The Henry® Classic Lever-Action Rimfire Rifle is a fast handling .22 rifle that is perfect for hunting small game, plinking, or firearms training. The receiver has a solid top with side ejection and a 3/8″ groove for mounting scope. There is no loading port on the side of the receiver as ammunition is loaded directly into the tubular magazine from the top. Henry utilizes an internal transfer bar safety that prevents hammer contact with the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. The rifle cannot fire from being dropped onto the hammer, nor will it accidently fire if the shooter’s thumb slips from the hammer while cocking. (There is no manual cross-bolt safety or traditional half-cock notch for a safety.) The trigger pull is crisp and clean, allowing for fine accuracy. A fully adjustable buckhorn-style rear sight and a brass bead front sight allow precise shot placement on small targets. The Henry Classic Lever-Action Rimfire Rifle is an attractive firearm, with an American walnut stock and fore-end. The barrel and receiver are matte blue. The lines of the Henry rifle are traditionally American, as well as its design and function. Made in the USA.
By FRED TOAST FROM gunspatrol.com
There are very few things that deliver a quick hit of dopamine as fast as working the action on a well made lever gun. The Henry Classic Lever Action .22 is most certainly one of the better-made rimfire guns and an excellent example of a fun, affordable lever-action rifle. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Semi–auto rifles mostly dominate the rimfire world, and the .22 LR is an excellent cartridge for it. Among the boatloads of semi-auto .22s, we get the Henry Classic, a lever-action rimfire rifle. This gun has been around forever, it seems. I know this because we’ve had one in my family forever. Henry Classic Lever-Action
This particular model of the Henry Lever Action .22 has seen its fair share of use and what must be thousands of rounds downrange. The Henry lever action guns are remarkably simple. In a time where companies put manual safeties on single-action revolvers, the Henry Classic Lever Action stays pretty true to the classic lever gun design.
Your controls are a trigger, a lever, and a hammer. It’s simple, robust, safe and reliable. This rifle puts the responsibility for safety entirely on the user, a that is an important feature for young shooters.
Breaking Down the Henry Rifle Lever Action Rifle
The Classic Lever Action .22 loads through a tube magazine under the barrel and can handle .22 LR, .22 Long, and 22 Short ammo with varying capacities. This gives it an edge over semi-autos. Henry Classic Lever-Action
One task this gun and I were dedicated to at one time was clearing rats out of a barn. I was 13 at the time and it was a lot of fun. Armed with this Henry rifle and a ton of CCI Ratshot .22, I cleared them out eventually. This gun isn’t ammo picky like a semi-auto.
Hmm Lever Actions (Travis Pike for TTAG)
More than anything, the reason I love this gun over a semi-auto is the lever-action. It’s a different kind of feeling to work the lever after every shot. My dad is a big western fan, and a little bit of that must have leaked into me. The Henry lever action makes me feel like The Rifleman. Henry Classic Lever-Action
The little Henry Classic Lever Action .22 is sized more or less for kids. My hands are a bit big for the lever loop. The length of pull (14 inches) is a little short and the forearm feels like it’s set too far back.
However, as a small .22 LR, these issues aren’t significant. The negligible recoil isn’t enough to hurt my hand in the loop, and I have no problem controlling and accurately shooting the meek Henry rimfire.
The rifle’s layout is practical, and your thumb sits perfectly in place to grip the hammer and squeeze it into a de-cocked position. The stock fits perfectly into the shoulder, and the Henry is a joy to handle.
The front-loading tube magazine eliminates a side loading gate, and I believe the purpose of this is for reliability. I’ve never seen a side-loading .22 LR, and anyone who has handled .22 LR knows it isn’t hard to bend the projectile from the case and cause issues. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Also, I can’t imagine my fat fingers could easily manipulate a round into a tiny loading gate designed for .22 ammunition.
This isn’t a gun you’ll be fighting bandits with or robbing trains with, so I don’t think it’s a significant issue.
The Henry rifle has an 18.5-inch barrel and weighs 5.25 pounds. It’s thin and lithe and straightforward to handle. The wood stock and forend are quite attractive and done very well. Henry Classic Lever-Action
The wood is American walnut, and this rifle is made in the US of A. It’s an excellent example of American workmanship and craft. The finish is stronger than it has any right to be and has remained scratch and gouge free over a decade and a half.
On the Range
This morning I loaded my tube with 15 rounds of .22 LR and waited like a small child for the rain to stop. Late December rains are a real cold affair, even in Florida. I finally manned up, strapped on a jacket, and went out to start blasting. I forgot about the cold and rain after the first 15 rounds of .22 LR were sent downrange.
In a real rush, I reloaded and shot more, and more, and more. The Henry Classic Lever Action .22 rifle is such a fun gun to shoot. I forget just how much fun it is to shoot this little gun. Henry Classic Lever-Action
The pow, followed by the ding of steel and the noise and feel of the lever action cycling make it a fun and highly enjoyable experience. It is so much fun to plink with, way more fun than my 10/22. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Nothing against the 10/22, but for me, it’s just not as fun to shoot as a lever-action rifle.
