Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Why not Henry?


Recommended Posts

48 minutes ago, WOLFY said:

 

Someone said the modern .44-40 rifle bore is good to go, my issue would be finding a gunsmith who could sleeve the chamber.

 

Yes, the bore is fine, I was referring to firing a Russian in an un-modified 44-40 chamber.  Sleeving it to Russian or Special would be preferred, but as mentioned some folks have reported firing the Russians in the their Henrys with only slightly bulged brass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 89
  • Created
  • Last Reply

my bad, i didn’t see that comment.

 

nor did i mean to hijack the thread.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

I for one have never shot a Big Boy in a match.  I have also never gone cut-rate bungee jumping and I don’t drive a Yugo.  Somehow, I don’t feel like I have to do those things to know that they are bad ideas.  I have seen a Big Boy shot in a match.  It didn’t make me want to own one.  But, to each his own. 

Like you said. To each his own. Not exactly sure why you thought it was necessary to tell me that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:


I for one have never shot a Big Boy in a match.  I have also never gone cut-rate bungee jumping and I don’t drive a Yugo.  Somehow, I don’t feel like I have to do those things to know that they are bad ideas.  I have seen a Big Boy shot in a match.  It didn’t make me want to own one.  But, to each his own. 

 

On another topic, shooting a .44 Russian in a 44-40 chamber is not a great idea.  I have a 44-40 66 that someone shot a .44 spl in.  It burst the case and locked up the gun.  I bought it in that condition for $100 because it was feared damaged. It turned out that it was ok, but it was not a good thing.  The .44 Russian would do the same thing, probably splitting the case and venting gas in the shooters face.  I would love a 66 or Henry in .44 Russian or .44 cf, but I would never use anything other than the correct ammo in a gun.  

Just a bad idea to you, not to someone who has one and wants to shoot it.  I never understand why there are people who feel the need to criticize others on this forum for their choices. We explained it, if you want to be competitive, shoot a short stroked 1873, 1866 or Marlin in .38 special. But if not, shoot what makes you feel good and enjoy being a cowboy/girl!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

Just a bad idea to you, not to someone who has one and wants to shoot it.  I never understand why there are people who feel the need to criticize others on this forum for their choices. We explained it, if you want to be competitive, shoot a short stroked 1873, 1866 or Marlin in .38 special. But if not, shoot what makes you feel good and enjoy being a cowboy/girl!  


There are indeed many ways to play this game and I don’t really care how people choose to do it.  I shoot all kinds of odd things because I enjoy doing it. However, the topic of the post was “Why not a Henry?”  I took that as a request for information and opinion.  I like many others, think that the Big Boy is not a gun well suited to our sport.  Passing that opinion along to someone asking about choosing a gun might save them some money and frustration.  They of course can make their own decision.  Also, you don’t have to want to win matches or be a gamer to shoot a 73, 66, or marlin.  They are reliable guns and a joy to shoot. I have been shooting non-shortstroked 1873s in .45 and 44-40 for cas for going on 35 years.  I won my share of matches back in the day, but I don’t believe anyone has ever called me a gamer.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:


There are indeed many ways to play this game and I don’t really care how people choose to do it.  I shoot all kinds of odd things because I enjoy doing it. However, the topic of the post was “Why not a Henry?”  I took that as a request for information and opinion.  I like many others, think that the Big Boy is not a gun well suited to our sport.  Passing that opinion along to someone asking about choosing a gun might save them some money and frustration.  They of course can make their own decision.  Also, you don’t have to want to win matches or be a gamer to shoot a 73, 66, or marlin.  They are reliable guns and a joy to shoot. I have been shooting non-shortstroked 1873s in .45 and 44-40 for cas for going on 35 years.  I won my share of matches back in the day, but I don’t believe anyone has ever called me a gamer.  

