Henry Frontier Carbine Evil Roy Edition

The exagerated loop on the lever allows for more freedom of movement during fast shots, and the option of wearing gloves during winter.

The exagerated loop on the lever allows for more freedom of movement during fast shots, and the option of wearing gloves during winter.

Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Henry Evil Roy

Read more at Henry: https://www.henryrifles.com/rifles/henry-frontier-carbine-evil-roy-edition/

You ever pull the trigger on a gun that just can’t miss? It has a way of making any day better. It is an even better experience when you aren’t expecting it. I’m a rimfire fanatic, but I lean toward the modern autos–Henry’s lever action evokes a nostalgia that I don’t typically cotton to. But I can review a nostalgic gun with the best of them, so I wasn’t going to turn down the experience.

But like I was saying…. then I pulled the trigger. This little gun can flat-out-shoot. If rimfire rounds ever come back into full scale production, these Frontier Carbines are going to fly off of the shelves.

The balance of stock to barrel on a rimfire lever action can feel off, but you won't notice it with the gun to your shoulder.

The balance of stock to barrel on a rimfire lever action can feel off, but you won’t notice it with the gun to your shoulder.

The Specs for the Evil Roy.

The Specs for the Evil Roy.

Evil Roy

But let’s take a minute and talk about this edition. Not only is it a rimfire copy of a bigger, more traditional rifle, it also bears the moniker of one of the world’s most notorious cowboy action shooters. This is the Evil Roy Frontier Carbine.

What makes it the Evil Roy? Well, someone carved his name into the stock. That’s a big clue. Evil Roy is a household name, if your household includes some cowboy action shooters. If you want to learn more about him or the school he runs, click here.

But the gun also has a few other features that set it apart from the rest of the Frontier Carbine line-up. The most notable would be the great big lever. When I’d seen these in the past, my assumption was that the large ring was meant to accommodate a gloved hand. Ranchers, for example, might have use for a carbine on a blistering winter day and need the larger openings so they didn’t have to freeze their fingers off.

But there’s another reason for the large lever opening. As you rock the lever forward, your hand flexes. Your fingers aren’t flat, but move through an arc, and bent rim of the lever catches the bent fingers, which allows for a lighting fast action. And if you ride the lever forward with your trigger finger, and then slam the action closed (with your trigger finger closing with your other three fingers) the gun will go bang. Spirit finger, make a fist, spririt fingers, make a fist. Bang bang bang.

This gun is ideal for fast shooting. Keeo the trigger finger forward in the guard as you ride the lever forward.

This gun is ideal for fast shooting. Keep the trigger finger forward in the guard as you ride the lever forward.

Then hit the trigger as you close the action. It can be done quickly and accurately.

Then hit the trigger as you close the action. It can be done quickly and accurately.

I’m a novice at this technique. I’ve tried to do it with larger lever actions, and I end up looking as inexperienced as I feel. It is ugly. But after running a few tubes of .22 through this one, I gave it a shot. The split times were unbelievable. I emptied the thing in a surprisingly smooth and steady run.

The result was so reliable that I was able to shift my focus from the action to the target (where it belongs). There’s a target image below that will show the results. It is the one on the right.

This is five rounds from 25 yards, standing.

This is five rounds from 25 yards, standing, firing slowly.

This is a full tube fanned from 25 yards. Even running the gun fast, I can hit with this little rifle.

This is a full tube fanned from 25 yards. Even running the gun fast, I can hit with this little rifle.

The trick for me was to move through the motions with a smooth fluidity and not an emphasis on speed. When I tried to shoot faster, I would bring my trigger finger back to the trigger too soon. If you get that digit between the trigger and the lever, you will get pinched. The gun may still go bang, but it won’t feel good.

The trigger pull, which came in under three pounds, is one component of this motion that makes it successful. Instead of running the lever with all four fingers, then bringing the trigger finger back to find the trigger, I began opening and closing the lever with all fingers. It was as if my trigger finger was clasping the stock, and not working the trigger independently. When the lever closed, the gun fired. As long as I had a good hold with my support hand, the movement hardly interrupted my sight picture.

If you do take the time to aim, you’ll be even more pleased. The trigger reset is minimal (though you’re not likely to notice either way), and it breaks perfectly. After messing around with the gun for an hour or so, I put it in a rest at the bench. From 50 yards, the accuracy was so predictable that it got almost mundane. I usually try for one or two representative 5-shot groups to prove a gun’s ability. With the Henry, I kept shooting until I had a single hole–and that was with some ancient Federal rounds I’d found at a garage sale. Seriously. This gun will spoil you. All guns should shoot like this.

The rear buck-horn sight is adjustable.

The rear buck-horn sight is adjustable.

The bead sight is bright and easy to pick up.

The bead sight is bright and easy to pick up.

Speaking of sight picture. The front bead is very easy to see. The brass on the black stands out well. The rear sight is a modern version of the old buck-horn style. It has a white diamond between the horns. Both are adjustable. The top of the receiver is also grooved for attachment of a scope. But this gun shoots so well in this set up that I wouldn’t bother with glass. There’s simply no need. Maybe those who want to really reach out with their plinking or varmint hunting would benefit from some basic magnification.

There are more than 30 rounds in this hole. This is from the bench at 50 yards.

There are more than 30 rounds in this hole. This is from the bench at 50 yards.

Fit and finish

Here’s another element of the Evil Roy that makes unique. The full octagonal barrel adds weight that stabilizes an already easy-to-handle round. The stock is a medium sized stock. While there wasn’t enough length of pull for me to feel like the gun was an ideal match for my super-sized frame, I could still run the gun. This set-up would be ideal for a teenager, or someone with a smaller frame.

