“I hope you have some 22 mag ammo to shoot out of this rifle, because I sure do not have any for you,” Mike advised me during our phone conversation.
I told him I had some but to actually find 22 mag ammo on the shelves of any big box store for the last six-plus months has been only by accident or exception.
If you go online to the legitimate ammo sellers either they do not have it or they are asking inflated prices to the tune to $29 to $109 a box. Now, when you click on the lower-priced ammo they seem to always be out of the desired 22 mag.
So, when I walked into a store (a couple of months ago) and there were two 125 round milk cartoon containers of CCI 22 mag, I felt like I had struck gold–well silver perhaps.
If you are a fan of the “Walking Dead” TV series you will know that it takes a bullet to the head of the “Walker” zombie to stop the undead. A point-blank shot to the heart with a 50 cal rifle will not get the job done. They just keep coming toward you. If the “Walker” is even a few days dead it starts to get rotten and the head gets a little soft and mushy.
Now, this mushiness is where I figured you could skip using your expensive and hard-to-replace centerfire ammo or shotgun slugs & buckshot during a zombie apocalypse. Why not use a 22 mag rifle on the softening head of your local “Walker”? Of course, this is based on a TV show and not real life.
So when I found the two lonely boxes of 22 mag and decided to give them a forever home I took it as a sign of hope in the future, that future is a rifle in 22 mag.
Enter the Henry 22 Magnum Express Rifle
Henry Repeating Arms has taken their H001 action and built a mighty fine shooting 22 mag lever gun. Precision shooting was the goal with the new Henry Lever Action Magnum Express (H001ME) when it was developed. The mission was to produce an extremely accurate 22 mag rifle that would enhance the hunting versatility out to 125 yards.
In the past couple of months, I have been approached by folks who are not really “gun people” wanting my opinion on firearms purchases. One person has a Black rifle and other high-capacity firearms but not a shotgun and no 22 rifle. So, I told him about dogs in times of crisis.
In hard times people sadly turn their pet “fluffy” loose supposedly to “fend for itself”. Unfortunately, dogs do not do well on their own so they pack-up like drunk fighter pilots and run amuck causing damage to society. When .223/5.56 ammo is selling for over $2 a round and you cannot find 12ga buckshot, you do not want to waste them on a marauding pack of dogs trying to have you for lunch.
In a crisis, when you are having enhanced difficulty finding replacement ammo, you should always consider engaging danger with the cheapest ammo you have. Oh and before I go any further I am a dog owner and pet lover, so as you continue reading this column please remember I am not talking about dispatching someone’s pet in normal times.
If you have a known pack of feral dogs in your post-apocalyptic neighborhood I suggest you not leave your home without a shotgun or centerfire rifle. However, if you are inside the safety of a hard-sided building this is where the dispatching of four-legged evil (and perhaps two-legged) can be accomplished on the cheap. Henry Rifles promotes the concept of Protect and Provide and sometimes protection does not require a 45-70 lever gun as if you are in the alder thickets of Alaska.
A new Henry rifle has been developed for precision shooting of small game up to the size of a coyote. Notice the coyote is in the same category as the feral dog menacing you in a crisis. The Magnum Express has a 19.25-inch barrel which provides an optimum length to maximize the ballistic capability of the 22 mag cartridge.
You are standing during a crisis in the relative safety of the second-story window of your home dispatching a four-legged aggressor. This allows you to use the minimum needed ordinance, in this case, 22 mag. It also demonstrates a well-thought-out husbandry of your limited ammunition supply.
As your post-apocalyptic world gets quieter with the loss of motor fuel other animals will appear closer to your domicile. When I lived in Colorado I had mule deer in my yard all the time. Now even in Milwaukee, I on occasion have whitetail deer walking through my neighborhood. A well-placed headshot from a 22 mag Henry Express Magnum rifle will put a lot of meat on the table.
This is not a discussion about poaching in peacetime. This is the Provide part of “Protect and Provide.”
Of course, with no electricity, there will be no refrigeration so now you can use the excess meat to barter with your neighbors who are less prepared. If someone tries to tell you there is no hunting of deer allowed using a 22 mag, don’t offer them any of your deer meat. These types of people have not figured out yet just how bad their lives have become. I am talking about a real societal crisis where you do not know where your next meal is coming from, not shining deer and running from the local game warden during normal times.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Magnum Express is there are no iron sights on the rifle. It comes with a pre-installed, proprietary Picatinny rail for a scope base that is designed to accept standard centerfire rifle scopes. The point being is this rifle was designed for precision shooting and Henry is making it plain right out of the box that is accomplished with a scoped rifle.
