Foraging rifle

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by greg_r, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    i have a desire for a new foraging rifle. My current foraging rifle is the ACC branded H&R Handi aRifle chambered in 300 Blackout. It’s a great rifle and serves its role well. This is not a “need” situation, but a “want” so I am in no big hurry. But I keep waffling. Need some opinions.

    The rifle will be paired with a Ruger SP101 revolver. I feel the obvious choice would be the Ruger 77/357. I neat rifle that I really like. I think it would pair with the SP101 like bread and butter.
    upload_2019-7-14_7-54-12.jpeg

    I am extremely fond of the break barrel rifles. The Henry Single Shot with the brass frame really catches my eye. I do think it is a great looking rifle. There are two drawbacks to me though. First, the rifle comes with a 22" barrel. I would prefer it to have a 18" barrel. Still even with the longer barrel, the overall length is comparable with the 77/357. The second drawback is that the rifle is just too pretty to bang around in the woods with. Scratch up the pretty walnut stock or the brass receiver and I might just cry!

    upload_2019-7-14_8-1-39.jpeg

    Opinions please - help me make up my mind.
     
  2. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I

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    H&R used to make a 357 single shot, if you can find one. Sounds like your heart is set on a break open. For me personally, I'd probably take the ruger.
     
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  3. DirtmanDave

    DirtmanDave Supporter Supporter

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    I have an H&R Survivor in 45LC/410. No need to change the barrel. Just screw in the choke for 410 if you need more than a cylinder bore.
     
  4. leghog

    leghog Guide

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    Single shot .22lr. Mine is a 80+ year old Marlin 65.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Scarywoody

    Scarywoody Scout

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    I agree with your Ruger 77 choice. Just to throw out an option for others, they make rifle and handgun caliber inserts for single and double shot shotguns. Great way to get a multi purpose gun out of an old single barrel.
     
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  6. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    I also have a 45/410 Survivor. Very fond of it. It is however not very accurate with the 45 Colt round. But I don’t expect it to be with no rear sight and only a bead front sight. It is minute of small paper plate at 35 yards or so. I generally just keep the straight rifled tube in and only carry 410.

    Never thought about a standard choke though. Great idea! Which chokes fit the H&R Survivor?
     
  7. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    My heart is set on the Henry, my mind though says 77/357. That’s why I am waffling so.
     
  8. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I

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    Seems like the former is more important right now, since, as you stated, it's a 'want' and not a 'need'.
     
  9. cstrickland

    cstrickland Scout

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    [QUOTE =Opinions please - help me make up my mind.[/QUOTE]


    if between just those two I say the 77/357 for durability. You are correct I feel the Henry single would be too nice for me at least for the intended purpose of a woods gun.

    possible other suggestions would be find an older Handi rifle chambered in 357 or a lever like a marlin
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    How about a combination gun?

    Savage 24. Bikal or Chiappa?

    CW
     
  11. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    I think the 77/357 is the ultimate rifle. Hundreds of combinations of loads you can shoot through it with factory or handloaded 357/38 (s). Inexpensive ammo, ranges to 150 +/- yards. Sounds like a winner to me. And if you can add a suppressor it can be very very quiet.
     
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  12. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    I have an early Savage 24. It has served the need in the past, and I am sure it will again. Just not inline with my wants.
     
  13. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    This is pretty much where I am at, it is just not as pretty as the brass and walnut. But....the black and stainless complements the SP101 well, plus they are both Rugers and I am a fan!
     
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  14. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    It doesn't have to be brass and walnut, it totally a practical rifle. I wouldn't sweat it at all.
     
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  15. DKR

    DKR Guide

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    So - a foraging rifle vs a foraging weapon - this, I suppose rules out a shotgun.
    Defined as - a Gun (or rifle) useful for gathering food in survival situations.

    How about a Henry .22?
    [​IMG]
    OR, if you must, a lever action
    [​IMG]

    The bolt offer SS action/barrel and poly stock, very light and has good sights.
    Good for most small game.

    Good luck.
     
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  16. Paulyseggs

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    I would LOVE a 77 in 357. That with a peep sight and I'd be pretty happy.

    Maybe even one in 44mag if I hunted more Black Bear or hogs.

    I don't like pretty guns. Then I'm hesitant to use them.
     
  17. DirtmanDave

    DirtmanDave Supporter Supporter

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    Mine came with a choke. Don't know what bore. Maybe you could google-fu and find one listed to fit.
    Use a shortlane adapter and b able to run 22lr or 22mag. Maybe even 17hmr
     
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  18. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    the only choke mine came with is the straight rifled one designed to stop the shot charge from spinning.

    I did a web search and did not find anything saying what threaded choke it would take.

    it's a good enough 25 yard gun.
     
