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Old 01-28-2011, 10:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone here own anything from Henry Repeating Arms?

I am considering gifting myself, err, having the wife buy me one of these:



Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum.

I've been looking at them for a while. They come in .357, .44, and .45. They can be had for about $700 right now, and the wife knows that is what I want for our anniversary.

Anyone own a Henry? Any thoughts or comments? Any reason I should choose one of the other calibers instead of a .44?
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Apparently McGeedo has a Henry in .22 LR. That won't tell how about the .44 Mag version obviously, but he may be able to talk fit and finish.

My thoughts? They're pretty, but I'd forget the Henry in favor of a Marlin 1894 Cowboy or Winchester 94AE Trapper. The Henry is more of an antique than you should settle for in a fun gun and is more expensive than the other two options. .44 Mag is fine, just know it'll buck a bit in such a stubby little rifle.

Wish I could say the Henry is apples-to-apples with the others, but if I was put in a survival situation and had those 3 choices, I'd never pick the Henry.

If you're going for the history or the look just disregard my entire post. I'm the guy that likes matte finish everything and ugly guns.
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Last edited by Plan9; 01-28-2011 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Apparently McGeedo has a Henry in .22 LR. That won't tell how about the .44 Mag version obviously, but he may be able to talk fit and finish.

My thoughts? They're pretty, but I'd forget the Henry in favor of a Marlin 1894 Cowboy or Winchester 94AE Trapper. The Henry is more of an antique than you should settle for in a fun gun and is more expensive than the other two options. .44 Mag is fine, just know it'll buck a bit in such a stubby little rifle.

Wish I could say the Henry is apples-to-apples with the others, but if I was put in a survival situation and had those 3 choices, I'd never pick the Henry.

If you're going for the history or the look just disregard my entire post. I'm the guy that likes matte finish everything and ugly guns.
I'm actually attracted to the Henry BECAUSE of the antique look and aesthetics. My understanding is that I'll be extremely happy with the action and workmanship as well. But to answer your post, yes, this is just as much about the history of Henry and the looks as it is end use. Realistically it'll just be for some plinking and having fun.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you already own a pistol chambered in .357, .44 or .45 LC?
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Walt View Post
Do you already own a pistol chambered in .357, .44 or .45 LC?
Nope, so no advantage of another gun with the same ammo.

I own an 870 and a 10/22, that's it. And I'm not really interested in a pistol at this point, I am set on a lever action rifle of some sort.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Walt may be going to the same place I'm gonna go: Why not a .30-30?

You get more range/accuracy and the ammo is roughly the same price.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Walt may be going to the same place I'm gonna go: Why not a .30-30?

You get more range/accuracy and the ammo is roughly the same price.
What specific models do you have in mind?
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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(is this a trick question? i'm so confused) Well, uh, based on the title of the thread... the Henry Big Boy (Brass / Octagonal) in .30-30.

I'm a big fan of the Marlin 336 (.30-30) and I really want to get a Winchester 94AE Trapper in the same for a backpacking gun project.

I've got a Marlin 1894C in .357 with a fixed 4x. It's beautiful. 9 shots as fast as you can crank and it goes well with my .357 handguns.
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Last edited by Plan9; 01-28-2011 at 06:52 PM..
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think with the difference in ammo cost, and for a gun that I mainly plan on just plinking with from 50-100 yards, a .30-30 is a bit expensive for me.



The local gun stores tick me off.


The Cabela's in Hammond, IN (about an hour or so for me) has the .44 Big Boy that I want in stock. The price is $669. The problem is that with IL's stupid "wait 24 hours for any gun" law, I would have to drive an hour to Hammond, fill out the paperwork and pay for the gun, drive an hour home, then repeat all of that at least 24 hours later. So 5-6 hours of my life wasted to get that price. No filling out paperwork online, over the phone, etc., you physically have to be in the store two separate times 24 hours apart if you are an IL resident.


So, I went to one of the largest gun stores in the SW suburbs. They have the gun in stock as well. They want $779 for it. I ask them if they will price match. They say they will consider it, but the guy I was dealing with would have to ask his manager. So I tell him to go ask, and let him know what deal I had found and where. He walks over and asks the manager, walks back and says "Nope, we can't match that." So I ask "Is there anything you can do at all?" "Nope". He seemed totally disinterested, so I just walked out of the store.

