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Thread: Henry single shot - honest opinions from those who shoot 'em from the box

  1. #1
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Henry single shot - honest opinions from those who shoot 'em from the box

    Yea - I know all lf the complaints about the trigger pull on the Henry single shot so please don't refer me to the 18 page thread on how to fix it - I was there in the beginning of it.

    I put off buying one when they first came out but I am now considering one in 223 Remington. So my question is a simple one.

    For those that actually own one - and haven't doe the spring change, etc. - just how bad are they out of the box? If you haven't done all the fancy things to cut down the trigger pull - are you satisfied with your rifle with the stock trigger as from the factory and are you enjoying the way it shoots?

    Please - I'm not posting this to start a debate but rather would like to hear from, those who are shooting their Henry single shots with the stock factory trigger to find out if I really want one or should be looking at something different. I realize there are lots of folks who like to "tinker" to get things running like they like them - I'm not one of them. I'm old, don't want to tinker and would just like to know if they are good enough to shoot as is. I've been shooting for over 55 yers and have owned many rifles and never had to tinker with them - I just leaned to shoot them the way the were. So . . .just looking for some honest opinions from those who "shoot 'em like they come in the box."

    And for those who are inclined to tinker and work on them - no offense intended as everyone has their "thing" whether it be apples or oranges.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I hate rough triggers and if I bought one I'd do the spring change.

    Having said that, I handled one the other day at a local shop, and, honest to goodness, it was smooth/light enough to shoot as-is. I spent several minutes looking the gun over (it wasn't a caliber I wanted) and was honestly impressed.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have one in 223/5.56,and I do regret buying it,especially in 223.It shoots good,and has never had a light strike issue that some break actions tend to get.I am used to the trigger,so I will not complain about that.The butt stock is more suited for sights,than a scope IMO.I now have a strapon riser on mine now,and can get a good cheek weld.Before the top of the stock was just about the at the corner of my mouth.The gun is well made,and as mentioned shoots well,but to me it is not worth the price,plus the price of the scope base,and hammer extention,and cheek riser.It all adds up to around $400.If I could do it over,I would have bought a 308,and just shot it with irons.I will enjoy mine,but from a logical point of view I think I could have spent the money more wisely.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Bought one in 44 Mag and like Elroy, I regret buying it. Won't buy another. I haven't worked with it a lot but so far it does not shoot well. Trigger isn't great but you could get used to it. Cocking the hammer requires way more effort than it should and it is tricky with a scope but without the hammer extension. Haven't quite given up on it yet but I'm close.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yea, I like to tinker, have one in 357mag and had it chambered to 357Max and had two inches cut from the muzzle. It's a good solid rifle,did some tinkering with the trigger . Only thing I am disappointed with it is a bit heavier than I expected. If you are looking for a 1/2" MOA target rifle out of the box ,this most likely isn't it, but if you are interested in a hunting rifle out of the box this one will meet your needs. It may be capable of 1/2 Moa accuracy but it will be difficult to achieve with the stock trigger.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    I picked one up in Dec. but have not had a chance to take it out yet. Just messing with it here the trigger will not be any more trouble than any other factory trigger, but, the hammer takes a little extra to pull back. Gonna hafta make a few trips to the range to really work it out.

    I can see me keeping it as is. Something to enjoy shooting for the fun of it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	256894 Just by coincidence I swiched scopes on mine yesterday, and even though it is oddly mounted it allowed me to use low rings,unfortunately all I had on hand was a set of nickel. I was itching to try it,so I done a little shooting today.The rifle felt much better,and the scope tracked well.I was able to get a 100yard, 5 shot group,at not much more than,an inch,or so from a bipod,which pleases me well considering I was shooting power points.Sorry the pictures are turned wrong,They always end up sideways when I use my tablet to take them

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I've had several but now I'm down to a 35 Whelen. I found them to be pretty darn accurate for my use
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your candid thoughts and opinions - a great help!

    I own a number of Henry lever guns and love 'em - have always been impressed with the quality, fit and finish, reliability and customer service if needed - although I have never needed to take advantage of it.

