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Old September 21, 2010, 03:03 PM   #26
DPris
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Mort,
No personal attack at all, just trying to clarify that single line to avoid confusion with people who may not be familiar with the ammo situation.
Somebody looking to make a decision on which caliber levergun to buy between those two calibers needs to know the .45 Colt CAN equal the .44 Mag, but doesn't in normal factory loads.
If Real intends to reload, he can run his own race & see the results first-hand.
(Some of the CorBon .45 "Mag" stuff is plenty potent in my Ruger, but it'll never get close to my Colt.)

Real,
I've fired the Henries in several calibers, but I'm not quite sure the design & frame can handle a steady bunch of either hot .45 Colt or standard .44 Mag loads as long as a Marlin can over the long run.
Not knocking the Henries, just commenting.

Standard velocity .45 Colts would be much easier on the Henry.
I have Marlins in .357, .44 Mag, .45 Colt, .30-30, and .45-70. I don't worry about either strength or longevity on any of them.

If you do go Marlin, check out a potential purchase carefully in person. Fit & finish have declined a bit & there'll be a transition period between the current factory and the new one.
An older used model in good shape might work out better there.

Denis
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Old September 21, 2010, 07:23 PM   #27
therealdeal
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guyz if I get the bigboy .44 henry can it handle the buffalo bore +p .44 like mort mentioned? widely available would be the way to go here so I appreciate the .45 and .44 insights. also, my best buddy from highschools bro has been hunting since he was 5. he loves his 308 so I figured I'd throw that in the mix. adding to that mybuddy(his brother) was saying something about 300yds if you want to hunt(he doesnt know as much though but he called his brother). this rifle will be used for hunting and 308 was all info I got about his personal choice. I like using the best, strongest ammo always, but maybe I need to change this approach(just always been that way no matter what firearm//example: .44 instead of 44specials in revolver, 357 instead of 38, etc, etc
I think a lever action is a definate when I go this weekend
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Old September 21, 2010, 07:53 PM   #28
DPris
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Real,
You have two different frame materials between the Henry and older conventional leverguns.
The Big Boys use a brass/bronze alloy that's stronger than just brass, while the Marlins & Winchesters & so on use steel.

Frame stretching over time with hotter loads in any caliber will be more likely to happen in the Henry than with a steel frame using the same loads.

How much & how soon you'd experience any frame stretching is unknown.
I liked the Henry Big Boys I tried out, they were smooth & accurate, but I would not want to carry one in the field and I would not want to run a high volume of hot loads through one.

You might email Anthony Imperato through the Henry website & ask his opinion on the Buff .44 Mags. He's pretty forthright.

Depending on where you live, 300 yards is a long shot for hunting. Dense forest will be much closer to 75-150 yards, open desert or high mountains will extend that.
Neither the .44 Mag or the hot .45 Colt is a good candidate for much beyond 150 yards.

If you want a .308 levergun, your choice is a Browning.

What do you want your lever-action to do?
Handgun calibers can be extended range-wise in a rifle, but they're still handgun cartridges.
You want distance & power, you'll have to look into a centerfire rifle caliber.
Marlin makes a couple leverguns that use new loads to achieve greater practical working distances, the Henry Big Boy wasn't built for that.

Denis
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Old September 21, 2010, 10:45 PM   #29
Doodlebugger45
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Well, now you're going off in a COMPLETELY different direction if you are talking distances out to 300 yards. The Henry Big Boys are really cool, mostly fun guns that can be used out to 150 yards if needed. Mostly, they are a 100 yard affair in reality. They shoot big slow rounds relative to normal hunting choices.

I have a 30-30 and 45-70 lever action and I appreciate them for the throwbacks they are and they are very handy for some things. I would like to get a pistol type chambering one day.

But if you are talking about sure-enuff flat shooting 300 yard type lever actions, then as mentioned you are talking about Browning BLR territory. I have 2 of these as well, one in 7 mm mag and the other in 325 WSM. They both have good scopes and 300 yards is no problem at all for hunting. They come in calibers like 270 Win, 30-06, .308, .243, .223, 22-250, 7-08, etc as well as the cool WSM calibers. I am always looking for a good deal on another one. I would like to get a 7-08 or .243 and actually I have seen a couple in LNIB condition for around $500-600 range. But the new prices are typically around $800-900.

The Browning BLRs are really fine cool rifles and I like them a lot. But they are a totally different animal than what you started out talking about.
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Old September 22, 2010, 10:13 AM   #30
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thanx guys. yeah I think for the most part unless we travelled I wouldn't have to worry about anything more than 200yds. does look like price went up- I think I'm looking at about low 800's either way. those brownings look nice but obviously I am lacking in my rifle knowledge experience level. I definately like steel, but I do like the bigboys(originally I did lots of reading about exactly what makes them up and they seem really nice). I am going to email him denis in a minute. I think that mine will be used so much where that would be an issue not haveing the steel. then if I become more and more I would probably want a 2nd one anyways. The weight brings up the same issue sort of but I think I can live with that. I know the rifle and hunting willnot require the leveraction as much since I can take my time aiming and shooting, but I like the feature and will like to practice shooting 10rounds in a row in quick rapidity+I guess it could be used in HD if it came to it. I will probably leave unloaded like the shotgun(and unlike the revolvers though); is it ok to leave the rifle (bigboy .44 as an example) sitting around longer periods of time loaded?? maybe trying to do too much at once isn't necessary, so maybe the bigboy will work. down the road if I do indeed become a regular user of rifles I will want another one too. If not I can just take care of the bigboy for life.please let me know if its ok to leave the rifle loaded to full capacity and/or one round short of it if you know. my wife isn't a big fan of buying firearms all the time but I had an excuse to avoid a debate. lol. I need to a rifle to hunt with my buddies!!
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Old September 22, 2010, 12:39 PM   #31
DPris
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Real,
Whichever way you go, just make an informed choice considering the distance you'd need the gun to do & the amount of usage it'd get.

