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Old September 27, 2007, 12:32 PM   #1
Ocraknife
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Henry Big Boy .44 mag questions

I am thinking about getting a Henry Big Boy .44 mag rifle (the longer version) for fun and possibly taking a few sub 150 yard white tails. Are these good quality and accurate guns? Ever heard any problems about them?
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Old September 27, 2007, 09:34 PM   #2
MythBuster
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They are "pretty" to look at and they are more than accurate enough for deer hunting.

The quality is not there for the price you are paying.

A Marlin or Winchester is a MUCH better quality rifle and about half the price.
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Old September 28, 2007, 01:39 AM   #3
CarbineCaleb
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This is only what I have heard on the Big Boy, but it's been nothing but good. Accuracy is said to be above the norm for a levergun, and the action a lot smoother out of the box than a Marlin or Winchester 1894 (which aren't real smooth out of the box). The only downside is the weight, but that also translates into softer shooting of hot .44 magnum loads. Customer services is supposed to be very good by the company. Hopefully owners will chime in here to share firsthand experience.
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Old September 28, 2007, 07:07 AM   #4
USNairman
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I have never owned the Big Boy but have owned other Henry rifles. They are great rifles with good accuracy and very slick actions. Henry's customer service is second to none - I had a problem with one of my rifles and the president himself contacted me you to see what he could do to make me happy.
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Old September 28, 2007, 12:24 PM   #5
ursavus.elemensis
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First of all, the guy named MythBuster has some sort of personal beef with Henry and he always replies to these kind of threads with a post thta insults the quality of Henry rifles. No one else who actually owns a Henry will ever be as negative as this guy. I don't know, or care, what his beef is, but I can say my first hand experience with Henry rifles is totally different from anything he ever says in any of his posts.

Secondly, here is what I posted about Henry's in another thread:
I have the Henry Big Boy lever rifle in .44 Mag, and it is also offerred in a .45 Colt. I have used the .44 Mag extensively, but as I said, I do not have the one in .45 Colt. I think it is safe to assume that much of what I will say baout the Henry Big Boy in .44 Mag would also apply to the same rifle in .45 Colt:
Smooth as glass action. Very smooth. Like a hot knife through butter. Incredibly smooth action.
Very reliable. Thousands of rounds through without any issues.
Easy to clean.
First-rate workmanship in manufacturing is apparent throughout this rifle.
Great wood, nice octagonal barrel.
Heavy, solid rifle (I think it is about 8 1/2 pounds) which is easier on me for holding it steady.
Based on the Winchester 1866 "yellow boy" rifle.
Proudly made in the U.S.A. in Brooklyn, NY.
Henry Repeating Arms Co. has the best reputation for customer service excellence in the firearms business.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to email the company and ask. All incoming emails are answered by the President of Henry Repeating Arms.
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Old September 28, 2007, 05:18 PM   #6
Ocraknife
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Thanks for the replys. I need to scrounge up $650 and I'll be all set. By the way, will the Henry chambered for .44 mag also shoot .44 specials? If so, how do the .44 specials perform?
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Old September 29, 2007, 08:13 AM   #7
WyrTwister
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Henery " Yellow " Rifles ?

I do not own one . The " Yellow " rifles sure are pretty . And they sure are $$$ . Especially compared to Marlins and Rossi / Pumas , when Big 5 puts them on sale for $ 320 - $ 400 .

But each to his / her own .

I do not know , but have read that the yellow receivers are not brass , but some other metal mixture ? Zinc alloy ? Do not know .

In any case , I would think steel would be stronger / longer lasting .

This is not a flame of the Henerys .

But for the money , I would reccomend a Marlin .45-70 . But that is an entirely different league .

God bless
Wyr
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Old September 29, 2007, 09:16 AM   #8
ursavus.elemensis
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The .44 Mag Henry Big Boy rifles do fire .44 Special rounds as well. You can load 10 of the .44 Mag in the magazine, and add one more in the chamber. You can get 11 or 12 of the .44 Special in the magazine tube. I think it is 12, but can't remember off hand.

I got the bracket to add a scope mount to my .44 Big Boy rifle because my vision is a lot less than perfect, and I just plain can't use iron sights on any rifle. Then I was having trouble with the scope mount itself coming loose from the bracket when I fired .44 Mag, so for a long while I switched to .44 Specials. Eventually, I used Blue Loctite on the screws and now my scope mount stays put, and I am back to firing the .44 Mag through this rifle. They both function well, and the .44 Specials have a little less kick to them, with less felt recoil, although the weight of this rifle absorbs a lot of felt recoil anyway. I like to go to the range and fire a box of 50 rounds, so the felt recoil of the .44 Mag rounds was becoming an issue after about 15 or 20 rounds. I solved that by wearing a sweat shirt over my t-shirt, or a jacket in colder weather and it makes a huge difference. I can fire a box of 50 rounds and not have my upper chest/shoulder all bruised and yellow/black.

