Buy Henry X Model
Today, we’re reviewing the Henry Big Boy X Models; both the .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum versions. The X Model is Henry’s take on a classic lever action with some more modern features. We’re looking at what we think Henry did right,
what could use some improvement, and how the X Model compares to some of the other “modernized” lever actions on the market.
This is the fourth installment of our Lever Action Series. Be sure to check out the rest here.
Watch the video below for all the details, or keep on scrolling to read the full transcript.
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Hey guys, Gun Master here from gunzforsaleonline.com. If you’ve followed our lever action series so far, then you’ve seen these rifles before. Henry Repeating Arms very kindly loaned us a pair of their Big Boy X Models to use for this video series. These two guns are identical except that one is chambered in .357 Magnum, and
the other is a .44 Magnum. They were our test rifles for the .357 versus .44 video. Today, I’m taking a more detailed look at the rifles themselves.
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Henry Big Boy X Models: Features and Specs
Let’s start with a quick overview of the basics. We’ve got a 17.4-inch barrel. A tubular magazine with a 7-round capacity (and I was able to fit 8 rounds in there with .38 and .44 Specials).
Polymer furniture with accessory attachment points on the forend. Fiber optic sights. An enlarged lever loop. The muzzle on both rifles is threaded with a 5/8×24 pitch so you can run them with a suppressor.
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Like all of Henry’s tube-fed rifles, these can be loaded from the top of the tube, but the X Models also have a side loading gate in the receiver. The listed weight for these rifles is 7.3 pounds. That was spot on when I weighed the .357 version, but the .44 actually came in closer to 7 pounds even. Of course,
that makes sense because the larger bore size means less material in the barrel. Henry also has a .45 Colt version of the Big Boy X Model and I would expect that one to weigh roughly the same as the .44 version.
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SHIPPING FOR FIREARMS & SILENCERS: All firearms and silencers ship to your FFL’s shipping address. After you complete your order and we receive your FFL’s license, then we will set up shipping and email you the tracking. On the checkout form you can list your FFL’s name and phone number/email in the Order Comment box, and I will reach out to them. Shipping for Firearms is $40 for long guns and $25 for Hand Guns and Silencers. Additional shipping costs may apply to sales to AK and HI.
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BAYONNE, NJ – January 21, 2020 – Henry is introducing a highly anticipated new product line today with the X Model series, a concept that was first teased at the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Dallas, TX. All the firearms included in this new product launch are designed from the ground up to bring unparalleled versatility and utility to not only Henry’s line of rifles and shotguns,
but the lever action platform in general. All five models are now available nationwide from licensed firearms dealers with an MSRP across the board of $970.00.
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Anthony Imperato, President and owner of Henry Repeating Arms says, “The sheer volume of positive feedback we received about the concept guns we brought to Dallas was incredible, and this type of strong feedback is what tends to drive our product development plans.
” Imperato continues, “It’s exciting to kick off the year with such a highly requested line of firearms and finally make these guns a reality.”
The X Model series consists of the Big Boy platform, chambered in .44 Mag/.44 Spl, .357 Mag./.38 Spl, and .45 Colt, a lever action .410 shotgun, and another rifle chambered in .45-70 Government.
All five models sport durable and lightweight synthetic furniture with a solid rubber recoil pad on the pistol-gripped buttstock, Picatinny and M-Lok accessory slots on the forestock,
and integrated sling swivel studs. The matte blued steel receivers utilize a side loading gate to keep the removable tube magazine loaded and they are all drilled and tapped to accept an optics mount. The rifles are all threaded at the muzzle end with a 5/8×24 thread pitch to accommodate a suppressor or other muzzle device.
The shotgun’s smooth bore barrel is threaded internally for a removable invector style choke and contrasting fiber optic sights adorn all of the X Models with the .410 shotgun variation using only a front sight.
Then last year, for the first time Henry introduced new versions of a couple of their more popular models that included a side loading gate. Following that, the X Models were announced at the beginning of this year and they are the first Henrys to bring the side gate to their pistol caliber lever actions.
And it would seem as though that’s been a welcome change because just in the last week, Henry announced that they’re adding the side gate to all of their steel centerfire models. So it looks like side loading gates might be the new normal for Henry going forward.
Henry X Model vs The Other Guys
At first glance, the X Models kind of resemble some of the other black lever actions that have hit the market lately like the Marlin Dark Series and the Rossi Triple Black. Those might be nice guns, but there are a few things I think Henry did better.
Large Lever Loops: Feature or Bug?
Let’s start with the lever loop. It’s larger than a standard loop, but smaller than a lot of the oversized loops that are en vogue these days. I like the standard size loops, but they can feel a little cramped if you try to shoot with gloves or if you have large hands. You can usually get around that by shooting with your little finger outside the loop.
But everybody thinks they would rather just have an extra large lever loop instead.
Until they actually try to use one.
The opening on a standard Henry lever is about an inch wide. The big loop for this Marlin Dark Series is about two inches in the middle.
The really big loops can slow you down if you like to run the action fast. If the action gets a little hung up for some reason, your hand is more likely to fly right out of a big loop. But the main issue is really comfort. With a big loop,
instead of pushing the lever open, you smack it open with the back of your fingers. Since the back of your fingers are basically just skin and bones, that’s not particularly comfortable when you’re running the action vigorously.
On this Marlin and the Rossi Triple Black, they have addressed this problem by adding a paracord wrap to the lever to act as a kind of cushion for your hand. That’s not a bad solution, but I would argue that it introduces a potential failure point. If the wrap were to loosen over time, it could work its way back and prevent the lever from closing all the way,
which essentially disables the gun until you fix it. The wrap on this Marlin seems nice and tight, it’s probably not going anywhere for a while. But that is something I have had happen with an aftermarket lever wrap in the past.
Henry has kind of taken a middle road. They simply use an enlarged loop that’s not quite so big. The opening is an inch and a half wide in the middle. It’s got a lot more room than the standard lever loop, but it’s not massive.
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It definitely cuts down on the abuse your fingers get over a long range session. The Henry action is pretty smooth right out of the box anyway, so there’s not as much resistance when you’re trying to run the lever to begin with.
Wood is Not Always Good
The other thing I think Henry got right is the stock. The X Model’s forend and stock are polymer. Marlin and Rossi both went with wood furniture that’s painted black.
I love a nice wood stock and the Henry would look fantastic with something like checkered dark walnut. But for a rifle that’s actually going to get some practical use, plastic makes a lot of sense. There’s no wood finish that’s as weather-proof as polymer. You don’t have to baby a polymer stock or worry that it’s going to get scratches or dings when you drag it through the woods
Most importantly, as least as far as I’m concerned, both of these rifles have been a ton of fun to play with at the range. As a bonus, there’s plenty of aftermarket compatibility if you want to experiment with different configurations. The MSRP is 970 bucks. That’s priced right in between the Marlin Dark Series and the Rossi Triple Black. I think the Henry X Model is probably the best value of the three. Maybe the best rifle overall with the caveat that I haven’t handled one of the Rossis yet. If you’ve been thinking about a pistol caliber lever action and you want some modern features, the X Model should definitely be on your short list.