Henry Big Boy Steel Rifle in .41 Remington Magnum

By Major Van Harl
Henry Big Boy Steel Rifle in .41 Magnum review and background.

Henry Big Boy Steel Rifles
Henry Big Boy Steel Rifles
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

United States -(AmmoLand.com)- If you go back in US history to the 1850s, even before the Henry repeating rifle was made by the New Haven Arms Company, its predecessor the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company made a lever action firearm using a self-contained cartridge in .41 caliber.

A modern .41 caliber cartridge has been introduced to the Henry lever action rifle line. Henry Wisconsin started the manufacturing of their new Henry Big Boy Steel rifle in 41 Remington Magnum (H012M41) in January of 2016 (https://www.henryrifles.com/rifles/henry-big-boy-steel/).

As I was filling out the paper work at the Shooter Sports Center in Racine, WI. (www.shootersonline.com) Mike Arts the manager pulled the Henry 41 mag out of the box and shouldered the rifle. “You are not going to feel much recoil with that pad on the butt stock” was his first comment. As far as I can tell from doing my research there is no one in the firearms manufacturing industry that is making a lever action rifle in 41 mag.

There also appears to be a steady chatter on the internet from shooters who want a lever gun in 41 mag.

Assembler Robert Willsey building a new Henry Big Boy steel 41 mag rifle.
Assembler Robert Willsey building a new Henry Big Boy steel 41 mag rifle.

Enter Henry Big Boy Steel Rifle in .41 Magnum

The 41 Remington Magnum cartridge started out in the 1960s with hopes of it becoming the premier revolver ammunition for the law enforcement world. Even though the 357 mag had been in use for thirty years, the average police officer in North America carried a 38 Special revolver.

In most cases the ammo was a round nose 158 gr lead bullet, with not a lot of stopping power. The 41 mag was going to up the survival odds for a street cop in a 1970s gun fight, and in the few cases where it was actually used, 41 mag did in fact win the fight. The problem was back in the day, the average police department might only have their officers shoot their duty weapon twice a year. In some cases they also used cheap reloaded ammo for qualifying. There was no cheap 41 mag ammo and there were lots of problems getting the average cop to master this new larger handgun with a much more powerful cartridge. As a cop cartridge, the 41 mag was losing the political police budget fight, not the street fight.

Henry Repeating Rifle in 41 Remington Magnum
Henry Repeating Rifle in 41 Remington Magnum

In all honesty it was the high capacity semi auto handgun being introduced into the US police world in the 1970s that sounded the death knell for the revolver and the 41mag as a cop cartridge. There was also a very limited selection of 41 mag ammo on the market. The ammo selection concern has changed; I have found no less than eight outfits that make 41 mag ammunition. It is designed for handgun shooters, but this column is about a 41 mag rifle.

The Henry Big Boy Steel lever action rifle goes smoothly to your shoulder. It is over a pound and a half lighter than its older brother the Big Boy Brass Henry. Shooting a magnum handgun cartridge out of a seven pound rifle leaves even the most diminutive shooter with little recoil problems.

I hesitate letting the Lieutenant (my daughter) shoot this Henry for fear I will not get it back.

I believe it is an industry secret of Mr. Imperato’s, the President of Henry, where he gets all the gorgeous wood he puts on his lever guns. It has a twenty inch barrel and holds ten rounds, with one in the chamber. Eleven rounds of 41 mag affords you a fighting chance if “walkers” are trying to cut you off in the middle of the night, on your way to the outhouse.

Henry Repeating Rifle in 41 Remington Magnum
Henry Repeating Rifle in 41 Remington Magnum

Given some of the new 41 mag ammo that is being manufactured and most importantly some of the greatly improve bullets in use today; there is nothing in the lower 48 States that a 41 mag coming out of a rifle cannot stop, if you keep it under a 100 yards, with the exception perhaps of a Grizzly. Of course having a 41 mag revolver to go with your new Henry lever action rifle is a force multiplier in the world of both hunting and disrupting evil.

Mr. Tim Sundles at Buffalo Bore Ammunition (www.buffalobore.com) has 41 mag ammo for any type of hunting. His 170gr JHP (16C/20) is moving out at 1650 fps. If you live in an area where you have to use lead free ammo, his 180gr Barnes XPB (16D/20) is pushing 1550 fps. If you prefer large lead bullets his 265 gr L.W.N. (16A/20) is traveling at 1350 fps. Remember all these published velocities are measured with handguns. When you start shooting this ammo in a twenty inch rifle barrel you can increase your velocities (depending on bullet weight) 200-300 more FPS. That equates to a lot of enhanced down-range energy. If you hunt in one of the shotgun only areas in the country that now allows the use of straight walled, pistol cartridge chambered rifles, the new Henry Big Boy Steel rifle in 41 mag will not fail you on opening day.

