Author Topic: Just Ordered a Henry  (Read 14557 times)

Offline Major 2

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Re: Just Ordered a Henry
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2006, 06:41:09 AM »
I'd like to read that article in the "Chronicle".  Has anybody saved it to make a copy ?
 I must have missed it or it was one of several copies that arrived only with a page or two or mostly mangled.
The Pony express is particular hard on news-printed style periodicals in these parts  >:(
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Happy Trails

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Re: Just Ordered a Henry
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2006, 09:20:23 AM »
Howdy Major231,
Here is a copy of the article by my good pard One Ear Pete. 



Convert your Henry to a Transitional Model in 66 easy steps
By One-Ear Pete, SASS #34800
1860
In the beginning, there was the Volcanic rifle. Tyler Henry redesigned that lever action
rifle to take a .44 rimfire cartridge and Oliver Winchester saw it and declared it good ...
but not perfect.
In 1865 Nelson King was hired as the foreman of the Henry Repeating Rifle Company.
Winchester assigned him the task of solving the problems associated with the original
Henry design ... the awkward loading method and an open magazine that was easily
fouled with dirt. To solve these problems King designed the side loading gate, made
a separate barrel and magazine assembly and added a wooden forestock. Thus the
Winchester Model 1866 “Yellow Boy” was born. During that time the company was
renamed the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
But that’s not the whole story.
To work out the design problems, King went out to the factory floor, grabbed some
receivers and barrels from the production line and made some Transitional Henrys. It
appears that at least 5 were made and, from photos of these rifles, one can see the various
design solutions develop from one rifle to the next. Needless to say, they are rare.
In 2003 Merz Antique Firearms listed one for sale at $42,500. So, if you’re a person
who is really interested in old and interesting firearms and would like an example of a
Henry in transition and don’t want to pay $50,000, what do you do? Well, if you are
Happy Trails, SASS #4461, you make your own.
Happy Trails is a retired mechanical engineer with an encyclopedic knowledge of
firearms, an insatiable curiosity about the old guns and how they are put together and
access to a machine shop. For example, during the winter of 2003/2004 he acquired 3
Evan’s Repeating Rifles and with more than a little brain work, elbow grease and some
trial and error, he got them up and running for the 2004 season. This entailed not only
getting the rifles to function but also developing and making cartridges that would feed
in the unique Evan’s magazine. Shell cases were fire formed to size and trimmed, the
bases made convex on a lathe and bullet heads turned down to seat them in the case.
Hap, as he is known, is as interested in style points as well as shooting fast and at a
match, one always needs to check out what little treasures he has pulled from his safes.
So, how’d Hap do it?
Well, how did King do it? What problems did King encounter and how did he overcome
them? For Happy Trails, those are the questions and the challenges that intrigue
him. Examples of the Transitional Model available for view online show rifles in various
stages of development. So, even for King, it was trial and error until he got what
he wanted.
The reverse engineering was probably easier than coming up with the original designs
but even working from an existing ‘66 offered challenges to overcome. Hap found a
nice used Uberti Henry in 44-40 and, using his ‘66 as a guide, worked out the location
and dimensions of the loading gate, built the necessary jigs, and milled out the side
plate using equipment similar to what would have been available to King at the time.
Next was construction of the loading gate cover in spring steel. The original loading
gates were flat without a concave grove to facilitate loading so it was simple enough to
design and cut out the correct size and then send it out for heat treating. To rework the
carrier and frame, Hap used the carrier from his '66 to determined the proper angles
and dimensions to cut the pass-through slot for the cartridges being loaded. A jig was
made to hold the piece and it was a simple process to mill out the carrier and frame.
After some hand finishing, de-burring and smoothing the various pieces it was time to
assemble the receiver. Easier said than done as Henry side plates are constructed with
dovetailed joints and, with the loading gate in place, one can’t slide the plate into position.
Adding the gate after installing the side plate was the solution.
Altering the follower seemed simple but with the follower handle removed the follower
would continue on into the receiver. A new follower with a stop had to be designed
and then it was time to figure out how to close in the magazine. That solution was to
bevel the underside of the magazine slot so that a thin piece of bar stock with mating
dovetailed grooves could be slid into position. Bluing of the magazine cover was the
final and easiest step. From start to finish this project took about 20 hours to complete.
Unless Happy Trails comes across one of the original Transitional Henrys, he will
never know if his design solutions were the same as King’s but Hap’s Transitional
Henry shoots like a dream and racks up more of them style points when he is out playing
cowboy.
That’s his story and I’m stickin’ to it.
For more information on transforming a Henry, contact Happy Trails at
TheSmithShop@cox.net
References: The History of Winchester Firearms by Dean K. Boorman (NYC, NY, The
Lyons Press), www.leverguns.com, www.merzantique.com, www.rarewinchesters.com,
and a thread on the SASS Wire about Hollywood Henrys.

Some pictures that accompanied the article.

http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/01.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/02.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/03.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/04.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/05.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/06.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/07.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/08.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/09.JPG
http://members.cox.net/happytrails4461/Henry%20Trans/10.JPG


Hap
www.thesmithshop.com
And may the good Lord take a likin' to ya.

Offline Sod Buster

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Re: Just Ordered a Henry
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2006, 01:06:56 PM »
After kicking around the idea of buying a Henry for the past five years, and the price continually going skyward, I finally ordered one in 44-40 Civilian model from Cimarron. Actually I ordered it from Joel Rezac aka Ultona, and he is getting it from Cimarron.

I sure was wanting the military version with the sling swivels and trapdoor buttplate, but none were to be found. I've done enough gunsmithing and custom building flintlock rifles during my buckskinning days, I guess I can add those features myself. It's just going to cost a lot more having to order the individual parts from VTI.

Joss,
I just bought a Henry from Joel via one of the auction sites.  I purchased the Cimarron 44-40 Civilian model.  I just picked it up today from my local FFL.  It has the sling swivels and the trapdoor buttplate.  Now I am wondering....did somebody somewhere screw up or is Cimarron including these features now for no extra cost.  They have both version on their web site and the "Civil War Model" is clearly shown with the sling swivels on the left side of the bore and stock.
This was not what I supposedly bought.
SASS #49789L, NCOWS #2493, RATS #122, WARTHOGS, SBSS, SCORRS, STORM #287
ROII, NRA RSO, NRA Benefactor, VSSA Life

Offline Sod Buster

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Re: Just Ordered a Henry
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2006, 02:54:59 PM »
Joss,
Nope, not gonna trade....got a better deal.  ;D

I just checked the box and it has the same part number that Texas Jacks lists for the Civilian part number - CA239.  Hopefully you will get the same thing as I did....which is what you want anyway.  ;D  Keep us informed and I will keep my fingers crossed for ya!
SASS #49789L, NCOWS #2493, RATS #122, WARTHOGS, SBSS, SCORRS, STORM #287
ROII, NRA RSO, NRA Benefactor, VSSA Life

Offline litl rooster

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Re: Just Ordered a Henry
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2006, 03:27:06 PM »
Joss,
Nope, not gonna trade....got a better deal.  ;D

I just checked the box and it has the same part number that Texas Jacks lists for the Civilian part number - CA239.  Hopefully you will get the same thing as I did....which is what you want anyway.  ;D  Keep us informed and I will keep my fingers crossed for ya!



Trade ya buttplates, even throw in a box of Smokies ;D   Where's the pic's
Mathew 5.9

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Re: Just Ordered a Henry
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