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Old October 18, 2012, 11:26 AM   #1
Bigboy44
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Heavy Bullets in Henry Big Boy

Hello there,
I have had my Henry Big Boy 44mag for three years. I have never put a bullet in it. I know, I know...CRAZY! my intention was to put it in the safe and keep it as a hand down family heirloom. I used to say its too dang purdy to shoot (it is very purdy). Well, I can't take it anymore. I gotta shoot this thing.

A buddy of mine has around 1500 rounds of 240 grain 44mag. He will sell some for $15.00 per box of 50. Killer deal right there!
My question:
Is 240 grain too much for this rifle? I think it's fine but I have read somewhere that it could cause damage.
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:29 AM   #2
Sparks1957
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Bullet weight isn't what damages guns, powder charge and the attendant pressures are.
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:31 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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Are these factory ammo or reloads?
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:41 AM   #4
Bigboy44
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Thank you for the quick replies!
They are factory loaded Winchester brand 44 rem mag 240 gr.
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:51 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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I don't see any warnings on their site about certain ammo (wouldn't be bullet weight but PSI) being prohibited. I assume the gun is made for "full-power" 44mag loads as I see no indication otherwise. As such, any ammo that will fit and function in the gun should be fine.

I would inquire in the owner's manual or by emailing Henry if the manual isn't available, just to be sure but I'd be surprised if there were any issues. Seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen, to make a gun chambered in a cartridge and make it so it can't handle standard ammo in that cartridge.
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The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
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He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:11 PM   #6
Bigboy44
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Yeah, I'm gonna go buy a few boxes tonight and shoot it this weekend. I can also shoot 44 special through it.
Thanks for the help!
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:44 PM   #7
Rebel9793
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shot Winchester 240gr through my 94 lever and my fathers Ruger .44 carbine without a single issue. snatch em up and go have yourself a good time!
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Old October 18, 2012, 01:30 PM   #8
Bigboy44
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I cat wait to get outthere! I been dreaming about shooting it forever. I also have a S&W 44 mag 629. It will be a great day.
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Old October 18, 2012, 03:01 PM   #9
Rebel9793
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.44mag is awesome caliber.
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Old October 18, 2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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very awesome indeed!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old October 18, 2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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I have a ruger super redhawk with the 9.5" barrel and I roll soda cans at 100yds open sights
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Old October 18, 2012, 04:25 PM   #12
Erno86
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I didn't know about a 240 grain warning concerning the Henry Big Boy --- can you fill me in?

One winter...about 7 years ago: I was standing about 10 feet away from a guy on the firing line at our private range, that was shooting a Henry Golden Boy in 45 Colt; offhand. He fired... and one of the rounds in the tubular magazine exploded --- buy a round behind it --- which pierced the primer, thus setting the round off.

I did not know whether he was shooting handloads or factory ammo. He suffered shrapnel puncture wounds to the left forearm and abdomen.

The RSO --- at the time --- was about 1/4 mile away, up at the trap field. I did not even get his range badge number; The wounded shooter and I, agreed to call the ambulance --- though I did offer to take him to the hospital --- because the range house phone needed a certain {unknown to us} code to work, and the 911 operator from my cell phone wanted the exact address; which we did not know. He just took off to the hospital in his white Toyota pick-up. That was the last time I saw or heard, about what happened to the wounded shooter.

The RSO came back on his ATV, around 15 minutes later...and he ask me if I knew the wounded shooter's range badge number? My reply was ---- no.

Last edited by Erno86; October 19, 2012 at 02:41 PM.
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Old October 18, 2012, 05:06 PM   #13
testuser
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I bought a .44 Henry Big Boy a few weeks ago and ran about 150 rounds through it. All were handloads and most were 19.0 grains of 2400 behind a 240 grain jacketed bullet. The weight of the rifle made some pretty mild recoil. Zero problems and the 2400 loads were incredibly accurate.

The only way I could see a magazine detonating under would be either pointed bullets, or seating a high primer. If the bullets have a flat point and the primers are seated properly, then it shouldn't be a problem.

240 grain bullets are the standard for the caliber and shot well in my Henry. Now, the 300 grain bullets, I don't know if they rifling will stabalize them...a quick check of the spec sheet will tell the twist and will let you know. I don't load 300 grain bullets in the .44, so I never cared enough to find out.
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Old October 18, 2012, 06:18 PM   #14
KY Jim
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The twist rate for a Henry Big Boy 44 mag is 1:38 too slow for heavy bullets beyond 300 grs.
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Old October 19, 2012, 05:44 PM   #15
ltc444
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The value of an Heirloom rifle is not the pristine condition. It is the ability to look at the scratch on the stock were Brother Jay dropped it after he shot his first buck. Or the palm print were my son Jessie failed to clean it after he took a 10 pointer in the OUachita River bottoms.

Heirlooms are made up of memories which we pass down from grandpa to grandson.
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Old October 23, 2012, 02:59 PM   #16
Bigboy44
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^ Very well said! I agree 100%

So I got 100 rounds of ammo. Going to shoot one evening this week. I told my wife she could put the first round through it. She found that very romantic!! I haven't done anything to the gun since I bought it three years ago. I think I'll just dab a little gun oil in the action and let er rip! Any recommendations for it's first time out? Should I fill the magazine tube up to capacity on first shot?
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Old October 23, 2012, 06:38 PM   #17
ELMOUSMC
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44 mags in a Rossi 92

I have a Rossi 92 in .44 mag and I have shot everything from factory loads to "hot hand loads" with no issues of any kind so I figure if a low end Rossi can handle them you should not have a problem with your Henry
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