Gun Review: New Original Henry Rifle in .45 Colt

New Original Henry (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

New Original Henry (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The 1860 Henry rifle is one of the most important rifles of all time. It helped changed a nation, and the very notion of what a rifleman was capable of.

If you’re going to call your company Henry, and you make the 1860 Henry…well you’d better make it right.

They did. The Henry Repeating Arms New Original Henry is the finest 1860 Henry rifle made in over 150 years.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

In some ways, the 1860 Henry Rifle was much like the AR15 of a century later. The Henry wasn’t meant to replace any particular firearm.  It was meant to replace an entire concept of combat.

Although the round from the .44 Henry Rimfire cartridge was not as large as the 1855 Springfield’s .58 caliber ball most of the regular US Army was used to, more rounds could be carried in the Henry rifle (anything more than one would be an improvement) and on the person.  A single soldier with a Henry rifle would equal the “firepower” of many traditionally armed men.  Sound familiar? It should. It was the exact same argument used to justify the .223 Remington over the .308 Winchester.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

Unlike the US Army of the Vietnam era, the US Army of the Civil War era just didn’t see the value in all that firepower. They also couldn’t overlook the delicate nature of the Henry. The original version was certainly more fragile than the modern New Original Henry version, but it wasn’t to be handled with white gloves either.  Of course, compared to the muskets of the time, which were powerful clubs, spears (with bayonet attached) and passable canoe oars, I imagine everything else seems a bit flimsy.

No, the big Army didn’t buy many of the guns.  Direct purchases by the US Army were measured in the hundreds, at a time when the entire nation was at war. Oliver Winchester almost went broke (as did both Benjamin Tyler Henry and Smith & Wesson’s Volcanic Arms division before him) trying to build and sell the Henry.

At one point, in 1862, Mr. Winchester wrote a letter to E.B. Martin, one the company’s primary stockholders, expressing his frustration and noting that he has offered to give up his shares to the stockholders, just to get out from under the failing company. Nobody took him up on the offer.  Much the better for America, and financially, for Winchester.

What saved Winchester wasn’t a War Department contract, but individual, often civilian interest (good people at Remington and Colt, please take note). You see, the whole time Winchester was trying in vain to convince the US Army to outfit their troops with a repeating firearm, a few Winchester salesmen were out selling anywhere from a single to a few dozen rifles at a time.

These salesmen, some great and some not so great, intentionally sought people of note, including members of the media (yes, there were “gun writers” in 1861) to shoot and comment on the guns. The reviews were five stars all the way around.

While the US Army ordered a few hundred of the Henrys, it was this word of mouth that really kept the interest going. Eventually, soldiers were saving up three months of their pay to afford a Henry.  When that happened, the Henrys tended to multiply rapidly within a unit.

The greatest example of this is the 66th Illinois Infantry, the famous Birge’s Western Sharpshooters. The elite unit, founded in 1861, is well worth reading up on. You won’t have any trouble finding information on them. By the end of the war, the vast majority of one of the most storied units of the Civil War would be outfitted with Henry rifles, and a great number of them privately purchased.

By the time of the reconsolidated nation’s western expansion, “The Yankee Sixteen Shooter” was the stuff of legend. The success of the Winchester 1866 model, the “Improved Henry” and the ubiquitous Winchester 1873 are completely built on the shoulders of that first .44 caliber lever gun.  The world would never be the same.

Obviously, the modern Henry Repeating Arms company didn’t make the original 1860 Henry. If you want a direct lineage back to those original guns, don’t look for a company named Henry. Anthony Imperato, prince of a man that he is, secured the rights to the Henry name in the late 90s, and didn’t produce firearms under that name until more than 130 years after Oliver Winchester stopped making the original 1860 model.

Unlike Henry, which makes everything in America, a modern day Winchester lever action rifle will say “Made in Japan.” That’s not to disparage Miroku, who makes the guns for Winchester. I’ve shot the heck out of the modern Miroku guns and they are quite nice. And all of that is beside the point, because Winchester doesn’t make an 1860 anymore, in any country.

But man, Henry sure does.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

As usual, the brass receiver of the Henry is the first thing people see. I’ve remarked in the past that if you put a brass framed Henry on a table next to the newest and best AR-15s on the market, nobody picks up the AR first.

