Henry Big Boy Full

For students of the history and romance of so-called cowboy rifles, Bayonne, New Jersey isn’t a particularly evocative locale. Ilion, New York (Remington). New Haven, Connecticut (Marlin). Those are the places where West-winning long guns were born. Even though the virtues of the long guns made in those storied factories have withstood the test of time, times have changed. I reckon we can add the Hudson County hang to the roll call. For that’s where Henry Repeating Arms Co. makes its lever action rifles, including the .357, .44 and .45 Big Boy . . .


The Henry Big Boy is a lever-action centerfire rifle with a fully octagonal 20-inch barrel, a solid brass receiver, and a 10-round tubular magazine. It’s a larger version of Henry’s successful Golden Boy rimfire rifles and similar to Henry’s new brass-framed .30/30 rifle. Our test gun was chambered in hard-hitting .44 Magnum.

Despite its name and its stunningly beautiful brass receiver, the Big Boy is not a replica of the original Henry Rifle (a.k.a., “That damned Yankee rifle you can load on Sunday and shoot all week”). The Big Boy’s action is nearly identical in operation to that of the venerable Marlin 336. Henry’s version has a solid receiver and a round bolt with one rear locking lug. Unlike the 336’s receiver-based loading gate, the Big Boy reloads through a port in the front of the magazine tube (after removing the magazine plunger).

Dropping cartridges down a tube isn’t the handiest way to load a rifle, although it can be less painful than getting your fingers jammed in the loading gate of a Marlin or Winchester design. It won’t matter for hunting; if your deer (or elk or moose or whatever) isn’t down after ten rounds of .44 Magnum you need to give up hunting and take up Contract Bridge.

Reloading the Henry in a high-stress or situation is as practical a proposition as a kickstand on an Abrams tank. And? While I doubt owners would use their Big Boy .44 for defensive purposes, the rifle’s magazine capacity, decisive ballistics and quick action would make it a fearsome home defense weapon—at least until it ran empty.

Owners of tubular-magazine Marlin .22 rifles will be familiar with the hazards of trying to empty unfired rounds by dumping them out the end of the tube.  It’s a lot more fun to keep shooting until the gun runs empty. Unless you’re a handloader you’ll probably want to restrain yourself. At about $.80 a round, factory .44 Magnum ammo is about the same price as .30/30 or bulk .308.

The Big Boy has no manual safety of any kind. Henry’s lawyers must have gone into convulsions when company president Anthony Imperato made the call; this ballistics-crazed brief gives the decision two big thumbs-up. There’s no half-cock notch. But there are two passive safeties: a trigger block prevents the gun from firing unless the lever and bolt are fully closed and locked, and a transfer bar passive safety allows the rifle to be carried safely with the hammer down on a live round.

A Brass Receiver? Really?

Yep. Really. Well, sort of. The Big Boy’s receiver is machined from a solid lump of a proprietary brass alloy. Henry claims it has the same tensile and yield strength as steel. Despite some speculation in the gun forums (fora?) about the strength and durability of the non-steel receiver, my search for “Big Boy Frame Failure” didn’t turn up a single complaint.

As you can see from the picture below, the Big Boy’s receiver is massively thick. Company president Anthony Imperato states that the Big Boy can handle any loadings within the SAAMI pressure limit (36,000 PSI for the .44 Magnum). If you’re a glutton for shooting expensive ammo, Buffalo Bore makes Big Boy-safe .44 Magnums that deliver nearly 2,000 lb-ft of muzzle energy. That said, their very heaviest .44s are not recommended; the slow-twist barrel may not properly stabilize the heaviest .44 Magnum bullets. But the Big Boy [reportedly] does fine with bullets up to and including 270 grains.

Fit and Finish

Shooting this rifle is a thrill and a joy, but those who appreciate quality will get a different kind of thrill from just handling and touching it. It’s a perfect composition in steel, brass and walnut.

The fit, finish and assembly of the Big Boy is equal or superior to that of any factory-made firearm I’ve ever handled. Period. The full octagon 20-inch barrel is blued in a deep, lustrous black that I’ve only found on handcrafted classics from the pinnacle of American gunmaking: pre-’64 Winchester Model 70s, 1960s Remington Model 700 BDLs, and 1960s Smith & Wesson revolvers.

From its polished brass buttplate to its Hawken-style muzzle, this rifle radiates quality and attention to detail in both design and execution. Heaven is in the details; the machined steel rear sight from Marble Arms (the devil is there, too) and the gold, antique-typeface barrel markings; the perfectly-machined octagon barrel; the solid-brass magazine plunger with its captive steel follower. And that’s just the metalwork: the woodwork is equally stunning.

Both the buttstock and fore-end are cut from lightly figured American walnut with an incredibly smooth satin finish. Wood-to-metal fit is outstanding all around. The rifle’s original stock cracked at the wrist after the rifle took an unintentional tumble (Farago almost cried). Henry sent us a replacement stock set. Although they were made months apart from each other, the new stock slipped onto the receiver tang as snugly and neatly as if the pair had been hand-fitted together. That, dear readers, is quality control. Other gunmakers (cough Marlin cough) would do well to emulate it.

You won’t see me trying to cram any business cards between the wrist and the receiver flat, but you can make out a Van Eyck-esque distorted reflection of my hands and camera as I took the picture.


I took the Big Boy to my grandparents’ old family farm outside Kalispell, Montana with the hopes of shooting it extensively in a beautiful, private location at ranges of 100 yards and beyond. A half-dozen pastured horses prevented me shooting at more than 35 yards. Even so, my results at that modest range were astounding. To me, at least.

My eyesight is no longer correctable to 20/20. As a result, I generally shoot like crap with iron sights at anything other than short ranges. I knelt in the dirt behind a folding table and squinted through the Big Boy’s buckhorn rear sight while shooting the groups above. My first three shots from the Big Boy went into the lower cloverleaf on the target above, and the second three shots went into the upper cloverleaf. In each group, the center-to-center distance is slightly less than 0.5 inches.

When I got home, I took the Big Boy to my local range for some proper bench testing at longer ranges. My dodgy eyesight began to tell. My wonderful cloverleaf groups disappeared. I also discovered that our sample Big Boy has a problem which seriously impairs its practical accuracy: the Marble rear sight rides too loosely on its elevation ramp.

Under recoil, the ramp slides loose and the sight drops down to its lowest position.  ometimes it lowers itself one notch at a time, and sometimes it just drops all the way. The result is pronounced vertical stringing like this:

And this:

When the rear sight stayed in place for three shots (or when I noticed it had slipped and reset it) my groups consistently looked much better, as this shows:

And this:

All of the groups were centered horizontally about 1.25 inches left of the bull at 50 yards; once the elevation ramp issue is addressed, I’ll drift the rear sight a hair to the right.

Including the wandering rear sight, at 50 yards my groups averaged exactly 2.5 inches, even including one really bad shot I knew I yanked three inches off to the left. This average is actually pretty damned good for me with iron sights. But it doesn’t reflect what the gun’s capabilities of a stable rear sight and 20/20 vision. Or a scope.

When I statistically ‘correct’ for the loose rear sight by measuring only the horizontal width of the groups (which were extremely consistent except for that one blown shot) we get a better picture of how well your humble correspondent could shoot the Henry Big Boy .44: 1.25 inches at 50 yards.

At 100 yards I’m usually a basket case with iron sights; I can empty a National Match Garand into a CMP target and only land thee shots on the black. The loose rear sight caused even more pronounced vertical stringing. My groups ranged from 2.4 to 6.5 inches. Removing the vertical deviation, my groups were between 0.75 inches and 1.5 inches wide, and centered about three inches left of the bull.

Lacking the precision that only a scope (or better eyes and a precision aperture sight) can provide, I can only estimate at the Henry Big Boy’s potential accuracy. I figure it would shoot 2 MOA or better, as long as the shooter remembers the football-like trajectory of the .44 Magnum.

Functioning And Handling

We don’t really have a ‘testing protocol’ here at TTAG. Every type of gun suggests a different set of testing priorities. It’s cheap, fun and entirely practical to run 1000 rounds through a semi-automatic .22 rimfire during testing. A 600-round AR-15 test takes a lot of planning and resources. Test-firing 100 rounds of .338 Lapua or .375 H&H (yes, we’re working on those) will leave you bloody, bruised and bankrupt.

