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There's something about a Henry


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Long time readers of the Wire know that I love the Colt Lightning.  But that doesn't mean that I don't also appreciate other rifles that are used in our game.  One such rifle that I think is really cool is the granddaddy of the entire Winchester line, the Henry.
 

You can argue that the 66 is an improvement, and it is.  You can say that the 73 is just a great rifle no matter how you slice it.  And it is.  [Especially a real Winchester in 32-20.]

 

You can point out that certain things in the design of the Henry make it more of a challenge to shoot, and they do.

But there's just something about the Henry that no other gun in our game has.  The unique way it loads.  The lack of a forestock.  The way you have to learn to do the "Henry Hop" or otherwise work around it, like with a spacer.  The fact that action wise it's the same as the 66/73 and can run well in our game is a big plus.  But all of those things just scratch the surface of this, as we say in New England, wicked awesome gun.  I think the rather unique look has a lot to do with it.   

Or in other words, for some reason, the Henry just has an aura about it that says, "I'm really cool."

Agree or dissagree?

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And the fact that it was the FIRST successful repeater that lasted [sorry Spencer fans].

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The Henry represents the first practical repeating rifle. Something I haven't seen mentioned often is the fact that a shooter knew when a Henry was about to run dry. The thumb tab was a clear indicator of how many rounds were left. I wouldn't doubt that some shooters marked the under side so they could actually get an accurate round count. 

Edited by Curly McCrae
misspell
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15 minutes ago, DeaconKC said:

And the fact that it was the FIRST successful repeater that lasted [sorry Spencer fans].

 

The Spencer has a special aura all its own.   I actually have one from the Civil War era, and it's a joy to shoot.

But as nifty as the Spencer is, it just doesn't have the magic of the Henry, to me.

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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Agreed!  I happen to love the "steel" framed version over the brass, and am anxiously awaiting the steel-framed Henry Trapper from Taylor's & Sons... btw... 

worthless.gif?width=450&height=278&fit=b

 

 

So to help you out:

IMG_0241.JPG?width=450&height=278&fit=bo

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I am lucky to have a couple of 44-40 Henry’s, both engraved.  One Uberti and one of the early Navy Arms gun’s.  The Uberti is engraved to match the one owned by an uncle (a few greats back) Capt. Samual Hymer who was awarded the Medal of Honor in the civil war.  The other one commemorates my time as the night watchman at Sutter’s Fort in the 90s.  They are both great fun to shoot and they were great for their day. The 1866 and 1873s were real improvements, but I wouldn’t get rid of my Henrys.  

 

I also have some Spencer’s which are great in their own way, more powerful than the henry, but not as slick (you have to cock the hammer separately and the extraction system was not particularly great).  But I wouldn’t get rid of them either.  

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im a fan as well , although i dont shoot mine as often as i shoot my 66 these days , it was the progression from my first win 92 rifle , i found it a fun alternative and i agree - its fun to see it show up in westerns - yes i do look at what they are shoo0ting as im sure most of you do ....

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+100% on the 1860 Henry.

I bought my Uberti brass-frame Trapper of the Sass wire.  Modified to handle to .45 Cowboy Special. 

I got to handle an original Henry several years ago.  The original was in .44 Rimfire, a shorter round than the .45 Colt and .44 WCF that the current guns are made to cycle.  I wish that they would offer a "right-sized" frame for the Cowboy Special and .44 Russian.  The shorter frame feels quicker and balanced better.

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At one time, I had Five 1860 Henry rifles.  I'm now down to "just" Three.  My absolute all time favorite lever rifle, Bar None.  My Henry rifles are also my G0-TO CAS rifles.  '66s and '73s are just kinda . . . ho hum.  Henry's are just plain KOOL!!!

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2 hours ago, Tom Bullweed said:

I wish that they would offer a "right-sized" frame for the Cowboy Special and .44 Russian.


I would absolutely buy one in .44 Russian.  As I mentioned, I have one of the early American made navy arms Henry’s in 44-40.  They made 500  of these in .44rf.  I have only seen one of them for sale on line and didn’t buy it.  If I found one, I would convert it to CF so I could shoot it.  A little known fact is that Winchester made some .44cf 1866s.  I would duplicate that factory modification. But, it would be easier to buy a new one that is purpose built.  
 

Here are a couple of shots of my Henrys.  The Hymer engraving is very crude, just like the original.  

3AFF5508-201E-4CEE-85A0-33D75751BBA2.jpeg

FF121CDD-94F1-4208-A9DA-C433F10C315F.jpeg

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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Yep, love 'em.

I've got 4 or 5 of 'em.

My main match rifle for the last 2-3 years is a Henry in 44-40, that shoots like a dream.

--Dawg

 

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21 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Henry steel frame  in 44-40 is $3,300.00 passsssss

 


From Henry?  For my money, they are over priced.  I don’t know what Uberti wants for an iron frame Henry, but I would bet it’s less than that.

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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yup, original Henry's are cool.  I honestly have a hankerin to try my hand at replicating a volcanic and making my own rocketball ammo.  Maybe something to do in 20 years when I have grandkids and a 3d brass printer.

