Henry Steel Frame Single Shot H015-223 Rifle Review

Henry Steel Frame Single Shot H015-223 Rifle
Henry Steel Frame Single Shot H015-223 Rifle

USA -(Ammoland.com)- Over the past ten years, firearms companies around the world have flooded the market with plastic and polymer-based guns.

If that wasn't bad enough, they have expanded the ugly AR15 platform to just about every possible combination… all in the name of “modern sporting firearms”. It is as though they have forgotten that firearms are supposed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

No matter what you do to it, the “black stick” will never be pleasing to the eye.

We understand some of the reasons for the trend (lower manufacturing costs & faster assembly lines) but we fail to understand why so many companies have just given up on producing firearms the “old fashioned way”. It is as though they are in a “race to the bottom”.

We will leave the answers to those questions for other writers/readers at a later date. In this article we want to discuss the new Single Shot Rifle produced by Henry Repeating Arms Co.

A company founded and lead by Anthony Imperato which only produces high quality firearms at reasonable prices. Mr. Imperato refuses to join the “race to the bottom”. If he can't make it in the United States, he won't make it. We might also add: If he can't make a quality firearm, he won't make it.

Henry arms have a reputation as being the most reliable and smooth operating lever actions on the market. That reputation is well earned and absolutely correct. However, not everyone wants a lever action rifle and with the bolt-action rifle market flooded with products, the logical niche for Henry to fill was with a single-shot firearm.

The single shot rifle niche has only one serious competitor, the Ruger Nr.1s, and they are now outsourced to a specialty shop. They are still superb rifles (we have two), but the price has steadily increased over the years to over $1,500. As such, the market and demand for a quality and reasonably priced single shot rifle was “wide open”.

After considerable design planning and in-house testing, Henry Repeating Arms launched their single shot centerfire rifle line in September 2017. We were fortunate to get one of the first models in our requested .223 Remington caliber.

This rifle is absolutely one of the most beautiful rifles that we have seen in years. The satin matte finish on the frame is flawless. The wood to metal fit of the American walnut stock and fore end are the best we have ever seen. We are not sure how they do it, but by whatever means they are using…. keep it up.

While we are on the subject of the stock: The laser cut checkering does exactly what checkering is supposed to do… provide a more positive grip for the shooter. That is such an improvement over the stamped faux checkering on so many firearms on the market today.

There are no plastic parts in this gun. This little break action rifle harkens back to the days when single shot rifles were made with great care and owning one was a source of pride. However, do not get the idea that this is just an “old” design that is being remanufactured in the 21st century. Henry updated and improved the original designs.

They installed a rebounding hammer that cannot touch the firing pin unless the trigger’s deliberately pulled. The internal interlock system that doesn’t allow the barrel to open if the hammer’s cocked, or the barrel to close if the hammer’s cocked while it’s open.

And, for us lefties, the break-open lever can be pivoted to the left or right to break the barrel open. From all of us left-handed people….”Thank You Mr. Imperato”

And, unlike a lot of break-open guns that have ejectors that throw the spent casing back, the Henry H015-223 rifle is equipped with a positive extractor which allows the shooter to easily remove the case without damage for reloading. If you are a reloader, that is a real plus, especially if you have ever used a .223 black rifle.

By this time, some of you are wondering, why would I want a single shot rifle? Think about it, how many times in your hunting adventures have you ever required more than one shot? Oh, we know… you want the other rounds as a backup…. but, if you never need them, why have them?

Personally, Jim likes the challenge of using a single shot rifle, whether it be a muzzleloader or a centerfire. Having only one shot ensures that you take proper care in placing your shot and then only firing when you are assured of a clean kill.

The Henry H015-223 comes with an adjustable folding rear leaf sight and a brass front sight. The polished 22″ barrel is drilled and tapped for a Weaver 48082 mount. We recommend buying the Grovtec hammer extension (GHM 283) from Henry if you plan on using a scope on the rifle. We mounted a Sightron SII 3-9 x 42 on our test rifle using Weaver High Quad Lock rings to ensure that the hammer cleared the scope.

