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Henry Garden Gun Smoothbore .22
Courtesy Henry Repeating Arms

Do you have critters in your garden? Are rodents ravaging your rhododendrons? If that’s your problem, Henry Repeating Arms has the solution.

They’ve just introduced the new Henry Garden Gun Smoothbore .22. Just load it with up to 15 rounds of .22LR shotshells and you can clear out your little slice of heaven in no time. MSRP is $421 so look for retail to be around $325 to $350.

Here’s Henry’s press release . . .

Henry Repeating Arms, the leading lever action manufacturer in the United States, is resurrecting a firearm that has not been produced by another major manufacturer since 2002 with the release of their new Henry Garden Gun Smoothbore .22. Built on Henry’s Classic Lever Action .22 platform, which ticked over the 1,000,000 units sold mark in late 2017, this .22 caliber shotgun is purpose built for close-range pest control using .22 LR shotshell cartridges.

“This may be a niche product, but it fills that niche particularly well,” says Henry Repeating Arms president and owner, Anthony Imperato. He continues, “For the farmer or the gardener, it’s something convenient to keep closet close at-hand to dispatch pests without using a level of firepower that could cause even more property damage than the pests themselves.”

The use of .22 LR shotshells are favored for tight quarters or enclosed spaces due to their quieter report, negligible potential for harmful ricochet, and an impact that is unlikely to penetrate walls and roofs.

The 18.5″ round blued steel barrel of the Henry Garden Gun is void of any rifling to keep a tighter shot pattern when compared to shooting the same cartridge from a rifled barrel, which extends the effective range. The firearm also features a 15-round tubular magazine and ash wood furniture finished with a black stain to differentiate it from the otherwise very similar Henry Classic Lever Action .22.

Henry firearms can only be purchased through a licensed firearms dealer. For more information about Henry Repeating Arms and its products visit or call 866-200-2354.

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  1. I never have used or looked at .22 shot shells. Can they not be fired out of a standard rifled barrel?

    • Yes they can, but like it mentions, the rifling throws off the patterns a bit.
      I’ve gone through a LOT of snake/rat shot with various .22’s (most recently Cricketts) and its a really handy idea – I’m sure the smoothbore would maximize what little power those shells have. As long as you understand how a tool like this is used and not expecting it to perform as a regular .22 but as a tiny shotgun that won’t plow holes in your barn/house.
      Would like to see more companies put out shotshells, especially in .22 WMR.

      • “Would like to see more companies put out shotshells, especially in .22 WMR.”

        This sounds more reasonable and useful than the 22 LR shot shell. More useful power but not full blown shotgun power.

    • I used them once on a rattlesnake, but at very close range (five feet to the head). Not sure how good they are outside of a few yards.

      • I used CCI shotshells in my NAA mini-revolver to dispatch a sick armadillo I had in my yard years back…

  2. They should have made it in 9mm rimfire so it would be effective.

    Ammo is still being made and not really hard to get. Great round for cleaning up the yard.

      • I have some in .38 special. Haven’t tried them yet, got them from a friend. Dont want to run them through my model 19 so I will have to wait until I can find a cheap revolver to give em a shot.

        • When my kids were little and we lived in the country in WV I got some of those to load in my Ruger .357. I normally used a hoe or mattock to kill snakes. But my wife was home with the kids while I worked and she wasn’t having any part of going hand to hand with a snake.

          They have their limits, mostly range. But they work and I never saw any indication of them doing any harm to my revolver. Recoil was milder than standard .38 loads.

  3. why not get an air rifle, pellet gun, or bb gun? Those are much less apt to put your neighbors up in arms or get the police called on you.

    • +1. That’s what I use for my annual spring jihad against the Squirrel Menace — it’s either them or my carefully-cultivated backyard peach crop, so I set up a hide and embrace my inner Bill Murray / Carl Spackler (“. . . licensed to kill squirrels . . . .”). Silent, safe, legal, and lethal.

