Opinion on Henry rifles

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I find that lead after jacketed is an excellent way to remove the jacket fouling.
I am not surprised that a new rifle showed some jacket fouling at the muzzle, it just means it was test fired.
 

gman

Well-Known Member
Not saying it's a problem at all it was just an observation. It's a used rifle that was shot. A little cleaning it's all good. I was waiting to hear back from a place that was selling a 10.5" Ruger SRM and that's why I held off.
 
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9.3X62AL

Guest
All of my new guns get a box or two of factory ammo run through them before I move on to handloads. If there is a factory defect, I prefer that it show itself with commersh ammo on board rather than home-rolled fodder. I have 50 W-W 158 grain JHPs waiting for the rifle to get paroled. That box will likely be the only factory ammo it ever sees.

I have a 180 grain FN/GC design mould from a Lee Group Buy that (assuming it groups OK) will be the primary bullet for this rifle. Having a Ruger BisHawk x 7.5" on hand, this bullet flies pretty true at 1400 FPS from whatever twist the BH has.
 
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9.3X62AL

Guest
I got the new Henry Big Boy (hereinafter known as "HBB") home today about 5 P.M., this after Buckshot and I picked it up at the toy emporium for initial inspections and fondlings. This rifle is PUT TOGETHER--small wonder that people are so enamored of them. Gorgeous wood with decent checkering, metal finish is great, and mechanics seem to be solid. We didn't have time to shoot it today, that will wait a few days.

Once home, I gave the owner's manual a good reading. Small surprises--the factory advises strongly against any aluminum-cased/Blazer ammo. Ist verboten! Non-issue for me and most folks on here, I would imagine. A careful read of the cleaning instructions show that breech-end cleaning can be accomplished in the same fashion as with a Marlin 94/95/336--lower the lever, unscrew the lever pivot bolt, draw out the lever, pull out the bolt, and be careful about the ejector flying out. VERY Marlin-esque. Have any readers tried this with a Big Boy? I watched a couple videos on YouTube concerning "Henry rifle disassembly", and their content was a lot more convoluted than what is shown in the Manual. Anyone familiar with this regimen? If so, please advise. This would be a huge PLUS, the breech-end cleaning bit. Many thanks.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I pulled the bolt and brushed/patched mine plus took a look at the chamber and throat cuts and the basic internals before shooting. It's just like a Marlin 336. One caveat, be careful about over-tightening the lever pivot bolt. My brass HBB didn't appear to have much shoulder on the bolt and it is easy to pinch the frame together against the lever, so a very small amount of medium-strength threadlocker on the pivot bolt threads and a "just snug" condition with a hollow-ground screwdriver is in order to keep it in place.
 
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9.3X62AL

Guest
Many thanks, Ian. The Manual has a caution concerning over-tightening the lever pivot bolt as well. My variant is the steel receiver model, but I will abide by your and the Manual's guidelines on bolt tension.

It has been a very long time since a firearm make/model was total Terra Incognita for me. I appreciate the "road map"!
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I didn't get a manual with mine, but a quick study of the parts before reassembly revealed the possibility of crushing the receiver. I think that's how they control the lateral lever slop, just snug the bolt until the rattle goes away.

When putting the bolt back in, fish the ejector back into place and slip the bolt in against it, then depress the ejector by reaching though the ejection port with the eraser end of a pencil or forceps to get the bolt "started" over it. Also, watch the firing pin disconnector, it's a little floppy and can get out of place during bolt re-insertion and will prevent the locking bolt from locking up if it does. Forgive my fragmented sentence clauses, am not braining well today.
 
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9.3X62AL

Guest
Buckshot, myself, and 3 other worthies braved the cold & snow at the Lytle Creek range site today. Among the agenda items was the first shots fired through the steel-framed HBB in 357 Magnum flavor. W-W 158 grain JHP factory loads got the honors, and with a bit of oil on the moving parts and solvent patched into and out of the bore, firing commenced at 50 yards with the open irons, factory sight settings as-is. A 3-shot group settled into about 1.3", centered about 2" low and 1.5" left. I gave the rear sight one step of elevation, and the 3 following shots hit into 1.5", still 1.5" left but elevation was at point-of-aim level. I finished off the box of 50, groups at 50 yards were consistent 1.3" to 1.6"/5 shotters. Perhaps not benchrest-capable, but certainly promising so far. Very happy with feeding and function, no hiccups at all when the lever was run with a little vigor. It is new, and needs break-in. Maybe Marie and I will do a desert trip soon if the weather holds up.
 
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9.3X62AL

Guest
A little follow-up, with 100 more factory loads run downrange with Marie's assistance on Wednesday 2/1. The action is "wearing in" just a bit, smoothing up as it goes. Feeding, extraction and ejection with the ogival flat points is flawless, unless the lever gets short-stroked--then, a cartridge can lodge under the lifter. The good news--removal of the mag tube allows easy "draining" of magazine contents, to include the "fouled" cartridge. Moral of the story--like all leverguns, the action needs to be worked with a bit of vigor and in complete cycles. Also, feeding gets a little iffy if the rifle gets canted more than 40*-45* from normal shouldering, or more than 45* downward.

The site we shot from ("al fresco") had a T-post shoved in 143 yards away with a 8" x 8" plywood backer tied to it. Once I got the open irons figured out for elevation, I was able to readily hit that backer offhand/standing with both 158 and 125 grain JHPs. The little rifle wants to shoot, IOW.
 

