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New Henry’s For CAS?


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Anyone seen these yet? I like the color case hardening better than the brass.

 

Henry’s New Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate Rifle

A Made in the USA Lever Gun for All

Other By: Stan Trzoniec | July, 22

 

The lever-action rifle has always been a favorite of American hunters and shooters and this Henry Case Hardened Side Gate rifle fills the bill with aplomb. Chambered for the .38 Special/.357 Magnum, this model is also available in a shorter, Carbine version.
The lever-action rifle has always been a favorite of American hunters and shooters and this Henry Case Hardened Side Gate rifle fills the bill with aplomb. Chambered for the .38 Special/.357 Magnum, this model is also available in a shorter, Carbine version.
When talking about the variety of American guns that are available today, nothing seems to surpass the popularity and mystique of the true lever-action rifle. Like everyone else in the shooting sports, I grew up on the .22 rimfire, first on a Model 62A Winchester, and then I moved up to the Marlin 39 lever gun that was all tricked out with a Weaver scope. Partnered up with a Ruger Single Six Convertible with interchangeable cylinders in both .22 Long Rifle and the .22 WMR, I had reign of over 300 acres on my uncles’ farm in central New Jersey for varmints and small game.
The forearm matches the color and grain pattern of the buttstock, something the Henry Company is proud of when assembling its rifles. Checkering goes around this part of the gun and is finished with a border for that custom look.
The forearm matches the color and grain pattern of the buttstock, something the Henry Company is proud of when assembling its rifles. Checkering goes around this part of the gun and is finished with a border for that custom look.

 

From there, and fortunate to find a niche in the outdoor writing field, I believe I have tested, photographed and hunted with most of the lever guns available today. Looking back, I never had a real favorite, but I guess if my feet were held to the fire, the Marlin 336 in .35 Remington with its side ejection feature could win out, especially since I always loved a scope-mounted weapon. With handloads, that rifle delivered three-quarter-inch groups with a 180-grain Speer over 39 grains of IMR-4320. At one time, I had the hots for the Winchester Model 88, but that wore off simply because it looked more like a common rifle and with collector prices sharply increasing within that period and chambered for that oddball .358 Winchester, I stuck with the Marlin.

 

Topside is a precision rear sight assembly adjustable for windage and elevation. All this is easily accomplished with a small screwdriver and a drift.
Topside is a precision rear sight assembly adjustable for windage and elevation. All this is easily accomplished with a small screwdriver and a drift.
Never popular with the military, simply because of its design limitations (can’t fire from the prone position or its inability to use high-pressure cartridges), the lever gun, since its likely inception around 1860 by Spencer and Henry; later by Marlin, Winchester, Savage and Browning, still thrives today. For the most part, the Winchester gun has been the eastern deer hunter’s partner in the field, as with its short barrel and fast follow-up shots; it eases through the heavy brush and timber so often encountered in the upper reaches of Maine and Vermont.

 

While all these manufacturers offer guns in various models and chamberings, one should look to Henry for what I think is the greatest variety in lever guns. Looking through its most recent catalog, I came up more than 90 models in various stock and receiver configurations to include the famous “Mare’s Leg” that is stainless, blued, color case hardened, engraved and those equipped with a large loop. The figure does not include the sub categories of each model relating to the cartridge or special items, which then include more than 130 different models going from the .22 Long Rifle up to the traditional .30-30 Winchester and .45-70 Government.

38%20Special-357%20Mag%20SPECs.jpg
 

 

The more modern hunter is not forgotten at Henry as the Long Ranger Rifles include up-to-date models chambered for the .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester and the 6.5 Creedmoor. Finally, to sweeten the pot even more, the original Henry rifle is preserved by the company in the form of five models chambered in the .44-40 Winchester and .45 Colt.

 

The forend cap is neatly attached and is secured with twin screws on both sides of the cap. Additionally, a sling swivel stud is mounted underneath for field carry.
The forend cap is neatly attached and is secured with twin screws on both sides of the cap. Additionally, a sling swivel stud is mounted underneath for field carry.
For this report, my pick of the litter was the newly-introduced Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate rifle positioned in the series that includes 10 models all chambered for the .38 Special/.357 Magnum, .44 Special/.44 Magnum and the .45 Colt. Like the cowboys of the past, having a lever-action rifle that not only slides into a saddle scabbard easily, but is chambered for the same cartridge as your handgun, proved valuable in the “Wild West,” and still in modern times, could be a benefit depending on where you live or what you hunt.