      While you can spend truly nutty amounts one them (hey, competition air rifles are perhaps *the* most consistent/accurate lead slingers out there, but like anything you pay for it), for the price of the Henry you could get a decent PCP air rifle like the Benjamin Marauder in .22 (or .25 if you have larger pests to deal with). Figure out what flavor of pellets it likes best (my Gen1 .22 Mrod prefers H&N FTT’s), and it’ll shoot one-hole groups all day at 30y and less, with more than enough power to drop rats, squirrels, pigeons, etc. (and rabbits with careful shot placement).

      • And for people that live in municipalities that have asinine city ordnances against pellet/BB guns there’s the ever reliable and deadly quiet compound bow. From my elevated deck shooting the pest squirrels makes excellent practice for deer season.

        • I typically use a bb gun for the small stuff never thought to grab my bow. do you run broadheads or field points for the little buggers?

          • I use a set of broadheads that are exactly like my deer hunting broadheads but their sole purpose is for critter control and target practice. Although I consider critter control target practice.

      • pneumatics are powerful. i don’t have one and i live walking distance to a dive shop (no way i’m pumping a thousand times for thirty shots) that will fill tanks.
        instead, and there are tons o choices, look at rws/ diana models like 48 and 460. the first is a side cocker, the second an under barrel cocker. i prefer the fixed barrels even though all the barrel cockers i’ve shot are accurate. just seems like they’d bend…
        i hope that’s the most times i’ve ever said cocker out side of a dog show.
        i hardly know her…

    • A BB gun or pellet gun can shoot out a window (neighbor’s little kid put a hole in our new window with a BB gun) or even kill somebody, and it’s much easy to miss a mouse with a BB gun or pellet gun than with a shot shell. A .22 shot shell fires #12 “dust shot” (also called “rat shot” or “snake shot”) that will not penetrate clothing, and is less likely to injure a person than a blank round!
      That’s absolutely true (despite what you see in movies), because a blank round can even kill somebody from close range, and can certainly put an eye out. Even #9 rat shot (used in .38 Special, .44 Special, and .45 Colt) won’t penetrate clothing and is safer than blanks. In “Mounted Cowboy Action Shooting,” they fire blanks to pop balloons from horseback, which shows you blanks aren’t exactly safe at close range. (I suppose you could use blanks to shoot pests like rats or snakes, but they would be noisier than shot shells and have a shorter range.)

      An airgun is probably noisier than a shot shell from a 22.
      I’ve fired 12-gauge pepper cartridges, which are similar sized projectiles to the #12 dust shot used in .22LR shot shells, and 12 gauge pepper cartridges are quieter than an airgun!

  4. Urban dwellers don’t really need to control rodents on their property! The municipality is responsible for rodent control. Ordinary citizens don’t need to take matters into their own hands. They shouldn’t use traps or poison either; such means are cruel to sentient beings. /sarc off.

    • You should know that local government isn’t going to be effective against their own kin. My momma always said rodent is as rodent does. Something are better done when you do it yourself. 😏

  5. .410 with cylinder choke.
    .22LR shot won’t kill anything bigger than a mouse at close range.
    .22 WMR? Would consider one.

      • Have one. Comes w/full choke, but a vector cylinder choke from Henry, counting S&H, is cheaper than Brownells or Midway. About $26 bucks.
        Need it for Starling control in the spring. Damn things get in the chicken coop, spread bird lice, crap all over and eat spendy chicken feed.

        • i saw the barn exhaust fan get started up when the loft filled with starlings once. pretty messy, very effective.

    • I have eliminated a pile of cotton mouths with a little 22lr rat shot from a ruger single six. It has it’s uses.

  6. For dispatching snakes, I think I’ll stick with a real shotgun and real shells; maybe #7.5 bird shot. The problem with a using a shotgun, though, is that you have to carry a shotgun. That may not always be practical in every situation where you’re apt to encounter a snake. On any given day, I’d be even less likely to tote around a lever action .22lr. So a pistol may be the superior option.

    Snake shot is available in pistol calibers, but I wouldn’t trust .22lr to have enough oomph to get the job done reliably. I probably wouldn’t start with less than 38SPL or .357 magnum. Then again, while only about half of actual snake bites are venomous and less than 1% of all snake bites are fatal, I’d still not want to experience a snake bite. Since the majority of snake bites occur while attempting either to kill or capture said snake, discretion may be the better part of valor here. They do serve a ecological function in keeping rodent populations in check. Unless killing it was absolutely necessary, just backing up and leaving the snake alone may trump choice of caliber or ammo type.