All that remained for us to determine was how well the rifle shoots. As well made as the Henry H015-223 is, if it doesn't shoot tight groups, why buy it? We went to the range with some new Sig Sauer .223 ammo, both 40 grain predator tip rounds and 60 grain HT hunting rounds, as well as Jim's “standard” 55 grain Hornady V-Max loads.

We fired multiple three and four shot groups off our Caldwell Tack Driver bag at 100 yards. We did not adjust the sights between the rounds, hence the drop expected with increasing weights. The following targets answer the question of accuracy.

This rifle produced consistent groups of under 3/4″ (center-to-center), with our best being 1/2″, using the new SIG SAUER 40 grain .223 predator loads. That is incredible accuracy from a “standard” factory rifle.

And, before we forget, the trigger has no creep…. it has a consistent and positive release at 5.5 lbs.

Range Targets at 100 yards
Range Targets at 100 yards

The specifications of the H015 are:

  • Action: Single Shot
  • Caliber: .223 Rem / 5.56 NATO
  • Also Available in: .243 Winchester & .308 Winchester
  • Capacity: 1 Round
  • Barrel Length: 22″
  • Twist: 1 in 9
  • Overall Length: 37.5″
  • Weight: 7.18 pounds
  • Receiver: Blued Steel – matt finish
  • Rear Sight: Fully adjustable folding leaf
  • Front Sight: Brass Bead
  • Scope Ready: Drilled and Tapped for Weaver 48082 Base Mount
  • Stock: American Walnut w steel swivel studs
  • Butt Plate: Black, Solid Rubber Recoil Pad
  • Length of Pull: 14″
  • Trigger Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Safety: Rebounding Hammer
  • MSRP: $448.00

The H015-223 is a quality rifle at a very reasonable price. This rifle is built to the same high standards as all of the other Henry centerfire rifles. It is NOT a budget model in any sense of the word.

It is ideal for those who would like to introduce their children to shooting, but not forcing them to use some cheap entry level firearm.

It is also ideal for those of us who want the challenge of hunting with only one round on board and those of us who prefer the uncomplicated durability of a single shot rifle.

Jim and Mary Clary

Whether you are a bolt-gun or lever-gun shooter, you owe it to yourself to pick up one of these…. either as a backup or as your primary rifle. They are that good! Jim has plans to buy another one in .308 caliber for deer hunting.

About Jim and Mary Clary:

Jim and Mary Clary have co-authored over six hundred published articles (and counting) on shooting and hunting. You can read many of them on AmmoLand News.

  • 18 thoughts on “Henry Steel Frame Single Shot H015-223 Rifle Review

    1. Just bought a single shot .223 by Henry and it really is an outstanding rifle. Metalwork, bluing, wood, and checkering are about as any rifle out there regardless of price. I paid $368and consider this the best bargain in many years of rifle buying. I mounted a 3×9 Nikon with bcc. Really love this rifle and will shoot it tomorrow in nice weather. Hats off to the Henry co.

    2. Thank You for posting rhis article, I’ve been waiting to hear how these guns shoot. I couldn’t decide which one to get, they all have a special place in my heart. I finally picked up the .308 in blue. I agree, the fit and look of these rifles is as nice as any high end gun at an affordable price. I am going to put a 3-9 42 scope on mine too. I am installing it tonight. As soon as the weather breaks I’m going to see if mine shoots as nice as that .223. Something tells me I have a new favorite for deer and other critters.

    3. It’s nice to see a little elegance return to modern firearms. I had an H&R in .30-30 a long time ago. I could hold a couple of rounds between the fingers of my off hand, and get off three aimed shots in a few seconds. I sold it and several others, including my M1, during a rough patch. I have about 300 rounds of .30-06 hanging around from when I had that M1, but nothing out of which to shoot it, so I enquired. Unfortunately:

      “Thank you for your interest in Henry rifles. Although the idea is interesting, of offering a rifle in .30-06 like the mighty Garand, we have no plans for it as we already offer the very similar .308 Win in our Long Ranger rifles.
      Regards,
      Jeffrey Post
      Technical Customer Service”

      (sigh).

