In this blog we are sharing our thoughts on the Henry Long Ranger.308 rifle. The Henry Long rifle is a quality rifle built for both recreational and competitive shooting.
Henry Long Ranger Review
When Henry Repeating Arms came out with their box-fed lever-action Long Ranger line, I asked for a.308 Winchester Long Ranger to test. Even though no shots were fired, I was amazed and interested. Henry’s move away from its tube-fed roots makes you wonder: why?
Andy Wickstrom, the general manager of Henry’s, said it straight out: “Because customers asked for it.” The company thought that it could make money by giving customers something they wanted.
In a nutshell, it is the best way to succeed, but I don’t see it used very often. The strategy, on the other hand, was hard to put into action.
Henry said that “Made in the USA or not at all” was a firm rule that could not be changed. They had to start over and think about everything. The company wanted to make a rifle that was different from others on the market but still easy to recognize as a Henry.
So they used standard grips that were slightly changed. The same shine, but used in different ways. A soft trigger that is set off in a new way. And a lot of changes have been made to the trigger.
I’ve taken points off before for the quality of Henry guns, but never for high-quality furniture. We’re not looking at that one.
The wood used to make the Long Ranger is not AAA Fancy quality, but it is well-figured, and the model that was tested was made of American Walnut that was at least Fancy A grade and probably AA.
Both the stock and the fore end have a lot of checkering in the areas where you hold the gun. Very decent, but not excellent, fit between wood and metal.
The shoulder stock on the model I was sent fits well, but the connection between the front and back is loose. (If you haven’t spent hours obsessively putting end caps on rifle stocks, you wouldn’t know the difference.) The sling studs and recoil pad on that stock are top-notch.
Henry tools are famous for how smoothly they work, and this one is no different. Unless you think that is the case, of course. It really is a step up. When I sprayed some RAA gun oil into the Long Ranger, it became very smooth to use.
The Long Ranger’s action opens up and immediately hits the exposed hammer, which moves the bolt backward. If I keep a good cheek-stock weld, the bolt will be about the width of my thumb from my nose when I fire quickly. With that easy cycling motion, it’s easy to keep that weld in good shape.
When I use just my pinky to turn on and off the Long Ranger, there is no need to stop service. In reality, if you point the rifle up with the hammer retracted and “break the seal” on the action, the bolt will open all the way on its own. A steel bolt with a chrome finish and six threaded lugs on its head.
The Long Ranger is not safe from the outside. When you’re ready to put the gun away, cock it and then slowly let go of the hammer.
The safety on the Long Ranger is the tried-and-true sliding transfer bar in the hammer, just like the safety on the old Henry lever guns. When the trigger is pulled, the gun will fire. It’s not okay in any other situation.
The Long Ranger’s magazine can be put in the bottom of the action without getting in the way. It can be opened with a round black button that fits flush on the side. The magazine and the metal went well together.
The magazine can be put in and taken out without being fussy or crooked. With a simple push on the slightly curved bottom, which is accompanied by a clear click, the magazine can be locked in place. If you press the button firmly, it will open.
The Long Ranger comes with only one magazine, but I plan to buy more. A lever-action rifle’s trigger is a big improvement over older ones.
When compared to other bolt-action rifles at this price, this one stands up to the competition, if not beats it. With only a little work, it breaks easily into pieces that weigh about three or four pounds.
The test model was set up so that it could be used with a microscope. The barrel does not have a hole for a front sight. The receiver has already been drilled and tapped, and a two-piece Skinner rail set is attached to it.
The shape of the Long Ranger’s stock is good for a hunting gun with a scope. The straight grip on the Ranger is shorter and the comb is higher than on standard Henrys, but it has the same drop and length of draw as other models.
This makes it so that the rifle is easy to shoulder and that the scope and reticle give a clear view of what is in front of the gun.
If I planned to use the gun most of the time while sitting down, I would choose one with the lowest possible rings. The hammer spur that comes with every Henry rifle makes it easy to reach the hammer when you need to.
Keep the rings at a medium height if you want to use the rifle to shoot quickly, from the knees, or from a tree. Obviously, the way the gun is set up depends on the shape of your body.
Henry also has an option with iron sights already built in. A high-quality, fixed-magnification scope with four or six times magnification will be powerful enough for my hunting needs and will probably last longer than I do. I still believe in the old rule of 1X per 100 yards for hunting rifles.
The R&D team at the gun company decided to make the Long Ranger chambered in three popular calibers:.223,.243, and.308Win. The plan for next year is to move into more weight classes.