As has been noted on other threads, the .44 Special rounds will hit a little higher on the target than the .44 Mag, so if you zero for one of those rounds, you'd need to re-zero for the other type if you were going to hunt with the other type. If you're just shooting for fun, recreation, and marksmanship, you can learn to adjust the point of aim for the different rounds. One way I reduce the impact of a box of .44 Mag recoiling against my shoulder is to load a variable mix of .44 Mag and .44 Special into the mag tube, so that not every shot is a .44 Mag. The hazzard of doing that is that your point of impact changes and you need to kind of keep track of what round is up next. I shoot at 50 yards, so it is not that big of deal, but at 100 yards, it is significantly different. The theory that was expressed as to why the .44 Specials hit higher is that the .44 Special bullets travel out of the barrel more slowly than do the .44 Mag bullets, and that allows the rifle to rise up more between the trigger pull and the bullet exiting the barrel than with the faster moving .44 Mag rounds. Anyway, it is noticably different, but at 25 yards it is irrelevant and at 50 yards it is minimally relevant. At longer distances, it is more important. I do not think this rifle caliber makes sense for hunting beyond 75-100 yards, but the forums are full of posts from guys who used a .44 Mag lever rifle to kill an ox at 2,000 feet while hanging suspended upside down from an old oak tree in a blinding blizzard with one hand tied behind their backs. So, your results may vary, but the parabolic drop off of the bullet is pretty rapidly increasing after about 75-100 yards and so placing the shot into a usable spot becomes tricky, at best. That is, unless you are upside down hanging from an old oak tree...

Anyway, you will love this rifle. I'm getting a .38 caliber revolver to add to my concealed carry line up, and so I kind of wish that I'd gotten the Big Boy in .357 Mag / .38 Special version instead of the .44 Mag / .44 Special that I have, but nothing's more pleasing than retrieving my target and seeing those BIG holes that the bullets punched into the paper with a .44 inch diameter. I would not want to be downrange of one of those caliber rifles.
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Old September 29, 2007, 09:16 AM   #9
Hawg Haggen
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The Big Boy reciever is solid brass. The Golden Boy .22 is an alloy. I have a Golden Boy and it's a great gun. Slicker than snot on a glass doorknob. Some people don't like them because the bolt rails are plastic(that's why they're so slick)but I've put several thousand rounds through mine with not the first problem anywhere. I assume the Big Boy is made the same. Now having said that, the Big Boy is not based on the 66 or anything else that ever existed. The only thing the two have in common is the recievers of both are made out of brass. http://www.henryrepeating.com/h006_bigboy.cfm
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Old September 29, 2007, 09:38 AM   #10
ursavus.elemensis
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http://www.rarewinchesters.com/gunro...431%20RH-s.jpg

They look pretty similar, not exact, but pretty close, to me. Not a copy of an 1866, but "based" on the 1866. Certainly looks closer to an 1866 than to any other old west Winchester lever rifle, which actually proves nothing, I know, but I still think the Big Boy's are close enough to an 1866 in appearance to say that it is based on the 1866.
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Old September 29, 2007, 10:16 AM   #11
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As ursavus said, the Henry BB is not really a re-creation of anything. To me, the Big Boy design's a bit "clunky" looking--in terms of overall and detail. I'm a nostalgia buff and much prefer the sleek lines of the Rossi/Puma (and now Armi Sport through Taylors and Cimarron) 92--resurrection of the Winchester 92 design. Better yet if you can find one, the limited run (late 70s, early 80s) Browning 92 was made in .44 Mag --and is somewhere between the above two 92s in price, though scarcity is driving it closer - or equal - to the Armi Sports these days. Alas, Armi is not (yet?) providing the .44 in the carbine, just the short rifle (same 20" length, but heavier octagonal barrel) and longer rifles.
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Old September 29, 2007, 02:16 PM   #12
DPris
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The Big Boy uses a brass/bronze alloy receiver.
The Goldenboy actually has an internal steel receiver, what you see on the outside is a removable alloy cover that doesn't really have to have much strength.
Accuracy in all versions of both that I've shot has been above average.
Denis
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Old September 29, 2007, 05:44 PM   #13
Ocraknife
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I checked out the Henry vs the Puma, to me there is no comparison. The Henry felt like a much more substantial rifle. The action was smoother, the parts seemed better machined. Of course I didn't shoot either of them, I expect if I had I would have experienced more accurace out of either of them than my skills are capable of utilizing.
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Old September 30, 2007, 10:33 AM   #14
gak
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Ocrakinife - own a Rossi(s) for over 25 years and you'll perhaps change your tune! Been shooting some of these that long with nary a hiccup.
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Old May 20, 2009, 05:58 PM   #15
durko58
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Just bought a Henry Big Boy .44 mag

I just bought a Henry Big Boy .44 mag for target shooting and as a short range deer rifle (up to 100yds). It's a beautiful gun, well balanced even though a bit heavy for a lever gun. I haven't had the chance to shoot it yet as I'm working up reloads for it. Also, components at this time are becoming increasingly hard to come by, especially brass and primers. Here's a link though to a journal by a fellow who has one and raves about it. there are videos he made throughout as well as reloading tips. Hope this is helpful.

http://44magjournal.blogspot.com/
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