Henry All-Weather Lever Actions – Two Gun Review

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The two Henry All-Weather Rifles. Image courtesy of manufacturer.

For more information, visit https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/all-weather-lever-action/.

To purchase a Henry All-Weather lever-action on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=henry%20all%20weather.

Henry Repeating Arms takes its name from the inventor of the first reliable repeating rifle, Benjamin Tyler Henry. That took place back in 1860—when most rifles were still loaded from the muzzle end. In 1996 the Henry name was revived and the brass framed lever guns were once again available. Made in America, too. That’s a big point of pride for Henry.

A big chunk of the Henry portfolio is in rimfire and pistol-caliber rifles and carbines. It was only within the last handful of years that Henry started to make some full powered rifles, which they call the “Large Caliber Rifles”. These rifles, like pretty much all of the Henry offerings, are downright handsome. We are talking classic-styled rifles with Walnut stocks, deep rich bluing on the steel and of course the traditional Henry brass frame. They are sexy-looking long guns that make it hard not to treat them as safe queens. But these are rifles that can be great field, truck or saddle guns. Henry now has the perfect compromise with the All-Weather Lever Actions that are available in 30-30 and 45-70 and are designed to stand up to the elements while still delivering the full Henry rifle experience.

All-Weather?

So what makes this an All-Weather rifle? At first glance these look to be matte finished stainless rifles, but they are not. The receiver, barrel and most other parts on these rifles are hard chromed. Really, the whole rifle sports the coating except the bolt, springs and sights. The hard chrome looks nothing like the super shiny stuff that we dress cars up with. It is harder, thicker and more resistant to corrosion, which is exactly why Henry chose this treatment for these guns. The stocks on these rifles are hardwood with what feels like a thick polymer coating. Although not as visually striking as some other Henry Rifles, the contrast of the silver and black does make for a good looking gun.

A Henry is a Henry

Turn the knob and pull up on the loading tube plunger for the first step in loading the Henry.

Turn the knob and pull up on the loading tube plunger for the first step in loading the Henry.

There are a couple of things that make a Henry, well, a Henry. One is the side ejection found on all models, excluding the reproduction of the original Henry design (the one from the 1860s). The other is the way they load. All of the Henrys load from the muzzle end of the tubular magazine. A spring loaded brass tube that rides inside the magazine keeps the rounds in place and pushed to the rear for feeding. This is a take on the way the original Henry loaded. This is not the more common loading gate on the side of the receiver that Winchester and Marlin use. Using the loading tube sometimes takes a little work and getting used to. You remove the magazine tube spring system from the tubular magazine, drop in the rounds from the end of the magazine tube, and then have to wiggle the magazine tube spring system around and twist as you push it closed to clear the case rims.

Henry sent me two rifles for this review—one in 30-30 and the other in .45-70. Other than caliber and stock grip, these rifles are almost identical.

Specifications

Henry All-Weather .30-30

  • The sights on the 30-30.

    The sights on the 30-30.

    Model Number: H009AW

  • Action Type: Lever-action
  • Caliber: .30-30
  • Capacity: 5 rounds
  • Length: 39 inches
  • Barrel Length: 20 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Stock: Straight-grip hardwood with rubber buttpad and black coating
  • Sights: Fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear, and brass beaded front sight
  • Finish: Hard chrome
  • MSRP: $999.95

All-Weather .45-70

The tops of both rifles' receivers are drilled and tapped for scope mounts.

The tops of both rifles’ receivers are drilled and tapped for scope mounts.

  • The tops of both rifles’ receivers are drilled and tapped on both rifles.
  • Model Number: H010AW
  • Action Type: Lever-action
  • Caliber: .45-70
  • Capacity: 4 rounds
  • Length: 39 inches
  • Barrel Length: 18.43 inches
  • Weight: 7.08 pounds
  • Stock: Pistol grip hardwood with rubber buttpad and black coating
  • Sights: Fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear, and brass beaded front sight
  • MSRP: $999.95

Fit and Finish

I like how you can still see some wood grain through the finish on these.

I like how you can still see some wood grain through the finish on the stocks.

Both of the review rifles have a very nice fit to all parts. The transition from the stock to the receiver is smooth and tight and so is the forend. The finish on the stocks is more matte than gloss but is still pretty slick. One thing I think would help these rifles is a bit of grip texture. During a cold and rainy hunt, gloved hands might be a little slippery.

The action is pretty slick out of the box and got smoother the more it was cycled. This is not as smooth as a tricked-out Cowboy Action lever gun, but this is not meant for competition. This is a working gun—a gun that wants to ride around in the truck, or in a handlebar rack on an ATV. Like a good dog, this gun needs to work.

The Henry All-Weather rifles come set up with the classic lever gun sights—semi-buckhorn rear with a brass front bead. If you want to add an optic Henry has you covered. The top of the receiver is drilled and tapped to take a Weaver 63B mount.

