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School Me on Henry Rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Double Vision, Apr 20, 2013.

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  1. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    Yesterday I wandered into one of my local stores to look at Sigs :) but instead ended up looking at a Henry in 38/357.
    I had never held one before and was very impressed with the quality of construction - it's beautiful!
    The weight of the rifle does get your attention, as does the price tage at $849.
    I have no intention of carrying a Henry in the field, but like the idea of a lever action in a pistol caliber that I'm already invested in. Also very important to me is that it's 100% Made in USA.
    I already have a Winchester 30-30 but would consider adding a Henry. I've read a number of comments and discussions here on Henry as well as other places and have found few negative comments beyond the weight and the front-loading magazine.
    Thanks in advance for your comments and advice.
     
  2. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    I have been looking for one of those for months - none are available. I have 3 Henry lever action rifles (two are .22lr and one is .22mag). Their actions are very smooth. The stocks are top quality walnut. They are accurate and fun to shoot. They are completely American made.
    I ended up buying a Rossi .38/.357 lever rifle but I really wanted another Henry.
     
  3. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    Thanks Steve. I haven't read many negative comments about Henry rifles and your post reinforces those comments.
     
  4. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Check out two of the "reality" television shows, Swamp People and American Hoggers, featuring people who hunt for a living and it is not hard to spot Henry rifles in these shows, which are not advertising rifles but showing hunters using what they own.
     
  5. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    I know a couple of folks who have the Henry Big Boy. We are cowboy action shooters so I see the Henry through that "lens".

    One criticism of the HBB is that it's not a replica of anything. Does that matter? It may or may not. It doesn't affect how the gun functions. If you like having the type of gun (many of the modern guns, especially the Winchesters, are reproductions) that was used in the old West, it may matter.

    It has shortcomings as a competition rifle, one being the lack of a loading gate on the receiver. The magazine tube is loaded from the muzzle like a rimfire .22 lever rifle. Fine for field use if you follow basic safety protocols but in cowboy action matches were shooters stand shoulder-to-shoulder at a loading table it can be a bit clumsy. It can be done safely though.

    In cowboy action we run the lever guns hard and very fast. Many of the rifles are slicked up and some have aftermarket parts. There is no aftermarket support for the Henry. This means it's about as good out of the box as it's going to get. For the casual participant it is fun but you don't see any of the top shooters using the Henry. You might say it has a speed limit.

    It's not an inexpensive rifle so if it doesn't do what you want you get to make another big purchase. I wouldn't recommend it for cowboy action shooting, personally, but if you want a field rifle I'd say compare it to the Braztech/Rossi 1892, to the Marlin and to the Uberti Winchester replicas, then make your choice.
     
  6. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    I love mine. Extremely smooth action.
     
  7. KimberLover

    KimberLover Member

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    Re: School me...

    Well, I have two Henry 22's and two Rossi 38/357's
    The Henry's are Perfect out of the box.
    The Rossi's, well no where near perfect and in need of slicking up to run smooth.
    The Rossi octagon is poorly made.
    The front sight is cleearly set to the right, and believe it or not, it shoots nearly perfect.
    It is my understanding that Rossi bores the hole then mills the squares. Somewhere that is not up to any quality that I expect. Micking the barrel at the muzzle there is a lot of difference in thickness from one side to the other.
    Rossi's were less expensive than the Henry in 38/357.
    I have a new Henry Big Boy in 38/357 ordered.
    If I were you "Double Vision" I'd snap that HBB up in a heart beat and never look back.
    Hey! If you don't like it, I'll buy it from you or swap you a slicked up Rossi with boot.
     
  8. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    Crunchy Frog, you're not the only dissenter here... (Sorry to all you Henry fans but...) I think Henrys, both the 22's and the Big Boys, are the most over rated rifles that there are. The OP's inquiry however concerned the "Big Boys" so I'll try and stick to those. The rimfires are a whole other subject..

    First of all, I will give credit where it is due, the Henry's are nicely stocked and finished, are sans some unnecessary, lawyer inspired safety and are made in the US. Beyond that it's pretty much down hill from there.

    Henry's Big Boys are over priced, over sized and over weight, almost 9 pounds. If I’m going to lug a 9 lb, iron sighted rifle around I might as well carry a 9 lb M1 Garand, 30/06 rather than a 9lb .357! The Winchester 92 and Marlin 1894 both weigh about 6lbs. Henry’s have boxy, bulky lines. Some this bulk maybe necessary to ensure that the somewhat gaudy, sold brass alloy frames are strong enough to handle the pressures of modern cartridges. Something that New Haven Arms Company (later renamed Winchester), the makers of the real Henry, were smart enough to begin using better alternatives for back in 1873. The OP and others already mentioned the Big Boy's slow and awkward tube magazine style loading, which incidentally Winchester remedied back in 1866. This would be acceptable if the Big Boy was a replica of the original Henry (like the Uberti) but it's not even close. Tube loading is just a cheesy, cost cutting feature. My point here is that the Big Boy isn't a Henry replica and yet it still suffers from issues that were solved long ago... Why?

    Henry’s Big Boy is expensive. When Henry first came on the scene selling copies of the old Ithaca 72, a.k.a. the 22 Henry lever, they were at least reasonably priced. Now that has all changed. That giant block of shiny brass called a Big Boy comes with a big price tag, $899.95, retail. Retail on a new Marlin 1894 is $649.

