Extremely Rare Iron Frame Henry Model 1860 Lever Action Rifle

Our Price: sold

Extremely Rare Iron Frame Henry Model 1860 Lever Action Rifle. Serial number 131. 44 Rimfire HENRY. Rare Henry rifle with 24-1/4″ octagonal barrel that has integral magazine and 1st type German silver front sight blade with rounded top. Top flat of barrel has the small 2-line Henry patent date & address with an open dovetail near the receiver. Receiver, side plates and buttplate are of the rare iron variety with a 2nd sight dovetail in top flat of receiver. This receiver dovetail contains an original, 1st type 1000-yard Henry ladder sight. Mounted with very nicely figured, uncheckered, slab sawed American walnut buttstock with varnish finish and early features of a perch belly stock and iron buttplate with rounded heel and large trap containing an orig 4-pc hickory & iron cleaning rod. Cleaning rod recess in the stock has a beveled area at the bottom of the hole which is distinctive only to the iron frame variety of the Model 1860 Henry rifle. Brass frame versions of the rifle are not known to have this bevel.

Serial number was observed in the usual place on top flat of barrel between rear sight dovetail and frame, left side of lower tang under the wood, inside top tang channel of buttstock and inside top tang of buttplate. All 5 stock & buttplate screws are matching numbered to the rifle. The tang wood screws are also distinctive to the iron frame variety of this model with beveled heads. The round portion of the barrel, under the loading sleeve is marked with the assembly “151” which number is also found on rear face of loading sleeve.

According to The Henry Rifle, Quick, there were probably less than 200 of the iron frame variety produced within the first 400 rifles. As of the publication of the reference book, there were only 90 of them known and this rifle is listed in a chart on page 54. Apparently there is some controversy as to whether the iron frame Henry was produced at a separate facility or simultaneously with the brass frame version in the same plant. The aforementioned chart on pages 54 & 55 of the reference publication lists 16 known duplicate serial numbers which leads one to speculate however one wishes to speculate. Mr. Quick states that there are no known Martially marked iron frame Henry’s. He also reports that the iron frame Henry may have been an effort to gain a Navy contract which, if true, apparently never materialized. No matter, there are few surviving iron frame Henry’s and extremely few of those show any original finish.

Fine condition all matching. Barrel & magazine retain a smooth, even, plummy blue/brown patina with some scattered light surface rust. Receiver & side plates retain about 60-70% matching patina showing light wear and a few nicks & scratches. Lever, hammer & buttplate are also with the same patina. Wood is sound with numerous small nicks & scratches and retains about 90% of an old restored varnish finish. Mechanics are crisp, strong bright bore with good shine and a few scattered spots of pitting. Cleaning rod is fine.


 

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