Henry Big Boy X Review: Modernized Lever Action!

by Kat Ainsworth-Stevens

October 31, 2023



Lever-action rifles aren’t only the guns that won the West, they’re guns that remain relevant and useful today. One such gun is the Henry Big Boy X in 44 Magnum. This lever combines a great caliber with a fun platform, and it does it with a modern aesthetic. We put the Henry Big Boy X through its shooting paces and we’re back to report on how it did. Check out our review of this tactically inclined lever gun chambered in a magnum caliber.

Henry Big Boy X Specs

  • Caliber 44 Magnum/44 Special
  • Action Lever-Action
  • Capacity 7
  • Front Sight Fiber optic
  • Rear Sight Adjustable fiber optic
  • Frame Blued Steel
  • Stock Synthetic
  • Length of Pull 14 in
  • Barrel Length 17.4 in
  • Overall Length 36.3 in
  • Weight (unloaded) 7.3 lbs

Henry Big Boy X Background

Technically, we could trace the background of the Henry Big Boy X back to the days of the Wild West. However, this specific model was launched around 2020. They designed it as a high performance rifle that Henry says they came up with by creating the mold and then breaking out of it. This lever-action rifle is made to push the boundaries of what people typically expect from a lever in all the best ways. For example, they make the Big Boy X line of rifles to be suppressor or muzzle device ready, and that’s not something you usually get out of a lever-action rifle. Henry wanted a gun capable of doing just about everything, and they made it happen.

Henry bills the Big Boy X as “combining modern performance with classic lever-action lineage.” It does away with the classic idea of a lever, which includes wood stocks and forends, and replaces it with features made to last (and withstand serious use). This is a durable gun made according to exacting specifications. Whether you want to use it for hunting, home defense, or as a truck gun, it’s good to go. And thanks to the 44 Magnum chambering, the user can choose to run either magnum loads or can back down to 44 Special for a slightly gentler shooting experience. Sometimes it’s a good idea to change up a classic. This is one of those times.

Henry Big Boy X Features

1 Rubber recoil pad

Not all levers have good recoil pads, but this one does, which helps protect your shoulder from the felt recoil of lengthy shooting sessions with 44 Magnum.

2 Integral sling mounting points

Existing sling attachment points make it possible to use either a two-point or one-point attachment sling, making it a lot easier to carry this gun wherever it needs to go.

3 Fiber optic sights

The gun shops with front and rear fiber optic sights to draw the eye and offer greater visibility, meaning improved accuracy on target.

4 Forward accessory rail

Picatinny rail on the front-most portion of the underside of the forend makes it easy to add lights and lasers.

5 M-Lok compatible

Accessory slots that are M-Lok compatible are located at the front end of the forend, opening up aftermarket accessory options.

6 Threaded muzzle

The X Model has a factory 5/8×24 threaded muzzle. This means the gun is suppressor ready right out of the box, requiring no gunsmithing. If you’d simply like to put a muzzle device on it, you can do that, too.

This is one of those levers that boasts a number of useful features. Surprised? We were a little amazed by it ourselves, but we managed to narrow it down to a few.

Models and Variations of the Henry Big Boy X

The rifle we are reviewing is in 44 Magnum and 44 Special. They also make the Big Boy X in 357 Magnum and 38 Special along with 45 Colt.

Henry Big Boy X

357 Magnum/38 Special

Henry Big Boy X Review

Henry Big Boy X Model Hero

Right out of the box, it was clear this would be a fun gun to shoot. Yes, I’m inclined to enjoy lever-actions, but the modern aesthetic of the Henry Big Boy X is nice to see. That makes it appealing for things like hunting. As pretty as wood furniture is, accidentally damaging it is awful, and a synthetic setup doesn’t have that problem. And because this gun has a slightly longer length of pull than average at 14 inches, it actually fit me quite well.


Loaded in 44 Magnum, this is still a gun that’s easy to handle. Recoil isn’t excessive and the overall design of the gun balances out what felt recoil there is. Rapid follow-up shots are easy to accomplish once you get used to running the lever and the results on paper are nice. The factory trigger isn’t perfect, but it’s also not bad, putting it somewhere around “as expected” for the average factory feel. It does have a tactile break, which is great, and the trigger isn’t mushy or sloppy.

If you switch to 44 Special, the gun goes from fun to shoot to awesome. There’s just something about 44 Special that makes it enjoyable to run for a longer length of time. Part of that is undoubtedly the reduced recoil, but you still get solid ballistics. No, it’s not magnum, but it’s a capable round. This gun feels natural in the hands and it’s comfortable to shoot. It experienced no failures during testing or out in the field chasing feral hogs.


Henry Big Boy X Model Sight

The Henry Big Boy X is an accurate gun. On paper, five-shot groups aren’t going to be sub-MOA, but they’re tight enough to guarantee a hog or deer down if you choose to use it for hunting. That also means it’s capable of handling itself in self-defense scenarios, should you choose to use a lever for that. Think you can’t? Believe me when I say that once you learn to properly run a lever-action rifle, you’ll discover they’re more than fantastic for defensive purposes. Capacity is really their only limited feature once you know what you’re doing with it.


