Jim in Idaho,
I was like you recently. I had also only read negative comments about the lack of loading gate on the Henry rifles. Everyone who takes time to post only complains about the loading tube. My only experience was with a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington and an 1894 in 357 Magnum. The 1894 did suffer slightly from the Marlin Jam. Sometimes it fed great and sometimes it started screwing up. As it got dirty the jam got worse. This fall I purchased Henry big boy in 327 Federal Magnum. There is no problem with cycling this action it's very smooth. It is very accurate from the limited amount of time I've had to play with it. I wish I had tried the Henry earlier. Now that I have one I don't see why I was afraid of not having a loading gate on the side of the receiver. I don't miss the pinched fingers and the scratched up brass. Plus I can hold 10 in the tube. I say get one.