The price of .44 Magnum ammunition put some limitations on the quantities of ammo we could afford to run through the Big Boy compared to other pistol calibers. After about 30 rounds, I experienced a single malfunction: the lever screw loosened itself. The rifle seemed to seize up; it wouldn’t cycle fully after about 30 rounds. When I jiggled the lever slightly and tightened the screw with my fingernail the gun resumed full function. A drop of blue Loctite (not the permanent red stuff) will prevent this from happening again.

Brass is a fairly soft metal which glides smoothly over many other metals. This makes it an excellent material for cartridge cases and bullet jackets. It also gives brass-framed rifles a smoothness of action that’s difficult to achieve when steel rubs against steel. The Big Boy’s lever is slicker than a buttered Benelli. The trigger breaks very cleanly at slightly over four pounds. Our Marlin 1894C had to take an Alaskan summer vacation, courtesy of Wild West Guns before it felt as slick as the Big Boy felt straight out of the box.

When it comes to handling, the .44 Magnum Big Boy teaches you very quickly how it earned its name. At eight pounds, 11 ounces it’s as heavy as my .357 Magnum Marlin 1894C and my S&W Model 686 together. It’s heavy enough that you’d think twice before carrying it up a mountain in search of elk or deer. And by ‘carry’ I mean carry: the Big Boy has no sling attachment points. I’d slit my wrists before I’d let a gunsmith drill into the almost presentation-grade walnut of the Big Boy’s stock and fore-end.

Leaving it behind would be a mistake, however. Those extra pounds mean the Big Boy lacks the marvelously quick handling of a smaller, shorter carbine like the .357 Magnum Marlin 1894C. But in offhand firing the Big Boy’s gravity suck soaks up the recoil of the .44 Magnum. Much of the Big Boy’s weight is carried in its octagon barrel, which makes it very steady on target.

And this all works for me. The .44 Magnum Big Boy isn’t a pistol-caliber carbine; it doesn’t need to handle like one. It’s a man’s rifle with nearly the power of a .45-70. I wouldn’t use the Henry Bog Boy .44 to snipe elk across a canyon. It wouldn’t be a prudent choice for stalking brown bear. But big .44 (or .45) bullets at moderate velocities have an almost mythical reputation for dropping all but the biggest game dead in their tracks. Within 150 yards, that game is going down.

I was surprised at the recoil I felt from the Big Boy’s .44 Magnum cartridge, however. When firing offhand it’s hardly noticeable. From a bench (where I spent most of my time) it is surprisingly sharp. By the end of my range day I sported a nice bruise on my right shoulder. I wished I’d followed my uncle’s sage advice to use a Limb-Saver recoil shield.


In terms of customization, the Big Boy is a rather unique case. Almost anything you do to modify it will ruin its classic styling. Karma will punish you with a merciless kick to the groin if you desecrate your Big Boy with a bipod, tactical light, or tri-rail scope mount. The horror! And you’d  better not have your gunsmith drill into the brass receiver to mount scope rings, because the tiny screws will strip out the softer brass in no time.

However, there are a few mods you can make to your Big Boy without completely spoiling it. The Henry website sells factory-custom big loop levers and cantilever scope mounts for a ridiculously affordable $50 and $27.50, respectively. And if you happen to bend or break your brass magazine plunger assembly, they’ll replace it for an unbelievable $21.50.

If Henry recoups their production costs at these prices, it shows that they’ve really got their manufacturing down to a science. And if they can’t recoup their costs and they’re willing to take a small loss to keep their customers happy that’s pretty neat too.

In fact, the only ‘expensive’ Henry factory accessory is the one I’d want the most: the walnut wall-mounted display case for $150.

Born In The USA. Completely.

Unlike many modern guns, all Henry rifles are manufactured and assembled domestically, using parts and materials sourced entirely in the USA. The brass receivers are cast and machined in Pennsylvania. The walnut stock blanks come from Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. The bolt steel comes from Pittsburgh. And the barrel steel is forged in Ohio.

I point this out because the lever-action is the quintessential American rifle, but few of them are still made in America. Browning BLRs and Winchester 1894s are made in Japan, Cimarron rifles are imported from Italy, and of course Rossis are built in Brazil. Marlin used to make their rifles in North Haven, Connecticut, but now of course they’re not making them at all. For a while anyway.


Farago and I haven’t been shy in chronicling the shortcomings of Marlin and their 1894C carbines. While testing the Henry Big Boy and writing this review, I inevitably found myself comparing the two. It’s been a challenge to try and evaluate the Henry on its own merits. It’s important because this article is not about Marlin. It’s about the rifle that’s going to eat Marlin’s lunch.

This is a rifle you’ll leave to your children, but not until you’ve hung it over your mantel (spouse willing) for a few decades because your friends and neighbors—-shooters, hunters and anti’s alike—will gaze at it thinking goddamn, that’s one beautiful rifle.

Whether shooting or sitting still, Henry’s Big Boy is a breathtaking exemplar of classic rifle styling and craftsmanship. It’s a man-sized rifle that (with the rear sight fixed) delivers solid accuracy and sledgehammer-like knockdown power for hunting just about anything within 150 yards. It’s also an awesomely fun (if expensive) recreational plinker: if you hit an empty soup can right on its bottom rim in the dirt that 240-grain bullet will send it into Near Earth Orbit.

In fact, the Big Boy’s beauty is its only real drawback. It’s so lovely I’d feel like a criminal the first time I put a ding in the stock or a big scratch in the receiver flat. [ED: Tell me about it.] Cleaning the Henry Big Boy takes longer than most rifles; most rifles don’t beg you for a final polish with Brasso after you’ve wiped off the soot and fingerprints. A task which is more of an honor than a chore.

Yeah, it’s that good.


Caliber: .44 Magnum/.44 Special
Barrel: 20 inch full-octagon, 1 in 38 inch twist
Overall Length: 38.5 inches
Weight: 8 pounds, 11 ounces
Action: Lever-action, tubular magazine, external hammer w/transfer bar passive safety
Finish: Polished brass, blued steel, walnut
Capacity: 10 (.44 Magnum), 11 (.44 Special)
Price: MSRP $900, $650 street

RATINGS (out of five)

Accuracy:  * * * 1/2
Cloverleaf groups at 35 yards are awesome; a wandering rear sight is not.  Four stars when it’s fixed, and possibly even more stars with a scope.  We’ll keep you posted.

Ergonomics * * * *
Excellent trigger, extremely smooth action and light recoil (when you’re firing offhand) with big-game ballistics.  Although historically and aesthetically correct, subtract one star for the optically challenging iron sights and the lovely but slippery brass buttstock.

Reliability: * * * *
You don’t want a seized-up lever when that moose is in your sights, so don’t forget to Loctite the lever screw.

Customize This: * *
This gun is already pretty well customized.  Scope it for medium-range precision and customize it with a big loop lever from the factory if you want to.  I’m not sure how to put a sling on it.

Overall Rating: * * * * 1/2
Stunning beauty and craftsmanship in a fun and hard-hitting rifle that will last for generations.

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131 Responses to Gun Review: Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum

    • I just wone one in a raffle with a free ticket from my brother-in-law. It is sooooooooooooooooooo fun to shoot.

      Happy as a puppy with two peters, Doc.

    • It is in fact a very beautiful rifle.
      I just purchased and picked them up this week end a 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 22 Magnum, 45 long colt and a 30-30. All Henry Golden Boys. They are awesome, my wife likes them just as much as I do.

      I will be leaving them to my grandson who is 12 years old and loves the Henry’s. He is a deadly shot. Great eyes. He knows how to handle a rifle and is super safe.

      I love the Henry big boys and golden boys.

      Ted Robertson

      • I purchased my first Henry (a Big Boy .44) just over one year ago. I liked it so much, and shot it so much I had to get my own reloading equipment. I have sensed purchased two more Golden Boys (a.17 HMR and a 22) I will be quite happy if the .22 shoots AS good as my 50yr old Marlin Golden 39A. I have two grown sons that love to hunt and fish (and both have many firearms but none like these). I always call and tell them when am buying a new firearm and they will have to sort it all out when I pass.

      • Ted,
        Since you have the lot of them…I am a growing gun enthusiast. I have a few different handguns, some for personal protection. I have a Remington 870 shotgun (short barrel for home defense). I have a Ruger 10/22 Take-down for fun. And I built an AR-15 from Delton parts. I do not hunt (not against, just something I do not do). I am looking to get one of the Henry’s. I love the Big Boy Deluxe II’s because I just think they are beautiful rifles. However, I am trying to decide on caliber. The .44 Magnum is sold out. So, it’s the .45 Colt or the .357 Magnum…or….??? I would appreciate your input. Thanks, Preston

        • Based on what you said in your post, I would lean towards getting the 357 Magnum. It is an awesome gun and will perform just a notch below the 44 Magnum and the 45 Long Colt. The advantage to having the 357 based on my experence is ammo is more available and less costly.
          I purchased two of the 44 Big Boy Magnums and had to wait for both of them. They were worth the wait.

