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Firearm Review: Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Lever Action Rifle

Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened .44 Magnum/.44 Special Lever Action Rifle

The Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Lever Action Rifle is sure a beauty.

How well does this gorgeous rifle shoot?

We got a chance to thoroughly test the Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened .44 Magnum/.44 Special Lever Action Rifle.

Henry Arms, or Henry Repeating Arms as they're officially known, is an all-American gun manufacturer that has an eye for detail. Well known for their lever action rifles, these weapons are well-built and popular with hunters, shooters, and collectors.

Many Henry firearms enthusiasts are well aware of the Henry Big Boy Rifles. This Color Case Hardened model takes this great line to a whole knew level of workmanship.

When Henry Arms sent over a a beautiful lever action rifle for review, it was delivered to my good friends at Silverado Arms LTD. Steve and the staff always make a visit a pleasure, and I headed home with what I was anticipating as one of my new favorite guns.

Quality is evident in the rifle sent to us for evaluation. Handling this weapon, and giving it a good, thorough examination will prove a feast for the eyes, the hands, and the soul.

The Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Lever Action Rifle is a sharp looking .44 Magnum/.44 Special caliber rifle, able to hold 10 rounds in the tubular magazine and fire shots through its octagon blued steel 20" barrel with 1:38 rate of twist.

The rear sight sports a fully adjustable semi-buckhorn with diamond insert, and the front sight is a brass bead. It is drilled and tapped for a scope mount, if you want to go that route.

The length of pull is 14" with all American Walnut furniture, finished with a highly durable, industrial grade polyurethane. A black solid rubber recoil pad caps the butt end.

The transfer bar safety is far different and more convenient than those annoying cross bolt safeties (If you're like me, you hate them), and the beautiful color case hardened receiver makes the gun look slim and trim.

The fit of the wood to the metal was very well done. The color case hardening and deep bluing  of the barrel are stunning, and the checkering on the American Walnut stock and forend is a thing of beauty.

The action is one of the smoothest I've ever used, and it's extremely easy to function from a bench rest or offhand.

Swivel studs are mounted for any sling needs, and the overall length is 37.5" with a weight of 7.84 pounds.

The first evening I could, I took the Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Lever Action Rifle to my friend's backyard shooting range for preliminary first shots. For beginning ammo, I decided to start out with with Winchester White Box 240 grain jacketed soft points in .44 Magnum.

From a standing position at 25 yards, the first shot was a bullseye.

Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed. I cycled and fired about a dozen .44 Magnum and .44 Special cartridges with the same accuracy as the first shot.

Ejection was positive and the action was very smooth. The recoil? It was extremely light. I was already on board.

It was time for the real test for this Henry Big Boy: How accurate is it from 100 yards?


I used Hornady Custom 240 Grain XTP .44 Magnum Ammunition, and the results of the five shot group are below.

Four shots were 2.5" and a fifth opened up the group to 4.25".

At this point I realized the rifle was shooting great, despite the fact that I was having some trouble visually acquiring the target on the bright outdoor range.

The factory set sights were actually dead on, no sight-in necessary. The brass bead could cover the tiny target way down range, and the groupings just got better from there.

The next group was fired at a square Dirty Bird Splattering Target. The five shot group of Winchester White Box 240 Grain Jacketed Soft Point .44 Magnum Ammunition was an incredible 3.5" overall.

At this point Grizz, my seasoned best friend, was rubbing his eyes looking through the spotting scope. He couldn't help but mention that he had owned and shot nearly a dozen .44 Magnum rifles over the years, and most of them had horrible accuracy.

After witnessing me shoot the group below, he was a believer. It's amazing how accurate the Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Lever Action Rifle really is, straight out of the box.

Could those shots be replicated another five times? A fresh target went up, and I set up on the vintage Boyt gun rest with the same Winchester White Box ammo.

The group told the truth; it was now down to 3" overall at 100 yards. Grizz and I had to agree that it is a fine shooting rifle.

As a deer hunter, the Big Boy is an ideal rifle for the north woods, where shots are generally within 100 yards or closer. The quick firing, low recoil rifle will catch a fast moving buck on a deer drive, no problem.

The accuracy allows great precision when that first shot needs to be true. It'd be great for a stand hunter as well.

Baically, if you're a sportsman who likes classic style and modern capabilities, this rifle is a must have.

I ran into no functioning or accuracy issues as empty casings piled up. This rifle is quick to the shoulder with a natural point of aim.

Hunters, shooters and collectors can purchase the Henry Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Lever Action Rifle in .44 Magnum/.44 Special, as well as .38 Special/.357 Magnum and .45 Colt calibers.

I'd highly suggest you head to the Henry Arms Website and see all the great firearms they offer.

Hats off to Henry Arms president Anthony Imperato and his whole staff for making the most beautiful firearms for gun enthusiasts they can. They are truly works of dependable and highly accurate art.

Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram.  You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.  
NEXT: BIG-GAME RIFLE REVIEW: HENRY ARMS SINGLE-SHOT .45-70 RIFLE

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