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  #1  
Old 09-22-2005, 06:59 AM
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Henry Big Boy 44 magnum


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Well I think I've decided on buying this rifle. I feel in many ways it is superior to marlin and winchester actions. The all brass one piece design...more similar to the marlin 336 as opposed to the 94 action...is a better platform for the 44 magnum. I don't think marlin takes us 44 mag hunters seriously anymore...their R&D department has been telling upper-level corporate management for years to get serious about the 44 mag and it's offerings...but they haven't listened(Mr Randy Garrett recently filled me in on this). I'm also not a fan of the winchester 94 action. I feel it ranks towards the bottom in strength and accuracy. I will give credit to winchester however for releasing the timber scout in 44 mag. It's been awhile since anyone offered something new in this area.

I've found very little information on Henry rifles other than a nice review in Americanrifleman.com. Their rifles are 100% american made...and boast a one piece brass reciever. Supposedly...this is supposed to be the smoothest lever-action on the market. I will let you guys know on that one. I do wish they had swivels for a sling however.

Here's a pic and some info.

You guys heard anything about these guys?

Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of firearm history would have to recognize the name B.Tyler Henry. Back around the middle part of the 19th century, Henry came up with what many people believe to be the first practical repeating rifle. While there were other claimants to the title, particularly Christopher Spencer, what can't be denied was the Henry's importance in paving the way for the later Winchester lever guns.

A few years ago, B. Tyler's modern namesake, The Henry Repeating Arms Co., headquartered rather incongruously in Brooklyn, N.Y., brought out a little .22 lever-action that was not only handy, accurate and good looking, but which also had a very reasonable sticker price. The line has been expanded to include other rimfire models, including a new .17 HMR "Varmint Express."

Realizing that much of today's interest in leveractions comes from the Cowboy Action shooting crowd, Henry decided that what was needed was a reliable center-fire that could be offered at a competitive price, that would be easy to load and have a smooth action right out of the box. Enter the Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum.

As its name implies, the Big Boy is chambered for .44 Magnum and .44 Special. The rifle features a polished brass receiver that is touted as being the only new solid-frame .44 leveraction to be marketed since 1866. What Henry means is its gun does not load from a gate in the side of the action, a la the Winchester, but rather through the muzzle end of the magazine with a twist-and-pull tube, in the style of many .22s.

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The tube does not have to be completely withdrawn, as a cartridge-shaped portal is cut into the magazine tube about 3" from the top for the insertion of a round. Of course, the original Henry was charged from the end of the magazine also, but a pesky exposed plunger lever had the nasty habit of getting hung up on the shooter's hand, inhibiting proper feeding. This setup completely eliminates that problem. We found the Big Boy method to be fast, efficient and easier to use than the standard Winchester-style arrangement. Ten rounds could be loaded in about half the time they could in the more traditional manner.

Though called a Henry and sporting a brass frame, the Big Boy's silhouette is very unlike the original Henry, actually resembling a Whitney or a Burgess. This is not meant to be pejorative, as the gun's appearance is certainly Victorian enough to please even the fussiest WildWest actioneer. The receiver is surprisingly svelte, especially considering that it's made to handle .44 Mag. pressures.

Remaining brass parts include a slightly curved buttplate and brass barrel band. All other exposed metal is of blued steel, to include an adjustable Marble's semi-buckhorn rear sight with white diamond accent. The blade front sight has a small brass bead for quick target acquisition.

Like many modern old-style firearms, the Henry sports a transfer bar that makes it impossible for the gun to be discharged unless the trigger is pulled fully to the rear. As well, there is a block that keeps the trigger from being activated unless the lever is completely closed.

The straight-grip stock and fore-end is of smooth American walnut with a length of pull of 14½Prime. We found the gun came up naturally and comfortably-an asset for rapid-fire target work as well as hunting.

Though weighing almost 9 lbs., because of its nice balance, the Big Boy seems lighter than it really is. The weight, abetted by a good overall general configuration, really tamed the recoil of the .44 Mag. loads we tested. Jounce from the milder .44 Specials, as might be expected, was hardly noticeable.

As advertised by the maker, the rifle's out-of-thebox action was extremely smooth and chambering and extraction were impeccable, with the exception of some slightly longer-thanusual. 44 Mag loads which hung up in the follower. Rounds could be ripped off just as fast as the shooter could work the lever. Empties are ejected though a cut in the right side of the frame rather than through the top of the action as with many standard center-fire lever guns.