          I am real excited right now because I am going to West Texas Thursday for four days and am taking all the Henry’s and plenty of ammo. My son-in-law, grandson and I are going to spend at least one full day at a range with targets at 30 yards on out to 300 yards. I can’t wait to shoot the .17HMR.

          I will do a post after this experence.

        • I have the BB in 357. Its not going anywhere! I lucky got it used and it thankfully had a couple of dings and marks on it, because if it didn’t I don’t think I could take it out of the house!

          Short note: It had a feeding problem and I sent it to Henry and it was fixed for free! This was a used gun with no box or paperwork went I go it.

          I did add a Skinner Sight and a FO front sight. Its not kosher with the traditional crowd, but I need all the help I can get. And I am damn sure not going to scope it!

          Its action is strong. The max on LEE’s publish data shows no wear or dismay. It shoots 110-180gr XTPs and my casted 158-RF grreat. Shoots those Hornady 140gr Flex Tipped bullets flat out to 150 yards.

          It reminds me of the Hawkins and Browns the mountain men used back in the day Hefty and durable. Even if it is pretty.


        • Jerry,
          Read the report I just posted on the review board about my trip to the gun range last month. If you have not bought one yet, I would recommend waiting on the 44 Magnum. If you don’t want to do that I would get a 357 Magnum. The 45LC is a nice gun, I like the magnum’s better. The 44 magnum with decent ammo is in a class of one!!!!

          Ted Robertson
          McKinney, Texas

        • Well, I made the trip to West Texas to shoot the Henry’s. The trip cost me dearly, I had a 22 youth in black with a very nice Bushmaster scope on it. My 13 year old grandson put his first three shots at 100 yards in the bulls eye (the red circle of 2″ diameter). At 200 yards it took him three rounds to find the red 2″ circle. Then the next three shots found two in the circle and one about 3/4″ out high left.
          When we got back to his house and cleaned all the guns, the youth 22 with the scope ended up in his closet.

          I got him a 22 golden boy and an engraved brass plate to put on it for Christmas this year. However he absolutely fell in love with the .17HMR. I found that the engraved plate will fit the .17 like a glove, so I put the engraved plate on the .17HMR and plan on giving that gun to him for Christmas. When I bought the .17 I got 3000 rounds of ammo for it. I think I will give him the 900 rounds left in the brick we had at the range and then give him a 1000 rounds for his birthday and the other 1000 for Christmas 2015. Assuming I don’t buy another .17 for myself.

          Now for my opinion on all the guns I fired at the range.

          .17 HMR Golden Boy: I love this gun almost as much as my Grandson.
          22 long rifle Golden Boy: Very smooth action, pretty accurate with open sites.
          22 Magnum Golden Boy: Just a notch below the .17 HMR.
          357 Magnum Big Boy: I was pretty disappointed with this gun at first, I was shooting 38 wad-cutters and 38 semi-wad cutters. It would not feed these rounds at all, jammed on every cycle. I unloaded the 38’s and loaded Hornaday 357 rounds and really liked the gun on those shells. It was accurate and very smooth right out of the box.
          45 Long Colt Big Boy: A very good, smooth, accurate gun, I actually think the 357 might pack more punch.
          I saved the best for last:
          44 Magnum Big Boy: This gun is awesome even if it did hurt me a little. I had 12 broken bones with 5 of them misplaced in my left wrist and hand. I was shooting heavy self defense rounds and the very first shot, right out of the box, standing position, no gun rest, at 75 yards I put a one gallon plastic milk jug about 40′ into the air. Then spent the next half hour trying to overcome the pain in my left wrist. That thing is a cannon. We were shooting from a covered stand with a metal roof and when that 44 went off it stopped all activity in the bench area. It was loud.
          My 13 year old grandson is a decent football player, solid as a rock, is 5′-6′ tall and weighs 148 pounds. He ended up shooting a full box of 50 rounds thru the 44, then decided his shoulder needed a rest.
          I can’t say enough good things about the 44.
          I did not take the 30-30 with me this trip.
          Over all we shot over 500 rounds most of them were the smaller calibers and no problems after I got rid of the 38 wad cutters.

          I did not find loading the guns to be a problem. The Henry’s are an absolutely beautiful gun and I found their performance matched their beauty.

          I have a lot of guns and I am almost 72 years old, I got my first gun before I was old enough to go to school, still have it. I have shot many thousands of rounds in my life thru just about every kind of gun out there.

          I have never enjoyed a day on the range like I did that day with the Henry’s.

          I am picking up an AR15 (Bushmaster M4-A3 XM-15) with 4000 rounds of ammo next week. Can’t wait to fire it.

          Ted Robertson
          McKinney, Texas

        • My thanks to you gentlemen who replied to my query. I need to see if they plan to release the Big Boy in the .44 magnum again. If so, based in no small part on your comments, I may wait for it. Thank you again!

        • I would encourage you to contact Henry Repeating Arms Company and ask them about when the 44 Magnum will be available.

          I have a file a mile long with email responses from Mr. Anthony Imperato President and owner of Henry and my licensed gun dealer. Actually its 115 emails. I hope I do not get into trouble, but I am including his contact information right out of his catalog contact page.

          Mr. Imperato has taken customer service and satisfaction to a level unheard of in the world we live in today. He has responded to me on every question and has more than delivered on his word. I would trust this man with my wallet!!!

          The 44 Magnum is way to popular a gun not to continue manufacturing it. I would bet they are overwhelmed with orders. It took me over six months to get the .17HMR because a storm destroyed the factory. It was worth the wait.

          I have purchased two of the 44 Magnum Big Boys and I would not sell them for three times the price I paid unless I knew I could replace them. In my humble opinion the 44 Magnum is grossly under priced. I have much lesser guns that I have paid much more for.

          The very last line of the contact information “Henry – Made in America or Not Made at All” means an awful lot to me!!!

          Ted Robertson
          McKinney, Texas

          Henry Repeating Arms
          59 E 1st Street
          Bayonne, NJ 07002

          Tel 201-858-4400
          Fax 201-858-4435
          Email anthony@henryrepeating.com
          Visit us on the web at http://www.henryrepeating.com

          “Henry – Made in America or Not Made at All”

  1. Gorgeous gun. Terrific review. But I would never buy one, except maybe to hang over the fireplace just to look at it. I couldn’t live with the front-loading magazine tube. It might be historic, but it’s a fatal flaw.

    • Why is that? I used to have a Marlin 39A as a kid and I remember loading that was no problem. It was super accurate too. Stoking rounds thru a slot in the side; rifleman style, seems harder, and you could pinch a fingertip? I guess feed tubes can get bent or damaged, but that applies to the standard port loading barrel tube as well.

      • Fatal flaw cause they did not do it the way he wants.
        Kind of like my Ex,
        You did not give me what I wanted that is why I cheated and left you.


        It is what is needed that counts. Some folks always have an excuse or but,

        Like a pair to take back our country before we have nothing left.

  2. I love my Henry .22 and I plan on picking up the .357 Big Boy at some point. Henry is loyal to its customers and treats us VERY well. I can’t say that about most gun companies or most companies in general. The Imperato’s have a customer for life in me.

  3. … -shooters, hunters and anti’s alike—will gaze at it thinking goddamn, that’s one beautiful rifle.

    Goddamn, that’s one beautiful rifle.

  4. Great review of a new classic! I had the chance to fire a commemorative model last year, courtesy of a guy I ran into at the town range. The rifle was a couple of years old but had never been fired before that day. We shot it with .44 Spl flat nose ammo, which the gun seemed to like just fine. I was impressed by the quality, accuracy and mild recoil. But that’s not the point, is it? It’s a shooter, sure, and with a nice scope it would be a great shooter. But more than that, it’s art.

    • I purchased my Henry Big Boy 44 rifle eight years ago and I fell in love.He sleeps with me. I need to purchase him a mate soon.

      • I just bought one a few months ago in .44 and so far have added a Large Loop lever. Soon to be adding a tang sight. I am going to be using it in CAS competitions.

  5. I’ve handled one and I must say that I really wish I “needed” this beauty. Here in southern AZ the land is just too open for hunting with this type of type of firearm. For someone stalking game in heavy brush, forest or swamp this would be a great choice to have. A very fine example of functional art and I would hang one on a wall if I could.