Want to shave, signal aircraft, or gaze indirectly at the clouds? The Henry receiver is just the thing. It’s shiny enough to make photos difficult. Every photo you see in this review is after having the rifle for a few months, practicing and competing in half a dozen Cowboy Action Shooting matches with it, and over 1,000 rounds fired, including black powder cartridges.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

That mirror polish doesn’t end with the receiver. The entire 24.5″ of heavy octagonal barrel gleams. It’s got that kind of shine that makes it look wet even when it’s 104 outside and it hasn’t rained in a month. (Ask me how I know.) It’s just a gorgeous rifle.

In my first reviews of the Henry rifles, especially the ones I really liked, (and I liked a lot of them) I had to look for something to ding their rifles on so that I could keep them out of the five-star category. I guard my five star ratings carefully. So I took points off for not having gorgeous wood.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

No such deduction can be made on the New Original Henry. Henry has invested in beautiful American Walnut for the stocks on these rifles. The particular New Original they sent me is not the fanciest of these models I’ve seen, but the wood is a step up from the other Henry models, and a huge leap ahead of what others are offering.

The T&E model I got has waves and curls in the pattern. Near the comb, there’s flake and flame that play off the light. It’s the kind of thing you forget you’re staring at.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

Lemon Pledge, (although pretty good on gunstocks for shine), has no place on this stock. Instead, I stole from my ample jar of “buffler grease” and rubbed it in with my hands. The result was as expected. For the first time, it wasn’t just the polished brass receiver that stole the show. The wood might have even upstaged it. My meager photography skills don’t do it justice.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The wood to metal fit is also as it should be for the period. Tight and flush, the line where the wood meets the receiver and butt plate are even throughout the rifle. Proud wood would be appropriate on some Victorian era rifles, but not this one, and I’m glad to see it was done right.

This level of detailed polish isn’t just pretty, it’s historically correct. The original Henry rifles released in the early 1860s were also well polished, and then some.

You could get — and Winchester pushed — multiple engraving patterns right from the factory. Winchester also released a number of engraved silver plated guns. Winchester well knew that eye-catching guns created more than revenue, they created a buzz.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The New Original Henry also sports the correct curved brass butt plate, with a storage tunnel. It’s polished, well fit, and both accents and protects the stock. It’s also kind of a pain. As it would have in 1865, the ends of the butt plate lead to narrow points.

The Henry 1860 was designed prior to the common military use of firing rifles from horseback. Not that people didn’t ride horses and shoot rifles. It’s just that when you only had one shot, you got off the horse, stood up, and took your shot.

Military shooting was done standing, with the body bladed to the target. You wanted a stock that was curved, that would sit into the pocket of your shoulder and use less of your chest and more of the deltoid to backstop the gun. That’s why you’ll see mostly highly curved butt plates from the 1700’s through the mid 19th century.

That’s also why, around the time our nation pushed to the West, you see many guns offered or modified to a carbine version with a flatter stock to be shot more off the chest, forward facing to the target. The New Original Henry follows the same pattern as the original, which curves to meet the shoulder.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

Shooting standing with the body bladed, as it was designed for, this set up works great.  If you have been taught to shoot more facing the target, as most modern shooters have, this will be a problem. First, those points on the stock are going to dig into your chest and collar bone something fierce. They certainly did mine.

The other problem is that the well-polished butt plate will then slide around during fast cycling of the action. Considering that there is no foregrip on the gun, this makes fast maneuvering and firing of the gun pretty challenging.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

When it was produced from 1860-1865, the Henry rifle had no loading gate. Nelson King hadn’t invented it yet (as far as we know).  The New Original Henry, just like those pre-King versions, loads from the front of the magazine under the muzzle.  As I described in my Uberti 1860 review, the loading process isn’t likely what you are used to.

First, clear the rifle and turn it over. Now push the follower all the way up until the bar indicator on the front of the muzzle pushes out about 1/16th of an inch. Then, and this feels like opening a some magic lock, rotate the entire mechanism around the gun to the left.

Keep the rifle angled, not straight up and down, and simply feed the rounds into the magazine, bullets facing up. That magazine will take thirteen 255 grain rounds, and with one in the chamber, you have 14 rounds of 45 Colt. The originals, loaded in the slightly shorter .44 Henry Rimfire, would hold 16 total.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The New Original Henry doesn’t come in the original caliber, the .44 Henry Rimfire. Good thing, because that ammo is pretty hard to find and darn near impossible to make. The modern Henry comes in .45 Colt and .44-40 WCF, neither of which would exist until almost a decade after the 1860 had ceased standard production.