A Monte Carlo buttstock is used to assist the shooter to raise their cheek up to better allow the eye positioning for sighting through the scope. The fact Henry uses a gorgeous piece of walnut to produce the stock might get lost in translation when you are dispatching “Walkers” with one after another headshot inside your deer blind turn “zombie” blind. Each shot is made with much precision and no wasting of valuable ammo.
I am not suggesting that a 22 mag rifle would be my first choice as a stand-alone battle rifle or my first choice as a game-hunting firearm. However, in a crisis, a 22 mag rifle within understood parameters can be a fine tool to have on your side.
You have eleven very rapid shots out of a scoped, lever-action Henry rifle. The rifle is chambered in a cartridge, that due to the rifles’ light-weight permits the easy carrying of large quantities of ammunition. This has its place in your crisis battery of firearms. 22LR rifles are a must for everyone and I implore you to have a couple of them, but 22 mag has 50% more energy out at 100 yards than a 22LR will have.
I have read but cannot confirm that five states allow the use of 22mag to hunt whitetail deer. While spending seven years in Alaska I routinely heard the stories of the indigenous population hunting caribou and seals with a 22 mag. I also heard how more than one brown bear was dispatched in a local bush village with a 22 mag rifle.
I called an old friend who for two years made his living culling whitetail deer in county and city forests preserves in the middle of large urban populations. He was required to always shoot down onto the deer from a deer stand, so if the bullet missed the animal, it would safely bury into the earth, not fly off into a populated subdivision. He did this culling with a 22 mag rifle taking the shot at the deer as it grazed on corn spread on the ground in front of the deer stand.
The preferred point of impact on the deer was between the ear and the eye. He advised me the deer would startle, run 100-150 yards and bleed out like it was a lung shot. So if you develop the skill to dispatch feral dogs and coyotes by shooting down from your second-story window I am sure you could apply that skill to harvest a deer with your 22 mag in time of crisis.
In normal times I would never advocate hunting anything in your state using the wrong or incorrect cartridge. Staring down a grizzly bear with nothing but a 22mag rifle in my hands is not something I care to participate in. There is however that old saying, “any gun is better than no gun at all.”
In peacetime and prosperity, your Henry Magnum Express in 22 mag is going to provide you excellent accuracy and killing power within its prescribed limitations. In times of crisis and uncertainty, that same lever-action rifle will go a long way to meet the compelling needs for a tool to deliver protection and provide sustenance for your family.
Of course, before the stock market crashes and renders your green-backs useless and before “Walkers” roam the streets of your fair city you can have a lot of fun shooting the dimple off of the private parts of a gopher at 100 yards (accuracy implied not animal cruelty). Big Henry is telling you their new Magnum Express 22 mag lever gun is up to that shot straight from the factory. All you have to do is add a good scope and some personal shooting skills and the gophers better head for the hills.
The Henry 22 Magnum Express lever-action rifle I tested provided a 5/12th inch group at 25 yards–smaller than a dime. I must admit I was having trouble with a new pair of trifocal glasses that day. Out at the farm this spring, with a rifle rest I will do even better. Correction, the Henry rifle will do even better.
Hard assets are things that you own of value that hold that value even in time of crisis. A Henry rifle in any caliber along with a decent supply of ammo has very quickly become a must-have hard asset. Nonperishable food, paper products, medicine, tools, sturdy clothes, and excellent footwear are other examples of hard assets. Oh! and ammo, always more ammo.
Big Henry is working literally around the clock to produce needed hard assets of excellent quality. The new Magnum Express 22 mag rifle has been included in that stable of Protect and Provide tools. Mr. Imperato, president of Henry Repeating Arms, is tirelessly manufacturing to meet the unquenchable demand from the American shooting community.
Hard times are not coming, they are already here and they will get harder. You must do everything you can to “Be Henry Prepared.” I always say never pass up the chance to buy fresh ammo. I suggest you do not pass up the chance to buy an extra firearm or two–if it is a Henry all the better. Anything you do not use, you can always leave in your estate for the family to pick up and continue to “Be Henry Prepared.”
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]