    • Like the .45-70 or .444 Marlin, the .44 Magnum can really be a pile-driver at short range but it just doesn’t retain its energy for open country hunting. It might knock an elk on its ass at 50 yards, but at 150 yards you’d better not be hunting anything bigger than a whitetail.

      Even Hornady’s flex-tip bullets only help a little bit, because it’s not just the .44’s flat nose that slows it down: it’s the huge frontal area and short bullet length. Adding a pointy nose lets it retain a few more FPS, but by 200 yards any .44 Magnum has long since run out of gas.

      You might have another option, though: Henry has a new .30-30 built just like the Big Boy (except larger, of course) with the gorgeous brass frame. With a 200-yard zero, the Hornady flex-tip bullets only drop 12 inches at 300 yards and that’s a perfectly workable holdover.

  6. nice rifle,great review.you should find a brass scope for it,like the home made one that Doc uses in back to the future!

  7. Great review, Chris! We should do a side-by side comparison of the Henry with the Uberti Henry 1866.

    Did you get a chance to chrono anything through the Henry .44 ??

  8. The moment they ship a 357 version with a proper loading gate at the rear end, I’m all over it.

    I won’t buy the front-stuffer version, period, end of discussion.

    • If you don’t want a front loading lever action, Marlin probably isn’t for you. Plenty of companies make lever actions with loading gates on the receiver. I like my Marlin Model 1894C a lot and have used it for hunting, but my Henry Big Boy is my baby. I don’t even like pulling the Henry out of my safe because I’m scared I’ll ding the stock… but I have to show it to people! And no one I’ve shown it to yet has said anything but how beautiful it is and “Can I hold it?”

  9. Just a brief update about the wandering rear sight:

    I put a short description of the problem on Henry’s “Contact Us” page yesterday, and they emailed me back this morning for my mailing address. A new Marbles rear sight is on its way, no questions asked. (Except for my address, of course.)

  10. Ok, I want one in .357, and .44. I’m divided about the scope mount, but I wouldn’t shun one. As for the sling, that’s easy, a little leather (elk I think works well for this), and you have a frontier style sling (loop of leather over the forestock, attached via sling to a pocket on the buttstock). Yup, I want one.

    • Good news. I’ve put the Bayou leather sling (extra wide for comfort) on my Henry 357 and it looks like it was made for the gun. The hand cut leather and brass hardware look great and no holes need to be put in the beauty. Of course, it makes the shooting all the more accurate and comfortable; not to mention making the carry very easy. Go to Bayousling.com and you will buy one.


  11. Great review. And it’s true – I can’t begin to explain how gorgeous these rifles are… I hate front loaders and swore I’d never own another. Then I walked into a shop one day to get a few small things and walked out with a Golden Boy.

    Plus, in the day and age of “The ‘Freedom’ Group” and ilk, it’s wonderful to support a company that is adamant about manufacturing quality rifles in the USA.

  12. I’ve already got a Lever Octagon Frontier in .22 LR (the blued version of Henry’s premier .22 levergun). A Big Boy in .357 is next on the want list, to match my cherished .357 Ruger Anniversary Flattop Blackhawk.

    Smoothest action of all the leverguns, with the best fit and finish…and for anything this side of a full-scale zombie apocalypse, you probably won’t need more than ten rounds. What’s not to like?

    (Well, I’d like to see Henry offer the pistol-caliber Big Boys in a blued version, as they do the .30-30. More durable than the polished brass…although the brass Henrys are truly a work of art.)

  13. I now own 4 Henry rifles in various calibers so you can assume I’ve become a big fan and am a little biased. As for the Big Boy, what I like about it might not be right for every one. The Henrys by comparison are heavier rifles. But that’s what I like about it. It absorbs most of the recoil that I have grown to dislike as I get older. I can shot the .357 (or .38’s if you want to save some money) all day without a problem. I’ve found that the .357’s are more accurate and of course, provide a little more punch. I changed out the original sights on two of my Henry’s with Skinner Sights which have helped enormously for my aging eyes. I was never a big fan of the open buckhorn anyway. With a well adjusted and stable sight, these are very accurate rifles. I also own two .22 magnums, one with a Skinner Sight, one with a scope. Once again, the accuracy is great. But I’ve fired a few different lever action rifles and the bottom line is this: For whatever reason to me, the Henry rifles just seem to feel right. I love shooting them over and over again. By far my most favorite is the .357. That almost 9 lbs of rifle, compared to 6-7+ for similar brands, is what I think makes them steadier. I should mention that I am not a large man, and that weight is just fine. And lastly as mentioned before, these rifles are a thing of beauty. I have both brass and black, but of course the brass is a work of art in my opinion. I’ve let a couple of guys at the range shoot them and they have had the same experience. They want one. I’ve had more comments and questions about them than you could imagine. But one thing’s for sure: If you can call a rifle beautiful, these Henrys fit the bill.

  14. I’ve been looking at Henry Big Boy’s for some time and plan on purchasing one in 45LC soon to match my 45LC Ruger Blackhawk. I did contact Henry and they said the receiver and lockup mechanism is more than capable of handling the +P loads designed for Rugers if I so desired. I do have my own handloads that I’ve worked up over the years and they are a little “hotter” than standard loads but not much. Anyway….excellent review, very well done, it is appreciated by me and I’m sure many others.

    • David, I too am loading my own 45 colt for my Taurus Judge and want to load a little Hotter for the Henry, You sound like the man I need to talk to. If you would be so kind as to take down my email address, and send me an email, I sure would appreciate discussing loads etc. with you. Thanks billyt7563@aol.com

      • My current favorite “hot” load for my Henry 45 Colt (use at your own risk) is:

        Hornady 250 grain XTP, 25 grains of IMR4227, CCI 300 primers, 3/4 turn on the Lee crimp die for a fairly heavy crimp.

        Shoots one ragged elongated hole at 50 yards. No signs of over pressure…excellent accuracy. Haven’t chronographed the load yet but believe it is around 1500 fps…give or take.

        Love the gun.

  15. I have loved the looks & feel of the Henry for years. Was in the USMC & shot more weapons than most people ever get to see, but i enjoy lever action weapons the most… by far. Maybe it has a little to do with the nostalgia of a lever action, but mostly i think that they are just so darned useable. They point well, they work well, its just ‘right’ when i am aiming & shooting the thing. I have shot Winchesters & Marlins & they are good, but the Henry; well, its a Henry! They are a cut above, & as you said they are made in the USA.
    I just purchased a Henry Big Boy .44 Mag/.44 Special with large loop lever.
    its a dream come true for me.
    Now to look for a good sight.
    great review & keep up the good work

  16. A good honest review. I have been loking at a number of the well known brands in .44 mag. This has just confirmed my thoughts about Henry rifles. I purchased a Henry .22 in about 1997 it was the first to be imported into Australia. Its a great little rifle with very good wood work As you say to pretty to be used. As I shoot a veriation of Western Action I will be using it with light hand loads, but I know I will have to try it out on the wild pig and scrub cattle in my area.
    Again a good review.
    Regards from Down Under

  17. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vibrant transparent idea

  18. I have the Henry Big Boy in the 45 and the 357 and love both of them I also have the Marlin 1894SS in the 44 mag. The Henryhas asmoother action and less rccoil than the Marlin. Even thou I like the rlin I am selling it to buy the Henry Big Boy in he 44mag. I really love shooting my Henry more the the Marlin.

  19. Great review. I’m a bit biased because I now own three Henrys. I have the .357 Big Boy and everything you’ve said about the .44 is true, but with less recoil. I must mention quality control: I don’t think it gets any better than this. And yes, they are heavy rifles. The plus side is that it absorbs the recoil. As for ammo, mine loves Cowboy Action loads. As for durability, I can switch back and forth from .357’s to .38’s without a glitch. My brother likes shooting the .38 specials because he had shoulder surgery, and can no longer handle the recoil. You also can’t beat their customer service. Even the president of the company will communicate with you. Try that with other companies. Made in the U.S.A. with American materials. Not only a great shooter, the most attractive gun I’ve ever seen.

  20. All, owners who put a 2×7 scope on this baby will love it even more. And, I have found, that the Henry Big Boy 44 rifle LOVES Hornady 44 Mag 225 gr FTX rounds. Honestly, from a bench, these rounds will group at 4 inches at 160 yards (expect a 9.25 inch drop). YES – expect the rear iron sight to fail! Honest review, thanks so much for posting!

