Henry Lever Action:Sight Mod and Range Review

| September 23, 2012 | 12 Comments

“Made in America and Priced Right” “Load on Sunday and Shoot All Week Long” Motto’s of the Henry Repeating Arms Company describes my Henry lever action. This model is the H001 version which is the standard basic model 22 lever action with an 18inch tapered barrel and magazine tube capable of holding 15 22LR cartridges. When standing at the counter two years ago while purchasing this rifle there was two things I noticed right away. First the plastic front sight was a little to wide to fit exactly in the groove of the rear buckhorn sight, this is not a big deal as they are easily replaced. The second attention grabber was the receiver, I noticed it was made of ZamaK which is zinc alloyed with aluminum, magnesium, and copper. It can?t be blued like steel, so Henry painted it to match the blued barrel. Though I gave thought right away to durability my mind was put at ease instantly by the research I had done previously. Henry has a lifetime warranty, Mr. Imperato has been known to respond to emails directly and in prompt fashion. 100% made in America I can’t go wrong not to mention the many years of fun to be had and the beauty of such a historic piece.

Sight Modification
With close to 400 rounds through this beauty I had finally decided it was time to really do something about the sights. I felt like there should have been a warning on the box or sticker on the front sight which read “wide load”. Though my son and I were enjoying many countless hours of fun. I felt like anything smaller than a coke can or clay pigeon of accuracy at 50 yards was to difficult of a challenge. No I didn’t purchase a lever action for it’s accuracy or competition yet I still wanted better than coke can accuracy at 50yards. After doing my research mainly on rimfirecentral.com and emailing Henry directly which they replied in less than 24 hours, I decided on the Marble Bullseye rear sight purchased from Midwayusa and HIViz metal front sight.
Though this change was very easy to do there are a couple of things to be aware of. First on the rear sight not all Henry lever actions have a 3/8inch dovetail. If you have a Model H001 and the barrel is stamped made in Brooklyn NY with a serial number less than 250,000 please email the good folks at Henry to find out what size dovetail you have. Any rifle stamped made in Brooklyn NY with a serial number greater than 250,000 you have the standard 3/8inch 60 degree cut. In 2002 Mr. Imperato moved his company to Bayonne, New Jersey to a much larger facility all of these barrels will have the standard 3/8inch cut. When my Marble sight arrived I used a brass punch to remove the original buckhorn and measured both sights with a micrometer, I knew right away the new Marble sight would not fit it was a little larger. Out to the garage I go, I used a metal file on my workbench to shave material away on the bottom, front and back to get the exact diameter of the old sight. Though not visible from the top some of the bluing had been removed, I used cold blue to reblue the bottom of the Marble sight. Here is the finished product.

The second issue to be aware of though it didn’t affect me is the lack of screws included in the HIViz front sight packaging. There are many reports that HIViz did not include any screws at all in the packaging, mine arrived from Midwayusa with one screw in the package. This screw is for the bottom to fasten the metal clasp to the barrel and magazine tube, there is another screw needed for the top to screw into the barrel. A quick email to HIViz with quick turn around points out the fact they only include one screw because they intend for you to use the screw from the original setup to ensure perfect fit. Not knowing if Henry would ever change the thread pattern or count. In doing so I found the orginal screw fit like a glove. I am very found of the green HIViz front sight so I left it in, HIViz does provide you with 3 other color sights red, black, white and a plastic key to change them. The 18inch barrel of the Henry already makes it fast for maneuvering but now sight acquisition was just as fast.

Complete Set

Henry is known for its smooth action and this specimen did not let me down. Right out of the box the action was very smooth and to my surprise the trigger was lite and crisp. After 400 rounds the action and trigger continues to improve which I didn’t think was possible on this basic model Henry. The trigger feels much like a two stage trigger on my Busmaster AR15 and breaks cleanly at 3 pounds, yes 3 pounds out of the box as measured by my RCBS trigger gauge. The Henry safety mechanism is the old-fashioned half-cock, which is in keeping with the original historic specifications and I like it. It feels really cool and historical to put the hammer at half-cock, without a cross-bolt safety there?s no chance of getting confused about whether one or both safeties are engaged. Though visually it is very difficult to determine if the hammer is in the half cock position.

