H&R Survivor Rifle review

Got out to the range this weekend to test out my H&R Survivor Rifle. Aside from the aforementioned issue that I had with the Winchester cowboy ammo, everything seemed to run pretty well.

Firearm: H&R Survivor Rifle

Caliber: .45 Colt/.410 bore shotgun (fully rifled barrel)

Action: Break open, single shot, single action.

I like this rifle/shotgun, I really do. I tested it with 3 inch .410 shells with #4 shot, and .45 Colt rounds. I didn’t have any of the Winchester Buckshot loads for the .410, but I’m ordering some of those from Midway USA as soon as possible.

With the #4 shot rounds, recoil was present, but not uncomfortable.  The shotgun provided a mild thump with 3 inch rounds.  With the target at 15 yards, a shell full of #4 provided more than enough of a spread to do exactly what this shotgun is designed for – provide meat for the pot.  My squirrel target showed multiple hits to head and body area, but not so many that the meat would have been wrecked.

The rifle portion of the gun performed adequately as well.  I should note that this rifle doesn’t have rifle sights, but just a shotgun bead on the end of the barrel.  That set up was less than ideal for rifle shooting, but still serviceable.  At 25 yards, I could keep groups of 5 shots on an 8 inch target.  For not actually having sights, that’s not too bad I guess.  It is within the performance envelope of what I’d expect to do with this in rifle format, which would be defense against predators at short ranges.

One thing to note about the Survivor is the removable choke tube.  If you’re using it in shotgun mode, the choke tube definitely helps keeps your patterns a bit tighter; but do not forget to remove it if you’re going to be shooting the .45 Colt rounds, otherwise you will ruin your day and your gun.

In a “survival” situation, I would probably grab the Survivor, and although it’s primary use would be as a shotgun for potting dinner, the secondary rifle function would probably come in pretty handy.


  1. 20″ barrel, yes? Using a nice and heavy .45 load you’re talking 1500 fps and then some with a 300 grainer, or 5 pellets of 000 buck…OR…a 120 grain rifled slug at around 1830 fps so there’s a lot of leeway for various game and/or self defense. Plus the thing looks cool too.

  2. 18 or 20, I didn’t measure it. But yeah, even a full house .45 Colt load is going to be pushing 1000fps with a 255 grain semi-wadcutter. That’ll shoot down any deer in North America, as well as most 2-legged predators.

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