Back in mid-September, I had the opportunity to put a few rounds through a brand-new Henry Repeating Arms .30-30 Brass Wildlife Edition rifle, with a colleague, friend, fellow hunter, and our sales director here at Ogden: Bob Legault. Right out of the box, without adjusting the open sights, we were hitting pie-plate-sized targets at 100 yards — and tighter groups yet at 60 yards. And, up until November 17, 2016, you have a chance to win your very own brand-new Henry Repeating Arms .30-30 Brass Wildlife Edition rifle; GRIT is teaming with Henry Repeating Arms to put one .30-30 (MSRP $1,250) into the hands of one of our lucky readers.
A few different characteristics really stand out on this firearm. First, the thing is beautiful. Henry’s made-in-America craftsmanship really catches the eye, and the rifle would be a definite point of conversation and pride around the campfire in deer camp. I’m a huge fan of wooden stocks, and the American Walnut on this gun looks beautiful. Then you have the brass plate that is special for the Wildlife Edition, featuring the head of a whitetail buck on one side and a leaping buck on the other. When I first brought this gun home, I spent at least 10 minutes just looking at the different features and admiring the beauty before I messed around with the lever action and then put it into the safe.
Next up, you notice when you look down the barrel, the rear semi-buckhorn sight features a nifty little white diamond, which I liked for trying to seat the brass-bead front sight into the rear sight consistently, and I can also imagine that white diamond on the rear sight might come in handy at first light and twilight — I’ll let you know for sure when rifle season arrives in my part of Kansas. But we did like that it was an open-sights tool that seems to help you place the brass-bead front sight into the notch of the rear sight more or less the same every time. From there, it’s up to the marksman to not flinch and push or pull the shot.
The gun feels good when shouldering, and I liked the sensitivity of the trigger; you can see in the video my own shooting got better when I got used to the trigger and let the mechanism really surprise me. And the lever action is extremely smooth and fun to operate. As time goes on and I shoot the gun more, I get used to the lever action of the gun. Regardless of how accustomed to it I become, I love how it takes me back to our frontiersman ancestors and westward expansion.
The .30-30 Henry is a classic American brush gun in my mind, and I’m pumped to continue to practice with it this fall in hopes of “tipping over” (Bob’s words) a whitetail at close range come rifle season — I just hope to have a couple archery tags filled before then.
The Henry was the first practical lever-action repeater — it first appeared during the Civil War — and to this day the company takes great pride in its made-in-America reputation. In that way, the strong legacy of Henry Repeating Arms in early America is a natural fit with our own brand, GRIT, which has been “Celebrating Rural America Since 1882.”