Henry .22 Lever Action Rifle Stages Comeback
During the 1950’s and 60’s, the Western film genre generated huge profits for Hollywood film studios and television networks. TV Shows like Bonanza, The Rifleman, and Gunsmoke were eagerly anticipated each week by fervent audiences and Hollywood brought larger than life stars like John Wayne and Kirk Douglass into every theater in America with films like Stagecoach and Gunfight at the OK Corral.
As a result, Americans became enamored with all things western — especially guns, which included the Henry .22 Lever Action Rifle.
The western craze lost steam as the turbulent 60’s changed the face of America, but the Henry .22 and other repeating rifles are experiencing a rebirth of sorts.
The Henry .22 Lever Action rifle has a traditional blued western look with a straight American walnut stock, round barrel, and tubular magazine. The magazine has a capacity between 15 and 22 rounds, depending on the ammo. The 16 1/8 inch blued steel barrel has been precision machined with multiple groove rifling to improve accuracy. Henry designers have also worked to lighten the load by using high grade alloys in areas like the grooved receiver to reduce the weight to a shoulder-saving 5.25 pounds.
Other features of the Henry Lever Action Rifle include side ejection, adjustable rear sight, and a hooded front sight. A large loop lever is available for use with gloves or for people with large hands that may find the standard lever cumbersome.
Range testing was done with an assortment of ammo: Federal Standard Velocity.22 LR Gold Medal Target, Remington Hyper-Velocity .22 Yellow Jacket HP’s, and CCI .22 short rounds. The half-cocked hammer serves as the safety on the Henry .22. Accuracy was outstanding. Firing from both kneeling and standing positions at 50 feet, groupings between 1 and 1.5 inches were easily achieved. Trigger action was exceptionally smooth with internal mechanisms being barely noticeable.
The Henry.22 rifle retails for about $360, and as author Scott W. Wagner states in his article “Traditional Excellence—The Henry .22 Caliber Lever Action Rifle” at USConcealedCarry.com, this lever-action long gun would be a nice addition to any collection:
“A Henry .22 is a must-have in anyone’s armory. A better small game getter, basic trainer, plinker, and — if pressed into service — defender would be hard to find.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)