I chose the .45 Colt version for this review as commercial ammunition is much easier to come by than the .44-40 WCF. Reloading allows a shooter to duplicate the weight and muzzle velocity of the original cartridge, which was a 200 grain bullet moving at 1,100 fps from the rifle length barrel.

The trigger mechanism on the 1860 Henry was simple from the beginning, and the New Original Henry is no different, although I wonder if the ones made 155+ years ago were as good. Using a Lyman digital trigger scale, the average pull measured over 5 pulls on the New Original Henry was 3 lbs 12.7 oz, with very little deviation. There is no discernible creep or squish.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The slightly curved and polished shoe breaks clean, and the trigger position itself is excellent for careful aim or fast fire. Unlike the more curved versions of the later 1873s, the flatter Henry shoe is in a great place for firing just as the action closes.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

Note that Henry made these rifles as close to the originals as possible, with the exception the chambering and superior metallurgy. That means that there’s no detent under the lever and, consequently, it’s possible to drop the hammer by pulling the trigger even with the action open.  This might cause concern, but there’s not enough momentum or travel space for the firing pin to move forward enough to strike the primer and make it go off with the action open.

I loaded up several cases with Federal and CCI Large Pistol primers and tried to get them to go off by pulling the trigger while the action was open. There was no position I could get the primers to go off other than with the action completely closed.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The upside of this feature is that, along with a great trigger, the action can be cycled and fired quickly, especially for a firearm with a fairly long action stroke.

Henry well deserves their reputation for buttery smooth lever guns.  No other major manufacturer on the market makes a lever that cycles as good as a Henry.  With the simplicity of the 1860’s action, they’ve taken that a step further.

Just like the originals, there is no transfer bar and no cross bolt or tang safety. There is the traditional half cock position. I placed the rifle on half cock and bounced it up and down on a hardwood floor a bunch of times and could not get it to release.  All I got out of that exercise was some dented up hickory floor boards, but a long fall on a rock surface might still be a problem.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The sight set up on the New Original Henry is a familiar one.  A simple flip up, drift adjustable rear and a solid blade front sight.  The front blade is steel, and polished, a duplicate set up to the originals after the year 1862. (The first couple of years had a more rounded front sight.)  With this set up, a good bore, and a 22″ sight radius, better than acceptable precision is possible with almost any decently constructed round.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

Like the originals, this Henry comes with a barrel-mounted adjustable elevator sight. I’m always curious about these sights for guns that come in multiple calibers. The rear sight is graduated in 100 yard increments from the very possible 200 yards all the way out to the very definition of wishful thinking, at 800. (Your ballistic arc would clear a six story building.) Are these elevation marks just for show, or do they actually work?

I don’t have a target big enough to test the sights at 800 yards, but I can try them out to 300. At 200 and 300 yards, the lowest two marks on the rear sight, the marks equate well with actual point of impact, if you are using the right load. My 255 gr bullet round needs to be leaving the barrel at or over 950 fps for the marks to be point of aim/point of impact out to 300 yards. Anything less than that and the rounds landed short.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

Using the 180gr, 800fps round I use for Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS), I was able to easily print 4″ five-round groups at 100 yards while shooting from a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest. Commercial Winchester Cowboy Action Lead Flat Nosed 250gr rounds printed similar groups.

Stepping up quite a bit in power, with a 255 grain bullet at just under 1,100 fps from the rifle barrel, the group size shrunk to an average of 2.7″. That is about as good as my eyes can see at this range, and the limitation is likely the shooter more than the rifle itself.

Out of the box, the rifle was sighted dead-on at 100 yards for elevation, but I did need to tap the rear sight ever so slightly right to get the windage on track.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

For those of you who are interested in hunting small to medium sized game with these rifles, note that a cartridge overall length of 1.6″ will cycle just fine, but anything longer won’t. I tried lengths longer than this, and they just wouldn’t clear the magazine tube to go fully into the lifter.

There is an argument to be made that modern metallurgy would allow the action to handle more than the 14,000 PSI max pressure for the .45 Colt, and thus heavier bullets could be used.  Even if that were true, and I have no data that says it is, the rifle simply won’t function. In short, those 300+ hard cast .45 caliber bullets I love in my Ruger Bisleys just won’t work in the Henry.

