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Old February 15, 2012, 12:05 AM   #1
BDM 9MM
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.44 Rimfire Henry - Yellow Boy

My brother-in-law just purchased a .44 Henry "Yellow Boy". We need some help in finding where we can purchase ammo (.44 Winchester Rimfire) to feed it. Thanks in advance, Dan
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:29 AM   #2
Dave R
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Are you SURE it shoots .44 rimfire? I thought Henry Yellow Boys were chambered in .44mag and .45 Colt and such.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:35 AM   #3
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A couple issues back "Handloader" magazine showed how to make 44 caliber rimfire. It was a rather time intensive process.

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Old February 15, 2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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Check the owner's manual

Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

The Henry repeater was very popular back in the day, but 44 rimfire is hard to come by these days. Also, any original examples would be a collector's item. The rimfire cartridge (because of the thinness of the rim) is necessarily a low-pressure cartridge, too. But the Henry could hold a LOT of cartridges (14, I think) and that gave it a really good edge in a fight over the other arms of the day.

However, the Yellowboy has such a cool history, there are replicas of new manufacture. Uberti has one chambered for modern cartridges, 45 Colt, 44/40 and 38 Special.

I bet you have got one of those. The owner's manual will tell you the chambering.

Good luck and enjoy your brother-in-law's Yellowboy.
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:27 AM   #5
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.44 Henry

My brother-in-law actually purchased two original rifles in Tucson, AZ last weekend. The first is a 1860 Henry and the second is a 1866 Winchester "Yellow Boy" He told me that they are both chambered for .44 Rim Fire (I have not verified this myself)
I just looked at another web site - "Hackman-Adams, 1860 Henry rifle" and he states that both rifles are chambered for the (same) .44 Henry rim fire cartridge and that the modern loading is: 200 grain .44 (.435) Cal bullet, 26-28 grains of 2F black powder in a .44 magmun case with the bullet set to standard .44 magnum over all length'. This shoots at MV @ 1,100 FPS & ME @ 540 Ft Lbs. Dan
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Old February 15, 2012, 01:31 AM   #6
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Hello, BDM 9MM..If that truly is an original 66'...well..you guys know what those things are worth. Only black powder should be used due to that old toggle action & brass frame. I don't think you will find any modern made .44 rimfire..but Dixie Gunworks does sell .44 Henry cases..with an off-set chamber in head to take .22 blank. This is the primer..firing pin hits rim of the .22. case is filled with B.P. & you will need a "heeled" bullet (a .22 rimfire is of this design..smaller dia. "heel" or shank fits inside case, bullet dia. is same as case dia...might posssibly get away with a hollow-base design. Oh, you won't be able to load thru magazine..that .22 rim has to be lined up with pin..so it's single-shot only. Best of luck!
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Old February 15, 2012, 03:13 AM   #7
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You might want to get the guns checked by a good gunsmith to see if the are in good condition before you fire them. I would not shoot them myself,I would just use them as a collectors item.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:11 PM   #8
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Much confusion here. An original Henry could bring as much as $30,000-$50,000. Did your BIL pay that? Those who do seldom wish to fire such an arm. An original Henry in .41 rimfire had two firing pins, one on each side of the case rim, to insure ignition. There is no way that .44 Mag cases could be fired in such a design.
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Old February 15, 2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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THE 44RF cartridge used in the 1860 HENRY and the 1866 Winchester has not been manufactured in many many many decades, perhaps as long as one hundred years ago.
I know of a full sealed case of 44RF ammo that sold for a nice round $10,000.00. NOT A SINGLE ROUND FIRED !!
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Old February 15, 2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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The .44 Henry Rimfire was made at least up until the 1920s, when a lot of early cartridges were dropped from production.
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Old February 15, 2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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Wow, an original 1860 henry and a yellowboy, your brotherinlaw went all out ,as mcshooty said, henrys can go for 30 to 50,000 dollars, even more. I think instead of looking for ammo that hasn't been made for a long time i would be looking for a safe place to keep these musuem type pieces, bring them out only when his upper crust company pays him a visit.
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Old February 15, 2012, 07:52 PM   #12
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Try Old Western Scrounger they carry many of the odd ball cartridges.
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:07 AM   #13
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BDM, as others have said a real yellow boy would be an expensive piece. If your BIL could afford the purchase of one, I would think he could afford to make the original a wall hanger. And then get another replica Yellow Boy in a modern cartridge and shoot that.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:17 AM   #14
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Buffalo Arms has the 1866 Yellow Boy listed in their catalog. They also have black powder cartridges for the older guns.
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:48 AM   #15
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But they don't have .44 Henry Rimfire ammunition.
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Old February 16, 2012, 12:02 PM   #16
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I just wish I had enough money to be able to buy a Henry and a '66 Winchester. The pair would likely run at least $30,000 and that would be if the guns were almost junk. $150,000 or more for nice ones!

