When I heard that Henry Repeating Arms was introducing a lever action .410 shotgun, my first thought was, “Why?” I eventually came to a simple conclusion: Henry jefe Anthony Imperato wouldn’t waste his time (and money) on making a product with no purpose or demand. The question then became, is it any good?

Henry makes these new shotguns in 24” and 20” models. I spent some time comparing the two on their website and opted to go with the 20” model for review.

When I picked up the gun from Sportsman’s Finest, it was exactly what I expected: a standard white Henry box sheltering a lever-action blued steel and American walnut long gun. At first glance, you wouldn’t realize that it’s a shotgun. And for good reason; the .410 shotgun is made on Henry’s .45-70 rifle frame.

I live in the country; .410 shells aren’t the first thing to fly off the gun store shelf. So I picked up a couple boxes of the only option available: 2.5-inch Remington American Clay & Field shells, ½ ounce of size 8 shot. I could have driven a few towns over and scrounged the shelves there for other options (including slugs), but I couldn’t wait to get back home and put some rounds down range.

You load the shotgun the same way you load a Henry rifle: twist the follower and pull it up past the loading port. Load five 2.5-inch shells (don’t try to cram in six, or use 3-inch shells), push the follower down, and twist to secure it.

The .410’s action is as smooth as fresh churned ice cream and just as sweet. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Henry shotgun performed just like their rifles. I had no issues with any of the boxes of rounds I cycled through the gun.

The 20-inch model has a cylinder bore with no choke, making it safe to shoot slugs. The 24” model comes with a full Browning-style Invector choke from the factory, that can be switched out with other screw-in chokes of your choice.

The sights are unusual for a shotgun, but effective. The rear sight is an adjustable semi-buckhorn with a white diamond insert and the front sight is a brass bead. The combination of these two made it very easy to acquire the sights and get the gun on target quickly.

Adjustment is easy and, as expected, the shotgun put pellets right where the sights were aimed. If iron sights aren’t your thing, the receiver is also drilled and tapped for a scope of your choice. The 24-inch model’s different. There’s a brass bead on the front, no rear sight, and it’s not drilled or tapped.

The .410 weighs in at almost 7.5 pounds, but it’s still light enough to be carried through the woods comfortably while in search of little critters. If you’d rather put a sling on it, there are swivels already installed.

When shooting, I engaged the targets at two distances: 7 yards and 10 yards. At 7 yards, the pattern was nice and tight, clustering most of the shot in the inner 10” of a 12” circle. The larger holes seen in the target are from the wads.

At 10 yards, the pattern had opened up a bit – as expected – but all of the shot was nicely clustered in the entire 12” circle and the wads didn’t impact the target.

After spending time on the range with this little shotgun, I’m no longer wondering why Henry decided to get into the shotgun game. This .410 is a great gun. Loaded with shot, it was fun to shoot at paper, which can get boring pretty quick. I plan on heading into town soon and getting some slugs to shoot at cans. We don’t recycle in Virginia, so I’ve got plenty of cans to unleash some slugs on in the coming days!

Specifications: Henry Lever Action .410 Shotgun

Model Number: H018-410R
Action Type: Lever Action
Caliber: .410 Bore 2 1/2″ Shells
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Barrel Length: 20″
Rate Of Twist: Smooth Bore
Overall Length: 40.5″
Weight: 7.33 lbs.
Receiver Finish: Blued Steel
Rear Sight: Fully Adjustable Semi-Buckhorn w/ Diamond Insert
Front Sight: Brass Bead
Stock Material: American Walnut
Buttplate: Black Ventilated Rubber Recoil Pad
M.S.R.P. $850.00

Ratings (Out of 5 Stars):

Appearance: * * * * *
Henry uses the same blued steel and American walnut here that they use on their rifles. The wood to metal fit is great, the bluing is nicely done and even throughout, and the walnut stock is very attractive. Just like their rifles, the Henry shotgun is a vision of simplistic beauty.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
The gun shoulders and points with ease. The weight of the gun combined with light .410 rounds and a rubber recoil pad on the buttplate makes it a joy to shoot.

Reliability: * * * * *
I ran a few boxes of shells through it without bothering to clean it beforehand. No failures to feed or eject. The action was still nice and smooth even after putting it through its paces.

