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.30-30 - Henry vs. Winchester

This is a discussion on .30-30 - Henry vs. Winchester within the Rifles forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Not as familiar with these as I'd like to be, so a question: What is the difference between a Winchester Yellow Boy and a Henry ...


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Old May 9th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #1
 
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.30-30 - Henry vs. Winchester

Not as familiar with these as I'd like to be, so a question:

What is the difference between a Winchester Yellow Boy and a Henry Golden Boy?

Going back a bit, as I recall the original Henry rifle company was eventually absorbed by Winchester. So are the Henry's of today produced by Winchester? Just trying to get educated on these two rifles.

Thanks!



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Old May 9th, 2013, 12:20 PM   #2
 
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First, Henry's .30-30 is based on the Marlin 336 design and has no relation to an 1866 Yellowboy.

The 1860 Henry was chambered in a .44 rimfire round and the Wnchester 1866 Yellowboy was an improvement on that design utilizing a loading gate, a fore end and and some other detail changes (and I believe it had a half cock notch where the 1860 did not).

The early Winchesters through the Models 1873 and 1876 used a toggle link design that was not all that strong and the 1873 was chambered in pistol sized cartridges. The 1876 fired rifle length cartridges but was still a toggle link design, just a little beefier.

The Winchester Model 1886 was a great leap forward in strength and accommodated longer cartridges as well as higher pressures.

The Winchester Model 92 was a smaller version of that again intended for shorter pistol caliber rounds, and the Winchester Model 94 used a variation on the vertical locking lug of the 1886 and 1892 with a link comprising the bottom of the receiver to extend the throw of the bolt to accommodate longer rifle rounds in a fairly short action and created a classic .30-30 caliber lever gun (among other calibers).

The Marlin 1894 was a competitor to the Winchester Model 92, again in pistol calibers.

The Marlin 1893 was a .30-30 class rifle that became the Model 36 in 1936, and was replaced by the Model 336 after WWII. They have always been a little heavier and clunkier than the Winchester Model 94.

The current Henry Golden Boy is a .22 LR lever gun, and not related to a Henry or Winchester design at all. Except for the different cosmetics mimicking the 1866 Winchester, it is basically a Henry .22 lever action, which in turn appears to be an Ithaca 72, just not quite as well made.

The current Henry Repeating Arms company has no relationship to Winchester or the original Henry concern.

Uberti however makes a copy of both the 1860 Henry and the 1866 Yellowboy. Winchester started making the Model 92 again and recently re-introduced the Model 1873. Plan on spending around $1100-$1300 for any of the weapons mentioned in this paragraph.

----

The current .30-30 choices really come down to the Model 94 Winchester, which is now being made in Columbia SC with the other Winchester lever guns being made by Miroku in Japan. The Miroku's are very nicely made, but they are expensive. As for the Model 94's I recommend getting an older one.

Pre-64s are always nice, but can be pricey in the $600-$800 range for a 20" carbine in .30-30 in decent condition. The best deals for shooters are the pre-angle eject Model 94s made from about 1970 through 1981. If you want to mount a scope then get an AE, prior to about 1992 when they added the unsightly lawyer safety. Either of those post-64 Model 94 choices will go for $300-$400 in very good to excellent condition, and $200-$250 in good condition.

The other major alternative is the Marlin 336, and again you want an older one and the ones made since Remington bought Marlin have some significant QA issues. Rossi also sells a variation on the 336 as the Rio Grande. Like the Remlins, inspect them carefully as Rossi's QA is very spotty.

Personally, I am not a Marlin fan as the Winchester balances better, feels better and IMHO looks better. But the jury is split pretty evenly as they've sold about 7 million Model 94s compared to about 6 million Marlin 1893/36/336.

Last edited by Model 52; May 9th, 2013 at 12:41 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #3
 
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To add a bit to the post by our N C Friend... The Henry Center-fire rifles with the brass frames are titled "Big Boys". They are chambered for 357 mag, 44 mag, 45 LC, 30-30, and 44-40 ( I think). The 22's are available in the 'Golden Boy version with what they call a 'Brasslite' finish or the traditional Blue.

I have Winchester Centennial model in 30-30. I find that it's 26 inch barrel really weighs heavily on me if I am shooting 'off-hand'. The Henry's are all carbine length, and are much easier to move with and shoot without a support. I do have a Winchester 94 "Trapper" 16 inch barrell in 357 mag that does as well as the Henry's do for manuvering.

Of the two companies, I would select a Henry Big Boy in 44 mag, if I were to be limited to one gun of this type.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 12:53 PM   #4
 
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I'm a bit of a Model 92 fan and I cherry picked a decently made Rossi Model 92 in .45 Colt, then added about 10 coats of Tru-oil on top of the shoe polish like finish they use. The results are actually very nice, as the "finish" Rossi uses is actually a decent walnut colored stain for whatever the wood is they use.



Armi Sport and Uberti also make great Model 92 clones, and this one is an Armi Sport made 24" rifle, and a takedown model as well:





I have Model 94s in .45 Colt and in .30-30, but my favorite Model 94 is a Big Bore 94 in .375 Winchester. Winchester necked down the .38-55 to create the .30-30, and the .375 Win is just a slightly short (2.05" versus 2.125") .38-55 loaded to much higher pressures. The rear of the receiver is beefed up a bit for the extra pressure. The .38-55 runs at 30,000 CUP, the .30-30 runs at 42,000 psi, and the .375 Win runs at 52,000 psi.



You can get a "shooter" Big Bore 94 for around $500 and a minty version will run you around $800. They made them in .375 Win, .356 Win and .307 Win, with the .375 being most common. They also sold the Timber Carbine in .450 Marlin based on the Big Bore 94 receiver for a year or two. Ammo for the .375 is hard to find and expensive, as is brass for reloading, but I've found I can get all the performance I need out of new .30-30 brass that I fire form to .375 using 8.0 gr of Unique under a case full of cream of wheat (shot vertically for the neck extends evenly).

Last edited by Model 52; May 9th, 2013 at 01:00 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 12:59 PM   #5
 
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I don't have a Henry center fire rifle, but I do have a .22 from them. I hope to buy their 30-30 soon, and have inspected a number of them in stores. Two things about Henry are very noteworthy in my opinion:

1. Their customer service is in a completely different league from any other firearms manufacturer (as well as pretty much any other company you will ever have to deal with).

2. It is quite impressive how Henry is able to build quality rifles in America, using traditional materials such as American Walnut with blued steel barrels, at very fair prices.

Contrast what they do with, for example, the difficulties Remington has had making Marlin leverguns at their new factory over the past few years.

I highly recommend Henry products to anyone who asks me.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #6
 
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Much thanks for the information! Very informative, and will be useful in the coming few months.

And Model 52--great pictures. I am drooling over them. Thanks for posting.
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