A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Don't use wadcutters in a Henry!

I was warned by JP Reno, Henry's cowboy action shooter when I spoke to him recently that I shouldn't use wadcutters in a lever action Henry because they are prone to jamming. He said this is especially true of the .357 Magnum model. I explained to him that the last time I shot the 44 Magnum, they didn't give me a problem. Thinking back, I realized that I did feed a lot of those rounds in by hand.

Today I took about a dozen shots with the 44 Magnum and when I went to refill the loading tube, I found that only 7 or so rounds would fit in. That wasn't normal. When I pushed the brass tube in to lock it down, it wouldn't go all the way, stopping about a case-length from the end. I quickly emptied the tube, and when I tried to cycle the lever, I discovered that the action was jammed open. It was obvious that a round had jammed under the carrier that feeds the rounds into the receiver. I called over the range officers to take a look, but they were stumped as well, not knowing how to free up the jam. I told them that the cartridge wasn't in a dangerous position, so I put the rifle back into the case. We were all surprised that it still fit in the Henry case, even though the lever was in the down position. I did a bit of shooting with my NAA min-revolvers, and when I was done, went straight of my local gunsmith.

The gunsmith loosened a couple of screws to give the cartridge a little room to move, then gave the rifle a few good shakes. The round flew out of the tube and the rifle was once again good to go. The problem was that I was now 45 minutes from the range, so my day was shot. A word of warning. DON'T USE WADCUTTERS IN A LEVER ACTION HENRY unless you plan to manually feed them. Too bad, because the wadcutters were shooting great!



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