Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 20: New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: December 4, 2020

Desirable New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Desirable New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Henry Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue
Stock: varnished walnut
Item Views: 2210
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 18
Class: Antique

This Henry lever action rifle was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company in 1866. Several sources state that the highest "known" Henry rifle serial number is "12832". However, Henry rifle serial numbers overlapped the serial numbers of Winchester Model 1866 rifles which begin about number "12476". Henry rifle serial numbers are believed to have continued as high as "14262". This rifle has the distinctive Henry octagon barrel with integral 15-shot magazine and brass receiver. The barrel has a nickel silver front sight blade with flat back and final pattern folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch and elevation bar stop screw below the notch. The magazine has the large diameter brass follower and the bottom of the receiver has the later pattern, beveled, follower cut-out. The hammer has coarse hand knurling on the spur. The brass buttplate is the second pattern with sharply pointed heel. The buttplate has a hinged trap door. The rifle is complete with the four piece, jointed, steel cleaning rod with brass tip furnished with late production Henry rifles. The stock is straight grain American walnut. The left side of the stock has a sling swivel and the left side of the barrel has a screw-mounted loop for a sling hook. The sling swivel and loop were standard features on later production Henry rifles. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the larger, second style, legend: "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS CO. NEWHAVEN. CT." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. This legend uses all serif letters. The serial number "12885" is stamped: (1) on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and edge of the receiver, (2) inside the buttplate below the lower screw hole, (3) left side of the lower receiver tang beneath the stock and (4) in the stock upper tang inlet. All of the visible serial numbers match. The late style cap-head buttplate and tang screws are, correctly, not serial numbered. The barrel/magazine is blued, the receiver and buttplate are natural brass and the hammer, trigger and lever are color casehardened. The stock is varnished with a semi-gloss finish.

Rating Definition:

Fine. This late production Henry rifle is all original and remains in untouched 'attic' condition with 30% of the blue and casehardened finish intact. The barrel/magazine has a plum brown patina and scattered age spotting. Traces of blue are present in protected areas. The barrel edges are sharp. The New Haven Arms Co., legend is light but fully legible. The center of the barrel has a bulge visible in the bore and on the external metal which is stressed. The front and rear sights are original to the rifle. The untouched brass receiver and buttplate both have a deep and very attractive patina only acquired with great age. The side plate joints are tight and the receiver shows only light-moderate handling wear. Small amounts of nitre blue finish are present on protected areas of the bolt. The case colors on the hammer, trigger and lever have aged to a deep brown patina, The walnut stock remains in very fine condition with scattered storage dings and most of the original finish. Wear is limited to a few insignificant storage and handling marks. This is a fine, un-touched, example of a late, 1866 production, Henry lever action rifle.

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