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  19. salty dog

    salty dog Supporter Supporter

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    I've got a 77/357 that has become my go to gun for 90 percent of what I need a gun for. If I went after bigger critters than deer, or wanted to shoot past 100 yards, I would use something else, but that's not what you're asking. I've also had single shots that I've used and liked. I was going to say that I would go with the Ruger just because I like it better. It's light, handy, and dependable. But that's me. Sounds like both will easily do what you need them to, so I say go with your heart.
     
  20. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    The 77/357 is a joy to carry. It’s 5.5 lb gun.

    I fussed with the sights on mine for long time until I added a Williams FP receiver sight, and since then it’s just the perfect rifle imo.

    I’d want to hold any of those single shots before buying. Almost all of the rifle barrel singles I’ve held had very heavy barrels.
     
  21. 62flint

    62flint Scout

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    There are no shortage of rifles that would qualify as a "forager". If you need the ammo to interchange with your revolver, it definitely limits choices. Assuming 357/38, a Marlin or Henry lever would be my choice. The Browning 1885 Low Wall is a gem, but scarce as hens teeth. The brass framed Henry SS wouldn't be on my list, but the steel framed version could be provided it wasn't too heavy.

    If you're not locked into a single caliber for both, a GOOD 22LR or 22Mag could serve well. I would prefer something larger bored. Make no mistake, I like lever guns, so a 30-30 or 35 Remington. For a boltgun, the CZ 527 in 7.62x39 is an excellent, lightweight. I'm an avid reloader/experimenter, so have different insight as to perceived suitable calibers since I don't limit myself to "off the shelf" ammo. My old Savage 99 carbine 30-30 pictured in the recent 30-30 thread is a good example. I have a 120gr cast bullet load, 155gr cast bullet load and 175gr cast bullet load that all shoot to the same point at 50 yards. Yes, I worked to find those loads, but can change ammo for the situation depending upon small game to deer or black bear.
     
  22. 1773

    1773 Supporter Supporter

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    The Henry single shots are really nice but they are heavy for a pistol caliber rifle, have you looked at the TC G2 Contender they are really nice and can be had for less money than the Ruger and offer interchangeable barrels in a variety of calibers.
     
  23. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    I am not really interested in any caliber other than the .357 Magnum. nor am I interested in a lever gun. As I noted, this is not a need, but a want. the needs are covered.

    there were 4 rifles on my list. I have scratched two, the Taylor's and Co Half Pint Sharps and the T/C Contender.

    The Sharps because at the end of the day its impractical for me. My eyes are not getting any younger and I need to scope whatever I get, although there is a period reproduction scope available.

    The T/C because no factory 357 barrel in rifle length. It was my first choice but barrels are made by request and they are saying several months lead time. I do not have that kind of patience. The T/Contender with its walnut stock and deep blue metal is a beautiful rifle in my opinion

    Its between the Henry and Ruger. I am a huge fan of the single shot, but somehow I think the Ruger just makes more sense. Some of the thoughts here are reinforcing my belief that the Ruger just makes more sense. Dosent seem to be a lot of love for the single shot.
     
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  24. Woodsroamer

    Woodsroamer Scout

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    To me it’s a question of what kind of game do you see. If dangerous game then the ruger if not I would go for the Henry.
     
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  25. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    If you don't want a lever action 357 (the Henry Big Boy Steal in 357 would the choice ) then I definitely go with the Ruger. Solid bolt action, 5 round magazine, scope and sight options, light & handy. The Ruger was my second choice behind the Henry. I wanted more than 5 rounds ( I dunno why??? less reloading at the range???)
     
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  26. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    The Henry single shot 357 mag weighs 7.18 lbs.

    Ruger 77/357 weighs 5.5 lbs.

    You could add a scope to the ruger and it will still weigh 1/2 lb less than the henry.

    I have the williams receiver sight and a quick detach 6x38 weaver classic for mine. The ruger rings return to zero well enough and it's nice to have the option, peep sights or scope.
     
  27. Akela

    Akela Scout

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    Remington 25R carbine in 32-20, designed from the get-go to handle both the 32-20 standard and Hi-Velocity loads.
    17 1/2" barrel, holds 6 rounds in the tube, and is about as light and easy carrying as most 22RF rifles I've carried.
    This picture is from the inner-net... the wood on mine has the traditional oil-finish so doesn't have the reflective glare that the one in the picture has.
    1.jpg
     
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  28. Redbullitt

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    That ruger 77 357 is a fantastic little rifle. Mine shoots plenty well with cast, plated, coated, and jacketed. 38s and 357s feed well. Hollow points, wfn, wadcutter etc. Eats them all. It's not a match rifle, bUT it does all the things a target gun does not.

