We all know – and love – Henry Repeating Arms for its lever-action rifles, shotguns, and Mare’s Legs. Yet, largely unknown to many, the company produces four different action types that are not levers and more than 30 model variants at the time of this writing.
What should we know, where do they fit, and what keeps these pumps, bolts, singles, and semi-autos in the company’s catalog? Guns.com takes a closer look.
Why a Lever Gun Company Builds Alternate Actions?
We all know firearms manufacturers will quickly drop a model from production when demand dwindles. To see not only the continuation, but even sometimes greatly expanding lines, of non-lever-driven firearms means sales and demand must be strong enough to justify it.
When asked why the company has ventured in areas outside the proven lever guns, Henry Communications Director Dan Clayton-Luce said they “saw an opportunity to bring a quality product to an underserved ‘lane’ of the firearm market. I stress the word quality because in all of these examples we took something that had been done before and then cranked it up a notch in the build and material quality departments. While we made our name from lever actions, and that's still our bread and butter, we're certainly not limiting ourselves to lever guns only. We've got a lot of talented designers and engineers at Henry, and I think they could offer something great to any category.”
An oft-overlooked factor that drives Henry sales is the location of manufacture. Now, more than ever, folks are cognizant of buying American-made, especially when those products are backed by the level of customer service Henry affords. In many of the firearms listed below, HRA marks one of the few – or only – American-made options. Let’s take a look at these lever-less Henrys.
Pump Action Octagon (2 Models)
The Henry Repeating Arms Pump Action Octagon, Models H003T and H003TM, are the company’s only slide actions. In fact, they’re two of the few production rimfire pumps in current production today. Reminiscent of olden-day shooting galleries at carnivals and competitions, the Henry uses a blued-steel octagon barrel.
Shooters can choose from chamberings for either .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle or the more potent .22 WMR. Capacity varies by chambering, with the LR holding 15 rounds compared to 21 of Shorts. The Magnum, meanwhile, has a capacity of 12 rounds in the same tubular magazine style. Regardless, the rifle weighs an even 6 pounds empty.
The iron sights are classic, with a brass bead front sight and fully adjustable semi-buckhorn diamond insert rear. For those wanting to mount an optic, the receiver has a 3/8-inch groove to accept common mounts. The receiver finish is a basic black, while the furniture is the expected American walnut with a polymer butt plate. The safety is a traditional quarter-cock hammer style, sans the manual crossbolt button. The Pump Action Octagon is marketed toward the hunting, target, and small game audiences and maintains a serious following.
Mini Bolt Youth (3 Models)
How many shooters know that Henry builds bolt-action rifles? Well, pint-sized bolt-action rifles, anyway. Henry’s diminutive Mini Bolt single-shot .22 rimfire rifle is built for the tiniest-framed shooters, with dimensions considerably smaller than standard youth guns. It’s completely American-made with a synthetic stock available in standard black, Instant Orange, or Muddy Girl finishes.
Both the receiver and barrel wear a matte stainless finish. Williams Fire Sights ship standard, with the fiber-optic front and rear sights being fully adjustable. The Mini Bolt also comes drilled and tapped for easy scope mounting. With an 11.5-inch LOP and 16.25-inch barrel, the Mini Bolt exemplifies its name, and the svelte rimfire weighs only 3.25 pounds.
Henry’s Mini Bolt must be manually cocked by pulling back on the mechanism at the rear of the bolt. Unlike some of its competitors, Henry has added a thumb safety at the left side of the receiver for additional security and practice with such a mechanism. The Henry Repeating Arms Mini Bolt is the “Official Youth Rifle of the USA Shooting Team,” so that’s a solid gauge of the quality and features put on the Mini Bolt for grooming the next generation.
Single Shot Rifles (13 Models)
At a time when many of the old standby single-shot rifles have fallen by the wayside – think H&R, NEF, T/C – Henry is adding more variants each year. Few manufacturers can match HRA’s reputation for both quality and customer service. Their single-shot rifles can be had in a healthy array of styles, finishes, and chamberings. The rifles are essentially ambidextrous and marketed as southpaw friendly. In fact, the singles use a tang lever that pivots either left or right to break the action.
Models are available in either blued steel or polished brass, with caliber choices covering classic hunters, big bores, and traditional handgun options, including .223 Rem, .243 Win, .44 Rem Mag, .357 Mag/.38 Special, .308 Win, .350 Legend, .450 Bushmaster, .30-30 Win, and .45-70 Government. The guns feature American walnut stocks, fully adjustable iron sights, receivers drilled and tapped for optics mounting, sling studs, and a rebounding hammer safety.
There’s even a single-shot youth rifle in .243 Win with a 22-inch barrel and lesser length of pull, ideal as well for any smaller-framed shooters, not just youngsters. Of course, the singles, along with every other Henry firearm, are made in America.
Single Shot Shotguns (10 Models)
Along the same vein as the break-action rifles above, Henry offers a robust and growing family of single shotguns. Like the rifles, the shotguns also utilize a tang lever that pivots in either direction along with stock dimensions and controls that are ambi friendy.
There’s also the same choice of either blued steel or polished brass models, each with above-average American walnut stocks. Shooters and hunters can select from three bores – 12, 20, or .410. The guns feature interchangeable chokes, ejectors, brass front bead, and are designed sans manual safety.
In addition to the above, Henry also produces a magnum, 3.5-inch chambered and fully camouflaged 12-gauge Turkey gun along with a rifled slug shotgun in the same gauge. There’s even a single-shot youth shotgun in 20-gauge with a 26-inch barrel and lesser length of pull. And now, new for 2022, a similarly built .410 bore Youth Single Shot.
US Survival AR-7 (3 Variants + Pack)
One of the least-expected actions to find in the Henry repertoire is a semi-automatic rifle, but a quick glance at the rich American history of the platform makes it clear why Henry puts their name on the U.S. Survival AR-7. Says Clayton-Luce, “The AR-7, for example, was designed in 1958, a little less than 40 years before Henry Repeating Arms even existed as a company, but we made great improvements to that design that keeps it relevant today.”
From its inception, Armalite’s AR-7 was built for the survival needs of Air Force pilots. Though several other companies have remade the platform over the years, Henry represents the finest to be found. Their semi-automatic .22 LR rimfire weighs a svelte 3.5 pounds and breaks down quickly, packing into its own ABS buttstock.
When fully stowed, the even more compact package is both water-resistant and built to float. The 16.125-inch barrel is topped with an orange blade front and peep rear sight. Overall, the assembled length is only 35 inches, while the packed length measures a mere 16 inches.
A 3/8-inch grooved top receiver makes it simple to add an optic if desired. The rifle’s steel barrel is coated in ABS polymer while the receiver is wrapped in Teflon, all aimed for maximum durability. The standard AR-7 comes in matte black, but the company is now producing camouflage choices in either True Timber’s Kanati or Viper Western patterns.
In addition to the bare rifles, the company also produces a desirable Survival Kit, which makes the ideal companion to the rifle. Contents include a Buck knife, Life Straw water filtration system, fire steel, paracord, food bars, and tourniquet. Everything comes packed in a quality soft case that fits the rifle and all the accessories. Add a few personal touches, and you have a basic, instant, well-made, bug-out preparedness setup.