Jim
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Old February 16, 2012, 01:19 PM   #17
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Where's the gun pics??
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:46 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies. I found some ammo on Ammo-one.com @ $40.00 a round. My BIL has a collection in excess of 30 old Winchesters. He has shot every one in his collection at least once and picks one each year to harvest a CO elk. If the guns were mine a don't know if I would shoot them - but they are his guns purchased with his money. If and when he shoots them I will post the results. Dan
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Old February 18, 2012, 01:04 PM   #19
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Years ago I worked on a ranch in Western Colorado and the owner had an Iron Framed 1860 Henry that his Great (great?) Grandfather brought west with him after the end of the Civil War. It was in nice shape and he said they had a stock pile of ammo for it that lasted into the early 70's as I remember it. He said it was a fun gun to shoot but he obviously had not shot it for years.

He took a shine to me as a hard worker and I respected his land so he promised it to me when he died as his kids did not want a wall hanger. By the time I found out he passed a year or so later the Henry had disappeared into the estate and I never saw it. The kids don't remember where it went and as an outsider I did not press the issue.

It would have been fun and I would have been in the same boat as your BIL. Looking to find ammo to shoot it.
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Old February 18, 2012, 03:07 PM   #20
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Henry makes a Yellow Boy? I don't see them on the site or anywhere else. I do see the Henry Golden Boy. I have a Henry Big Boy in .38/.357 .... love it.

Maybe they used to make a Yellow Boy?
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Old February 19, 2012, 05:02 AM   #21
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I am still not sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDM 9MM
.44 Henry
My brother-in-law actually purchased two original rifles in Tucson, AZ last weekend. The first is a 1860 Henry and the second is a 1866 Winchester "Yellow Boy" He told me that they are both chambered for .44 Rim Fire (I have not verified this myself)
I just looked at another web site - "Hackman-Adams, 1860 Henry rifle" and he states that both rifles are chambered for the (same) .44 Henry rim fire cartridge and that the modern loading is: 200 grain .44 (.435) Cal bullet, 26-28 grains of 2F black powder in a .44 magmun case with the bullet set to standard .44 magnum over all length'. This shoots at MV @ 1,100 FPS & ME @ 540 Ft Lbs. Dan
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I went to the web site you mentioned and the full quote indicates the modern loading is not as you stated "in a 44 magnum case", but the original loading "can be readily duplicated using the 44 Magnum cartridge case" Not the same thing.

http://www.hackman-adams.com/guns/henry.htm

I really do hope your Brother-in-Law has a replica which you will be able to shoot with readily available ammunition. Also, that you do not drop $40 per round on ammunition that will not fire in your BiL's gun.

You should be able to tell if the gun is centerfire or rimfire by looking at the breechface and seeing if the firing pin is centered or on the circumference of the case rim (or, as Mcshooty stated, if there are two firing pins near the periphery of the rim).

As nearly as I can tell, we are unsure if the gun in question is an original gun in 44 rimfire or a replica in a centerfire cartridge and probably won't know until your Brother-in-Law confirms it to you or you examine the gun yourself.

From the web sites I visited today it appears that the easiest way to tell if this is a replica or an original is that the originals did not have a wooden for-end. The replicas all seem to.

