Saturday, June 1, 2013

A quick review of the Henry 001L .22 lever action rifle

 A friend and I were at a local range last fall with an assortment of rifles enjoying the day plinking.  I was having magazine issues with my Ruger 10/22 and my friend offered me his Henry lever action .22 rifle.  "Trust me, you're going to like this", he said. I was waiting for him to tell me how smooth the action was.  It's almost impossible to have a conversation with someone about Henry lever action rifles without someone mentioning how "buttery smooth" the action is.  It's a similar occurence to the words "built like a tank" being used whenever the topic of a Ruger GP 100 or P95 comes up.  He didn't have to.  Upon working the action once, I was amazed.  Working the action only once lets you know you are handling a well crafted machine.  It was a smaller package compared to my 10/22 but it felt solid.  Despite it being compact, it still managed to feel like a rifle you could have confidence in.  It did not feel like a toy.  The confidence grows even more once the shooting began.  At 25 yds all shots went exactly where I wanted them to go.  It didn't seem to be very picky with ammo.  It shot all of the cheap ammo  I had with me with no problems whatsoever.
   My overall first impression of this rifle was that it would be a great rifle for younger shooters learning the fundementals, as well as a great rifle for anyone wishing for a reliable, solid, great looking, rimfire rifle.  In the following months, I did a little more research.  Henry rifles are American made, have a lifetime guarantee against any problems originating from the factory, as well as an impeccable reputation for fast, friendly customer service.  There are countless stories of the president of the company picking up the phone when a call is made to the customer service department   The Henry website is very well put together, offering a multitude of testimonials from people who have taken the time to express their gratitude for such a fine product.
   Recently, I sold one of my rifles and immediately headed to a Gander Mountain with the proceeds to look around.  At the time a Henry lever action .22 was on my "to get" list and they had one.   It was the H001L model with the 16.1" barrel, half cock safety and large (mitten) looped lever.  I have large hands and enjoy winter shooting, so this seemed like it would be an even better fit than the standard H001 model.  The suggested retail price for one of these is $340.  They can be found online, brand new for $260 w/ free shipping.  I've seen them used on forums for about $250, sometimes as low as $200.  I paid $300 for mine.

  Below are photos of the first shots taken with this rifle, leaning against a tree, using cheap ammo, from 17 yds away with open sights.  The first 10 shots taken are shown in the pics below and the groupings got even tighter the more I shot.

First 5 shots:
First Ten Shots:

   I highly recommend this rifle.  It's classic look and feel along with it's great performance makes this something I am proud to own and intend to keep and enjoy for a lifetime.  Of course better lever action .22 offerings can be found from Marlin and Browning, but for a man of my means, this Henry serves me just fine.  If you have any further questions of my experience with/opinions of this rifle, feel free to post them in the comments section. 
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Take Care,