Accuracy: * * * *
The gun was accurate right out of the box. The shot grouped great at close range and had a nice, even spread a little further out.

Overall: * * * * *
I didn’t really think I wanted (or needed) a lever action .410 shotgun, but I’ve been converted. The Henry .410 is easy and fun to shoot, making it a great choice for new shooters as well as seasoned shotgunners just looking for something different and fun.

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50 Responses to Gun Review: Henry Lever Action .410 Shotgun

  1. It’s a good review and Henrys seem very good.

    However, you didn’t really answer the question “why?”. Yes – I’m sure it’s fun to bounce a bunch of cans around with this gun. But lots of guns do that and there is no purpose for a shotgun that this shotgun would do well.

  2. Who needs .410 slugs when you have .45 Colt?
    Logan should try running a mag full of them through to see how it functions.

    • In Washington shotgun territory does not allow pistol cal. Long guns. So one of these is legal in .410 but not .45 colt. I wish they made a rifled version too.

  3. Why? I’ll tell you why. Eight years ago, I had a serious malfunction with a Henry rifle. I called their customer service line around Noon on Saturday, the day of the accident – – not to complain, but simply to inform them of the problem. At 8PM that night, the phone rang – – my six-year-old son answered…quickly (you parents out there can relate, I’m sure) – – he ran downstairs and handed me the phone – – “Dad, some guy wants to talk to you.” I was prepared to hang up…quickly. Instead, on the other end of the phone was a soft-spoken guy with a Jersey accent, Mr. Imperato.

    Mr. Imperato asked about the malfunction, apologized and stated that his company would have another rifle, or a rifle of my choice, in the mail the following Monday. I chose another rifle, the Henry Golden Boy in .22 Mag (I’m looking at it, right now). He offered me a hat and a Henry mug (which I am currently drinking out of, right now). And then he asked me if I had any recommendations or product requests. I was somewhat taken aback by this point, but it occurred to me that I had always wanted another .410 lever action (which Winchester once made, but makes no more) – – so I recommended that Henry make a .410 lever action shotgun – – and I promised him that I would buy three (one for each son). I am now patiently awaiting the guns’ arrival at my local firearms dealer. Thank you Mr. Imperato!

    I have been dealing with businesses of all shapes and sizes for a little over 22 years – – rarely have I found a company or an owner of the quality of Henry and Mr. Imperato. Such a thing, honor in business, is increasingly rare and all the more precious. Thus, I look for opportunities to buy their product and to recommend it to others. The fact that it is a fine product, an American-made product, simply adds to the equation.

    • Great story. As a proud owner of a Henry All Weather 45-70, I can appreciate that anecdote. I’m happy as a lark with the thing and know it has the full weight of Henry behind it.

      I guess for me though, I can’t find a ‘why’ to justify another spend – on a 7.5 lb .410 lever. I already have savage a .410/.22 break action that I use for squirrel and birds and it gives me the flexibility that I need for small game. I suppose if I didn’t have a .410 though, I would be looking at it differently, as I am a bit of a lever junkie, and this thing sure is purdy

  4. Something I’d like to address. I come across the question of “why” on many topics regarding guns. I think we tend to forget that this isn’t a country of “why?”, but “why not?” Seriously. I own an AR in .50 Beowulf. I don’t hunt with it, compete, or use it in any defensive capacity. As far as I can tell, it’s only purpose is killing volvos. So why own it?… Why not?! It’s fun as all hell, as I imagine a lever action .410 shotgun would be. Think I’ll go buy one.

    • Gotta watch out for those Volvos this time of year. I hear it’s their mating season and the males can get quite unreasonable in traffic!

    • I’ve bagged a few 3/4 tons with my .458. Tried it on a 1-ton and it just pissed the bull off. Chased me a good bit before it got distracted by a gas station.

    • A Volvo requires Holy Water, Blessed Silver Bullets and White Oak Wood Stakes to finally put it down for good.