Where the gun excelled, though, was in the accuracy department. Both from the bench and offhand 25-, 50and 100-yd. open-sight groups were top-notch no matter what brand or type of ammunition was used. Changing from .44 Mag. to .44 Spl. proved to be no problem after we worked out how much to adjust the rear sight elevation.

Big Boys are 100percent American made, and overall workmanship is good-especially in the wood-to-metal fit department. The only defect we noted was in the polishing on the receiver. In the sunlight ripples were noticed along the flats. If a gun is going to have a bright brass frame, care should be taken to ensure that it is properly finished.

Our guess is that hunters will opt to charge their Big Boys with .44 Magnums and Cowboy Action competitors will load the milder .44 Specials. No matter; based upon our evaluation the Big Boy should fill either task admirably.

Copyright National Rifle Association of America May 2004
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved
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Henry Big Boy 44 magnum-h006bigboys_large.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2005, 08:20 AM
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I am a bit traditional, and prefer the Winchester or Marlin look. The Henry of old doesn't have much to do with these Henry's....they are using the name to sell their rifles. But, I am happy to see an American Company do well(Henry). As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think you would get more versatility out of a Marlin or Winchester. That is, I would feel more comfortable with those two with the extended use of hotter loads. The strength of the Winchester action is about as strong as the Marlin actions...very little difference. The Winchester is a one piece reciever and very strong....no problems at all. I love Winchesters, but I would choose Marlin because they are American made/owned(Vs. Winchester which is owned by the Belgians) and more appealing to my eye than the Henry. The steel frame of the Marlin over the Henry would get my vote too. Just my thoughts. Still, the Winchester is nice, and depending on who you are talking to, feed as reliably with the pistol cartridges. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Chris
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2005, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cash
I am a bit traditional, and prefer the Winchester or Marlin look. The Henry of old doesn't have much to do with these Henry's....they are using the name to sell their rifles. But, I am happy to see an American Company do well(Henry). As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think you would get more versatility out of a Marlin or Winchester. That is, I would feel more comfortable with those two with the extended use of hotter loads. The strength of the Winchester action is about as strong as the Marlin actions...very little difference. The Winchester is a one piece reciever and very strong....no problems at all. I love Winchesters, but I would choose Marlin because they are American made/owned(Vs. Winchester which is owned by the Belgians) and more appealing to my eye than the Henry. The steel frame of the Marlin over the Henry would get my vote too. Just my thoughts. Still, the Winchester is nice, and depending on who you are talking to, feed as reliably with the pistol cartridges. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Chris
If you are referring to the winchester 94 action...it is not a one piece reciever. Unless I'm missing something?

If marlin were to use the 336 platform to build their 44 mag off of...then I would go for it. This is a significantly stronger action than any of their current 44 offerings.

As it stands...all three rifles could shoot high powered loads without a problem. Bullet length is more of an issue...certain rifles just can't handle the 1.75 caliper measurement length with pushed forward design that garrett and BB use.

Of the three...winchester is the easiest to modify if necessary.
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2005, 08:41 AM
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Hi Warlock,

Yessir....., the reciever itself is one piece....hammer forged of very strong steel. The Barrel is Chrome Moly which is almost as hard as Stainless. Of course, there are more parts and openings in it than the Marlin, but not enough to seriously compromise the action strength(I do think they should have left the Angle Eject Feature cutout feature off the gun). Here is an interesting thread on this issue over on Leverguns:

http://leverguns.sixgunner.com/topic...ger%2C336%2C94

There are also a number of these discussions on this site by a bunch of knowledgable folks.

Take Care and good luck. Chris
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2005, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cash
Hi Warlock,

Yessir....., the reciever itself is one piece....hammer forged of very strong steel. The Barrel is Chrome Moly which is almost as hard as Stainless. Of course, there are more parts and openings in it than the Marlin, but not enough to seriously compromise the action strength(I do think they should have left the Angle Eject Feature cutout feature off the gun). Here is an interesting thread on this issue over on Leverguns:

http://leverguns.sixgunner.com/topic...ger%2C336%2C94

There are also a number of these discussions on this site by a bunch of knowledgable folks.

Take Care and good luck. Chris
My mistake Chris, and thanks for the info! Your quite the gentleman.