Today I ventured out to the range to push the nostalgic Henry past it’s 500 round count. In my range bag I was accompanied by Blazer Bulk Box, CCI Standard Velocity and Wolf Target Match. I wanted to ensure I fouled the barrel up real good because I had given it a thorough cleaning with Frog Lub CLP. So after 75 rounds of Blazer Bulk Box Ammo I decided I would test the Henry accuracy at 25yards with my new sights utilizing 40gr Wolf match target ammo. The grouping at 25 yards wasn’t bad for the Henry lever.

I then proceeded to test 10 rounds of the 40gr CCI Standard velocity ammunition my CZ 452 absolutely loves this stuff. To my surprise the group really opened up with this ammo. This proves if you are shooting for accuracy it is important to find out what your rifle likes. Considering it is a fun piece for the family I still feel good that coke cans and clay pigeons don’t stand a chance.

My curiosity getting the best of me I decided I would test the Henry with 10 rounds Blazer Bulk Box, which is mainly what this lever has been fed.

To my surprise the 40gr Blazer Bulk Box Ammunition printed best at 25 yards. The new sights proved to be worth it’s cost as this is the best group ever shot with this rifle.

The Henry Lever action repeating rifle with the right sight modifications can be a double agent. It is pure plinking fun with the family on the weekend and with the right ammunition accuracy is deadly — varmints, rabbits, squirrels do not stand a chance when the Henry is patrolling the field. If greater accuracy is needed the Henry comes equipped with a grooved receiver for easy scope mounting.

Model Number H001
Action Type Lever Action
Caliber .22
Capacity 15 rounds .22LR, 17 rounds .22L, 21 rounds .22S
Length 36 ?”
Barrel Length 18 ?”
Weight 5.25 lbs.
Stock Straight-grip American walnut
Sights Adjustable rear, hooded front sight
Finish Blued barrel and lever

Ratings (Out Of Five Stars)

Accuracy ****
Great for pest control and field work and tons of fun. This was the first rifle my now 9 year old son learned to shoot with, every time we pull this from the safe my son utters the words “You have until sun down to get out of town”

Reliability *****
Surpassing the 500 round count today the Henry has experienced no malfunctions.

Overall Rating ****
The 18 inch barrel of the Henry as well as it’s balance proves itself to be one of the fastest maneuvering rifles I have handled to date. It is capable of providing a lifetime of fun while plinking and also capable of serving as a field rifle keeping pesky varmints away from the barnyard or the garden. The trigger and action is absolutely amazing, though not good enough to overcome the shortfall of the original sights to award the Henry H001 Lever Action 5 stars. The big bertha esque like front sight of the original setup earns this rifle and overall 4 stars. The best of all is this rifle is 100% made in America. Mr. Imperato even goes out of his way to ensure all materials are sourced in America. Because of this anytime I am in the market for a lever action Henry will be the first place of choice. Now I only need to add a Ruger Single Ten to my collection along with a Cowboy Hat, Boots and chaps to fully experience the nostalgic wild west cowboy era.

Article Correction
I have been informed by the good people at Henry Repeating Arms, actually the President and CEO Mr. Imperato himself has informed me that the front sight is made of an alloy, as well as the receiver itself being made of steel. It is the receiver covers which are made of the Zamak alloy so durability has never been a question. If I could make one suggestion to Mr. Imperato it would have nothing to do with the products he or his company produces. Maybe Mr. Imperato should give serious thought to starting another company to consult with others about true customer service because he and his customer support staff have mastered it. Mr. Imperato is so committed to this country and his employees that a 3rd motto has been added to the Henry legacy “Made in America or Not Made at All”

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12 Comments on "Henry Lever Action:Sight Mod and Range Review"

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  1. mr.t7024 says:

    Your range report was excellent.I have the GoldenBoy in .17 HMR,and I really enjoy shooting it. Mr. Imperato runs an awesome company!

