Henry Repeating Arms – Made In Wisconsin

By Major Van Harl
Henry Repeating Arms factory tour 2015.

Henry Repeating Arms
Hunt With Henry – Made In Wisconsin
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- Two hundred miles out of Milwaukee on I-94, I was en route to the small northwest Wisconsin town of Rice Lake to visit Henry Repeating Arms.

My destination was what I later described to the Colonel as, “the adult candy factory of gun owners—Henry Wisconsin.”

Henry Wisconsin is one of two plants where some of the most “beautiful” and well crafted firearms in the world are made.

As I am driving in the pouring rain I spot a roadside billboard on I-94 that caused me to immediately start chuckling to myself.

The billboard sign read “Hunt with Henry-Made in Wisconsin.” I could not imagine ever seeing that billboard on a New York, Connecticut or even a New Jersey state highway.

Front door of the Henry Wisconsin pant in Rice Lake WI
Front door of the Henry Wisconsin pant in Rice Lake WI

An appointment was established with Andy Wickstrom the General Manager of Henry Repeating Arms that would allow me to visit the Henry Wisconsin plant, talk Henry firearms with Mr. Wickstrom, and be granted the opportunity to walk the production floors of the plant and see just how a Henry lever action rifle is made, start to finish.

The highway billboard of course gave me the title of this column.

The physical plant in Rice Lake that is now Henry Wisconsin had produced parts for Henry Repeating Arms ( HRA ) that were then shipped to the parent operation in New Jersey.

When that Rice Lake (a non-gun) factory went in other directions of manufacturing, Henry Repeating Arms in 2007 acquired the plant to continue producing the needed parts.

This eventually morphed into greater parts production, leading in 2014 to the manufacturing of completed rifles at Henry Wisconsin.

Henry Repeating Arms Rice Lake WI marking.
Henry Repeating Arms Rice Lake WI marking.

The steel frame 30/30 and 45/70 caliber lever action Henry rifles are made in Rice Lake Wisconsin. These Wisconsin manufactured rifles have lead to a new firearms collecting genre. The first rifles made and shipped out to the world from Wisconsin had a “W” in the serial number. Now, all firearms manufactured at Henry Wisconsin have made in “Rice Lake, WI” engraved on the long guns.

Some day your grand kids may be fighting over your bequeathed gun collection as to who will get the Henry Wisconsin rifle that grandpa took his famous twelve point buck with, back in the day.

I am an old retired cop not an engineer, so while viewing the actual manufacturing machinery was a little intimidating, it was at the same time very inspiring to observe how chunks of steel in various sizes are placed into computer driven milling machines, that pop out the precise parts needed to made hundreds of completed rifles in a day’s work.

America still knows how to manufacture excellent products.

Henry Rifles
New Henry Rifles fresh off the production run waiting to be shipped.
One of the new Color Case Harden Henry Wisconsin steel rifles.
One of the new Color Case Harden Henry Wisconsin steel rifles.

Getting my hands on some of the finished Henry rifles at the end of the Henry Wisconsin production line most assuredly reinforces that core knowledge of quality, made in the USA products. The wood to metal finish and the smoothness of the lever actions speak for themselves.

David Day of Day Arms / The Powder Horn in San Antonio, Texas, told me as a gun dealer he believes HRA has the best customer support in the firearms industry.

Mentioning this to Mr. Wickstrom during my visit he advised me that Anthony Imperato the president of Henry Repeating Arms calls that his “extreme customer support” and expects all the members of the Henry manufacturing family to do everything they can, to meet the needs of the Henry rifle owner.

HRA produces approximately 300,000 rifles a year; both center-fire and rim-fire. Their international consumption is increasing every year, with Canada and Australia leading the demand.

I did get to see the parts that will make up a new HRA rifle projected to be released in mid 2016. It will be the H014 Long Range Lever Action rifle. This new rifle will be magazine-fed, chambered in .308 win, 243 win and 223 Rem. The bolt will lock into the barrel to facilitate excellent accuracy. I will write a follow-up column on this rifle when the first production ones come off the manufacturing line at Henry Wisconsin.

Andy Wickstrom the General Manager of Henry Repeating Arms
Andy Wickstrom the general manage of Henry Repeating Arms holding one of the new All Weather steel rifles made at Henry Wisconsin.

Spending five years in Alaska gave me an understanding of what bad weather can do to firearms, so when one of the new All Weather Henry rifles was handed to me I immediately understood the concept. The rifle was hard chrome plated making it better resistant to rust than stainless steel.

At first glance the stock looks synthetic, but according to Mr. Wickstrom, there are no plastic stocks on lever guns at Henry. It was a darkly stained wood stock, with a highly weather resistant final coating. The All Weather rifle in 45/70 should appeal to friends and family in Canada and Alaska.

There are numerous new Henry long guns on the HRA horizon and Henry Wisconsin strives hard to keep up and maintain the Henry quality. There are no 40 hour work weeks at Henry Wisconsin, Andy Wickstrom advised me (meaning they work long hours, beyond the normal work week).