I should be more specific. I'm referring to the "wraparound" design of the marlin 336...which completely encloses the action...as opposed to the winchester 94...where the action is exposed from above.

I do believe some reciever strength is compromised in the winchester design compared to the marlin or henry side ejection types. The extra band of steel along the top would seem to do more to strengthen the reciever...what do you think?

Thanks

learning a few things

Last edited by warlock; 09-22-2005 at 08:54 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2005, 11:30 AM
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Hi Warlock,

Your welcome and just my own opinions. Other guys here might feel differently. The solid top of the frame on the Marlin has to be strengthening the overall frame, but I would assume most of the stress occurs to the bolt as back thrust and to the reciever walls where it locks with the lug. I don't think the solid reciever top does much for that. The bolt of Mod. 94 looks to be more fully covered with the locking lug at the rear. BUT, the angled lug keeps it from coming out as the clear winner. Lots of other factors at play here too, including how much pressure an individual cartridge can take. Both actions seem to have their strength's and weaknesses...both of which seem to place them nearly side by side in terms of strength. Both sit on the gun racks after generations of consistent use and keep doing what we ask of them. To me, it's just a personal choice. That Henry might make a fine rifle too....just have to go with what suits you. I would still like a steel frame with hot loads, but others may have had no problems in this area. Never had a Henry so I can't say. Let us know how it turns out. I am starting to get majory interested in the 44 Levers also. It would make a nice companion to my Ruger Single Actions.
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Last edited by Chris Cash; 09-22-2005 at 08:40 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2005, 08:30 PM
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PS...you might do a search of the Archives on the Henry in 44 Mag. Seems like we discussed this one a couple of years back when they started coming out with them. Not sure if it produced much usuable info as they were pretty new.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2005, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cash
PS...you might do a search of the Archives on the Henry in 44 Mag. Seems like we discussed this one a couple of years back when they started coming out with them. Not sure if it produced much usuable info as they were pretty new.
I did run across it today actually...it was helpful...but it still appears that there are very few people out there that have hands on experience with this rifle.

I'll keep an eye out.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2005, 06:22 AM
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If you are serious about getting a 44 mag for hunting there is only one to consider. The Model 92 action is by far the strongest action for traditional lever actions. Rossi, Browning, and Winchester all have them and you can load a 44 mag to full potential in any of them.

The Win 94 and Marlin are not strong enough to withstand a steady diet of even stout loads for a Super Blackhawk and I doubt that the Henry is any stronger, if as strong.

On the other hand, the 92 is strong enough for full power 454 loads and will probably stand more.

Just my 2 cents worth but if I were going to get a 44 mag for hunting it would probably be a 92 action.

Sixgun
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2005, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six_gun
If you are serious about getting a 44 mag for hunting there is only one to consider. The Model 92 action is by far the strongest action for traditional lever actions. Rossi, Browning, and Winchester all have them and you can load a 44 mag to full potential in any of them.

The Win 94 and Marlin are not strong enough to withstand a steady diet of even stout loads for a Super Blackhawk and I doubt that the Henry is any stronger, if as strong.

On the other hand, the 92 is strong enough for full power 454 loads and will probably stand more.

Just my 2 cents worth but if I were going to get a 44 mag for hunting it would probably be a 92 action.

Sixgun
Thanks for the info! After doing a search on gunbroker...it appears there is only 1 reasonably new model for sale on the entire site. I'm assuming that is no longer a current production model?
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2005, 06:49 AM
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Six-Gun,

What CUP are you talking for the stout 44 Mag. loads? Winchester uses their unaltered action for the 450 Marlin at 44KCUP, if I am not mistaken. Just curious is why I ask. I think you are correct about the 92 Win. being the strongest of the lot.
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Old 09-23-2005, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cash
Six-Gun,

What CUP are you talking for the stout 44 Mag. loads? Winchester uses their unaltered action for the 450 Marlin at 44KCUP, if I am not mistaken. Just curious is why I ask. I think you are correct about the 92 Win. being the strongest of the lot.
I do know...just FYI...that both Garretts and BB high powered 44 mags are in the low to mid 40,000 PSI region.

I'm not sure about what CUP is in relation to these...is there a conversion?

