Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3004: New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: May 15, 2022

Late Production New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $16,000 - $25,000

Late Production 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: walnut
Item Views: 587
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 5
Class: Antique

This Henry lever action rifle was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company in June 1865. The serial number of this rifle, 9495, falls within the two highest recorded serial numbers of the 127 Henry rifles (serial no. 9483 and serial no. 9701) ordered by the Ordnance Department in May 1865 to arm the 3rd United States Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment. This rifle has the distinctive Henry brass receiver and crescent buttplate with octagon barrel and integral 15-shot magazine. The late production features on this rifle include: (1) larger, second style, New Haven Arms legend on the top barrel flat, (2) final style folding leaf rear sight with elevation bar stop screw at the top of the leaf and elevation bar with rounded ends, (3) factory sling swivel on the left side of the stock and screw-fastened loop for a sling hook on the left side of the barrel, (4) second style brass buttplate with pointed heel and (5) un-numbered, round head, buttplate and tang screws. The barrel/magazine was originally blued and the hammer, trigger and lever were color casehardened. The receiver and buttplate have a natural brass finish. The straight grain walnut stock is oil-finished. The serial number is stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver. The serial number is also stamped: (1) on the left side of the lower receiver tang, (2) in the stock upper tang inlet and (3) on the inside of the buttplate below the lower screw hole. The tang and buttplate screws, correctly, are not serial numbered. All of the visible serial numbers match. The "H" factory inspection mark used by B. Tyler Henry is stamped on the lower receiver tang behind the lever latch. The initials "WAP" are deeply scratched on the left receiver sideplate. The 15-shot Henry lever action rifle was the most advanced firearm used in the Civil War. The innovative design and commercial success of the Henry rifle led to the establishment of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., in 1866, and the subsequent development of the Winchester Model 1866, 1873 and 1876 rifles and carbines which were refinements of the basic Henry design. In the years immediately following the Civil War, Henry rifles were extremely popular in the frontier west.

Rating Definition:

Good. This rifle shows handling wear expected of a working rifle with frontier use. The barrel/magazine have a mottled, silver-gray patina with scattered age spotting. The barrel edges are sharp and the surfaces of the barrel/magazine are free from pitting. The New Haven Arms Co., legend and serial number on the top barrel flat on the top barrel flat are clear. The folding leaf rear sight is complete. The brass receiver and crescent buttplate have a dark, varnished over patina with browning on the bottom of the receiver and tang. The sides of the receiver has scattered light handling marks and scratches consistent with normal use. The side-plate joints are tight. The left side plate has a one-inch oval where the patina has been removed. The trigger and lever have a smooth, dark brown patina. The case colors on the hammer have faded to a mottled gray brown. The stock remains in good condition with numerous scattered, minor dents and scratches and a one-inch, hairline, stress crack on the left side of the stock comb. The sling swivel on the left side of the stock is missing. This is a good-looking example of a post-Civil War production Henry lever action rifle.

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