Henry opens another Side gate
The addition of “King’s Gate” equipped firearms from Henry keeps rolling on. This time, it’s one of their .410 shotguns that gets the treatment. Already intriguing in that they are lever action shotguns that work rather well out of the box, (hit the link to see a full TFB Review of the H018-410) the addition of a loading gate in the receiver adds to their capability. The H024-410 is Henry’s first Side Gate Lever Action Shotgun.
THE H024-410 is one of Henry’s tonier models. Equipped with a brass receiver, engraved wooden stock and adjustable sights, it also has a 19.8″ smoothbore barrel without removable chokes. It has an adjustable rear buckhorn sight and an ivory bead set into the front sight. Like many of Henry’s other upmarket models, it is very handsomely finished. The stock to receiver fit is excellent and the polished brass receiver comes with a protective slip cover. The checkering and scrollwork on the wood are also excellently done. Front and rear sling studs come already installed.
Full Specs, per Henry:
Model Number: H024-410Action Type: Lever Action ShotgunCaliber: .410 BoreChamber Size: 2 1/2″ ShellsCapacity: 5 RoundsM.S.R. Price: $1,045.00Barrel Length: 19.8″Barrel Type: Round Blued SteelRate of Twist: Smooth/No ChokeOverall Length: 38.1″Weight: 7.09 lbs.Receiver Finish: Polished BrassRear Sight: Fully Adj. Semi-Buckhorn w/ Diamond InsertFront Sight: Ramp w/ .062″ Ivory BeadScopeability: Drilled and TappedScope Mount Type: Weaver 63BStock Material: American WalnutButtplate/Pad: BrassLength of Pull: 14″Safety: Transfer BarBest Uses: Target/Hunting/Bird ShotEmbellishments/Extras: Regular Lever. Swivel Studs. 2 1/2″ Shells Only. Cylinder Bore
Taking the Henry Side Gate Lever Action .410 to the range was a blast and a half. I took a while to test the balance of the gun and practice snapping it up to my cheek. This shotgun is so much like a rifle that one has to remember to bring it on target like a shotgun. The swing and balance of the Henry were also easy enough to get a firm grasp of quickly.
Starting off with loading the shotgun, I found that the quickest way to bring it up to full capacity was to load the tube through the cutout on the front of the magazine, then chamber a round and safely lower the hammer. After doing so, I could quickly load one round through the gate to top off the magazine. That way, one has a fully loaded shotgun ready to go.
Patterning the shotgun at 25 yards (due to the fixed cylinder choke) yielded nice, uniform patterns with no blank spots. The King’s Gate was no detriment in the rapid and smooth operation of the lever action. I was able to fire consecutive shots so rapidly, in fact, that I was able to drive wads from the previous shots into the target.
The Henry Side Gate Lever Action Shotgun churned through 200 rounds of 2 1/2″ .410 ammunition with both high and low brass without a single issue. Work the lever like it’s supposed to, and this shotgun will function just fine. Though normally I don’t like metal buttplates on firearms, the recoil of .410 ammunition is so minimal that I did not experience the slightest bit of discomfort. Neither the fore-end nor the barrel became uncomfortably warm, even when shooting multiple boxes in rapid succession.
Through the gates and on the hunt
Loading all shells exclusively through the gate was no problem. I prefer to use the base of loaded shells to keep the gate open for rapid loading when loading consecutive shells, and the gate on the Henry accommodated this technique just fine. As per usual, Henry’s sleeved tubular magazine facilitates extremely fast and safe unloading of the firearm when one requires it. The biggest advantage of the side gate was administratively topping off the shotgun. It’s also the best and easiest way to load lever actions in inclement weather, while hiking or on horseback. Other advantages are that having a loading gate provides one additional point of access if one has a jam (not that I experienced one with this particular firearm) and provides a quick window to see if one has any more shells in the magazine.
Equipped with a sling, the 7lb H024-410 made an easy to carry hunting companion for grouse and chukar. I did find myself babying the gun a bit, though, due to its fine brass finish and fancy stock scrollwork. Hopefully, Henry comes out with a more plain and rugged version in the future for those of us who expose our firearms to harsh conditions.
The Henry Side Gate Lever Action Shotgun is another successful addition of sideloading gate capability to Henry’s line. Objectively, it had fit, finish and function without fault. The parts were all well made, finished, and fit together without any detectable issues or blemishes. Subjectively, it is this author’s opinion that the Henry Lever action shotgun equipped with a side gate represents the pinnacle of lever action smoothbores currently on the market. Henry gets the usual bonus accolades for being 100% US made as well. I only hope they have a removable choke version of this shotgun in the future and hope to see it in larger gauges as well someday. I daresay, a 20 or 12 gauge version would be glorious. Keep opening the gates, Henry.
- Well made, excellent fit and finish, eye-catching
- Review example was 100% reliable
- Multiple ways of loading and unloading
- Not really a “con”, per se, but maybe too “fancy” for rugged use.
For more information, please visit Henry Repeating Arms.
Thanks to Henry Repeating Arms for the opportunity, and to HSS Idaho for logistical support
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