  21. i won a henry 30-30 at a frinds of the nra dinner and it is a fine rifle excpt for the rear sight so i put a scope on it.i have a marlin in 30-30 and a modle 71 winchester in .348 which comes close to the henry in fit and finish but is not quite as smoth .with out a recoil shield or butt pad you will not shoot the .348 more than three times from the bench while i can shoot the others all day with out to much discomfort.

  22. Just received my Henry 44 with the new scope mount (which I am very please they changed just before mine was made) and it fires like a dream. Will be in the market for a recoil pad but more to protect the brass butt plate rather than my shoulder. A real great addition to my collection!

  23. Hi, I have recently purchased the Henry bigboy in 44, the only problem is that I can’t look at it with out polishing it, it is a beautiful rifle. I am not a lover of lever rifles but the Henry is something special. The tube feed is also a good idea especially when the reciever is brass, I will definately fit a black/gold Skinner sight because like the review stated the original sight jumps back to the lowest setting when shooting. The weight of the rifle does absorb the recoil and the American walnut is second to none. Overall this is an excellant rifle and is worth every penny.

  24. I have the 44 mag big boy. This is one of the most fun guns to shoot. Well made and very smooth action. I prefer this gun over my 30-30 model 94 winchester. I actualy started reloading 44 mags so I can shoot my Henry more often. I also added a skinner peep sight, the one that screws on the barrel, which works great.

  25. I am trying to purchase a Henry Big Boy in 44 mag and 357 mqag , but the local gun shops in Whichata Falls Tx. are void of Henrys of any kind. How can I go about locating a destributer for this area for a local gun shot to obtain these rifles for me? Thanks for info…

  26. My kids gave me a 44 Big Boy for my birthday because they know I’ve been coveting one for a long time. Its comfortable to hold and comfortable to shoot. Surprisingly accurate for open sights. I still get a thrill every time I take it out of the case to clean it or just to look at it. It is a real work of art and the craftsmanship is exceptional.

  27. I am the proud owner of 3 Henry’s. A Golden Boy in 22 Mag, a 22 pump and the 44 Big Boy. All are exceptional pieces of craftsmenship with perfect fit and finish. The 44 is so much fun to shoot and it really makes a big hole in what ever you hit. With my eyes, 50 yards was about my practical limit with iron sites. I am waiting for delivery of the new style scope mount so I can install my new Nikon 3-9×40. I believe this is still a 100-150 yard weapon even with the scope. However, now it should group up to its potential as the shooter will see what he is aiming at.

    Now to the two rimfire Henry’s. As many have mentioned, the Golden Boy is an absolute best in class. In 22 Mag it delivers excellent varment punch out to that 100 yard point as well. The real mention for me is the 22 pump. It is my newest Henry. I longed for another 22 pump from my teenage years. The choices for a new 22 pump are rather limited. After what I considered proper due dilligence, I bought the Henry. I only have about 100 rounds down range but it is just a joy to shoot. The action is already breaking in and it is smooth as silk. I would expect nothing less from the folks in NJ.

  28. Really liked the review. I bought my Big Boy 3 years ago and love shooting it. I have several friends , and a wife, that refer to it as ” their gun”. It is a real nail driver, but the recoil is still something my little wife can handle. I waited a long time to finally buy one and have no regrets. Even if you don’t like front loaders this is a gun all collectors should own, just off looks alone.

  29. I purchased at my local Exchange on Base. To tell you the truth the only reason I bought it was just the beauty of the riffle.
    I took it to the range and fired it out of the box, with out even adjusting any sites I was able to hit my targets easily at 50 yrd, 100 yrds and 150. My shot groups where about a 50 cent piece group not bad for a .44 at 150 yrds. The recole on this thing is average, my 14yr old son who weighs in a a buck 5 soaking wet could fire it easy.
    If you are looking for a leaver action riffle and not worried about Speed loading this bad boy is for you. Should not have been called the “Big” Henry but the “Bad” Boy Henry.

    • Its a pure pleasure every time I take it to the range. The action gets smoother every time I use it and I experienced the same thing when I first took it out of the box. 100 yard shot groups of about 2-3 inches. You’re a better marksman that me. I tweaked the lateral sight position a bit and got it down to 1.5 – 2. It is truly a work of art.

  30. Our oldest son worked hard to achieve the rank of ‘Eagle Scout’ and without a thought I rewarded him with the ‘Henry Eagle Scout Edition Rifle’. What I did not expect was the absolute breathtaking beauty and awesomeness one feels when holding this rifle. My son cherishes that rifle more then the Tahoe I gave him and I can see why. If one Henry is good then two are better, I am now the very proud owner of a Henry Big Boy .44 and am already looking forward to more.
    No man can just look at these rifles, they have to hold them, so be prepared to clean often.

  31. I have a .357/.38 that I have used in Cowboy Action Shooting for two seasons and would not trade it for anything. This gun seems to jump onto the target and allows really smooth, fast transitions between targets. I’m not fond of the tubular magazine, but once it is loaded you’re good to go. Two problems I have encountered and reported to Henry: (1) the lever does not lock into position with a full magazine and (2) cartridges must be 1.58″ or better or they will not feed properly. The original Henry rifles had a retainer behind the lever to lock it into place. This would be an easy fix for the first problem. As I load my own ammo I have solved the second problem by loading to the required length. There are now at least three of us shooting Henry’s in the local CAS shoots.

    As with about everyone else who has posted here, I love the rifle and would own it even if I never shot it. It is a thing of beauty and almost a work of art!

    • Though not the prettiest solution, an appropriate length of Schedule 40 grey electrical PVC with a sealed cap at one end and a formed cotter pin inserted at the other serves well as a speed loader for the tubular magazine of the Big Boys. Just pull the magazine plunger/retainer all the way out and drop in the line of rounds at a modest angle from the PVC reload tube (case end first, of course). Works every time to deploy a quick reload. If you prefer, or if dust or dirt is an issue, you can use a threaded fitting and cap at the exit end of the reload tube instead of a cotter pin.

  32. i love my 44mag and display it in an open case but it is developing small spots. is this somthing i have done to create this problem?

  33. Great review. Re: feeling like a criminal for dinging it, I dropped it on my jeep bumper and put but a tiny ding in the stock and wept. Henry hit a home run.

  34. For defensive purposes, by the way, once the tube ran out, you can simply load one at a time through its single action capability.

  35. Better take your golf cart to lug this 8+ pound monster thru the bush & the sunlight reflecting off that brass receiver would be a dead give away to deer.
    I’d consider a “blue” Henry model H010 in 45-70 that weighs in at 7 pounds.

  36. If a pound and a half is a deal breaker, you should probably leave the Henry at home like you said. And sunlight reflects off of any shiny objects you carry into the brush, including sunglasses.

  37. My .44 Big Boy was purchased new in the fall of 2010 and it too has a galloping buckhorn rear sighting mechinism. It was annoying enough that after two outings it became a safe queen. This month I decided to take it out again and address the issue so I could enjoy shooting this masterpiece in rotation with everything else. So last week I called Henry’s to find a fix. After a short discussion of the problem, I was promptly asked for my address and told to expect a replacement rear sight in the mail. Since then I came across this review and am relieved to learn that I am in good company. Once the new sight arrives, it will promptly be tested on the rifle. I expect to be duly impressed. Thanks for your informative review.

      • Did you have a hard time getting the correct rings to fit the mount. I have a redfield scope revenge 3zX9X52mm 1″ tube and have ordered three sets of rings, none of the rings will tighten up on the mount. Can you help?

  38. Recently purchased a 22LR Golden Boy and must say, it has the smoothest action and is the flattest shooting rifle in my gun safe. I have ordered the Golden Boy 22 mag. and extreamly excited to recieve and fire it.

  39. They are Beautiful but even more stunning in person. I picked up my Big Boy 44 yesterday and all I can say is Wow, I will be leaveing it to my childern. I’m planning on putting a scope on it for hunting my up North property next fall. Thanks for the great review…
    The next purhase will be a Mares leg 44……… Woohoo cant wait…

  40. With a scope on it the gross weight would be around the 10 pound mark. Fine for a 100 yard walk from my pu truck to a tree stand or ground blind but if I have to walk for a good part of the day no thanks.
    For carrying I’ll take my Rossi M92/44 Mag which weighs in at 4.8 pounds and is half the price of the Henry.

