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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


"Luther S. "Yellowstone" Kelly bought the .44 cal. Henry carbine for fifty dollars in 1868. He said "With the Henry and the stubby little .44 caliber cartridges that went with it. "I killed many a buffalo, as well as other game, defend myself in encounters with hostile Indians." Kelly was to carry mail between Fort Berthold and Fort Stevenson. On one trip, two Sioux came upon him. One with a shotgun and one with a bow. They started shooting from thirty yards. Kelly popped the one with a shotgun quick. The other hid behind a tree, but Kelly got him in the arm. The Indian charged with an arrow like a knife to stab. Kelly dropped him dead. "

Kelly's carbine.



First 37 rounds out of my Henry carbine. Using 45CS brass the 18.5" barrel Henry Uberti holds 12 rounds in the magazine one in the chamber.


New Uberti carbines. The bottom rifle had the wood stripped and refinished.


"Tyler Henry of the New Haven Arms Company used the same idea, but used a rimfire bullet. It held sixteen rounds. It was designed in 1857 and patented in October 1860. The Henry was popular, but the government only bought 1731 of them and mostly bought by soldiers that were discharged but couldn't part with their guns. In 1865 the Civil War was over and Spencer's became cheap, but people preferred the Henry even if it cost seventy-five dollars. The Henry helped many people survive in the Plains. George Ray of a train of 25 wagons went hunting. Indians surround him. He fought the band off with his Henry and made it back to his train.
In June 1865, Albert J. Fountain and Corporal Val Sanchez were on the trail of some raiding Navahos in New Mexico near the Rio Grande. The Indians turned and came after them. Fountain and Sanchez headed into a mountain pass that went to Fort McRae. They thought they lost the Indians but were afraid of an ambush. Fountain told Sanchez to go a different way. Then his horse was killed when it was hit with a bullet. Fountain was stuck under his horse. He was shot with an arrow in his left shoulder and right forearm. A bullet hit him in his left thigh. With his Henry he killed ten Indians and scared the others away. Help came the next day. "

"The ammunition consisted of a copper casing .875 inches long containing the priming compound in the rim. It used a 200 to 216 grain bullet and 26 to 28 grains of black powder. This gave a muzzle velocity of around 1125 feet per second. Not great but a far cry better than the old "Rocket-ball" round. The Henry round gave about 568 foot pounds of muzzle energy. The copper cases were head-stamped with the letter H for Henry.

The gun itself held 15 rounds in a magazine beneath its 24 inch barrel. The rifle loaded by turning the top five inches of the barrel housing. This gun when fully loaded weighed in at over 10 pounds. The Henry was advertised as some sort of super weapon with capabilities of hitting targets at 1,000 yards. What this rifle could do is to fire rapidly. Forty-five shots per minute could be attained. In other tests 120 rounds could be fired in 5 minutes and 45 seconds."

"The first Henrys appeared on the open market in Louisville, Kentucky by July of 1862. By the end of the year one dealer sold 500 Henrys. Other dealers selling Henrys in that year were located in St. Louis, Mo., Evansville, Ind., Peoria, Il., and Paducah, Ky. In 3 months over 900 Henrys were sold. According to the Louisville Journal of July 12, 1862, Henry rifles were offered for sale and in stock at James Low & Co's on Sixth Street, Louisville, Ky. Other Louisville dealers included Joseph Griffith & Son 5th Street, Dickson & Gilmore 3rd Street and A.B. Semple & Sons. Two Indiana dealers were Charles H. Bradford of New Albany and Wells, Kellogg & Co. of Evansville.(9) There were 3 known Henry rifle dealers in the East who represented the New Haven Arms Company. They were J.C. Grubb of Philadelphia, Hartley & Graham of New York, and William Reed & Son of Boston. On the west coast R. Liddle of San Francisco was offering Henrys.(13) In the Louisville Journal of July 14, 1862, it states that W.G. Stanton advertised the good qualities of the Henry. Henrys were offered for sale to both Unionist and Confederates.(14)
The retail cost of the Henry was set at $42.00 without the sling. Discounts were given to dealers purchasing a case of 10 Henrys, the discount being 20%. Rifle clubs purchasing a case of 10 received a 10% discount. Slings cost $2.00 extra, leather rifle cases were $5.00 and ammunition was $10.00 per 1,000, later increased to $17.50. Silver plating and engraving of rifles were an additional $10.00 and gold plating was $13.00 extra."

"The Henry was an expensive weapon that most soldiers could not have afforded at $52.50. That is almost 4 months pay for the Civil War solider. It does not seem likely that he would be able to save that much money for the price of a Henry rifle, no matter how good a weapon it was. Most of the units that bought their own Henrys purchased them in late 1863 or early 1864. The answer to where they got the money to purchase their Henrys lies in a law passed by the government, the Veteran Volunteer Act. This act gave to the solider, upon re-enlisting, a 30 day furlough and more importantly a $400.00 bounty. This was about 3 years salary to most. Indeed it was a lot of money. Upon returning to active duty they would be able to spend $52.50 for a weapon that would help save their lives. Henrys were in short supply but the 7th and the 66th Illinois Veteran Volunteers were fortunate in purchasing enough to arm their regiments. It is interesting to note most of the Henrys used in the Civil War were privately purchased. The prices ranged from as low as $36.00 to $80.00 for the top end."





Cylinder Gas Gun accessory Metal Ammunition


Left to right: 45 Colt, 45 Schofield, 45 Cowboy Special, 45 Auto Rim, 45 ACP

Ammunition Bullet Material property Cone Gun accessory


The Henry rifle? An incredible piece our history.
 