    Another thing that has always bothered me about Henry is the way their marketing is intentionally misleading, strongly implying that their rifle or company has some historical connection to a romanticized past where none actually exists. If you’re into “big and shiny” buy a Henry "Big Boy." If you want a pistol caliber lever action rifle that’s trim, handy and light with some actual style and history, buy a Winchester 92 (or a Uberti or Rossi clone) or a Marlin 1894. 1873's are great too and very fast if you're a cowboy action shooter, just not as trim, light or strong as the 92 or 1894.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  9. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    they were originally made by some guy named henry
     
  10. Redlegvzv

    Redlegvzv Member

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    Golly, some hard comments about Henrys!

    I bought a Golden Boy .22LR for my son and the more basic H-001 for myself. Hey, what can I say? My H-001 is light, handy, shoots well, and will accommodate a scope if you want one and has decent iron sights if you don't. I upgraded the front sight to the Hi-Viz, and on a Henry, unlike many rifles such as the 10/22, this can be done by anyone with only a screwdriver. None of those awful dovetails that take a sledgehammer to remove the front sight.

    The H-001 was only a little more expensive than a 10/22, so I would not say that it was overpriced. And you will not find a prettier gun or a smoother action.

    Just sayin' .... :eek:
     
  11. thralldad

    thralldad Member

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    My son's Henry is like glass. My Ross M-92 (.357) was not as smooth but it is slick now after a bit of shooting.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have considered getting a Henry for quite some time now but have ultimately felt that they were a bit too heavy for their chamberings and a might too expensive for my wallet.
     
  13. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    IMHO: way way over priced for their capabilities, and not authentic enough to support the price.
     
  14. shafter

    shafter Member

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    The fact that they try to claim their heritage goes back to the original Henry rifle of Civil War and Old West fame really turns me off. They have NO connection whatsoever and shouldn't mislead people.

    It's really a shame, they make a good product that they stand behind and shouldn't need to be misleading.
     
  15. exdxgxe4life

    exdxgxe4life Member

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    Made in USA! Extremely smooth action. However, I personally like Marlins looks, and I can't put my finger on it, but for some reason they feel like toys to me. I wouldn't buy one, but I wouldn't tell you not to.
     
  16. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    Thanks for the responses folks. You have given me a lot of pros and cons to consider.
     
  17. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Member

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    My neighbor bought a 22 Henry and when we were shooting at about 45 yards, it was shooting about 8-10 inches high. We moved adjusted the sight all the way but it was still shooting about six inches high.
     
  18. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    And one call to Henry, and they will send you the proper sight to correct the problem...

    I have 3 Henry lever 22's, (one is a 22 magnum) they have worked perfectly from day one...

    DM
     
  19. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    look around and talk to people in the real world who use them just about every day and then decide. i picked up a few used win. 94/22,s and marlin 39,s in very good condition for less that 400.00 over the last few years and i would put any of them up againest a henry any day of the week. eastbank.
     
  20. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    The Henry is "a little different" than a Marlin or Winchester. This may (or may not) be a good thing for you. If you want a lightweight lever action that can be tuned for SASS or inexpensive hunting rifle that you won't care about beating up, then a Henry rifle might not be what you want to purchase. However, if you want a 100% American made rifle with a smooth action and beautiful finish, you might be interested in a Henry.

    I liken it to having a Stainless Steel Ruger Vaquero. It's not authentic to the Old West. However, it kind of looks the part. It's a bit heavy but really smooth right out of the box. It can be used for everything like similar guns. Customer service is outstanding.
     
  21. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    I dearly love my rimfire Henrys. Bang for the buck the basic H001 round barrel rimfire gun really delivers. But clearly those with a thing about the ZAMAC alloy receiver do not see it that way despite legions of happy owners that report high round counts and years of trouble free shooting.

    The Big Boy lineup, on the other hand, does leave me scratching my head. As mentioned they are bulky, heavy guns with the needlessly awkward forward reloading setup. For my money I'd far rather have a Rossi and send it off for a modest slicking up job or find an older used Marlin 1894. But for those folks that find them decent to shoulder and don't mind the forward reloading setup I understand that they do work well and shoot well.

    "Overrated"? That depends on if the design suits what the owner wants. I would not be one of them but clearly they sell enough of them to keep the rifles in their lineup. So some folks are fond of them.
     
  22. j2crows

    j2crows Member

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    I want one in .44 mag. I don't care about the dissenters.
     
  23. bhk

    bhk Member

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    I think the Henrys are well built and I read that they run superbly. But I just can't get over the fact that the .22 'blued' actions are painted alloy rather that solid steel like the guns they are cloned after. This, in no way, has anything to do with their utility and is just a hang-up that I and some others have.

    I don't mind alloy and plastic on guns of modern design but, by golly, something that is supposed to be a Winchester clone at least should have a solid steel receiver. Winchester 94s, Winchesters 9422s, Marlins of all types, Rossis, and almost all of the others do.

    That said, most Henry owners know what they are buying and seem to love them.
     
  24. mr.t7024

    mr.t7024 Member

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    I have two,the Henry Golden Boy in17HMR and one in 22LR. The actions are buttery smooth & accurate. Wood to metal fit is fine.

    I have a Winchester 9422 and a 39A. the Henry is equal in all respects.

    I am not sure how the Henry name was acquired, but Anthony Imperato has said countless times the That the Henry's today are not the same as those of yesteryear. In my opinion they are better.

    BTW, name a firearms company that when you call and the president of the company answers the phone, it happens quite often at HRAC. :) Cliff
     
  25. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    you have to be kidding, ten years from now you may be singing a different tune. eastbank.
     
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