But don’t mistake it for a kid’s gun. The fit and finish is superb for a rimfire in this price range. The wood is actual wood. What looks like brushed stainless is an alloy. The bluing on the barrel is hardly delicate, but it will require maintenance. Again–not the gun I’d give to a young kid as a first gun, but an excellent gun on which to teach advanced skills and gun care.

The rubber pad.

The rubber pad.

Evil Roy. I hear he ain't all that bad.

Evil Roy. I hear he ain’t all that bad.

Henry

I can’t help but marvel at this rifle. Henry has taken on the rimfire market and done so with some serious contenders. In addition to the Evil Roy version of the Frontier Carbine, there are other options: the non-Evil Roy Frontier Carbine (which has a black receiver) and at least five others. And that’s just in the lever actions.

This is a boon for those of us who like options. And it opens up options for kids and teenagers, too. Henry is taking youth shooting sports seriously. The Frontier Carbine fills that niche perfectly. New shooters deserve the absolute best tools available. Good tools allow them to learn skills without having to compensate for sub-par performance from the tool itself.

But often the guns on which kids learn are so small that they grow out of them quickly. The Frontier may be heavy for a six year old, but he (or she) won’t ever outgrow it.

The Evil Roy version sells somewhere between $400 and $500, depending on the source. That puts it above the price of the dominant players in the rimfire game, but that’s really comparing apples to oranges. This is a classic. When Ralphie outgrows his Red Ryder, this is the gun he needs. And like the chaps and the hats, the Frontier Carbine will likely be a gateway drug.

The Evil Roy edition loads like the others in the line-up.

The Evil Roy edition loads like the others in the line-up.

The barrel band is screwed into place.

The barrel band is screwed into place.

There's no decoration on the receiver.

There’s no decoration on the receiver.

Watch your thumb when the action opens. If you have big fumbly hands like I do, the hammer and/or bolt may catch.

Watch your thumb when the action opens. If you have big fumbley hands like I do, the hammer and/or bolt may catch.

The octagon barrel is a nice throw-back and adds weight that holds the gun in place during recoil.

The octagon barrel is a nice throw-back and adds weight that holds the gun in place during recoil.

This is a gun that will need to be cleaned. Damn .22 LR! Those little bullets are messy.

This is a gun that will need to be cleaned. Damn .22 LR! Those little bullets are messy.

The grooves on the top of the receiver are for the attachment of a cope and to break up glare.

The grooves on the top of the receiver are for the attachment of a cope and to break up glare.

HEre you can see where the receiver comes together. The fit is perfect.

Here you can see where the alloy receiver comes together. The fit is perfect.

Trigger pull came in at 3 pounds, rounding up.

Trigger pull came in at 2.5 pounds.

Fit and finish is good. For a wood and steel gun in this price range, I was very impressed.

Fit and finish is good. For a wood and steel gun in this price range, I was very impressed.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Tom September 25, 2017, 8:50 am

    I have a Henry Big Boy in .357 mag. that is just as accurate as your .22 and is massive fun to shoot. The last time that I had it out, I started feeling like I just couldn’t miss.

  • Mike Day May 15, 2017, 11:41 am

    I just bought Henery Evil Roy. The best money i have s pent in years. i need some help keeping up with my10 year old grandson! What should i get in a truGlow site to fit the gun best? please help

  • Donald Robinson July 5, 2016, 2:35 am

    The Henry’s are great in this style of tube feed reloading reason is less desirable then a Winchester with the side plate push in feeding the rifle and firing without coming out of battery position defensive posture. The Henry on the other hand is the one step forward of the old school ball and powder guns and great challenger for shooting competition a real nail driver and your best hunting tool. Everyone should learn to shoot the lever action rifle in moving targets as well as still to the amazing design one of the best point and shoot rifles ever designed. I have 45 years of shooting and reloading experience as a gunmen expert if you don’t have a AR 15 you should own a lever action One shot 2 kills. Keep shootin boys

    • Robert Dupree June 22, 2017, 7:57 pm

      I might be wrong but I don’t know of any .22 lever actions with a side loading gate, even my two Winchester 9422’s, my Browning , my Marlin, and yes of course the Henry that I have, all have tube loading.

  • gary grovesteen April 26, 2016, 10:33 pm

    Just brought one home today. I had looked at it and read about it long enough. Clean, well balanced, and put together with pride. I like it and it’s still in the box. I’m glad the Henry company is doing well.

  • Mike November 10, 2015, 3:03 pm

    I added an Evil Roy to my Henry collection which includes the Golden Boy, Silver Boy and a standard Frontier model. All of my Henry rifles are very accurate out of the box. I love the attention to detail as well. My only problem is which one to buy next.

  • bb October 30, 2015, 10:05 am

    Stone age gun without threaded barrel

  • Rick Walkingstick October 10, 2015, 10:19 pm

    I want one!!!

  • Magic Rooster October 5, 2015, 5:32 pm

    I own two Henry Big Boys, one in 44 magnum and the other in 357 magnum. Both are superb works of art and are very accurate.
    However, the stock sights are not for “old eyes”. I put “glass” as you call it on both and I can shoot 1.5 inch groups at 125 yards with both using a bag.

  • Terry October 5, 2015, 4:18 pm

    I have the plain Jane .22 Cal Lever action carbine. With an inexpensive nine power scope on it, it is my go-to gun for 100 yard shots. It’s truly remarkable that such an inexpensive little gun can shoot as well as it does. It’s a real tribute to Henry and their design team. I have an older brother that bought the evil Roy version, and it is every bit as accurate as this review says it is.

    Thank you Henry!

  • ed walter October 5, 2015, 5:30 am

    being 73 years young i have shot many 22 caliber rifles starting out with a sears single shot all the way to rugers and winchesters. this firearm outshoots any that i have owned.

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