The Henry

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Hand bill for Henry's Patent Repeating Rifle.
"A resolute man, armed with one of these Rifles, particularly if on horseback, CANNOT BE CAPTURED."

Private Collection

Pre-Production Engraved Henry Rifle .44 Henry RF s/n: unserialized
Estimated mfg 1859-1860 - 24” octagon barrel; integral full magazine tube; German silver front sight w/o provision for a rear barrel sight; second type 900 yard Henry ladder rear sight mounted atop the receiver in a second dovetail at the rear edge; front receiver dovetail is filled with a brass slot blank; lever is first Henry type without latch and the hammer is slightly thicker than usual; the number “2” is stamped on the forward right-hand face of the receiver near the barrel; the follower seat is machined similar to the Volcanic, and has a brass filler; receiver and buttplate tang are factory-engraved in Volcanic style consisting of foliate arabesque patterns with feather patterns along the top side flats; barrel address on the top flat is located about 2” forward of the receiver in the usual position and is of the small letter early style;. It is mounted with very nicely finished flame grain uncheckered American walnut with straight stock and first type Henry brass buttplate with round heel and trapdoor which is substantially thicker than normal Henry trapdoors and the large round recess as is found on very early Henrys; bore is rifled in what appears to be Metford style with smooth lands and groves.

Disassembly disclosed no internal markings whatsoever. Compared to a typical first model Henry s/n 3677, this rifle, while undoubtedly a Henry, has several dissimilar attributes. Measuring the prominent features of the rifle disclosed the following: receiver thickness over the side plates is .022" thicker, over the front flats is .029" thicker, receiver height just in front of the lever is .035" taller, the receiver length from the front edge to back edge of the hump in front of the hammer is .19" shorter, the top tang is .516" longer, .012" wider and .045" thinner, the bottom tang is 1.440"shorter, the buttplate is about .090" taller and about .017 wider, the bbl across the flats at the receiver is .002" thicker, the length of the octagon section of the sleeve is .004" longer, the Sight collar is .007" shorter, the diameters of the round sections of the barrel under the sleeves are identical at .688", the diameter of the magazine tube is .017" thinner and the sideplate is .015" thicker. The lever screws and through-bolt tang screws are completely compatible and interchangeable. The trigger appears to be slightly thicker but about the same length and slightly less curved. The contour of the receiver is substantially different with a taller radius at the top rear edge and much taller and deeper scallops at the front lower edges. The lengths of the carriers are identical while the subject carrier is about .011" narrower.

These measurements, while close in most areas, are somewhat dissimilar in others, leaving open to speculation the actual parentage of this rifle. It is speculated that this rifle is an extremely early transitional piece from the Volcanic to the Henry which was somewhat refined before production began.

CONDITION: Barrel retains about 40% original blue, mostly in the gullets and rotating sleeve with the balance a dark plum patina. Receiver and buttplate are a lovely dark mustard patina with some sharp edge brightness. The lever retains traces of case colors being mostly a dark brown patina while the hammer retains about 95% faded case colors. The stock is sound with light handling and use marks, nicks and scratches, and retains most of its original factory varnish. Mechanics are crisp, bright shiny bore.

Private Collection

Henry First Model Rifle .44 RF s/n 20
mfg 1860 - Early First Model w/early features (no lever latch, upright stock comb, small trigger pin, small link pin, small barrel address, early-style cleaning rod hole shape, assembly number on outside of mag sleeve, small follower, double dove-tail, perch-belly stock), 24" octagon barrel, double sight dovetail, straight grain walnut stock with varnish finish, barrel in the white. Rifle is in exceptionally fine condition overall; receiver has a medium aged crystal patina w/edges remaining sharp; barrel is close to new condition; stock retains almost all of its original factory varnish finish. Barrel finish is correct as some early Henrys were known to be shipped from the factory in the white. First non-engraved brass-frame Henry produced. Serial number noted in Parson's book as an overlapping number with iron-frame Henry s/n 20.

Private Collection

Henry Carbine .44 RF s/n 343
mfg 1862 - 20" barrel, rose wood stock, barrel 85% thinning plum patina, balance 95%+ overall condition, marked "DISPLAY MODEL" on inside of upper tang.

Bavarian Henry Rifle .44 Henry RF s/n 471
Private Collection

Bavarian Henry Rifle .44 Henry RF s/n 471
28” round barrel; full mag tube w/sliding loading gate; full-length cleaning rod with threaded end; integral front sight; 900-yard graduated leaf rear sight w/retaining screw; full complement of German proofmarks; serialized screws and various metal parts; straight-grain walnut stock with left-side sling swivels. This particular Bavarian Henry is similar to the example pictured on Page 20 of "Winchester Repeating Arms Company", by Herb Houze, made for the Bavarian government with approximately six examples known.

Private Collection

First Model Henry Rifle .44 RF s/n 1248
mfg 1862 – 24” barrel; double rear sight dovetail; early style small barrel address; correct 0 to 1000 yards “no-screw” rear sight; straight grain walnut stock w/visible Henry Bump; factory sling swivels on right side. Receiver retains medium to dark patina w/strong edges; stock is in very good condition and retains a high degree of original varnish finish; barrel has traces of original blue with plum patina mixing in; barrel address markings are strong. All numbers match. Original Henry Rifles with sling swivels are usually located on the left side and are considered scarce. Henrys with sling swivels on the right side are considered rare. As quoted from The Winchester Book by George Madis: “Sling provisions were offered only as an extra feature on early arms; they would be fitted to the left side of the rifle unless the customer specified otherwise. Very few Henry rifles have this provision on the right”.

Private Collection

Henry First Model Rifle .44 RF s/n 2622
mfg 1863 - 24" Barrel; double sight dovetail; straight grain walnut stock w/varnish finish. Rifle is in exceptionally fine original condition overall; receiver has a deep mustard patina with areas or medium aged crystal-lattice patina w/edges remaining sharp; barrel retains an unusual amount of original blue, mostly within the trough and protected areas near the serial number; stock retains a high degree all of its original factory varnish finish.

Henry 7813
Private Collection

Identified Martial Henry Rifle .44 RF s/n 7813 mfg 1865 – US military inspector "JT"-marked; engraved by Lockwood Sanford and inscribed "F. Peel." used in Company G 3rd U.S. Veteran Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War and was issued to Private Fergus Peel. Receiver has sharp edges with a beautiful mustard-colored patina; barrel & mag retain an unusually high degree of original blue finish with plum/brown mixing in.

Private Collection

Martial Henry Rifle .44 RF s/n 8768
mfg 1865 - JT-marked Second Model; used in Co. I, 3rd U.S. Veteran Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War and was issued to Private Andrew Weyland on May 13, 1865. Receiver has sharp edges with a beautiful mustard-colored patina; barrel & mag retain an unusually high degree of original blue finish with plum/brown mixing in.

Private Collection

Henry Rifle  s/n 14994
mfg 1866 - Transitional Henry, First Model 1866-style receiver w/loading gate, octagon Henry barrel, open mag tube w/o standard Henry follower, saddle ring, 80% OA Condition.


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