  5. I guess you are right, they wouldn’t make them if there wasn’t a market for them. Just because I would have no use for a .410 shotgun doesn’t mean the need doesn’t exist. *shrugs

  6. I like its looks, and I really like the idea of a 410 lever gun, but given this one’s specs, I see no purpose for it that couldn’t be filled better by a different gun. A 40.5″ long lever-gun that weighs 7 1/3 pounds, only holds five shells, and is limited to 2.5″ shells only (not 3″)? Below is the message I sent Henry USA about this shotgun (they sent a very nice reply, by the way, with some Henry swag too):

    “I eagerly awaited your .410 lever-action shotgun, but then was disappointed to see its specifications. The 20″ barrel version is too long for a 20″ lever-action (40.5″, when my Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum with the same barrel length is only 37.5″, and a Marlin 336 in 30-30 is only 38.5″), holds too few rounds (5 rounds, when my Marlin 1894 holds 10 rounds of 44 Magnum in a gun that’s 3″ shorter), only holds 2.5″ shells (when all other .410 shotguns, excluding handguns, hold 3″ shells). Even when you compare the Henry lever-action .410 to a pump-action .410, the Henry falls short (no pun intended), because the pump-action Mossberg HS410 is 3.25″ shorter, 1.8 lb lighter, can take 3″ shells instead of only 2.5″, and despite being 3.25” shorter and having only an 18.5” barrel can hold six 3” shells instead of just five 2.5” shells! ! To keep up with your competitors, you need to make your lever-action .410 either hold at LEAST six 3″ shells like the Mossberg HS410 does (despite the Mossberg being 3.25″ shorter), or eight 2.5″ shells, plus you need to make its overall length a few inches shorter because it’s a lever-action (or is this really a gear-driven bolt-action like your Long Ranger?). Finally, can you get rid of the front-loading tube and have a shotgun-style loading gate?”

    • “Finally, can you get rid of the front-loading tube and have a shotgun-style loading gate?”

      I’ve hassled them about this on the Henry big boy, I just can’t tolerate the loading tube like it is.

      • Yeah, I don’t want a lever without a loading gate either. That time the Red Legs came after me at the fortified ranch house, convinced me to only use easy to reload guns.

    • Comparing this Henry .410 to a pistol/rifle caliber levergun, or a pump .410, is making an apples-to-pears-to-oranges argument.

      Additionally, a pump shotgun loading gate would make for a very crowded receiver (where would the lever go, and placed forward of the lever it’d probably only hold 3 ), it’d be more complex (read: extra $) to design a reliable sideloading gate (shells are blunt plastic tubes)…. Plus why design & retool for a sideloading lever shotgun receiver, when Henry has standard 45 caliber mag tubes that work fine?

      I agree, there are a lot of .410s with better utility or specs, but….. it’s still a lever .410 from a seriously righteous manufacturer. I also fully expect to see a rifled version as well, and I’d totally buy that for a dollar!

    • “Finally, can you get rid of the front-loading tube and have a shotgun-style loading gate?”
      They would gain a customer in you, and lose a customer in me. I much prefer the front loading tube. Just as fast, plus cleaner and safer to load and unload your rounds.
      It’s impossible to please every customer.

      • It may be as fast for a complete reload but what about just keeping it topped off in the midst of fighting and keeping the gun in a more ready condition while doing it? I am asking sincerely, because although it seems likely to me, I have not actually even held a lever gun in 35 years or so.

        • If you are going to load all, or just 1, the tube is just as fast or faster. After all, throwing one in the chamber is the same with any open action firearm. Anything in between all and just 1, the loading gate is faster. I’ve never needed to top off for a shootout with my levergun, but I have had to reload and unload for a hunting trip very many times.

        • “Throwing one in the chamber” with a tubed Henry seems like it’s easier said than done since the next round from the tube is already poking up to be chambered. I’m sure you can do it but it might be a hassle.

        • A fight, APM? With a .410? There’s your problem, right there. You don’t need a Henry you need a Swinghammer Johnson.

          Double barrel, pump action, belt fed, Double Nought 200 bore.

        • Hannibal, I meant an administrative load, as in you are empty and want shoot one quickly so you load one through the gate.

        • “…administrative load…”
          Man, ya learn something new every day if ya just pay attention.

          I’ll be stealing, I mean using that term.
          TY

      • If they have enough market space to build a niche .410 lever (and more power to them), they can make a line of sidegates and keep their tube load customers happy by continuing to offer the five million variants of their current line. Silver Boy, Golden Boy, Red boy, Orange Boy, Golden Special Boy Reserve…

    • Just so you know, the difference between a 2 1/2″ shell and a 3″ shell is, the 3″ shell has a longer wad cup to take up more empty space.

