By Trampas Swanson

There are few companies in the firearms industry as family oriented as that of Henry Repeating Arms. From the very start of business 1993, it has been the intention of the company, the founding president Louis Imperato and the now president, Anthony Imperato to focus on family and quality firearms made 100% right here in the USA. Their catalogue of products are built to be handed down from generation to generation and provide not just a lifetime but life times of enjoyment.

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If this just sounds like just creative marketing blub posted for retail sales, I assure you, it is NOT. As I have come to discover over the years, this is simply the product of good people who take pride in using top quality materials under compassionate leadership to provide the best product they can to shooters around the world.

A Henry Family

For my own family, Henry firearms have proudly been a part of four generations of Swanson shooters for well over 20 years now. One has only to shoot a lever action rifle made by this company to see why it has been one of our top choices in long arms. While each shooter in our family has their own personal favorites in the Henry collection, there is one model that is in all our homes – the model H001L lever action carbine chambered in .22 LR.

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Better known in our family as “the rifle that started our Henry rifle obsession,” the model H001L is a .22 caliber, tube fed lever action in a large loop configuration just like the “Duke” would use if he had a one. This model is often considered the “entry level” model for new Henry Repeating Arms customers. For my father, Rick Swanson and I, that’s just what the H001L was for our family. We each purchased one of these rifles in 1997 and spent hours of enjoyment in the back yard trying to outdo each other plinking and in the woods squirrel hunting. With both of us being lifelong fans of the old westerns of the 60’s and 70’s, Dad and I would reminisce about characters like Lucas McCain aka the Rifleman, US Marshal Matt Dillion or Paladin taking down the bandits at the canyon pass.

Brick upon brick of CCI ammunition were cycled through these two Henry rifles to the point a pair of .22 Bore Snakes were needed as the immediate next purchases to keep them running. Not to be out done, my Grandfather, Charles Swanson decided to join in the fun soon after by purchasing a model H001 with a standard loop. He always said seemed to fit his hand better and cycle faster. Tales of radio programs like the Lone Ranger and Lash LaRue vividly painting the pictures in a young man’s head during the 40’s and 50’s were then added. Needless to say, the bulk .22 ammo consumption for our family dramatically increased from there!

H001L Carbine Specs

  • Caliber: .22 S/L/LR
  • Capacity: 15 rds / LR, 17 rds / Long, 21 rds / Short
  • Barrel Length: 16.125″
  • Barrel Type: Round Blued Steel
  • Rate of Twist: 1:16
  • Overall Length: 34″
  • Weight: 4.50 lbs.
  • Receiver Finish: Black
  • Rear Sight: Fully Adjustable
  • Front Sight: Blade
  • Scope Mount: 3/8″ Grooved Receiver
  • Stock Material: American Walnut
  • Length of Pull: 14″
  • Safety: 1/4 Cock Hammer Setting
  • MSRP: $394.00

Range Time

Having logged years of shooting the model H001L, this article could have easily been written without heading to the range. Yet what better excuse to go shooting than for work purposes right? Prior to packing up the rifle and a brick of CCI’s bulk 40 grain ammo to head out to “The Swamp” training grounds, my family and I decided to make up some fun little old west themed targets. Using soda cans and playing cards, hardened villains came to life that just needed to be deal with. All that was left to do at that point was dust off my cowboy hat and set the showdown date for the next day, at high noon of course.

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That next noon, I set the hammer to the ¼ cock safety setting to prevent accidental discharge and loaded up the magazine tube that runs underneath the barrel with 15 rounds of CCI .22 LR. I scanned the area for my adversaries lurking in the weeds. In the bright noon sun, I could make out the whole makeshift gang about 15 yards downrange. After a blatant refusal to throw their hands up or die with their boots on, I had no choice. I worked the large loop lever to chamber a round and then took aim on the desperado closest to the left side of the range. Despite the bright sun glare, I lined up the buckhorn rear sight to the front sight blade center mass on the “no-gooder”. Again, giving them fair warning, I squeezed off the first round and sent him reeling!