There is a Gander Mountain down the street, so I went over there. They have the same gun. I ask him if they'll price match. He says that they will if a store is local and has it in stock. I tell him about the Cabela's, but he says it would have to be in IL to be considered. I walk to another part of the store and call around to several other local places. Either no one has it in stock, or no one is below $750-800. I go back to the gun counter and tell him, and ask if he can do anything, or worse case, what their FFL transfer fee is if I order it from Bud's Gun Shop (who has it for $659 currently). FFL fee is $75 , he says that he'd like to come down in price but they just got that gun in stock and he can't do that right now. He apologizes, tells me he wishes he could have my business, shook my hand, and that's that. At least he was polite.

There is a local guy I know that does FFL's for $30, but he's on vacation until about the end of the week. Looks like I'll just be ordering from Bud's and shipping to him.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Apparently McGeedo has a Henry in .22 LR. That won't tell how about the .44 Mag version obviously, but he may be able to talk fit and finish..
No, I don't have one yet, but it's a near term plan. I've been looking at them for a long time and I'm taken with the looks and the company culture/history. They also have a good reputation for reliability, so for me it's one gun that both looks good and works well. It wouldn't be the best choice for a performance gun, but if I just have the one 22, then I want the compromise. If I get another 22, it would be pure function.

Last edited by mcgeedo; 01-30-2011 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Update:

I was planning on using a guy 10 mins away that I've bought ammo/targets off of to go ahead and order it. It's a tiny place that mostly does special orders and ammo, and he advertises $30 FFL transfers (as I mentioned earlier, big gun shops around here want $70, and/or won't do a transfer on a gun they stock but you found cheaper elsewhere). He's had a message on his voicemail saying he's gone for a week but would be back today. Called today, same message. Had an errand to run nearby, so I stop and there is a sign on the door saying he's gone through the weekend.

I decide to call the next closest small gun shop, which is about 5 mins further the other direction. The guy answers and I start asking him about a transfer. He stops me and asks what gun I'm looking for, and what price I've found so far. I tell him it's a Henry BB .44 mag at Bud's Gun Shop for $685 + free delivery. He immediately starts cussing Bud out. "THAT F'N GUY!! HE DOESN'T CARE IF HE SELLS AT COST OR MAKES $10 A GUN! HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ANYONE TO SURVIVE ON $10 FOR A $700 GUN?!?"

Then he's like "I'm sorry, but I just hate Bud. It's great for guys like you, but it sucks for guys like me trying to make a living without selling the volume he does. Give me a minute and let me see if I can match him even though he's got free shipping and you wouldn't pay tax. As long as I can at least break even screwing him out of a sale, I'll do it every time." The guy had me seriously cracking up.


So, I just got back from his shop, where I threw a $500 deposit down. I'm going to be out of town from Mon-Wed next week, but it looks like he'll have it waiting for me when I get back, so I'll probably pick it up Thurs or Fri of next week.

I told him that his Bud rant had me cracking up, and he went on another one about how Bud drop ships straight from distributors, doesn't have to pay to stock or track guns in-house, etc. I told him I'd just as soon my money go into the local economy anyway, and I bought a couple boxes of ammo from him even though I probably could've saved $5 at Walmart.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I love Bud's Gun Shop. I bought another weapon there Thursday night. Of course I live 5 minutes from them instead of having to order online. They have a great retail location and huge range. I can see from a business sense though, how gunshop owners would hate it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If I could find a local gun shop that wasn't run by obese know-it-all dickheads, I'd buy from it. But I live where I live and fat(-ass in 5.11s) chance of that.

And since I make less than $100k a year and have no soul, I take great pleasure in paying the $25-50 FFL fee to the local shop when I buy from Bud's.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithhibn View Post
I love Bud's Gun Shop. I bought another weapon there Thursday night. Of course I live 5 minutes from them instead of having to order online. They have a great retail location and huge range. I can see from a business sense though, how gunshop owners would hate it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
If I could find a local gun shop that wasn't run by obese know-it-all dickheads, I'd buy from it. But I live where I live and fat(-ass in 5.11s) chance of that.

And since I make less than $100k a year and have no soul, I take great pleasure in paying the $25-50 FFL fee to the local shop when I buy from Bud's.
Don't get me wrong, given the same price, or maybe 1-3% difference, I'll buy local. Bud's had the gun for $659 when I started shopping, and it went up to $685 by the time I decided to buy. If the local guy had come back $100 higher like everyone else, instead of trying to match it, I would've absolutely bought from Bud's and paid the guy his $30 FFL fee.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Finally was able to pick it up today.











