I’m a big fan of pistol-caliber carbines. I know a 5.56 rifle is better, but 9mm is a lot cheaper to shoot. I blame the restrictive nature of my home range maxing out at 100 yards. Maybe that’s why I love PCCs.
Admittedly, most PCCs are predictable. Base it on the AR design and and make it take GLOCK magazines. At SHOT Show range day, however, we were greeted by a new entry in the class from none other than the lever gun maestros at Henry.
That’s right…Henry has released a semi-automatic 9mm carbine that has all the charm of a Henry rifle.
That charm is in the wood furniture and classic layout that makes me think of the early Marlin camp guns. It’s simple, but simple is good.
The Homesteader has the same beautiful finish you get on most Henry guns and it’s offset by what appears to be a stainless steel bolt. The gun is simple, but packs all the features of a more modern platform. It’s like a retromod take on a 9mm PCC.
Inside the Homesteader
The Homesteader is more than pretty wood furniture. The gun features a forward peep sight mounted to the barrel, which is quite fast and precise to use. I’m not sure if I’d prefer open sights for speed, and it would take more lead downrange to figure it out.
If you decide you want a red dot, the receiver is tapped and ready for a rail. The Homesteader features a tang safety reminiscent of the Mossberg 500 series shotguns more than bolt action rifles. It’s quick and easy to push and pull in and out of action.
In front of the trigger sits an ambidextrous bolt release. In front of the magazine sits an ambidextrous magazine release. It’s odd, but I feel like I could get used to it.
The magazines vary. Henry has five- and ten-round proprietary magazines, but the magwell is modular. You can get options to take (yes) GLOCK, Smith & Wesson M&P, and SIG P320 magazines. That’s a very smart move.
The barrel is threaded with the industry standard 1/2×28 threading for easy suppressor attachment.
The gun uses a blowback action, but they must be using some kind of tuning or a great recoil spring. You don’t have the same recoil you expect from blowback guns. It’s light and friendly, much like the Ruger PC Carbine with its dead blow blowback system. The Homesteader is a sweet shooter and had some real classic charm to it.
American walnut just appeals to me. This gun was a total surprise, but apparently, they briefly introduced it at NRAAM as a Friends of the NRA model. It flew under my radar, but no longer. Full review to come when we get our hands on one.