Henry Repeating Rifle in 41 Remington Magnum
Henry Repeating Rifle in 41 Remington Magnum

Now the fact that the new Henry Big Boy Steel 41 mag is made at Henry Wisconsin, in Rice Lake, here in the Badger State does not go unnoticed by some. Mr. Peter Etlicher is the design engineer for this new rifle. Mr. Etlicher and his crew, take Henry, take Wisconsin and add quality, roll them together and they produce, some of the finest firearms to come out of the northwoods of the mid-west, or any place else for that matter.

Production Supervisor Karen Erickson holding a 41 Mag
Karen Erickson is the production supervisor for the new 41 mag rifle. Her mission is to build quality into the rifle as it is produced, rather than trying to inspect problem areas out of the equation after the firearm has come off the assembly line.

Karen Erickson is the production supervisor for the new 41 mag rifle. Her mission is to build quality into the rifle as it is produced, rather than trying to inspect problem areas out of the equation after the firearm has come off the assembly line. She has a profound understanding of the Henry rifle manufacturing process and constantly works to improve that process providing extremely high quality lever action rifles. Rifles you will want to own and because of that quality pass them on to future generations–quality lasts.

Henry Repeating Arms - Quality
Henry Repeating Arms – Quality Like No Other

Built at the corner of Henry and Quality, the two are synonymous.

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]

Henry Big Boy Steel Rifle in .41 Magnum
Henry Big Boy Steel Rifle in .41 Magnum
  • 32 thoughts on “Henry Big Boy Steel Rifle in .41 Remington Magnum

    1. Hi. Glad to see the interest in .41 Magnum. Thank you, Henry, for helping this great cartridge along. Personal observation. I`m 77 and most would say i`m a traditionalist as far as firearms go. I like wood and blued steel. Yes, here in Oregon , stainless and synthetic are desirable in the fall/winter hunting seasons as everything is wet most of the time. However, when you are sitting and hoping for a nice game animal to come within range, an occasional glance at beautiful wood and steel is a nice pastime that stainless and synthetic can`t provide the pride of ownership the former does for you. OK, to the point. How about a true carbine, un-checkered stock and forend with a carbine (NOT crescent rifle butt) butt plate. Really don`t understand the recoil pad that looks suitable for a 460 wby. Barrel from 16 to 20 in ( I would like an 18in. bbl because it balances nicely esthetically and mechanically. A perfect brushy/coastal short range pickup truck/rancher firearm. The icing on the cake would be to chamber it long for 1.690 oal for the 265gr. wfn hardcast bullets. Anyone else on board with this? Thank you for your consideration. Swede johnson

    2. Just love the 41 carttridge. I have one in a Blackhawk. A little felt recoil but otherwise a great round worth saving. Cudos to Henry for helping to keep this great round going strong.

    3. I bought mine Saturday and shot it already! accurate, not much if any felt recoil, smooth action!! Now for a Lever rife in 480 Ruger to match the Revolvers! A bolt rifle would be fine as well.

    4. I contacted Henry about a 41 carbine they said they should have them out layer in 2017. I can’t wait!!!!

    5. I am very interested in getting a .41 mag Big Boy Steel very soon, but I was really hoping to see it as a carbine. I currently use a .41 mag pistol for deer and would love to get a carbine to complement the pistol. I have hunted with a .44 mag pistol but prefer the .41 mag overall.

    6. Are there any plans for a Rem 41 Mag carbine it would make a nice companion for my 41 Mag Black Hawk revolver . I would probably need to sell my 44 Mag brass Big Boy to fund it.

    7. I have 3 handguns .41 mag, S&W model 57, a Ruger, and Thompson Contender. The contender gives me very good ballistics at 100 pluss yards. I have had my model 57 S&W for some 25+ years. I have taken Deer across the South East U.S. at a bit over 100 yards and Wild Hogs in both the Okefenokee and Pearl River swamps. I still reload my own rounds giving me control over the ballistics. I will be aquiring a Henry Big Boy .41 mag hopefully in both models.

