Henry Pump Action Rifle in .22WMR, by Thomas Christianson

The Henry Pump Action Rifle in .22WMR reflects classic design elements from such iconic firearms as the Winchester Model 1890, the Winchester Model 62, and the Remington Model 12. With a 20.5 inch octagonal barrel, a 12 round tubular magazine, and a beautiful American Walnut stock, the Henry Pump Action Rifle provides better than average accuracy with a tight and smooth action and minimal felt recoil. It comes with iron sights and a grooved receiver for mounting optics. It weighs 6 pounds.

With a manufacturer-suggested retail price of $654 at the time of this writing at www.henryusa.com , and widely available for under $600 online, it represents a viable option for the control of pests and small varmints. It is also fun to shoot.


My Father-in-Law was a very brave man. He was in the 82nd Airborne during World War II. He fought his way through Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, and on into Germany.

I never fully realized how brave Dad was until I was preparing to officiate at his funeral. My Mother-in-Law gave me some papers that she thought would be helpful as I prepared my comments. One of those papers was the citation for Dad’s second Bronze Star.

Dad received that medal for his actions while his unit was advancing into Germany in a column of jeeps. That column came under fire from an entrenched German machine gun position. Dad, who was the unit’s BAR man, jumped out of his jeep, single handedly charged the German position, killed the crew of the machine gun, and so terrified the German riflemen that were entrenched around the machine gun position that they all surrendered to him. It was kind of like the movie Sergeant York with Dad taking the place of Gary Cooper.

The actions that earned Dad his first Bronze Star took place on D-Day shortly after the glider that was carrying him crash-landed on a field in Normandy. That citation indicated that Dad ran across an open field under machine gun fire to carry a wounded comrade to safety. Dad had kind of an “Aw shucks, it was nothing” explanation for that event. When my Son asked him about his first Bronze Star, Dad said, “The Lieutenant said, ‘Go get that guy’, so I did.”

Dad’s Rifle

Dad only owned one rifle, although he owned a half dozen or so handguns. The handguns were all bring-backs from the war.

His 1911 held pride of place in the center of his handcrafted display case. It was surrounded by a captured Luger P08, Walther P38, Walther PPK, Beretta 1934, and at least a couple of others that I no longer remember.

I remember the visit when Dad told my wife, “Kari” and me that he had recently sold his entire collection except for the 1911 at a gun show for a total of $700. I didn’t have two pennies to rub together at the time, but if I had known he wanted to sell the guns, I would have somehow found more than the $700 he received at the show. But he seemed pleased with the sale, so I swallowed hard, and said, “That’s nice”.

In contrast to the handguns, Dad’s only rifle was an old pump .22 that he kept by the door that led into the house from the garage. As I recall, it was a Winchester Model 1890. It was often dusty and even a little rusty in places. But it was kept fully loaded and ready to rumble.

I remember the first time my children called my attention to the fact that there was a loaded gun by the garage door. I dutifully unloaded the rifle, brought the ammo to Dad, and said, “Hey Dad, you forgot to unload the rifle by the door in the garage. Here is the ammo.” He looked at me like I was an idiot, and said, “What good is an unloaded gun? Go reload it.”

One thing you should know about Dad is that he retired from the Army Reserve as a Command Sergeant Major (CSM). He could say things in a way that made it clear that he expected instant obedience. It was his house, his garage, and his rifle. I went quickly back into the garage, loaded the rifle, instructed our kids to never touch it again, and determined to follow my own advice on that matter.

The Henry Pump Action Rifle

When I saw that Henry Repeating Arms had a pump action rimfire rifle, it reminded me of Dad. So I asked Henry if I could borrow a sample of the rifle in .22 WMR, and they were kind enough to agree. Before long, I received a call from the gun store that handles firearm transfers for me. They indicated that a box had arrived from Henry.

First Impressions

The rifle has a very nice walnut stock. The alloy receiver is powder coated, while the octagonal steel barrel is blued. The rear sight is a fully adjustable semi-buckhorn with a diamond insert in a 3/8 inch dovetail slot. The front sight has a brass bead on it to help with acquisition.

The action was smooth right out of the box, and the rifle balances very nicely.

I tested the trigger pull weight with a Ready Up Gear Digital Trigger Pull Weight Gauge. My 5 test pulls ran from a low of 2.83 pounds to a high of 4.15 pounds, with an average of 3.52 pounds and a median of 3.54 pounds.

The manual is 24 pages long including the front and back covers. It includes several interesting features:
It includes a lifetime 100% satisfaction guarantee from Henry Repeating Arms Company CEO Anthony Imperato.

The hammer has a 1/4-cock position that functions as a safety.