Still, for our little Hill Country White Tail Deer and smaller pigs, a competent marksman should have no difficulty taking game with a 255 gr round moving at 1,000+ fps out to about 50 yards. The round is still generating 500 ft/lbs of energy at twice that distance.

I let TTAG know I wanted to review one of these guns, but I also wanted to put it through its paces at a few Cowboy Action Shooting matches. I was crystal clear with Henry that their flagship rifle would get beat up a bit, as CAS is pretty hard on guns. It took a while to get one, but surprisingly, Henry said “OK, have at it”.

Image courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

I’ve shot in six matches with this rifle so far, (362 rounds fired) as well as one long range match (20 rounds) and a whole lot of practice sessions (because I need them, badly). Since then, it’s been bumped on floors, walls, been set down hard on plenty of tables, and cycled a thousand times or so, and other rough handling.

It’s had a couple unfortunate events. First, the zipper on the rifle bag I was carrying it in broke, spilling it out onto parking lot gravel. Then, one of the folks being helpful tried picking it up after a black powder shoot, not realizing how hot the barrel would be. He let go of the front of the barrel, hammering it down on the iron rim of a wooden barrel. That left a mark. It’s still gorgeous. Maybe even more so. After all, the real beauty of a gun is in the experience.

The Texas “state championship” CAS match, Commancheria Days, is next month, and I’ll be using the New Original Henry for that match as well. No, it’s not a short-stroked 1873 clone, and the lack of a foregrip and loading gate are serious handicaps. But it’s also friggin’ gorgeous, fun, and just as fast as I am at this point.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

This New Original Henry has been shot over 1,000 times now. That I’m sure of, because I used an entire 1,000-count brick of Federal primers to feed it. These days, that really hurt.

That’s not how most folks are going to shoot these guns, and yet, it performed flawlessly. Not a single misfire. Zero failures to feed, no hang-ups on eject, absolutely nothing ever went wrong with this gun.

The rifle was cleaned at round number 440. That’s because round 360 to round 440 were fired using Goex FFG black powder. It still hadn’t failed, but it was pretty grimy by then.

The vast majority of those rounds were very mild pure lead loads. These are both commercial and home poured bullets, none of which are coated.  I haven’t had any problem with leading so far. That’s due to a nice tight bore, but also low velocities and the prodigious use of gooey bullet lube. At the end of each match, there’s a nice star shaped pattern of lubricant around the rim of the bore, so I’m doing something right.

I know, given the beauty as well as the cost, most folks with these rifles are going to handle them rarely, shoot them occasionally, and admire them often. That’s a shame. They have been exceptionally well built, and built to be shot.  I wish I had this rifle last fall and winter. If so, I’m sure I’d have a few photos of it laying on dead pigs.

Photo courtesy JWT for www.thetruthaboutguns.com

The 1860 Henry is one of the most important rifles in history.  It’s intertwined with the story of American conflict, expansion, and innovation. Several other companies make a copy of this gun, but nobody has made one like this. Henry has made the New Original Henry a credit to the originals, and is the only company I know of making them like they used to, in America.

Specifications: New Original Henry Rifle

Action: Toggle Link Lever
Caliber: .45 Colt (.44-40WCF also available.)
Barrel Length: 24.5″
Barrel Type: Octagon Blued Steel
Rate of Twist: 1:16
Overall Length: 43″
Weight: 9.0 lbs.
Capacity: 13 (+1)
Receiver Finish: Polished Brass
Rear Sight: Folding Ladder
Front Sight: Blade
Stock Material: Fancy American Walnut
Buttplate/Pad: Brass
Length of Pull: 14″
Safety: Half Cock
MSRP: $2,514

Style and Appearance * * * * *
This is actually the base model New Original Henry, and it is breathtaking.  The most common thing I heard when people saw it was “oh..wow”.  The wood, metals, polish, everything is right.  A lot of work went in to get it that way.

Historical Accuracy * * * * *
I would highly recommend “The Historic Henry Rifle” by Wiley Sword for a far more detailed look into the Winchester-made Henry. It will show you through plenty of description, photos, diagrams, and cutaways that Henry got the New Original Henry details right. No points off here for not making it the original caliber which no-one could shoot.

