NRA Gun Of The Week: Henry Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate

posted on February 4, 2022

For this video preview, your NRA’s American Rifleman staff is at the range with a Big Boy from Henry Repeating Arms. Watch the NRA Gun of the Week video above to see this color case-hardened lever-action repeater in use.

man wearing black shirt ballcap and earmuffs shooting lever-action rifle wood metal steel


The Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate rifle, available from Henry Repeating Arms, is a pistol-caliber lever-action. Chambering options for this series Big Boy include: .44 Mag/.44 Spl., .45 Colt and .357 Mag/.38 Spl. Henry offers two types of its Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate, either in rifle or carbine lengths, which translates to 20" or 16.5" barrel lengths, respectively. Topping both iterations comes Henry’s take on the semi-buckhorn sighting system with a brass bead front.

hands loading rifle ammunition brass rod steel barrel

Henry built its centerfire rifle reputation off its Big Boy series of lever-actions, and this latest Color Case Hardened Side Gate edition features a steel frame with an exotic-looking finish that is achieved from through a surface-hardening process. The look is classic. In addition, American walnut complements the barreled action, with wraparound checkering on the stock’s wrist and fore-end. Henry supplies a rubber recoil pad, though recoil was found by our testers to be mild, even with the big-bore magnums that were sampled.  

Notable features of this Henry Big Boy are its side loading gate and tubular magazine with removable inner tube. The side gate-loading access allows for a quick top-off of cartridges into the magazine tube. Removing the inner brass tube provides access for loading through the underside cutout. The sample sent for review came chambered for .44 Mag. with standard loop. For those looking for large-loop lever variants will need to look at carbine models.

hands arm ammunition loading rifle gun shooting


Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy Color Case Hardened Side Gate Specifications
Manufacturer: Henry Repeating Arms
Action Type: lever-action, centerfire repeating rifle
Chambering: .44 Mag./.44 Spl.
Receiver: color-case-hardened steel
Barrel: 20”, octagonal
Sights: fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear, brass bead front; drilled-and-tapped
Stock: American walnut
Overall Length: 37.5”
Weight: 7 lbs., 6.6 ozs., unloaded
MSRP: $1,198


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