  41. My son bought me one for my birthday 4 years ago. He got it at a BPS, I went to a local shop, WE Sells for more shells and another gentleman asked me what I had and I tole him a Henry Big Boy .44. There was one there and the guy asked to see it and I saw the price. I told my son what the price was and he got in touch with BPS and got $1o6 in return, $6.00 was tax. Started shooting it and my shoulder was starting to hurt so bad I almost put it away. Took it for bear and only carried it for one day due to my shoulder pain. Took it out for the first day of deer and it dawned on my I never check if the gun even fit my arm length. Put it in the crook of my arm and couldn’t even touch the trigger. Put the gun up and saw that I had it out side of my shoulder. By soing this it was pulling my shoulder out of place. It did heal six months later, in the mean time I bought another stock to cut down which I did and it is perfect now with the original in the gun cabinet. I also bought a tang sight from Track of the Wolf which mounts behind the hammer and the accuracy is astounding. The only bad thing about a tang sight is you need extra daylight to see through it. The Hornady Lever evelution shells work great but haven’t reloaded any yet. For $5.oo I got a bullett seat incert for the Hornady too. I’m 58 and my walk is about 1/4 mile up a nasty mountain with my blind and seat without any problem, so these other guys must be grossly out of shape or just lazy unless they have some age to them then they have a gripe. Wouldn’t trade this Henry for any other gun except for an origional Henry.

    • Thanks for the tips. I ended up with a black & blue shoulder with my Big Boy too. I had my local gun smith fit the gun to me and the problem went away. I’ve been having some trouble with the open elk horn site. It seems to slip a notch every once in a while after about 20 to 30 shots are fired. I’ve been thinking about a scope but don’t want to get away from the original classic if I can help it. Are you aware of any replacements that would fit the bill? I also agree that if somebody is complaning about the weight of the gun when out in the field they should probably stick to a 22 with a plastic stock. I’m 66 and my Henry doesn’t feel heavy to me. It feels solid.

      • If you want to stay with open sights practically any dove tail style open should work. I still like the Tang. Rember the further apart your sights are [ front to back ] the more accurate shooter you will become.

        • Noted, thanks. I might try approaching Henry directly to see if there is something I can do to tighten up the rear sight. Failing that I will probably try the tang sight.

  42. Anxiously awaiting delivery of my Big Boy .357 Magnum, Hurricane Sandy shutdown the factory but they are now shipping. It will be worth the wait.

  43. I just picked up a Big Boy in 45 Colt yesterday at Cabela’s (after searching for months in vain) and promptly took it to the range and ran 100 rounds though it. Hit a can and sent it 20 feet into the air. Hit it almost every time. Pure bliss. Extremely accurate gun even out of the box. Thank you Henry!

  44. The Skinner Sights peep sight in black and gold is just perfect for this rifle. If you have the new drilled receiver, there is a receiver mount peep site that is just great. Then, drift out the buckhorn sight and replace with their dovetail that allows mounting of a spare aperture. I use the .96 for normal and .40 stored for target work. Really quality rifle improved by the longer sight picture and great machining from Skinner. If you don’t have the drilled receiver, the stock sight can be replaced by a Skinner peep as well. I have one on my Winchester 1892AE as well.

  45. Can someone tell me the correct scope rings to get that will work with my Big Boy. 44mag and a scope that has a 1″ tube? I have purchased 3 different sets of rings that supposed fit a #50 weaver style mount and I can’t get them to tighten up. Help!

    • I bought a Nikon Buckmasters 3-9×50 scope and from my LGD and he sold me Pro Mag PM128D – 1″ Tactical .500 Height Steel Rings (42mm-52mm) Objective Lens that tighten up on the Henry factory rail.

      They were 40 bucks and have thumb screws for easy on and off. I have a BB .44 Mag and a .357 Mag and intend to use the scope on both. The rings are heavy and NOT flimsy.

  46. I don’t give a hoot about a shot at something over a hundred yards, and I ain’t shooting at cape buffalo..heck, if I do nothing with this beautiful gun I just got, other than replace the 30-30 now hanging on my wall….well…I’ll have just about the best looking “wall gun” on the planet….but, don’t worry…I will have run thousands of rounds through that classic half-octagon barrel before that happens.

    Happy shooting..

  47. I bought my Henry Big Boy .45LC a couple years ago right before the prices went up. The original owner had recently bought it, shot it a couple times, put back in the box and into the safe. He loved the rifle but needed some money and sold it to me for a well spent $525. He said it was crazy accurate and my first trip to the range with it proved he was right, the gun shot so well I was actually shocked. The action is so smooth it’s hard to believe it’s actually a mechanical object because there is no sense of metal on metal movement at all. While I love my Winchester 94 (.44 mag) it’s action is nowhere near as perfect as the Henry’s. They are absolutely beautiful, silky smooth operating works of art that are fully capable of handling even the “hot” ammo that other rifles shy away from including +P ammunition (and, yes, that was straight from Henry).

    I bought my Big Boy to accompany me on hunts where I would be carrying my Ruger New Blackhawk Convertible .45LC/.45acp so that my rifle and revolver shared the same ammo. My Henry Big Boy in it’s saddle scabbard and my Blackhawk or Vaquero (depending on mood) in it’s custom gun rig. Probably a result of watching so many westerns with my father when I was young. I love the whole idea of hunting with a beautiful lever action rifle with a strong six gun along for backup and living the dream, so to speak. I do love my Winchester 94, it’s much lighter than a Big Boy, far easier to quickly come on target with and it’s also a beautiful rifle but there’s no arguing Henry built a rifle that is much prettier and accurate than the Winnie 94 albeit at an increase weight.

    As was mentioned in the original review the one thing that is a bit of a downfall is that the rifle is so beautiful I am terrified of putting any kind of mark on it. Mine has one tiny spot that is almost impossible to see so I’m insanely protective of it. My Winchester is close to 50 years old and shows it was a true hunting rifle with it’s many scratches, dings and other marks which give it character, especially since it’s been in my family since purchased new so taking it out into the woods doesn’t bother me a bit. My Henry, on the other hand, still looks new and was much prettier to begin with than my Winchester so I’m not sure I’ll ever get the nerve up to take out and risk a scratch, which is a shame because they are amazing shooters.

    My sister loved mine so much she had to have her own which I agreed to get her for her birthday. Unfortunately the prices had risen dramatically not long after I bought mine and the price made my head spin but they are what I call “heirloom” quality guns and ours will definitely be passed down to family someday so it’s hard to put a value on something like that. Just talking about it has me wanting to shoot it so I think I’ll get her out of the safe and go punch some holes in paper 🙂

  48. While I am here and why. Well, I was looking for opinions as to the 95 Winchester type actions such as the Rossi. Have they been proven stronger than the Henry and other lever action knock offs? All I want is a good hog gun. I have a Mossberg in .410 — not sure if that’s good enough if a 500 lb Boar decides he does not like me for some reason 🙁

  49. I appreciate very much the question that the Author makes per se regarding the correct plural form of the word -forum-, this ancient latin noun means -place where the citizens meet to speak and trade-. Gammatically speaking: it belongs to the second declension, neuter gender; -Forum- is singular nominative and his plural form is -Fora-
    The same happens with the word -curriculum-, the plural is -curricula-

    Best regards from Italy

  50. I just bought a 45 long colt and haven’t shot it yet. Will this gun handle the +p rounds safely?
    What ammo do you guys recommend for the 45 long colt?
    Btw this gun is a beauty!

  51. FYI It’s an “Abrams” tank, not “Abrahams”. Creighton Williams “Abrams” Jr. was a general in the United States Army. “Abraham” is the father of both Jews and Muslims and the first name of our 16th President.

  52. I live in the UK and I’m considering buying a Big Boy in 44 Mag. Having read the excellent review I find the reported problem with the “Nomadic” backsight to be a little off-putting.

    It is now two and a half year since the original review was posted, and I wondered if Henry themselves have taken any steps to rectify the problem.

    I own a Winchester 94 in .357″ and have twice lost the rear sight ramp (or ratchet), I wouldn’t like to suffer a similar experience with a shiny brass Big Boy.

    • I wouldn’t be concerned about it. I was reluctant to attempt to gunsmith the problem myself because it’s such a beautiful rifle, but it turned out to be an absurdly simple repair.

      Henry sent me an entirely new rear sight assembly, but they also suggested that I drift out the rear sight and gently bend it to put more tension on the rear ramp. I did this, and it completely solved the problem.