And no one called you a gamer. But you did say you have never shot a Big Boy in a match, do I took that to mean you have no experience a gun that you are telling someone else is a “bad idea” to use it. Did I get it correct?  So again, I say to you it may be a bad idea to you but let the man shoot what he wants and tell him what you experienced when you shot it, oh wait you haven’t. So then how do you tell someone not to shoot a gun in the “game” with no experience doing it yourself?  That’s the problem I have. You can voice an opinion on why you wouldn’t, but without any experience, saying it is and not you think it might be at least for yourself are two different approaches. Personally I think the original post author wanted opinions from people who are or did use them and you don’t, I believe based on your words, qualify?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sheesh.  I gotta agree with Doc Coles, the subject title is asking "why not?"  I have seen enough people having problems with Big Boys to know that it is not a good rifle for any kind of speed.  I don't need to shoot it to know that.  

 

If someone already has one, by all means use it and enjoy it if you can (just don't go too fast).  But if someone is asking if they should buy one for CAS, I will always say no. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

And no one called you a gamer. But you did say you have never shot a Big Boy in a match, do I took that to mean you have no experience a gun that you are telling someone else is a “bad idea” to use it. Did I get it correct?  So again, I say to you it may be a bad idea to you but let the man shoot what he wants and tell him what you experienced when you shot it, oh wait you haven’t. So then how do you tell someone not to shoot a gun in the “game” with no experience doing it yourself?  That’s the problem I have. You can voice an opinion on why you wouldn’t, but without any experience, saying it is and not you think it might be at least for yourself are two different approaches. Personally I think the original post author wanted opinions from people who are or did use them and you don’t, I believe based on your words, qualify?  

You know, I think I will let folks read this string of posts and draw their own conclusions.  Enjoy your Henry.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ive been reading this with interest , i have an 1860 but ive never owned a "big boy" henry and im not thinking of it because i dont need another rifle right now ,  i have heard everything mentioned of them but if you like it do as you please , its your game to play , your shoot to enjoy , thats how i approach it , i have told friends thinking of joining that a well tuned 73 preferably in 38 will give them the competitive edge , 

 

i just bought my first 38s after shooting my 45s since i started this over 15 years ago , i didnt buy them to speed up tho , i bought them because i liked them , i may ony shoot them a few times - i rather like my 45s really , bottom line - do what makes you feel good 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/18/2021 at 10:12 PM, watab kid said:

ive been reading this with interest , i have an 1860 but ive never owned a "big boy" henry and im not thinking of it because i dont need another rifle right now ,  i have heard everything mentioned of them but if you like it do as you please , its your game to play , your shoot to enjoy , thats how i approach it , i have told friends thinking of joining that a well tuned 73 preferably in 38 will give them the competitive edge , 

 

i just bought my first 38s after shooting my 45s since i started this over 15 years ago , i didnt buy them to speed up tho , i bought them because i liked them , i may ony shoot them a few times - i rather like my 45s really , bottom line - do what makes you feel good 

 

One of my fave CAS lever guns is an 1866 (Henry Improved).  I also get a kick out of borrowing the wife’s Yellow Boy in .38spl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/17/2021 at 11:14 PM, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Sheesh.  I gotta agree with Doc Coles, the subject title is asking "why not?"  I have seen enough people having problems with Big Boys to know that it is not a good rifle for any kind of speed.  I don't need to shoot it to know that.  

 

If someone already has one, by all means use it and enjoy it if you can (just don't go too fast).  But if someone is asking if they should buy one for CAS, I will always say no. 

Not sure but I remember a much less judgmental tone when someone asked for advice. But being as that was the late 90’s and there weren’t so many choices people were a little kinder. Yes the man asked why not and yes we got the obligatory opinions who have “heard” and never shot one. So all I am asking is that if someone has no experience shooting a firearm don’t put it down. Tell the poster to check the forum, search and find other people’s experience actually using them. And then you can stop, or ask what level of a shooter is he going to be, and if competitive then he may not want to choose that as their first choice. I have never seen a post where someone is so “chastised” for shooting a Spencer, it’s “ugly”, it can only hold 7 shots and almost impossible to load on the clock.

