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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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gqucool, If you examine your Marlin or Uberti, they are also tube fed …. it's just a matter of loading from the side or loading from the front with a Henry. I can tell you this from personal experience …. I have dropped several cartridges in the snow when trying to feed from the side in cold weather. Besides being harder to push the loading gate in, if you don't push the case in far enough to catch the rim, it will literally jump back out …. plus sideloads are notorious for scratching up cartridges. Loading from the front is much easier and is far superior when unloading. Just pull the tube and point the muzzle down. With a side loader, you end up jacking the lever several times …. not so safe and pretty slow. I guess I just don't understand why people are so reluctant to buy a "front loader"??? Maybe its just tradition but certainly not for any practical reasons.
 

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gqucool, If you examine your Marlin or Uberti, they are also tube fed …. it's just a matter of loading from the side or loading from the front with a Henry. I can tell you this from personal experience …. I have dropped several cartridges in the snow when trying to feed from the side in cold weather. Besides being harder to push the loading gate in, if you don't push the case in far enough to catch the rim, it will literally jump back out …. plus sideloads are notorious for scratching up cartridges. Loading from the front is much easier and is far superior when unloading. Just pull the tube and point the muzzle down. With a side loader, you end up jacking the lever several times …. not so safe and pretty slow. I guess I just don't understand why people are so reluctant to buy a "front loader"??? Maybe its just tradition but certainly not for any practical reasons.
I’m a rookie but there certainly seems like there’s a lot of tradition when it comes to firearms. I can’t remember any actors loading from the front when it came to the movies or TV at least when it came to westerns anyway. Besides aren’t all the Winchester’s both Japanese and Replicas made this way. How about the Marlins and such?

Yeah this all sounds way to practical to me. LOL
 

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The Henry Rifles made currently are tubular fed magazines very much in design comparing to the tubular fed .22 rifles. Nothing wrong but not the traditional side loading on the receiver of the Marlin, Winchester, or the Replica's made by Uberti & Miruko. It's a matter of what one prefers.
 

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Dddrees, If you give Henry's "front load" and most of the rest of the lever action manufacturers "side load" an honest an unbiased test, mechanically you will like the front load much better. If you are a history buff and want your lever action to be "Winchester '73 "authentic, then you need a side loader.

BTW, for you history buffs ….. The Henry Model M-1860 was the first successful mass production lever action rifle. If you look at it, you will notice something ….. there's no side loading gate because the magazine tube loads from the front. Winchester contracted with John Browning to modify Henry's design and make their first lever action rifle (Model 1866) with a side loading gate. So if you really want to be historically correct, Henry's front loading concept is 6 years older than Winchester's side loader …. not that it will sway opinions.
 

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Dddrees, If you give Henry's "front load" and most of the rest of the lever action manufacturers "side load" an honest an unbiased test, mechanically you will like the front load much better. If you are a history buff and want your lever action to be "Winchester '73 "authentic, then you need a side loader.

BTW, for you history buffs ….. The Henry Model M-1860 was the first successful mass production lever action rifle. If you look at it, you will notice something ….. there's no side loading gate because the magazine tube loads from the front. Winchester contracted with John Browning to modify Henry's design and make their first lever action rifle (Model 1866) with a side loading gate. So if you really want to be historically correct, Henry's front loading concept is 6 years older than Winchester's side loader …. not that it will sway opinions.
I may have said it poorly but I got it. Your post really made a lot of sense and I just had to laugh. The tradition is a real strong pull however. I mean that’s why I got my Single Action pistols in the first place. That first Henry only comes to mind when thinking about my 22s not when thinking about Jimmy Stewart or the rifleman.

I guess the one question I still have is whether it is more dangerous with regards to loading from the front vs the side. I don’t just mean putting body parts in front of the muzzle.

I guess the bottom line is are there any precautions you should be takening that you just don’t need to take when loading from the side vs the front? Any precautions with regards to how one does it or even ammo?

I can see that sliding the ammo down the tube at a reasonable angle would be a good practice rather than doing it when the gun is at steeper angle to prevent the primer from slamming down on the point of the bullet. But would you also go to the length of choosing a different type of round such as a flat nose, wad cutter or something else? Do you feel it wise to go to this length or a bit paranoid and unnecessary to go to this length?
 

