The Austin & Halleck 420 Rifle
When you look at an A & H, you notice that it looks like a "real rifle," as far from a plastic toy as can be imagined. The Austin & Halleck 420 comes complete with two stocks; the fancy curly maple stock with the barreled action installed, and an auxiliary synthetic stock for those who wish to keep their fleur-de-lis checkering pristine while hunting the bush.
Either by luck or by design, the Warne front base partially extends over the breech area and the 209 primer area. While still an open action, the significantly less-than-normal 209 blowback is deflected further by the steel Warne base. We mounted a Redfield 2 x 7 scope; and purposely sighted in the rifle with no scope protector. There was some residue on the bottom of the scope, but surprisingly little more than the so-called "sealed" Knight full plastic jacket Disc Extreme.
The nickel finish A & H 420 has an action even smoother and easier to cock than the blued 420, and my test sample had a slightly better trigger, which broke at 3 lbs. 10 oz. The A & H standard ramrod is not quite as good as the XS Sights Power Rod, which is a factory A & H option, but better than the Knight and Thompson rods.
There were design changes of which I was ignorant. I initially felt that the Provo, Utah made (current manufacture) gun was a bit better balanced, but wrote it off to wood density, etc. But there is more to it than that; the Provo gun's barrel is 1/4" shorter than the Missouri assembled gun. The checkering is sharper, and the recoil pad is better fitted. Add to this the smoother action and lighter trigger of the current "Provo" model, and the Provo gun is clearly superior.
It has been a long time since I have been as impressed with a muzzleloader as I am with the Austin & Halleck 420. With its superb trigger, rigid barrel to stock assembly, amazingly good repeatable accuracy, very soft shooting, and knockout gorgeous curly maple stock with crisp beautiful checkering, the A & H 420 is a gun of which the owner can be proud. More information on Austin & Halleck inline and traditional rifles is available at http://www.austinhalleck.com.
Note: A complete review of the A&H 420 rifle can be found on the Product Review Page.
Copyright 2003 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.