Do Henry Big Boy .357 Mag / .38 Special lever action rifles use handgun ammunition?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by SubZero, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Was looking at a Henry Lever Action in .357 Magnum / .38 Special and was wondering if that rifle is designed to use standard handgun ammunition.

    My thought is that since my 2 handguns are .357 Mag / .38 Special models, I could simply use the same .357 Mag ammo in both of those as well as the Lever Action.

    Was hoping someone (or many someones) could help me learn the answer.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Yep, standard pistol ammo.
     

  3. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    But the rifle is designed to use standard handgun ammo, correct?

    I should be able to place .38 Special and separately .357 Magnum ammo that was made for handguns into the Big Boy rifle and be able to shoot it just fine?

    That's the key point I'm trying to understand.

    Thanks.
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Yes, it is designed for handgun ammo for the same reason you have a piqued interest in the Henry.
     
  6. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Thank you much. Both of you. :)
     
  7. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Yep, same standard handgun ammo.

    Concept started about the same time the Henry was originally developed and Perfected by the early Winchester lever action rifles. The idea was to give Cowboys and Lawmen an arm with more reach than there revolvers but not burden them with a separate caliber to carry.

    Attempts have been made to apply the same concep to modern semi auto sub rifles with offerings from Berreta, Kel Tek, and others. You can order some of these to take not only the same ammo as your semi auto pistol but also accept the same magazine.

    Tack
     
  8. Cheeseman

    Cheeseman New Member

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    If you load,however, you can moderately juice up a pistol load for the rifle, being careful of course not to mix them up. If you have tank-like Rugers it's not as much of a problem as opposed to say a vintage single action not designed for wacko hot stuff.
     
  9. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    You can also mix the 357 and 38 in the same magazine.
     
  10. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Now THAT I did not know. Very interesting.

    Thanks again for all the comments. Much appreciated.
     
  11. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Very true- But i've had a couple of leverguns in 357 that were a bit picky about 38's- Give it a try, you shud be fine-
     
  12. scottmac

    scottmac New Member

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    Mine eats both fine, even with a mix of .357 and .38 Special in the same tube.

    I love my Henry, it's a great shooter and a beautiful piece of machinery.
     
  13. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member

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    Yep, the hiccup with mixing, or even firing .38's and then going to .357Mags is that the 38's have a shorter case...
    which means that burnt powder residue will collect IN the chamber instead of in the barrel...
    which means after shooting a certain amount of .38SPL's, it will suddenly become quite difficult to get a .357 to chamber...
    as the chamber will be clogged with the aforementioned residues...just enough to screw up the magnums from entering...

    Happens the same with .44SPL/.44Mag as well...the specials again have a shorter case...causes the same minor hiccup...

    Soooooooo...it does pay to clean between Specials to Magnums for your best functioning...
    From Magnums to Specials...won't hurt a bit.

    But in a pinch, say you are in a prolonged battle with Zombies, and you picked up a box of SPL first instead of Magnums...
    shoot 'em, and switch when you can...after the battle, have someone cover you while you run a boresnake thru yer rifle ;)
    Then stick to Magnums until you are completely OUT...THEN use the Specials!!

    Yes, I say that knowing full well that "The Walking Dead" has a new episode coming on later tonite...lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  14. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Thanks again for the replies.

    I took the plunge and picked up a Henry Big Boy Lever Action in .357 Mag / .38 Special today. Gonna go shoot it for the first time tomorrow or perhaps Tuesday. Here's the link to the page about the rifle:

    http://henryrepeating.com/rifle-big-boy.cfm

    Here are the pics of the rifle from the page:
     

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  15. tacticalfun

    tacticalfun Active Member

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    Sorry for late/probably not needed reply. But, i hunt with my big boy .357/38 and have had it for 4 years. Its a hell of a gun. Gonna get a deer with it saturday ( i hope)
     
  16. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You wont pick up more than 150 fps with the semi auto cartridges as they are too efficient.
     
  17. SubZero

    SubZero New Member

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    Never too late. Appreciate the reply.

    It's great to hear that it's held up so well for you. I hope I get years of lever-action goodness out of it as well.

    BTW, do you have a scope on it? Or did you shoot with the standard sights?

    Congrats on that deer. :)
     
  18. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member

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    Best thing on a lever-action is a Creedmore sight...also known as a Target Tang Peep...Vernier sight...few other names...
    Top is a Vernier, fourth is a Marbles peep...either will outperform most scopes if you've got decent eyes...
    [​IMG]
    Best with a Spirit-level front :)


    Scopes NEVER look right on a Golden Boy unless its a Period-correct Malcolm-style...
    and even those look a bit odd...
    http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/948102/fullsize/hs-b-002.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  19. tacticalfun

    tacticalfun Active Member

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    Irons :) it feels more cowboy to me