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Old 02-13-2011, 05:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SW Suburbs of Chicago
Posts: 9
Newbie here, proud new owner of a Henry Big Boy .44.

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It was quite an ordeal to actually get it too. The Cabela's in Hammond, IN (about an hour or so for me) had the .44 Big Boy that I want in stock. The price was $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 had the gun in stock as well. They wanted $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. Had he even given me a token $40 off or something, I would've given him my business just because it would've been simpler/easier for me. But since he didn't seem to want it, I moved on.

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. But again, if he'd even budged a little I would've bought from him.

So after this, 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 last Friday. Called last Friday, 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 go to his shop, where I threw a $500 deposit down. 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.

So long story..........err, not so short, I took delivery last Friday of my Henry Big Boy. 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 yesterday 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 02-13-2011, 06:22 PM
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Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Color Me Gone
Posts: 1,958
Love Henry lever guns. They have such smooth actions. Great forum here - moderators are the best as are the members . Welcome and God Bless
"Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
James. C. Henderson
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wyo
Posts: 5
All of the Henry's I have handled seemed like fine weapons, but heavy compared to other guns in their class...except for my little Henry H001 22LR (Great little rifle and my favorite 22lr I own). Their 30-30 is built like a tank and heavy as heck. But they are some very nice looking guns, and American made. In todays world of foreign made gun all over the market, it's nice to see an American company making great guns. And their customer service is great, very quick to answer emails.

And .44Mag is a great versatile cartridge out of a rifle. I own two Rossi/Pumas in .44Mag (Bought from Buds Gunshop and transfered thru a friendly pawn shop for the low some of $10 each). Even though they are looked down by some because of fit, finish, function (usually the older ones)...mine must have been made on a good day because both have been perfect out of the box, great fit, function, and metal finish...the mystery wood they use leaves a little to be desired, but is fine with me. Both were slick out of the box, with the 20" short rifle being smooth as can be, the 16" needed just some cycling of the action to smooth it up. About 2K rounds through them and they are still chugging along with no issues.

Sorry to hear about the FFL rant about Buds, and I understand their dislike for them, but when you find a gun on Buds for a decent price, then look at a local shop and see the exact gun marked up $100-200 over what Buds has it for, then something is wrong. The only gun my local shop quoted me that was close to what Buds wanted was a Marlin 1895G, Buds wanted $508 shipped, local shop quoted me $550+tax. If I had had the money I would have bought locally. About the only time I buy locally is when I find a good deal, or something I really want and put it on layaway.

If you reload and cast your own, I would put in a good word for the Ranch Dog TLC-432-265-RF six cavity mold. I haven't cast any of my own yet, even though I finally have everything needed, but did try some out that a fellow down in AZ sent me to try; shot great. Weather has been crappy up here to try to melt down the wheel weights I scrounged up, but maybe tomorrow will be warm enough to try.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:56 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SW Suburbs of Chicago
Posts: 9
Thanks guys!

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, 01:43 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SW Suburbs of Chicago
Posts: 9
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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