Henry Repeating Arms president Anthony Imperato confirmed to me this morning that the New Jersey-based arms maker will be offering their steel-framed, round-barrel lever action rifle in the thundering .45-70 cartridge in March of 2012. We loved Henry’s Big Boy .44 Magnum earlier this year, and we’ve come to expect great things from them. What’s not to love about lever-action goodness in a huge .45-70 package, other than football ballistics and the price of ammo?
Details are a bit scanty right now, but it appears to be a Super-Sized version of Henry’s current steel-frame .30-30 rifle with a round 20-inch barrel and a pistol-grip stock. Magazine capacity should be 5+1 (possibly 6+1), and XS Systems’ ghost ring sights will be standard.
Unlike the stunning brass-framed Henrys, which Farago considers almost too beautiful to shoot, this one looks like a knockabout working gun. Henry has already promised to send us a test model, and I’m sure I won’t mind that it will sport a boring-looking rubber buttpad instead of a lovely but painful solid-brass recoil pad.
PRICE UPDATE: Mr. Imperato just got back to me with pricing for the big Henry. With an MSRP of $799, I expect the street price to settle at $600 to $650. The Henry steel-framed .30-30 has an MSRP of $750 and a street price of about $500, and I’d expect the big bore to see a slightly smaller street discount from the list price.
This big-ass Henry will inevitably compete with the Marlin 1895 (street price $500+) which has remained in production during TFG’s partial lever-action shutdown.
Even with a street price of $100 to $150 more, I think the Henry’s pricing will be a real threat to the stock Marlin 1895. Many Marlins (mine included) need replacement sights and a trigger job before they’re outstanding shooters, and these upgrades will add one or two Benjy’s to a Marlin’s price tag. A $650 Henry, with factory-excellent sights and trigger, won’t need any customization at all.
There’s also no word on what Henry will call this cannon. I’m guessing that ‘Really Really Big Boy,’ ‘Fat Boy’, and ‘Big Bad Boy’ didn’t make it off the PR guy’s desk. Any suggestions?