Home .410 shotgun Survival Gear Review: Henry .410 Lever Action Shotgun

Survival Gear Review: Henry .410 Lever Action Shotgun


Generally, particularly within the prepper/survivalist tools world, one can inform upon cursory visible inspection or assessment of specs that an merchandise or piece of substances has worth; however till you really put the piece to work with your personal naked arms, the extent of utility and the piece’s place within the universe is usually troublesome to quantify. That is precisely the place I discovered myself on the exact second I opened the white field with theorange circle and “HENRY” emblem emblazoned on its cardboard face. My FFL supplier seemed on the mysterious contents of the field, narrowed his eyes, cocked an eyebrow, and queried, “Why’d you get that?” I wasn’t precisely certain myself at that intersection of area/time coordinates, however I used to be definitely going to search out out. Our topic? An arm that’s an enigma wrapped in a thriller to most who see it: a .410 shotgun made by Henry Repeating Arms…that’s a lever motion.

By Drew, a contributing writer of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

What’s In The Field??

Sure, the Henry Repeating Arms mannequin H0-18-410 is certainly a lever-action shotgun. Although the thought just isn’t new – not even by a protracted stretch (Winchester’s John Browning-designed mannequin 1887 has been knocking geese out of the sky and arming Terminators for the reason that late 19th century), Henry’s interpretation and execution of the idea is however a brand new tackle the idea.

Constructed on Henry’s .45-70 lever-action frame, the .410 is an outdated buddy as quickly because it jumps into your arms and also you cycle the motion. Although presumably seeming out of date to the uninitiated and unappreciating unwashed lots, Henry’s group has paired a satin-finished, properly fitted and checkered American walnut inventory fore and aft with a matte blued end on the metal – a mix assured to make levergun lovers corresponding to myself go a little bit weak within the knees. Henry gives two variations of their .410 shotgun – a 24-inch barreled mannequin with an enormous ol’ brass bead for sighting reference and screw-in chokes, and a 20-inch barreled system with adjustable rifle-type buckhorn sights, a drilled and tapped receiver, and a set cylinder bore choke – no screw-in chokes. My shotgun is the previous configuration – I selected the additional versatility of the screw-in chokes (a single, full choke is offered, although other chokes are available at about the $20 mark) over the extra exact sighting prospects of the rifle sights – it’s a shotgun, not a rifle, proper? Extra on this later.

Picture from henryusa.com

Rounding out the bundle is a pleasant squishy black recoil pad on the walnut buttstock (to absorb the negligible recoil of the mighty .410), and a welcome addition that many shotgun producers appear to neglect: built-in sling swivels for the standard hunting-type sling. There isn’t any compatibility from the manufacturing facility with tactical-type single-point or two-point slings – and that’s high-quality by me; this shotgun’s consolation zone doesn’t embrace room clearing. The one equipment I added to this Henry .410 was a Butler Creek Ultra Padded nylon sling with cartridge loops so I may have an additional six shotgun shells able to rumble.

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I did need to make particular point out of the set off on this Henry; although most mass-produced shotguns have a set off that breaks like a inexperienced maple department, my topic .410 had a set off that belongs on a moderately-priced precision rifle; I’ve by no means had any lever-action rifle – not to mention a shotgun – with a set off break as clear and crisp as this explicit Henry gives. Excellent high quality from the high-quality folks in Bayonne, NJ! Additionally of word is the Henry’s proud proclamation: Made in America or not made in any respect!”

Going Down The Tubes

What units Henry leverguns aside from different producers corresponding to Marlin (whose strains the Henry appears to borrow from) and Winchester is the loading and feeding system. All three of those producers sport tubular, in-line cartridge magazines that dwell beneath the barrel. Nonetheless, whereas Winchester and Marlin load by way of a spring-steel gate on the facet of the receiver, Henry selected to buck the conference and make the most of a tried-and-true, confirmed journal system that includes a detachable brass feed tube (a la just about each tubular journal .22 LR rifle EVER) to accommodate the spring and cartridge follower. A brief twist on the knurled finish cap and the brass tube slides out with well-oiled, clean precision, permitting the shooter to load 5 2 ½” lengthy .410 shells into the journal. Push the brass feed tube again down into the journal, twist to lock, work the lever, and also you’re in enterprise. The simplicity of the feed tube system is appreciated, although typically maligned by those that have used different producer’s conventional loading gate techniques.