    Thread it for a suppressor if you're into that, and it makes a heck of a handy little all purpose rifle.

    Only gripe is the magazine, though consistent, does limit coal to around 1.6xx if I recall. No biggie usually, but a consideration if heavy bullets come into play.

    That rifle is great in 44 mag too.

    I think I might actually take this over my lever 357 most of the time. Close call, but true I think. It does help that I don't wanna bang up the lever lol...
     
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  29. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    It’s personal preference and I owned both but ended up selling the levergun.

    Most of my plinking is done off the bench where a bolt action is more convenient. Work the bolt slowly to not throw the empties off the table, gun remains stationary, etc.
     
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  30. Paulyseggs

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    Can u imagine if these were made today in 327. That'd be a near perfect woods bumming rifle

    It's pretty close now. Just ammo isn't all that popular.

    We need things like this again!
    Useful things. That fill many rolls.
    Light & nimble. Carry all day.
    Doesn't destroy edible small game, but will work on larger animals within reasonable distances.

    I know I'm in the minority, I know 95% of all hunters focus on one animal. Most people want lots of "stuff". Not me, I walk the woods. Usually in wonder. If it's made of meat I'll try to eat it. I want less stuff. A simple life.

    "Sorry for the rant, I have a brief moment in the am where my meds haven't fogged me up yet. So ya get me at my rawness" :4:
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  31. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    Ideho of coarse
    I'd place your model 12 in that category.
     
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  32. Paulyseggs

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    Can't argue that. I only wish it was 20ga.

    I have a 20ga 870 that is near perfect. 21in barrel, screw in chokes. Unloaded with a 7shot tube its 6-7lbs.

    But I'm thinking rifle. Imagine a small caliber rifle built on a 410 shotgun pump. 16in barrel. 5lbs. Something built on a 500 or 870.
    I don't know much about pressures & metallurgy. So I'm just pipe dreaming. It may not be possible.

    My 92 in 357 will do. If I ever get to a place I can roam with a centerfire rifle, shotgun & rimfire only on state lands here, it will see alot more woods time.

    Its under 6lbs. And 357 is just an awesomely versatile cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  33. 62flint

    62flint Scout

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    Remington made the model 25 in both 25-20 and 32-20. They aren't common, but they are still out there. Its a noticeably smaller action than any of the pump shotgun actions. IMI imported the Timberwolf (pump) in .357 for a few years. Marlin made the model 62 in 256 WinMag, 30 carbine, and 357 ( I think) for a few years. Marlin also chambered the 1894CL in 218 Be, 25-20, and 32-20. Browning's 1885 Low Wall Tradional Hunter in .357 is jewel with 24" octagon to round barrel and a tang sight to stretch sight radius to about 28".
     
  34. H3NT3

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    My opinion:
    Go with the Henry.
    It is what I would choose for myself.

    My rambling:
    For the price of the Ruger 77/357 you could have two Henry single shots that are blued. Or almost two that are brass. Is there another caliber that interests you too? Shotgun?
    The price difference could fund a scope.
    The price difference amounts to 1/4 ounce of gold. ~20 Silver Eagles.
    The price difference is equal to a weeks net pay at $12-13/hr.
    Price difference ain’t nothing to dismiss despite being two very different actions. This is my main reason for going Henry.

    The Henry squeaks into the realm of qualifying for displaying on the wall like every flintlock does. Secondary reason for going Henry.

    The Henry can become two parts for carrying and storing. I have the 410 blued Single shot variety and sometimes break it into two to utilize the exterior canteen pocket on my HPG backpack. Perfect for when I don’t feel like having it at the ready. Can’t do that with bolt action.

    You may be able to quicken reloading of Henry with a Bianchi speed strip. I use one for my 410 Single shot. But chamber thickness and closeness of a 38/357 speed strip may not play nice. Keeps pockets and pouches organized.

    A plus to the 77/357 is the stainless construction. My 410 has been in the rain and has yet to show rust on the exterior. But stainless, plastic, and rain play together with lot less worry.

    A plus to the Ruger is if you had to, and I hope you never gave to, you could shave off plastic from the stock to help get a fire going. Hopefully it ain’t treated with fire retardants.

    The 77/357 will be more scratch resistant. This will bring a smoother better resale if you ever wanted to trade it in or sell it. But the lower price of the Henry will have more buyers available at that price range...
     
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  35. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    I’ve made this type of decision on price and it’s always ended up in dissatisfaction.

    Hold both rifles. Then decide.

    I’ll add, anyone that hasn’t at least held a 77/357 or 77/44 doesn’t know what they are.
     
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  36. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  37. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    If it were me, I'd get the Ruger and start saving for the other.
     