When it comes to accuracy, the Henry rifle is spot on. Like a little laser within 100 yards. Outside of popping rats with shotshells, this little gun has put a lot of squirrels and rabbits into early graves (and on top of rice and into stews). And that’s just shooting the gun with its standard iron sights. The rear sight is adjustable and the front is an hooded post).
The Henry rifle is more than capable of accurately hitting small game and small targets. The trigger is excellent. It’s light and concise. Impressive is an excellent way to describe it. The rifle’s lever action is also very smooth and feels fantastic. It’s short and sweet and just plain satisfying.
Manually operated firearms are quite reliable, and the Henry Classic Lever Action .22 rifle is no different. This one has eaten everything and been abused for years, and it keeps on chugging. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Maybe one day I’ll even clean it, but I never have before. I spray some CLP into it and work the action and call it a day. This reliable, dependable firearm is an excellent gun for plinking, for teaching new shooters and reenacting my western film love. Henry Classic Lever-Action
This classic American made lever action rifle retails for less than $300 on average and is worth every single penny.
Specifications: Henry Classic Lever Action .22 Rifle
Caliber: 22LR 22 Long and 22 Short
Capacity: 15, 17, and 21 depending on caliber
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Overall Length: 36.5 inches
Weight: 5.25 pounds
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics: * * * *
It’s a little on the small side for most adult shooters, but is still well designed and put together. The classic lever-action layout is present with the Henry .22. For smaller shooters, this gun will be a ton of fun to handle. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Accuracy: * * * *
The gun is perfectly accurate, especially for a 22LR and the ranges in which a 22 LR is used. This isn’t a 1 MOA rifle, but if you want to make a small target dance at close range or make accurate headshots on small game, this gun will do.
Reliability: * * * * *
It’s a lever-action rifle and it’s hard to mess it up. It’s not picky about ammunition and can be used with any powered load, including rat shot. It doesn’t demand to be clean often either and seems to eat whatever I feel like tossing at it.
Cool Factor: * * * * *
This western style classic is an excellent replica of lever actions of the day. Sure it’s not period correct, but it gives you the experience of an old school lever gun. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Overall: * * * * 1/2
The Henry Classic Lever Action .22 is a fun gun and one of my favorites. It’s reliable, accurate, and fun to shoot. Plus, .22 LR is once again cheap so that I can hit the range a more often with my beloved rimfire guns. If you need a firearm for the little one or a new shooter in your life, they’d be well served by a Henry.
Review: Henry .22 Classic Lever Action
By ALEX LUFFO FROM gunspatrol.com
What makes the Henry .22 lever rifle so alluring? Perhaps is the time that it brings to mind: the days of Cowboys and Indians, no seat belts, and slower life? Is it because the Henry is 100% American made, solid, and fantastic value? Or maybe it’s versatile, easy to handle, and practical?
Capable of handling 22 Long Rifle, 22 Long, and 22 Short, the Henry is a model of days past. Inspired by the original Henry Repeating Rifle, the Classic Lever Action (Model H001) is capable of rapid, accurate rimfire fire. The Classic Rimfire is a testament to over 150 years of Henry rifles, trusted during the Civil War and the Great Expansion into the Wild West. There are a few faults in this value-oriented rifle but taken in context of the same, there are few that can beat it.
Shooting the Henry
After waiting the last two weeks for the weather to be clear enough to go to the outdoor range, I finally broke down and headed to an indoor range. While I have shot the Henry past 100 yards out in the country, I finally had a selection of .22lr and .22 Short brands to test the Henry’s feeding and accuracy. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Loading the rifle is a simple affair. To open up the tubular magazine, twist the end cap off the muzzle end of the tube and pull the brass inner tube and spring out. You can opt to leave it in the magazine, but it can become unwieldy when loading rounds. Rounds are dropped into the magazine tube through the loading port, conveniently cut to the size of a 22LR round. There are specific cuts for the rounds’ rims, so a shooter cannot accidentally load them backwards. After rounds are loaded up to the port, insert the inner brass tube and twist to lock the complete assembly in place. The Henry can hold 15 22LR, 17 22L, or 21 22S in the tube.
Chambering live rounds is accomplished through cycling the lever, which has an approximately 75-degree, surprisingly smooth action. As with all lever actions, on the lever down stroke, the spent casing is extracted and on the up stroke a new cartridge is chambered. The lever locks into battery with a firm and quite audible click.