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Although for brass-cased cartridges, I’ll admit I usually want a loading gate system (principally as a result of familiarity), the feed tube has some particular advantages to our survivalist-bent target market. Initially, you’ll be able to load the Henry with one hand. Lock the Henry between your knees or in one other safe space, and one hand can simply retract the feed tube, drop within the desired payload, and change the tube; rifles with loading gates universally require one agency hand on the gun to carry it from pushing away, and the opposite hand to wrestle cartridges into the journal. Secondly, you’ll be able to load the Henry fairly simply with gloves on; a standard loading gate system will, in my expertise, chow down in your glove with reckless abandon as quickly as it is advisable push that cartridge in previous the loading gate. Third, you don’t want lumberjack hand energy to load the gun – educated kids, the outdated, the weak, the drained – all can feed and use the Henry with aplomb and ease. Fourth, it’s easy and protected to unload: pull out the journal feed tube and dump the roads on the bottom or handy floor, then lever the spherical out of the chamber; your gun is evident. Conventional loading gate techniques require you to lever each single spherical by way of the gun to unload – a system that’s tough on ammo and really safety-intensive; if you happen to’re drained, chilly, or in any other case distracted, the potential for a negligent discharge will increase dramatically.

One other facet good thing about the tube feed system that’s shotgun-shell particular: I’ve tried Winchester .410 shotguns primarily based on the 94 rifle sample, and loading plastic shells by way of a feed gate just about ensures plastic shavings within the gun; the shotgun shell hull can get peeled because it pushes previous the receiver, cartridge stops, and feed gate, guaranteeing a rainbow-colored smorgasbord will probably be adorning your shotgun’s innards. A tube feed system negates this subject fully.

The brass feed tube, although, is the Achilles’ heel of the Henry’s “repeater” title: you’d finest take excellent care of the brass tube journal elements – if they’re uncared for, misplaced, bent or broken, you might have diminished your repeating shotgun to a very nice single shot lever motion. The brass feed tube is the shotgun’s (and, as an extension, presumably YOUR) life help: whereas the tube is sturdy and well-made, it’s an important requirement to deal with it nicely. Nurture its very nicely being and regulate it to make sure your Henry is functioning to its most functionality once you want it to nurture your very nicely being.

However…Why a .410 Lever Motion?

And right here we’re: determining why we’re even contemplating the Henry .410 Lever Motion SHotgun for our survival makes use of…and presumably, why it even exists within the first place. The crux of the difficulty is twofold: the .410 isn’t precisely a powerhouse, and the lever motion is a tad unorthodox for a shotgun. Let’s deal with these points individually, then focus on how this Henry rises to the duty regardless of the somewhat unorthodox strategy.

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The .410 shotgun (the .410 just isn’t a gauge, however technically a bore dimension/caliber.) has lengthy been cursed for its supposed lack of punch. Aficionados and “specialists” (snobs?) deem the .410 to be the final word expression of approach and ability – if you happen to can kill it/hit it with a .410 when everybody else wants a 12 gauge to perform the identical mission, then clearly you could don’t have any shotgunning peer within the rapid space. The plain and easy reality is that – all different issues like shot dimension and barrel size being equal – the shot in a .410 is transferring nearly as quick because the shot from a 12 or 20 gauge…so the .410 has the identical theoretical energy as an even bigger gauge of shotgun, simply much less quantity. Working example: a field of two ½” .410 shells – Remington Categorical Lengthy Vary manufacture in no. 7 ½ lead shot – boasts 1,250 toes per second (FPS) velocity on its field. For comparability’s sake, Remington Categorical Lengthy Vary 12 gauge, 2 ¾” shells with 7 ½ load shot are marketed at 1,330 fps. That’s 80 fps marketed velocity distinction on a pellet that’s actually minuscule: a quantity 7 ½ shot pellet is .095” in diameter and simply 1.46 grains – so we’re speaking not even a foot-pound of vitality per pellet distinction between a 12 gauge and a .410 with this one instance of shot dimension and producer. Your mileage could differ, however I’ll wager not by a lot.