 

 
 
 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Slapshot said:

How do the Henry's rank against the others used in CAS? Like the 1860, 1866, 1873 and the Rossi 92's?

Well here's my opinion:

 

1. Uberti 1873

2. Uberti 1866

3. Winchester 1873(lower because no ss kits and harder to find parts)

4. Winchester 1866(same as 73)

5. 1894 Marlin

6. 1892 Rossi/Winchester/etc.

7. Lightning pump(Uberti/Pedersoli)

8. 1860 Henry(Uberti or Henry)

9. 1883 Burgess replica

10. 1865 Spencer(Chiappi or maybe the real thing)

12. Throw rocks

14. 1894 Winchester(pistol caliber)

99. Henry Big Boy w/side gate or not.

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Well here's my opinion:

 

1. Uberti 1873

2. Uberti 1866

3. Winchester 1873(lower because no ss kits and harder to find parts)

4. Winchester 1866(same as 73)

5. 1894 Marlin

6. 1892 Rossi/Winchester/etc.

7. Lightning pump(Uberti/Pedersoli)

8. 1860 Henry(Uberti or Henry)

9. 1883 Burgess replica

10. 1865 Spencer(Chiappi or maybe the real thing)

12. Throw rocks

14. 1894 Winchester(pistol caliber)

99. Henry Big Boy w/side gate or not.

 

 

 

Is #12 a SASS approved method?:D Just checking because if the shortages get and worse I need to start stocking up on the perfect model of rocks.

 

I 100% agree with your #99 assessment of the BB. The Henry Big Boy IS NOT a good rifle for this sport. I got sucked in by their "SASS Approved"  advertisement when I first started. I literally bought a Uberti 66 less than a week after shooting my fist match after trying other shooter's rifles and I soon went to the 73s. I still have my BB and I like the gun for it's build quality and it's accuracy (it is very accurate) especially with 357, but it's a horrible gun for CAS.

 

JEL

Edited by John E. Law
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I had a Henry 45 lever gun when I first started SASS. It lasted a couple matches and went down the road. For hunting and plinking...would be alright. Even as a novice...I couldn't get it to run as fast as a factory stock 73 Uberti. Also...being in 45 colt...and me being left handed...every shot was like getting a glaucoma test. A puff of smoke right in the eyes courtesy of the side ejection port.

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I stared shooting SASS with a Henry .357 tube feed and I love it! Yes, it is not built to withstand the rigors of competition shooting, but it is well balanced, shoots straight, and ready to shoot right out of the box, so I did not have to pay to ship it out to a gun smith that specializes in CAS to have it slicked up, which is an extra expense. When it malfunctioned. as all guns do, I contacted Henry and they sent me a shipping label, fixed it, and returned it to me in four days free of charge. This does not happen with other manufacturers. So, do not discount HENRY, they offer a nice level action rifle and take care of their customers. It's a good to gun to start with and you can always more on to something else when and if you are ready, so don't let the 'old timers' discourage you from getting a Henry. Henry also makes a very reliable .22 that is poplur among CAS Youth Shooters.

Edited by Ashley D Austin
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17 minutes ago, Ashley D Austin said:

 don't let the 'old timers' discourage you from getting a Henry.

I'm happy you like your BB. I know other who do also, but they are all very slow shooters. I guess it all depends on what you are looking to get out of CAS. If you're a 75+ second per stage shooter who's just out to have fun shooting old fashioned guns then the Henry will do just fine. BUT, if you EVER want to be competitive, in ANY category, then the Henry IS NOT the gun to go with. I know, I still have mine. 

 

Henry does make a great US made rifle and their customer service is very good, but you will never get them to run anywhere near what the 66 and 73's can. 

 

The "Old timers" are all speaking from experience, we're not discouraging anyone, but dropping $1200 on a gun to play a game is a lot and if you buy the WRONG one, which too many brand new shooters have done due to their pushed advertising, then these comments may save them time, money, and grief. So if the new shooter is looking to compete then they should considering listening to the one's who are in the know, I wish I had known before buying the first time. 