Why not, why not? Henry is already making more machines to meet the rising demand. Once again, I chose a 308 Win.
I thought the Long Ranger lever gun was just as good as any bolt action rifle I’ve used. When 250 rounds of different ammunition were fired, there were problems with loading, ejection, firing, etc.
The magazine has four bullets (4+1). It was easy to put in and take out of my rifle, and it always locked tight. I used the gun 215 times before I cleaned it. Except for one small problem, the Long Ranger ran smoothly.
During my second round of testing for accuracy, I fired 210 rounds through the rifle. After that, the HPR 150gr TTSX BT cartridge fit very tightly in the chamber. That was the only cartridge I’ve ever had to change my grip and pull hard on the eject lever to get out.
There was no sign of pressure in either the priming or the brass. It was 2.705 inches long, which made it the smallest round I tested. Even though it met SAAMI standards, it was a little over 1/10 inch shorter than what Barnes recommends for that round.
After the first five rounds, I took the temperature of the group and continued the experiment with more rounds. I fired the round again after giving it a good cleaning, but the same thing happened. In that round, it was very hard to get rid of someone, while in other rounds, it was easy.
Also, the size of the group that had that round was about twice as big as some other groups. It’s interesting to me, but I won’t be using HPR ammunition in this rifle.
We used that HPR round to measure a group size of 1 3/4 inches. To give you an idea, that is a group of five shots from 100 yards away (as were the others). I took off the fixed 6X scope and put on a Vortex Viper 6-24X scope, which I set to 24X for the accuracy tests.
I did accuracy tests for two days and as long as it took to pull the trigger. The 1 3/4″ was the weakest of the bunch compared to ideal hunting conditions, but it was still good enough for most hunting situations. When I switched to a different kind of ammunition, the pistol worked well.
Using Remington’s 168gr Hog Hammer cartridge with a Barnes TSX bullet, the rifle was only accurate to within 1.25 inches on average after four groups of five shots.
After ten groups of five shots, the Federal Premium 168-grain SMK cartridge, which is cheap and easy to get, always made groups that were less than an inch wide. It shot farther than the hand load I made to match it when the barrel was dirty.
Even though several of my three-shot groups were well under one MOA, the five-shot group told me a lot about this gun. With five factory rounds from a lever-action rifle, a group of one minute of angle (MOA) at 100 yards is very good. I thought it would be from 1.5 to 2MOA. I did not expect to see a Minute of Angle rifle that looked like a western gun.
This Long Ranger is impressively accurate when he plays from the bench, but he really shines when he plays in less unusual spots. Because it only weighs seven pounds and has a 20-inch barrel, this rifle is great for moving around for long periods of time between shots.
It can be used in the woods and has a long reach that can go over gaps in power lines and out into the fields. This gun is great for quickly firing more rounds at pigs that are running away from their sounders. Price-wise, this is one of the best all-around guns.
I love to shoot guns for TTAG. Most of the time, this is something that needs to be done as part of the job. I’m usually glad to turn in a weapon and move on to the next task. And this one is unique. The Long Ranger is a must-have for me. It will be put on the door frame soon.
Specifications: Henry Long Ranger Rifle
Model Number: H014-308
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle
Caliber: .308 7.62X51
Barrel Length: 20″ Round
Weight: 7 lbs.
Stock: Straight grip checkered American Walnut with butt pad
MSRP: $1014.95 (at Cabela’s for ~$889)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style, Fit and Finish * * * * *
The Long Ranger’s bluing is well executed, the checkering is both functional and appealing, and the wood is far better than I would expect at this price range. Little features — how the round magazine release blends into the flat receiver, the bolt’s finish, and the checkering and quality of the wood itself — shows that Henry’s paying attention.
Accuracy * * *
I own some two dozen bolt guns. Of all of them even remotely in this price range, only one, the heavier and [$100] more expensive Ruger Hawkeye Predator in 6.5 Creedmor, matches the Long Ranger in out-of-the box accuracy.
Reliability * * * * 9/10th
It may not seem fair to take off anything for what amounts to a sticky bolt, but there’s perfect and there isn’t. But to be perfectly clear, 250 rounds went into the gun, 250 rounds went out the barrel, and all of them fired well.
Overall * * *
The American-made Henry Repeating Arms Long Ranger shoulders fast and points like a stick. It’s MOA accurate and oh-so-pretty pretty. The best part: it’s not a bolt gun or an AR. Win.