Thanks to its longer length of pull and rubber recoil pad, this rifle shoulders smoothly and comfortably. If you need or want to shoulder it fast, you can do that without feeling like you’re bruising yourself. If you’ve ever run a lever action rifle with a metal butt-plate, you know what I mean. Getting the first shot on target can happen quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the fiber optic front sight, your eye is naturally drawn to it, and that means solid results down-range. 

The loop isn’t really oversized, which can be troublesome if you have large hands or you’re wearing heavy gloves. That said, it’s not as narrow and confining as some levers. Running the gun with bare hands worked well for me. I’m just someone who prefers a little more loop to my lever loops, and that is definitely a personal preference.

Henry Big Boy X Model Loop

It’s also worth mentioning that the feel of the synthetic forend is firm but comfortable. Thanks to the design and surface, it’s easy to keep a good hold on the gun during live fire, even with wet or sweaty hands. Yet another plus of synthetic furniture.


Value gets its own section because this really is a gun that outperforms its price point. You can easily find the Henry Big Boy X in 44 Magnum under one thousand dollars. For a gun that runs this reliably and accurately, that’s excellent. This rifle is more than worth its price. It’s well-made and durable enough to hold up to use-related wear, and it’s tough enough to handle the occasional bumps and scrapes against trees or shooting benches. The point of this lever-action isn’t to add a gun that’s a phenomenal beauty to your collection, it’s getting a workhorse of a gun that keeps on going for years to come.

Henry Big Boy X Model Grill

Henry Big Boy X Pros and Cons 

  • Rugged synthetic furniture – Synthetic furniture holds up better in the weather and the field.
  • Caliber – 44 Magnum chambering creates larger wound cavities on game animals.
  • Accessories – Accessory rail makes it easy to add aftermarket accessories.
  • Reliability – Reliable cycling means the gun works when you need it to run well.
  • Lever Loop – Loop size is on the smaller size which could be tough on larger hands.
  • Capacity – Limited capacity.
  • Barrel Length – Shorter barrel length can reduce ballistics of magnum rounds.

Report Card


This rifle runs well and reliably but loses an edge because it’s a lever, which is admittedly more user-related. If you shoot levers enough, you get fast.


The gun didn’t have any failures throughout hundreds of rounds, which is important for a defensive rifle and also great for hunting.


While the overall ergonomics are solid and the longer length of pull is nice, it might have been smarter of Henry to give it a shorter length of pull and include spacers for additional length.


This rifle is accurate, not precise. If you’re hunting, you’re going to drop deer or hogs, but not with impressive precision, just general accuracy.


For a sub-1000 rifle, this is a gun that delivers.

Henry Big Boy X Model Final Grade

Our Grade


Reviewed by Kat Ainsworth-Stevens

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Based on 5 Reviews

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Henry Big Boy X Starter Pack

These items are must haves for all firearms owners and range trips:

Henry Big Boy X Gun Deals

Upgrades and Accessories for the Henry Big Boy X

The Henry Big Boy X would benefit greatly from adding a picatinny scope base and either an LPVO or a red dot sight.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Henry Big Boy X

EGW Henry Big Boy Picatinny Scope Base
  • Fits Henry Big Boy Gen 2 (H006)
  • Fits Henry Big Boy Steel Gen 2 (H012)
  • Does Not Fit Henry Golden Boy (H004)
Buy on Amazon
Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Reflex Sight
  • 2 MOA dot
  • 12 brightness settings
  • Up to 5 years of battery life
Buy on Amazon
Vortex Strike Eagle FFP 1-8x24
  • First focal plane
  • 1-8x magnification
  • Included throw lever for quick magnification adjustments
Buy on Amazon

Best Ammo for Your Henry Big Boy X

Here are some good range and hunting ammo deals for your 44 Magnum Henry Big Boy X.

Hunting Rounds

Hornady Handgun Hunter 44 Magnum 200 Gr Monoflex

Hornady Handgun Hunter 44 Magnum 200 Gr Monoflex

Cost Per Round
Gun Deals $1.28
Firearms Depot $1.59
Sportsman’s Guide $1.69
Guns.com $1.69

Range Ammo

Remington UMC 450 Bushmaster 260 Gr FMJ Ammo

Remington UMC 44 Magnum 180 Gr JSP

Cost Per Round
Gun Deals $0.74
Firearms Depot $0.90
Guns.com $0.97
Gritr Sports $0.99

Other Lever Action Rifles to Check Out

The Henry Big Boy X made our list of best pistol caliber carbines in the lever action category. Here are a few other lever action rifles to check out. Once is a classic Henry with brass receiver and side loading gate and the other is a super fun Henry in 22LR.

Classic Henry Henry Big Boy Brass Side Gate Carbine


Henry Big Boy Brass Side Gate Carbine

A lever action with both a side loading gate and the magazine tube loading option featuring a shiny brass receiver.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A-
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value A+

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Based on 4 Reviews

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Lever Action Plinker Henry Lever Action 22LR

Henry Lever Action 22LR

There are few things more satisfying than a lever-action 22LR.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A
  • Accuracy B
  • Value A

Our Grade


Reader’s Grade


Based on 9 Reviews

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How to Care for Your Henry Big Boy X

Here is a video walking you through the cleaning process of a Henry Big Boy X Model.

Check out the links below for the manufacturer’s website and operator’s manual.


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About Kat Ainsworth-Stevens

Kat is a respected author and dedicated student of the gun. To date, she has published three books and written thousands of articles on firearms and self-defense in print and online.

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