Bisley

New Member
About the Henrys,

I googled the Henry Big Boy in .45 Colt and resurrected this thread. I went to Cabela's and sold the Mod. '92 I was never gonna shoot. I am not tooled up to load .32-20. Now I am thinking of consolidating into a Henry to match my Anaconda. The all-weather looks good, but the brass-frame does too. I am glad to see Henry would change the rifling twist in response to customer demand. That criterion was paramount as I consider a pig gun for a visit to Texas in the coming 18-24 month time frame.

Ian, do you have any follow-on opinions about the Henry at this late date? I have Lyman 454190 (both a 1950s-vintage with square lube grooves, and a 1984-manufacture which gives no greater than .452 inch. I also have the SAECO #945, a 255-grain SWC with a gas check.

Thanks,

Bisley
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
I'm not Ian but airc the 190 doesn't have a crimp groove.
it is pretty much as close to the original bullet as you can get and is meant to sit on a case of black powder.
there are several other 250gr bullets that will work for the 45 colt, not only for feeding but for pig shooting too.
my favorite is the lyman 452664,,,, or anything close to it [like the LEE 250]

too bad about that 32-20 I been looking for a decent one in that caliber [and a 38-40] for a long time.


welcome to the site.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't use the 454190 if it was me, you kinda need a crimp groove when you have half a pound of cartridges stacked on top of each other in a spring-loaded tube.

For my purposes, I re-cut a ruined Lyman mould to throw a 310-grain rfn bullet that has the crimp groove at max oal for the Henry BB. After proving th concept I had Tom at Accurate Molds model the 45-297G and bought one, it is excellent and quite a hammer that feeds flawlessly. The extra mass as opposed to a typical 250-grain bullet doesn't appreciably decrease the useable trajectory but does increase the energy. For hunting, the meplat is just right and about as much as will feed well.

I still really like the rifle, but it is extremely heavy for a levergun and not the most comfortable to pack around all day. For woods hunting my Marlins or ARs still get the nod.
 

JonB

Central Minnesota
About the Henrys,
I googled the Henry Big Boy in .45 Colt and resurrected this thread. I went to Cabela's and sold the Mod. '92 I was never gonna shoot. I am not tooled up to load .32-20. Now I am thinking of consolidating into a Henry to match my Anaconda. The all-weather looks good, but the brass-frame does too. I am glad to see Henry would change the rifling twist in response to customer demand. That criterion was paramount as I consider a pig gun for a visit to Texas in the coming 18-24 month time frame.
Ian, do you have any follow-on opinions about the Henry at this late date? I have Lyman 454190 (both a 1950s-vintage with square lube grooves, and a 1984-manufacture which gives no greater than .452 inch. I also have the SAECO #945, a 255-grain SWC with a gas check.
Thanks,
Bisley
Bisley,
I gotta ask, what are you saying about Henry changing Rifling twist?
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
I have enjoyed the Henry BB in 357 Magnum. Already having a Marlin 94 CCL in 32/20, I haven't been keen to locate a model in 327 Federal. I am having sufficient fun with the Ruger SP-101 x 4.2", setting off tremors in fault zones with the report and lighting up adjacent hillsides at dusk with the muzzle flash. I may have found a handgun that is louder than the Ruger Blackhawk x 30 Carbine.
 

Bisley

New Member
Bisley,
I gotta ask, what are you saying about Henry changing Rifling twist?
JonB,

The rifling twist was paramount for me to choose the rifle. I am not knocking Henry's product or customer service. In fact I am impressed, as I read this entire thread (Started a couple years ago) as to reports of Henry's customer service. Once I get some more stuff consolidated and out the door I will try and scratch together the wherewithal to buy an all-weather BB in 45 Colt.

Ian's Accurate mold looks good, too. Nice thing about this site is it reduces the incident of trial-by-error, which gets expensive with rifles, molds, and dies.

Bisley
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
My biggest "hmm, why would they do THAT?" disagreement with the Henry centerfire rifles is the missing
loading gate. Not a huge fan of the system with .22s, but understand that there is really no way to shove
mechanically fragile and TINY .22s into a loading gate with adult fingers. Makes real sense for .22s.....that
or the stock port style of tube in the buttstock -but, to me at least, not for center fire tube mag rifles.

I have no doubt that it works just fine, just not my preference after a number of Win, Browning and Marlin
rifles in stock.

Holy cow, Al - louder than a .30 Carbine BH? Now that is saying something. I only heard one fired at
one range session, but it was definitely memorable, esp with our tin roof over the firing line bouncing it
back at you. I once dumped a cylinder full as fast as I could from a friend's S&W ultra light Ti cylinder
scandium J-frame .32 Mag at 7 yds. No memory of it being particularly loud, but no idea what it was stoked with,
it was his CCW gun for certain situations. Good shooter, all six in about 2.5" at 12 yds in a hurry. I think it
was a 432, is that right? Of course, the .327 is a bunch hotter than .32 H&R Mag, but it was a 2" bbl.

The only .32 revolver I have ever shot....or handled, for that matter.

Bill
 
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JonB

Central Minnesota
Lately, I've had an itch to procure a H001, which is the plain blued 22LR. The big Farm stores have them on sale occasionally. I'd really prefer to find one with better than average wood grain figure. But all of them I've seen "for sale" are straight grained plain walnut. I've seen a few owners post photos (boasting) of the H001 with a beautiful figured stock, that they found and bought. During the sales, the farm stores will have several boxed up in stock, but they don't allow opening all the boxes for a looksee. I've also looked on gunbroker, mostly they show a stock photo and list that there is more than 10 available...a few used specimens are listed with actual photos, but the stocks all seem to be plain.

I'm not sure why I am posting this...I guess I am just thinking out loud.