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Henry Big Boy 45LC Whats the verdict?


Brazos Bill Dupree

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I got a chance to pick up a 45 long colt Henry rifle, 20" barrel lots of brass. But while reading through the wire I don't see many cowboys using them or talking about them. So is this a decent gun or is there a taboo about them because they really were not around in the old west? but then neither was Uberti, Ruger and other thing that are widely accepted by CAS.

 

Brazos Bill

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Nice guns, but most will tell you thet just are not a good fit for what we do. A Marlin or 73 replica will top most everyones list as best choices. That and loading down the tube is a pain verses a load gate on reciever.

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I hear all the negative stories about them too. A few good praises for them but not many. We had a shooter use one in .45 Colt at our club a few months ago. At stage 4 the extractor and spring went airborn on him. most of our loading tables are against walls so he was having to hold the rifle up in the air to load. Looked like more of a pain than what its worth. That convinced me right there. I wont be using one any time soon with what I hear about them...

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I got a chance to pick up a 45 long colt Henry rifle, 20" barrel lots of brass. But while reading through the wire I don't see many cowboys using them or talking about them. So is this a decent gun or is there a taboo about them because they really were not around in the old west? but then neither was Uberti, Ruger and other thing that are widely accepted by CAS.

 

Brazos Bill

 

 

I don't care if they was around back them.

I like the company.

But would pass on there Big Boy for SASS.

YES. I have tired more than one. Would rather throw a rock.

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If you like the brass buy a 66, much better for our game than the Henry, IMHO, of course.

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Shot with a young lady, Miss Rose Gillroy.

 

Her "Henry" would give her fits at every stage. 2 or 3 rounds then jiggle the lever for the next round or it locked up. Reshoot, reshoot.

 

The next SASS season I saw that she didn't have the "Henry" no more. I didn't ask what happen to it for fear of a unlady like response.

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They shoot very well and accurately if you just want to go to the range and do some plinking. However, they just don't seem suited well for speed work, IMHO

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Just started, havent shot a match yet. Started looking at guns online and everyone in a forum or video said their great and 500 bucks less than a 1873 so I nought one. Then I go online to SASS forums and everyone says their junk for this sport. So i torn mine apart and seriously deburred and smothed everything up, Lightened springs, lubed everything and I got to admit its pretty smooth. Only shot it a couple of times since the weather is crap. Dummy rounds fly right thru it. So come spring I'll be shooting around the Pittsburgh area. If you see me next year with a 1873 you'll know the answer. If nothing else it will look good hanging on my wall.

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Great for hunting ( can handle the stoutest loads) or a camp rifle.... Not so much for SASS. Some use them for our purpose without issue, but you'll see none in any of the top contenders for cowboy action shooting.

 

GG

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No, Utah Bob can spell, he'd say,

"And they're off..."

 

I can spell, thank you.

 

I'm probably just not the best at quoting correctly.

 

 

..........WIdder

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I'm a recently returning cowboy to CAS. My first time out my rifles were Uberti replicas of a Henry and a Win'66. Mine were chambered in .45C. Both were trouble free with smokeless rounds. When I started shooting BP they would get a little sticky so I picked up a Uberti Win '73 chambered in .44-40. This cartridge worked extremely well for BP. I stuck with my smokeless rifles in .45C and .44-40 for BP exclusively.

Then....I took a long hiatus from CAS....

Now that I'm returning I prefer to stick with traditional rifles (or replicas) used during the cowboy era. I am also a traditionalist about cartridges used during the period. This means I won't use .45C, .44Mag, or .357Mag cartridges in my rifles. I do intend to shoot both smokeless and BP alternatively. So I'm sticking with .44-40 as my rifle round.

I know not all agree with my preferences...but they are my preferences and I'm sticking with them!

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Pending,

 

thats how all of us are. We all shoot our preference(s). Mine are:

 

Ruger Sheriff model Vaqs, using the C45S cartridge

12 gauge '97

Marlin 1894 in .32 H&R (this is my warthog caliber.....hehehehehe)

 

 

..........Widder

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Ruger Sheriff model Vaqs, using the C45S cartridge

Marlin 1894 in .32 H&R (this is my warthog caliber.....hehehehehe)

 

Widder,

 

With only a year, I'm still very much a newbie, so if I may ask:

 

What do you feel you gain from using C45S over .45 Colt? I've seen references to making lighter BP loads without needing wads, but is that the only reason?

 

I've seen people using the term warthog to describe heavy loads, but you're using it in reference to .32 H&R - have I misunderstood warthog, or is .32 H&R more powerful that I had thought?

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I got a chance to pick up a 45 long colt Henry rifle, 20" barrel lots of brass. But while reading through the wire I don't see many cowboys using them or talking about them. So is this a decent gun or is there a taboo about them because they really were not around in the old west? but then neither was Uberti, Ruger and other thing that are widely accepted by CAS.

