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Thread: New Henry Steel 357!

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    New Henry Steel 357!

    Just got a henry Big Boy Steel carbine in 357. I added a Williams peep and am loading Lee 358 158 rf with a healthy dose of old Hercules 2400, no gas check. This gun is an awesome weapon! super smooth action and at 75 yards I shot a 7 shot group of three inches dead center. Boolits are not sized, just 50-50 wwpb water dropped from the mold and loaded. I would highly suggest this setup to anyone considering a 357 carbine. Mine is the 16" barrel version with the large lever loop. Perfect Vermont mountains and swamps whitetail woods gun. Anyone else have one?

  2. #2
    Boolit Man





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    My brother has one with a longer barrel. I was impressed with the fit & finish. He scoped his for his daughters. Still trying to break in & get to settle down.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have brass carbine and it is definately one my favorite rifles to shoot. That gun just really hammers the bullseye of a target. The great thing is never removing the rifle from my shoulder I can wrap off a full magazine and keep the shots in a nice little group at 40-50 yards. I do have Skinner peep and Fiber optic front sight which really helps.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man MAGA's Avatar
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    I have a Rossi 92 in 357 /38 fun gun

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 308Jeff's Avatar
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    Have you tried it with 38 Special yet? Curious to see how that functions.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I love both my .357 and .41 Big Boy Steel rifles. For me they balance perfect and just seem natural to point and shoot. Both are keepers I'll pass on to my son.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    If you get around to shooting it out to 100 yds, I'd be curious to see what you get for a 10 shot group on 3 different days. I have a Big Boy in .357 that has been . . . . interesting.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have been very pleased with my BBS. Happy with a 180gr at 50 yards..
    Hannibal, next time I go shoot, I'll try em at 100..Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyFlatline View Post
    I have been very pleased with my BBS. Happy with a 180gr at 50 yards..
    Hannibal, next time I go shoot, I'll try em at 100..Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Henry 357 180.jpg 
Views:	15 
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ID:	201828
    PLEASE do. Mine shot darn near anything well @50 yds, while 100 yds was like the difference between flying to the moon and flying to Mars. I found the trouble, and I'd just like to know if my experience is *unique* or if most owners just don't see it.

    Thanks for the reply, sorry to the OP for thread drift.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Are scoped up and what weight bullet are you shooting at 100?

    The ideal weight as far as I am concerned is the 158 grain.

    Open sights I would expect to put all rounds into the kill zone on a Whitetail. I will take mine out and do the same with open sights and report back. But remember mine is the brass carbine.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Let's see . . . 110 grain FP/XTP Hornady, 158 grain FP/XTP Hornady, 180 grain Remington hollow points, don't know specifics, came with a rifle I bought, Lee 358-125s, RCBS 38-150s, Lee .358-158s, Lyman 358665s, Saeco 399s, RCBS 358-180 SILs, LBT 357-180 FNs and RCBS 35-200s stuffed in a 38 special case.

    I'd have to dig out targets to list all the powders, but I know Unique, 2400 and IMR 4227 are all on that list.

    And I never found anything that would stay on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper @ 100 yds.

    Rifle wore the Henry factory scope base and a known good 3-9x40 scope during testing.

    BHNs ranged from roughly 8 to 22. Again, I'd have to pull out and wade thru targets for specifics.

    Lubes were White Label 50-50 and BAC. I found 50-50 to be unsatisfactory early on (leading) and switched exclusively to BAC afterward.

    Shot groups for roughly 3 months on my backyard range. Roughly 500 rounds.

    The short answer is, the barrel had issues.