So my whole point is don’t criticize someone for choosing equipment that you wouldn’t. Promise I won’t look back at this post so say what you want. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/16/2021 at 12:52 AM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Show of hands boys and girls...How many of you commenting about Henry’s have actually shot one?

 

I have. It shoots.

On 3/16/2021 at 12:52 AM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Shot one at a match?

No.

Quote

Actually seen someone shoot one at a match?..,

Yes, they shoot.

 

I won't get into the butt-ugly thing too much, frankly the shiny brass looks good and would fit in a low-budget western. OK, I did go there...

 

Not many folks here shoot in other sports. At least not with cowboy guns where they are allowed. I considered a Big Boy when getting started but the ones available in pistol caliber were tube-load and you need a side gate for another sport I shoot in. And if you dress in cowboy gear, the ranges around me seem to tolerate scavenging your brass.

 

And FMJ loads are permitted in that sport which is a great way to get once-fired brass for reloading in this sport.

 

I have a competitive personality, but don't compete against others; I compete with myself. If I was competing with others, I would have got an Uberti 1873 in .38 Special shooting smokeless, and had it tuned by one of the top names. 

 

I did not do that. I have no problem with someone shooting a Big Boy, I would rather caution a new shooter to think carefully about their goals for the sport, what is fun for them, and what hardware maximizes that pleasure.

 

I really don't care if a Big Boy meets that goal for you and I don't care if you completely trounce me in rankings by doing so. More important to me is that we have fun shooting the breeze between strings.

 

But after I get enough practice, I probably will trounce you... It doesn't matter. Lets just have fun shooting and enjoy the day.

 

Because even if I trounce you, someone else is going to royally and completely and totally trounce me. I'm OK with that as long as they don't try to rub my nose in it. And cowboys and cowgirls just don't seem to do that.

 

The HBB is not my choice for a rifle, but others do shoot them and seem happy with them and they seem to be good people. And being good people is more important to me. Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one is equating equipment choice with being (or not being) good people.

 

The OP asked "Why not Henry?"

The word NOT signifies request for reasons against the Henry Big Boy.

Here are those reasons:

* Absent a loading gate - it is an awkward tube loading rifle.

*  It is NOT a replica of anything that existed in the era we emulate (but neither are Rugers - so, so what?,  big deal).

*  The current Henry company has zero historical context despite positioning themselves as such (so what, big deal; there was no "Henry" company in the first place - if they were actually trying to piggyback on history - they would have picked New Haven Repeating Arms.  B. Tyler Henry was a shop foreman - not the company's owner.)

*  The Henry company made claims ahead of approval of the Big Boy being SASS legal - which (years and years later) some are still unable to let go of.  (But it's over now - move on).

* The rifle is not classically beautiful - but that is more a factor of time and acceptance as it is actual looks (the finish quality of metal and wood has always seemed acceptable to my eye - I have seen worse on various Italian, Japanese and American brands and dont get me started on Chinese)

*  While some Marlin springs will fit - there is not a lot of aftermarket tuning or performance parts available for the Henry BB. (And the FACT is - all firearms for our game require some level of attention to perform at their best or at minimum reliably for the volume of rounds we expend)

* The initial Henry Big Boy (this design may changed since then - I cannot say with certainty) utilized an ejector that was set/ reset/ held in place by recoil.  Absent "enough" recoil and lighter load blowback/ fouling - the ejector would eventually dislodge and find itself on the ground.

* Lastly, the HBB is at the lower end of the cost spectrum for rifles in our game (and since HBB are a Walmart staple) quite possibly the the most common/ widely available rifle for our game.  This means the most common purchaser of a Henry BB would have been someone new to our game (who failed to heed the "go to a match before buying anything" advice).

So take a firearm not designed as a light loaded race gun (ejector issues) - improperly sprung for a race gun (missing smooth easy operation) - with "questionable" looks, an odd (for centerfire) loading design.

Combine all that with the "dislike" of historical appropriation and include some SASS politics.

THEN put that rifle in the hands of a new, inexperienced shooters who probably would not have looked good with the finest tuned and short stoked 73.

