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 LOT 3025
Extremely Rare Documented New Haven Arms Company Iron Frame Henry Lever Action Rifle - Serial no. 119, 44 Henry RF cal., 24 inch octagon bbl., blue/ casehardened finish, walnut stock. This rare, fine condition Iron Frame Henry Lever Action rifle was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co. during the first months of production, April-May 1862. This rifle has the iron frame and buttplate found on very early Henry rifles. The New Haven Arms Co. is believed to have manufactured Henry rifles with brass and iron frames concurrently during the first months of production. Known serial numbers for iron frame Henry rifles run from “2” to “355”. Experts believe that the New Haven Arms Co. manufactured as many as 400 iron frame rifles with relatively few remaining. This rifle is listed in “The Story of Benjamin Tyler Henry and His Famed Repeating Rifle” by Les Quick on page 54, and in “The Historic Henry Rifle” by Sword. This rifle has a 24-inch octagon barrel with integral 15-shot magazine along with the distinctive features found on the early iron and brass frame Henry rifles. These features include: (1) alternate rear sight dovetail in the receiver, (2) iron buttplate with rounded heel and hinged trapdoor, (3) lever without a projection to engage a lever latch, (4) lack of lever latch on the lower tang, (5) small diameter brass cartridge follower, (6) straight rectangular follower cut in the bottom of the receiver, (7) small diameter trigger pin and (8) serial numbered
       buttplate and tang screws. The barrel has a brass front sight blade and a dovetail mounted folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch. The rifle, correctly, is not fitted with a sling swivel or loop for a sling hook which were special order features on early Henry rifles. The iron receiver originally had a high polish blue finish. The barrel/magazine are blued. The hammer, trigger, lever and buttplate are color casehardened. The stock is straight grain American walnut with a varnish finish. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the legend: “HENRY’S PATENT OCT. 16. 1860/ MANUFACT’D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS. CO. NEWHAVEN. CT.” in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The legend is the early smaller style which utilizes block letters for “NEWHAVEN” in the address and serifed letters for the balance of the markings. The serial number is hand-stamped on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver, on the inside of the buttplate heel and on the shanks of the buttplate and tang screws, on the lower frame tang, and in the stock recess. The butt trap contains the four-piece, hickory cleaning rod furnished with early to mid-production Henry rifles. The Henry rifle was the most advanced long arm available during the American Civil War. Experts believe that most Henry rifles manufactured before 1865 saw military service. Although the Federal government purchased only slightly more than 1,700 Henry rifles between 1862 and 1865, individual soldiers were quick to recognize the firepower offered by a 15-shot repeating rifle. Most Henry rifles were privately purchased by Federal soldiers from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky regiments. Many of the early Iron Frame Henry rifles were shipped to New Haven Arms dealers in Louisville, Kentucky. A few Iron Frame Henry rifles were obtained by Confederate soldiers. All Henry rifles are scarce and historic firearms.

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