I'm hoping to get a chance to shoot it yet this weekend. I picked up a 50 round box each of Winchester Rem. Magnums (240 gr JSP), Winchester Cowboy Action Loads (240 gr LFN), Remington UMC (180 gr JSP), and Blazer (240 gr JHP) to see what it shoots best.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm drooling looking at that rifle. Can't wait to get a report on it from you. I'm really interested in how the action feels and sounds as much as how straight it shoots.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm drooling looking at that rifle. Can't wait to get a report on it from you. I'm really interested in how the action feels and sounds as much as how straight it shoots.

All of the rifle ranges around here are closed, but I do have a buddy with some land that he lets me shoot on. I went out there for a few minutes this afternoon and put about 30 rounds through it. Last summer we set up a spot on his land that gives us a 100 yard firing lane with earthern berm backstop, and we staked up a heavy wooden door to attach targets to. Unfortunately, because of all the snow and drifts (about 4'-5' out by him since his land is surrounded by open fields) the mini-range we set up out there was pretty much drifted over. Because of that, I didn't have a good place to shoot from very far that also gave me a good backstop, so I was fairly limited. I did try 10 rounds each of three different cartridges.

I shot some Winchester 44 Rem Mag in 240gr JSPs, Winchester 44 Special Cowboy Loads in 240gr LFN, and Remington 44 Rem Mag in 180gr JSP. I liked the first Winchesters the best. Everything shot fine. I shot offhand from 35 yards or so and there was a 10-15mph cross breeze, so I wasn't trying to nail down accuracy yet. I mainly just wanted to get a feel for the gun, make sure I could get it on paper out of the box, and play with my new toy. I had two or three of the Remingtons not want to eject cleanly. Other than that, it was smooth as butter. The trigger pull is very smooth, as is the lever. Even without putting a ton of effort or patience into it, 25 of the 30 rounds went into the upper left corner of a 10" square target. 3 others were between 1/2" - 1" below that and I had two flyers. I'm already in love with the thing. I will say there is a MASSIVE difference in shooting the Magnums vs. the Specials. After shooting 20 rounds of the Magnums, the Specials felt like I was shooting my .22. The Magnums went "bang" and had a little (not bad at all) kick to them, the Specials were more of a "pop".

I can't wait until spring comes and I can get it to a proper range with a bench rest and dial it in better.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I had two or three of the Remingtons not want to eject cleanly.
Would you describe that for me, please? Did the ejector spring not push it all the way out, or did the extractor miss the rim?

How is the finish on the brasswork on the receiver?

Thanks a ton for the report; greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Would you describe that for me, please? Did the ejector spring not push it all the way out, or did the extractor miss the rim?

How is the finish on the brasswork on the receiver?

Thanks a ton for the report; greatly appreciated.
Basically, when I worked the lever they stayed attached and it wouldn't cycle. It was like the base of the cartridge wouldn't let go. I was able to reach in and pop it loose, and the gun didn't allow another round to cycle or anything, so there wasn't any danger of a misfire. I think it was an ammo issue, as it only happened about twice, and never with any other ammo. When I get a chance to shoot it more, I'll report back if it happens again.


The brasswork is perfect. It wipes down easily with a cotton cloth to reflect like a mirror. I am already considering either getting it engraved (maybe my name or something), or getting a second one to get it engraved. I believe they are simple to swap out, so I could keep an unengraved one for use if I ever take it out for anything more strenous than plinking at the range.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Took it out at lunchtime again today to a different buddy's place and we blew through 40-50 more rounds at about 65 yards. It definitely shoots a little left, so I'll have to adjust that once I can get it on a bench when the local ranges open this spring. But I have to say it's pretty close for straight out of the box. It's a blast to shoot too, I can't get over how smooth it is. My buddy was drooling all over it, he's a big fan of all things western, so he loved it.

I also am pretty sure that it doesn't like the Remington 180gr JSPs. Out of about 20 rounds total of that stuff I had 4-5 FTEs. Out of 50+ rounds of a mix of the other 3 ammo types I bought, I've not had a single round FTF or FTE, so I'm calling it an ammo issue. Not sure if it has anything to do with it being 180gr (all the others I've tried are 240gr) or if it's something else.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I was finally able to take it to a range where I could shoot it off of a bench. I didn't have a ton of time, and the place was full of mud (and I didn't think to bring boots), so I only shot from two different spots.

This was from the first 10 rounds I fired that day, at 25 yards.


I started at 25, because again, I thought it was going to be off to the left (must've just been me that day ) and I'd have to adjust the sight to get it on paper from further out.





So I walked over to the longer range and set up at 50 yards. These were my first 10 rounds from that distance.







Not too shabby for right out of the box, shooting over iron sights, eh?
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Last edited by Borla; 03-03-2011 at 01:42 PM..
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not bad :-)
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