If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Henry Rifle for Christmas
It was a typical crow hunt many years ago. I had set up behind an old woven wire fence at the home place and had tossed some brush against the wire along with a short piece of camouflage netting. I had placed my crow decoys upwind of my location and with the wind just right I thought I would get some passing shots as the crows checked out my spread. Things had gone fairly well on this late-season crow hunt with crows lying in the snow in front of me to prove it. If I were guessing (and that’s all it was – a guess) I would say this was17 years ago. It was so long ago that I was using a Johnny Stewart cassette caller rather than a digital caller because digital had not come out yet. Because it was late in the season, there were a few crows who knew the score and failed to come in, but instead they sat in the tops of a few huge Cottonwood trees across the narrow finger of the edge of the field I was hunting. The distance to the tops of the trees from my calling sight may have been a little over a hundred yards. I was losing patience with those tree top gawkers when I remembered that I had my Marlin V17 rifle in my truck. I had the rifle with me in case crow hunting turned out to be a bust and instead I tried to call in a varmint or two.
I went back to the vehicle and ran a round from the clip to the chamber of the .17 and resumed calling. Sure enough a crow who thought he knew what was going on perched in the top of one of the Cottonwoods and screamed out his displeasure with me. I reached over and picked up the rifle, and laying the rifle across the fence and I placed the crosshairs on the top third of the crow’s chest and slowly pulled the trigger. The crow never knew what hit him and while the .17 HMR is somewhat of a weakling when compared to more powerful rimfires it proved to be just the ticket for crows. It was during that crow hunt I became a fan of the .17 HMR.
I had been working at a gun shop when needed in those days and Marlin was running a promotion, I assume, to feature the .17 HMR round. If we sold so many Marlins they would give us a V17 Marlin bolt action. I believe the three of us at the gun shop earned rifles. I had my gun for a number of years until someone offered me crazy money for it and I sold it. I believe at that time they were hard to get. It was a true varmint rifle with a bull barrel and was very accurate. Every time I go crow hunting and have crows hang up I wish I still have that rifle, and kick myself for selling it. A few times I even spoke to Santa about getting a .17 HMR. I did not think that this would be the year it would happen because as of late November I was still on the naughty list. However, Santa grades on the curve and due to all the political lies, he pulled me up from the naughty list and Christmas morning found me drooling over a Henry .17 HRM Varmint Express. It is a beauty and as smooth as satin. It has the looks of a traditional lever action with the only exceptions being a Monte Carlo stock and fiber optic sights. While the traditionalist in me would prefer iron sights, the old man in me enjoys using the fiber optic sights as they show up very well to these old eyes. Plans call for me to put a scope on the gun to get the most out of it as far as accuracy goes. So as of January 1st it is still a work in progress.
I have, throughout the years, stayed away from being technical in my columns in an effort not to reveal how little I know. I will now depart from my own logic and share with you some information about the .17 HRM. HRM stands for Hornady Magnum Rimfire. It was developed in 2002 and the round was made by necking a .22 magnum case to accept a .17 caliber round. The bullet itself is 17 grain and has a velocity of 2,650 feet per second. It in no way has the power of its parent round the 22 magnum, but it is still a very accurate round and perfect for smaller varmints. While I am sure there are those out there who have taken coyotes with it, almost everyone agrees it is way too light a round for that large of a varmint. But if hunting is not your thing, it is still a fun caliber to shoot and almost all the major manufacturers make a rimfire in that caliber. There are even some pistols in .17 HRM caliber.
Almost everyone has their favorite firearm manufacturer. In my safe, you will find almost every major manufacturer represented. My wife had won a Henry pump rimfire and while it is on the heavy side it is very well made and a very attractive rimfire. You would have to be from another planet if you have not seen two of the most famous commercials on TV. The first being “My Pillow” and the second being an info commercial by Henry Repeating Arms Company. In 1996, Louis Imperato and his son, Anthony, secured the Henry name and started the company. Their first rifle was the H001 lever action and shipments began in 1997. If you have seen those commercials, then you know the company takes pride in being American made. The company has also won several awards for customer service and its firearms have lifetime guarantees.
I look forward to burning many rounds through my Varmint Express. Thanks Santa!
Contributed by Kevin Fox