Trust me- If you do ground hunting on foot, the Big Boy's weight WILL be an issue at some point.
The ones I shot were nicely done, but I couldn't see myself carrying one for very far.
200 yards is unrealistic for a Henry in any handgun caliber.
The .45 Colt in standard pressure loads should run through a Henry for many years & they're fairly cheap & easy to handload (inexpensive lead works just fine). Hotter .45s run into the same potential for frame stretching as the .44 Mags, and they're more expensive to buy or handload (jacketed bullets, usually).

The Browning (I've tried one in .308) is a well-made levergun (any prejudice against it being made in Japan is idiotic, that Miroku factory turns out better quality guns than most of our US companies do), and it's easily capable of 200-300-yard shots with adequate power and accuracy.
The frame there is aluminum nowdays, but the design is a thoroughly modern gear-driven system that locks the bolt into the rear of the barrel, and the frame doesn't take much stress (One Browning rep told me the frame on those guns "could be made out of cardboard" when we were initially setting up a loaner & talking about alloy vs steel.)

I'd be interested to hear what Anthony has to say, myself. We talked about the Big Boy when it was first introduced & a couple times since. I have no worries about the strength of the frame's bronze alloy in what I'd consider normal usage, but high pressures combined with high volume can create the risk mentioned above.
Just make sure you either email him or ask for him direct on the phone, I'm not sure what you might get from anybody else there.

There are better hunting rifles for 100+ yard terrain than the Big Boy (or any conventional handgun-calibered levergun), but in the forest if you can learn to shoot well with iron sights you can be effective with one inside that distance & slightly beyond it.
Generations of hunters used the Winchester Model 92 in .44-40 as a deer rifle & brought home meat every time they went out.

On leaving the Big Boy loaded, the only risk there is a possible (I said POSSIBLE) set developing if the mag spring is left compressed over long periods of time.
If that happens, it COULD alter feeding reliability.
Leaving the mag one round short could help.

Denis
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Old September 22, 2010, 12:57 PM   #32
rickyjames
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henrys are fine rifles. i am the type that would want to match a handgun to my rifle so i would ask myself what i am trying to accomplish. if you are going to use the rifle for hunting as well as pleasure shooting then i would opt for the 44 mag. ammo easy to find, powerful and match it to a ruger super blackhawk single action revolver.

if you like cowboy shooting i'd go for the 45. the 45 is a great cartridge and can be loaded to compare to 44 mags so it is still practical for hunting. also there are ALOT more western handguns to match it to if you want. the 45 gives you the ability to shoot milder loads if you like or come close to the 44 mag. be careful if you pair it up with a handgun and shoot the hot loads that your handgun can also handle them. or keep the hot loads seperate so you don't shoot the wrong load in the wrong gun.

as for the smaller calibers, if it doesn't start with a 4 i'm not interested.
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Old September 22, 2010, 04:59 PM   #33
therealdeal
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hey guyz I went w/the henry bigboy .44 // he had to order it but gundealer down the road said 5days and even if I never returned his phonecall someone else would buy it(usually you pay when you order it). I ordered some hornady .44 magnum 300 gr ammo online(ables.com). hollow points/extreme penetration. I spoke w/that guy I think @ the NJ phone# on the site but might have been someone else denis(I think it was him). it can handle all of the pressures but he let me know that anything over 305gr is usually a more lengthy round. he agreed with you about the steel thing and said his is just as good but with rounds like .44 overtime if there is lots and lots of use it would get hot&what you said can happen. he said besides that though this rifle could definately last a lieftime if you dont push it to its limit. he said the 240gr works real well. before I called I googled the henry using buffalo bore and this issue came up in 08(I didnt copy paste the forum talk from google because I wasnt sure if I could). he tested all the rounds and it more than passed every test past by what was needed by standards easily. I think up to 360gr. being in VA and not in the flatlands or plains I hope the bigboy is ok when we go hunting but I feel pretty good about it. maybe someday I can get the .45 and engrave it
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Last edited by therealdeal; September 22, 2010 at 05:04 PM.
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Old September 22, 2010, 05:05 PM   #34
therealdeal
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thanx for the help+knowledge. I just bought my 1st rifle
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Old September 22, 2010, 06:01 PM   #35
DPris
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Congratulations!
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Old September 22, 2010, 10:10 PM   #36
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i think you made the right choice in caliber and rifle. congrats..
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