Shooting

.30-30

I love shooting .30-30 lever guns. It might be due to the fact that it was the first centerfire rifle I ever shot but I think it has more to do with it being a great “medium” round. This is a medium range, medium power, medium recoil and medium game rifle. There have probably been more whitetail deer taken with a lever action .30-30 at or under 100 yards than with any other gun or cartridge.

45-70 on the left and 30-30 on the right.

45-70 on the left and 30-30 on the right.

This Henry All-Weather in .30-30 is more than capable of carrying on that tradition. Out of the box the review gun was shooting a bit low. I made a slight adjustment to the rear sight that quickly brought the gun on target. I ran Hornady LEVERevelution 160 grain through the Henry, along with a random smattering of extras we had (including a couple of boxes of Winchesters). All worked predictably well. There are so many varieties of .30-30 available, and almost every sporting goods store and big-box retailer in the country should have a decent selection. From the sled on my portable bench I was able to get 1 MOA out of the Hornady, and the Winchester 150 grain Super-X Softpoints opened up a bit but only by about a quarter inch.

.45-70

I was getting around 1700 fps from this Hornady. The Winchester was closer to 2000fps.

I was getting around 1700 fps from this Hornady. The Winchester was closer to 2000fps.

The .45-70 is of course a bigger and harder hitting round. With the right load and within reasonable distance, there isn’t anything in North American you couldn’t take with this round. Hell, there isn’t really anything in the world short of large African dangerous game that would be too much for a .45-70. 300 grains moving at close to 2,000 feet per second hits hard, and with the Henry you have five of them that can be fired in seconds.

Range results from the review .45-70 are exactly like I expected. If I did my part, three rounds inside an inch from 100 yards were done with ease and consistency. The 325 grain Hornady LEVERevelution preformed, as well as some Super X Winchester 300 grain. The Henry All-Weather .45-70 is true to form on what a lever gun chambered in this round should be—hard hitting and reliable.

Reliability is why this platform continues to remain relevant. The lever gun is capable under ridiculous conditions. As long as you are still functioning, it will function. It is the height of mid 19th century tactical design that is still useful today.

Made in the USA

I want to take a few words to talk about the “Made in The USA” aspect of the brand. If you are one who tracks trends in the firearms industry, pay attention to patriotism. My bet is that “Made in America” is about to become wildly fashionable. Henry isn’t going to have to remind you they make their guns in the States—it has been such a core part of the company’s identity. If you want a newly manufactured American-made lever action rifle, Henry should be on your short list. But there is more to them that just being made in The States—they are solid and reliable firearms.

Maybe Henry should do a play off of Trump’s Make America Great slogan?

Final Thoughts

These are two very capable rifles in two of the must iconic American hunting calibers. If you are looking for a great whitetail hunting rifle you could do a lot worse than the Henry .30-30. Need a rifle for the bigger game? The .45-70 will do the trick. It would also make a great bear country defense rifle as well. Add all of that in with the All-Weather nature of these guns and we have a winner of a pack, truck or general backcountry rifle.

For more information, visit https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/all-weather-lever-action/.

To purchase a Henry All-Weather lever-action on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=henry%20all%20weather.

Numbers from the 30-30.

Numbers from the 30-30.

The silver and black of the rifle matches my hair!

The silver and black of the rifle matches my hair!

Action open.

Action open.

Front sight with brass bead.

Front sight with brass bead.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • BILLYBOB August 16, 2017, 6:18 pm

    TO BAD THEY DIDN\’T THREAD THE BARREL

  • Kris Littledale March 27, 2017, 6:25 pm

    “Made in America or not made at all”. That is their motto and a part of why I like the 4 I have so much. Another one coming as soon as they start shipping the .41 mag rifles in March or April. They also have the BEST customer service in the gun industry. Lifetime warranty with no questions asked (unless maybe you take a sledge hammer to your rifle) and they pay shipping in both directions. In addition to the guns reviewed here they also have the “Long Ranger” model (similar to the Browning Lever Rifle) available in .223/5.56, .243 and .308. Their rifles are not “cheap” but the “street price” is much less than MSRP. You can expect to buy a $1,000 MSRP gun for $825 to $900 at your local LGS.

  • TomC March 27, 2017, 11:29 am

    For those wanting 44 mag, 41 mag. 357 mag Henry’s…these handgun calibers have been their stock and trade. 41 mag is new last year. See their website. Ask for their catalog and they also send you a newsletter and bumper sticker.

    Regarding the loading method: Many have shot themselves or others unloading side gate lever actions. Gun safety and common sense are needed around all firearms. Who needs all those fingers anyway?

  • Larry March 27, 2017, 11:08 am

    Beautiful rifles & I love that “made in America” fact but the loading method is certainly a drawback.

  • Jerry March 27, 2017, 10:34 am

    Will this be available in a 44 magnum soon ?