The place the larger gauges shine is sheer density of shot – a 2 ½” .410 throws however ½ ounce of shot, or a amount of about 170 pellets at quantity 7 ½ dimension – the place a 2 ¾” 12 gauge kicks out 2.5 instances as a lot 7 ½ sized shot at 1 ¼ ounces, or about 425 pellets. So simply by evaluating the variety of little lead spheres coursing in direction of your chosen goal at excessive velocity, it’s straightforward to mathematically devise that it’s simply merely gonna be simpler to hit a transferring goal with extra pellets with the larger 12 gauge than the .410 – so a .410 would require observe and a contact of ability to get a deal with on hitting transferring targets with any sort of authority. Nonetheless, with strong hits in a significant space, I’ll lay wages that your small recreation goal isn’t going to have the ability to inform if you happen to shot it with a .410 or a 12 gauge.

“However what about slugs?” It’s possible you’ll ask…and that’s an incredible query. A 1-ounce Foster-type lead slug from a 12 gauge has legendary affect energy – I’ve personally seen deer flip hooves-over-head upon being the recipient of a strong 12 gauge slug hit within the brisket, and lots of authorities advocate a 12 gauge with slugs as an enormous bear deterrent in Alaska…so the 12 gauge with slugs is nothing to sneeze at. Nonetheless, the .410 bore throwing slugs is an entirely completely different kettle of fish.

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A Remington 2 ½” lengthy .410 slug load shoots a ⅕ ounce slug – roughly 90 grains – at about 1,830 FPS velocity. This equates to roughly 650 ft-lbs of vitality on the muzzle. Nonetheless, that stubby little light-weight slug sheds velocity FAST – at 50 yards it’s transferring at a shade over 1300 FPS and the bullet vitality has been halved at lower than 350 ft-lbs of vitality. At 100 yards, that ⅕ ounce of solid lead is barely serving up 200 ft. lbs of vitality. People, we’re taking a look at roughly the identical efficiency as a .357 Magnum capturing a 125-grain bullet – from a handgun. Across the elements I hail from, we think about 1,00zero ft-lbs of vitality to be a very good baseline for killing a whitetail deer – so although I’m certain they’ve felled many a deer, to be protected the .410 slug masses actually have to be stored to coyote-sized recreation for clear kills.

No Actually – Why a Lever Motion?

Aye, there’s the rub. Folks can get the philosophy behind the .410 and usually agree it has advantage inside its envelope – however attempt to get them to know why a lever-action SHOTGUN is sensible and also you’ll begin to lose your viewers’s understanding. Why get a levergun when there are different time-proven designs in .410 just like the Remington 870, or perhaps a break-open H&R/New England Firearms Handi-Rifle?

Properly, the lever-action shotgun has rapid enchantment to me (and I’ll wager numerous others) as a result of I (we) grew up capturing leverguns. My first “actual” deer rifle was a Winchester 94 “Trapper” in .44 Magnum. My first repeating rifle was a Marlin Mannequin 39A. To at the present time, the gun I attain extra most frequently when deer season opens up is a uncommon Marlin 336ER in .356 Winchester. To me, lever actions epitomize simplicity, velocity, effectiveness, and fast-handling qualities – and this Henry is completely no completely different. I’ve been in a position to harvest a number of flushing ruffed grouse in thick cowl with the Henry as a result of Henry coming to the shoulder in a vigorous style and behaving like my beloved Marlin deer rifle. In case you’ve used leverguns up to now, the Henry .410 lever motion shotgun will definitely play good for you.

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One other argument that may be mustered in protection of the Henry is reliability. Leverguns have lengthy been lauded as dependable arms – they work so long as they’re not damaged, they usually normally will run nicely even when gummed up with a few years value of outside gunk caking their innards. The place Henry Repeating Arms constructed the HO18-410 shotgun on their .45-70 platform, the design was already optimized for flawlessly consuming huge stubby ammunition – so the .410 is a logical development and capabilities with precision. I’ve had zero malfunctions with the Henry, whether or not biking the blued metal lever as forcefully as I may, or at a leisurely charge. The design works, and works nicely – and a very good man with a levergun can simply preserve tempo with a man working a pump-action…or presumably keep nipping on the heels of a man with a semi-automatic shotgun.

A aspect to think about that definitely doesn’t hurt the reliability is that the Henry’s motion is totally enclosed. With no loading gate on the facet or backside to reveal the shotgun’s guts, the chance of particles getting into the firearm’s innards is lowered considerably. I’ve ceaselessly returned to the truck after a day of looking shut cowl areas, solely to discover a fir department or pine needles caught within the gun’s motion. A clear gun is a contented gun, and the longer you’ll be able to preserve overseas objects from gathering within the gun, the higher the probabilities are the gun will work once you want it.

