Shooting Uberti's 1860 Henry Rifle in .44-40 - THR

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Old June 26, 2015, 04:19 PM   #1
Join Date: March 9, 2011
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 721
Shooting Uberti's 1860 Henry Rifle in .44-40

Here is the full length video on the Henry Rifle. I apologize, because I know it is really long, but, on the plus side, there is lots of shooting in it.

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Old June 26, 2015, 04:36 PM   #2
Join Date: March 9, 2011
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 721
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Old June 26, 2015, 06:05 PM   #3
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Location: Pe Ell WA
Posts: 160

Do not apologize for the length of your videos.

I, for one, enjoy them immensely because they always follow the same course:

1. Display and historical info

2. Pros and Cons

3. Shooting the firearm

I thought it was a great vid: very professional.

I ordered a Henry catalog a year ago and was astounded at the prices for an original replica.

I agree wholeheartedly with your "cons" evaluation, and if I wanted a brass framed "Winchester" I would go with the 1866 for exactly the reasons you stated.

Q: Do the brass framed rifles exhibit any weakness/longevity issues like the replica Colt C&B brass framed pistols?

Thanks in advance.

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Old June 26, 2015, 10:46 PM   #4
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Location: Norfleet, Florida
Posts: 345
Very nice, Mike! I really learned some things about the original Henry - like the magazine tube and barrel machined together! I had no idea. And the moving follower knob below.
This rifle, despite it's shortcomings (though pretty good as the FIRST practical cartridge repeater!) is now on my Bucket List of firearms.
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Old June 27, 2015, 04:01 AM   #5
Skinny 1950
Join Date: July 2, 2010
Location: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Posts: 507
Some good shooting Mike, I will come and clean up all of all that brass on the ground for you, got to love 44-40.
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Old June 27, 2015, 05:47 AM   #6
Join Date: August 23, 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,102
Mike, you simply have to stay with this project. Yours are the videos I seek out at full 30. Thanks so much.

Two questions: 1) do you completely disassemble the rifle when cleaning after black? and 2) does the front sight also rotate around when you open the magazine tube to load it?
Hate is a poison which one consumes expecting another to die.

Last edited by stubbicatt; June 27, 2015 at 05:56 AM.
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Old June 27, 2015, 09:12 AM   #7
Join Date: March 9, 2011
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 721
The front sight doesn't move. Yes, I do disassemble the action to clean the gun after every B-P shooting session.
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Old June 27, 2015, 05:44 PM   #8
Join Date: September 10, 2011
Location: California
Posts: 615
Only problem with the long ones is I email myself the link to watch when I have a bigger block of time. Usually going on the forums is something I do to kill time when I have a few minutes only to kill. They do get watched within a couple of days though.
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Old June 28, 2015, 06:50 PM   #9
Driftwood Johnson
Join Date: December 18, 2011
Location: Land of the Pilgrims
Posts: 1,756
Howdy Mike

Hope you don't mind if I make a few observations.

In the video you can see Mike executing what we call the Henry Hop. As the tab of the follower reaches his hand, he has to regrip the barrel to allow the follower to pass by. If he doesn't, his hand will prevent the follower from moving and the rifle will stop feeding.

Some of us use what is euphemistically called a 'cheater stick' when shooting a Henry in CAS. Since we almost never load more than ten rounds into the magazine, we use a stick to take up the extra space.

Here is a photo of my stick. I made it from 1/2" dowel stock.

I loaded ten rounds into the magazine, then cut the stick to length so that the follower just moved a little bit to meet the stick.

The piece of brass sticking out of the stick is positioned so it acts as a stop. The stick is just long enough to push the last round onto the carrier, but the piece of brass stops against the frame of the rifle and does not allow the stick to go any farther. Without a stop on the stick, it will enter the carrier and jam the rifle after the last shot, preventing the carrier from rising and preventing the shooter from ejecting the last round.

The point is, using my stick, the follower tab stops about 4 1/2" inches away from the frame. I place my left hand at the front of the frame, I do not grab the barrel. This way, the rifle keeps shooting for all ten rounds, and I do not have to perform the Henry Hop.

Yes, I do wear a glove on my left hand when shooting my Henry. By now my pards have stopped making with the Michael Jackson jokes. As Mike says, in the middle of summer, shooting Black Powder, the barrel gets very hot, too hot to hold. Actually, the metal of the barrel is so thick that the heat does not soak through to my hand while I am firing ten rounds. But by the time I walk over to the unloading table, the heat has reached the surface and the gun is too hot to hold.

I do not wear the glove on cool fall days or in the winter. Once the weather turns cold, the barrel is pleasantly warm to hold onto.

Regarding cleaning it, I do not take my Henry apart every time I shoot it. Shooting 44-40 with Black Powder, the brass expands very nicely to seal the chamber, even at low Black Powder pressures. Almost all of the fouling stays in the bore, where it belongs. Holding the rifle vertical, I pop an empty case into the chamber, and swab out the barrel a few times with my favorite water based BP solvent. Once the patches come out gray, all the fouling has been washed down into the empty case in the chamber. Turning the rifle upside down I eject the empty onto the grass. A spray of dirty BP solvent follows it. Then a little swabbing of the bolt, carrier, and hammer with solvent, followed by a patch of Ballistol down the bore and a little Ballistol squirted into the action and the job is done. Total elapsed time about five minutes. Since my favorite BP solvent is based on Murphy's Oil Soap, when it evaporates it leaves behind an oily film that clings to the metal and prevents corrosion. I'll maybe take it completely apart every couple of years to clean out all the black, oily gunk, there is never any rust.

Regarding the strength of the brass frame, Italian proof standards are stricter than US standards. Using standard SAAMI spec ammo, a brass framed Henry or '66 will not stretch. However Mike Venturino, in his book Shooting Lever Guns of the Old West describes one brass framed Henry that had its head spacing ruined by one magazine full of hot 44-40 handloads. But sticking to SAAMI specs, a brass framed Henry or '66 will last a long time.
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Old July 5, 2015, 05:34 PM   #10
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,818
Great video, but dang it, now you got me wantin' one..
Old Geezer
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