Henry Model X Rifle – The Old-Fashioned Lever-Gun of the Future

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Henry Model X
Henry’s Model X is a futuristic blast from the past! IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Henry Model X – The old-fashioned rifle of the future; the only gun that fits my personal bizarre eclectic taste in firearms. But even if you don’t like modern takes on classic guns, the Henry Model X is just an all-around bad-ass gun that despite its archaic roots is still relevant, versatile, and as potent as ever.

But are the new additions enough to truly bring the lever-gun into the 21st century? Or am I just viewing the gun through rose-tinted Pit-Viper glasses?

Henry Model X Rifle

Despite their manual operation, lever-action rifles like the Henry are deceptively complex. This is especially true of the older Winchester rifles with their almost clockwork internals.

But modern Henrys are vastly more streamlined to make them more affordable to produce without sacrificing quality. But even though the guns are modernized versions of the original Henry rifles from the Wild West, they still incorporate some relatively outdated features. And among all these dated features, none receives more criticism than Henry’s use of a forward loading tube.

Henry Model X No Attachments
Even without all the crazy attachments, the Henry Model X is a very capable firearm. IMG Jim Grant

If you’re not familiar with the guns, all older models of Henry rifles are loaded from the front. This means that shooters have to remove the magazine tube, drop the desired number of cartridges into the mag tube housing before replacing the tube.

The process is by no means difficult, but neither is it terribly fast. Though the most problematic aspect of it is that it requires shooters to both manipulate a potentially loaded firearm less than an inch from the muzzle and have to take the gun fully out of a potential fight to reload.

Modern Additions

And sure, not everyone who buys a firearm needs it for a life-or-death struggle pinned behind cover desperately reloading their lever-gun while lead pours from the sky. But it’s still an obvious inconvenience.

Model X Loading Gate
The side-loading gate of the Henry makes reloading much easier. IMG Jim Grant

This is why so many shooters were excited when Henry announced their Model X would incorporate a side loading gate like the Winchester and Marlin rifles that came before it. And not just for hypothetical scenarios involving panicked reloads. But also, because this feature allows shooters to top-off the magazine tube between shots. Allowing them to keep the gun filled to capacity without having to pull it down first.

But this isn’t the only noteworthy feature incorporated by the new Henry Model X Rifle. The futuristic cowboy gun also utilizes polymer for its furniture to reduce the weapon’s overall weight. Not to mention that it does away with the aesthetically pleasing and period-correct buckhorn sights normally found on the gun for brilliantly bright, adjustable fiberoptic post and notches sights.

Henry Model X rear Sight
The rear fiber optic notch sights are low-profile, but still easy to see. IMG Jim Grant

On the receiver itself, the Henery Model X features an enlarged loop handle making it easy for shooters of all sizes to use – and if shooters want an even larger option, the X can utilize the extra-large lever loops meant for the traditional Henry Big Boy carbines. (The same is allegedly true for the furniture, but I didn’t have a Big Boy on hand to confirm this.)

A Lever-Gun With Rails?

Speaking of furniture, the polymer forearm on the Henry Model X isn’t just futuristic-looking for cosmetic sakes, it also incorporates a Picatinny rail on the bottom and a pair of M-Lok slots on the side. This makes for a perfect mounting system for tactical lights, lasers, or even bipods.

Henry Model X Front Sight
The Model X’s green front sight contrasts perfectly against the rear orange. Also, note the threaded barrel – perfect for suppressors. IMG Jim Grant

But for me, it’s what’s at the end of the Henry’s 16-inch barrel that truly sells me on the gun – a 5/8×24 threaded muzzle. Because what lever-gun would be complete without a sound suppressor?

Model X Gonna’ Give it to Ya

And truth be told, at first, I wasn’t terribly impressed by the performance of the little carbine when suppressed. Because it was still pretty loud when paired with full-power .357 Magnum rounds. But Henry Model X really came into its own when I loaded up some 158gr .38 special rounds.