    • For snakes, *if* I had to shoot them I’d use a .410 shell in a .45 Long Colt pistol (e.g., TC Contender, Taurus Public Defender, etc.).

      But as you indicate, just because it’s a snake doesn’t mean you have to shoot it. In my neck of the woods (Central Texas), rat snakes, king snakes, and garter snakes are good natural pest control, so they get a pass. If there’s a coral snake near the house, it has to die, but a shovel or long-handled hoe is all you need for those guys (as well as copperheads and smaller rattlers).

      About the only local snake I might feel the need to use a gun on would be a decent sized rattlesnake (and I’ve dispatched plenty of those with a long-handled hoe and due caution).

        • Yup, water moccasins are aggressive bastards that are kill on sight in my book.

          Fortunately, in my part of the Edwards Plateau, they’re pretty uncommon. I have a couple of families of chaparrals [a/k/a roadrunners] that frequent my property, and they are very efficient predators of small snakes and lizards. (And very cool to watch too.) Given the typical aggressive cottonmouth behavior, they’d be prime food for the chaps . . . probably why I haven’t seen any.

  7. I have squirrels. I have a little sniper perch through my bathroom window. My brother calls it my 6th floor school book depository window. I’ve killed hundreds of them. If I didn’t, my yard would be wiped out. I use a Benjamin Marauder .22 PCP air rifle. It’s far more than enough. 30 yard shots still pass through the rodent so shots have to be always down where the exiting pellet goes into the ground or something solid like a tree.

  8. This is cool, and “new”. I’ve been begging Henry to offer a takedown 9mm, a Shockwave .410 or a 17hm2 small game rifle.

    All you haters can shut the * up. Just because it doesn’t come in 6.5 Creedmore or take Glock mags doesn’t mean someone who has a garden/barn with a rat problem wouldn’t want one. Something like this is safer than a .22lr or .410 shotgun for use around livestock.

  9. With no rifling, does that mean lead bullets will have a higher velocity?

    • I don’t have that answer, but I know for a fact you’ll be putting rectangular holes in paper after a few yards, because the lead will tumble since it won’t be spinning.

    • I doubt it. That smooth bore probably doesn’t fit the bullet correctly and you’ll get gas, and pressure, leak around the bullet in the barrel.

      When I was a kid in WV we had the ability to mail order guns. Most of the farms had either a cheap break action .410 or 20 ga. stashed in the barn for pest control.

      But quite a few of them had the single shot smooth bore .22s for the job. We kids used them a lot. And they’re not worth a nickle with a regular .22 round.

  10. Not gonna lie; if I find one of these for a decent price, I may snatch it up just for the unique obscurity of it.

    I wonder, though, is this geared more forwards the European market where getting something like a garden gun is easier than obtaining a more traditional firearm?

  11. 22 CB longs make less noise than my pellet rifle. My Cugir 22 single shot with it’s 27.5 inch barrel makes whisper quite work of vermin. Shot shells are loud!

  12. Is there an advantage to 22 shot she’ll, never heard of it before, compared to 22 short, which is also quieter

    • If you’re inside a barn or other farm building even .22 short will go through a roof or wall. And there is a danger to live stock and other people even with a low powered round like a short.

  13. Marlin used to make one. They actually work really well with the CCI or Federal shot shells.
    Our RWS pellet rifle makes the same amount of noise. The shot shell is also good when the squirrels get in the attic or basement. Definately a small customer base, but don’t knock it if ya aint tried it.
    I’m happy to see one back on the market and will hopefully pick one up.
    Most people have never seen one of the old ones because the people that have them understand the value and wont give them up!

  14. I’m really liking the aesthetics of that gun. The black ash stock really complements the bluing.

  15. I don’t get it; any 22LR that has rat-shot put through it in any quantity fouls up to the point there’s no rifling already.

  16. When I asked about a 22 cal. smooth bore I did not think it would be so expensive.
    No way I can afford a gun like that.
    Vincent L Hendren

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