    4. Just got one !!!!! Its a “Beauty” !!!!! It likes 60 gr. V-max and 60 gr. Sierra HP. With a Sig Romeo 5 on top …its my new “woods” coyote rifle … 🙂

    5. Good for Henry Rifle. Now that New England Arms is gone, we need someone filling the single shot market. I know and have several Contenders and Encores, but for the price point there is a lot to be desired with these guns. So many hunters and shooters seem to miss the unique advantages of single shot rifles. They are light, break down for travel, they do the job, and they can look great. Take travel for example: I travel with guns a lot and I hate to tell every scumbag that I am carrying.a gun. With a break open action, I just put it in my suitcase. If I am flying I put the action (the part with the SS #, which by BATF definition, is “the gun”) in a steel lockable case and the rest of the gun is just gun parts parts which are not required to be in a lockable gun case. (Note: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. I recommend you get a letter from the BATF stating what you are doing is legal. This prevents some A-hole at some airport from deciding he is a lawyer and gives you grief ) And one other thought, have you ever noticed when you are traveling, and you are trying to decide if you should bother taking your gun with the big gun case? No problem, light and small always tips the decision for me. I am always grateful for deciding to take my single shot shotgun with me to the Upper Peninsula, of Wisconsin one year. It turned out to be the best grouse shooting of my life.

    6. I just started collecting guns last year before the election. And I have several including 3 types of black rifes, a shotgun, Ruger 22, Kimber Mountain Ascent and my very favorite the Henry 0010 Brass 45-70. Whenever I travel to another free state I always throw my Henry in the back of the SUV. I just love the Henry rifles as they represent a great amount of heritage and patriotism. Henry have a place in my Heart as I stand-up for America, its constitution and our freedoms. As an Oath Keeper i must say to Henry, “Thank you for your Rifles” t0 me it means “Free America”.

    7. I have a H&R Ultra Varmit in .223 with a 6-16 power mil-dot scope and Caldwell bi-pod. It also has a really good trigger for a stock rifle. I paid around $250 for it 5 or 6 years ago and I would put this rifle up against any other factory single shot including the Ruger no.1.

    8. In the eyes of the beholder, eh. I have a number of beautiful rifles, both wood and expensive ones that aren’t stocked in wood. I am a Weatherby fan from way back and continue to be, but, you know what, my go to hunting rifle now is a original youth model Savage Axis in 7mm-08, with a Timney trigger. I originally bought this rifle for a lady shooter and there is a long and tortured story about how it came back to me; it is a good tale but I won’t bore you with the details. Anyway, the Axis shoots iddy-bitty groups, easily into a 1/2 inch and many times under, and that is with Hornady Whitetail 139 grain InterLocks. It doesn’t much like other ammo, but who could ask for more – a “cheap rifle” shooting “cheap ammo” that kills stuff dead, and who cares if it gets beat up – that’s what hunting guns are all about! AR’s, again, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I “behold” function as beauty, aesthetics be damned.

    9. I hunt with a firearm and a bow. Bow hunters have been using the ultimate “single shot” to harvest game for centuries.
      And I’ll always regret selling my Ruger No.1.
      Tempory insanity

    10. I spent more years in the Army than not. I grew up with black plastic, large magazines, issue weapons. Now that I am retired, I am, quickly, getting to like nice wood, deep bluing, really accurate, and even engraved rifles. I suppose this single shot Henry is not for everyone, but I find it… intriguing. Thank you Dr. Clary for bringing it to our attention and an interesting review. IMHO. I am going over to Henry’s website, next.

    11. Opinion much?
      I was looking forward to the review but after reading your hatred of the AR, no knowledge of production methods or even the founder of this company I can’t trust what you say because it’s totally swayed

      1. The fact that I was in on the original testing of the AR-15 at the Armament Development Center, Eglin AFB, Florida in the early 60s might have something to do with my opinion. Also, having seen it jam because it wasn’t cleaned properly in Nam and watching a lot of good men die might have something to do with my opinion. As I said in the article…. that is my opinion and I will leave it for others to discuss and argue about the AR platform. Which, BTW was adopted primarily because Colt was in danger of going bankrupt, and they bought the patent from Armalite.,.. add in the myths associated with the .223 in those days, and you have the M-16. But, if you are educated, do not let that opinion keep you from checking out a really fine and reasonably cost rifle from Henry. And, also, maybe you are not correct, as the execs at Henry (including Anthony) review the article for accuracy before I had it published, AND they had no changes.

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