“Made in America and Priced Right” “Load on Sunday and Shoot All Week Long” Motto’s of the Henry Repeating Arms Company describes my Henry lever action. This model is the H001 version which is the standard basic model 22 lever action with an 18inch tapered barrel and magazine tube capable of holding 15 22LR cartridges. When standing at the counter two years ago while purchasing this rifle there was two things I noticed right away. First the plastic front sight was a little to wide to fit exactly in the groove of the rear buckhorn sight, this is not a big deal as they are easily replaced. The second attention grabber was the receiver, I noticed it was made of ZamaK which is zinc alloyed with aluminum, magnesium, and copper. It can’t be blued like steel, so Henry painted it to match the blued barrel. Though I gave thought right away to durability my mind was put at ease instantly by the research I had done previously. Henry has a lifetime warranty, Mr. Imperato has been known to respond to emails directly and in prompt fashion. 100% made in America I can’t go wrong not to mention the many years of fun to be had and the beauty of such a historic piece.
With close to 400 rounds through this beauty I had finally decided it was time to really do something about the sights. I felt like there should have been a warning on the box or sticker on the front sight which read “wide load”. Though my son and I were enjoying many countless hours of fun. I felt like anything smaller than a coke can or clay pigeon of accuracy at 50 yards was to difficult of a challenge. No I didn’t purchase a lever action for it’s accuracy or competition yet I still wanted better than coke can accuracy at 50yards. After doing my research mainly on rimfirecentral.com and emailing Henry directly which they replied in less than 24 hours, I decided on the Marble Bullseye rear sight purchased from Midwayusa and HIViz metal front sight.
Though this change was very easy to do there are a couple of things to be aware of. First on the rear sight not all Henry lever actions have a 3/8inch dovetail. If you have a Model H001 and the barrel is stamped made in Brooklyn NY with a serial number less than 250,000 please email the good folks at Henry to find out what size dovetail you have. Any rifle stamped made in Brooklyn NY with a serial number greater than 250,000 you have the standard 3/8inch 60 degree cut. In 2002 Mr. Imperato moved his company to Bayonne, New Jersey to a much larger facility all of these barrels will have the standard 3/8inch cut. When my Marble sight arrived I used a brass punch to remove the original buckhorn and measured both sights with a micrometer, I knew right away the new Marble sight would not fit it was a little larger. Out to the garage I go, I used a metal file on my workbench to shave material away on the bottom, front and back to get the exact diameter of the old sight. Though not visible from the top some of the bluing had been removed, I used cold blue to reblue the bottom of the Marble sight. Here is the finished product.
The second issue to be aware of though it didn’t affect me is the lack of screws included in the HIViz front sight packaging. There are many reports that HIViz did not include any screws at all in the packaging, mine arrived from Midwayusa with one screw in the package. This screw is for the bottom to fasten the metal clasp to the barrel and magazine tube, there is another screw needed for the top to screw into the barrel. A quick email to HIViz with quick turn around points out the fact they only include one screw because they intend for you to use the screw from the original setup to ensure perfect fit. Not knowing if Henry would ever change the thread pattern or count. In doing so I found the orginal screw fit like a glove. I am very found of the green HIViz front sight so I left it in, HIViz does provide you with 3 other color sights red, black, white and a plastic key to change them. The 18inch barrel of the Henry already makes it fast for maneuvering but now sight acquisition was just as fast.
Henry is known for its smooth action and this specimen did not let me down. Right out of the box the action was very smooth and to my surprise the trigger was lite and crisp. After 400 rounds the action and trigger continues to improve which I didn’t think was possible on this basic model Henry. The trigger feels much like a two stage trigger on my Busmaster AR15 and breaks cleanly at 3 pounds, yes 3 pounds out of the box as measured by my RCBS trigger gauge. The Henry safety mechanism is the old-fashioned half-cock, which is in keeping with the original historic specifications and I like it. It feels really cool and historical to put the hammer at half-cock, without a cross-bolt safety there’s no chance of getting confused about whether one or both safeties are engaged. Though visually it is very difficult to determine if the hammer is in the half cock position.
Today I ventured out to the range to push the nostalgic Henry past it’s 500 round count. In my range bag I was accompanied by Blazer Bulk Box, CCI Standard Velocity and Wolf Target Match. I wanted to ensure I fouled the barrel up real good because I had given it a thorough cleaning with Frog Lub CLP. So after 75 rounds of Blazer Bulk Box Ammo I decided I would test the Henry accuracy at 25yards with my new sights utilizing 40gr Wolf match target ammo. The grouping at 25 yards wasn’t bad for the Henry lever.
I then proceeded to test 10 rounds of the 40gr CCI Standard velocity ammunition my CZ 452 absolutely loves this stuff. To my surprise the group really opened up with this ammo. This proves if you are shooting for accuracy it is important to find out what your rifle likes. Considering it is a fun piece for the family I still feel good that coke cans and clay pigeons don’t stand a chance.
My curiosity getting the best of me I decided I would test the Henry with 10 rounds Blazer Bulk Box, which is mainly what this lever has been fed.
To my surprise the 40gr Blazer Bulk Box Ammunition printed best at 25 yards. The new sights proved to be worth it’s cost as this is the best group ever shot with this rifle.
The Henry Lever action repeating rifle with the right sight modifications can be a double agent. It is pure plinking fun with the family on the weekend and with the right ammunition accuracy is deadly — varmints, rabbits, squirrels do not stand a chance when the Henry is patrolling the field. If greater accuracy is needed the Henry comes equipped with a grooved receiver for easy scope mounting.
Model Number H001
Action Type Lever Action
Capacity 15 rounds .22LR, 17 rounds .22L, 21 rounds .22S
Length 36 ½”
Barrel Length 18 ¼”
Weight 5.25 lbs.
Stock Straight-grip American walnut
Sights Adjustable rear, hooded front sight
Finish Blued barrel and lever
Ratings (Out Of Five Stars)
Great for pest control and field work and tons of fun. This was the first rifle my now 9 year old son learned to shoot with, every time we pull this from the safe my son utters the words “You have until sun down to get out of town”
Surpassing the 500 round count today the Henry has experienced no malfunctions.
Overall Rating ****
The 18 inch barrel of the Henry as well as it’s balance proves itself to be one of the fastest maneuvering rifles I have handled to date. It is capable of providing a lifetime of fun while plinking and also capable of serving as a field rifle keeping pesky varmints away from the barnyard or the garden. The trigger and action is absolutely amazing, though not good enough to overcome the shortfall of the original sights to award the Henry H001 Lever Action 5 stars. The big bertha esque like front sight of the original setup earns this rifle and overall 4 stars. The best of all is this rifle is 100% made in America. Mr. Imperato even goes out of his way to ensure all materials are sourced in America. Because of this anytime I am in the market for a lever action Henry will be the first place of choice. Now I only need to add a Ruger Single Ten to my collection along with a Cowboy Hat, Boots and chaps to fully experience the nostalgic wild west cowboy era.
I have been informed by the good people at Henry Repeating Arms, actually the President and CEO Mr. Imperato himself has informed me that the front sight is made of an alloy, as well as the receiver itself being made of steel. It is the receiver covers which are made of the Zamak alloy so durability has never been a question. If I could make one suggestion to Mr. Imperato it would have nothing to do with the products he or his company produces. Maybe Mr. Imperato should give serious thought to starting another company to consult with others about true customer service because he and his customer support staff have mastered it. Mr. Imperato is so committed to this country and his employees that a 3rd motto has been added to the Henry legacy “Made in America or Not Made at All”