 

Brazos Bill

The Henry Big Boy, like all rifles used in cowboy shooting, need work to make them run with the big dogs.

Internally the action is very similar to the Marlin. And it is smoother than a Marlin "new in the box".

Unlike the Marlin there are very few after market parts to make it better for Cowboy shooting.

Changing the main hammer spring to an adjustable spring (same as a Marlin) you will significantly reduce the cocking force required. The tension on the lever safety spring can be reduced, and the spring in the lever lock can changed.

With polishing and smoothing of the internals you can have a gun that will handle 2 rounds per second speed reliably. When you start shooting faster than that you will need either a Marlin or a 73/66 that has been modified to compete with those aforementioned Big Dogs.

Much of the slowness of the gun has to do with how "busy" things are inside. With no aftermarket parts, that is about the best you can do.

The extractor is prone to sticking in the "open" position when low powered loads are used. This is due to blow back carbon entering the extractor channel. When the action is cycled the next time it sends the extractor and associated parts into never never land. This can be easily remedied by installing a stronger spring in the extractor channel.

If you could make your own single piece firing pin it would speed the gun up considerably.

There isn't much you can do about the weight of the gun. Being heavy it is slow to bring on target and you can over swing a target very easily. The good part is that it is very accurate and steady on target if a club like to put them out at 40 - 50 yards.

 

I hope this answered your question.......

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I bought one because I like Henry rifles. I have several smaller caliber ones. The big boy just is not made to shoot fast. Every other shell that comes to the chamber is crooked. I RO'd a match today with one of our shooter shooting a big boy and his did the same thing. He had to jiggle the lever on ever other round to get it in the chamber. Don't plan on using mine in a match any time soon.

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No, Utah Bob can spell, he'd say,

"And they're off..."

 

deleted after second thoughts

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Widder,

 

With only a year, I'm still very much a newbie, so if I may ask:

 

What do you feel you gain from using C45S over .45 Colt? I've seen references to making lighter BP loads without needing wads, but is that the only reason?

 

I've seen people using the term warthog to describe heavy loads, but you're using it in reference to .32 H&R - have I misunderstood warthog, or is .32 H&R more powerful that I had thought?

Widder is somewhat of a wordsmith/ He really meant "MolePiglet" vs WortHog in reference to his 32-20. He's sometimes a humorous fellow ! :D:D

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Widder,

 

With only a year, I'm still very much a newbie, so if I may ask:

 

What do you feel you gain from using C45S over .45 Colt? I've seen references to making lighter BP loads without needing wads, but is that the only reason?

 

I've seen people using the term warthog to describe heavy loads, but you're using it in reference to .32 H&R - have I misunderstood warthog, or is .32 H&R more powerful that I had thought?

 

Howdy John Henry.

 

I like the C45S cartridge because I like using 160, 170 and 180 grain bullets in it. I get good powder burn using Clays powder and the performance of my loads feel pretty much identical to my mid-range .38 special loads. My powder charge takes up some good space in the C45S case.

But the main reason for the .45 is because I really like the feel of my Sheriff models in .45. I love short barrel pistols. And although my 2 sets of .38/.357 Vaq also have short barrels, I just like the feel of the .45's better.

 

Your understanding of 'Warthog' is correct. If you noticed, I put abunch of 'hehehehe' after my statement to indicate my humor in calling the .32 the Warthog.

I use a light bullet in my .32's. I push them to close to 1300 fps. I have been told by numerous shooters that my .32 loads actually make a more resounding 'DING' on the steel than most of the .38 and .45 caliber rounds traveling at much lower velocities.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best regards

 

 

EDIT: Yusta B is correct. He knows me well. :o

 

 

..........Widder

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Guest Maker-Wright

I'm a recently returning cowboy to CAS. My first time out my rifles were Uberti replicas of a Henry and a Win'66. Mine were chambered in .45C. Both were trouble free with smokeless rounds. When I started shooting BP they would get a little sticky so I picked up a Uberti Win '73 chambered in .44-40. This cartridge worked extremely well for BP. I stuck with my smokeless rifles in .45C and .44-40 for BP exclusively.

Then....I took a long hiatus from CAS....

Now that I'm returning I prefer to stick with traditional rifles (or replicas) used during the cowboy era. I am also a traditionalist about cartridges used during the period. This means I won't use .45C, .44Mag, or .357Mag cartridges in my rifles. I do intend to shoot both smokeless and BP alternatively. So I'm sticking with .44-40 as my rifle round.

I know not all agree with my preferences...but they are my preferences and I'm sticking with them!

 

I have a great deal of respect for your preferences...