Last edited by warlock; 09-23-2005 at 06:57 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2005, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warlock
Thanks for the info! After doing a search on gunbroker...it appears there is only 1 reasonably new model for sale on the entire site. I'm assuming that is no longer a current production model?
The majority of 1892 clones are made by Rossi of Brazil and imported by companies listed below:
http://www.navyarms.com/html/92_rifles-carbs.html
http://www.emf-company.com/1892-winc...le-carbine.htm
http://www.legacysports.com/product/specs/puma.htm
The EMF is probably the best bang for the buck. Remember these 92s are currently chambered in both 454 Casull & 480 Ruger so plenty strong in 44 mag. no other design capable of handling the pressures of the 454 & 480.
Cimmeron also imports a 1892 clone but these are made in Italy so an unknown as far as quality & durability though Cimmeron does have an excellent reputation:
http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/1892ModSolid.htm
http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/1892ModTakedown.htm
These Taylors are also made in Italy by same maker as the Cimmerons- Armi Sport:
http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/produ...892%20Takedown
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Old 09-23-2005, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warlock
Thanks for the info! After doing a search on gunbroker...it appears there is only 1 reasonably new model for sale on the entire site. I'm assuming that is no longer a current production model?
PS One thing about the Henry Big Boy to consider is it's weight: over 8 pounds due to heavy receiver material, and octagon barrel, very pretty to look at but a tad tiring after several hours lugging around in the woods. I must say though that Henry does have the greatest reputation for customer service with the president of the company personally answering all the inquiries I have ever made to them, very impressed.
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Old 09-24-2005, 04:46 AM
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I'd also highly recommend purchasing a EMF 92 directly from Steve Young, he really performs a great action job smoothing it up, and improving feed reliability to 100% all for just $469.95 plus shipping. Of course at the moment he has evacuated Port Aurther which is right in the path of Hurricane Rita, but hopefully he will be right back in the swing of things after it's passing, our prayers are with ya Steve.

Steve Young aka Nate Kiowa Jones Sass# 6765

Steve's Guns aka "Rossi 92 Specialists"
4525 Alamosa st.
Port Arthur TX 77642

www.stevesgunz.com

Email; [email protected]

http://stevesgunz.com/SalesSG.htm
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Old 09-24-2005, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganjiro
PS One thing about the Henry Big Boy to consider is it's weight: over 8 pounds due to heavy receiver material, and octagon barrel, very pretty to look at but a tad tiring after several hours lugging around in the woods. I must say though that Henry does have the greatest reputation for customer service with the president of the company personally answering all the inquiries I have ever made to them, very impressed.
Your 100% correct. Their service is spectacular...in fact...I've been having an ongoing dialogue similar to this with the company President Anthony Imperato for the last few weeks.

He's quite the gentlemen...answering questions personally...going out of his way. In fact he is personally taking care of me with the purchase of my big boy 44...it what manner I won't say...but let's just say he's going out of his way.

As to your comment about weight...I'm 6-1 200 lbs...so not a small guy to begin with. I much prefer the weight as opposed to the vicious recoil of loads in lightweight configurations. I like a solid feeling rifle...I don't consider 8 lbs cumbersome in the least.

That's just my opinion folks
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2005, 07:37 AM
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After carrying an M60 machine gun for the 3 years in the Army, every subsequent gun I've carried I term a featherweight
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:24 AM
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I have looked at the Henry and they seem pretty nice. I have no problem with the way they load.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warlock
I'm also not a fan of the winchester 94 action. I feel it ranks towards the bottom in strength and accuracy.
I find that interesting. I am currently loading a .45 Colt trapper with 388 grain bulets and pushing them to 1440 fps. The only weakness I have encountered is in my shoulder!

While the .30-30AI is a different cartridge to this discussion - due to the smaller base diameter - I have loaded it to rather high pressures in both the Marlin 336 and the Winchester Model 94. I found no weakness in either rifle. I did find the new Angle Eject Winchesters to be capable of just a little higher pressure than the Marlin 336 or the top eject Model 94. But this "advantage" was seen at a level I considered to be over maximum for the cartridge.

My experience with .44 Magnum rifles is limited to my 21" TC Carbine barrel and to my friends rifles - both Marlin and Winchester. I find the recoil impulse in these rifles to be quite abrupt. For any reasonable loading in the cartridges which meet the rifles design limitations the Marlin and Winchester rifles both seem to lead a long life.
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Last edited by William Iorg; 09-24-2005 at 08:27 AM.
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