Previous Post
Next Post

Anthony Imperato and friends (courtesy Henry Repeating Rifles)

Six months ago today Hurricane Sandy slammed into coastal New Jersey, leaving devastation in its wake. Amongst its victims: lever gun manufacturer Henry Repeating Arms. Henry’s factory was hit head on, with waves crashing into the side of its plant and wind tearing at its roof. The day after the storm, Henry’s CEO toured the five-year-old facility, taking stock of the damage. “The storm blew off a major section of our roof,” Anthony Imperato told TTAG. “There was three feet of water in the factory; it covered 100 machine centers. There was a sinkhole in one of the buildings.” Imperato’s a man of few words, all of them carefully chosen. I asked him if Sandy harshed his mellow . . .

“I was calm,” Imperato said. “I guess it’s because I live with the daily stress of running a factory . . . At the time all I could think about what had to be done to get us back in production. Maybe I’ll have PTSD later.”

And maybe not. Applying his characteristic sang froid, Imperato oversaw the recovery operation, including major structural repairs and changing or rewiring the low-profile motors powering their machines. None of which was cheap. “We have an open [insurance] claim of several million dollars.”

Luckily, Henry’s ammunition stores survive the hurricane intact. ‘Cause Henry has LOTS of .22’s. “We test fire 10 rounds per gun. We make 300 thousand guns per year . . . So we buy a healthy amount of all types of ammo, Federal, Winchester, Remington and others.”

Six weeks later, the first pre-fired new firearm left the factory. In January, Henry Repeating Arms had shipped 27k firearms to grateful gun dealers. And the hits keep coming. “People ask me if we’re still in business,” Imperator said. “We’re not just back, we’re shipping record numbers of guns.”

If another hurricane hits Henry (which hardly ever happens) the manufacturer won’t have all its eggs in a Garden State-shaped basket. “We’re going to start buildings guns in Rice Lake, Wisconsin,” Imperato reveals.

I didn’t have the heart to point out that Wisconsin is prey to blizzards, blazing heat and tornados. Still, if anyone can cope with whatever Mother Nature throws down, it’s Imperato. The man’s rock solid and ready to rock and roll. Kinda like Henry’s guns, really.

Previous Post
Next Post


    • No kidding….. 3 million rounds?
      I’m still trying to wrap my head around the size of the building to hold that much…

      • The number of rounds may sound impressive, but that is .22LR and should be around a half dozen pallets.

  1. I wonder how Obumer is speeding assistance thru the Fed system for a firearms mfg?

    Perhaps you’ve read in the mainstream media on the effectiveness and effiency of the current adminstration in Sandy recovery? NO? Move along nothing to see here.

    • Actually I have. Gov. Christy said today that “Obama has kept all of his promises.” Doesn’t mean that it won’t take a lot of time to recover.

      • Gov. Chrisy saying Obama kept all his promises has about the same trust level as him saying he had a light lunch.

        But I do understand. He probably couldn’t push himself away from the table, and was trying to lighten it up.

    • This administration helping a business that has anything to do with guns?
      A manufacturer no less?

      neiowa, what have you been drinking my friend, I want some……

      It will snow and hail in Hades, and even then, not gonna happen……….

    • The Feds shouldn’t be bailing out any businesses that were hit by Sandy, firearms-related or otherwise. That’s what insurance is for.

      • If the Federal government stuck to what’s in the Constitution then it would be 1/1000 the size it is now and spend about 0.1% of what they spend.

  2. Awesome! My favorite level guns! Sadly, all this mess has delayed talk of a new production 1860.

  3. Talk about a missed opportunity … I would have used the insurance money to rebuild in a firearms friendly state to the south or west.

    There will be more hurricanes the hit the New Jersey coastline: it’s just a matter of when.

  4. Wisconsin is a fairly gun friendly state if you remove the cesspools of Milwaukee and Madison. Lots of avid hunters, and I think Henry will fit right in near Rice Lake. Wisconsinites (again, outside the two disfunctional cities) are a pretty hardy breed rivaling other northern states, and people in that area have no problem getting to work on time with their snowmobiles if they have to. Tornadoes are rarely like the massive ones they have in Texas and Oklahoma. And blazing heat? In Wisconsin? Compared to where?

    I would really like to own a Henry Big Boy some day, they are really sweet looking rifles.

    • Dont have any experience with Henry’s rifles, but i do own a Remmy woodsmaster and the thing is RELIABLE as all hell. very pleased with that gun. It has taken a Bear, Moose and Deer.

  5. Why do these guys want to reopen a plant in a hostile state? I wold think that the hurricane (super storm?) was a gentle nudge to geet-helloutta the land-o-grab and resurface in another locale which appreciates their wares. Just my opinion

    • If Henry would just pack up and leave Jersey they would forfeit all of the Insurance money designated for damages. You must rebuild on location for claims to be paid.

  6. My father just got a Henry lever action .22 and that thing is beautiful. I have never used a lever action that was as smooth as this one, it was like butter!! Beautiful guns, a bit on the heavy side but that is because it is solid construction. It Shoots straight and tight little groups with good ammo, can’t ask for much more out of a gun like that. Probably just one of the best “fun guns” I have ever shot!! Fill the tube magazine up and you can shoot down more than a dozen cans at a time when plinking. A Henry is my next .22 that is for sure.

  7. I used to have an AR-7, when Charter Arms made it. I’m starting to want one again. Wonder what they cost nowadays?

    • My local Academy had one on the rack for $229 this past weekend. I think that Gander has them for $235.

    • I’ve got a Henry AR-7 and it is definitely the best production version that has been manufactured so far. The stock is now truly watertight and has room for three magazines (comes with two). My dad had a Charter Arms AR-7 back in the 80s and it suffered from the main problems that you hear about. It was extremely difficult to remove the buttcap from the stock and the interior of the stock eventually cracked in several places.

  8. They should bring their lever action manufacture plant to a much friendlier state like Texas.

    • Bahahaha, you can’t even open carry in Texas. Wisconsin is very gun-friendly since Scott Walker took things over. If the rest of your Governors had a set of big brass ones, things would be getting done in your states too!

  9. I keep waiting for them to make an awesome high quality “assault style weapon” with high capacity mags (maybe accept standard AR mags?) with their standard quality machining and a decorative receiver, but it never seems to happen.

    They keep goofing around with these lever action rifles for which I have little interest.

    • Why the hell should they do that? They’re like one of maybe four or five gun manufacturers still in the U.S. with a serious pedigree and history that doesn’t cater to the mall ninja crowd. You want your AR clone, go get one from your choice of a hundred other shops and don’t divert their attention from the best lever actions ever made.*

      *That aren’t vintage 39A’s or Win 1894’s

    • Dang it! Now I’ve got this image in my head of a polished brass AR with wood furniture, an octagonal barrel and the charging handle replaced by a lever mechanism.

  10. We’d welcome Henry to Arkansas, even if they do make that damned Yankee rifle that you load on Sunday and shoot all week, bless their hearts.

  11. WHY are you still in a commi anti gun state –MOVE NOW to a GUN Rights State =PLEASE

Comments are closed.