The Henry brand has been synonymous with fine lever-action rifles since the days of the Wild West. As cartridges developed into a viable upgrade from older powder-and-ball ammunition during the middle of the 19th century, the need for quality firearms able to use these new rounds was obvious. Benjamin Tyler Henry patented his lever-action repeating rifle in 1860, and some of his first guns saw service during the American Civil War, where they were lauded as game-changing force multipliers. The latter part of the 19th century saw a massive proliferation of lever guns across the American landscape, sweeping from sporting uses in the East to some of the best defensive weapons of the frontier, and much more.
More than a few law enforcement professionals favored Henry repeating rifles for their work as well, alongside revolvers and scatterguns. Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department is almost as old as Henry, having been founded during westward expansion, in 1871. Although like most law enforcement departments and agencies today, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputies chiefly use modern semi-auto firearms like Glocks and AR-15s, they still maintain a connection to their historical roots. This year, to commemorate the department’s 150th birthday, the department has commissioned a special run of custom Henry “Big Boy” rifles chambered in .45 Colt. These rifles are decoratively engraved with artwork honoring the department’s particular identity. Henry’s press release regarding these personalized homages to the MCSO reads as follows.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Celebrates 150th with Custom Henry Rifles
RICE LAKE, WI – March 9, 2021
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the largest sheriff’s office in the state of Arizona. To celebrate their historic milestone, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Advisory Council selected Henry Repeating Arms to create a limited edition run of custom engraved Big Boy rifles chambered in .45 Colt through Henry’s custom law enforcement program.
Serial number 1 of the first 150 rifles is being presented at the Barrett Jackson Auction later this month, which has sold for $20,000. Proceeds from this limited production rifle will support the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Fund. If you would like to learn more about the rifle or place an order, please go to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Advisory Council website at: https://mcsomemorialfund.com/
From the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office:
“The artwork on the right-side stock of the rifle represents the historical past, the proud present day, and the progressive future of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. From the 1870’s to present day, sheriffs and their deputies utilized horses for transportation and patrol. The deputy and his horse are seen in the foreground of the Four Peaks Wilderness. Wearing the timeless Stetson cowboy hat and holding his trusty Henry rifle, the rider looks up to the modern future…the Bell 429 twin engine rescue helicopter. With the most advanced avionics and rescue capabilities, it represents the forward thinking of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. This helicopter will be put into service in 2021.”
Engraved on the right side of the rifle’s receiver is the current badge of the office. The individual number of each rifle will also be engraved on this side. The right side of the foregrip proudly displays the years of service with “1871-MCSO-2021” in bold lettering.
The artwork on each side of the receiver is outlined by a chain. This represents the largest portion of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office staff: the men and women that work as Detention Officers in the Maricopa County Detention Facilities.
On the left side of the rifle, the stock shows the current office patch with banners overlayed showing the years of dedication and service to the community. The Arizona flag is in the background, and a rose, which is the insignia of the MCSO Memorial Fund, which honors fallen officers within the state and raises funds for their families, is displayed at the front of the stock.
Engraved on the left side of the receiver is the original badge design, along with a heart bearing a “911” banner. The 911 banner represents the true first responders…the dispatchers and call takers in the Communications Division who answer the tens of thousands of calls for assistance each year from the citizens of Maricopa County. The heart design recognizes the “heart” of the office, the many civilians who work in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Recognizing the civilian employees working as Administrative Assistants at a district or division, or in the volunteer Posse, in the Records and AFIS Division, Human Resources Bureau, Property Management, SIMS, Scientific Analysis, Criminal Intel, Personnel, Legal Liaison, Backgrounds and Polygraph, Technology Management Bureau, and many more.
On the left foregrip we see what each of us has signed up to do every day and every night: “To Protect and Serve”.