Henry Repeating Arms Has A Production Problem ,,, Maybe

By Major Van Harl

Henry Lever Action 410 Shotgun and Shells
Henry Lever Action 410 Shotgun and Shells
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- I repeat MAYBE…

We have a production problem,” words the guns manufacturing industry does not want to hear. Management sees the bottom line slipping. The production staff sees headaches in parts manufacturing and the assembling of final products. The sales department sees the loss of products going out to customers and worst yet the loss of income coming in.

No one is happy when you hear the words “we have a production problem.”

Now that might not be the case when the “troops” at Henry Wisconsin hear there is a production problem. Henry's folks in Wisconsin have no problem producing firearms product, their problem is they cannot meet the demand for the product fast enough.

Henry released their new lever action Henry Arms Lever Action 410 Shotgun this year, with hopes for a fair opening season with the new shotgun. Other gun manufacturing companies had made a lever action 410 shotgun but none are still making that model. These companies alleged that there was not a strong demand for a lever action 410 shotgun so, production was discontinued.

Ashley Wahlstrom at Henry Arms Manufacturing
Ashley Wahlstrom, assembling the bolt and carrier to the receiver/barrel assembly of the new Henry lever action 410 shotgun. “If it is not made with profoundly excellent quality by Henry Wisconsin it is not made at all.”

All the steel receiver lever action long guns in the Henry inventory are made by Henry Wisconsin in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Since the new lever action shotgun is built on a steel receiver it was only natural that the lever 410 was going to be built in “God's Country.”

Henry had no idea what they were in for when they shipped the first lever action 410 shotguns. After the 2016 election the demand for guns and ammo sales has dramatically dropped. Some gun manufacturers have seen a 20% or more drop in demand for their products. Big box retail gun outlets have been having sales ever since the first of the new year. Some of these sales are discounts that no one has ever seen in the firearms industry. There is just too much product in the overall gun and ammo sales industry inventory. Something has to give and in most cases it is the bottom line of both the wholesale and the retail sale of guns and ammo.

So in the world of slow gun sales imagine Henry's shock, that then turned to delight, when their new lever action 410 shotgun took-off in nationwide sales. It seems everyone wants the new Henry 410 and demand is out-stripping production. Therefore Henry has a production problem. You know what, on a good-to-bad scale for a company to have a production problem, I would suggest Henry's production problem is manageable, maybe even a bit enviable.

All Henry has to do is just make more 410 lever guns. I mean isn't that something they should be able to do? Suddenly they have to increase their product output perhaps as much as 100%. Now Henry has to do this almost overnight to meet the pent up demand for the new 410. Also, they have to do this without cutting into the production of other Henry products.

Quality cannot suffer while trying to increase production to such a new rate of capacity. If it is not made with profoundly excellent quality by Henry Wisconsin it is not made at all.

The two major parts that will need the most attention in the pressured increase of Henry 410 shotgun production are the generation of receivers and barrels. Tolerances are critical and small mistakes would ruin potentially excellent quality 410 shotguns. So what this means is the spending of millions of dollars for new computer controlled milling and barrel making machines. Of course you need the skilled operators who make sure the Henry standards of production are critically adhered to.

I would suggest there is probably not going to be as much ice fishing this season by folks at Henry Wisconsin. With the slowing of sales throughout the gun industry, it is a nice position for Henry Rifles to find themselves in where a noted increase in productions and sales is needed to meet the desires of the Henry buying community.

I have to admit I got one of the first Henry lever action 410 shotguns when Henry began shipping the new lever guns out. I can tell you it is one of the most expensive plinkers on the market today. You load up the 410 shotgun and since it weighs seven pounds there is very little felt recoil when you start shooting it. You shoot and then you reload and shoot again and reload and shoot yet again. After going through boxes of birdshot, buckshot and slugs, all while having a great time you realize you just shot up a lot a ammo.

410 shotgun ammo is not the cheapest shotgun ammo on the market, but shooting it out of a Henry lever action is a heck of a lot of fun. Everyone I handed my Henry 410 to, loves to shoot it and reload and shoot it some more.

Of course they never seem to have any of their own boxes of 410 ammo with them…?

Some of these new 410 defense loads that are manufactured for revolvers that shoot 410 shells, are supposed to be fired though a rifled barrel. They are alleged to not work as well in a smooth bore shotgun. I am here to tell you after shooting lots of them, if a “walker” is charging down the hall of your home at two in the morning these new defense loads will meet your needs on a dark and stormy night. The 410 buckshot that is on the market will also delay evil that might show up on your doorstep.

Anthony Imperato, the president of Henry Repeating Arms, has a winner on his hands. Yes, he has a production problem but I suspect there are any number of firearms manufacturing companies who would love to have Henry's problem.

Mike Arts the manager of The Shooters Sports Center in Racine, Wisconsin is holding one of the new Henry lever action 410 shotguns.
Mike Arts the manager of The Shooters Sports Center in Racine, Wisconsin is holding one of the new Henry lever action 410 shotguns.

There have been some disappointed Henry buyers who could not get the lever 410 and have made their concerns known to the company. According to Andy Wickstrom, the General Manager of Henry Repeating Arms, the shipping of 410 lever action shotguns has increased and back orders are slowly getting filled. Even some of the old and slightly grumpy Henry family members who have waited patiently (well maybe not all that patiently) to get their hands on a 410 lever gun have happily come around when that 410 was in fact in their hands. They were even more pleased when they started shooting it and discovered it really is an expensive but exceptionally fun plinker. I bet you can't shoot just one box of shells.