 

If you don't believe me? Just do a search on the BB and see all of the posts where this same topic has come up.

 

JEL 

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No thanks, I'll stick with the 73 and 66.B)

 

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1 minute ago, Totes Magoats said:

I'll give any 49'er $500 that shoots the main match with a Henry this year at Land Run. :P

 

Totes

:lol::DThere....I fixed it for you. 

 

JEL

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8 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Well here's my opinion:

 

(snip)

 

 

 

 

And here's mine.

 

1.  Lightning Rifle, AWA or original Colt.   

2.  Winchester 73 or Uberti 66

3.  Winchester or Chiappa 92

4. Uberti Henry.  (Lower on list just cuz loading is a pain.)

5.  Rossi 92 (pre safety model.  Would not touch one with a safety)

6.  Uberti Burgess.  Nice gun, but the hammer falls too slowly out of the box to set the primers off, so I had to have it worked on.

7.  Armi San Marco 92.  Lower on the list because out of the box it was barely usable.  A good action job salvaged it, but it was annoying to have to do that.

8.  Spencer.  A wicked cool gun, but let's face it, just not practical for our game.   Still, there is something extra awesome about shooting a genuine GI one from the Civil War!

9.  Marlin rifles.    I'm left handed, so I don't care for Marlins.  I know that they are, or at least used to be, well made and they have a lot of fans depending on model and when/who made them, but this is my opinion.  :)

10  Henry Big Boy.  Same drawbacks as the Marlin, which the addition of the loading gate makes them even more similar to, plus a plethora of well documented drawbacks to the design.

Full disclosure, I do not own a Marlin, or a HBB, but I have fired both and used them in a match when what I had brought suffered a malfunction.   This has given me enough "data" to know that I personally don't care for either gun.   The Henry is very well made, and is a decent gun, and would probably make an excellent one for hunting or plinking if you are right handed, but for CAS, especially for a southpaw, it's not the gun for me.    By the same token, while I would not use it all that often thanks to my sinister nature (look it up, it's not a bad thing...) I would like to have a more vintage Marlin, just to round out the collection.

Everything else on the list I own and shoot from time to time, but the Lightnings remain my favorite main match rifles.  

Oh, and when I say Winchester, I mean a rifle made in New Haven, not Japan.   

 

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I am interested because of both the new side gate loading and the color case hardened look of the receiver. I had a brass 45 Colt that I couldn't use in matches, and now Henry has addressed the loading issue. How slick or light the action will be remains an important question, but my former Henry was beautifully made in the original flooded-out plant, and I expect that could continue, given the same owner. I have been shooting a JM Marlin 45 Colt but have no backup rifle in that caliber. I don't admire the 1873 design. I don't shoot really fast, so an 1892 could be the better gun for me. Now enter the Henry in a usable design.

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Nice looking rifle - The "made in USA" is always a plus with Henry along with their outstanding customer service. I know the early Big Boys were not the "fastest" in CAS so hopefully Henry can reach out (if they haven't already) to SASS/CAS shooters who know rifles in and out and design/improve the action to be competitive with the other offerings out there.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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I'm not sure that made in the USA is any assurance of quality. They just went through a big recall for unsafe guns. I hope this new gun is good, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Edited by Snakebite
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From everything that I have read it seems to be a good rifle that will fill a niche.  Not quite a CAS rifle but I could see one in a pickup or in a scabbard on a horse.  Henry has created quite a following and they are making and selling rifles.  I have one in .22 (H004) that has been shot a whole lot and not a malfunction one.  

 

I am still waiting for a .357 Marlin...

Edited by Hashknife Cowboy
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3 hours ago, Snakebite said:

I'm not sure that made in the USA is any assurance of quality. They just went through a big recall for unsafe guns. I hope this new gun is good, but I'll believe it when I see it.

 OK

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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Two friends and I have a Henry Big Boy in .357 and one in .45 and really like them.  They are slick right out of the box and the .357 will shoot both .38 and .357 interchangeably.  All three of us use them for CAS.  Now, having said that, you will find several people who will bad mouth the Henry Big Boy simply because it isn't a replica of any old west rifle, and that to call it a Henry is a misnomer.  I like it, as it has good heft and feel and is acurrate as all get out.