Reliability * * * * *
Impressive.

Accuracy * * * * *
It is said that Birge’s Western Sharpshooters could put three shots into a 3 1/2″ target at 200 yards. I can’t do that with any open-sighted gun. But the New Original Henry will shoot just as well as I can, with any open-sighted gun.

Overall * * * * *
Henry took a while to put out this gun. There were lots of other rifles and shotguns with the name “Henry” marked on them before Mr. Imperato decided to take the time to release the Henry rifle, by Henry. This will not be a mass market gun. Few people, in comparison to the company’s other offerings, will buy this rifle.  Those who do are the kind of people I want to have a beer with, hunt with, and shoot with. They’re the ones who wanted a rifle that generation after generation can be proud of. It warms my heart to see a company as large as Henry taking the time to make a historic rifle this fine.

comments

  1. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

    Wow. That is a thing of beauty. I’d love to own one of those.

    Great write up and info. Thank you for the review!

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Gracias

      1. avatar Bill B says:

        I own 2 Henrys and love them both. Now I want another one. Damn you.
        Thankfully, the wife loves the look of virtually any Henry. All I have to do convince her I need a third.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Love Henrys. Pretty much any and all of them.

          The *only* thing I would want different in brass is a satin/brushed finish instead of bright/shiny. I’d be too concerned about constantly cleaning oils and fingerprints off of a shiny surface, and it’d distract my overall enjoyment. That’s why I absolutely love case hardened finishes.

        2. avatar GomeznSA says:

          Bill – ‘only’ two? 😉
          I won’t say how many Henry’s I have (their AR-7 ‘counts’ to the total). I’ll likely skip this particular one though, as I’m too old and beat up to get into the CAS game. Wouldn’t turn one down if someone had an extra to give away.
          As to looks, I’ll stack my Big Boy .38/.357 up against it any day though. It is so purty that when I picked it up and we unboxed it to verify the serial number there was a chorus of oohs and aahs from the other patrons. It is ‘almost’ too nice to shoot.

  2. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    Little word of advice; do NOT load the tube with the action open (elevator in lowered) and lose your grip on the spring when rotating the the barrel closed. Took me a while to make magazine tube round again (after I got back from the ER)!

  3. avatar Ing says:

    I’d love to hang out and shoot the breeze, and some guns, with those people, too. It’s probably the only way I’m ever getting my hands on one of these beauties.

  4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    superb. i am smitten.

  5. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Please stop.

    1. avatar Pb_fan59 says:

      Jon, have you ever considered flooding the most and driving the trolls out from under the bridge? I think it’d be great action shooting fun, especially with something like that gorgeous Henry !!!

  6. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    I just want to look at that thing of beauty!

  7. avatar Nate in CA says:

    I’m very impressed that these are made domestically; a feat for sure!
    Now let me know when the 1866 Yellowboy Trapper is en route and we can talk.

  8. avatar TommyGNR says:

    Real pretty. Way overpriced.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Compared to what? A cnc machined aluminum semi auto or a molded polymer framed handgun?

      I own a lot of reasonably cheap priced firearms but if you want something nice be prepared to spend.

      I learned this with shotguns. You want something that goes bang spend $500, you want something that points nice will go bang all day and be simple to clean at the end of that day be prepared to spend > $1000

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I was prepared to go 3-5 grand on my new shotgun. ‘Settled’ for a Benelli. Still cost better than 1500.

        Dove season is nigh.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          True story. I was at a clay competition (trap/skeet/I don’t remember) a couple of years ago with my vintage Model 1 pump. The overall winner used a beaut of a shottie that I pegged at about $5K as I casually discussed it with one of the range supervisors who was watching the final round next to me.

          He chuckled and said, “I know that gentleman and was the one who facilitated the sale and customization. That gun he’s holding is more than twenty thousand dollars, and the most expensive one I’ve personally seen was north of forty thousand.”

          My jaw dropped. That’s way beyond my pay grade.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          …Model 12 pump… typo.

    2. avatar enuf says:

      These Henry’s lever guns are 100% American Craftsmanship. That’s not cheaply come by these days. I do wish they could cost less, but then we would not be talking about the same gun.

      We’d be talking about something lesser by far.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      So what should a gun made of fine wood, steel and brass by American craftsman cost?

