In the late 1850s, metallic cartridges were the coming wave of firearms technology, and besides the difficulties inherent to developing reliable and effective self-contained rounds the new ammunition demanded equally new gun designs capable of taking full advantage of what the quick-loading cartridge offered. Cartridges that revolutionized a field of slow-loading, slow-firing, and slow-reloading powder & ball single-shots freed designers to create a rifle that could keep up, and the very talented Benjamin Tyler Henry quickly stepped to the front in both areas. The result was the legendary repeating rifle that became known as the 1860 Henry, in .44 Henry Rimfire.
A pioneering design in a reliable and practical lever action repeater, and adopted in limited numbers during the Civil War, the Henry was the 16-shot rifle referred to as “the rifle you could load on Sunday and shoot all week long.”
In the days when the average soldier was expected to be able to fire up to three rounds per minute through his muzzle-loading Springfield rifle, a small unit armed with Henry rifles could provide the firepower of an entire company. That ground-breaking lever action rifle design was the foundation for a uniquely American class of long guns that’s still with us today, over 155 years later.
With great effort, and more than a little pride in a job well done, we’ve brought back the Original Henry Rifle, made entirely on US soil, just as B. T. Henry’s rifles were. Our Henry Original is true to Henry’s 1860 patterns and patents, and virtually identical aside from concessions necessary to adapt to the .44-40 and .45 Colt centerfire rounds that replaced the long-obsolete rimfires. This H011 and H011C use a specially-formulated hardened brass receiver with the same tensile strength as steel and they are fitted with a one-piece octagonal barrel and magazine, fancy grade American Walnut stocks, a classic folding ladder rear sight and blade front, traditional half-cock safety hammer notch, and no modernized manual safeties. Both calibers share a 24.5″ barrel with a 13 round capacity.
Civil War era Henry rifles can sell for up to $250,000 at current auctions; with serials beginning with BTH in his honor, this is your chance to own, shoot, and display one of the most important rifles ever made.
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