I got the chance to review the Henry Arms .45-70 Lever Action Rifle, and it didn't disappoint.
This big game rifle was born to hunt.
I gave the Henry Arms .45-70 Lever Action Rifle thorough testing, and here is what I found.
The great folks at Henry Repeating Arms sent me over a blued-steel Model H010 Lever Action Rifle in the big-game-dropping .45-70 caliber. I had Henry Arms deliver it to my good friend Steve over at Silverado Arms Gunshop. Steve and the great folks over at the shop always make it a pleasant visit with many temptations to my wallet. Now let's see what this fine rifle is all about. Here are the details directly from Henry's website:
It has an 18.43" barrel, weighs only 7.08 pounds, and features a blued steel round barrel and receiver.
First off, like all of Henry's product line, this lever-action rifle is a beauty made right here in the United States. The American Walnut stock is checkered for sure grip and it's ready for a scope mount. Beauty and drama-free? Indeed, it truly is.
Its 4+1 capacity gives you five hard-hitting .45-70 cartridges at a time. For deer, you'll likely only need one with a steady hand, but in bear country, five rounds is good for me against a possible attack.
The tubular magazine on this rifle represents a hotly-contested debate among hunters and target shooters . While many people like having the ability the load their lever-action from the side, the tubular magazine allows for a quick removal of all cartridges inside.
There's no need to keep cycling the action to remove all loaded cartridges. You can just pull the internal magazine tube out and dump the cartridges.
As long as you remember to cycle out the live cartridge inside the chamber and ensure the rifle's empty, it's relatively quick and easy. There's no cross-bolt safety, which hunters generally aren't fans of, but that's to be expected in a lever action.
The rubber recoil pad helps tame the kick of those hot loads. After all, a rifle only needs to kill at one end, not both. Your shoulder will thank Henry repeatedly for the installation of this recoil pad.
The sling swivels allow you to sling your rifle out of the way while you pack out harvested game. Rifles come directly from the factory with all of these extra helpful items.
Putting it to the test
Buffalo Cartridge Company of Findlay, Ohio, supplied the ammunition for these test shots. This American-made ammo is perfect for any hunt. All groups were made using the Caldwell Lead Sled 3 Gun Rest. With four lead-shot bags loaded with a total of 100 pounds, the rest takes out just about any potential for shooter error.
We also tested offhand shooting for comfort, speed, and smoothness.
Unfortunately, it was 85 degrees my first range day near the end of September at my local gun club. The humidity was through the roof, making it difficult to keep sweat out of our eyes. The show had to go on, so we set up targets 100 yards away.
The Henry .45-70 lever-action rifle is noticeably quick and smooth to the shoulder. The recoil pad helped a good bit, allowing the buttstock to stay anchored to my shoulder without any slipping.
The action was smooth and reliable with zero problems during the whole test. A shooter sure can hammer five big .45-70 slugs downrange quickly.
Time had come to sight-in this sharp-looking rifle and see what she can really do in the accuracy department. Boasting a published velocity of 1680 feet per second, these SJHP rounds are the newest .45-70 cartridges, formulated specifically to hammer Ohio whitetail deer (termed the "The Deer Dropper").
I started with the elevation set at the middle of its adjustments. At 100 yards, that adjustment hit dead on for elevation. With a quick adjustment in windage, my shots were spot on.
The power of a .45-70 cartridge has to be witnessed to be believed. Firing through the targets, the dirt backstop began to make plenty of dust clouds. When a big chunk of firewood was targeted at that distance, it was lifted into the air and slammed against the backstop.
The targets below show you the accuracy the Henry .45-70 can achieve. The groups were just tighter than 3 inches. I shot at the first target five times.
I only fired three rounds at the second target. At 100 yards, the front sight tends to obliterate your sight picture of smaller and lighter-colored objects (which is expected).
The three-shot group below would put venison in the freezer for sure.
After firing this rifle at 100 yards, I can attest this rifle is perfect for large game at short and medium ranges. Its fit and finish is quite superb, and its power is unbelievable. Also, the short barrel length lets you get in the thick stuff without getting hung up.
A quick shot is certainly one of the many strong points of this handy rifle, and the factory sights are perfect for that role. If you want more precision with the help of a scope, this rifle is ready to have one mounted. It really is the do-it-all, big game rifle.
For deer gun season here in Ohio, a hunter couldn't ask for a better firearm. On a trail in rough country where you aren't on top of the food chain, this rifle would be a pretty good insurance plan, too.
Why not hunt with a Henry this season? If you're a hunter, shooter or collector, you can't go wrong with their superb firearms such as this .45-70 lever-action.
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.