While it’s difficult to accurately express just how quiet the Henry was, the impacts on my dirt berm were markedly louder than the shot itself. So much so, that I would argue heavy-grain .38 special rounds combined with a quality big-bore can like the SilencerCo Osprey45 (provided by SilencerShop.com) make the Henry was as quiet as, and possibly quieter than a suppressed .22lr carbine.

Henry Model X Magazine Tube
Previously, shooters had to reload their Henry rifles by removing the magazine tube assembly and dropping loose rounds in the front. IMG Jim Grant

To put it another way, the combination resulted in a truly Hollywood-quiet setup.

Model X Performance

Space Cowboy
Truly, the Henry Model X is the weapon of choice of all intergalactic space cowboys. IMG Jim Grant

Accuracy from the carbine was solid as well. With hits on a six-inch steel gong at 150 yards using a red dot being laughably easy. Though if you’re using .38 special rounds instead of .357 Mag, you’ll have to add about a five-inch holdover since the rounds aren’t exactly, ‘screaming’ out the barrel.

One downside of the Henry I wanted to address, is reliability in certain circumstances. I found that occasionally if I worked the action a little too hard or fast while the carbine was tilted forward or backward at just the right angle, it would occasionally malfunction.

Essentially, the round would bind between the bolt and the elevator and make closing the action neigh impossible without sticking a finger, or pen, or knife inside the action and knocking the round loose.

Buy Now Gun Deals

Overall, with an MSRP of $1,000, the Henry Model X is by no means the cheapest option on the pistol caliber carbine market. But I truly believe it is among the most versatile – especially when paired with a can. The addition of a suppressor allows shooters to choose between whisper-quiet lead delivery, and hard-hitting .357 Magnum power appropriate for deer, smaller bears, and even two-legged animals looking to do harm to you and your loved ones. It’s an oddball gun to be sure, but one that definitely has a prominent place in my firearms collection.


About Jim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.

When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

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Buster
Buster
7 days ago

As one who is repulsed by grade-school children now using the F-word in every sentence, I feel we responsible adults have a duty to stop throwing gasoline on the fire.

Jim Grant, I challenge you to clean up your mouth, quit using pointless phrases such as “bad-ass” in your articles, and make it a point in your life to become a part of the solution.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
7 days ago
Reply to  Buster

I’m much more repulsed by what you write: https://www.ammoland.com/2021/08/florida-red-flag-abuse-florida-mans-rights-virtually-disappear/#axzz76dnhOkn8 “Have faith, fellow Patriots, and be of good cheer. Divine intervention has saved America numerous times in the past, and it will again. God knows by name the enemy within. The war has begun, and the purge will not take long. This will not be a shooting war. Only God’s enemy will die of the Covid hoax, but God’s warriors are protected from the hoax. Of the Americans currently stuck now in Aphganistan, only God’s enemy will perish there – God’s warriors will be evacuated. The dead and missing in the… Read more »

Stag
Stag
7 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

There’s definitely some mental illness there.

Buster
Buster
7 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You’re free to be repulsed by whatever you like. One thing that won’t repulse you is the language I use when in the presence of women and children.

JPM
JPM
7 days ago

I believe it was Mossberg that came out with a similar set up on their lever-action. When I first saw one at a gun show I dubbed it the, “John Wayne Nightmare” as it likely had him spinning in his grave. Typical of Henry, they are copying other better quality rifles and are substituting flash (brass frames) and gimmicks for quality. The current manufacturers of Henry rifles simply purchased the name “Henry” and they have no other association whatsoever with the original product from the 1800s, but are playing on the name.

RedState
RedState
8 days ago

Ugliest rifle I have seen in years. Just buy an AR15.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
2 days ago
Reply to  RedState

Now thats the gospel.

Bill
Bill
8 days ago

Does it come in 44 mag?

