Henry Big Boy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mark39, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. Mark39

    Mark39 Member

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    Been thinking about getting a Henry Big Boy lever action rifle, mainly because it's available in .327 federal magnum. Usage would be strictly target shooting and possibly home protection if I am comfortable with it. Mainly it's something different. Never used anything other than a semi-auto rifle. Any reasons I should reconsider or any suggestions or tips? Never having used a lever action gun before is probably my biggest concern. Tips or feedback from those with experience with these or similar rifles is welcome.

    Another thing, what calibers to consider? Initially drawn to the BB because offered in .327 magnum and it would match well with a .327 revolver. Also considering some other pistol calibers like .41 mag, 44sp/44mag or 45 Colt. for same reasons. Tradeoffs on these calibers with a lever rifle? Are they significantly inferior to the rifle cartridges the Big Boy is offered in? I can't imagine getting one in a 5.56/.308 since they are so plentiful in the AR platform. Thoughts and recommendations? What should I consider here?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Key to lever-action joy (for me) is to have one that cycles everything smoothly and fast. It sucks when your rifle jams up on one type of ammo that you were hoping to shoot.

    There is a rumor on the internet that Big Boy 327s have trouble with 32 H&R and 32 SW.
     
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  3. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    If it were me, I’d get a long-barrel 44 lever. Huge capacity and hits hard enough. I’m in Florida where everything is short-range.

    30-30 is longer range, but much lower capacity. (14 rounds vs 5)
     
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  4. Mars5l

    Mars5l Member

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    If just a simple target gun id go .357/.38spl, I guess it depends on the range you'll shoot. I have a .30-30 Henry, it's fun but $15 for 20 rds or $22 for 50rds for .38spl. My next Henry will probably be and X or All Weather in .357

    It is a nice feeling racking that lever on every round
     
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  5. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    My experience with Henry has been that they will make it right, if at first they make it wrong. If you can thoroughly inspect before buying, you'd be doing yourself a favor.

    However, they do make very nice steel and walnut lever actions. I have a Big Boy 20" in .357 Mag, and a .45-70 (which replaced the one they made wrong). Both feel great, look good, and shoot acceptably well.
     
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  6. rwilky78

    rwilky78 Member

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    I have a 20" Big Boy Brass with an octagon barrel in .357 Magnum. It is a very nice rifle and fun to shoot.
     
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  7. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a Henry 327 Fed Mag rifle but I have not shot it much.

    My main experience is with a Marlin 1894C 357 Mag carbine. It shoots 357 Magnum ammunition well, but 38 Special can be difficult to feed. Also, semi wadcutter bullets feed with difficultly although careful cycling of the action can ease the problems. My Marlin has a micro groove barrel which does not like cast bullets so I tend to stick with jacketed bullets when shooting it.

    That said, it is fun to shoot a lever action and once you find what your rifle likes, you will have a good time with it.
     
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  8. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    I've been looking at ordering one in .38-55. A great cartridge, suitable for deer and black bear. Originals were known for being quite accurate.
     
  9. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Plenty of YouTube videos on Henry's, including the 327 Fed Mag versions. I particularly recommend the ones Buffalo Outdoor's made.

    If you already have a revolver in one of the carbine calibers that is probably the one I would go with.

    If you don't already have a revolver in those calibers I would go with 38/357. Easier to find ammo and eventually the matching revolver.
     
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  10. Mark39

    Mark39 Member

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    I’ve watched a number of YouTube’s on it but I’m always skeptical so I like to hear different points of view. Buffalo did have a good video on it.

    I hear ya about the revolver and rifle combo caliber. Most likely come down to .41 magnum, .357 or .327. Might depend on what’s available. I don’t have a 327 yet but do have .32.
     
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  11. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    Shooting lever actions is fun. Slower than semi autos but they don't seem to use less ammo ;)
    If you are looking to try out lever actions I'd suggest getting a Henry 22. An inexpensive way to try one out. They shoot any 22 ammo and are loads of fun.
    I have 2 Big Boys. One in 357 and one in 45colt. The 357 is my HD gun and it cycles any 38sp or 357 round I feed it, including wadcutters, semi wadcutters and hollow points. They are both very accurate.
    The trade off with any pistol caliber rifle vs a rifle is range. If you aren't shooting past 100yards or so a pistol caliber is fine.
     
  12. Hoppes Love Potion

    Hoppes Love Potion Member

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    Lever actions are fun to shoot and simple to operate. They make a good all-around home defense rifle. .357 out of a 16" barrel is nothing to sneeze at, and the recoil is mild.
     
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  13. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    If you do have a .32 S&W Long or .32 H&R Magnum revolver already then the Henry 327 can load and fire either of those cartridges already so you'll have your pistol/carbine combination.

    If you want a revolver that will fire the full length Fed Mag loads I recommend a Ruger SO101 unless you're more of a single-action fan.

    They're a good combination. Use the stout loads in the carbine and the softer loads in the revolver, but at need can swap between if you want to.
     
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  14. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    I have a Big Boy in .44mag. Accurate and fun to shoot all day long. Something about that brass receiver and octagon barrel. She my jeep gun as well...
     
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  15. HPJeep

    HPJeep Member

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    Lever guns makes for great simple home defense guns. Go with a 16 or 20 inch barrel since 24 inches can be a bit too long. I vote 45LC, 357 or 44 mag unless you already have a 327 revolver. I'm more of a Winchester 1892, 1873 or 1866 or clones fan but would consider a 1894 Marlin and Henrys last bit only due to aesthetic reasons.
     
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  16. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    If it works for you I would suggest the .327 or .41 as rifles in those calibers are very hard to come by. I just went through this exercise and while a big .32 fan I went with the 41 as it simply seems more practical to me as a possible deer rifle. Now, if I am happy with this one the .327 may well be next for me.

    Very personal call but I don't think there is a wrong answer.
     
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  17. Mark39

    Mark39 Member

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    Thanks all for talking me through this. Going to start searching for a .357 All weather Henry. The deciding factor is the cost of ammo and ease of finding it.
     
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  18. Telum Pisces

    Telum Pisces Member

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    My first lever gun was a Henry 45-70 All Weather model! I wanted to go big or go home! I reload and you can load the 45-70 from mouse farts to knock your teeth out! So many options to load in that round!

    Plus the 45-70 is just an iconic lever gun round.

    The all weather finish on the Henry guns is awesome. It's slick and is one tough cookie in the woods.
     
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