Henry Repeating Arms Company has made a reputation for itself by offering consumers high-quality, reasonably priced sporting rifles made right here in the United States. In fact, the company's motto of "Made in America and Priced Right" sums up its entire philosophy.
Although Henry offers semi-automatic, slide- and bolt-action rifles, its main offerings are lever-actions chambered in rimfire and handgun cartridges ranging from .22 LR to .45 Colt. To complement its line, Henry recently introduced a new lever-action rifle that chambers a full-power rifle cartridge-the .30-30 Win.
The new Henry .30-30 is available in two configurations-a steel-frame model with a round barrel (tested) and a brass-frame model with an octagonal barrel.
The rifle struck our testers as being a well-made and attractive lever-action rifle that was somewhat hefty and sturdy. The rifle is similar in appearance to Henry's "Big Boy" series of center-fire lever-actions with its stepped receiver and beefy dimensions. The greater overall length of the .30-30 Win. cartridge, however, results in a longer receiver.
The fit and finish of the Henry .30-30 received was quite good, with the receiver featuring an evenly applied matte-blue finish. Although the flats of the receiver were smoothly finished, there were some faint grind marks along the flats on its top. To ease mounting a scope, the top of the receiver was drilled and tapped. The cylindrical bolt of the test rifle was left in the white, although production model bolts will be blued.
The stock and fore-end of the rifle were of nicely figured American walnut with a satin low-glare finish and no checkering. The metal-to-wood fit of the gun was good, with no noticeable gaps or unduly uneven areas. The rifle features a checkered plastic buttplate.
The round barrel of the steel-frame Henry .30-30 is 20-inches long (the octagonal barrel of the brass-framed version is the same length) and features what appears to be a near-bull barrel profile, with a diameter of 0.85 inches.
For sighting, the Henry .30-30 features a set of Marble's sights-specifically a fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight and a front sight featuring a brass bead. The rear sight features a white diamond insert that can be flipped to expose either a U-notch on one end or a V-notch on the other. Elevation adjustments are accomplished by sliding a stepped elevator that is captured under the rear sight assembly forward or back. Windage adjustments are accomplished by drifting the entire sight assembly left or right in its dovetail slot.
Close examination of the muzzle reveals a feature of the Henry .30-30 that is rare on a rifle in this chambering, but appropriate for a Henry. Rather than employing a loading port on the side of the receiver, the Henry .30-30 instead uses a removable brass inner magazine tube.
To load the rifle, one needs to release the under-barrel magazine tube by rotating the knurled knob 1/4 inch and pull it out of the steel magazine tube. Once done, six .30-30 Win. cartridges can be dropped either through the open top of the outer magazine tube or through a cartridge-shaped slot on the underside.
Mechanically, the Henry .30-30 is relatively simple and straightforward-a desirable trait in just about any mechanism. The rifle is locked into battery by an extension on the lever that raises a spring-loaded, vertically-sliding locking block into its locking position at the rear of the bolt.
To ensure the rifle will fire only when the trigger is pulled, Henry incorporated a transfer bar safety. A firing pin extension pivots down and away from contact with the firing pin itself. When the trigger is fully depressed, an L-shaped transfer bar pushes the extension up into proper alignment with the firing pin.
This results in the rifle not having any sort of half-cock position for the hammer. One simply eases the hammer down and leaves it in its fully decocked position. The rifle also features a trigger lock that blocks movement of the trigger until the lever is fully closed and the action locked. We tested the Henry .30-30 with three types of ammunition....