Harrington & Richardson Pardner NPI2C8 12-Gauge Pump Shotgun, $200
(GunReports.com) -- The pump action is a very popular shotgun type, mainly for its ease of operation and its ruggedness. While a self-loader may be a bit faster in trained hands, the point is debatable. Expensive autoloaders are reliable, but in the end a dirty or well-used pump is always more reliable than a dirty autoloader. We recently tested an affordable pumpÄîthe H&R Pardner, a basic copy of the Remington 870 design beneath the humpback receiver. We bought the gun at Academy Sports, a giant sporting chain that offers rifles, pistols, and shotguns as well as other sporting goods. We were surprised to see the pump-action shotgun listed for less than $200 in an Academy Sports sales paperÄîit was listed at $180.
Our team gathered and shot the gun using 2.75-inch Winchester Super Target loads (1-ounce charge of No. 8 shot, 2.75-dram equivalent, 1180 fps muzzle velocity) and also a new steel trap load, the Winchester Xpert Game/Target load WE12GT7, a 2.75-inch 12 gauge with 1 1/8 ounces of No. 7s, Max dram, developing 1280 fps, according to Winchester.
When we purchased this shotgun, we grumbled that it was not on sale and cost twenty extra bucks. After the test, the primary rater decided he would not sell this shotgun. We didnÄôt pay much, and it would not command a good trade in on the next project. We did not cherry pick a Pardner, we brought home an example wrapped in plastic.
The fit and finish of the Pardner were good, our team said. The blue on the receiver was, more or less, equal to the Maverick, while the PardnerÄôs barrel was matte finished. Some of us prefer blue steel and walnut. The wood used in the Pardner was a contrast to the synthetic stock on the Maverick. The fit to the metal was good. The forend was good and tight. The recoil pad was a webbed type that absorbed recoil well. The barrel rib was well done with a single bead. A plus for turkey hunters or short-range deer hunters was that the Pardner is drilled and tapped for a scope mount. That would be a tie breaker for some buyers.
Elsewhere, the trigger of the Pardner was crisp enough and broke at 5 pounds. When loading and firing, we encountered no surprises. The firing tests went well. Even with heavy trap loads, the recoil pad did a good job of diminishing felt recoil.
We had a minor complaint from some of the raters, and this depended upon shooting style. The top of the stock was a bit sharp, and while never painful, it could have been better designed. Otherwise, the Pardner was very comfortable to fire.
The crossbolt safety was located in the rear of the trigger guard. This was ideal for rapid manipulation and may be managed by a left handed shooter with a little practice.
The Pardner was designed to sell at a price point most people could afford, and H&R and their Chinese contractors have done a good job on the gun. The fit and finish were good, although the receiver was a brighter blue than the matte finish barrel. This shotgun was handy to fire and use. The mechanical resemblance to the Remington was obvious, but the humpback receiver gives the Pardner a distinctive appearance. For the price, we could not register a complaint.