Regardless, if you want to buy a Henry rifle, go to your local Henry dealer and get your hands on one today.

Observe the quality of exceptional American manufacturing that is Henry Repeating Arms – where it is still done, right in the USA.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
[email protected]

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 safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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Ken Wood JrClarence DonleyMike Boettcherciro capriolirappini Recent comment authors
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Clarence Donley
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Clarence Donley

I pass by Rice Lake every spring on my way to Minong ( jerky Capital of the world ) for some R & R with some in-laws . Is it possible to purchase an Original Henry model HO11 while visiting the factory ?

Ken Wood Jr
Guest
Ken Wood Jr

I thought the HO11IF was in the .45 ca? Are they be available in the Rice Lake,Wi Area/ If not are there any dealers in Wi.

Mike Boettcher
Guest
Mike Boettcher

I just bought a Henery 22 cal rifle from sheels in Eau Claire Wisconsin. I just shot 100 rounds through my Henery. Love the rifle! The action is smooth and the sights are dead on! Rifle is absolutely beautiful! I have 5 other 22 cal rifles so I can compare and know what I am talking about. Henery, wow,wow, nice!!!!!!!!

ciro caprioli
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ciro caprioli

Made by an Italian descent, VIVA EUROPE…

ciro caprioli
Guest
ciro caprioli

Made by an Italian descent, VIVA EUROPE…

ciro caprioli
Guest
ciro caprioli

Made by an Italian descent, VIVA EUROPE…

rappini
Guest
rappini

It is the same sentiment, I’m 78 and own two Corvettes, my father never bought me a gun but now I have many.

Jay Warren Clark
Guest
Jay Warren Clark

In my 60’s I returned to shooting with a Henry Golden Boy in .22 Magnum with an octagon barrel. Couldn’t hit a thing, so I had a tang mounted peep sight put on it and even with my old eyes began to hit the target at distance. I now have other rifles, and shoot them more, but it is my Henry .22 Mag that I love to shoot. And now Hornady has a pointed .30 gr. V-Max Magnum bullet traveling at 2196 out of my rifle and that has I think transformed the performance of the .22 Mag. My bolt… Read more »

jerry a nicks
Guest
jerry a nicks

I have many bolt action hunting ,but no lever guns. Last Summer I purchased a Henry 17 hmr and liked it so well I just purchased a Henry lever 22.I am watching for production of there new long distance rifle in 243 or 223 could be my next lever gun! Love the short compact and smooth action

D Quent
Guest
D Quent

ever since I saw the pistol-grip .45-70, I’ve wanted one. trouble is, I’ve already got a couple 86’s and an 85 I don’t shoot nuff.

if they ever offer that pistol grip in a .338MX, I’ll have no choice. ditto for a 6 lbs .44.

regardless, glad to see Henry fill the vacuum left by Winchester (CT) and Marlin (JM).

C. Bates
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C. Bates

Love my Big Boy .45 Colt. Would like to see the .45-70 chambered to multi cartridge in .460 S&W, .454 Casull, and .45 Colt. A true do anything rifle. PLEASE!

Larry Bizek
Guest
Larry Bizek

I bought my first Henry in 2010. It is a Boy Scout commemorative. I couldn’t bring myself to shoot it, so I bout another one to shoot, then I was hooked! My Wife got me a 30-30 and a 45-70 both brass with the octagon barrel for Christmas so I now own 20 of them! I can honestly say they are a dream to shoot and quickly get in your blood. Collecting them has become a passion so I’m glad they are coming out with new rifles. I can always tell my Wife… Well I don’t have one of those!

Charlotte Schwarztrauber
Guest
Charlotte Schwarztrauber

So good too see that this is not composite. I love rifles that use walnut in the forearm and stocks. My husband s dream was to own a Henry, but he died ,9 years ago. His passion for guns is continues with his sons and now with his Grandson.

Pico
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Pico

I got a AR-7 for Christmas. Perfect for my backpack on day hikes or overnighters. Just insurance Wyoming can be hazardous to your health. I want a collection of Henry rifles. The AR-7 is my first Henry, I have wanted that rifle since I was 12. I would love to take a tour.

Dave Mock
Guest
Dave Mock

I recently purchased a Henry .22 carbine, and I can say that it is the nicest .22 rifle I have ever owned, and I’m 76 yrs old now…..Wonderful to shoot… Great quality… and Made in USA……I’ll but another soon….

Cody Miller
Guest
Cody Miller

I’m the proud owner of 6 Henry rifles. Ar-7, blued 22LR lever action, 22 mag, 17hmr in the golden boy, 357 mag and a 44 mag in the big boy. Love them all. Can’t say enough good about them. I would like to see Henry produce a brass framed 35 Remington though. Anyway I’ll keep expanding my collection of Henry rifles. Thank you for providing a high quality rifle and caring about you product, it shows.

