Centerfire leverguns - Browning BLR vs. Henry

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DannyLandrum, Oct 24, 2018.

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  1. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Not gonna bash anything. I've shot a few Henrys, handled dozens that I've sold through the shop, and owned dozens of the other brands including Browning, Winchester, Marlin, and Savage. Personally, I prefer the older versions of the last three. I toy with getting a H01 for the grandkids to shoot and a couple of my "students" have had their own and done well with them in my "deer huntin/shootin" class). I did put a Henry and an Erma side by side on the bench in back one day and yes, there is a genetic connection. So what?
    If I want a .22 to shoot, I'd take a Henry over my Marlin 39 just for weight. A .357 or .44, either my old 94 Winchester or Marlin (pre Rem/pre safety), a real high power, my Savage 99 in 308. Forgings, milled steel, and some handwork are what I like. I agree that the Browning is ugly. Then again, so is my original 336-444 Marlin with the monte carlo, straight grip, half mag rifle thing. My converted original 38-40 model 92 from the sixties is still my fun gun. (complete with Rifleman lever but crescent buttplate and 24" barrel).
     
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  2. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I own one Henry. A single shot rifle, which is excellent, by the way.

    I wish to buy a Henry Long Ranger. I used to want a new Browning BLR but I never see them on the shelves at any gun store I have been to in North Carolina, Oregon or California. I have seen used ones that were priced stupid high. I won’t buy a used rifle that someone thinks must be made of gold covered in bluing.

    As for Henry in general, I have spoken with their customer service a couple of times to ask questions and when I bought my single shot there was a little tiny scratch in the bluing. Probably from a knucklehead mishandling the box. They offered to replace the gun or the barrel. My choice. I opted to keep it as it is one accurate rifle. Neither Remington, Marlin or Winchester have ever made me an offer like that when I had issues with their guns. I have no idea how Browning’s customer service is as I have had no need to call them as I don’t and probably won’t buy a Browning. When you want something for a long time and never have the opportunity to put your hands on it you tend to move on.
    By the way, if there are boatloads of Browning’s on the shelf near you that’s great for you. I really don’t need a stock update as I couldn’t care less.

    Some time within the next few months I plan to buy a Henry Long Ranger in .308 and I won’t be buying it because I am a sheep influenced by advertising and I have no loyalty to them or any other company but I do have a penchant for buying American Made when I can.

    My 2 cents.
     
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  3. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    New,
    I don't get my info from Cabela's, I get it direct from Henry's general manager.
    His name is Andy Wickstrom, and you are welcome to call him at the Wisconsin plant & ask if he knows me.

    As for being a Henry apologist, I have said dozens of times over the years that I truly do not care if you or anybody else buys a Henry or not.

    Just get your facts straight.

    The low-end basic Henry .22 is intended to be an entry-level gun.
    It did at one time have a plastic front sight.
    Henry stopped using plastic there in 2006.

    At no time ever did Henry use a plastic front sight on their higher-end rimfire leverguns.

    As for the Long Ranger, as said previously, I have worked with two of the Brownings & one of the Henrys.
    Have you?
    Do you have personal experience with the Long Ranger?
    Have you discussed it in detail with the people who build it?
    I have.

    I would consider the LR every bit the equal in overall quality to the Browning & better in a couple design areas.
    Buy or don't, makes no difference to me.

    Just make an intelligent INFORMED decision on ANY Henry product, without the rumors & errors I see continually being spouted.
    Denis
     
  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    My first Henry was a .22 mag lever gun that was sold as unfired-used because it didn't have the box, etc. I got it for 315 bucks on GB . I always wanted a .22 mag rifle to go with my single-six convertible and Taurus 941, but I couldn't touch a 94/22M price-wise. (We all know those are outrageously priced because they're now collectibles.) The rifle is fantastic, and it's one that I will be glad to hand down after I shake off this mortal coil and spend eternity feeding the grubs.

    I liked it so much I bought a standard .22 for my son, then when I realized the standard was a bit too large I replaced it with a youth model and kept the standard for myself. So far, zero issues with any of them.

    I like Winchesters (I have 4 M-94's, 3 .30-30 and a .44 Mag Trapper), Marlins (336 .35 Rem and 1895G) and Rossi as well (.45C and .357). I will admit that I'm a bit of a lever-gun fanboy, but I'm not a soldier for any marque. If a BLR, B-92 or BL-22 came along that was absolutely calling to me, then I'd add it to the stable...same goes for a Long Ranger... or a nice Win 1895...or a 336Y...

    (As an aside, since our love for things firearms is pretty similar across the board, and when you think about it we all have so much in common its scary, it would be kinda nice to see us save the sniping and potshots for the target range :thumbup:. )

    Stay safe!
     
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  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    DPris, it seems like you only show up to educate us on mistakes when it involves Henry. You've touted several times how you're a professional, have shot so many different firearms, yet you seem much more likely to jump in if it pertains to Henry.

    You have stated several times you are not a shill for Henry, so why only the show of love for them?

    Personally, I wouldn't buy any gun with a pot metal receiver, or a "coating" rather than bluing. Neither speaks of quality to me. Same for added brass plates to simulate a solid brass receiver. I don't have a large collection, but it will never include what I consider crap.
     
