The Henry Repeating Arms name has a rich history that harkens back to the early days of the iconic American lever-action, though the modern company dates from 1996. Despite that, Henry Repeating Arms pays homage to the designs of Benjamin Tyler Henry and the lever-action operating system he perfected with a rich range of classically styled arms, including a faithful rendition of Henry’s original Model 1860 longarm. But recently, Henry’s broadened its offerings with a number of modernized options, and the Homesteader fills a unique niche by offering a capable pistol-caliber carbine wrapped within a traditional stock design.
In building its pistol-caliber Homesteader, Henry decided to go back to the drawing board, creating an entirely new design that builds in some desirable features. The rifle uses a simple blowback action, and a CNC-machined, aluminum-alloy receiver contains the square bolt, which is attached to a weight through twin steel bars that sit forward of the receiver below the barrel. The entire assembly is enclosed by the wooden fore-end. At the rear of the receiver is a traditional wooden stock, to which the fire-control mechanism is attached. The barreled receiver and stock assembly are connected through three removable pins, which are easily pushed out for cleaning and maintenance.
The monolithic receiver design accepts detachable box magazines, and in a nod to versatility and also the prevailing magazine options on the market, the Homesteader uses a replaceable magazine well. Several magazine wells are available to fit various magazine designs on the market. Henry produces its own proprietary magazine for the Homesteader, but replaceable magwells are also available to accept Glock-, Smith & Wesson M&P- and SIG Sauer-pattern magazines.
One of the other nice nods to accessibility is the bilateral nature of the design. Starting at the rear of the receiver, the two-position sliding safety is located centrally on the tang, easily reachable by shooters with either dominant hand. On the trigger guard, mirrored bolt-hold-open latches make it easy to lock the action open. From the factory, Henry includes a charging handle in the box. Installing the handle is as easy as pressing it into the bolt from either side. A generous cutout on the left-side receiver wall makes it easy for left-handed shooters to install the handle on their preferred side.
On the range, the Homesteader ran like a top using Henry’s own magazines. We appreciated the aperture-style sight setup, where both the front and rear sight are mounted on the barrel. The top of the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept Weaver 63B scope bases, should you want to mount an optic. Recoil was soft and easily manageable, thanks to the forward-mounted weight in the fore-end. The gun’s overall weight of just over 6.5 lbs. also toned down the already-anemic recoil of 9 mm Luger. All told, the Homesteader proved to be an incredibly fun, easy-to-shoot longarm and would be equally at home on the range as a plinker or pulling defensive or varmint duty on your property.
Henry Homesteader (H027-H9) Specifications
Manufacturer: Henry Repeating Arms
Action Type: blowback-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire rifle
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Receiver: forged 7075 aluminum; hardcoat anodized
Barrel: 16.37" carbon steel
Magazine: 10-round detachable box
Sights: rear aperture adjustable for windage, post front; receiver drilled and tapped for optics rail
Trigger: single stage; 4-lb., 3-oz. pull
Overall Length: 35.75"
Weight: 6 lbs., 10 ozs.