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Snakebite

Henry Big Boy 357/38

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Just curious... has anyone been able to make a tolerable shooter out of one of the Henry Big Boys. I've not seen one that I considered good for this game...... Have you?

 

Snakebite

 

Edited by Snakebite

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I've seen them run real well for a while...... Then they break. 

If you run them slower and steady they work ok. A good friend has a 45 Colt that runs ok.

Just my observation.

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From what I have seen.

IF someone addresses the extractor spring issues (The Big Boys do not like lighter cowboy loads - apparently it uses recoil to keep the extractor seated) AND the action is worked deliberately at a even pace (they don't seem to like herky jerky operation either) AND that pace is about 5-6 second+ ten round strings...

I have seen them "tolerable" for a newer/ slower shooter to use until they progress.

IMO, they are better than:

a pistol caliber Winchester 94.

an untuned Lightning clone.

a sharp stick.

throwing rocks.

 

 

 

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I did and had fun.  Shot slow and clean. ;)

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For the recreational shooter, fine. That means the person who goes to the range and shoots a box of ammo through it a year. Like what some of the others here have said plus these are too fragile for competition. I have had plenty of them apart and marvel how cheaply they are made. The first year they came out a group attended a match from out of state. 5 shiny new rifles. Not one lasted the entire match. To Henry's credit, they fixed each and every one. 

 

I guess size up your expectations and make your decision from there.

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With the Big Boy, you will find the finger lever to be hard to work and a full steady cycle to chamber and extract needed.

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Henry has not been open to advise on how to make the Big Boy a better gun for our Game .

I don't bother working on them anymore ...

All Henry service work for Canada is done down East and they will not supply parts to and other Smiths ...

It takes months to get things set even remotely right ....

For our game I put them slightly better than throwing rocks ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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The Henry Big Boy is nothing but a copy of the Marlin 336 and 1895 actions.  These actions were made for big bore hunting cartridges not "go fast, race cars".  If you want a competitive CAS rifle stick with a Uberti 1873 or Marlin 1894. 

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And here I thought you were going to tell us you won some major match using one... :P 

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I thought we were going to hear about someone finishing 2 stages with a Henry BB!

Blackfoot :ph34r:

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Actually there's a lady shooter that shots with us and is darn good with her Henry Big Boy!

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Thanks for the feed back guys. I was just curious about them. When I was still actively working on guns for folks I never had the occasion to work with one of them. My only association has been to watch them produce problems for their shooters using them when playing this game. There are still a fair number of Real Gunsmiths out there that specialize in Cowboy Action Shooting guns and I figured that if one of them had been successful at making the gun a better choice for this game that someone here would know about it. 

 

Tnx again, Snakebite

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I did some looking because I have a Big Boy, and the lever plunger, trigger and hammer springs are the exact same as a Marlin 94.   Palo Verdi Gunworks makes a reduced power marlin spring set that is a cinch to swap out.   The lever plunger was the thing that made running it a bear.   Also available are one piece marlin extractors that are drops in too (or so it seems).  The only other difference is the little stupid trigger safety spring. It’s not Marlin like at all, and if it isn’t reduced in compression force, it kicks the lever right back open.   I solved this by going on Amazon and buying a 0.3 x 3 x 10mm springs.  That dropped right in and balances the reduced power plunger spring.   
The lever throw is real long still but it al least half the force running it.    
oh and the Palo verde kit liked one white and one blue bushing on Winchester primers, but on CCI primers I needed to go to the stronger white bushings, plus one red spacer on those.   
while you are at it, take some 600 or 1000 grit paper and some flitz to all the rubbing surfaces to polish them a bit on the lever.   

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On 10/18/2020 at 7:26 AM, BLACKFOOT SASS #11947 said:

I thought we were going to hear about someone finishing 2 stages with a Henry BB!

Blackfoot :ph34r:

I finished the Florida State Match clean with one  :)

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We have a guy who runs one.  I have seen it go through a few matches without issue, but it lost a firing pin at the last match and he wasn’t able to repair it.  Turns out it wasn’t the first time that had happened.  

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I have used a .45 Colt Henry Big Boy with warthog loads of Holy Black since 2006 with no problem. I have done very well with it as a Gunfighter in 12 states and  5 provinces. Now, I win my category in every match.

 

However, losing as an El Rey is hard to do!!!  :D

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