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Old February 19, 2012, 08:24 AM   #22
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I keep checking this thread hoping you'll have a picture.
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Old February 19, 2012, 08:34 AM   #23
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Didn't Uberti make Yellow Boy reproductions in the 1970s? Some chambered in .44-40, but I think some might have been chambered in .38 Spl., as well?
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Old February 19, 2012, 12:23 PM   #24
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Lots of confusion about names and models.

The original 1860 Henry rifle was made by the New Haven Arms Company (the company run by Winchester that later became Winchester). Olin Winchester named the gun after Tyler Henry who was his shop foreman or plant manager who developed the gun which was a redesign of a previous rifle (the Volcanic). The 1860 Henry was chambered for the .44 rimfire round which was revolutionary in its day but quickly became obsolete when centerfire cartridges were developed. The early Henry had a bronze frame and was later offered with an iron frame.

Uberti makes a modern reproduction of the 1860 Henry chambered in .44-40 or .45 Colt. It's not offered in .44 rimfire since no one makes that ammo. It can be had with a brass frame or a steel frame with a (cosmetic) color casehardened finish.

The brass Uberti replica is sometimes misnamed a "Golden Boy". That nickname belongs to the Winchester 1866 which had a bronze frame (supposedly the Native Americans called the popular rifle the "Golden Boy"). The '66 was an improvement over the Henry that introduced a loading gate on the receiver, a closed magazine tube and a forearm. The original Winchester '66s were chambered in .44 rimfire; Uberti's replicas of the 1866 have a brass frame and are available in .38 Special, .44-40 or .45 Colt.

The next evolution of the Winchester was the 1873 Winchester, "the gun that won the West". It was not made with a brass frame so there's not much confusion there.

Part of the confusion is due to nomenclature used by the (modern) Henry Repeating Arms Company that has NO connection to the 1860 Henry rifle. They don't make a reproduction of the Henry 1860. The (modern) Henry Golden Boy is a .22 rifle that has nothing to do with the Winchester 1866 Golden Boy. Not to say their guns are not good; the rimfire rifles in particular are popular, but the way they throw names around causes some people to be confused.

In summary, you can buy a real Henry if you have tens of thousands of dollars laying around to buy a gun that you can't shoot. Plus it may be golden but it won't be a Golden Boy.

You can buy a Uberti 1860 Henry and have a fair approximation of what a real Henry would be like, except you can shoot it and if you do you might get a burned left hand and realize that you should have bought an 1866 or an 1873 instead. Oh, and it won't be a Golden Boy either.

You can buy an original 1866 with will be an honest-to-goodness Golden Boy but will cost you big bucks and you can't shoot it.

You can buy a Uberti Golden Boy and it will be as close to a real Golden Boy that you can get, and you can shoot it, and it won't burn your hand, and you don't have to look down the muzzle when you load the thing. And everyone will go "oooh" when you pull it out (but they will ask you if it's a Henry Golden Boy, in which case you can now set them straight and probably make them wish they'd never asked).

You can buy a Henry Golden Boy and you'll have a really nice little .22 lever gun. But it won't be a Golden Boy. Well, it is, but it isn't.

You can buy a Henry Big Boy which has a brass receiver but it's not a Golden Boy. But it is a Henry. Just not a "real" Henry or even a reproduction of a "real" Henry.

Or you can forget the Golden Boy stuff altogether and buy a Uberti 1873 because, well, they rule. And you don't have to educate people. As much.

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Old February 19, 2012, 03:44 PM   #25
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I have a uberti 1860 henry rifle in a 45colt and i have a henry golden boy in a .22 mag. made by henry arms here in america. Both guns together cost my about $1200.00, nothing compared to what a original 1860 and original 1866 yellowboy would have cost, which would have maybe cost your bil as much as $40 to 60,000 dollars depending on condition, and will probably won't be shot, because .44 rimfire ammo is just as rare. I shoot my henrys every chance i can get they are a dream to shoot, but if i had an original it would be under lock and key, problably only take it out when presidents and senators come by for dinner.
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