    I really like the looks of the single shots - but - I am also concerned, as mentioned - about mounting a scope on one and then having to build up the buttstock to have some cheek purchase. While I have o problems,s with a single shot - I'm going to be shooting south paw due to my eye sight and I am a bit concerned about the heavy hammer pull that most seem to have, using an offset hammer extension in combination with a scope. Having to switch to shooting left hand has been a challenge for me as it still feels 'backwards" but the sight in my right eye is not good enough as I have blind spots and they don't mix well with a scope. In talking with the LGS about some of the issues, they said that they have ordered a number of the Henry single shots for customers. Appearance and quality have always been exceptional,. BUT, the heavy hammer pull and crappy trigger on the majority that they have had go through the shop is a much higher percentage than the good ones that come through with decent/acceptable trigger pull and hammer stiffness. In other words, "It's like Forest Gump's mother always said about a box of chocolates - "You never know what you're going to get."

    I'm not "Henry bashing" - I totally support them. I just wish they would address what seems to be an issue with their single shots. When the Handi rifles were discontinued, I was hoping that the Henrys might replace and take up the slack - even interchangeable barrels. I had a Handi in 357 and loved it - regret telling it off in a weak moment. I just don't figure that when you buy a quality product like a Henry, that it's a gamble whether they will all be uniform in function and design so you don't have to change springs, etc. on them. Hopefully they will eventually take care of the problem as IMHO, they are really missing out on a good market just because to the reputation the single shots are, apparently, getting. I have talked with several gunshots that have said that they have had a number of customer,ers who had ordered one through the that end up bringing it back to consign and get rid of. Really too bad.

    I'm still thinking that I'd like to have one - or more - at some point but only if I can handle and try the action in person before buying.

    At this point, I think I'm going to look and handle some bolt actions in 223 and see how they would work for me. I have tried left hand bolt guns and they aren't comfortable for me but a right hand should work fine for the range shooting I'm wanting to do. If not - then I'll go back to my original thoughts of a Henry Long Ranger as I know a lever gun will work for what my needs are. More $$$ but I know that particular model in 223 works well and shoots decently with a scope and developed load and pretty much fits my requirements as far as a range shooter and after I'm gone, it will be tased on to a young fellow who is like a sone to my wife and I.

    Thanks again for the information and help - it's greatly appreciated!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    it's a wonderful rifle, i've had a pair, .223 and .357, and as delivered box stock most shooters will scratch their heads as what in the heck henry was thinking for supplying that Incredibly Horrible trigger. i sprung up both guns and that made each into at least a decent to good 100yd 1moa shooter. with more trigger work, it might just do better'n that, too.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Mine was a bad one. My trigger was heavier than the pull gauge could read. Unfortunately Henry seems to have become content with how they are. If one day they decide to offer barrels, or other upgrades, than these could be a real treat.

    They do shoot great though. My recommendation is to go to a store that has them, and try the trigger. They are supposed to be "5 to 6 pounds", but as you know, many are well above that. Find one off the rack with a decent trigger, and all will be well. There is no well made single shot alternative, other than the TC Encore right now. Maybe a Ruger #1.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    unless there is a pressing need for a break open action, one would do lots better with one of those "cheap" bolt guns from savage, remington, t/c, mossberg, etc. i use a rem 783 w/24" heavy bbl as a single shot for 6.5 creedmoor, and it holds its own at distances out to 700 yards (so far, right ed? ).
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  13. #13
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    UPDATE - Well, it's funny how things go ad work out when you "sleep on it". I was pretty much seton ordering a Henry Long Ranger in 223 but woke up in the middle of the night, trying to decide just which way to go.

    rfd - as you point out - for what I'm looking to do with it, perhaps it would be better to go with one of the "cheaper bolt guns". My concern was how easy it would or wouldn't be to shoot left handed with a right hand bolt gun (I have tried left hand bolt guns and they are a no go). I went to the LGS today and did just exactly what you are talking about - I ended up going with a Ruger American Ranch in 5.56/223. They didn't have one in stock but did have on in another caliber so I was able to handle and try the operation fo the bolt when shooting south paw and I really liked the rifle - felt good all the way around. As much as I dislike synthetic stocks, I can live with it and I'm sure it will do everything I want it to. The fellow said that they have sold a lot of them out here for coyotes and their customers love them. His distributor was out so it will be perhaps just a tad longer for delivery but I'm not in a rush now that I have finally decided. When it comed in, they are going to mount a Leopold VX Freedom 4 - 12 X 40 scope on it and bore sight it for me before I pick it up. I felt the price was very fair that he gave it to me for and very close to what I would have paid on-line for the components and the FFL transfer - I was happy that I could support the LGS and appreciate them being there.