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nice looking rifle - i dont want the sling mounts , im not inclined to run out and buy one because of whats mentioned above -

"...you will find several people who will bad mouth the Henry Big Boy simply because it isn't a replica of any old west rifle, and that to call it a Henry is a misnomer.  "

so i wont buy one to use for SASS as long as my others keep working fine ...and they will , 

 

but having said that ill not bad mouth it , i rather like the look of it 

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Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder.  Some folks have always thought they looked good and others thought they looked butt-ugly.   But recently a thread about HBB's mentioned a well-known CAS gunsmith (I forget who) that does wonders with them.  I'm wondering if that work, plus the new side-gate, would make them a little more CAS-friendly?  Although, with the base cost about the same as a '66, I would still pick the yellowboy any day.  

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I'm thinkin' it'd make a right dandy field gun.  :)

 

Price and lack of need are the only things keeping me from dashing right out and getting one.  :rolleyes:

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7 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder.  Some folks have always thought they looked good and others thought they looked butt-ugly.   But recently a thread about HBB's mentioned a well-known CAS gunsmith (I forget who) that does wonders with them.  I'm wondering if that work, plus the new side-gate, would make them a little more CAS-friendly?  Although, with the base cost about the same as a '66, I would still pick the yellowboy any day.  

 

Pretty sure the gunsmith is Slater in East Tennessee.

 

He can make them a little more CAS friendly.

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On 7/26/2022 at 1:15 PM, Muggle said:

Two friends and I have a Henry Big Boy in .357 and one in .45 and really like them.  They are slick right out of the box and the .357 will shoot both .38 and .357 interchangeably.  All three of us use them for CAS.  Now, having said that, you will find several people who will bad mouth the Henry Big Boy simply because it isn't a replica of any old west rifle, and that to call it a Henry is a misnomer.  I like it, as it has good heft and feel and is acurrate as all get out.

The controlling issue, I think, is not being able to realistically reload on the clock. The new design addresses exactly that.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator
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16 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

The controlling issue, I think, is not being able to realistically reload on the clock. The new design addresses exactly that.

Meh, it's more due to the design of the action. Great guns and fine if you operate methodically, but most of us don't do that after the beep.

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And then there are those of shoot and don’t give a crap of speed and accuracy as much as we shoot the guns we like!  I have 2 of the worst type of guns to be competitive with a JW Comm 92 and a Colt Buntline!  Neither are “competitive” shooters but love shooting them!  
When I started back in the 90’s if you weren’t shooting a Marlin with .38 specials than you were serious about the game!  Now it’s short stroked 1866 and 1873s, who cares?  Shoot the Big Boy!  And enjoy your game whatever guns and outfits you have (following the rules of course).  Don’t let the gun snobs get to you!

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2 hours ago, Nimble Fingers SASS# 25439 said:

And then there are those of shoot and don’t give a crap of speed and accuracy as much as we shoot the guns we like!  

Don’t let the gun snobs get to you!

 

The "gun snobs" are not the Borg from Star Trek and attempting to assimilate shooters - we (yes, I fall into gun snob category) are simply trying to provide ALL the information for shooters to make a knowledgeable choice based on their aspirations within the game.  

 

Too many "shooters who don't give a crap about speed" convey a false narrative that speed and fun are mutually exclusive and striving for one negates the other.

 

As long as the gun and shooter is safe - the "gun snobs" could not care less what someone else shoots.

 

But when asked for our input - dont be surprised and offended when our focus is on objective standards and past performance within a timed shooting sport.

 

Anyone adopting a contrarian position because of their personal subjective standards is welcome to their opinion.

BUT when looked at within the context of a timed shooting sport - objectively; some choices are superior to others.

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Opinions are always welcome unless totally one sided. I wonder how many of actually shot one?  Personally I am a Winchester man myself, but I would never put down the old Marlin, pump action or any other rifles unless I had shot them. I own 60, 66, 73. 76, 86, 92 and 94’s and would use a 92 big loop to compete. And I always preempt my opinions with it depends upon the degree of competitive shooting someone wants to do in choosing the firearms and caliber. I love .44 spcl/mag and that’s not competitive. But there is always a big smile on my face when I shoot!  
all I am saying is that let the people decide. They can always get another rifle, I have 6. 