Russ LaPoint
Guest
Russ LaPoint

Thank you Henry for building amazing firearms and for strengthening the Rice Lake Wisconsin community! I personally know many of the past and present Henry Rice Lake employees. Andy and the Rice Lake employees embody the quality and customer service that Henry is known for. I have purchased three Henry rifles (all for my sons). i plan to add many more Henry guns to my collection. Those that are made in the Rice Lake location are right at the top of my wish list. Keep up the great work Henry Rice Lake.

Ken Nappe
Guest
Ken Nappe

This is all good news. Would have loved to of known this as I was up thee this past fall. My Big Boy is stamped Brooklyn, NY… the others NJ. But all are so fine to fire. Do hope some of these will have 30 inch barrels.

Ted
Guest
Ted

Would love to see a lever Henry in the fabulous 358 win

Dewayne
Guest
Dewayne

It is great to see Henry growing and building such fine rifles. I really like my Henry H001. It is a very handy size. After shooting it over the holidays my brother in-law bought one for himself. On the list are the 30-30 and the .357 models, but I haven’t decided which to get first. I’m sure either one would be a joy to own. I’m really impressed with the fit and finish of the Henrys.

William Eyre
Guest
William Eyre

A few months ago I communicated to Anthony that if Henry ever made a 357 lever gun along the lines of my Evil Roy that I would have to have one. I do a lot of mule riding and like a short barrel with large lever to carry on a horse or mule and the other day I stopped at my Dealer and there it was, just what I wanted. I now own another Henry. Thanks Tony.

Max Demp
Guest
Max Demp

I bought one of the heirloom series in .44 mag for my Christmas gift. I love the thing. Can’t wait till I can get it to the range… I even was able to get Mr. Imperato photo with me receiving it.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Guest
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Mr. Lon Cummings
I would like to hear more about the Henry rifle you lost in a fire. Could you please send me an e-mail with your contact info? Perhaps a phone number so I could call you on this issue?
Thank you
Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
[email protected]
ammoland.com

Anon E Mous
Guest
Anon E Mous

Sometimes you need to read between the lines. I’d bet that fire story correlates with the fear of gun registration/confiscation.
Having spent 4 years on a SAC base, I do not confirm nor deny what is in the “Weapons Storage Area”.
“So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it..”

Lon Cummings
Guest
Lon Cummings

When I turned 15, my DAD bought me a Henry 22 rifle. I really loved that rifle. But one time we was out fishing, our house burned down. I also lost another 22, that my Grandfather, had given me a” 22 semi auto with an octogan barrel. I also loved it, and it went the way of the fire also, we dug around and found both barrels, but no good anymore. I also had a Piggy bank full of penny’s, we also found them all melted into one dig ball. So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.. Bye

fishunter
Guest
fishunter

I now have three Henry rifles and am saving for the next one, either a 30-30 or 45-70, whichever is available where I live. Sometimes the stores have a limited selection of Henry rifles. I guess they are in demand! I love the Henry and I’m betting others do too.

Steve
Guest
Steve

There is the crazy thing called the “internet” where you can find gun dealers who will sell you a beautiful Henry Rifle, whichever you want, and ship it to your local gun shop…..just for you.

All kidding aside, I had to order my Henry from Bud’s Gunshop and have it delivered to my FFL simply because I couldn’t find one locally anywhere near the price I could get ordering it online.

Good luck and my suggestion is to go big or go home….get the 45-70!

Robert Heinrich
Guest
Robert Heinrich

I bought a 357 lever action rifle, and I email Mr. Imperato and he responded by thanking me for buying a Henry rifle. And went one step further ask me for me address and sent me 2 hats and 2 coffee mugs, and he paid for the postage.
beside the rifle being a dream to shoot, I was thanked with 2 hats and coffee mugs does not get better than that.

Grey Beard
Guest
Grey Beard

+ 1 on the Hi-Wall in rifle calibers and the Low-Wall in various pistol calibers.

I have a Golden Boy commemorative in .22 that I originally bought to shoot, but after inspecting it, I just could NOT convince myself to shoot it. I’ll just have to buy another one!

Karl Kovar
Guest
Karl Kovar

I won a Henry 30-30 rifle and its great

zeprin
Guest
zeprin

I would dearly love to see them take a swing at the classic Hi & Low Wall single shots.
To me those are the rifles that ALL others are measured against.

Jay Warren Clark
Guest
Jay Warren Clark

Yes! With a 26 in barrel, sights adjustable to distance, and chambered in .357 maximum–which of course will also shoot .357 mag. and .38s! .38s by the way when loaded with slower powers get magnum energies out of rifles. And the .357 maximum with a 200 gr. pointed Hornady bullet will get one pretty close to the velocity and energy of the .35 Remington. * And that’s something for a pistol bullet, eh!? And long rifles will toss 180 gr. .357 Magnum bullets out at about 1800 fps. What about that? And I think the Henry Co. could put these… Read more »

kent
Guest
kent

Love Henry Rifles. I would relish a Double Barrel Shotgun from Henry though. Maybe even 3, or 4, or 5 barrel. Imagine that. Kent Jardine, 1096 Bearcamp Highway, South Tamworth, New Hampshire, 03883-4253. 603-323-7574. I know it may be a little eccentric to have more than 2 barrels.