USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- There is this underlying issue with me and lever-action rifles chambered in pistol cartridges.
Since my college days, I have been attracted to the concept of having a handgun and a rifle chambered in the same cartridge. There was a brand X lever gun in 44 magnum that I owned before I was old enough to acquire a used Ruger, Super Blackhawk in 44 mag. When I finally put both together it was a defining moment in my gun ownership young life.
A couple of presidents ago I had an Air Force colonel friend approach me about assisting him to acquire a 30-30 lever-action rifle. He was not going to hunt and he did not want a Black Rifle, so I steered him to a lever gun in 44 mag. The big selling point was the 44 mag rifle held twice as many rounds of ammo as did the 30-30 lever-action rifle. He was buying a defense rifle but should he in the future find himself invited to a white-tail deer hunt, his 44 mag rifle would do nicely.
During a recent conversation, the now-retired veteran confirmed he still remembers me helping him buy that lever action 44 mag rifle. We discussed the current political and criminal climate of the up-and-coming summer of 2021. He never did use the lever gun for hunting but he still appreciates the fact that the rifle holds 10-1 rounds of ammo in the event evil shows up on his doorstep.
Also, this veteran did not understand just how valuable factory 44 mag ammo had become. He was appreciative of my insistence he buys multiple boxes of 44 mag ammunition years ago.
In times of crisis, the only two things of true value are food and firearm, but it is not really firearms (there are more than enough of them to go around), it is the ability to possess mass quantities of ammunition. My old Air Force veteran friend sees the value of the ammunition I “forced” him to buy back in the day, both for safety and Ammo-Wealth.
Word of the day (and the rest of your days)!
Webster’s dictionary fails to define Ammo-Wealth, nevertheless, it means one has enough quantity and/or volume of ammunition on hand to supply a sufficient amount of ammo to meet the needs to Protect and Provide for your family, and have some extra on the side to barter with for other needed staples in time of extreme peril from evil.
Evil hates organization and it really hates someone with well-prepared Ammo-Wealth. Accumulated Ammo-Wealth is earned and acquired on your own accord. Never rely on, or expect inherited Ammo-Wealth. Do however prepare to leave Ammo-Wealth to your children and extended family. In the immortal words of Navy Chaplain Edwin F. Woodhead, spoken while serving on the USS New Orleans the morning of 7 Dec 1941, as his ship came under attack, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”
Even the peace-loving Chaplain understood Ammo-Wealth on that infamous day in our history. Never pass up the chance to buy fresh ammo and always work to increase your Ammo-Wealth.
There has been a lot of improvements in 44 mag ammunition since my college days and the capabilities of a rifle chambered in that cartridge has been greatly enhanced. There is nothing in the lower 48 States that you could not hunt with a 44 mag rifle, as long as you kept the shot within the suggested range (approximate 100-125 yards.) You might want to leave the Grizzlies alone but if cornered by one, a 44 mag rifle most likely will save your life. Just use a little common sense here.
If you have never owned a rifle chambered in a pistol cartridge, the first thing you need to understand is the greatly enhanced velocity of a 44 mag round being shot out of an 18-20 inch rifle barrel vs a four-inch pistol barrel. In most cases you are going to get an increase of400 fps in the speed of that bullet leaving the rifle. This of course effectively increases the energy down range when that 44 caliber bullet strikes its intended target.
The paradigm of the modern Henry rifle changed a couple of years back when Mr. Imperato the owner of what I call “Big Henry” introduced the side loading gate into their line of lever-action centerfire rifles. This forever reassigned the role of the Henry lever action from not just a hunting firearm, but it is now a battle rifle.
Almost all the Henry lever rifles (except rimfire) will be produced with a side loading gate. The many Big Boy All Weather lever guns chambered in pistol calibers, with a special emphasis on the 44 mag cartridge has crossed over to a personal defense rifle.
My old Brand X lever-action rifle in 44 mag weight in at 6.5 pounds. The All Weather Big Boy in 44 mag is 7 pounds and has a chrome finish to repel the damage of nature and potential man’s inhumanity of neglect to a great rifle. It has a smooth action and an even smoother side loading gate. I have owned numerous brands of lever-action rifles of the past 50 years and the Henry by far has the smoothest, easiest to load (the round slides right in) side gate.
The stock is hardwood with the Henry proprietary finish to also resist the elements.
In the world of Provide and Protect an All Weather Henry Big Boy is in fact a battle rifle. I would suggest you engage evil with a new side loading gate Henry the way you would engage with a pump shotgun. Shoot, always moving to new cover and concealment and all the time reloading on the run. Shoot and Scoot–and stay alive. Having a revolver also chambered in 44 mag goes a long way in being a force multiplier in your conflict with evil.
When the US military entered the First World War they had seen the years of trench warfare in Europe and worked very hard to arm all the American front line troops both officer and enlisted Soldiers and Marines with a handgun. The modern Henry owner who may find themselves in harm’s way needs to think like a WWI combat veteran. When carrying a manually operated repeating rifle, a handgun will help keep you safe and so will adding a fixed blade knife.
The renowned gun writer of the 1960s – 80s Colonel Jeff Cooper referred to the lever-action rifle as the “Brooklyn Assault Rifle.” To the unknowing public, it does not look like something the military would use but that would be incorrect. Our US military has only used lever action riles on a limited scale. Unlike many of the Armies of Europe and Asia that have used American lever-action rifles in combat as far back as the 1870s and as recent as the Second World War.
Lever action rifles have been repeatedly used as a battle rifle and with so many of them found around the world they will continue to find a place in combat.
The Henry All-Weather Big Boy is also chambered in 357 mag and 45 Long Colt. They all hold 10-1 cartridges. They too will help you organize against and prepare to repel evil and allow you to carry a companion cartridge handgun in the same caliber as your rifle.
The quality is there, the 44 mag cartridge will meet or exceed your needs, and as I said they are smooth rifles.
Tim Sundels’ Buffalo Bore Heavy 44 Magnum lead-free ammo, using a 225 gr Barnes XPB all copper bullet cycles so smoothly in the Henry . You are looking at approximately 1400 fps out of a pistol and 1700 fps out of a rifle. Protecting from evil or providing dinner, this combination really works.
Be Henry Prepared and ready to Provide and Protect and as always never pass up the chance to buy fresh ammo. The year 2021 is going to be a bumpy ride. Hold tight to your Henry, husband your ammo, and always scan 360 when walking the streets of your town. Evil is everywhere.
When the bolts, the cables, the chains, the bars, and the locks fail to keep evil out, you need to ask yourself–what is your Ammo-Wealth?
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safety and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]