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Doc Cole said, "As I mentioned, I have one of the early American made navy arms Henry’s in 44-40.  They made 500  of these in .44rf.  I have only seen one of them for sale on line and didn’t buy it.  If I found one, I would convert it to CF so I could shoot it."

 

The Henry and the 66 used the same bolt.  If you have one of the Navy Arms RF Henrys, the Navy Arms 66 bolt, or even your .44-40 bolt should fit.   I also have an early Navy Arms 66, and they had a frame size much closer to the originals, so much so that there is a cutout in the frame for the .44-40 brass to clear the ejection port.

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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19 hours ago, El CupAJoe said:

yup, original Henry's are cool.  I honestly have a hankerin to try my hand at replicating a volcanic and making my own rocketball ammo.  Maybe something to do in 20 years when I have grandkids and a 3d brass printer.

 

I'd just be happy with a reproduction Volcanic chambered for either .32 S+W or .38 S+W.

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4 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

I'd just be happy with a reproduction Volcanic chambered for either .32 S+W or .38 S+W.

while i would not go to the original henry , there is something special about them that stands out from this for the era , it has a class and classic look , 

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On 2/6/2021 at 10:42 PM, El CupAJoe said:

yup, original Henry's are cool.  I honestly have a hankerin to try my hand at replicating a volcanic and making my own rocketball ammo.  Maybe something to do in 20 years when I have grandkids and a 3d brass printer.

Doable:  https://levergunscommunity.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=22477

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10 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Poking the bear. The price of the Henry, Henry, is an example of why we can't produce 'reasonably' priced guns in America. While the quality of the wood and some minor machine issues the $1400 Uberti is the deal.


I have handled several Henry brand henry rifles and I would not pay what they are asking. The quality did not justify paying twice the cost of a Uberti, for my money at least. I doubt the difference in labor costs between here and Italy accounts for the difference in cost.  The Italians pay real wages, but they have been making Henry’s for a long time and they have sold a lot of them.  Henry had to tool up and I doubt they are selling as many as Uberti, especially at twice the price. I have always thought they started making a copy of the original Henry to build a false history for the rest of their long guns, which have no historic or mechanical connection to the original Henry rifle.  But, that’s  just me being a cynic. 
 

Having said that, all Henry’s are cool.  Everyone should buy the one they like and if you love your Henry I am happy for you.  

 

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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3 hours ago, Bailey Creek,5759 said:

I have a Iron frame Navy Arms Henry . Its a 1 in 1000 . Great rifle. 

Purchased it 25 yrs ago. Have the Box it came in . Maybe 50 rounds thru it .

 

Do the Navy Arms Henry's have dimensions closer to the originals the way their 66s do?  My Navy Arms 66 for example has a cutout in the top of the frame to allow the spent brass to clear the ejection port.   I am curious to know.

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On 2/6/2021 at 3:53 PM, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Long time readers of the Wire know that I love the Colt Lightning.  But that doesn't mean that I don't also appreciate other rifles that are used in our game.  One such rifle that I think is really cool is the granddaddy of the entire Winchester line, the Henry.
 

You can argue that the 66 is an improvement, and it is.  You can say that the 73 is just a great rifle no matter how you slice it.  And it is.  [Especially a real Winchester in 32-20.]

 

You can point out that certain things in the design of the Henry make it more of a challenge to shoot, and they do.

But there's just something about the Henry that no other gun in our game has.  The unique way it loads.  The lack of a forestock.  The way you have to learn to do the "Henry Hop" or otherwise work around it, like with a spacer.  The fact that action wise it's the same as the 66/73 and can run well in our game is a big plus.  But all of those things just scratch the surface of this, as we say in New England, wicked awesome gun.  I think the rather unique look has a lot to do with it.   

Or in other words, for some reason, the Henry just has an aura about it that says, "I'm really cool."

Agree or dissagree?

Agree. I own a HRA Henry. I use it on occasion to go with the 1872 opentops. They just cry out to play together for "Classic" Cowboy.

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Local gun store (cherrys.com) has an early 4## serial 1860 Henry for $35k.  Nice features: special sights, nice wood.  Better condition at 160 years old than my main match rifle.

.44 RF ammo would be a challenge.

 

79454mer.jpg

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I think they’re beautiful long guns, just never seen one in either 44 spl nor 44russian

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10 hours ago, Tom Bullweed said:

Local gun store (cherrys.com) has an early 4## serial 1860 Henry for $35k.  Nice features: special sights, nice wood.  Better condition at 160 years old than my main match rifle.

.44 RF ammo would be a challenge.

 

79454mer.jpg

 

Has anyone ever bothered to check to see if the centerfire bolt from a modern reproduction Henry will fit in an original?   Even if it needs some modification?

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5 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Has anyone ever bothered to check to see if the centerfire bolt from a modern reproduction Henry will fit in an original?   Even if it needs some modification?

 

I would probably check Winchester Collectors Association, surely someone there knows the definitive answer, but I won't take either of mine apart to check.   

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