      • I don’t know about other loads, but the difference between #4 buckshot 2.5″ and 3″. 410 bore shells is 8 balls vs. 9. Not much of a difference, but there is one.

  7. I just wish they would start shipping them to gun stores so I can get one. I’ve been to every gun store in my area and none have gotten one yet.

  8. I’m a huge fan of .410 shotguns. Yes, is you really need to hunt high flying fowl, then a 12 gauge is superior. If you’re hunting deer, same deal, or a true rifle, instead of a shotgun slug. Still, for small game or midsize threatening animals, it’s great.

    As a home defense weapon, loaded with 3″ 00 or 000 buck shot, it’s borderline immoral. Minimal recoil that anyone in the family can handle, plus a very convenient pump action, means you’re putting 1.5″ to 2″ diameter holes in a violent invader’s face or chest at across-the-room distances. That’s just brutal. Well, brutal and effective.

    If you’re interested in a .410, Mossberg makes some rock solid models. You can’t go wrong. But Henry’s lever action? Never tried it, but I wouldn’t bother with it even if it were free. My experience with their .357 rifle has soured me on them, heartwarming anecdotes about the owner’s customer service notwithstanding.

    You’ve heard of GLOCK fanboys? Well, I’m a Henry hater.

    • there’s a lot more of them than there are of you.

      why don’t you call and talk to tony? you can send him all your posts from the comments of every ttag henry review ever where you describe how much you dislike your purchase.

      you can burn the hat and shoot the coffee mug that they’ll send.

    • What .357 rifle is that? My lever-action .357 is great. And anything that isn’t lever-action doesn’t seem like a Henry to me.

  9. The market for it is to transition young shooters who learned on a Henry rimfire rifle to a repeating shotgun using an action that’s familiar to the shooter. .410 in a 7.5 lb shotgun has a lot to recommend it as a first shotgun other than the limitations of the .410. Henry makes single shot shotguns now in larger gauges for the same reasons.

  10. being a diminutive shell and a true caliber the ,410 is a favorite, probably has taken more game than using 12ga!
    Grand kids love em! will have to find one!

  11. I lost count of the small game I took with a 410 single shot as a kid, I would have loved to have one like this back then. #4 was good for anything up to and including coyote. I never had anything survive a solid hit

  12. I have a single shot .410. It has killed pocket gophers, striped gophers, tree squirrels, a woodchuck, and many crows who made the mistake of chasing other songbirds away from my wife’s bird feeders. Once I even killed two of them with one shot when they lined up behind each other on the lawn. So far everything I have shot died instantly. I was especially pleased to see the woodchuck drop out of the tree without so much as a twitch. However I always use 3″ shells with number 4 shot. I understand why designing for a single shell length might make the action smoother, but that does disappoint me. No matter, the Henry I really want is the 20″ .357 Big Boy Steel.

  13. The gun that I am desperate for Henry to make, now that they are out of just the lever action business, is a quality combination gun. Much like the Savage 24 I grew up with, but with better sights, wood, fit, and finish. Closer to the BRNO line, http://www.czub.cz/en/produkty/kulovnice/brno-rifles/brno-combo.html or maybe something right in the middle of those two, although I do much prefer the shotgun barrel on top like the BRNO.
    That gun, in 12/.30-06, or 12/.308, or even 20/7mm08 or .243win would likely be the last hunting gun I’d get for a long time, and I get one for all of my kids too.
    A man can dream…

    • If Henry makes a nice 7mm-08/20-gauge break action combination gun, I’ll be second in line behind you at the counter.

  14. I want someone to make an m6 scout style gun without the rifle barrel. Just a .410, all metal. weighing less than 5 pounds.

  15. This makes a lot of sense for women and youths. with #4 or 5 hot , close range can and small game fun, but put in 3 pellet 2 1/2″ 000buck and you get a real defensive arm. I wouldn’t recommend it for deer , but the 98 gr .410 slug moving at 1850 fps would be fine for medium-small game at moderate ranges.
    In a lot of countries/areas getting a shotgun is WAY easier than getting a rifle. there are some places you cannot carry a rifle in the woods during big game season without a big game tag, so it would be appropriate there.

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