  2. DiverEngrSL17K says:

    A really excellent and concise report on an equally excellent firearm. Please let us know how the sights perform under field conditions, if you will. A Henry lever-action rifle has definitely been on my “must have” list for awhile and it’s only a matter of time before this wish is finally fulfilled. In the meantime, one Henry product that I do own is their version of the venerable AR-7 Explorer take-down survival rifle in .22LR. I have compared the Henry version side-by-side with the original Armalite as well as the Charter Arms renditions, and it is clear that considerable quality improvement and forethought went into the Henry. Virtually every aspect of the AR-7 has been upgraded, from the no-rattle, higher-capacity water-tight storage capacity in the hollow buttstock to the synthetic teflon heat-resistant / corrosion-resistant coating on the barrel. The one component that initially mimics the Armalite and Charter Arms versions is the trigger pull — it feels heavy, imprecise, clunky and gritty — but only for the first few hundred rounds. As the number of rounds fired increases, the trigger mechanism improves progressively as it breaks in, eventually becoming quite smooth, progressive and perfectly acceptable for its intended purpose, albeit still a little heavy.

    Anthony Imperato has definitely done an incredibly good job of keeping his relatively small but significant company on the right track while maintaining high quality standards that the competition would do well to emulate, including a 100% track record of “Made In The U.S.A.”. This is certainly no mean feat in today’s global economy with its myriad economic temptations and incentives.

  3. John says:

    I am thinking about a 22 rifle and know there are many choices possible. The Henry caught my eye a while back and since I am a lefty, it appealed to me. I really appreciated the time you took to put your report together and the glowing results you have. It will be my next purchase.

  4. RPK says:

    I took my Henry H001 to the range today. I have a myriad of other .22LR rifles to choose from and I prefer this rifle. It is accurate, more fun that I deserve and easy to clean or maintain. It fired every round I chambered from a hodge-podge mixture of loose ammunition. I am also partial to the AR-7 Survival Rifle. It too, is more fun that anyone should have at the range or in the field. The company is well managed by the Imperato family and they care about customer satisfaction. Buy a Henry H001 or AR-7 and you will not regret your decision!

  5. Allen says:

    I just got one of these rifles and must say I’m not sure why I held out so long. For carrying in the field while small game hunting I think the slim and well balanced little rifle is perfect. Not sure my 10/22 will ever see the woods again.

  6. undeRGRound says:

    I have the H-001T, 20″ Octagon Barrel and while I did not try any true “precision shooting” this fine example of a Henry was very accurate and hit everything I pointed at. With the proper ammo, I suspect it could group very well. Good Article! I am leaning towards a scope as opposed to the sights you used, but they are tempting!

  7. mark housley says:

    I have the H001 lever action .22 . Next to my Belgium made Browning shotguns this is the finest gun I have ever owned . Truly well made and an absolute joy to shoot . I will buy more Henry’s .

  8. Rigo says:

    Dear Mr. RevolverGuy,

    I know it’s been four years since you posted this great article about the H001 and the Marble’s BullsEye rear sight and HIViz front sight setup…

    I have an H001 with the HiViz front sight already. I am looking to copy your setup… but wonder if you might remember which of the two Marble’s options you chose… there is a 2.75″ Long version and there is a 1.875″ version. And if you are happy with that choice.. four years later 🙂

    I have heard that the 2.75 may pose an issue with upward adjustment… but not sure if you have made use of the step adjustment feature for your purposes.

    Thanks in advance for your time and attention to my post.

    Happy Plinking!


  9. Very nice review about HENRY LEVER ACTION:SIGHT MOD AND RANGE.

  10. Rex T. Dog says:

    We own two of these Henry .22’s, both cheaply scoped for our old eyes…our fun is plinking, shooting the cheapest bulk ammo we can find, several thousand rounds a year…these rifles are accurate enough, reliable, and easily maintained…the fact we own two is our endorsement (and who wants to wait for their turn to shoot, anyway!)…

  11. Vlad says:

    I can attest to the Henry stellar customer service. Quick reaction, no delays or other nonsense. They take care of their customers, period.

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