Jeff Cooper’s theory of scout rifles as easy-carry, short-barreled pieces has experienced a bit of a renaissance over the last few years. While the majority of these rifles were chambered in .30 caliber or smaller, Henry offers their own take on the platform for 2021. Model H010-GAWP sure looks and feels like a big bore scout rifle and the official name of this new beast is All-Weather Picatinny Rail .45-70 Side Gate.
It’s hard to imagine some design of this newbie doesn’t draw from the booming success of both the Marlin Dark Series .45-70 with its 16.25-inch barrel and Henry’s own X-Model of the same caliber. Regardless of the bloodlines, this shortie is set up to be a winner. With an 18.43-inch round barrel and 1:20 twist rate, all .45-70 rounds should be in play.
The rifle weighs in at 7.10 pounds bare, though most shooters will want to take advantage of the exciting optics rail. Henry has a friendly working partnership with American-made Skinner Sights, and the extended Picatinny Scout Rail with a rear peep from Skinner graces this rifle. A large loop lever, swivel studs, and a ventilated rubber recoil pad round out the package. MSRP on the Henry “Scout” .45-70 is set at $1,221.
The New ‘Scout’ .45-70 Versus the Existing All-Weather
Why would lovers of the old Government cartridge go for the new short rifle? Well, for starters, the side-loading gate option in addition to retaining tubular feeding has been perhaps the most well-received of any Henry innovation. In fact, that dual-charging option is now standard on all of Henry’s existing platforms, including the regular All-Weather.
Stocks remain the same on the entire All-Weather line, being built of specially treated and stained hardwood instead of synthetic. In another nod to durability, the metalwork gets its signature matte silver look from a satin hard chrome plating on most metal surfaces that is, as the company lists, “permanently bonded to the underlying material and will never chip, peel, or flake.”
The barrel length and 4-round capacity remain the same, but the major difference between the two rifles is the Skinner rail and peep of the newbie versus the more traditional semi-buckhorn and blade irons of the elder.
Go Big, Young Scout
With a tagline like “If you can handle it, we can handle it,” this compact thumper may wear an abbreviated barrel and lower magazine capacity, but that trade-off comes in a wieldier, brush-busting package. The rifles will be running off Henry’s Rice Lake assembly lines soon, though expect demand to outweigh supply even with the company running at full speed.