In Long Rifle, I had CCI Mini Mags (HP), Federal Champion Bulk Pack (HP), Remington Thunderbolts (HP), and CCI Blazer (LRN). To supplement the LR, I had about 50 rounds of CCI Short HP, and some 50 year old unknown brand shorts from grandpa just to test cycling. All shots were fired from a Caldwell “7” rest using the stock iron sights. For each 22LR, I shot five five-round groups. For 22 Short, three five-round groups. Henry Classic Lever-Action
At 25 yards at the indoor range, the CCI Mini Mags produced the best groupings (average .78”) with the CCI Blazer LRN coming in close second (.85”). The two bulk pack boxes also shot well, coming in at 1.01” and 1.15” for the Federal and Remington, respectively. The 22 Shorts were about 1.1” each, including the old ammo. I suspect the groups could be tightened up through the use of a receiver-mounted scope. I found the front sight post fat and difficult to see clearly on a black target.
During the accuracy test, there were no extraction issues, but the rifle did fail to chamber two Remington Thunderbolts. On closer examination, it looked like the brass was dented, but that could have been caused by the bolt trying to chamber the round. There were no issues with the 22 shorts, including the grody 50-year-old ammo. During the range session there were no failures to fire, but it’s worth mentioning that I have had the typical occasional bad round over the roughly 2000 I have put through the rifle to date. The failures did not look to be a light primer strikes and did not fire after manually cocking the hammer again.
Finding a Few Faults
Other reviews have faulted the Henry for “cheap” materials or poor fit and finish, but I believe it is important to recognize that trade-offs are necessary to reach the Henry’s price point. When viewed from this perspective, I find no major faults with the design, materials, or finish. Henry uses steel where they have to and cheaper materials where they can.
The receiver is a painted alloy (my wife put some minor scratches into the receiver when she picked it up with her wedding ring on). When viewed from the ejection port one internal parts looking to be injection-molded metals. The edges of the loading port and front sight hood are rough; the shooter should be careful when attempting to remove the front sight hood to avoid being cut. Finally, the front wood hand guard was slightly loose. Henry Classic Lever-Action
The Henry does require the shooter to be mindful. The rifle has no external safety but it does have a half-cock position that requires the trigger to be pulled and the hammer rode down with the thumb. Also, when loading, it is easy to flag yourself. With no external safety, ensure that the rifle is unloaded and either half-cocked or lever open when loading.
Of note, the sights are rudimentary. The front sight post is non-adjustable, molded directly into the front plastic barrel band. The rear is a typical ramp-adjustable dovetail, which is raised via the ramp and can be drifted slightly for windage. My rifle had just enough drift to bring the sights to point-of-aim & impact. The rear sight is not protected or locked down so it may require re-zero if you hit it by accident. Hi-Viz offers both front and rear sights through Henry. The Hi-Viz rear sights are much easier to drift and offer more adjustability. For $50, they shore up the only major fault I have with the Henry.
Pros Outweigh the Cons
I believe we are sometimes conditioned that cheap rifles will mean equally cheap triggers. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Henry has a great trigger. My rifle has a short, smooth take-up of about 1mm and a crisp break around 5 lbs. It was easy to feel the breaking point, even through gloves when outdoors in the cold. The only better breaking triggers I have used are high-end AR bang-switches from HiperFire and Geissele or those on bolt-actions. There is significant over-travel, but I don’t mind since you have to use the firing hand to cycle the action. There is no need for semi-auto reset. Henry Classic Lever–Action
The barrel has a uniform blued finish, lightly crowned for accuracy. At 18 ½ inches, I found it the ideal balance of weight and performance, eeking out all of the velocity 22LR can manage. The barrel has no play relative to the receiver and I did not experience any flyers during accuracy testing. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Outside of the play on the front hand guard, the rifle has absolutely no wobble. The real walnut stock is solid, with just enough of a concave bend to shoulder naturally without being too “pointy” at the top and bottom to hurt if you bring it up incorrectly. The lever is rounded nicely, with no sharp edges to cut your fingers when cycling the action.
On a personal note, I enjoy that the lever pivots on a single point in the receiver with the trigger in the same position instead of some lever actions that have multiple pivot points or triggers that say attached to the lever.
The biggest stand-out feature is the price. With a street price of $275-$300 at a local gun shop, the Henry is a fantastic value. I picked up mine at the local Wal-Mart for $290. As a testament to their popularity, to find one I had to call all of the stores in a 50 mile radius! For those who shop digitally, the Henry can be found online for around $250, before shipping.
The Henry is a solid offering: easy to operate, lightweight, grin-inducing lever action, accurate, and priced right. Handling is intuitive, smooth lever action, and a surprisingly good trigger round out the solid offering. Henry Classic Lever-Action
While my ultimate plinker is a semi-auto, my Henry is easily the number two and is a nice change of pace from modern plastic fantastics. I will not fault the Henry for its lever action; it is simply the case of new technologies have been developed on top old. In much the same way, new cars are faster & more efficient compared to the Model –T.
Still something inexorably draws me to the rifle. The Henry draws a giddy smile every time the lever is cycled. With each pull of the trigger the shooter is pulled back for to simpler times. Henry Classic Lever-Action
Bottom line: wholly American-made with American spirit, this Henry is priced just right to find a nostalgic place in your safe… and heart.