After a number of years of waffling, I finally bought a Henry Big Boy in .45 Colt.
For me this is the best caliber since I greatly prefer this cartridge in my six guns. Also, standard factory rounds have ample power to drop a whitetail at woods ranges.
(250 grain @ about 1100 FPS in a rifle.)
You can load up as well, duplicating .44 magnum velocities, at lower chamber pressures.
(25000 PSI versus 35000 PSI)
I already have a newer Marlin Cowboy in .45 Colt with a 20" barrel. I very much like the overall feel and handling of this little rifle, and its 6 1/2 pound weight. Accuracy is good with standard factory ammo and similar hand loads. And, after clipping a coil off the hammer spring and cycling the action 1000 times (lowering the hammer each time) it cycles as easily and smoothly as a 125 year old 1894 Marlin, with a good trigger pull to boot.
I hesitated in buying the Henry because:
- it has no loading gate and it loaded like a .22 rifle.
- it weighs 8 5/8 pounds.
But, I always liked the quality and finish, so what the hell, I bought it anyway.
After handling it and cycling it a number of times, I believe that it is just about as smooth as my my slicked-up Marlin, and has a very nice trigger pull.
The feeding and extraction is perfect. Just like the Marlin, empty cases are tossed a minimum of 2 1/2 feet outward by the side-sprung ejector when you very slowly open the lever. Normal cycling tosses them further.
The fit and finish is amazing. The wood is satin-finished walnut with a nice grain, not glossy, and literally as smooth as glass. The steel parts are likewise with no damaged screws.
The brass receiver is shiny enough to see your reflection in.
The sights seem to be Marbles or a high quality copy of same.
And I really like all of the brass. The carbine butt plate and substantial barrel band are features that I love on lever action carbines.
And, I don't mind the weight anymore. About the only thing that I don't much like is the rear sight. The sight itself is very nice and high quality, but the sliding insert within the sight needs to be lowered and locked into a position where the body of the sight blade forms high ears like a full buckhorn of sorts. Still, it works fine and aiming is easy.
I have not shot it yet, but I have no doubt that it will shoot superbly.
Last edited by saddlegun; 06/12/21.