After the first threat went down, I swung on the next and fired quickly. Another direct hit as I already had the next threat in my sights. BANG! BANG! BANG! I quickly worked from left to right placing a shot on each threat. The short, 16.1 inch barrel of the Henry moved quickly and efficiently to help dispatch .22 cal justice. Within less than a minute, the Shoot Out in the Swamp was over. What was the only thing left to do at that point? Set them all up and do it again!

During times when bandits aren’t roaming the land, acorns, bottle caps, spent shotgun hulls and other small objects roughly around a 1 inch or so make great targets to keep those eyes and skills sharp. The Henry model H001L is more than accurate to keep tight groups on target out to 25 yards or more. The lightweight and handy size of the Henry rifle at only 34 inches overall makes for a great little rifle for roaming the woods on a beautiful day.

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As I get older, the small front sight blade gets a bit slower to acquire during snap shooting. I am beginning to realize that one day I may have to mar the beautiful clean and classic lines of the Henry .22 rifle with an optic. A few years ago, my father decided to scope his Henry using the rifle’s 3/8″ grooved receiver to mount a Tasco 4 x power optic to aid him in longer distance head shots on squirrels. Not only did this extend Dad’s reach but give him pin-point accuracy as well. If hunting isn’t your idea of how to sharpen your skills or you’re just looking for an “off season” challenge, trick shooting is a great way to keep your eye keen and your shots true.

One great example of tricking shooting to improve marksmanship skills is a “Slicing the Deck” challenge my family has enjoyed for years. Starting with placing two playing cards 3 feet apart with just the edge of each card visible, two shooters fire at their assigned card to see who can split their card fully in half first. As a testimony to all of Henry’s .22 rifles, this trick has been done time and time again by our family with every Henry model we own. Learning this skill building challenge will not only sharpen your abilities but provide hours of fun that can be used for family entertainment or even team building events.

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Final Thoughts

Full disclosure, this rifle does come with a couple of warnings. First, when you load up the carbine length rifle with 15 rounds of .22 LR CCI ammunition and start cracking off shot after shot working the buttery smooth lever action, the feeling is as All-American as ignoring the metric system! Secondly, if plinking all day at a low cost at cans, playing cards, clothes pins and any other target of opportunity is your idea of fun, you will be giggling like a school child. If there is an inner cowboy in you from the days of watching Matt Dillon or the Rifleman blaze away bad guys, this is an inexpensive way to capture that moment again on the range!

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Overall, the Henry model H001L is either going to be boring to you as a shooter or the most fun ever packed into a compact, easy to use .22 package. It’s not high-speed tech, it’s not super tacti-cool AR-15 based and its not something to hang lights, lasers and rails off if that’s your thing. The Henry lever action rifle is a nod to days where we as Americans didn’t have to lock our doors at night, were always ready to give our neighbors a helping hand, treasured out family values and were proud to own anything labeled “Made in America.”

Henry Repeating Arms is a family owned business that believes in family traditions, religion and our great country. I am always impressed to see weekly reports of how they have donated to military families, veterans, first responders and those who defend our liberties. These values are important to my family and me when purchasing any product, much less firearms.

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Two years ago, Grandpa passed away, but his Henry rifle was passed down to my father. Soon my daughters will be old enough to follow the family tradition and have their own Henry rifles and one day, receive their Grandpa’s rifle as well as their Great Grandpa’s rifle. With each firearm purchase, I add it to our family Gun Trust to ensure not only my kids, but future grandkids will be able to enjoy each one. With products from Henry Repeating Arms, I know the quality and durability of my investments will hold up to make sure that goal is reached.

Retailing for under well under $400, the Henry model H001L is an American classic and a proven performer. My little Henry rifle has cycled an estimated 40,000 rounds since owning it and still going strong. Over the years, it has helped perfect not only my own basic rifle skills, but those of numerous friends, family and current students. This rifle just “feels right” when you shoulder it and acquire the target. On those cold days when there is snow on the ground and it’s time to track a rabbit or squirrel through the quiet forest, there is no feeling quite like the nostalgia of having a .22 carbine lever action made of real American steel with a beautiful walnut stock in your hands to feel connected to the hunters of yesteryear.