    In regards to the Henry single shots again - they had a rack of Henrys there and a couple of the single shots - I really didn't even look at what caliber they were in. Nice looking rifle but in trying the two, I was not impressed at all with the stiff hammers and the triggers were terrible on those particular two IMHO. The salesman agreed and said that when they first came out, they sold fairly well but now, not so well due mainly to the stiff hammer/poor triggers. Perhaps it is good marketing strategy though, to have a couple like that on the rack with the other offerings in lever guns. If a person is looking at the singles and don[t like them, and then tries one of the lever guns, it's a no brainer which way to go if the additional cost of a lever gun can be afforded by the buyer. Too bad as if they would take care of the issue by reworking or re-designing to where the hammer pull and triggers were good, they would sell themselves.

    At least I was FINALLY able to make up my mind on which way to go and I think I'll be very happy with the Ruger 5.56/223 and it will serve my needs well. Thank you again to all for you input - greatly appreciated!

    Jim
    Last edited by bedbugbilly; 02-19-2020 at 10:17 PM.

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    Boolit Man
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    Hmm was considering them for a time . Local guy got one , did the McMaster-Carr spring thing & now has it up for sale . I went the Encore route & have one in 357 Max & 44 mag . Recent conversation with Mike Bellm he stated that he thought the quality of Henry's barrels especially chambers & throats was very very good . I did go with MGM barrels with rifle throats , 1 in 16 for the Max , 1 in 20 for the 44 . I believe both will suit my purpose . I also have a Henry BBS 41mag that shoots really well , which is why I was considering the SS's . At that time the 44 mag levers still had the slow twist & in 357 just too heavy .

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    congrats! good decision over the henry, jim. Name:  thumbsup.gif
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    if the rifle really works out well for ya, and is a keeper, a boyd's wood stock will improve lots over any cheap molded stock. boyd's has a new 'spike camp' thumbhole stock offering for $115. since the goal for my rem 783 was for extreme long range, i went with their at-1 stock.

    before ...


    after ...
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    congrats! good decision over the henry, jim. Name:  thumbsup.gif
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    if the rifle really works out well for ya, and is a keeper, a boyd's wood stock will improve lots over any cheap molded stock. boyd's has a new 'spike camp' thumbhole stock offering for $115. since the goal for my rem 783 was for extreme long range, i went with their at-1 stock.

    before ...


    after ...
    love the new look! good job
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    I think you will like the Ruger American. One of my hunting buddies has one in 22-250 that shoots everything we tried into 1" or less and it shot all of the different brands into the same group which is a rare thing. His has a 1:10 twist and I think the 223 has a bit tighter twist rate which will let you shoot heavier than 60 gr if you want to. One thing that I really like about those rifles is the effortless way it feeds a round from the magazine. I have a sneaky suspicion that one of those big bolt handle covers would let you run one of those faster than fast! Good luck with yours and keep us posted on they way it shoots.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    most of the bottom feeder bolt guns will do almost everyone just fine. each brand will have some good and maybe not so good features, some compromises to suss out, but nearly all can be made to shoot at least reasonably well and close to MOA if not better. that 6.5 creedmoor rem 783 of mine, with hand loads and a tad of tweaking still does under 1MOA at 700 yards. i'm hoping to do better with its new 28" MTU criterion s/s barrel
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Do they make one in 375 H&H ?
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missionary5155 View Post
    Do they make one in 375 H&H ?
    If you are asking about a Ruger American, they do not list one.. They are pretty light and a 375 would loosen your fillings! they do make a 375 Ruger in the Hawkeye and the African model is a good looking rifle
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

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