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  38. Blackhawk45hunter

    Blackhawk45hunter Pronounced sim-bee-duh Bushclass II

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    I’ve been thinking about a ruger American ranch in 350 legend for this exact purpose.

    Cheap ammo, low recoil, lightweight and easy to carry rifle...

    The cartridge is just adequate for deer, and the ballistics are a touch hotter than a 357 magnum, but not as destructive as, say a 223 Remington.
    Here in the east it would make a fantastic do-all rifle, and if handloading you could load light loads for dispatching game on traplines without doing a lot of damage, as well as squirrel and rabbit hunting.
     
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  39. Birdman

    Birdman IG: @ChasingTheBackcountry Supporter

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  40. Doomsword

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    I agree with the thinking that it would be pert'near perfect as a woods-loafing rifle. Besides being very pretty. Also agree that we need some more things likened unto thus.

    I understand that things that are pretty good at a lot of things are not generally perfect for any one thing but there surely is something to be said for anything that does most things in a commendable and fairly efficient manner......

    As I have tattooed on my arm, "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." Lazarus Long

    I figure the same applies to many things.

    A caveat.... I only have the Specialization is for insects for the tattoo, my arm ain't big enuff for the whole passage.

    John
     
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  41. greg_r

    greg_r Tracker

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    If Ruger made a 77/327 I would not even be asking!

    i always wondered why H&R never made a Handi Rifle in their namesake cartridge, 32 H&R Magnum. it would be perfect for my intended use, which is pretty much what you described
     
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  42. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    ^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^
     
  43. DirtmanDave

    DirtmanDave Supporter Supporter

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    Mine has something threaded in the end. I thought it was a choke as the barrel has lands and grooves.
     
  44. DirtmanDave

    DirtmanDave Supporter Supporter

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    I had an H&R 357 barrel and sold it here. Now Wish I hadn't.
     
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  45. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    There seems to be two generations of these and older ones seem to have been lighter, is that right?

    Local shop has one in 223 but it’s heavy. It’s Remington era . The dealer says it’s a tough sell, to me it feels very heavy.

    My 80’s h&r 20 ga is decently light (I think it’s 5 lbs) and I’d love to have a same weight barrel in 357 mag. I even thought about sacrificing my spare 20 ga barrel to make one in 357 mag. I know the 80’s era case hardened receivers can handle it.
     
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  46. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Yes H&R had a number of contours thru the years. The last ones where pretty heavy

    My 80’s is almost a ultra light contour. But older bbls ( pre SB designation) also had soldered lugs and where not as strong

    CW
     
  47. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor Supporter

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    If you want the Henry single shot, then buy the Henry single shot. Don't ket the fact that it gets dinged and scratched from actual use make you buy something you don't really want. Consider the scratches and dings to be "experience".

    20 +/- years ago, my dad helped my brother pay for a particularly horrible divorce to the tune of 10s of thousands of dollars. A ludicrous amount. As such, being the dad that he is, he felt that I was being short changed (which, I'm OK with having a stable marriage and not emptying my father's retirement funds.

    Anyway, to try to achieve some level of parity, my dad bought me a Henry Big Boy in .44 magnum for Christmas. I never would have bought one on my own, but it's a present, right? After I unwrap it, he's telling me all about this special brass polish and how often to polish it and how to carry it in its case, etc., etc. So, I stopped him and asked if it was my rifle or his that I was borrowing. "It's yours, but......"

    " No buts! If this is mine, I can carve my name in the stock with my pocket knkfe, right? It's mine? "

    "Well....ummm.....ermmm.....well....."

    Before I accept this rifle I ned to know if I can use it how I normally would. By using it to pull myself up on rock ledges. By accidentally dropping it when I trip on the rocks that are EVERYWHERE around home. By putting it away wet because I don't have time to clean it immediztely from running the kids around everywhere. If I accept it, it will get scratched. "

    "Ummm.......you don't keep it in the case when you climb the tree?"

    " I don't have a treestand, dad. "

    "Oh......,.........................ok."

    When I needed money for medical bills, all my deer rifles got sold except the Henry. I love it!

    It has lots of "experience" now.

    If it isn't a collector's piece and was made to be hunted with, use it. Not to use it would be to dishonor it.
     
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  48. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Scars are proof you lived. You dont set out uncaring, but stick happens.

    GO LIVE!

    CW
     
  49. 1773

    1773 Supporter Supporter

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    You are so right about this little rifle, but I have been looking for one in serviceable condition at a reasonable price for several years, I have found 3 needles in a hay stack, 4 full sets of hens teeth and a unicorn but no little Remington 25 but hopefully one of these days.
     
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  50. Akela

    Akela Scout

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    1773,
    It took awhile for me to locate mine, and it was definitely worth the wait!
    All I can say is don't give up looking. Best of luck to you, and keep the faith! :)
     
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