They Held Me Hostage (Sort Of) with a Henry Bad Axe 410

Opinion: Van Harl gives us our first look at the new Henry Arms Axe 410.

Henry Arms Bad Axe 410
Henry Arms Bad Axe 410

USA – -( A picture of the new Henry Bad Axe 410 lever-action firearm sort of leaked out to the internet a week before Henry Repeating Arms was ready to go public. As soon as I saw the photo of the new Bad Axe 410, I knew Henry Repeating Arms had another winner.

Henry Arms Axe 410

When I got to the Shooter’s Sports Center in Racine, Wisconsin ( to pick up the new Henry the sales associates would not let me leave.

They sort of held me hostage until everyone who wanted to shoot the new Henry Arms Bad Axe 410 got their chance. This new Henry lever firearm is chambered in a 2 1/2 inch, 410 shotgun shell. I knew the gun sales associates were really serious when they shot their own in-house ammo and did not charge me a dime. Can you believe that? This is not a complaint, the folks at Shooter’s Sports Center and have been helping me for years.

This new Henry is a hoot-to-shoot. It is built on the new steel, side-loading gate action that just came out. The action is the scion of the steel Henry H009 action that the 30-30 and 45/70 rifles are built on. Needless to say, it is big and strong and can handle the 410 shotgun round with little to no uncomfortable recoil.

Actually that is why it is a hoot-to-shoot. It is 5.75 pounds in weight and has an overall length of 26.4 inches.

Like the recently introduced Model 24, brass Henry rifle with the new side-loading gate, the Bad Axe 410 has an extremely smooth operation when you start to insert 410 shells into the steel action. It is quite remarkable just how smooth and easy you can load the 410 shotgun plastic cases.

Of course, the new steel action with the side-loading gate has the same tube loading capability of the new brass Henry Model 24. It is a very well thought out firearm. Mr. Wickstrom the general manager of Henry Rifles told me he wanted to get the loading gate right and had his engineers concentrate on producing the smoothest loading gate on the market–they succeeded.

The Bad Axe River flows through southwest Wisconsin into the Mississippi. The river was given that name even before Wisconsin became a state and long before Henry Wisconsin started manufacturing in God’s country. There is however a connection, a historical connection and an unstated mission to thrive, prosper and do well. Bad Axe can mean your survival.

The side-loading gate on the new Henry Bad Axe 410 is what makes this unique firearm both a lot of fun to shoot and sets it up as a potential personal defense firearm. It is unlike my Henry lever action 410 shotgun that only loads through the tube, which means that lever gun has to be taken out of action to reload. The Bad Axe 410 is a load, shoot, scoot and reload all while on the run, firearm.

It is most definitely a personal defense, limited close-in combat firearm. In close combat you have to be able to shoot down range at evil, all the while constantly reloading and without thinking, constantly moving to shoot from another location. If you fail in any of these areas they will find your head on a spike.

“But the new Henry Bad Axe 410 only uses a 410 shotgun shell”.

Did you know it is legal to hunt whitetail deer in over 50% of the states in the US with a 410 shotgun? If a 410 slug will harvest a whitetail deer what do you think it can do to a “walker” that is trying to eat you for lunch?

The 410 ammunition on the market designed for the revolvers that shoot 45 Long Colt and 410 shotgun ammo improves your personal defense when used in a Henry Bad Axe 410. What you have are different multiple sizes of projectiles dispatched from the 410 defense ammo and out of a 15-inch barrel. Your downrange impact with “walkers” is greatly enhanced.

After you acquire your Bad Axe 410 do some pattern shooting of the defense ammo at 10, 15 and 20 yards and you will quickly understand the impressive capabilities of this new Henry lever gun. Even plain old buck-shot and bird-shot can keep you in the fight if used correctly.

I am a retired Air Force “cop” and an Army trained Infantry officer. I am also retired from a couple of civilian law enforcement organizations. Close quarters, shotgun defensive and offensive training was provided to me numerous times during my career. Understanding the limiting factors of staying alive with the help of a shotgun is profoundly implanted in my brain.

A “Henry Delay” is the concept of staying alive for the average American with limited firearms ownership and training. You are not a soldier or a police officer. You do not own a black rifle or a high capacity handgun. You may only have your hands on that Henry lever gun when you hunt deer with it once a year. There is no conceal carry permit in your wallet and except during hunting season you routinely do not have a firearm with you.

