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March 29, 2006

A Welcome from the Gear Hound

Greetings all you stream-fording, mountain-trekking, sleep-in-your-truck kind of sportsmen. I thank you for clicking by to discover great gear, and how to get more mileage out of it. 

Atv_pete This blog will let the fur fly, dispel a few myths, and shake a couple of trees to see if the stuff that falls off either rots or stands up.  I pledge to find you the newest gear, and to tell you exactly what I think of it.  You’ll also get tips on product care and find out if manufacturers’ claims are legit. 

What you should know about me is that I consider myself a generalist hunter and fisherman.  I’m a blackpowder hunter and a bow hunter.  I fly-fish for steelhead and chase big bass with swim baits.  I own an unruly Lab and duck hunt on public land.  I ride ATVs and do most repairs on my truck myself.  I am not the best shot or the luckiest guy in camp.  I get cold easily and run out of patience quickly. I’m fussy—but not quite as persnickety as David E. Petzal. 

There’s one other qualifier you should know: I’m cheap. Ask my wife and kids. I don’t like to spend my money—and when I do, I like spend it on gear that’s worth it.  To me, value is king.



Manufacturer: Henry
Model: Big Boy .44 Magnum
Category: Hunting Gear Misc

Purchase: I needed a Big Game rifle for my son that was capable of taking whitetailed deer, Black Bear and Moose but it had to be easy to handle, low recoil, reliable and affordable for the young shooters first big game rifle. Priced at $775.00 at Maines largest gun dealer it is an exceptional value for the money.

This is an American made rifle with its history dating back to the time of the Civil War, or the war of insurection for folks south of the Mason Dixon line. When President Lincon was seeking any advantage to help the union win the war a newly invented idea was presented to him. The Henry Lever action repeating rifle. It was the first of its kind to be produced with other gun manufactures taking to the idea and producing there own versions the lever action played an important part in wthe Union winning the war and was part of the ledgion of how the west was won. To this day cowboy re-inactors use the Henry as part of their authentic getup for events. This rifle not only looks good with its Solid top brass receiver, brass buttplate and brass barrel band it hits the nail right on the head staight out of the box. With standard adjustable Marble semi-buckhorn rear with white diamond insert and brass beaded front sight I have the feeling that Henry takes care to make sure that this rifle will pop bullseyes at 50 yrds and 100 yards without a lot of trial and error.

The tube magazine; Yes! it holds an amazing ammount of bullets; more than most hunters will ever need; The Lever action reloads without a lot of movement which could alert game to the hunters position. the guns come in .375 Mag, 44 Long Colt and .44 Mag all powerful bullets will take down anything in North America.

I have had Colts, Remingtons and Anschutz Rifles with the same tube feed and find that for hunting they work well and in the .22 they lend themselves to a quick reload using pre loaded tubing that oldtimers will remember from the shoting gallery pump guns. It would be a nice accessory if Henry made a quick load tube for spare ammo and maybe a belt holter to hold a few tubes. Safe shooting practice is enhanced in that the tube design must be loaded with the reciever chamber open.
Dont forget to lever it clear when loading! This safety procedure makes the lever action an exceptionally safe design as you can show clear.

Quality: Weighing in at 8.68 lbs this isn't the lightest lever action rifle made but the extra heft goes a long way in absorbing recoil of even the roaring 240 gr. Super-X® Hollow Soft Point loads. Unlike many short hunting rifles that kick like a mule this Henry tends to roll with the punch more like a shotgun, Certainly a big plus for all hunters. The quality of materiels and workmanship is top notch with excellent fit and finish of both machine parts and good quality wood stocks.

This rifle ejects on the right hand side with a nice downward case throw making it a good choice for both right handed shooters and southpaws. I especally like being able to retreive the brass without looking all over for them. A good feature for reloaders. The action was smooth and functioned flawlessly from the first shot. Its getting even better after shooting a few hundred rounds and cleaning out all of the packing grease. This rifle like all high tolerance fine machined tools works well lubricated with a very low viscosity machine oil. The rifle was tested in below freezing weather in coastal Maine in December with salt spray in the air. Not the kindest enviourment for any hunting equipment and certainly a vigourous testing ground for a Deer Rifle.

Summary: My 12 yr old son used winchester 240 gr. USA Jacketed Soft Point ammo for his first try on using a large caliber rifle and did as well as if he was shooting his .22 bolt action. Having used this Henry .44 Mag makes me wish that I also had their .22 lever action for small game and plinking.

This rifle is one that will give a lifetime of hunting service and can be carried by shooters of all ages. Few firearms these days fall into the Hierloom category as well as being serviceable hunting weapons.

This Henry rifle meets a lot of requirements in a fairly priced package. My only regret is that I had not shot one a long time ago.

Author: Capt Walt

New Englabnd Charters & Guide Service
Saco, Maine
[email protected]


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