      You’ve been buying Chinese stuff mass produced at the lowest cost point too long

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Agreed. The price of a finely crafted firearm of heirloom tier should reflect its quality. Economy guns have their place, as do artisanally finished firearms. Different items for different purposes.

        1. avatar Cea says:

          Exactly.
          $1500 is the new $500. $2000 is the new $1000, etc…That’s just the way it is. Quality, especially American quality (and I’m not talking Sig, here), costs!

  9. avatar Cea says:

    Great article, and pictures too!
    A buddy of mine has one in 45 colt and a uberti version in 44-40. Both are nice! But the Henry is very, very nice! Beautiful, really!
    But I like the later (1866, 1873) lever guns better, myself. Fore stocks, side gate loading, etc…
    I’ve got a beautiful 24” Winchester 1873, “in the white”.
    If there was a way to load a pic here, I’d do it. Beautiful!!

  10. avatar Sam I Am says:

    As kids, because of the movies, we all knew what “real guns” were supposed to look like. Everyone knew how to distinguish between Henry and Winchester lever rifles, could identify a Shap’s .50 Buffalo rifle, understood how a “rolling block” action worked. We also knew that the only “real” handgun was a Colt Peacemaker, and of course knew that the only three military weapons of any value were the Colt 1911, M-1 Garand, and the Thompson .45 sub-machine gun.

    The Henry was a “real” rifle, back in the days of the classic Westerns. And it looks like a “real” rifle today. Thanks, JWT, for bring back all those “thrilling days of yesteryear”.

    1. avatar jean says:

      I agree, & would like to add the M3 grease gun – due to Steve McQueen’s use of it in “Hell Is For Heroes”.

  11. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Love my experiences with Henrys. I have a want list for the future * cough * 410 Axe *cough *
    I had a non-gun guy that wanted something simple to opperate and easy to shoot when he went camping. I knew at that time wouldn’t take the best care of it and he didn’t want a lot of recoil. So I suggested the Henry All Weather. I told him stick to a pistol caliber and have fun. He chose .45 colt & after a few range trips got hooked… Ended up with a Judge for ammo commonality, a 12 guage pump, G19 and a .22 pistol for cheap shooting, right before COVID he told me he was saving for the x model in .357

  12. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    If watching Lonesome Dove doesn’t make you want to own a Henry this review will. Larry McMurtry. One of my favorite authors. Especially the Old West stuff.

  13. avatar Roger J says:

    Two years ago I had the opportunity to shoot their base grade .22. I have owned one lever gun in my life 40 years ago and hated it. This little .22 was the coolest, smoothest,and accurate operating .22 I’ve ever fired. Every time I go to the gun show I look at them. Last year they were $330 which is almost pocket change for a really nice gun. I may buy one yet.

  14. avatar RGP says:

    Interesting rifle, and a nice one at that. I think you might need to use it to rob the stage to afford another one, though.

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      RGP:
      Don’t forget to wear your face mask…

  15. avatar possum says:

    I bought one of theses two months ago, and firing the weapon as fast as I could, I pinched my finger with the lever. I called up Bloomberg and he said he’d put one of his lawyers on it and I could get a big lawsuit and bankrupt the company. My finger has a nasty bruise and a terrible 1/16th inch gash in it, at least as bad as a paper cut. Me and Mr. Bloomberg are going to sue the hell out of them.Im traumatized for life, and terrified of lever actions now. Damn you Henry Arms pretty or not, here we come.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      possum

      The cowboy emporiums sell lever wraps, or one can make one with a small piece of leather and a bit of old leather boot lace, no more pinched fingers .

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Me and Mr. Bloomberg are going to sue the hell out of them.Im traumatized for life, and terrified of lever actions now. ”

      Good on ya’, mate. The American dream in action.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      possums gotz fingers? Shudder. I knew it was a hell of a day to quit drinking…..

      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

        ROFL!

  16. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    I handled one a pard had just purchased, the thing that comes to mind is beautiful and as close to accurately produced as possible, well done Henry Rifle Company.

    A bit oversprung but all the replica rifles produced of the Winchester design are guilty of that idiosyncrasy,many after market companies produce replacement springs and spring sets because of the common problem.

    My only problem with the company is they told SASS members that their Henry Big Boy rifle was SASS approved years before they submitted it to SASS for review and ok for use.

    When Henry finally submitted it, it was approved by SASS committee but years after Henry said it was approved, not exactly the cowboy way.

