HENRY RIFLE SERIAL NUMBER 9220 IN EXCELLENT CONDITION

$29,500.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 169-478

The Henry rifle needs no introduction to Civil War, western, or pretty much any arms collector or student of the American West. Oliver Winchester encouraged one potential dealer, “There will be no stopping the Henry when it is demonstrated. The Henry will become the Arm of the Century,” and he was not wrong by far, if at all. The rifle could hold fifteen .44 caliber rimfire cartridges in its magazine (loaded by compressing the spring and turning the top of the barrel assembly to drop them in the magazine tube,) and a sixteenth cartridge in the chamber. This gave the bearer a stupendous amount of firepower. Veteran anecdotes and company sales pamphlets were full of stories of individuals and small units defeating many time their number of enemy troops. It was remarked that Henry-armed troops had no need for bayonets since an enemy could not approach within forty rods.

This nice example is numbered 9220, giving it an 1865 date of manufacture according to both Madis and Sword. By Sword’s accounting it was likely in a group of 475 manufactured in May 1865, qualifying it as wartime, and by Madis’s estimated production totals it might even be a bit earlier. (Sword estimated production at the end of 1864 had reached 7,425; Madis put it higher, at 8096.) This rifle is just three numbers off from one owned and inscribed by a member of Hancock’s 3rd US Veteran Volunteers and 173 serial numbers under a Henry presented to captain of the 7th Illinois by his men, who mustered out on 7/25/65.  This rifle was also made in plenty of time for civilians and soldiers heading west, for whom it was a sought-after and favored weapon for hunting and defense against wild animals and hostile humans. When Fetterman’s column headed out from Fort Phil Kearney two civilians grabbed their Henrys to join him. Ten years after that, there were enough Henrys facing Custer that their empty cartridge cases gave one section of the Little Big Horn battlefield the nicknamed “Henryville.”

This rifle preserves better than 98 percent of its original blue on the barrel and magazine assembly, which rates excellent. The only areas of gray are the expected slim ones on along the ridges of the octagon barrel that are most subject to wear, and a little just at the muzzle. The barrel address is the standard Henry marking used throughout production and is crisp, reading: “HENRY’S PATENT OCT. 16, 1860 / MANUFACT’D BY THE NEW HAVEN ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CT.” It is also in the correct slightly longer format and with slightly larger letters used after number 3000 or so. Both sights are in place. The front sight shows the correct, later, squared back. The rear sight shows lots of blue, vibrant on the slide, with some slight graying on the edges from grasping it to raise it. The receiver is smooth, with no dings or scratches and is an even mustard color showing some slight rubbing on the flats at the midpoint between the lever and carrier. The screw heads show nice blue, though the forward upper tang screw shows a dull silver. The hammer, lever and turn-button show good color with just some lighter color at the edges from handling. The wood is very good, with no dings or scratches, but shows an old refinish with a hair-width gap around the tang with some of the color along its edge. There is no Henry “bump” on the buttstock, but this does not show up on all Henry stocks, particularly among lower and higher numbered rifles. (Quick thinks it occasionally shows up from blistering of a pressure dent from clamping the stock to bore the cleaning rod hole.)

The stock is fitted with a sling swivel at left and the forward loop is secured by two screws, which Wiley Sword noted on a number of higher numbered Henrys, rivets not proving satisfactory as a method of attachment. The buttplate is the correct late, crescent form with smooth metal and color matching the receiver. It has a functioning trap for the cleaning rod and bears a serial number matching the barrel. The bore is good and the mechanics are fine. The lower receiver tang shows the “H” inspection mark of B. Tyler Henry himself, who acted as an inside contractor in the company until Winchester took over the position. Many rifles had only been partially completed or assembled before the change took place and Henry’s initial as inspector appears on both low and high numbered rifles. Quick illustrates the mark on rifle number 9030, just 190 numbers from this one.

This is a beautiful Henry rifle that would enhance any western or American arms collection.  [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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