We’ve been fortunate to review several different Henry firearms over the past couple of years including the X-Model .30-30, Big Boy .357 Magnum, and Big Boy .357 Magnum Revolvers! Today we’re looking at Henry’s new .360 Buckhammer – released this year!
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About the Henry Steel Lever Action Side-Gate
I was really happy to see that Henry had sent us their traditional walnut and blued steel model, the Steel Lever Action .360 Buckhammer Side Gate.
The rifle arrived in Henry’s standard box with their great motto “Made in America or Not Made At All.” Seeing that always makes me smile. The box contents are simple: just the rifle, wrapped in plastic to protect it from rust, and the instruction manual.
There’s a new king of the deer woods, and it’s called .360 Buckhammer. Developed in partnership with Remington Ammunition, optimized for lever action rifles, accurate out to 200 yards with more energy, higher velocity, and flatter trajectories than the competition, .360 Buckhammer brings the hunt to the fur with authority. And what better platform to deliver the goods than a Henry?
The Steel Lever Action .360 Buckhammer provides a timeless appeal with the union of genuine American walnut furniture and blued steel – a match made in deer woods heaven. To wring out every ounce of energy the cartridge can muster, and it’s a lot, the rifle is topped with a 20” round blued steel barrel with a 1 in 12 twist rate proven to stabilize a variety of bullet weights. The barrel is completed with a fully-adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight, including a removable white diamond insert for contrast and a brass bead at the front.
Since .360 Buckhammer can stretch its legs out to 200 yards and beyond, the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept a Weaver 63B scope base for those that prefer a bit of magnification when lining up the shot that could put some meat in the freezer. Side ejection keeps spent cartridges out of the way of the scope, and because the shells don’t eject backward, it’s safe for left-handed hunters. The receiver is equipped with a side loading gate to keep the five-round magazine topped off, while the removable tube magazine makes clearing the rifle safe and efficient when returning to the truck from a successful trip.
Other creature comforts abound with sling swivel studs preinstalled on the buttstock and steel forearm cap, laser-precise checkering engraved in the furniture where your hands meet the rifle, and a soft rubber pad on the buttstock adds another non-slip contact point and mitigates some of the already moderate recoil.
Whether or not you are limited to using a straight wall cartridge on your next hunt, the Henry Steel Lever Action rifle chambered for .360 Buckhammer delivers all the performance you need and then some.
To learn more about the .360 Buckhammer cartridge, visit Remington.com.
About the .360 Buckhammer
Remington recently introduced the new .360 Buckhammer, a deer cartridge designed for states with “straight wall case” cartridge requirements for hunting. (Straight-wall only states do not allow bottleneck cartridges like the .308 Winchester, .30-30 and .35 Remington.) The .360 Buckhammer compares favorably with the old .35 Remington which has long been known as a very effective deer and bear cartridge. This cartridge was designed for knockdown power out to 200 yards through a lever gun. (Consider the .360 Buckhammer the lever gun equivalent of the .350 Legend in an AR.)
Compared to the venerable .30-30, the .360 Buckhammer sends a heavier, larger diameter bullet at higher velocity. Remington’s specifications give a 2,399 fps muzzle velocity with a 7.8” drop at 200 yards. This is a much faster speed and lower drop compared to the .30-30, .350 Legend, and .450 Bushmaster, along with greater energy.
Who-Tee-Who on the Buckhammer!
Our friend Adam Wies, aka Mr. Who-Tee-Who, has done several videos on the .360 Buckhammer.
Henry Steel Lever Action Specs and First Thoughts
I really appreciate a traditional hunting rifle, and this Henry certainly is one. Lever action rifles are about as American as it gets. This one has the traditional side-gate for loading, while also retaining the ability to load and unload via the magazine tube.
Walnut and blued steel look great on a traditional hunting rifle. This rifle’s walnut was tasteful and nicely finished. The checkering is well defined — it looks good and offers good grip.
There’s a firm but comfortable rubber butt pad to reduce felt recoil. The action and barrel are blued. The lever works easily and the trigger is crisp. All in all, it’s a pleasing gun to look at and handle.
The rifle was delivered with Henry’s standard semi-buckhorn adjustable rear sight with diamond insert and a brass bead front sight. These sights are certainly useful for modest range big game hunting. The action is drilled and tapped for the familiar Weaver 63B scope base. Mounting a scope or a red-dot type optic is simple. Although I appreciate the look of a traditional lever action without a scope mounted, I do prefer to hunt with a good scope on my rifles. It also came sling-ready with two swivel studs.
A nice feature of the Henry lever actions is the transfer bar safety. This makes it impossible for the rifle to fire unless the trigger is pulled. (It’s noteworthy that Henry does not use a cross-bolt safety as found on some lever action rifles.)
The TriggerScan revealed a crisp pull of 4.03 lbs.
That’s quite workable on a lever action deer and bear rifle intended for use at modest ranges out to a couple of hundred yards. Travel to actuate was 0.029” with 0.018” of overtravel.
We haven’t done any serious accuracy testing with it, just slammed some steel with the factory sights and factory ammo.
I suspect that we’ll pop a scope onto it and work up some handloads as well. Our chronograph indicated some very good results, particularly with the 180 grain Remington ammunition. We didn’t expect a single-digit SD figure!
The 180 grain ammo was also close to the advertised velocity, only about 40 fps short of that. Shooting the Henry, Gavin and I did notice that it recoiled more than a .30-30, but not as much as a warm-loaded .45-70 lever action.
Henry’s traditional walnut and blued rifle looks great and handles well. It reminds me of all the good old lever action hunting rifles of the past but with modern manufacturing and a welcome rubber recoil pad. A low-power optic is
Remington’s new .360 Buckhammer cartridge was designed specifically to comply with state laws that require a straight wall cartridge for hunting. Ballistically, it slightly improves on the old .35 Remington and offers a nice choice for those who want to use a .35 caliber rifle for their hunting. I’d happily hunt deer and bear with it!
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