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The side load was made so when you were hiding behind some rock in the middle of nowhere, you could reload without sticking your head up to pull out a tube and dope rounds in. And getting it blown off!!! Or give the Indians something to hit with their deadly arrows!!!
 

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I am a Henry fan with a lever 22 Mag and a pump 22LR....and a AR-7. I like Uberti if stuck on 1873.
 

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What Lowegan stated in his first reply, using the lever action in cold weather is another reason I like the Henry tube fed rifle, Fact of the matter is all you have to do in loading that rifle is open the lever just slightly when topping it off, in order to bring the round in the chamber out just a bit, so as to render the rifle inoperable. However, with the amount of rounds that rifle will hold for hunting, and the fact that the most I ever fired at an animal (deer, wild boar, etc.) is 3 rounds, I don't see having to even top it off.
 

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Thinking a 16inch 44mag would be handy. The rossi IS hard to find! Like the idea of a 44 in the 1892 as I reload it.
The new marlins 1894 are around. Not crazy expensive. Maybe one of those. I have a local guy that can slick it up some.

Then a fancy 1873 in 45.
Be interested in anyone's Henry experience as well.
My only experience is with the Rossi 92. Mine is a .357 with a 20" octagon barrel. I use it for pistol caliber in NRA cowboy silhouette matches. It's a fun rifle, but is not in the same class as Ubertis, Winchesters, Henrys or Marlins. The wood is not walnut and fit and finish are pretty rough. I did a lot of polishing on the internals and it is now a slick, good shooting little carbine. I replaced the ejector spring, main spring and the plastic magazine follower. If you don't mind learning to disassemble/assemble an 1892 and a little elbow grease, they make a nice little gun. Don't expect one to be great right out of the box.There is a gunsmith in Port Arthur, TX named Steve Young AKA Nate Kiowa Jones that will sell you Rossi 92's that have had his action job done and the barrel recrowned. I had one for awhile and it was first rate and not very expensive; about $600 as I recall.
 

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Just picked up a Marlin 94CB in 45 Colt. Looked at the Henry and Winchesters but could not get past the tube load and the prices of the Winnies. Still takes two hand to load/unload either gun but can do a 'tactical' reload on the Marlin and all with the side loading gates. Looking to get into light CAS after I retire and just bought a New Vaquero in 45LC...........
 

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For my first one I decided to go with a Henry in 357 but I haven’t finished quite yet and anticipate that I”lol have my 1866 Yellowboy Winchester 2018 Shot Show version in January. I wanted something with one real nice looking wood.
 

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Started shopping for a 1873 lever gun in 45LC. I have a few ruger single actions in that and can reload it.

Looking for something a little fancy, pistol grip stock, 20-24 inch barrel, case colored. Will be shot but not a lot. Wall hanger.

A uberti (taylor or cimmeron), or a Jap made winchester? Don't know enough to get an older winchester. Spending around 1400. give or take.

Will a new winchester be worth more down the road, over a uberti winchester?
I think the value & quality of both Uberit/Cimarron , Miruko Winchester are both equal. I would get the Model that appeals to you the most and thats by looking at both. I had the Uberti 1873 Win. Short Rifle in .357 magnum this rifle had some very fine features lots of precision served me very well with both my reloads and factory loads, good luck to you!!!:D
 

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I actually saw listed on Kentucky Gun Company today Black Friday sale listings of Marlin 1894C in .357 Magnum & Rossi Model R92 .357 in 20 inch barrel. This is the first I have seen the Rossi R92 listed as in stock. For how long who knows, seems that Henry seems to rule the Lever Action Rifles but they do put out a fine rifle!!!
 

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Any first hand experience with the Henery's out there?
Considering a steel bigboy in .327 since it's about all I've found in that caliber.
My Henry Steel in .45 Colt.
I used to have a scope on it but it just didn't look right. I added a Skinner Express and love it.
Blackhawk with Ultra Dot.
They have become pretty good friends. Where you see one, you'll see the other.
 
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