I was out at the farm over Labor Day Weekend shooting Henry rifles with my daughter. She is in medical school and brought a couple of fellow students with her. Before the day was over I had three new converts to Henry rifles. Her time is limited and her mother and I are happy for any of that time she can spend with us at the farm.

After shooting rifles for a while she asked where the 410 shotgun was that I keep talking about. I had not brought it out to the farm and suggested perhaps if she could get away from school for another day I would be delighted to bring the Henry 410 to shoot.

If the lure to shoot the new Henry 410 lever action can get my daughter to break away for a few hours of her studying and come out and see the old man and her mother at the farm I will start stocking up on 410 shells. By the way, you should have seen that girl and the way she cycled the Henry All Weather Big Boy rifle in 357 mag we were shooting. Ten rounds in ten seconds and ten less “walkers” in the world of evil. I will bet even Carl on the Walking Dead show cannot work a lever action rifle as well as my daughter the Air Force Reserve medical officer can. It is about delaying evil.

She is my only child and she will be doing my estate sale when I am gone. My great granddaughters will have a lot a nice Henrys to inherit from their doctor-grandmother. Quality lasts, whether it is in your family or in the Henry family.

4 Sept 2017 / 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]

  • 15 thoughts on “Henry Repeating Arms Has A Production Problem ,,, Maybe

    1. Hey there to who it means anything to if you all weren’t charging so much for these lever actions 410ga. Shotguns you all could sell a lot of them and still make good money thanks Jeff PS I would love to have one of the Henry lever action 410’s but the price is to high for me and Thanks again Jeff

    2. hi. i have a henry hoo1t 22. its brill. if they made a 3 shot 410 i would buy one now. it is too hard now to get a sec1 410 now in the uk.

    3. Why no 3″ .410 Chambers? 5 shot capacity in states with 3 shot Max for hunting solutions ? Like do they come with plugs or have to take to a gunsmith or sit on the porch and attempt to whittle on some wood or plastic? In Illinois I think you can only hold 3 rounds while hunting afield with any shotgun and something about plug can’t be easily removed . If I won the lottery I would love to have a 10 shot longer 3″ .410 tube fed larger hand lever action in black walnut


    5. I love Henry Rifles, Although I am a Glock man for my pistols, I just think Henry’s are the best when it comes to plinkers, or big caliber game loads. I don’t own any at the moment, only because I have four models picked out, and its hard to find them all in one place. My henry’s of choice should I find them all will be the .22 pump, and the .22 lever action, and the survival .22 rifle in camo, and last but not least would be the lever action 410. There’s just something about them kinda like riding your brand new Harley for the first time, and their motto, made in America or not at all. Just the feel, and the smooth action on them are second to none. I will find them, and they will be mine. I’m in Illinois, and anyone knowing a gun shop with an extensive Henry collection, and info In or around here, I would love to hear about them.

      1. Any Henry dealer in your area should be able to order what you’re looking for through their distributors if they don’t have one on the shelf, especially the .22’s. The .410’s are a bit harder to come by, but there’s a page on the website where you can submit the model you’re looking for directly to the folks in charge of shipping to make it happen. https://www.henryusa.com/find-a-henry/

        Full disclosure – I work at Henry. Send us a Facebook PM or email me at [email protected] if you need any further assistance and I’ll be happy to help!

    6. Rare a hens teeh where I live, but it will be added to the stable when found. Would like to see them make this in a 28, 20, and possibly 12 guage one of these days.

    7. I’ll admit that I have a Henry or 3 ;-). Yes quality should always be ‘job one’ (to steal a phrase from another company) and is normally well worth waiting for. Still debating on the .410 at this point.
      I will point out that according to NICS records, gun sales have not really ‘dropped’ – more like stabilized, they are still fairly good although not growing at the frenetic pace as they were during the reign of the greatest gun salesman ever. I suspect that a lot of the ‘glut’ (excess inventory) is/was due to many (most?) manufacturers ‘speculating’ that with the expected ‘coronation’ that didn’t happen, they ramped up production in anticipation of a continued rise in sales. And the rest is history.

    8. “Quality cannot suffer while trying to increase production to such a new rate of capacity.”

      ^^ That. Right there.

      I love my Henry .357 Lever gun. Very slick, and always goes bang. I’m on backorder for a new Henry. Please, Henry, don’t compromise quality. I can wait!!

    9. Major there is something going on…….I’ve been trying to get big boy all weather 357 since henry posted on website.
      all retailers here diff dist and NOTHING. Theres something more here

    10. Go BUY one, and experience the awesome U.S.A. Quality …..410 lever action..Henry Repeating Arms. The Harvard

      Sportsmen’s Club NRA ..SHOTGUN INSTRUCTOR staff…have a five clay five shot Henry410 challenge. Lots of rounds

      Have gone thru our Henry 410……lots of clays are busted..lots of smiles are made.

      Thank you, Anthony Imperato, owner of Henry on making this excellent lever action shotgun, that used in all our NRA classes.

      Harvard Sportsmen’ club
      NRA Shotgun Staff

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