  53. You said you’d go hunting without a sling on a rifle that will weigh 9 lbs. loaded. I did that once (but only once!!!) I carried a British SMLE (about same weight as Henry) and forgot to bring the sling along. I walked up a mountain & down the other side about 3 miles through gullies, etc. I shot a medium sized Colorado mule deer (doe) then had to drag it back over the same path. Going to the deer took about 2 hours – coming back took about 6 hours. I will NEVER own another rifle (including .22) or shotgun that doesn’t have a shoulder sling! If sling is not needed in your situation, you can always remove & put it in your pocket.

  54. I just purchased a Henry 44 mag, Big Boy. First 44 mag. I am confused. Is there a .44 mag bullet for the rifle and a different bullet for a pistol? Or are they inter-changeable?


  55. I just ordered the 45LC at Jay’s in Gaylord, MI a week ago yesterday. I couldn’t wait to get it before I read the comments. Now, I don’t know what the %&*@ I’m gonna do until it comes-soon I hope. I already have the Ruger ‘Deerstalker’ when the 1st hit the market back in 59′ or 60′(???????????????about year). Got the Taurus 38/357 for protection. I wanted a caliber to match my single action 45LC. Talk about “Homeland Security’. Anyway, just had to do something to settle down, so I thought I’d spend a few hours trying to say ‘thanx’ for the critique and all the comments.

    jack krause

  56. question is , can i shoot 340 grain buffalo bore bullets ,maid in montana in my new 44 cal. big boy?if not what grain can i shoot.i have 240 s & 265 s. l;m gonna kill a brown bear with it. its our first year of baiting for them. just want to make sure. thanks ed hull

    • Henry says only use under a 260. They have a different twist and aren’t very accurate with heavy rounds. Also they will jam if you use a longer round.

  57. I am not impressed the first time I shot my henery 44 mag it would not eject the fired round.so went home though. Something had broken.got home I guess fired round had cooled off so it finally ejected round leaving 4 deep gouge in fired round.for $900 that rife should be perfect guess will have to sent back to henery to have it check out

    • they have weak mag springs in the older ones and they won’t cycle anything over a 260 grain or lever revolution type plastic tipped stuff. They aren’t good for much but looking pretty.

      • Hey Mike,

        The limit of bullet weight is due to bullets over 260 gr. being to big to feed and chamber is our rifles properly. Even if they will feed and chamber just fine anything over 260 gr. would not stabilize with the rifling we use, so not sure why anyone would want to use them in our rifle. As for the leverevolution it is the plastic tip that causes feed issues in our rifles sometimes. We do not recommend this ammunition as it can cause feed issues in our rifles. If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to contact me.

        Kevin Maguire
        Henry Repeating Arms
        59 E. 1st St.
        Bayonne, NJ 07052

    • Hey Don,

      Sorry to hear you got one of the few that do slip past us. We have a lifetime warranty on all Henry’s and hope you will contact us to get the issue fixed up.

      Kevin Maguire
      Henry Repeating Arms
      59 E. 1st St.
      Bayonne, NJ 07052

  58. Hi Henry Gun Shooters. Found something out the hard way. Was sighting my Big Boy 44 mag. When I had a fired shell casing broke in half in side of the chamber so I ejected the shell out to install another shell is when I found this out, the other shell would not go into the chamber. NOW WHAT? I called Hornady and told them my story. They asked if I was shooting a Henry Big Boy. They said yes there is a problem with the lever revelation FTX shell and henry. I should call henry. I called Henry and told them the same story, they said to find a gun smith and Do Not shoot hornady lever revelation FTX, or reloads, or wadcutters in any of the Big Boy guns. Henry said I could not mail the gun back with anything in the chamber. Gun smith 1hr. away. Who pays for this? Now what? I started to think about this why not mic the barrel. I got out my lead round balls for my black power guns. The barrel measured .406th found a ball that measured .438th. The ball being bigger by .032th.and the ball a litter bigger then the shell casing. Oil up the ball and pushed it down the barrel. When the ball came to the shell casing gave it one last push and casing and ball came out, if no ball could use a lead bullet by it self NO CASING WITH POWER! Did not shoot the gun yet had to work and it has been raining. July 16 2014

  59. I hate to go against the grain but I’ve owned a couple Henrys for a few years now. Here’s what I think of the Big Boy .44. It’s really pretty. Also kind of junky. It’s one of those guns for me that I like so I try to find good things about it but it’s heavy, inaccurate, has terrible sights from the factory.
    Another thing is that Henry’s customer service seems like the sweetest ever but they lie. They never admit an inherent problem with a rifle and even if they might be able to help you in an email they’re answer is always send it in. I have a .22 henry that I broke the sight on. all my fault. I wrote them to see how much a new part would be and the sweethearts sent me one of their cheap and practically useless sights for free. I asked in the email if any aftermarket sights would work and was told no way no how, no one makes one. Well they do and one month later Henry themselves released one. You know that was in the works at the time of my inquiry but could they tell me that?
    Now they want me to send my bigboy in again because they can’t just admit they made a weak mag spring and send me one or even just tell me and i’ll buy it myself. All they say is they work fine but check it out it’s a common problem. So now I’m not paying to send it in again, it’s cheaper to order the new spring rod. If that doesn’t work I’ll use it as a fencepost and just buy a marlin or winchester.

    • Checked a Henry Big Boy in 45LC out at the local gun shop.

      In my particular style of hunting I do a lot of walking on a typical outing. At least 10 miles of hiking in hilly country. I aso get in and out of various vehicles alot. The Henry BB could be the best gun in the world but by the end of the day I’d be crawling on my bell back to camp under that 8+ pounds of weight. Going to stick with my less than 6 pound 16″ bbl Rossi 92 in 44 mag that I paid $425 for new. Gets the job done without crushing my spinal column or my bank account and the Rossi 92 trapper is a lot handier getting in and out of atvs, cars & bush planes,

      Conclusion: the Henry Big Boy is way too heavy & for my purpose and way too expensive.

  60. […] bullets. But the Big Boy [reportedly] does fine with bullets up to and including 270 grains. Gun Review: Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum | The Truth About Guns He told me they chose brass to help identify with their namesake company of the 1860s. When I […]

  61. Thanks for this review! I wanted a Henry for a long time. I’ve had a Marlin 30/30 since I was a kid but the brass look and the more comfortable design of the old style levers are great. My wife bought me a Golden Boy 22 last year and that’s when I new for sure I wanted a Big Boy. The action is so smooth, its out of this world! I know I could’ve gotten a semi auto Ruger 22 for half the price but while everyone was freaking out about 22 rounds, I was buying up all the subsonic, small loads that they couldn’t shoot. I’m not sure if I want to go ahead and purchase a Big Boy or hold out for “The Original”. 16 rounds +1 and Holy cow they look sharp.

  62. Having been a Station owner (Australian lingo for farm over 100 square miles) I’ve owned something like 100 plus different firearms over the years, mostly for pest destruction (goats, pigs, wild dogs etc) with very few mechanical problems (one broken firing pin). Given this was an almost daily event it was not bad going. Now retired I thought I’d treat myself to Marlin .357 lever for Western range shooting, but could not believe the poor quality issues posted on my cyber space machine after the Remington takeover (About $1,500 here) That said, after extensive due diligence, I settled on a Henry Big Boy and hope to pick it up next week. The HBB’s are just shy of $2,000 down under, by the way, so I hope it stands up to the good reviews (with the exception of the buckhorn sights). Just shows manufacturers like Marlin/Remington that they can’t get away with poor quality in this day and age of cyber space. So my message to Henry is, ‘continue to build quality and they will come.’ I will of course post an honest review of my new Henry with the hindsight of 50 years (almost every day) behind the trigger. Stay tuned.

  63. After I got my first Henry .22 rifle several months ago, I wanted to find a Henry in a larger caliber. As I recently got my first .44 magnum revolver, a .44 Big Boy was an easy choice.

  64. My thanks to you gentlemen who replied to my query. I need to see if they plan to release the Big Boy in the .44 magnum again. If so, based in no small part on your comments, I may wait for it. Thank you again!

  65. A couple years back I came across an ad for a “like new” Henry Big Boy .45 Colt. Being a big fan of the .45 Colt I was interested from the first look at the picture but then I saw the price of $525 and instantly Emailed the guy. Turns out he needed money for something and needed it fast so he priced it low. He said he had bought it brand new just a month before and had only put 10 rounds through it to test function, then cleaned it and put it away. He said it was the smoothest, most accurate lever action he’d ever seen and, dang, was he right.