 

And you end up with a gun that is derided the way the Henry BB is.

 

Have I shot them?  Yes.

Have I sold them thru my shop?  Yes.

Have I seen them run a match?  Yes Well, run may be a optimistic term.

But I have seen them complete matches without falling apart, bursting into flame or opening a rift in the space-time continum.

 

Are they the "best" gun for our game? 

No; there are zero objective standards that would place the HBB at first position.  Subjective standards are exactly that and in the eye of the beholder.

 

Are they the "worst" gun for our game?

No; there are zero objective standards that place the HBB in last (I've shot and owned; the Beretta Gold Rush, Taurus Thunderbolt, Winchester 94's in 357, 44 and 45, etc. and so on.  So don't try to convince me the HBB is the basement - I know better.)

But one mans subjective position of the HBB is again subjective.

 

The Henry is not garbage - it is simply not as suited to the competition aspect of the game as others.

 

 But if the choice was Henry Big Boy today or waiting for months for something better (either that I could afford or comes available) or giving up on the game - I'd be shooting a Henry BB.

 

If the Henry was junk or dangerous - that would be different.

But it's a widely available firearm that may allow someone to enter the game.

What they choose to do after is their choice 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started I bought a 45 Colt Winchester 94 (strike one) 16" trapper (strike 2).   Because I didn't know any better, and it was a Winchester!  Other than loading one on the clock on a lot of stages, breaking 2 extractors, and ejecting out a live round along with the empty at least once per match, it worked and I had fun.  But I sure was glad when I replaced it with a '92.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have posted this over  many times .

Is the Henry BB a good rifle for CAS ? Short Answer ( No )

 

Can a Henry BB be used for CAS ? Short Answer  ( Yes )

 

I think most Pards repeat what they read and are told by the top 10 Shooters where they play the game .

But Never done it themselves. 

 

I have shot and competed with a Henry  BB too know for myself. 

 

I use a 92 or a 66 most.of the time .

92 for Smokless rounds .

66 or 60  for BP rounds .

 

I personally liked the looks of the 44 mag Henry BB .

So I bought one for shooting and playing with .

Not necessarily for SASS .

 

I took a brand new Henry BB straight out of the box too a local monthly match .

Knowing I would have too run it deliberately with intent to make full strokes .

Kinda like running a un-tuned 92.

 

I'm not a fast shooter by any stretch of the imagination. 

I run a average 30+ second stage.

 

I run a bone stock Henry BB 44 mag at my normal speed with Zero issues and shot a Clean Match .

 

Can it be used ? Yeah it can.  But there is a lot of better options out there to play this game with.

So Saith The Rooster 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/20/2021 at 10:22 PM, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

THEN put that rifle in the hands of a new, inexperienced shooters who probably would not have looked good with the finest tuned and short stoked 73.

yup, my first match I borrowed a slicked up and a stock 73.  my pistols were work in progress cap guns on the first stage so I could say I did and 22's on the other stages.  I've shot HBB's outside of SASS and I can tell you that at over 1 min each stage, the 73's weren't any faster for me than a Big Boy would have been.  The new one's have the side loading gate, and I'd have no problem shooting a big boy at a long range match where hitting a gong at 100 or more yards was the objective.  As my lever gun is going to be used mostly for hunting a Henry was a top contender, but the Rossi was available first so that's what I went with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen only 3 Big Boys show up at matches in 10+ yrs. 

Sorry, but they each had some issues.  

All three had feeding and functioning problems on more than one stage.

This not to say that they wouldn't make fine hunting or plinking rifles.

But they just don't work fast in stock form.  But they sure seem to be heavy duty.

 

Now I have used the Golden Boys and the "cheaper" H001 .22 LR rifles. 

They are just fine for SASS in Buckaroo and rimfire side matches.  I like them a lot.

 

Mustang Gregg

 

BTW, I am an FFL and I sell Henry Repeating Arms. 

They are a great USA company with excellent customer service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.