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On 7/28/2022 at 9:05 AM, Tyrel Cody said:

Meh, it's more due to the design of the action. Great guns and fine if you operate methodically, but most of us don't do that after the beep.

I don't think shooting a rifle stage is controlled chaos. Let's not compare a gamer 1873 to a bone stock Henry that few have started reworking.

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1 hour ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

I don't think shooting a rifle stage is controlled chaos. Let's not compare a gamer 1873 to a bone stock Henry that few have started reworking.

 

Let's not.

 

Let's compare it to a bone stock 1873 or 1894 or even an 1892; all of those are hands down better rifles for this game and 2 of them are cheaper than a new HBB.

 

Also, for a vast majority of us when that beeper beeps we're running that rifle as fast as humanly possible.

 

I'll say it again, Henry Big Boys are fine rifles, just not suited for this game. I've seen too many frustrated HBB shooters to even consider it as an option at this point. All they've done is add a side loading, so until they completely change the internals they're a jam waiting to happen.

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5 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

I don't think shooting a rifle stage is controlled chaos. Let's not compare a gamer 1873 to a bone stock Henry that few have started reworking.

Why would we do that?

Modifications do not exist in a vacuum - modded guns are used and the norm within our game; comparing stock to stock is pointless as very few guns remain stock for long.

 

The Henry is a variation on the Marlin action; but NOT the 94 Marlin as used in our game - it most resembles the 336 style action used for Marlins higher powered rifles.

The 336 action design does not lend itself easily to "reworking" - while polishing and spring changes and fitment issues can be upgraded - but by its design the HBB is NEVER going to be comparable to a tuned 73.

 

What does that mean in REAL LIFE?

Under match conditions; where a skilled 73 (or Marlin) shooter may run 10 rounds in 2-3 seconds - the skilled HBB shooter may run 4-5 seconds.

 

IF that 1-2 seconds matters to you - then you need to look at outfitting yourself with the very best option available.

IF that time DOES NOT matter to you - then purchase, shoot and enjoy any firearm legal and appropriate to our game.

 

Equally skilled shooters will run the 73 faster.  It is OBJECTIVELY the better choice.

But this game is NOT completely objective - if it were; no one would shoot cap and ball, or BP or wear spurs or wooly chaps or shoot Duelist.

This game is WHATEVER you wish to make of it and YOUR PERSONAL subjective enjoyment ALWAYS outweighs anyone else's objective observations.

 

But just like the BP shooter knows their choice may handicap them some - that decision is made with their eyes wide open to the possibility.

The Duelist knows their pistol method may be slower than some others using supported style.

If you CHOOSE to shoot BP or Duelist or wear wooly chaps - more power to you.

 

All the gun snobs are trying to do is provide the data so that a shooter can make an informed OBJECTIVE choice - if they choose to do something else after having all the information; then more power to them.  

BUT if they buy the "wrong" gun - because they came to us and asked for advice and we answered with

"Well, it doesn't matter until you can shoot 16 second stages" or

"I don't care about going fast and I think GUN X is the best - because it is the most fun to me" or

"GUN Y sure is pretty"

then that shooters potential frustration and enjoyment of the game is wholly on our shoulders because we, (his trusted advisors) did not give him objective information that can be backed up by trophies, buckles, score sheets and the timer - but instead we played "Cowboy Karen" and told him how we "feel" regardless of the facts.

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I've broken Marlin's, Uberti's, Winchesters's, but never a Henry. We have several Henry's in 22lr and a 22 magnum I've dispatched some coyotes and other feral critters with them. 

 

I shot a friends Henry BB and it worked, just not the same feel as other rifles. Kind of clunky and just couldn't get speed out of it.

 

It would be nice if someone made a competition rifle that would hold up to the rigors of CAS. Could be I'm just running worn out crappy 73's that are equivalent to and old Yellow Cab. 

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I'd just suggest, as has been pointed out, the lack of a loading gate isn't the issue for a Henry Repeating Arms rifle for CAS.  It's the design of the action.  It just doesn't lend itself to this game.

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