    The rifle was basically brand new, not a scratch, in the box with all the paperwork. First time I took it to the range the action was so smooth I was shocked and the accuracy was just amazing. I love my ’70s Winchester 94 .44 magnum but as much as I hate to say it, it couldn’t come close to the Henry. The Winchester is much lighter and faster to get on target and is plenty accurate but not as accurate as the Henry and nowhere near as smooth.

    They are absolutely beautiful rifles and if you get one be prepared to deal with the paparazzi lol. Every time the Henry goes to the range it draws people to it like moths to a flame. The beautiful looks and the performance to go with it on top of being all American made makes it number one in my book. As far as the magazine goes, the tube magazine is a plus in my book. If it were the old west days where I may need to top off the magazine during a gun battle, I’d choose a side loader like my Winchester 94 but for fun shooting and hunting, the Henry’s mag is a winner. The downfall of a side loader in modern times is the sore pinched thumb that comes with pushing pistol cartridges into the mag and more importantly, having to work the action over and over and over to unload the magazine. Having grown up shooting the Winchester 94 .44 magnum I was used to having to cranking the lever over and over when unloading after hunting or shooting, then having to gather up all the cartridges. The Henry let’s me twist the magazine tube and quickly and easily empty the ammo into a hat or something. The brass doesn’t get all dinged up from being run through multiple times and just so much easier.

    I read a lot on here about the .44 magnum, and do love that cartridge, but remember you can buy or load .45 Colt to the same power level and get a bigger bullet to boot. The rifle will easily handle the high power stuff so you can choose from mild to wild. I wasn’t sure what the rifle would handle so I contacted Henry and was told the rifle was built to handle any factory ammo, including that from sources like Cor-bon, Double Tap and Buffalo Bore. Once you look at the receiver up close you’ll see why they say that, it’s built like a tank. The .45 Colt Big Boy will run every bit as wild as the .44 magnum so if you want the power, don’t forget the .45 Colt. Plus, is there a more iconic American caliber for the lever action than the .45 Colt? I think not.

  66. Solve the sling problem by installing a “Ranger Sling”.

    Materials: One nylon strap, 1, 1.5, to 2 inches wide by 50 to 60 inches in length. Two pieces of para-cord, one 8 inch length (roughly), the second 16 inches (roughly). Two M16 type sling brackets. These can be purchased at many Army surplus stores. Cost, about ten bucks.

    Instal directions: Loop through itself the 8 inch piece of para-cord around the barrel near the stock, leaving two thumb widths of a loop to receive the nylon strap. The barrel loop will run a little loose, and shouldn’t melt on the barrel. For the stock, using the longer piece of para-cord, tie a simple loop (again two thumbs wide) midway in the cord, then tie off the tightest possible knot wrapped around the stock nearest the lever. (The loop to be used for the the nylon strap). Now with the third section, tie off each end on either side of the stock to the para-cord, cranking down on the second knot to pull back the loop towards the widening stock towards the rear. This will tighten everything up on the stock eliminating slack. This stock configuration should look like a “T” laying on its side, with the top bar of the “T” towards the lever ” I “, and the ” — ” wrapping around the butt to the other side. Trim off the excess, burn the ends of the para-cord. Size the nylon strap (sling), trim off the excess, burn the ends, and you’re done.

    Advantages: Cheap solution to a problem. You’ll be able to carry your rifle “at the ready”, like a guitar, or sling over your back. NO drilling, NO permanent modifications to the rifle. Easy to remove/ replace.

    This Ranger Sling is what we used on our M-16’s prior to all the really cool and expensive aftermarket products became available (old-school). You’ll likely have to play with the barrel loop/ knot to figure out what configuration will work best. The M-16 front sight, or sling attachment was used and was easy to tie off on. In the case of lever-actions, be mindful of the magazine loading tube. You’ll want to test this configuration out around the house to ensure function front and rear. You might be able to tie your front loop around the front stock instead.

    Similar based on: http://www.propstore.com/product/black-hawk-down/rubber-m16-a2-rifle/

    and: http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318231 (about 1/2 way down the page showing the “T” shape on the stock).

  67. FYI: Henry Rifle fans…having traded email with the President of the company it will be releasing the Big Boy Deluxe III at the end of March/early April. I was told that a .44 Magnum will be in the release. There you go!

  68. I purchased a 44 mag Big Boy with engraved brass receiver. I LOVE IT !!! I use it to shoot feral hogs and one shot drops them where they stand. I later purchased a 22 mag engraved brass receiver and love it. One Christmas, I held a company Christmas with management. Each of the men received an Old Henry rifle and they all loved the gift. Some of the women were envious and wished to trade their gifts for a Henry. Great long gun. I can’t praise it enough although the rear sight wanders a bit.

  69. Checked a Henry Big Boy in 45LC out at the local gun shop.

    In my particular style of hunting I do a lot of walking on a typical outing. At least 10 miles of hiking in hilly country. I also get in and out of various vehicles alot. The Henry BB could be the best gun in the world but by the end of the day I’d be crawling on my bell back to camp under that 8+ pounds of weight. Going to stick with my less than 6 pound 16″ bbl Rossi 92 in 44 mag that I paid $425 for new. Gets the job done without crushing my spinal column or my bank account and the Rossi 92 trapper is a lot handier getting in and out of atvs, cars & bush planes,

    Conclusion: the Henry Big Boy is way too heavy & for my purpose and way too expensive.

  70. I purchased a Big Boy for my husband for Christmas. After wanting one of these all his life it’s nothing but a huge disappointment. This gun will not load. Have sent it back to the company twice and as far as they are concerned it is ok, only problem is it still won’t load more than two out of ten shells. Have tried several different brands of ammo nothing makes a difference.

    My husband emailed the company once again but no reply so far.

  71. I don’t think there are any words in the English language that can truly describe the very best customer service that Henry Repeating Arms delivers. Mr. Anthony Imperato and his staff set a level of customer satisfaction that is rivaled by no one.

    I own a Henry .44 magnum Big Boy and a Henry Golden Boy .22 magnum and both are flawless works of art made from all American craftsmanship and top drawer materials. I am a Vietnam combat veteran so I know a little about what makes a quality weapon and believe me, my Henry’s are the finest made firearms I have ever held or used for what they are designed for.

    I am extremely proud to own these two Henry rifles and I will buy more as time and money will allow. Even if I never fire a single round through them, they are a tribute to what American craftsmanship used to be all about. Back when this great country of ours made the finest products this world had ever seen and set the standard every other country tried to achieve.

    I thank Anthony Imperato for setting a company mission statement that says ” Made in America or Not at all”
    which is something America’s business owners need to re-establish again to get us all back to where the USA needs to be.

    In conclusion, Look at every option when buying firearms or any product. If your looking for the finest ones available, then in my humble opinion, you can do no better than Henry Repeating Firearms.

    I am NOT in any way affiliated with HRFA, just a very satisfied customer for life.

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  73. I bought a Henry Big Boy .44 Mag back about 2007. It is a quality rifle for sure. I bought it to go with my Taurus Raging Bull (6 1/2″ barrel) .44 Mag. Back in the Cowboy days men carried both a revolver and a rifle that shot the same caliber, so they would not have to carry two different rounds with them.

  74. I cut my teeth on a Marlin lever gun back in the early 60s. I was 15 and scored an Oregon buck with it. Time and tide passed and with a long string of bolt guns, have come full circle back to a Henry Big Boy in .44 mag. I haven’t shot it yet. I ponied up for a Skinner rear dove tail brass sight and the wall display case from HRA. WHAT A MARVELOUS PIECE OF ART WORK!
    I got busy and loaded up 300 rounds of .44 mag for my first time out to the range. After much research, I decided on 24 grs. of H110 under a Hornady 240 gr. XTP bullet! I had WWLP, so I used them over my favorite CCIs.
    I’m looking forward to sighting in and firing this lovely rifle. I mounted it on the wall over the TV in the living room and find myself watching it nearly as much!
    Hats off to HRA for the manufacture of a superb product…thank you so much!

  75. Love lever actions. Own 3 .32 Win Sps, 1955 and 1957 vintage. Own my Dad’s Savage .308 win 99C. Won a Friends of the NRA auction for a Henry Golden Boy .22 with NRA stamped on the butt stock. Purchased a .44 Mag Henry Big Boy in brass. Both Henry’s are superb rifles and accurate to perfection. I am a retired Army Ranger so know good weapons and do know how to shoot. Both the Big and Golden Boys have butter smooth actions that is even hard to hear when loading a round. The enemy or Deer, Elk, or Moose do not know you are reloading a round. The .44 is a great Deer rifle here in the North Woods of NH.

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