  17. avatar 9x39 says:

    She’s a beaut JWT, congrats. Stellar article also, thanks for the write up, t’was a pleasant read.

  18. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Nice article. Thanks.

    Cool rifle with its history.

    Probably not for me, as I want a fore end.

    45 long colt is might fun to shoot from a rifle……kinda like mini artillery with low-power loads.

    Like a hammer with heavy loads…..dont know about a brass frame for those…..

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Specialist38

      Besides the brass frame, original weren’t brass but rather gun metal which had a amount of zinc and tin mixed in.
      along with brass
      No the weak link in the Winchester design was the toggle links,that lock up the action, think of a knee joint because that is what the toggle link is for description purposes and how easy it is to blow out the human knee.

      One has to remember that when these arms were developed black powder was the only propellent and for those pressures the toggle link was more than sufficient.

    2. avatar GomeznSA says:

      S38 – try the Big Boy Steel in .41Mag – you likely will be looking for one in short order. The recoil is more of a ‘push’ rather than what one might expect. Even with my tired old eyes it routinely still nets 1″ groups at 25yds.

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        The Henry Big Boy is a modified Marlin design and more than capable of handling almost any modern pistol cartridge.
        Henry Rifle Co.’s,Henry is as close to a original Henry without being chambered in 44 Henry Flat rimfire as is produced today. The two are two totally different rifles that the only thing they share is being produced by the Henry Rifle company.

      2. avatar GunnyGene says:

        I have one of those – the carbine. And you’re right. Only had it for 2 deer seasons but got meat for the freezer at approx. 100yds both seasons, and am confident I’ll be putting more in this season. I use Underwood 210 XTP – you?

  19. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    JON WAYNE TAYLOR

    Good Article,keep it up as I dearly luv my cowboy shooters.

    I might suggest you look at the colt conversion guns, my true luv when it comes to pistols.

  20. avatar strych9 says:

    Standard JWT fare in terms of the article.

    Darn pretty gun. Dunno how I feel about the calibers available though. How does .45 Colt do on pocket mice?

  21. avatar CentralVirginian says:

    Now you’ll just need a volunteer to play the role of Tuco.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Tuco was a lot of fun to watch, but I don’t know anybody who’d volunteer to go through all that. Unless by “role” you mean carrying the proper guns and some attitude. That, I could get behind. 🙂

      1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

        The picture looking down the sights had me thinking of their reward collecting gig where Tuco’s rope is shot at the last second.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      ‘If you’re going to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.’

      We all need to take advice from a Brooklyn Jew playing a Mexican. He owned that movie.

      1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

        Stellar advice and top notch acting, back when actors were allowed to engage in their profession, now you cant even voice a cartoon unless it matches your gender, complexion, and country of origin.

  22. avatar GunnyGene says:

    One of the Original Henry’s was owned by Marine Lt. Frank L. Church, who took it with him on the Red River Expedition of 1864. His diary is available on Amazon, and includes a short mention of the rifle.

    Civil War Marine : A Diary of The Red River Expedition, 1864

  23. avatar IllinoisStillSucks says:

    In a world of plastic handguns and painted firearms this gives me hope.

  24. avatar GS650G says:

    I wish it was available in 44 mag

  25. avatar Top says:

    Excellent review. I wish more were written with actual hands-on usage like this is.

  26. avatar Tom Collins says:

    JWG, I have been shooting SASS for about 6 years and do not recall seeing any shooters use a Henry rifle (Henry or Uberti clone). Does firing 10 rounds of BP at SASS speeds make it too hot to hold? How about the Henry hop? Nice review, thanks.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Mr. Collins, I haven’t seen anyone else shoot it either. 10 rounds of full pressure real BP does heat up the barrel a bit, and as there is no hand guard, it will surprise you how hot it gets on your fingers. The Henry hop is absolutely necessary.

  27. avatar Stephen Taylor says:

    Loved the write up wish I could buy one but retired military we don’t make enough. I have bought in the last few week a replica of the 1911 Colt 45 that I carried in VN this country is so crazy with BLB and thugs like that I bought it for home protection. Its Crazy out there and when your an old guy like me they think humm easy target.

  28. avatar Jimmy R Stout says:

    More info

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      More cowbell.

  29. avatar dan Killian says:

    where can i buy a .243 ?

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