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Great timing of the thread Coz. I've been kicking these new Henry's to the back of the list for years, always saying "nah, it can wait, next time..". Well, I just grabbed one that should land tomorrow for me. I figured, now's the time... Went with the CCH frame in .44 instead of the brass. Not sure why, maybe because there's enough brass/silver in the herd already.

I'll likely never have an original and consider myself lucky to have just handled a few over the years.
 

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Wasn't the Henry the one that gave rise to the phrase "it could be loaded on Sunday and fired all week" ? It sure looks like the Uberti replicas are good shooters.

Regarding the ballistics, they may not be impressive when compared to many rifles, but a 200-216 grain bullet at 1125 fps is equivalent to a pretty warm cast bullet load for a .44 Special. Certainly good medicine for hostiles at fairly close ranges, especially considering the rate of fire that it was capable of.
 

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Wasn't the Henry the one that gave rise to the phrase "it could be loaded on Sunday and fired all week" ? It sure looks like the Uberti replicas are good shooters.

Regarding the ballistics, they may not be impressive when compared to many rifles, but a 200-216 grain bullet at 1125 fps is equivalent to a pretty warm cast bullet load for a .44 Special. Certainly good medicine for hostiles at fairly close ranges, especially considering the rate of fire that it was capable of.
I may be wrong lol, but I believe that statement was attributed to the Spencer rifle rather than the Henry. Alleged by rumor it was stated by President Lincoln when he test fired the Spencer.
 

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I have a Navy Arms Henry in 44-40 that my Child Bride surprised me with on Father's Day 30+ years ago.
I had found it in a LGS on consignment. Money was tight at the time (semi-new baby, new house) but I was telling her about how cool it was and in like-new condition, etc. We talked about it and a couple of days later she said "Go ahead and get it." I was the first guy in the store the next morning and the owner said it was sold yesterday, some guy came in, laid down cash for the rifle and a box of ammo and walked out with it. Oh well...
A few days later, I woke up on Father's Day and went in to start the coffee and there on the table was a long wrapped box labeled Father's Day. Thinking it was a gun case, I picked it up and it was extra heavy. Inside was my Henry!
She had bought the gun the day after I saw it and, along with the owner, come up with the "already sold" story. When I went back in to get ammo, everybody had a great laugh.
 

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I may be wrong lol, but I believe that statement was attributed to the Spencer rifle rather than the Henry. Alleged leader lease by rumor it was stated by President Lincoln the test fired the Spencer.
I am lucky to own one of the Henry’s made for the “Civil War” association upon the 100th centennial!of the Civil War. There were approximately 1000 made by ”Navy” arms Val Forgett, 500 in the original .44 Rimfire, and another 500 in 44-40 for shooters, mine is number 67 in 44-40. These Henry’s are the “original” reproductions made in the US in Plainsfield New Jersey I tried to find #66 but !! I will post some pics as soon as I can make it downstairs (had surgery)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Henry in any form is a pretty neat weapon. Considering the time frame. the Henry is a very impressive weapon.

Confederate Colonel John Mosby, who became infamous for his sudden raids against advanced Union positions, when first encountering the Henry in battle called it "that damned Yankee rifle that can be loaded on Sunday and fired all week."[6]
When you think about a 200 gr bullet doing 1100fps that the equal; to a hot 45acp. 17 rounds of ammo with a fully loaded rifle against single shot rifles or a bow an arrow? A serious tactical advantage to the Henry on effective range and ammo load over the bow. I'd guess 200 yards is a fair shot for a Henry but I wouldn't want to be any where inside 300+ yards if the shooter was experienced.

A couple of 1860 Colt conversions and a Henry rifle would make a man "well armed" back in the day.

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I like the Henry and have a replica in .44-40, but find it uncomfortable to shoot due to a lack of a forearm. The follower moving back as it is fired is somewhat disconcerting and handling the blued barrel with a sweaty hand can cause issues on the bluing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Black powder (any powder ;) ) will make the Henry barrel too hot to hold in short order. The follower is not much help, as noted pervious. But a couple of mag tubes of ammo, even the longer rounds used today is a lot of shooting by most any 1860 standards.

A gloved hand is a good idea either way. But...taken in context of the time frame it was developed and used, the Henry was a pretty incredible weapon given the other options.

It took the innovations of a centerfire cartridge, a more powerful load (44 WCF) and the '73 Winchester to see the Henry's toggle ling and lifter system to truly be appreciated. But between 1860 and 1866 the Henry had to be a pretty handy rifle with nothing else really comparable. The Spencer not withstanding.
 

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I have a Navy Arms Henry in 44-40 that my Child Bride surprised me with on Father's Day 30+ years ago.
I had found it in a LGS on consignment. Money was tight at the time (semi-new baby, new house) but I was telling her about how cool it was and in like-new condition, etc. We talked about it and a couple of days later she said "Go ahead and get it." I was the first guy in the store the next morning and the owner said it was sold yesterday, some guy came in, laid down cash for the rifle and a box of ammo and walked out with it. Oh well...
A few days later, I woke up on Father's Day and went in to start the coffee and there on the table was a long wrapped box labeled Father's Day. Thinking it was a gun case, I picked it up and it was extra heavy. Inside was my Henry!
She had bought the gun the day after I saw it and, along with the owner, come up with the "already sold" story. When I went back in to get ammo, everybody had a great laugh.
She's a keeper.
 
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