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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I'm looking to get my first long gun. I live in NY so my options are limited. I love it's aesthetics and the history of the lever action. This will be for hone defense and range fun. I'm interested in the shorter 16.5" barrel with side gate. Anyone have any experience with this lever action? Reliability, ease of maintenance, accuracy?

Thanks

 
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I have three Henry rifles: .45-70 Classic with side gate, .44 magnum Big Boy Classic, and .22 Golden Boy. All three are the brass receiver variant. I love my Henrys.

.45-70 Classic


.44 Magnum Big Boy


.22 Golden Boy


.45-70 is going with me next year on my moose hunt in Alberta, .44 Magnum is my deer rifle, and the .22 is just for pure fun.

Go buy it (them) and enjoy it (them)! Just know that they're like Lays potato chips...
 

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This will not be a popular comment, but in my opinion the Henry is heavy and clunky compared to the svelte Winchester/Miroku 1892. I have fired examples of both along with the Marlin 1894's also. One Henry had problems with the rear sight coming loose in the dovetail when firing, an easy fix but that should not happen. On a positive note the Henry rifles are USA made and always have very nice wood.

If possible take a look at the Winchester/Miroku 1892. I own one in 45 Colt and it is a beauty that shoots great.
 

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I've got probably one of the first Big Boys in .41 mag. I was one of the first to pester Mr. Imperato to bring the .41 out. His initial response was a flat out NO! Was shocked when he did it. I woulda bet it was gonna be 1 limited run and done.

But mine is accurate and reliable, though it won't feed my pet load using a hardcast 220gr "Keith-style" SWC (Ideal #410459). The Remington 210gr JSP and Penn Bullets 210gr TCBB work just fine.

Probably shoulda waited for the side gate!:cool:
 

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Henry rifles are true eye-candy. A friend has a Big Boy in .44 Magnum, and it was a barrel of fun to shoot. I have a Rosi 92 in .44 Magnum, and it also is a barrel to shoot. That said, my Rossi has a heavy octagon barrel (18") and uses a side gate. It shoots like a dream even with true Magnum loads. However, while handy it does weigh a bit (maybe that's why recoil is very manageable).

Regardless of which one you go with you're going to have fun. Should you wish to run cast loads through it be aware bullet shape (SWC/TC/RNFP/RN) does cause feeding issues with some rifles. So far, I've shot SWC, RNFP, and RN bullets without issues in my Rossi.

Grumpy
 

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Always thought a lever-action carbine would have made a perfect companion to the standard issue .357 mag revolver, back when cops carried .38/.357 revolvers. If one of those cops at the famed BoA shootout had one, and took a headshot from a rest, situation neutralized!
 

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Before I purchased my Rossi 92, I had set two "have to" requirements. First was a side loading gate. Second was top eject. Maybe I'm a purest or a snob, I just felt those two items went with "lever action".

Grumpy
Air gun Gun barrel Shotgun Revolver Gun accessory
 

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I have always had good experiences with Henry so I say go for it.

Not to drag us off subject but might I suggest you load it with some light fast hollow points that won't go through the bad guy the wall the kitchen sink and your neighbor's lawnmower. : ]

Also if you reload I have had incredible amounts of fun loading blackpowder for my 44mag and 45 70 I even started with a lee loader that cost less than 50bucks shipped to my door.
 

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I own a Big Boy in .45 Colt. Have had two issues:

First was a broken firing pin within the first 500 rounds. Anthony Imperato himself answered my email and Henry sent a new one that arrived in a couple days.

Second issue involved using the gun in SASS. In North Carolina in the summer, the loading table just bakes in the sun. My best guess is that the difference in thermal expansion between the brass and the steel caused the gun's action to bind when very hot. Put it in the shade for five minutes, and it is smooth as glass. (Bought a '92 copy for SASS after that)

With the exception of the two issues above, the Henry is one of my favorite rifles. Perfectly balanced, decent trigger, accurate -- and dang good looking to boot.

Water Wood Gun accessory Rectangle Gun barrel
 

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I have one Rossi and one Henry. I have a number of Marlins. The majority of my Marlins are JM Marlins. Now that Ruger owns them I hear some very good things about their first 45-70 Marlin.

I am a Marlin guy over a Rossi or Henry.
 

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Hi,

I'm looking to get my first long gun. I live in NY so my options are limited. I love it's aesthetics and the history of the lever action. This will be for hone defense and range fun. I'm interested in the shorter 16.5" barrel with side gate. Anyone have any experience with this lever action? Reliability, ease of maintenance, accuracy?

Thanks

Expensive ammo. I’d go with something cheaper, personally.

If you’re willing to consider something other than a lever action, I’d suggest a semi-auto PCC.

Beretta CX4 Storm
Hi-Point 4595TS also there’s this: HTA Bullpup Conversion
Ruger PCC
 

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I don't think the OP is interested in a semi-auto, especially since he lives in New York. He asked about a lever gun.

The only Henry I own is one of their .22LR rifles. It's a gun little shooter. I have no experience with their centerfire rifles but the people who own them tend to love them. As for caliber, .44 Magnum is pretty expensive and hard to find these days, as is .44 Special. The latter might actually make a better home defense caliber, but you'd need to make sure the rifle feeds them reliably.

I have Uberti lever actions in .45 Colt and .357 Magnum, 1866 and 1873 Winchester replicas respectively. Between the two the '73 in .357 (or .38 Special) is much more practical, and the caliber is great in a lever gun. Also much easier to find than .44, although still pretty pricey these days.
 
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