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  6. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The BLR, like almost every Browning firearm ever made, is a well-made rifle in every respect. But in terms of its "better aesthetics", you'll get an argument from me. In my wholly subjective opinion, the BLR is one of the, no not one of, the ugliest lever-action rifles ever made.
     
  7. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Speedo,
    I jump in all over on other companies when I have something useful to offer.

    I get into these Henry things because they are, frankly, so hated & so lied about.

    I've worked with Henry products since the late 1990s.
    I know some of their people, including their GM & their owner.
    I happen to believe in the products.

    I do not promote 'em, I do not sell 'em, I do not try to influence anybody to buy.
    I merely correct the incessant misinformation that continues to be bandied about by those who can't accept alternatives to the Old Regime.

    No other mainstream manufacturer in the firearms industry is so hated, so maligned, and so little understood.

    You say you will not buy a "pot metal receiver".
    You know, right, that I ran my 28,000-round endurance test on a Henry Golden Boy & the only two parts that went south were STEEL? You know that the receiver held up perfectly fine, did not even lose any of its coating AT ALL, and that only the extractor wore & only the locking block spring broke?

    And you know that the same Zamak 5 material is used in the entry-level rimfire lever gun model as the Golden Boy?

    The material holds up.
    But, nobody is saying you should buy a "pot metal receiver" if you choose not to.

    If you're not interested in the entry level coated receivers, perfectly fine.
    Your choice.

    Tell me though, in your vast knowledge of Henry products- on which model were "brass plates" added to simulate a solid brass receiver?
    I'm not aware of any.
    Denis
     
  8. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    Where they are made. makes all the difference to me.
    But that's just me.
    Just like cowboy hats & American flags made in China.
     
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  9. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Since this thread started, I have done a bit of research and had a little bit of time with the Henry Long Ranger in .308. After playing around with it for 60 rounds I will say I would actually rather have the Long Ranger now. I am a Browning fanboy in general. I love the Citori and BPS shotguns, Buckmarks, and BLRs. I had a fair amount of time and energy invested into a BLR not long ago and was fond of it and the 7mm-08 it was chambered in. However the Long Ranger is superior in my view now. The lever cycles smoother. It makes the BLR seem rather clunky by comparison. The weight seems better balanced even though it is generally a bit heavier than the BLR. The trigger moving with the lever also seems a bit unconventional and downright wierd when compared to every other common lever action rifle.

    I have to admit, in my initial post, my eyes and judgement were clouded by Browning fanboy....ness. Ill even concede on looks alone the Henry looks better. Ive never really liked the Browning lacquer but I just overlooked it mostly in favor of a quality firearm. The stock finish on the Henry is preferable. However, I am not as big of a fan of whichever process Henry used to finish the metal and I think Browning bluing is superior. Perhaps the best of any current manufacturer.

    I too have a traditional hatred of Henry. It did not stop me from buying their pump rifle in .22 Magnum though. They are the only current manufacture that makes a .22 Mag pump and I am a big fan of pump rifles and .22 Mag, so in that regard I was a fan of Henry even if it is only slightly just because they make something nobody else does anymore.

    My mind is changed on this one however the rifle I used was not mine and I don't plan on getting one or another BLR either. My needs have shifted away from that type of rifle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Once again I will say I do not have recollections of you jumping in to correct misconceptions with other manufacturers, perhaps I've missed them. It's just that you seem to have a special relationship with Henry, which is fine.

    I'm not a industry professional like you, and certainly do not have a vast knowledge of Henry products. However, I do recall reading about covers they were using that simulated brass. Here's an excerpt from an NRA review of one of their rifles, please note that they refer to a receiver "cover" which is made from a brass plated material. The review is of their Golden Boy model in .22 Mag, model number is H004M. Is this an entry level model?

    "The barrel band and the receiver cover are made of Brasslite, which is a durable, proprietary, brass-plated alloy treated with a clear coating to preserve its lustrous shine. The interior portion of the receiver, which supports the barrel, is an alloy casting fitted with a Brasslite base plate to match the receiver cover."

    Here's the article: https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2014/2/26/henry-golden-boy-22-mag-lever-action-rifle/
     
  11. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Denis, I'll play one more time. It sounds like it's important to you that someone at Henry knows you, so that's kind of a clue. ;)

    Maybe you SHOULD get your info from Cabelas, Wal-mart and Academy, because in every case, they are selling Henry rifles with painted (call it "coated" if you want, same diff) receivers and plastic sights. Henry must have made a heluva lot of them prior to '06 to still have stores stocking hundreds or thousands of those early models 13 years later.

    My "facts" come from my own personal experience of handling Henry rifles in the stores I mentioned (and other smaller LGS as well).

    Finally, if you think the Long Ranger is more of an heirloom rifle than the BLR, then I pretty much have nothing left to say. I doubt you'll find many folks who will agree with you there.
     
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  12. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    yup ^^^^
     
  13. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Oh goodness. I feel just the opposite! After John Browning's model 94 Winchester, I'd put the straight stock BLR right there as one of the most handsome leverguns ever produced.

