Henry Repeating Arms is the first to chamber a single-shot rifle for the .350 Legend, a round booming in close-range deer hunting popularity. The combination of that round and the single-shot platform have some legitimate merits for the upcoming deer season. Here’s why.
Meet Henry’s Single Shot .350 Legend
Henry’s singe-shot in .350 Legend joins the .450 Bushmaster as the two additions to the company’s single-shot line in 2021. The matte-blued .350 Legend is fitted with a 22-inch round, blued steel barrel with 1:16 rate of twist. The rifle is dressed with capable iron sights – a fully adjustable folding leaf rear and a standing front with a brass bead. Hunters who prefer optics will find the rifle drilled and tapped from the factory and ready to accept a standard Weaver 82 mount, which can be found in stores or ordered through Henry’s online Pride store.
There’s minimal recoil on any .350 Legend, but with this rifle weighing in at 7.18 pounds bare and fitted with a solid black rubber recoil pad, shooting it repeatedly is a breeze even for sensitive shooters. This single shot, like Henry’s others, is a full-size rifle with a 14-inch length of pull. Built for practical hunting, it includes swivel studs for quick sling or bipod attachment. The overall length is only 37.5 inches, giving the Henry a compact overall profile for a potent hunting rifle at sub-200 yards.
In case you’re digging the platform but desiring another caliber, they can also be had in .223 Rem, .243 Win, .30-30 Win, .308 Win, .38 Special/.357 Mag, .44 Mag/.44 Special, .45-70 Govt. Eye-catching brass variants are available in many of the same calibers, albeit with a slightly higher price tag.
Our single shot came with relatively plain American walnut, though the forend’s grain exceeds that of the buttstock. The fit and finish aren’t bad, but there was a slightly larger forend-to-receiver gap than expected, even accounting for movement of the action. Still, everything is rock solid, and operations are tight. The break action is simple to operate for either left or right-handed shooters.
Many young shooters were started on single shots, but buyers must realize that Henry’s single shots use a rebounding hammer safety instead of a physical safety selector button. In cases where this model is just too much for a smaller-framed shooter, Henry does offer a single-shot version of their .243 Win with a shorter buttstock.
Henry’s steel single shots are utilitarian – an old-school hunter’s boon. The trigger on our test rifle breaks with just a hint of initial takeup at a hair over 3 pounds, which is in fact better than some of the company’s other rifles and far above the quality of most other single-shot rifle triggers. We decided to go with the irons over a scope. Besides, the .350 Legend chambering is not a 300-yard bullseye puncher, but it is more than capable inside of two football fields.
For range testing, we rounded up a nice mess of .350 Legend ammunition: Hornady Custom 165-grain FTX, Federal Non-Typical 180-grain SP, and Browning 124-grain FMJ. The rifle devoured them all, though several of the FMJ bullets keyholed. This did not occur with either of the other projectiles tested. Our three-shot, 100-yard group was easily minute-of-deer-heart.
There’s no doubt the grouping would be much tighter with more practice, upgraded irons, or the addition of a scope. While the factory irons are just fine for most shooters, those desiring more precise accuracy may wish to consider either scoping or upgrading instead to Skinner Sights. These fine, American-made aperture sights are creating a resurgence of scope-free shooters, even for those with worsening eyesight.
With either an upgrade to sights or addition of an optic, we’d have no qualms about sweeping deer off their feet quickly inside of two football fields. When hunters can get that kind of performance with little recoil, everybody wins – except the prey.
The curved grip wrist is comfortable and without the common right-palm swell that would ace-out lefties. Further, the break-action lever can actually be actuated in either direction for ease of opening, whereas the vast majority swing only to the right. Those two seemingly minor changes make a world of difference for ambidextrous operations.
While many hunters are quick to assume that single shots are beginner guns, Henry is quick to dispel that notion in their online marketing. “These single-shot rifles are aimed at the challenge of hunting with only one round on board, and hunters who prefer the uncomplicated durability of the design.”
Why a .350 Legend? Why a Single Shot?
Where does the Henry Single Shot in .350 Legend excel? The answer is multi-faceted. Almost any rifle now chambered in that cartridge has instant appeal based on its combination of low recoil –think less than a .243 Winchester – and knockdown power on deer-sized game. It’s not a long-range rifle recommended for 400-yard shots on Elk, but it’s not masquerading as such. The .350 Legend is more than efficient on whitetails, hogs, and even bear when partnered with the correct projectile. The Legend is excellent inside of 150 yards, though some will stretch it to just over 200.
Not only the chambering, but also the one-shooter platform has its merits. Built on Henry’s compact single-shot frame, even with a longer 22-inch barrel, this rifle measures only 37.5 inches overall. That makes it ideal for hunting out of the tight quarters of a blind or tree stand. It’s also maneuverable in thicker cover, and the round will do just fine in brushy terrain.
Deer Hunting With Henry Single Shots in 2021
Single shots may not be the sexy selection in these modern days with hunters dabbling in the AR-style rifle market or pining for the latest muzzle-braked, ultra-long-range bolt gun. What you see is what you get with Henry’s single shots – well-built, compact, all-American rifles at a relatively affordable price point. Plus, it's all backed by the best customer service in the business. And most importantly for hunting rifles, they’re reliable…and hell on deer.