Product Review: H&R 1871 20 Gauge.

Discussion in 'Modern Firearms' started by TNHunter20, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. TNHunter20

    TNHunter20 Fawn

    Sep 26, 2005
    West TN.
    Ok, Let me say first that even I understand that this is an economy gun, I understand that these guns are built to be sold to the budget minded, and to younger people that want to break into owning firearms. I am NOT by any stretch of the imagination an expert with this gun, or any gun for that matter, I am just a country boy that knows what a quality gun is and knows what a quality gun is not.

    The product I will review is the H&R 1871 20 Gauge shotgun, Modified choke, youth model (I am not a huge guy, and the youth models fit me better. If the shoe fits.............)

    Well, I feel that it is my duty to share my experience with certain firearms. I have owned and operated this shotgun for a little over a year.

    For the first week, I thought it was a great firearm, sturdy, and dependable as the day is long. I ran 8 boxes of shells through it and loved every shot, the only thing I didn't like was that it recoiled like a mad bull when you put magnum shells in it.:eek:

    The more I shot it, the more I loved it, it was the right size to walk easily with, and it was quick to shoulder. Then one day I was out popping away at a few targets and I noticed that the breach mechanism was getting a little tight and that the shell ejecter was not doing what its name would imply. It once would throw my empties over my shoulder, and now it was needing a little coaxing to toss them.

    I oiled it well, and tried it again. It worked well, but in less than one hour it was hanging up again. So I contacted H&R, they told me that I must not be operating the breach correctly, and that was causing the problem.

    Not operating the breach properly? I have fired more shotgun shells than most folks have seen and I can't push a button (for those that don't know, NEFs breach by pressing down on the lever beside the hammer). Oooook. So I asked exactly how I should be operating this highly tuned breach mechanism. I was informed that the information I needed was in the manual, and that I should look at that first, if I didn't understand that, then call back. :rolleyes:

    After consulting the wonderful manual, I discovered that I should push the botton. What a revelation this mighty book has given me. I contacted H&R once more a week later and told them that I was getting a little tired of ejecting my shells via knife point under the rim and that they should do something to remedy the problem.

    I was told to ship the gun to H&R (in Gardner, MA, shipping costs out of MY pocket!!!!) and let them look at it, and that I could pay for the parts via credit card or check. WHAT!!!?!?!?! Pay for the parts? I reminded the customer service rep that it was well within the warranty and that I understood the agreement that was with the gun: It breaks in first year, you will fix it for free, now it is broke and you don't want to hold up your end of the deal. I was told that my negligence shouldn't be paid for by H&R. :mad:

    I asked what the problem could be and they explained that it could be a host of troubles that could cost anywhere from $7 to $49. These costs would not be covered by the warranty. I only paid $125 for it new, so I took it to a gunsmith that owed me a favor.

    He explained that the gun was not a hazard in its current condition, and that it would only be a hassle to deal with. So I took it home and am using it.

    Closing thoughts on H&R: They do have a good product, but I was not happy with the problems I had with it less than a year after I got it. NEF does not seem to want to honor their warranty at all, and customer service is lousy and disrespecful.

    The shotgun itself is one of the tightest patterning shotguns I have ever fired, but I just didn't like the way the company tried to blame its problems on me the shooter.

    The company put this wonderful warranty on it that will only pay to replace.........The trigger lock mechanism.Now I am rough on stuff, but the mechanism on this is two pieces of coated steel and a padlock. Not even I could manage to break that thing.

    It seemed as though the "warranty" was just a nice lure to get me to buy the gun, and was not worth the paper it was written on as far as repairs go.

    Any other NEF shotgun owners here may have a different story to tell, but for the most part I disliked the way they handled the problems I had, and the next firearm I purchase will NOT be an NEF product. I hope that others have had better service from H&R, but for the most part I am and will always be dissatisfied.


    Also, if I discover another problem, I will be notifying you all of the problem and also what my asking price will be ;) .
  2. stanmanhale

    stanmanhale 6 pointer

    Sep 10, 2005
    murray ky
    yeah the single shots will do that...i have had them to do it.....i would suggest spraying it with wd40 and clean the heck outta it....but dry it good before using.or it will collect dirt and grim making it stick...also if the shells have been exposed to excess moisture they will swell making it stick.....have had this happen with singles, pumps and semi auto's...real pain in the have used an h&r for years with no prolem...guess i got lucky:D
  3. skeetshooter105

    skeetshooter105 6 pointer

    Jan 4, 2005
    Hardin County Swamps
    The problem could be the ammunition used. There are a number of shells on the market at present time that will swell enough on firing they will not eject from a $12,000 gun. I know this for a fact...See it all the time at trap shoots. Wolf, Nobel sports, rio and some other shells are now using STEEL in the shell base exterior. This swells upon firing and will not eject in a lot of firearms. Especially in tight chambers.
    May or may not be your problem. Another thing I have ran across in working on firearms is rust forming in the chamber. Hard to see without a light. Always run a chamber brush with lube after firing if the gun is going to be stored for a few days. New Remingtons are bad about this.
  4. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    If it worked after some oil was applied, and started sticking within the hour, I'd say it's dirty. Oil of any kind will trap powder gunk and the tolerances get filled up with goo. I'd spray it full of cleaner, (NOT WD-40) and let it work, then clean it out with Qtips and compressed air. Get it good and dry, and then try it. It may work fine. If so, you're in luck. If not, you still have a bad company to deal with.

    I'd considered the NEF guns, but after hearing how the warranty works, i'll stay away. Thanks for the tip.
  5. TNHunter20

    TNHunter20 Fawn

    Sep 26, 2005
    West TN.
    I don't mean to sound like I am bad mouthing the guns, they do a nice job at patterning well, and the rifles are decent quality.

    I just found myself disliking the way they didn't honor the "warranty". In my opinion, the warranty could be used as the punchline to an annoying joke.

    But I aint laughing.

  6. ecmbowhunter

    ecmbowhunter Elitist Bowhunter

    Feb 17, 2004
    at the Elite Level
    the wd 40 would be ok on this gun because it is not exactly what i would call "blued"....i own mainly the same gun you are talking about and have the same trouble with mine.
  7. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Not the way a company should do business!

    If you feel comfortable in doing it, the plungger is just held in with a drive pin. Take barrel off receiver, drive out pin (be careful or the ejector will fly across room).
    Do as Trust Me said, get a good cleaner, not oil and clean the cylinder. Look at the spring, you may have a weak spring. You can probably find a replacement at the hareware store (try finding a stainless one if possible).
    Look at the plungger for burrs, rust, etc. Clean it well.
    Reassemble and try to feel for any tightness as you push it in place.
  8. TNHunter20

    TNHunter20 Fawn

    Sep 26, 2005
    West TN.
    I would be skittish trying it, it might void the warranty, LMAO.
  9. Auk1124

    Auk1124 10 pointer

    If you are looking for a good handy 20 gauge single shot, you might try looking for a used Winchester 37 in that gauge. Good quality. Only problem is, Winchester single shots in halfway decent shape are hard to come by and tend to be pricy for what they are.

Share This Page