Evil finds your family and you have to potentially hold it off by delaying that evil until law enforcement or in extreme crisis the military can come to your aid. So what do you do? With only one rifle in the home you are limited but you are demonstratively ahead of the curve for many who have never even considered having to defend themselves, let alone, actually owning a firearm.

Delay, deflect, deceive or re-direct evil, to buy time for the safety of your family. Pre-planned organization backed up with even one firearm gives you the decided advantage over your unarmed neighbor next door when your community is being overrun by evil in the middle of the night. As I continue to reiterate “evil hates organization.”

The new Henry Bad Axe 410 as I said before is “a hoot to shoot”, but it is also a tool of the concept, of the Henry Delay. With the weight of the Bad Axe 410 at just over 5 1/2 pounds there is very limited recoil. Almost anyone can successfully deploy the Bad Axe 410.

The swivel studs allow you to attach a sling to facilitate easy carrying and fast deploying. Getting your Henry on target in a crisis can mean the difference in success and failure. Remember in many of today’s crises there is no second place.

Henry Arms Bad Axe 410 with Custom Made Holster
Henry Arms Bad Axe 410 with Custom Made Holster

There is a vector choke in the Bad Axe 410 that allows you to remove it and change just how tight a pattern(or not) you want in your new Henry. Depending on what genre you follow, do your attacking “walkers” walk slow or run straight at you? Pattern placement could be vital to your family being present that next day.

I was advised that 500 new Henry Bad Axe 410 were produced prior to the release date and introduction to the Henry public. In that first day 900 Henrys were ordered and created a demand in the supply chain. So Henry Wisconsin will have to get busy filling that need. I have a strong feeling it will not stop at 900.

The new Henry Bad Axe 410, plus a good Henry Delay plan in your family, equals survivability.

I am sorry for bringing politics into my column but with the state of the world, even in “safe” old USA, you can never be too prepared. If “the system” breaks down even for a short time the have-not’s will come out and prey on the unprepared.

Be ready, be safe, and be prepared to delay evil. Never assume someone else will do it for you.

Henry Delay, Henry Delay, praise the Lord for a Henry Delay (and a new Bad Axe 410.)

Major Van Harl USAF RetAbout 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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Where did the custom holster for the Axe get made and will it be a item for others to purchase?


I want scabbard or holster just like what is in the pic also for my 410 Axe.
Where can we get this?

Dave in Fairfax

Chuck, do a search on eBay for levergun sheaths. They come in lots of price ranges.


I’ll wait for the .45 LC version, or better yet .454 mag.


There is one…..its called a Mares Leg in .45 Colt. Neat little weapon.

Ej harbet

I want to get one of these and a .410 shotshell loader and start making some rounds that’ll use the strength of the strong action to really do some damage! Design some higher payload wads and work up some loads that can top the federal 2.5″ 000×4 load.of course if you don’t want to test pilot you can always buy some special 410 ammo from As for the 90grain slug? No thanks.if it doesn’t hit the right place you’ll wound the deer.just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right.for home Def I’d use #2s or bb. Oh and I’d… Read more »

Big George

I am definitely getting one of these new Henry’s when they become available! My second purchase (and to answer ‘Julio’s question) is to and have Terry make me a bad-ass custom holster for it with loops for additional shells! I’m thinking a ‘chest rig’ might just be the ticket for this Henry Bad Axe! Terry made me my holsters for another Henry and my S&W’s.


How is the price tag on his holsters?


Hi All. New to forum. Very interested in Bad axe 410. I live in Ontario Canada and our laws are very different that those in the U.S. in regards to carry or concealed carry. This firearm may represent a way to open carry in our country. Also being an outdoor addict when Atving it may provide a very useful sidearm. Two questions come to mind. First is are there any commercially available holsters for this rifle and secondly can you use 45 Long Colt in it. I see it has a removable choke so how would that factor into using… Read more »

Wild Bill

, I have no answers for you. I just wanted to say, “Welcome to the site.”


Another great article, Van, thanks!

Now, if we could only get Anthony I. to move Henry totally to WI and out of NJ!


Lol…..yeah, NJ is not the state I think of typically for such production. A classic US made cowboy Americana should have addresses like Cheyenne or Laramie WY!


Always wanted a Winchester 1887 pistol. Like used in T2.