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Old November 29, 2012, 10:33 PM   #1
BerdanSS
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Which 1860 Henry?

I've decided to finally start seriously looking into getting the rifle that is in the top three on my "top 10 list of guns I've always wanted"...an 1860 Henry. But which one? The primary use for this gun will be hunting deer and weekend blasting. I was pretty set on one in 45 colt ( I have a couple SAA and DAs in 45) really wish someone had made one in .44 mag But would like to hear pros and cons between the 45 colt that I am familiar with and the 44-40 that I know pretty much nothing about.

Also I was thinking of a steel frame, I would imagine the Brass one is probably more of a plating rather than solid...but I plan on shooting some pretty stout loads for hunting and the term "brass" just troughs red flags in my brain

Not sure which to go with either... Taylor's? cimarron? Find an older lightly used one from someplace like Navy Arms? Go direct to uberti? Just wanting to get a nice one and not spend more than about $1400

Thoughts, comments or any help is appreciated.

Last edited by BerdanSS; November 29, 2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:41 PM   #2
Crunchy Frog
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A friend bought a used Uberti 1860 Henry in .45 Colt. His has the casehardened steel receiver. Looks great.

Keep in mind that you will deal with some issues if you choose the Henry. It's very heavy. It doesn't have a loading gate on the receiver (that feature was introduced on the 1866 Winchester). It doesn't have a flippin' forend. You have to hold it by the barrel (which gets hot) or the receiver.

Did I mention that it's heavy?

The Uberti 1860 Henry with the brass receiver is real brass. Real brass is real heavy by the way. I have a Uberti 1873 rifle and a Uberti 1866 rifle; the latter has a brass receiver and its noticeably heavier than the steel framed '73.

I love the Uberti reproductions but I think a '66 or '73 is much more practical. That said, it's your money and if a Henry floats your boat, go for it.

The 1860 Henrys (along with the '66s and '73s) are available in .45 Colt, .44-40 and also .38 Special ('66) and .357 ('73). I think Uberti now offers the '73 in .44 Magnum but I don't think I'd be crazy about that high pressure round in a "toggle link" action.

There were no .45 Colt-chambered rifles in the Old West. That's a recent development. The 1860 Henry and the Winchester '66 were chambered in a now-obsolete .44 rimfire cartridge.

The 1873 Winchester (the "gun that won the West") was developed for, and introduced in, the brand new .44 WCF centerfire cartridge, also called .44-40 (because the cartridge featured a .44 caliber bullet over a 40 grain charge of black powder).

The .44-40 features a slightly bottlenecked case. In some rifles (with some loads) the .45 Colt suffers from a condition called "blowby" where gas flows around the case back thought the action when the round is fired. The .44-40 cases tend to seal the chamber better and avoid this problem. It is obviously more difficult to find .44-40 factory loads but if you handload you are good to go and you would be shooting a "period correct" cartridge if that means anything.

The lever rifles are a lot of fun to shoot and they don't seem to frighten people like the "evil black rifles" do.

I don't know there is much difference between the different Uberti importers so go with the one that has what you want in stock.

Post a reply or report and let us know what you decide.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:26 AM   #3
McShooty
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I feel the .45 Colt is a better choice for your purposes than the .44 WCF. There is a wider choice of factory loads and a much wider choice of bullets, up to 300 grains or so, if you will be handloading for it. If you are not yet handloading, the .45 C is fairly straightforward, not bad to learn with it.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:28 PM   #4
BerdanSS
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Frog, thanks for the input...I'm pretty familiar with the Henry itself, (being a former CW reenactor as my name suggests) and it's pudgy weight issue They are pretty hefty, but the cool factor far out weighs that for me. (pun intended) That and I'm a 6'3 200lb Cement finisher, and other than lugging it about a mile into the woods during deer season, it will mostly be blasting pop cans (and whatever else in range) on the back of mom and dads property line.

I have other lever guns (Marlins) and the external follower and no loading gate on the Henry was what I think are the top two things that give it that cool factor. I do love the '73s, and plan on adding one to the safe sometime in the not so near future, but I don't really care for the '66 at all.
And I relies that while the 45 colt is not the historically accurate round, my unending love of that cartridge and the mountain of brass I have is what drives me to it.

Does the one your friend bought have a lever lock? I will admit I don't know why all the steel frames I've seen don't have them and the brass ones do?

Shooty

Thank you as well, I am very much a noob at reloading But plan on building a new workshop this spring for a reloading space. Right now I have a Buddy that reloads all my brass for me to my specs. That is another reason I was thinking .45 colt, easy to learn on as you said, cases can be reloaded MANY times...and I have a TON of once fired 45 colt brass.

Last edited by BerdanSS; November 30, 2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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An friend at a local hunting gear/gun shop just let me know he can have my choice of either a Brass or Steel Henry with A grade walnut in as little as 14 days or less for $1298 + tax straight from Uberti This creates a dilemma because I hadn't planned on ordering one till I got my new years bonus
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:37 PM   #6
Hawg Haggen
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The thin neck on the 44-40 will expand to seal off the action from blowby as Crunchy mentioned. The .45 will have blowby. Also you can leave a fired 44-40 case in the chamber when you clean the bore and it will keep crud out of the action. You wont have to tear the action down to clean it with the 44-40, you will with the .45. Reloading the 44-40 is a learning curve tho.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:16 PM   #7
BerdanSS
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My fear with the 44-40 is that I currently have not one fire arm in that chambering...and thus if I purchase one....more will follow

Then I have a plethora of SAs in assorted barrel lengths, lever guns and the like in this 44-40...then I need a new, and or bigger safe to hold them...so on and so on.....my god, the inhumanity of it
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:39 PM   #8
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Also, what is the difference in power compared in the 45 colt to a 44-40 out of a 24" barrel? (talking beefed up hunting loads here like the off the shelf available loads not recommended for SAAs) Also I would have to assume that while the Brass framed is plenty strong....The steel one would hold up better to long shooting sessions and the harder hitting rounds I would use for deer? Or would it really matter between the two, because if there is no measurable difference between them on durability and strength....I like the "look" of the brass receiver better.
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:31 AM   #9
shafter
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Nice choice! An 1860 Henry is on my list also and I would definitely go for brass. As for 45 Colt vs 44-40 I'd probably go for 45 Colt just because I'm already setup to reload for that caliber and have plenty of brass. On the other hand 44-40 is plenty for deer if you want that caliber.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:02 AM   #10
Malamute
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Whether steel frame or brass, you wont be wanting to ramp up your loads all that much because of the action type. The toggle link action has long been regarded as weak compared to an 1892 type action, tho they dont cause thermonuclear detonations to shoot warmer loads, as many seem to think. The Henry/66/73 actions are also very cartridge length sensitive, they have to be exactly right to feed. Heavier bullets will have to intude into the powder space. Were it me, I'd stick with standard bullet weights and near factory velocities. For deer, the 44 or 45 Colt should both work fine, with the velocity edge going to the 44 WCF.
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