / H&R single shot shotguns fairly often...not so much anymore.
My NEF is not the same quality of an older H&R ( not that they were high end to begin with ) , but as I said...
It sure seems to work and hasn't let me down.
Well-dressed and well-heeled shooters may sniff at them. BUT: They were a solid value and dead nuts simple. They were sold in the millions.

To this day, I still own an NEF Handi Rifle in .223 and a 28 ga. shotgun. I also have an H&R .410 DeLuxe Topper that I received new as a birthday gift in 1966. I have specialty loads for both shotguns which makes them more versatile. Confession, I've owned probably fifteen or more other H&R's and NEF's that I no longer have.

I'm not so sure that H&R's were any better made than NEF. The latter made two different frames in order to safely mount centerfire rifle barrels on the forged steel versions. One of the reasons H&R went out of business circa 1985 was due to pending liability lawsuits from product safety issues. Which I don't know the details of, could be some of them were from actions that the operators didn't lock up properly, yet such cases going to court get expensive even if the defendant prevails.

H&R did well enough when they made US military M1 Rifles, M14's and M16's. But in one of the famous WW2 novels re. the Marines in the Pacific, there are negative references to the Reising submachine gun (made by H&R). Things like, "Look at this blue job, you can rub it off with your fingernail." It was Leon Uris or Norman Mailer who made this reference, I can't remember which now. An H&R shotgun usually doesn't have a Colt blue finish, and of course, buyers weren't paying Colt price. The fake case hardened-looking finish on shotgun frames rusts pretty easily on both H&R and NEF.
 
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I have an H&R/AAC 300 blackout which frankly is just a nice gun. I have a .223 NEF that is also nice enough. The .223 shoots straight, kinda ugly wood in not so great condition.

I also have an SBS that started life as an NEF 12 gauge. It is short and well, good luck hitting anything at all. Its condition when received could charitably be described as poor. but, at $49on gunbroker, I figured, why not. It has 8 inches of barrel since it got stamped. It feels like getting kicked by a mule when fired with buckshot or a slug. mini shells are okay. Accuracy is questionable at best, questionable if your shot has been teleported into a wormhole in a different dimension. The answer to why not? Well, I know now.
 
@gmerkt
I say the the older H&R single shots were better made "Cause ...

Of the lack of plastic parts ...like the fore end spacer...on mine its plastic...the older ones its metal.
I like the case colored finish of the older models...instead of the black sorta parkerized , sorta baked on finish of mine....
The wood stocks of the older guns...instead of the laminate stocks of the newer ones.

Granted any of the above could be seen as cosmetic...and not "better made"....
In any event...I wish my newer one was made like the older models.
Andy
 
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. I have a .223 NEF that is also nice enough. The .223 shoots straight, kinda ugly wood in not so great condition.
I've owned three Handi Rifles with .223 barrels. One, which I presently own. It has a barrel constructed like a cannon, very thick on the breech end that slowly tapers toward the muzzle. The other two had the lightweight barrels, that is, they taper significantly just ahead of the chamber area. These two rifles with the lighter, thinner barrels wouldn't shoot well. At least not as well as the heavy, "normal" barrel that I kept.

There are tricks that can be done to enhance accuracy, like kind of floating the fore end with the addition of a small O-ring. Others will tell you the best shots taken with a Handi Rifle are the first few cold shots, after that they say accuracy declines. I haven't found that to be the case with my heavy bbl. .223.

I say the the older H&R single shots were better made "Cause ...

Of the lack of plastic parts ...like the fore end spacer...on mine its plastic...the older ones its metal.
I like the case colored finish of the older models...instead of the black sorta parkerized , sorta baked on finish of mine....
The wood stocks of the older guns...instead of the laminate stocks of the newer ones.
Yes, those plastic small parts are an annoyance from an aesthetic standpoint. BUT: If we are comparing H&R to NEF, I can tell you that my 1966 Topper has the same plastic trigger guard and fore end spacer. I've read that H&R went to the plastic trigger guards when they changed from a lever to button barrel release. I've never seen an NEF that didn't have the plastic trigger. And, I've never seen a broken plastic trigger guard, either. But somebody, somewhere has probably done it. I've heard some noise on the Greybeard web site about metal replacements being made.

Many of the NEF guns had schnabel fore ends, which I never liked, just a personal preference. I like the traditional kind.

If I'd known that any of this was going to be of interest to anyone all these years later, I would've kept pictures of the various H&R and NEF single shots that I've owned. Mine were all mostly ordinary, no Ultras, no fancy laminated stocks (some of which I've admired), no Buffalo guns, etc. The NEF .223 that I currently have has a blued steel frame, it is NJ date (1995), my 28 ga. Partner is NG (1992) and it has the bogus case hardened look on a cast iron frame. It might be but I don't know for sure that in later production, NEF got away from the faux case hardened look on shotgun frames. Remember, Marlin bought NEF in 2000, then Remington bought Marlin in 2008. Corporate acquisitions often result in ways being sought to reduce cost of production.

When I got my first H&R in 1966, the factory was offering accessory barrels for sale. In addition to other gauges, you could get .22 LR, .22 Hornet, and .30-30. When NEF reestablished the product after H&R went bankrupt, they adopted the accessory barrel product concept and expanded the offering of chamberings. NEF required that the frame be send back to the factory for fitting; I never enquired of H&R about it, so I don't know if it was a requirement of theirs also.

Some time ago, I posted a few threads here about the late history of H&R and the history of NEF. There is a lot of inaccurate information online about these two companies. I dug around in company incorporation documents that are in the public domain, copies of old advertisements, etc., and was able to clear up some of the misconceptions. It would take me too long to find those posts now to link them to this.

End note, I just remembered something. I've said previously that I didn't have any fancy NEF's. I had one, it was a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation raffle gun. It was a beautiful Handi Rifle with walnut stock (not the usual "pallet board"), de luxe blue job, RMEF medallion embedded in the butt stock. It was chambered in .308 Win. It had a scope on it. I'm embarrassed to say I don't recall what I did with it.
 
Taurus revolvers, with examples going back to mid 1980’s manufacture. In particular the model 85’s of that era. Never had a hiccup, never an issue. Slick, crisp triggers and more accurate than I was…

Norinco 1911A1 government model, pre Clinton Ban on imports. Cheap, accurate, never missed a beat. Remember outshooting a guy with a custom Kimber at the Fort Benning Rifle and Pistol Range, back in the day…
 

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