In my opinion, Henry makes the best lever action rifles out on the market. I mean, they are really high quality, very well done, and fitted just right. The American walnut stocks are beautiful on these rifles, and they’re all sourced in the USA, plus these Henry’s are all made in the USA. They are solid little lever actions. We are looking at the Henry Brass Axe, which has a brass receiver, it’s got a 15.25″ barrel, there’s no stock to it, and this is based a lot on the original Mare’s Leg—which Henry has offered for a number of years. It’s a very short, compact utility-type firearm. To be honest with you, I’ve always looked at these as more of a novelty; they’re just small and compact. But in 410, this really interested me and I thought this is going to be cool. I’ve always wanted one just to take out and test out and just have some fun with. Taking this little 410 out was a lot of fun, and we really appreciate Henry for getting in touch with us and sending the Brass Axe in 410 for the Sootch compound.
The Brass Axe is definitely a very unusual-looking lever action with the cut-down version. I think that the original Mare’s Legs had a little bit more stock and had a butt plate on the back, but it was still too short to shoulder. This is a pistol and that’s the reason why it can come with the less than 16-inch barrel—but it’s not really that much less, it’s 15.14 inches in length. It is a solid brass receiver, which is beautiful. It’s got a really a lot of classic looks, especially with the Old West. But again, this does come in a blued version as well if you like the blued steel.
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Now not every gun is super practical. This can be used for sure, but I wouldn’t say that this is more practical than a standard pistol. Even a rifle that’s got a shorter barrel length, like the 16 inch barrel length, it’s pretty close, but this is definitely something that’s totally different.
Now one thing I love about Henry is that their levers are super smooth, which really allows this to be shot very easily. If this was a little bit more difficult to load and wasn’t as smooth, you know it is not going to be as enjoyable. This does come with the side gate, which is nice, and that’s one of the new features that Henry has started offering. But, I love that they’re still retaining the tubular magazine, and so we have a brass tube that comes out. Typically on your lever actions you have a hole here to be able to drop your rounds in, but with the 410 you just load it right from the top, and this holds five rounds and one in the chamber.
Now when I first got the Brass Axe, I wanted to put it on my hip, and I wanted to shoot it and just bring that lever back and forth—I felt like the rifleman. It’s just a lot of fun because it’s so compact. With 410, you have a little more spread than you do with your standard calibers, but not really a lot. I mean with the full choke, it’s pretty solid. But whether we were shooting from the hip or lifting it up and firing it, that’s one of the things about this is that it is versatile. You’re not going to get quite the accuracy that you’re going to get out of a standard shoulder-fired rifle. But it’s still handy, and it’s very capable.
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As far as a pistol, I think this is a lot of fun. It’s great to have an almost a novelty when you take it out. But once you practice with it, you can get pretty good with it, and so I think it does have some advantages. Let’s face it, most people buy a number of different firearms because they like them. They’re not necessarily depending on them for self-defense. But I think this is a very unusual design that could fit in certain situations. Now Henry is known for lever-action rifles. I mean, they to me make the best lever action rifles on the market. They are super smooth, the quality is just excellent, and so is the fit and finish. It’s no different with the Brass Axe or the Standard Axe. These are just two really neat little firearms that are very close to the body, very compact, very easy to maneuver. I don’t know that this would actually be my first choice in a self-defense situation. Obviously, it’s going to be a little bit different. But it is a lot of fun at the range and it’s just one of those things that even as a novelty it is fun to get out to the range just to shoot. But again, self-defense option is there.
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