    To be fair, I think the Henry Long Ranger is a good looking gun. Which is the only reason I ever sought one out to handle it.
     
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  14. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    OP, I have no explanation for the price difference you mention. I am certain Henry sells some rifles, many here say they're happy with theirs. I have read good things about BLR, never handled one, no interest. It does however seem similar to my BAR, which would be simply excellent, although it might be a tad heavier and is most certainly slower to repeat!

    I like your asking for a comparison between both rifles, I think it is very pertinent. I like less that it derailed in confrontation though, that is not very High Road. We are here for fun, after all.

    So what if Denis defends (or looks like he promotes, I don't care) Henry rifles, how many here promote Savage, a manufacturer of ungodly bad looking awkward triggered rifles (known to be shooters, though)? I would defend the people I know and he never hid that he knows people there. I like when he tells us what might be coming from Henry, I enjoy reading people in the know in any field.

    I satisfied my lever gun taste with a Winchester model 94 AE bought used and unfired (which has since been fired :)), a great rifle for my intended purpose, stalking deer, so I won't buy either of the rifles compared in this thread, meaning I have no dog in this fight, but I must say I like the Henry's general look better. I have nothing against the Browning gloss finish though: it is relatively tough (I sometimes think I could scratch a diamond with my luck) and weather resistant, and the Browning bluing is simply beautiful.

    Off topic, the Henry single shot rifle I find very attractive, and contrarily to what I have read in this thread (barrels are most likely cheaper and easier to obtain in the USA), it looks like if it is ever available where I live, it will be for less money than just a barrel for my Encore and come with sights and a stock and an action!

    I know Browning and think Henry make good products. What is a personal preference is just that, but it is good to learn about the material and technical differences between similar rifles, especially for those interested in buying one of them.
     
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  15. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Their single-shot 30-30 really has my interest. I may just have to buy one and see how it shoots.
     
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  16. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    When Henry started up in the 1990s, they used the old Erma .22 levergun design to base their introductory entry-level rimfires on, since Lou Imperato had been involved with its development & was an early importer to the US.

    Over the years, Henry has hugely expanded, and added to the rimfire levergun line substantially, along with improving processes.
    Early on, with the Golden Boy, that model was an upgrade over the original plain black basic rifle, and somewhere in the organization somebody just came up with the term Brasslite to use in ads & marketing.

    Not entirely accurate, since there's no brass involved, and the receiver cover and actual receiver are Zamak 5, the highest grade of so-called "potmetal", or diecast zinc alloy.

    As mentioned earlier, and repetitively, the receiver cover & receiver itself (IN THE RIMFIRES) are cleaned up out of their molds.
    Depending on whether basic or Golden Boy, those parts are coated with a black finish, or plated with nickel & then coated with the gold-tone semi-transparent final finish.

    Silver models are left with just the high-polish nickel finish, they omit the gold.

    The NRA article quoted merely runs with an older marketing version that Henry was giving out for several years.
    There is no such thing as Brasslite.

    ALL Golden Boys are manufactured as I stated above, with exceptions for the fancier engraved versions that still use the same Zamak 5, but get different plating processes that can involve genuine gold-plated highlighting.

    The barrel band on the GBs is also a Zamak 5 base, finished as explained above.
    On my 28,000-round GB, I wore through the gold down to the base metal when that barrel band rubbed against steel in my truck during transport on one shooting session.

    If you want to quote published articles, dump that erroneous NRA piece & READ mine, which was written with the cooperation and approval of Wickstrom, Henry general manager & manager of the Wisconsin plant.

    It's not important to me that you know I know him, I mention that as a gentle hint that I'm not making this up, and that my info comes direct from Henry.
    I give you a named source.

    The reference to 'Brasslite base plate' you quote in the NRA piece is gibberish.
    You are mistaken in translating that sentence to mean Henry adds "brass plates" to simulate a solid brass receiver.
    You've completely mis-read that.
    There are no brass plates added to simulate anything.
    Your comment indicates to me that you've never even looked inside a Henry rimfire levergun to see how it's built.

    Part of the reason for so much erroneous info like this floating around is that Henry hasn't been more clear about the actual processes used, but many companies aren't.

    I will state one more time- buy or don't, but at least understand what you're basing your decision on.
    You obviously don't know the guns, while I've spent almost 20 years working with them & talking to the people who make 'em.

    And if you can take a magnet to Cabela's & find a Henry rimfire levergun with a plastic front sight today, I'll be happy to pass that info on to the guy who runs the plant where they're made.
    He's apparently incorrect when he tells me they stopped plastic in 2006.

    Denis
     
  17. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    You have. I've seen him comment similarly on other manufacturers. Not that it makes any real difference. Even if a person has input on only one manufacturer they should feel free to share it when appropriate without having to worry about being accused of being a shill.

    In fact, since accusing someone of being a shill is an insult, the THR code of conduct demands it.

    If logic and factual information can't be used to adequately support an argument, that doesn't mean it's acceptable to resort to insults as Plan B.

    Looks to me like this thread was supposed to be locked back in October. I'm going to remedy that now.
     
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