Henry Repeating Arms turns 25 years old this year. Oh, how time flies.
I first met Anthony Imperato for coffee in a hotel lobby off the banks of Lake Austin. I was recruiting companies to move to Texas, and by choice and by law, firearms companies were high on my hunting list.
That was more than a decade ago, but I already knew who Henry Repeating Arms was. In fact, I was a big fan, and had a couple of their rifles.
Beyond just being a nerd who really loves lever guns, I was an economist. As such, I knew the value of Henry Repeating Arms went well beyond the initial production of rifles. Mr. Imperato was then, and remains, a deeply patriotic leader, focused on the welfare of his company and his country, and understands well how the two are linked.
Then, as now, Henry’s slogan of “Made in America, or Not Made at All” was more than just marketing hype. Doing my research, I found that Henry didn’t just assemble guns in the US. The company went through great lengths to make sure that everything they could get came from the US.
I don’t just mean raw parts. I mean all the way down to the cardboard their rifles are shipped in. It would be a huge win for Texas if I could get them to move here.
I tried hard, extolling the state’s virtues of fancy boots and fine women. Alas, Mr. Imperato remained unmoved, and chose to increase the size of his Rice Lake, Wisconsin location instead of relocating to the Lone Star State.
Texas may have missed out, but America didn’t. Mr. Imperato started out by taking a loan against his house back in in 1993. He rolled the dice, rolled up his sleeves, and came up a winner.
Henry is now one of the larger firearms manufacturers in the US, with over 550 employees and three facilities in Wisconsin and New York. Five years ago, in 2017, they passed the mark of producing over 1,000,000 lever action .22LRs, and over 2,000,0000 lever guns.
Oddly enough, I’ve never reviewed one of their lever action rimfires, even though I’ve owed quite a few. (Quick review: they’re great.) I have, however, reviewed many of their center rifle rifles and shotguns, as well as the AR-7 Survival Rifle.
In fact, of the hundreds of guns I’ve reviewed here at The Truth About Guns, Henry Repeating Arms has more 4.5 and 5 star reviews than any other firearms brand. Most of the time reviewing guns is work, but I always look forward to shooting a Henry.
I’ve done just about everything you can do with a Henry rifle. I’ve taught my kids to shoot with a Golden Boy. A .44 caliber Big Boy has been the “things have gone awry” gun for my home and truck and remains one of the most useful and versatile rifles a person could own.
This last duck season I cleaned up on Teal with a Henry Single Shot 12 gauge shotgun, and I look forward to doing so again with Rios in a couple of weeks.
Congratulations to Henry for keeping the name alive, and for producing a great American product. I don’t know what my next Henry will be, but I have no doubt there will be another one, and soon.