The exploded diagram of the rifle looks like it wsa hand drawn, which is unusual in this age of CAD drawn diagrams. It seems out of synch with the state of the art appearance of the rest of the manual, but I like it.

Range Session 1

It was a gray but mild day in mid-December. The temperature was 51 degrees Fahrenheit, which was a striking contrast to the blizzard like conditions of the same week, a year ago. There was a barely discernable breeze out of the south.

I set up a target stand in front of the backstop on the improvised range behind my pole barn. I set up a table 25 yards away from the target with a lead sled on it. The lead sled was not intended to absorb recoil, but rather to provide a stable shooting platform.

I loaded a single round of CCi MaxiMag 40 grain JHP and fired it at the center target. The windage was good, but the elevation was about 1 inch low. I loaded 2 more rounds and fired them. The initial group was 1.16 inches in size.

With more practice, I was able to bring the size of the following CCi groups down to 0.53 inches.

Next I fired a number of groups using Federal 50 grain JHP. The Henry Pump did not like the Federal ammunition quite as well as the CCi. The best group I was able to get with the Federal ammo was 0.88 inches in size.

The rifle operated smoothly throughout the range session with minimal noise, and no discernable recoil through the lead sled. The groups were not record-breaking, but I thought they were satisfactory for using iron sights with aging eyes.


No disassembly was required prior to cleaning. It was a simple matter of pushing patches down the bore from the muzzle using kerosene as a solvent until the patches came out clean; using a dry patch through the bore; using a swab with kerosene as a solvent to clean the chamber area and the bolt face; using a dry patch on the chamber area and the bolt face; and then running a CLP patch through the bore, over the chamber area and bolt face, and applying a thin film of CLP to the exterior metal surfaces.

Mounting a Scope

I took a set of rings that had been originally mounted on a Remington Vantage pellet gun and mounted them on the Henry rifle. I then removed the top of the rings, and mounted a Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm Hunt-Plex scope in the rings. I established the appropriate eye relief, made sure that the scope was properly focused, leveled the scope, and then tightened the rings evenly.

Adding a Cheek Rest

The comb of the stock was significantly too low to provide an ideal cheek rest when using the scope. I took out a Voodoo Tactical Cheek Rest Pad that I had purchased a while back. No directions were included with the pad, and I did not find installation to be intuitive. After viewing some YouTube videos, I finally figured things out. Even with both parts of the pad in place, I still needed some additional elevation. Since I was just looking for a temporary fix, I then wrapped an Ace wrap around the butt stock to provide the additional elevation. This made the rifle look like it had a sprained butt stock, but it worked well.

Range Session 2

It was another grey and unseasonably mild day in late December. The temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit, with almost no discernable breeze. The ground was quite soggy from recent rains. I headed back out to the improvised range behind the pole barn.

I could not bore sight the rifle like I could with a bolt action, so the best I could do was load a single round and fire it at a target from 25 yards away. The bullet struck 8.5 inches low and 5.5 inches to the right of the point of aim. I adjusted the scope, fired another round, adjusted the scope again, fired another round, and adjusted the scope one last time. My hits were now in the general vicinity of the point of aim.

Next I fired some 3 shot groups using the CCi ammunition. Groups using the CCi ammo averaged 0.31 inches in size, which is 1.24 MOA.

Then I fired some 3 shot groups using the Federal ammunition. Groups using this ammo averaged 0.84 inches in size, which is 3.36 MOA.

I decided that the rifle was shooting well enough with the CCi ammunition that it was worth testing at 100 yards.

Range Session 3

I took the Henry Pump Rifle to the 100 yard indoor range of our local rod and gun club.

Of the 3 shot groups that I fired with the CCi ammo, the best group was 1.53 inches in size, with an average size of 2.45 inches.

I had a couple of squirrely groups with the Federal ammo, with flyers that did not hit paper. My best group with the Federal ammo was 2.47 inches in size.

Considering that I am not the best bench rest shooter in the world, I found the Henry Pump Rifle to be more accurate than I expected.


The Henry Pump Rifle in 22WMR is stylish in a vintage way. It is smooth operating, reasonably accurate and fun to shoot. If you need a fun rifle for pest and small varmint control, it may be an excellent choice.


Henry Repeating Arms Company was kind enough to loan me a sample of their Pump Action Rifle in 22WMR for testing and evaluation. Ready Up Gear was kind enough to provide me with a sample of their Digital Trigger Pull Weight Gauge for an article that I previously wrote. I tried not to let the kindness of these vendors interfere with the objectivity of my review, and I believe that I have succeeded. I did not receive any financial or other inducement to mention any other vendor, product, or service in this article.