WARTIME PRODUCTION BRASS FRAME .44 CALIBER HENRY REPEATING RIFLE

$22,500.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 302-82

This is a great looking Henry Rifle. The brass buttplate and receiver have an undisturbed, aged, mustard color that is even and mixed with some appropriate brown age spots. The buttplate, with the correct sharp curve, has practically no handling marks and a tight fit to the buttstock. The receiver fits tightly as well and shows just some minor dings forward of the ejection port. The wood has an even, medium brown tone and original finish that shows just a couple of scratches and small pressure dimples on the right side, a slight bit of wear along the top right near the buttplate, and a very clean left side that shows just a slight impression from the rear sling swivel that remains in place on the left buttflat. The forward swivel is in place on the left barrel assembly, held by two screws.

The barrel assembly retains about 90 percent thin blue, just showing some gray lines along the edges of the octagonal barrel, the normal location for legitimate wear. The bore has nice deep rifling. The only dings to the metal occur about two inches aft of the joint for the swiveling magazine-spring section, where there are some small pinpoints to the top barrel flat, and on the lower right edge of that section that shows some typical battering from the magazine spring follower being raised for reloading, and a few dings above that point on the underside. Metal at the juncture of the sections may have had some color touched up. The front sight is in place, showing some wear and gray along the very top edge. Hammer, trigger and lever show good blue. The mechanics are good. The lever retaining latch is in place. Screws on the receiver show minor wear to the slots and some darkening. Those on the buttplate and tang show crisper slots and some blue.

The serial number, 8307, remains crisp on top barrel flat just in front of the receiver and is matched by the number stamped inside the buttplate. This gives it a March 1865 production date according to Sword’s figures. The barrel-mounted long-range rear sight with folding leaf is in place forward of the serial number. Forward of that is the two-line maker stamp: “HENRY’S PATENT OCT. 16, 1860 / MANUFACT’D BY THE NEW HAVEN ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CT.” The rifle conforms to the standard dimensions of 43 ½ inches long with a 24 ¼ barrel. There are no cleaning rods in the butt stock.

As the vast majority of Henrys were, this was a privately purchased weapon and correctly bears no U.S. inspection marks. Known as the most advanced repeating rifle of the war, fewer than two thousand were purchased by the federal government, and a few hundred more by state authorities, but four or five times that many were purchased by individuals and units anxious to get a weapon that could be, “loaded on Sunday and fired all week,” as one Confederate purportedly complained. The rifle received much of its initial exposure in the western theatre and a reputation gained in small unit actions led to larger orders, with which the company always struggled to keep up. Units such as the 64th and 66th Ohio, 7th Illinois carried them into action with devastating effect during the Atlanta Campaign and elsewhere. Many were carried in other units by smaller numbers of men who could obtain them. Indeed, the guns changed hands among soldiers at prices substantially above even what Oliver Winchester charged. The rifle upheld its reputation in the early west as well. Winchester was savvy enough to bill his 1866 Winchester as an improved Henry, and it was the Henry rifle that two civilians decided to take along and have some fun with the Fetterman column at Fort Phil Kearney in 1866.

This is a very nice condition example of a revolutionary Civil War weapon that has equally strong appeal for the early American West collector and Winchester enthusiast as well.  [sr]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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