    But. Perhaps I wasn't thorough enough.
    Last edited by Hannibal; 08-13-2017 at 09:23 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    The question was asked a bout 38 Special in the henry 357. Mine will nicely cycle with standard 38 Special with the Lyman 358156 bullet and the Hornady 140 Cowboy bullet at the standard cartridge lengths for 38 Special. I also load a 125 grain jacketed flat point, but to get it to cycle smoothly in the Henry I use a COL of 1.500 instead of the standard 1.450. The 1.500 version still loads nicely in my S&W 38 Special revolver, but also cycles cleanly in the Henry 357. The 38 Special bullets that won't cycle through the magazine in the Henry are the lighter semi-wadcutters (with that little flat edge) and the wadcutters.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
    Let's see . . . 110 grain FP/XTP Hornady, 158 grain FP/XTP Hornady, 180 grain Remington hollow points, don't know specifics, came with a rifle I bought, Lee 358-125s, RCBS 38-150s, Lee .358-158s, Lyman 358665s, Saeco 399s, RCBS 358-180 SILs, LBT 357-180 FNs and RCBS 35-200s stuffed in a 38 special case.

    I'd have to dig out targets to list all the powders, but I know Unique, 2400 and IMR 4227 are all on that list.

    And I never found anything that would stay on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper @ 100 yds.

    Rifle wore the Henry factory scope base and a known good 3-9x40 scope during testing.

    BHNs ranged from roughly 8 to 22. Again, I'd have to pull out and wade thru targets for specifics.

    Lubes were White Label 50-50 and BAC. I found 50-50 to be unsatisfactory early on (leading) and switched exclusively to BAC afterward.

    Shot groups for roughly 3 months on my backyard range. Roughly 500 rounds.

    The short answer is, the barrel had issues.

    But. Perhaps I wasn't thorough enough.

    Wow you sure gave it the best chance to show you it was capable.

    So I surmise you have it figured out or it's going back to Henry?

    Please let us know what you found.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Hannibal, you mention the barrel has issues, but you don't go into detail. Can you elaborate?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Constrictions at every dovetail, for the front and rear sights and the mag tube hanger. Plus at the stamping for the caliber/manufacturer.

    Bullet never stood a chance of going straight by the time it went thru all that.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Can you fire lap those out in many cases it can be done depending on the constrictions.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    I hand lapped it. It's still not stellar, about 4" @100 yds. But it's a considerable improvement.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master 308Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hick View Post
    The question was asked a bout 38 Special in the henry 357. Mine will nicely cycle with standard 38 Special with the Lyman 358156 bullet and the Hornady 140 Cowboy bullet at the standard cartridge lengths for 38 Special. I also load a 125 grain jacketed flat point, but to get it to cycle smoothly in the Henry I use a COL of 1.500 instead of the standard 1.450. The 1.500 version still loads nicely in my S&W 38 Special revolver, but also cycles cleanly in the Henry 357. The 38 Special bullets that won't cycle through the magazine in the Henry are the lighter semi-wadcutters (with that little flat edge) and the wadcutters.
    Thank you, sir!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
    Constrictions at every dovetail, for the front and rear sights and the mag tube hanger. Plus at the stamping for the caliber/manufacturer.

    Bullet never stood a chance of going straight by the time it went thru all that.
    I know they had some issues early on with pitting and they stood behind it 100%. This is the first I have heard of constrictions. My 45 LC has some pitting but is shoots so well I won't let anyone mess with it. I hope to get to shoot this week, I'll post up some targets.

    Sorry OP, just seems almost pertinent.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Hannibal--Good consistent 5 or10 shot hundred yard groups are tough with pistol calber rifles, 50 yds is easy. My experience with a steel framed Henry was similar to yours but I quit after trying a number of proven loads from my Rossi's and a Wichester 94. I had won the gun in a raffle and gave it a good chance with about 6 or 7 different cast bullet designs and loads, nothing shot great. I did not try any jacketed as I don't shoot them. A friend was looking for a lever who shoots only factory ammo and I gave it to him for a good price and he's very happy with it. I have a Henry .22 carbine that on a calm day will stay around 2"@100yds with good std vel. ammo, love that little gun!
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check