The final Henry debate level I’m bringing to the repeating shotgun desk is security. Lever motion arms are oft reviled within the security division as a result of the truth that (shock, shock!)  the gun will in all probability go off if you happen to’re a moron and preserve your finger within the set off guard whereas biking the motion throughout a brisk unloading session. As acknowledged beforehand, the Henry negates this subject handily by permitting the person to dump all of the rounds out of the tubular journal, after which cycle the motion as soon as to extract any chambered shells. If this handbook of arms is adopted, there may be zero likelihood the gun can go off whereas unloading – even when your finger one way or the other finds its approach onto the set off.

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Additionally, the uncovered hammer permits a stage of visible security that simply isn’t accessible on different repeating shotguns. A easy visible inspection can inform you if the gun is cocked and able to hearth – an exquisite profit for educating, and likewise for loaning the shotgun to individuals who is probably not “gun guys/gals”; you’ll be able to look on the gun of their arms – even from a distance – and know instantaneously if the Henry is cocked and able to hearth. A spherical of applause to Henry for additionally resisting the urge to put in an eyesore and annoyance of a cross-bolt security within the receiver to please legal professionals – the gun’s strains stay clear and unfettered, and the interior hammer safeties make sure the gun gained’t go off except the set off is pulled.

Operating and Gunning

I definitely wasn’t going to have a gun like this Henry in my possession and simply shoot it a pair instances at clay pigeons and dig it out to point out buddies the “wager you’ve by no means seen certainly one of these!” shotgun. No sir, I needed to check the utility of the Henry .410 and discover its place within the huge scheme of prepper stuff. Subject work was required.

Henry was type sufficient to expedite sending the shotgun to me to verify I may take a look at the .410 on my yearly bird-hunting expedition in Northern Maine. Realizing ruffed grouse can be the first recreation, I wanted to decide on dialing within the ammunition for the duty at hand, and likewise sample the shotgun to examine shot density. Realizing roughly how huge a grouse was, I attempted completely different shot sizes at completely different distances to see what gave the impression to be the most effective envelope that the Henry was simplest inside. Thankfully, the grouse is roughly the identical dimension as different small recreation, so it was an incredible benchmark to match how the shotgun would work towards different, somewhat diminutive fur-bearing creatures.

Usually, once I hunt birds with 12 or 16 gauge shotguns, I gravitate in direction of #5 or #6 shot to wrangle a bit extra distance and punch; the heavier shot gives a greater likelihood at hitting recreation when coursing by way of gentle foliage. Nonetheless, I discovered that even with the equipped full choke, #6 shot simply wasn’t placing many pellets on the goal space at my self-imposed 25 yards. So, I made the choice to bump down a shot dimension to #7 ½, and had significantly better shot sample density with 10-12 pellets within the desired 8” goal space at 25 yards. Pacing again to even simply 30 yards, the shot sample opened broad and I used to be fortunate to get greater than four or 5 pellets on the circle – so now I knew the shot dimension and vary the place the shotgun can be simplest for me. Possibilities had been glorious that I’d be capturing at transferring birds, in order that shot sample would have to be efficient and predictable, and the Remington Categorical masses delivered properly.

For the reason that motion size is proscribed to make use of of two ½” lengthy shotgun shells solely, I used to be curious concerning the effectiveness with its smaller shot payload – most different semi- and pump-action .410s provide 3” chambers, with a correspondingly heavier shot cost. Whereas I didn’t have a 3” gun to check towards and possibly get some on-paper outcomes, I’m pleased to say that in the actual world, the two ½” chamber labored nicely – so long as I stayed in that 25-yard field.

Two examples so that you can think about:

Case one: whereas looking grouse with a buddy on our journey, he flushed a grouse from a juniper bush under me and the hen took off like a feathered Apache helicopter and made a beeline for the heavy cowl to my left. I heard the hen break, caught the movement, and fluidly introduced the shotgun to my shoulder in a well-rehearsed, nearly unconscious movement. The bead discovered the hen rocketing previous me by way of gentle scrub brush, swept previous in a fast lead, and the hen fell a cut up second after the set off broke cleanly beneath my finger. The vary was about 15 yards, and I used to be shocked I made the shot – I’d had it in my head that the little .410 simply wouldn’t make the grade on wingshooting. I used to be delightfully flawed.

