The Henry Big Boy lever action rifle chambered in .357 Magnum from Henry Repeating Arms can trace
it’s all American roots and inspiration from all the way back to the early 1860’s. The company’s motto ‘Made in America or not made at all’ rings true and the factory is located in New Jersey where they manufacture the Big Boy and a wide variety of other firearms including lever gun, shotguns and many other centre-fire and rim-fire guns.
The original Henry rifle, the yellow boy from where the Big Boy draws inspiration from was made and designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry in the early 1860’s. It had a great advantage over other rifles of the time as many were single shot muzzle loaders; and the Henry had a capacity of 15+1 of the now obsolete .44 Henry rim-fire cartridge.
Henry Repeating Arms modern take on this classic rifle is chambered in .357 magnum, .44 magnum and 45 long colt and I opted for the .357 offering as I just use it for paper punching at 25 and 50 yards.
The Big boy comes complete with a beautiful American walnut stock and solid brass receiver, butt plate and barrel band and truly is a stunning firearm to behold. Its 20 inch octagonal blued steel barrel topped off with a brass bead front sight, fully adjustable semi buckhorn rear sight make for a great accurate Lever gun; and if iron sights are not for you the receiver comes drilled and tapped for a scope mount which is optional extra from Henry.
The weight of the rifle may put some off as it clocks in at 4KG (8.75 Lbs), but the solid brass receiver balances the rifle out very well. Some may also be put off that the rifle is front loading as opposed to through a side loading gate but I’ve never found it an issue myself.
To load the gun simply twist the knob at the end of the loading tube and it will slide out exposing the slot for cartridges, drop in your choice of 10 rounds of .357 magnum making sure the action is closed and once loaded slide back down the loading tube and you are ready to start shooting. Side loading is also an option if you prefer to shoot one round at a time just open the action and pop a round into the chamber.
For my shooting I use P.P.U jacketed 158 grain R.N.F.P rounds at a paper target at 25 yards and the gun performed excellently with my best 10 round group being 0.786 inches and my others just over an inch all with iron sights. The action on the big boy is silky smooth and functioned flawlessly with no stoppages through the 50 rounds I put through it, you could quite easily shoot all day as the recoil felt is very manageable and you will definitely have a smile on your face whilst shooting it.
The rifle is also very easy to maintain and a simple bore snake is all that is required to clean the barrel, I clean the inside of the receiver with ear buds and this gets rid of any carbon build up you may get. Henry also have a full range of maintenance videos on Youtube should you wish to strip the rifle down fully for a deep clean, just be mindful not to scratch the receiver. A handy extra I have is brass polish which really makes the Big Boy shine and show off its beauty when the brass is gleaming.
All in all the Henry Big Boy is a joy to shoot and is one of the finest guns in my cabinet, it truly shines in looks and functionality and is a joy to shoot. If you’re new to world of lever guns and you have an open slot on your FAC then you can’t go wrong with the Henry Big Boy and you definitely won’t be disappointed.
(The Henry in action)