    8. Just purchased one . Matched up to my Black Hawk Pistol (Ruger ) . This is a beautiful built weapon.
      I purchase ammo in Prescott Arizona when I am there every Feb.. Live here in Utah special ordered it
      to my gun dealer to get this Rifle and paid a little more that what others are paying. Low serial number.

      1. If you’re a NRA member like me. It would be nice for all gun owners to quit using the word WEAPON. Looks like you intend to hurt someone. It’s a gun or a firearm. Weapon according to a dictionary is entirely a different story. Thank you

    9. I well have to put the Henry 41 on my wish list. I had always wanted a Marlin 41 mag but they went out of production be for I could get one.

    10. Will have to get one to add to my Henry collection. It will go with my 41 mag handgun thanks Henry being looking for a 41 mag lever action for quite some time.

    11. I applaud Henry for adding a new round to the line up, but .41 Mag? There is no real utility in that round, being sandwiched by the .357 and the .44. If Henry wants to improve the utility of their Big Boy line, why not add a cartridge or appreciable power? How about the .460 S&W? Perhaps even the .500 S&W Magnum, though that might be beyound the receiver’s current capabilities without a major reworking. Build the .460 S&W Magnum Big Boy and I’ll stand in line to get it!

      1. No utility, what a uninformed thing to say. Greater power that a .357 and nearly the equal to a .44 mag. A 20 inch barrel should be able to push a 210 grain XTP bullet at over 1800 fps. Plus I can reload a .41 for half the cost of the .460 and .500 besides I am shooting deer, hogs and black bear not coastal grizzlies. What is the utility of those calibers given my hunting preference?

        1. Ok. I’m a little late. Just heard about this.41 bboy and very excited. Handled one 20” today. It’s perfect , it’s lightweight ( no scope ! ) and dirt cheap to reload. Been waiting long time for this. When I was a kid the 30-30 was very popular. The.41 is a nice little secret as far as I’m concerned. Kudos to Henry Repeating Arms!
          If you want a big fat heavy lever gun (dave ) go find a model 71. A 460 or 500 would defeat the purpose of a handy backpacking or behind the seat “utility “ arm.plenty of power in this little honey pot.
          I’ll have the carbine too . I bet the carbine weighs as much as those silly oversized hand canons.
          Btw the 357 is the most overrated cartridge in history. Can’t blame Henry for chambering for it though.
          Now if I can just find some good reloading data for that 20” barrel. Got to be a different animal now that it’s 16” longer than my model 57

    12. Great news , I’m picking mine up today ! Sadly there are only a limited number available rite now and some of those are being priced outrageous. Hopfully Henry will get a handle on this and ramp up production !

    13. The .41 Magnum is indeed an under-appreciated cartridge. I owned several that I wish I had back.

      That being said, I have several Ruger .45 Colt revolvers and 2 .45 Colt lever guns (Winchester and Marlin). In strong firearms like these, I can shoot a heavier bullet faster, at lower pressures, and get more energy than a .44 Magnum. Effective range may be slightly less than the .41, but I find this combination to be outstanding.

    14. My Dad’s old (1971) Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag needs a big brother….and Henry is the perfect company to make one for him. This in now on my combined Birthday, Christmas, Valentines, Anniversary list for my better half…. Crossing my fingers.

    15. Just got mine last weekend! I already have the Marlin version and S&W, Taurus and Ruger handguns to match! Christmas in February. Happy camper

    16. Boy, am I glad to see a new firearm in .41 Magnum. I purchased a Marlin model 94 C back in the 1980’s. Superb gun and in the .41 magnum the absolutely perfect caliber for Eastern woodland hunting. I have gotten all kinds of game with that gun, my go-to gun when I want something I know works. I even shot wood chucks with the gun. Only one problem. The ammo. It became hard to find and expensive. I took to reloading the cartridge (easy cartridge to reload) but, still I like to use a cartridge I can easily find at a sporting goods store if I need it out on the road. So, I am delighted at a new rifle in this caliber. Good Luck, Henry

    17. These .41 Magnum Big Boys are already selling for $200-300 more than the .357/.44 Magnum & 45 Colt models on Gunbroker…Hopefully that nonsense ends as more hit the market!

      1. I just bought one on Gunbroker for $80 less than what the .44 and .357 versions are selling for. And about the same price I paid for a .45 Colt about a year and a half ago. So the prices will come down if we refuse to pay those “honeymoon” prices. I already cast and reload for my Ruger Blackhawk in the the same caliber, so can’t wait to get this one home next week!

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