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Auction Date: December 5, 2015

Lot 1038: New Haven Arms Co. - Henry Rifle

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Exceptional New Haven Arms Henry Second Model Lever Action Rifle from the Legendary Mac McCroskie Collection
Estimated Price: $85,000 - $130,000
Item Views 129 Bid Activity Average
Serial #New Haven Arms Co. - Henry Rifle ManufacturerNew Haven Arms Co. ModelHenry Rifle
TypeRifle Gauge44 Henry RF Catalog Page26
Barrel24 Inch FinishBlue/casehardened Grip
Stockwalnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionVery late production Henry rifle manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company in 1866. The rifle has the features typically found on late production Henry rifles which include: (1) square back, nickel-silver, front sight blade, (2) folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch and elevator bar stop screw, (3) large diameter magazine follower, (4) beveled follower cut in the receiver, (5) second style receiver without the alternative rear sight dove-tail, (6) brass buttplate with sharply pointed heel and (7) larger, second style, New Haven Arms barrel legend with all serif letters. The rifle has a sling swivel on the left side of the stock and screw-mounted loop for a sling hook on the left side of the barrel. The sling swivel and loop were standard features on later production Henry rifles. The buttplate has a hinged brass trap door and the butt trap contains the four piece, jointed, steel cleaning rod with steel eyelet and brass tip furnished with Henry rifles after serial number 4000. The rifle has the distinctive brass "gun-metal" receiver and buttplate with blued barrel and integral 15-shot magazine. The bolt and screws are blued. The rear sight, hammer, trigger and sling swivel are color casehardened. The stock is oil-finished, straight grain, American walnut. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend: "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS. CO." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The second line of the legend appears to have been factory rolled twice (legitimate error) and very faint outlines of the marking are visible below it. The roll marking legend error was performed by New Haven Arms and is interesting to say the least! The serial number: "11828" is stamped: (1) on the top barrel behind the rear sight, (2) on the left side of the lower receiver rail underneath the stock, (3) in the upper stock inlet and (4) on the inside of the buttplate below the lower screw hole. All of the visible serial numbers match. The buttplate and tang screws are the later cap head style and are correctly not serial numbered. Oliver Winchester's "W" inspection mark is stamped on the lower receiver tang behind the lever latch. The Henry lever action rifle was the most advanced firearm manufactured during the Civil War. Most of the Civil War production Henry rifles were privately purchased by individual Federal soldiers who appreciated the firepower of the 15-shot lever action magazine rifle. Following the Civil War, Henry rifles were popular on the frontier. Archeological research at the Little Big Horn Battlefield showed a significant number of Native American warriors at Little Bighorn were armed with Henry rifles in 1876.

ConditionExcellent. The rifle shows only very limited storage wear. The barrel/magazine retain 95% of the original blue finish; wear is limited to some finish loss on the edges of the barrel and several small spots of surface pitting on the left flat ahead of the rear sight. The New Haven Arms legend and serial number are sharp and crisp. The brass buttplate and receiver are in excellent condition and have a very attractive, un-touched patina. The receiver side plate joints are perfect and the side plates have not been removed from the receiver. Wear on the receiver and buttplate is limited to a few very insignificant storage marks. The bolt retains about 80% of the original blued niter finish. Most of the case colors are present on the hammer and trigger still vibrant in traces. The lever shows light-moderate handling wear and the case colors have aged to a silver patina with a few spots of age discoloration. The walnut stock remains in excellent condition and retains nearly all of the original oil finish. The stock shows very little handling and still shows the raised grain and proper pronounced "Henry bump". Wear is limited to a few scattered and very minor storage marks. This is a stunning example of a near mint Henry lever action rifle that shows only storage wear. Henry rifles almost universally show the effects of hard service. Near mint Henry rifles like this example are extremely rare let alone with such an ownership pedigree.
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