 

I shoot with a feller that goes by the handle of Cheyenne Ryder. CR shoots full-house BP 44-40 in his rifle and 7 1/2" Colt clones. I doubt CR will ever have a kidney stone... I'd imagine the concussion from his guns would reduce any stone to powder before it got too big. I normally shoot 38's, but a month or two back I just had to ask CR if I could shoot Gunfighter with his revolvers. CR graciously let me try 'em. Barrels stuck clear out the bottoms of my holsters, had to cant the muzzles back to draw to keep the front sights from snagging on the toes of the holsters, seemed like I had to bring my elbows clear up to my ears to get the guns to clear leather... but SO COOL to have those things bark in my hands and feel the recoil. If it weren't for me bein' so dammed cheap, I might be right there with ya.

 

... Still No on the Henry.

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:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Back to the HRA Big Boy in .45 [or any other caliber].

 

They are not popular because they are not a fast rifle and they're pretty expensive for not being all that competitive.

I don't reckon the "not period correct" really means much to most of us.

 

I have some guys ask about them when they come in the shop. but the price tag changes their minds.

 

Mustang Gregg

Wild West Arms

 

BTW:

I love my M-92 rifles and carbines. But I am not a really fast shooter.

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I started gearing up for CAS a year before my first match and I almost bought a Big Boy because the price is right and all of the reviews said it has a very slick action. However, being a long-time colonial reenactor and wanting to be as period correct as possible (and no, I don't expect that of others), I decided to buy a '73. Unfortunately, I didn't completely do my homework and I bought it in .45 Colt, but still, I love that rifle and I'm happy as a clam that I didn't buy the Big Boy.

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When I departed from CAS (due to a rather abrupt loss of a nearby shooting facility....not because I was unhappy with CAS or SASS).... the Henry Big Boy (available in only .44Mag at the time) was not acceptable to SASS because it was not period correct. I didn't care one way or the other but it created quite a tempest in a teapot! Some were upset that the .32H&R Marlin rifle and Ruger Vaqueritos were approved while the Big Boy was not.

I don't really care to tell some one what he can or can't shoot, however, I thought SASS was created to promote historical firearms. In my mind you can promote historically correct firearms and dress without banning things attempting to come close. Many shooters come to this game shooting whatever they can get their hands on. With time they can form their own opinions on what they desire to settle with. Competitive speed, firearm cost and period correctness are often not mutually viable...but there should be room for all!

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I use a Henry Big Boy at about 3 to 4 matches a year and I love it.

But I just got a Spencer so I may not take the Big Boy as much.

Found myself getting to fast, gotta slow down a bit.

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Guest Maker-Wright

When I departed from CAS (due to a rather abrupt loss of a nearby shooting facility....not because I was unhappy with CAS or SASS).... the Henry Big Boy (available in only .44Mag at the time) was not acceptable to SASS because it was not period correct. I didn't care one way or the other but it created quite a tempest in a teapot! Some were upset that the .32H&R Marlin rifle and Ruger Vaqueritos were approved while the Big Boy was not.

I don't really care to tell some one what he can or can't shoot, however, I thought SASS was created to promote historical firearms. In my mind you can promote historically correct firearms and dress without banning things attempting to come close. Many shooters come to this game shooting whatever they can get their hands on. With time they can form their own opinions on what they desire to settle with. Competitive speed, firearm cost and period correctness are often not mutually viable...but there should be room for all!

 

Howdy, "Pending", if, indeed, that is your real name :)

 

I honestly don't believe we're trying to disparage the OP here, we're just providing a consensus about an item of equipment.

 

No one is arguing that the Henry isn't legal, or that the OP can't have one if he wants.

 

There's "room" for the OP no matter what SASS legal rifle he chooses... we just want him to be happy with his choice in the long run.

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I got a chance to pick up a 45 long colt Henry rifle, 20" barrel lots of brass. But while reading through the wire I don't see many cowboys using them or talking about them. So is this a decent gun or is there a taboo about them because they really were not around in the old west? but then neither was Uberti, Ruger and other thing that are widely accepted by CAS.

 

Brazos Bill

 

If you want a gun that will not shoot fast, is in a none historic rifle caliber, is butt ugly, well you read about the lies from the company, etc.
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Found myself getting to fast, gotta slow down a bit.

 

I'm really feelin' your pain. However, while I can empathize, I can't say I've ever experienced the problem of excessive speed while still hitting what I aimed at... :P

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Just say "NO " to the Big Boy.

Even a slicked up 92 is a better choice and cheaper.

But a Marlin or a Winchester 66/73 is the best gun for the game ;)

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My wife runs a 45lc BB . The guns is smooth and heavy , very accurate. However ....it does not like to be ran fast, or a little dirty. both will cause it to act up. My wife loves it for the brass .

Just my thoughts

Crash

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