  • Dakota March 27, 2017, 9:12 am

    Love my Henry 22LR lever gun Made in USA. Use it for Cowboy and Manual classes in NSSF Rimfire Steel. Although the lever stroke is smooth and fairly fast, it is long. Asked Henry, who by the way respond to customers very well, if they had a short stroke kit or would smith it to a shorter stroke: “NO”!
    Adding a couple replacement shells during a shooting or hunting event can be a bit unsafe without care and good safe practices. Why is the gun tubed Henry a bit unsafe? The breach must be closed to maintain reliability in gun function later when chambering. Initially you can start with an empty chamber and hammer down to load with your hand at the muzzle end. But if you have fired and ejected say 2 rounds and you want to replenish to full capacity, you’ll have a hot round in the chamber (put hammer down of course for safety) and you must twist and remove loading spring loader tube. There is simply no way to always keep your hand and or fingers from crossing in front of muzzle. This is my rub-complaint not having a loading gate. But I do love my Henry for its smooth action and performance. However it is pretty darn safe when you have lowered the hammer gently onto a live round in the chamber and perform the reloading process of adding ammo in the tube with fingers crossing muzzle. But I have had difficulty with Range Safety (RO) in explaining that I am safe as one can be with a live round in chamber and hand at muzzle!
    In a match with wide spread targets, me n my Henry with iron sights were 5th fastest out of 42 shooters of which about 36 were semiautomatics and half that red dots, long stroking it even. Do love my Made in USA Henry!

  • Griffendad March 27, 2017, 9:01 am

    I know mine’s not a U.S. rifle, but it’s almost a dead ringer for my Chiappa take-down. It’s hard chromed, over-coated stocks, 16″ octagonal barrel, Skinner (awsome) sights, based on the Win ’92 action in .357 magnum. Just a great shooting, slick action rifle.
    Taylor’s & Co. model?

  • Frank G March 27, 2017, 8:34 am

    Wish I could post a image of my 45-70 AW ……………… talk about one noble package. The fit and finish has to be one of the finest out there. Once you have cycled the action a few times you will be hooked. I’ve read the comments loading gate vs tube, IMO the tube is far superior to the gate. “Stuffing” rounds into a gate in cold weather is a pain in the “thumb”, can’t be done with a gloved hand. Twist the knurled tube, lift, drop in the rounds, reset tube ……. done. Rain, sleet freezing temps with gloves. First timeout, in Lead Sled groupings within 1-1/2″ no issue whatsoever. Topped it off with a Leupold FireDot-G SPR using UTG rings. My other go to gun for white tail is a S&W 460 XVR revolver …….. I like big bore, DRT (dead right there) anything, anytime, anywhere.

  • Lloyd Dumas March 27, 2017, 6:57 am

    I do not need another rifle but it doesn’t keep me from wanting one or two, and if I did take the plunge it would no doubt be a Henry.

  • Matt Day March 27, 2017, 5:53 am

    Hope a .357 model comes out, it is what I have been waiting for !

  • Taylor March 27, 2017, 3:12 am

    Personally, I prefer the Marlin 1895 for the simpler loading gate. The Henry’s are beautifully finished guns, probably the nicest build quality of any of the modern lever guns, but I’ve never quite been able to wrap my head around the loading tube style.

    • Otis Birdsong March 27, 2017, 8:21 am

      Henry tube magazine loading/unloading drill is just like a rimfire lever action.

      One advantage, you don’t have to run each cartridge through the chamber to unload the rifle…

      I like it. The firearms transportation laws in one’s state make a HUGE difference in how much loading/unloading one has to do, especially for a “truck gun.” My state = complete unloading (chamber AND magazine) before you transport a firearm via ANY motorized vehicle- land or water, public property or private…

      • John Horton, Jr. March 27, 2017, 9:24 am

        What state do you live in that requires you to unload your gun to transport it in a vehicle on private property?

  • Mark N. March 23, 2017, 1:48 am

    Is it me or is that barrel on the .45-70 kind of on the short side? Wouldn’t it have greater range and velocity with a 24″ barrel? I seem to recall that some of the old buffalo guns with black powder loads were as long as 36″.

    • martianone March 27, 2017, 5:20 am

      Mark N, sorry- believe you have missed the point of this rifle. 5 more inches of barrel would make it awkward to handle in the bush or in/out of your vehicle. With 45-70, it is easy to launch a 400-420 gr LBT type lead bullet at around 1800 fps from an 18″ barrel. That loading is amazingly effective on any game you connect with, all game in North America have been harvested with this load, also in Africa. I don’t need another rifle, however there are a couple gun shows scheduled in my area during the next month – hope I can find one as I transferred my 45-70 Marlin to my oldest son for hogs. Plus last hunting season, my younger son realized how handy my “old 30-30” was to carry- have a real nice model 94 & not sure I want to part with it yet.

    • Phil March 27, 2017, 10:35 am

      The answer to your question is “yes” Mark N. However, martianone has an excellent description of why it is on the shorter side.

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