Henry Long Ranger .308 Review ~ VIDEO

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- I have a soft spot in my heart for quality American-made machines like my Dad’s old 63′ Stingray Corvette and the Henry Long Ranger in .308. At first glance, these two machines seem otherwise unrelated, but that’s not really the case; both are quality designs with muscle to spare. But while the Stingray can’t really compete with modern Corvettes, the Long Ranger can easily go toe-to-toe with modern hunting rifles.

Henry Long Ranger 308 Win 01
The Henry Long Ranger in .308 Win is one handsome little rifle. IMG Jim Grant

Henry Long Ranger .308 Win

While I initially compared the Henry to a classic muscle car, a more appropriate vehicular analogy would be an M-51 Super Sherman tank. The Super Sherman was a modernized version of the WW2 light tank equipped with a bigger gun and better armor. The Henry Long Ranger is similar in that it, too, is a beefed-up, modernized version of Henry’s previous firearm designs – even if it’s not mechanically identical.

The Long Ranger is a lever-action, detachable magazine-fed rifle chambered in .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .223 Rem. For our review, I chose the .308 model because I love that round, and I had plenty on hand to test the rifle thoroughly.

The first thing a shooter will notice when handling the rifle is just how robust and well-balanced it is. Even though most of the rifle is made of either wood or steel (except the receiver, which is made of thick gauge, anodized aluminum), the gun only weighs seven pounds unloaded. If that doesn’t seem terribly light, consider the fact that most modernized AR-15 carbines tip the scales at about 6.5lbs, and once a shooter adds optics, they are often heavier than the Henry. Better yet, the gun’s center of balance is just slightly forward of the magazine well, making it handle well and point fast.

Long Ranger Features

Speaking of the magazine, the rifle ships with a single, four-round stagger-column magazine that sits perfectly flush with the bottom of the receiver. Just above it, the Long Ranger features a small flush push-button magazine release that, in testing, was easy to use, though somewhat difficult to find in low light conditions.

Henry Long Ranger 308 Win 01
The Henry features a hardwood handguard with handsome pressed checkering. IMG Jim Grant

At the back of the rifle, the Henry features a hardwood stock with a soft, half-inch-thick rubberized buttpad that helps tame some of the felt recoil of the potent .308 cartridge. Ahead of this, the hardwood stock incorporates pressed checkering to give the shooter better purchase on the rifle when their hands are wet or oily.

Forward of the stock, the heavy-duty aluminum receiver features a nice semi-gloss black anodized finish that gives the gun a classy-yet-serious look.

On top of the receiver, the Long Ranger features four inlet screws for mounting a Picatinny rail or a set of scope rings. I chose an EGW Picatinny rail since all of my optics are designed for MSRs, and because the folks at EGW make fantastic products.

Peering through the large ejection port, you can see the Henry’s massive stainless steel bolt. It features more than a dozen teeth on the bottom that engages with the lever mechanism to permit secure loading and positive movement.

Henry Long Ranger 308 win buttstock
The Long Ranger’s hardwood stock features a soft rubberized buttpad to reduce felt recoil. IMG Jim Grant

Underneath the receiver, the Henry Long Ranger features a large, oversized lever that, in testing, was incredibly easy to work even as the action became fouled or dirty. I have relatively small hands, but even my 300-pound, sausage-fingered contractor friend found the lever to be accommodating even when wearing gloves.

Lastly, the .308 Win Long Ranger features a 20-inch, tapered profile barrel with a 1:10 twist rate. The barrel includes a set of buckhorn iron sights on the sighted model, or an optics rail on the model without sights. I chose the sighted model because I like shooting irons for fun, and these did not disappoint. The rear buckhorn notch is adjustable for windage and elevation, while the front sight post is fixed and features a small white polymer tip to make finding it in low lighting conditions easier.

Now that we know about all of the gun’s features let’s get to the real question.

What’s the Big Deal?

For those not familiar with lever-action rifles, the majority are chambered in revolver cartridges (not including .30-30 and .45-70 Gov.) and thus have somewhat limited effective range. The reasons for this stem primarily from the fact that most lever-action rifles feed from a linear magazine tube. Why does this matter? Because this tube aligns the rounds rim-to-tip. On a pistol round, where the bullets are either flat-nosed or rounded, this isn’t an issue. But on pointed or spitzer-type bullets used by nearly all modern rifle rounds, this could potentially lead to the recoil impulse slamming a firing pin against a bullet tip and detonating a round in the magazine.

The Henry Long Ranger’s design circumvents this by doing away with the tube magazine in favor of a box-type detachable one. This also has the added benefits of making reloads vastly faster, and shifting the center of balance back toward the receiver, making the gun feel lighter.

Henry Long Ranger 308 Win 01
The Sighted Long Ranger features adjustable buckhorn post-and-notch iron sights. IMG Jim Grant

Long Ranger Performance

The Henry is well-made and handsome, but how did it perform in the field?

In testing, I fired 200 rounds of various types of .308 through the gun, ranging from cheap zinc-cased Russian ammo to Hornady match. In all that testing, I never encountered a single malfunction other than when I worked the action too quickly and caused a round to not properly chamber. As far as accuracy, the best I was personally able to achieve with the Henry Long Ranger when firing from a rest and using a Vortex Viper 1-4×24 optic was around one and a half inches at 100 yards.

This might not seem impressive to shooters accustomed to ultra-high-end precision rifles, but the Henry is right on par with mid-level lightweight hunting rifles and more accurate than most shooters will be able to shoot.

Verdict

With an MSRP of $1,195  (and street prices around $150 cheaper if you shop around), the Henry Long Ranger isn’t a cheap gun – nor is it intended to be. It’s an all-Ameican workhorse of a rifle that allows shooters who love lever-action rifles to stretch the legs of their hunts and ethically harvest large game out to 200 yards with confidence.


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, their son, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

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ashort

I love the fact of Henry finally making a .308 lever action, but they lost me at a 4 round capacity. like you if it accepted larger mags okay, but the fact that an extra mags cost $50. screw that, but I guess that is the difference in a hunting rifle versus anything else. I do like it however, it is a beautiful lever action hunting rifle, but I cannot get past the lack of capacity, it is heartbreakingly however a deal breaker for me especially at that MSRP..

Last edited 27 days ago by ashort
3l120

I will stick with my BLR or Winchester 88, thank you. Both have worked well for me over the years and appear to be handier.

Montana454Casull

Bought my Ruger American wolf camo 308 win for $320 on sale . Nice lever gun but it will not shoot any better than my budget gun for all that extra cash .

Bob

I bought one right at 2 years ago in 6.5 Creedmoor. I held another cheaper rifle for a few minutes and wasn’t especially happy with it while in the sporting goods store. The lever action is silky smooth and the gun just feels right, a lot better than the M-16s I,m used to.Then I was handed the Henry! As I took it, it felt perfectly neutral in my hand. The Long Ranger fit my upper body very well so I just had to buy it. I did put a scope on it since I planned on bagging deer, but ha… Read more »

Terry

Well seems to be a great rifle and I need another 308 but will probably stick with a bolt action.

Jim, you usually take a few hits on your articles. This one will only have a little “sting” the mechanism on the opposite end of the tip of a cartridge is a ‘primer’ not firing pin’. I’m sure that is what you meant, but your not old enough for your brain to be making these kind of ‘farts’

LOL