DDS
DDS
8 days ago

Let me say right up front that I own a very early 1894 Winchester rifle (not the more common and shorter carbine) with the octagonal barrel, full length magazine, and curved steel butt plate. Its old enough to be labeled .30WCF instead of the later name for the same cartridge, .30-30 Winchester. It is, and probably always will be, one of my favorite firearms. But if it ever had a time when it was a top tier tactical tool, those days are long behind both of us. And as for hanging all those modern tactical odds and ends on a… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by DDS
Mike the Limey
Mike the Limey
8 days ago

Once you start hanging stuff off a simple lever action rifle, you lose the reason for having it.
Go buy an AR15 at that point.

Diksum
Diksum
8 days ago

I’ve always considered lever action an obsolete mechanism. Bolt action is simpler, Semi-auto made lever action obsolete.

Finnky
Finnky
8 days ago
Reply to  Diksum

Lever action has a place where it truly shines. That place is in a saddle scabbard, out of the way but ready for action while riding. While I love suppressors, adding one would add too much length and the additional width at muzzle would interfere with holstering and drawing.

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
8 days ago
Reply to  Finnky

Agreed Finnky. No way would I take any other action on horseback! Oh, I’m mistaken. I do have a giant leather scabbard for a scoped Remington 700 that goes all the way up to mid buttstock. But only for a wilderness Elk hunt I went on about 30 years ago. Never have used it since. Just too bulky for most use. It did the job in the Rocky Mountains pretty well though. Long shots and horse country kind of demanded it. It was big and bulky though. Every time you mounted up (or dismounted) it was in the way. Also… Read more »

stick
stick
7 days ago
Reply to  Knute Knute

I’ve long thought that a Tanker Garand would be an awesome saddle gun.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
2 days ago
Reply to  stick

Its awfully heavy, and its 8 rd fixed magazine is suboptimal.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
2 days ago
Reply to  Finnky

Or anywhere a handy repeating rifle is needed and semiauto is not desired.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
2 days ago
Reply to  Diksum

If anything, the bolt action mechanism is obsolete. Yes, it can make an effective snd accurste sniper rifle or hunting rifle, but semiautos van eadily fill those rolls. I mean, bolt actions were truly state-of-the-art military designs for like, what, maybe a decade? And even that would not have happened without the military doctrine calling for the ability to make 1000 yard shots. A little more r&d, lever guns would have been the primary small arm up into the 1930s.

WI Patriot
WI Patriot
2 days ago

“If anything, the bolt action mechanism is obsolete”

Dolt…

45crittergitter
45crittergitter
8 days ago

“none receives more criticism than Henry’s use of a forward loading tube.” You mean “loading port.” “shooters have to remove the magazine tube, drop the desired number of cartridges into the mag tube housing before replacing the tube.” Only sort of. The outer magazine tube housing stays in place. The inner tube containing the follower and spring is retracted, and does not have to actually be removed from the outer tube. There is a loading port near the muzzle end of the outer tube through which one loads rounds when the inner tube is retracted (but not necessarily removed). “So… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by 45crittergitter
Knute Knute
Knute Knute
8 days ago

That’s a true description of the original Henry, where one had to do the “Henry Hop” over the magazine follower as it worked its way down the tube, but this repro doesn’t work the same way. This seems to be almost an enlarged copy of the Marlin Model 60 tube. No “Henry Hop”, but one does have to remove the inner tube, and then reinsert it, to reload.
My guess is the author was referring to the gun in the review, and not actually thinking of the real Henry rifle.

Last edited 8 days ago by Knute Knute
Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
8 days ago

That jamming issue is a deal killer.

JIMEDD
JIMEDD
8 days ago

I’M SORRY, I DONT LIKE THE SETUP ON THIS RIFLE, LIKE THE TUBE FOR FILLING ROUNDS IN ADDITION TO THE SIDEGATE…DONT LIKE THE SUPPRESSOR ON THIS TYPE OF RIFLE. CHANGE THE REDDOT TO A MUCH LOWER DOT SIGHT, THAT WILL GIVE GOOD CHEECK REST FOR CHEEK WHICH WILL GIVE BETTER ACCURACY WITH CHEECK CLOSER TO STOCK….INSIDE OF 100 YDS WHY NEED DOT, THOSE ARE VERY FUNCTIONAL IRON SIGHTS???