Author Topic: henry rifle safety issues?  (Read 9348 times)

Offline jackknife

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henry rifle safety issues?
« on: January 19, 2005, 09:38:06 PM »
i'm considering a uberti henry rifle (44-40) but i've heard of an inherent safety issue with all original henry style rifles, but i dont know what it is. does anyone own one? do they like it for cas? barrel length suggestion?

Offline Four-Eyed Buck

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 09:49:52 PM »
There are two. One- Never load one vertically, dropping the rounds down that tube could set one off. These were designed to handle rim fire  ammo originally. Two- don't let that spring loaded follower snap down on those rounds, again it could cause a magazine detonation. Other than posibly burning yur hand on long strings, those are the only ones I can think of............Buck 8) ::) :)
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2005, 12:30:18 AM »
The setting off of rounds in the magazine is not limited to the modern centerfire rounds.  US Army testers seem to have set off rounds at least once with the original rimfire rounds in Post-Civil War testing of the Henry.  More than likely a round with priming compund in more than the rim, not an uncommon problem with early rimfire rounds. 

The other issue is that the rifle can be fired with the bolt out of battery, this can be damaging to the gun and the shooter as the bolt flies open.  Early in the production of the 1873 (1878) this problem was cured with the little device that keeps the gun from firing with out the lever pulled all the way up.  This has been on all Winchester lever guns ever since. 

The bottom line is the gun is safe, but is the shooter?  If you are not inclined to be extra careful, use a 73, 92 or a Marlin.
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Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2005, 09:20:30 AM »
I bought a new Cimarron 1860 Henry .44-40 w/ 24" barrel a couple week ago. I have put 30 BP rounds through it. I sit and lever it in the evenings while watching a Western movie to wear it in. They are purdy stiff from the factory.
Best thing to do to negate firing out of battery is to make sure yer trigger finger is out of the the trigger guard when ya lever it.
Another thing to get used to is the following "tab" will bump into yer hand after a few rounds and ya'll have to more yer hand ta let the "tab" by. Or, ya could be "gamey"  ;) and put in a spacer after ya load yer shells then hold the mag tube right by the receiver so the "tab" won't bump yer hand. The 1860 Henry is not a speed rifle.

I say, "Go fer it! Ya'll get loads of style points."
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Offline Tommy tornado

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2005, 07:21:06 PM »


The bottom line is the gun is safe, but is the shooter?  If you are not inclined to be extra careful, use a 73, 92 or a Marlin.

Don't forget the '66 Winchester!!! :P
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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 11:14:07 PM »

Offline Will Ketchum

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 07:17:32 PM »
Since we now have our own board I thought I would address the safe loading of the Henry.

What I do is after I open the magazine I hold the rifle nearly horizontal muzzle to my left and place my hand about 8" from the top of the magazine, around the barrel and magazine.  I raise the muzzle only enough to allow the rounds to slowly slide down the magazine.  I put the rounds in with my left hand and when the required amount of rounds are loaded I twist the magazine cap back into place while leaving my right hand in place.  If the follower gets away it will smack into my hand and it does hurt some ;D but not as much as if a round detonated in the magazine.  I ease the follower down to the rounds and I am ready to proceed.

When loading ammunition for the Henry it is very important to check for high primers.  I use a Lee Auto hand priming tool when loading for the Henry and have yet to have a high primer.

I have found my Henry to be a fun gun to shoot.  I don't use it as much for CAS as my 66 only because I prefer to use 44 Russians which the 66 shoots instead of the 44-40.

Will Ketchum
Will Ketchum's Rules of W&CAS: 1 Be Safe. 2 Have Fun. 3  Look Good Doin It!
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Offline Grizzly Adams

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 11:25:15 PM »
One more thing to watch is how you stage and retrieve the Henry off of a table or such. 

Since the follower is forward towards the end of the magazine when loaded, care should be taken not to catch the follower on the edge of the table as you pick up the rifle.  Snagging the follower can allow it to snap down on the rounds in the magazine and could result in more excitement than you or by standers desire! :o!
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Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 12:49:20 PM »
Good point, Grizzly Adams.  :o

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Offline Sam Perfye

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 05:51:54 PM »
Pards, let's not forget staging in a scabbard. Care should be taken in retrieving a Henry from leather. This includes both during a match or while horse-back. Don't let the heat of the moment override good sense, the follower can and will snag as you draw the rifle out. A few seconds aren't worth the possible results. That said, in 5+ years I've never had a problem with mine.
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Offline gotzguns

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2006, 10:10:16 PM »
had a round go off in mag. several years ago. my own falt. as soon as i let the fallower go i knew i did some thing wrong. got a pice of brass case in my chest. bleed alot. was out in the desert about 40 miles from reno. was lucky to be shooting with my doctor. bled for awile then stopped. went to his office and we did a quick x-ray not dangerous. so we left there. still carring it around, but much more carful when loading my henry. a little damage to mag tube but local gunsmith fixed it. DON'T LET FALLOWER SNAP DOWN ON CARTRIDGES, EASE IT DOWN WITH YOUR HAND. gotzguns

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Re: henry rifle safety issues?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 11:14:07 PM »

 

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