Case Two: on the identical journey, I had a grouse glide previous my head and land on a stump, about 50 yards away. I readied the Henry for motion on my shoulder and stalked slowly to about 35 yards. At this level, the hen was getting critically cagey with my approaching presence, so I cocked the shotgun, took cautious purpose, and let fly, pondering that the nonetheless goal would supply sufficient chance to a couple pellets to hit successfully. Pellets did hit – I’m undecided what number of – however they lacked the authority or numbers for a clear kill, and the hen toppled, however hit the bottom working laborious by way of the dense brush. I gave chase for about 20 minutes, and fortunately the hen was harvested a couple of minutes later by my looking associate. I made a psychological word to not transfer out of the consolation zone of the shotgun once more; wounding and never recovering recreation is likely one of the worst emotions ever.

I did purchase a pair containers of slugs for the Henry and tried them out off the bench on the 25-yard mark. I’m certain the total choke didn’t assist issues – the massive brass bead sight certain didn’t – however the slugs shaped an enormous 10” sample on the paper, with one of many slugs keyholing. In case you’re planning on presumably capturing slugs extra ceaselessly out of your .410 Henry, I’d steer you in direction of the shorter rifle-sighted model which has no choke to cope with, in addition to the potential of mounting optics; slugs weren’t a viable choice in my gun besides at very shut vary. In my eyes, the 24” barreled bead-sighted Henry like mine is much better suited to be a shot-delivering shotgun than a slug-delivering shotgun. However actually, that was my plan all alongside anyway.

Little Bore Fish in a Huge Gauge Pond

Studying evaluations for the Henry on-line, I appear to see writers merely noting that the Henry is “numerous enjoyable!” whereas putting off the utility the levergun gives. Maybe they didn’t just like the compromise the littlest shotgun represents, or the truth that slugs didn’t play good with this mannequin and so it’s not actually a do-it-all marvel gun. Nonetheless, limiting this shotgun to the “enjoyable solely” class is a severe mistake – and in doing so, many potential customers probably miss out on an incredible alternative to have a properly efficient gun for lots of functions.

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Clearly, this shotgun can be utilized for small-game hunting – I’ve confirmed that many instances with the shotgun because it’s been in my possession. Ruffed grouse, grey and pink squirrels, and nuisance chipmunks have all fallen to the the little Henry that would whereas in my arms. Rabbits and hares, woodchucks, beaver, porcupines, and different similarly-sized critters will all crumple convincingly to a well-placed sample of pellets from this levergun. Its foraging and pest management potential is all out of proportion to the dimensions of the opening in its muzzle, and when you think about the truth that you’ll be able to match roughly 2-Three instances the quantity of .410 ammunition in the identical area as field of ammo for a 12 gauge, its place within the nice survivalist universe begins changing into clear. Depart this fantastically made shotgun and a bunch of shells on the homestead, farm, or BOL, and be assured to have an efficient gun for feeding your loved ones, eradicating unwelcome rodents in your backyard, and even offering protection if want be at shut vary with slugs or buckshot rounds.

Although some could throw up the “but the .22 will do all that and more” rebuttal with quivering backside lip and furrowed forehead, the purpose of reality is that the shotgun is a way more efficient arm on the .22-type duties than the .22 really is, inside vary limitations, and offering ample ammunition provide. And in case your survival or looking plans consists of individuals who merely aren’t practiced on precision firearms capturing, the shotgun will prove to be a better arm for supplying these sorts with a gun they will successfully acquire recreation with. The slower loading velocity and restricted 5-shot capability implies that the provision of ammunition gained’t be ripped by way of, and the .410’s small(er) ammunition dimension ensures {that a} heady provide may be stored in a brief quantity of area – so the condo dwellers and tiny residence denizens can increase their arms in supplication to the prepper shotgun Gods as nicely.

Lengthy and quick? The Henry H018-410 .410 Lever Motion Shotgun is a fantastically constructed,  top quality, very rugged shotgun that may serve many individuals nicely so long as they keep inside its working vary – and so long as they wander previous the unknown and provides the lever motion .410 an opportunity to show its value.

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