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Bavarian contract Henry Rifle
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January 20, 2024 - 3:57 pm
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Is anyone conducting a survey on these rare example of the Henry?

One has surfaced for sale in France, and I have not found its serial number registered anywhere I was able to find on line.

Here is the link, the SN is 456 (out of 500).

https://www.naturabuy.fr/Tres-rare-Winchester-Henry-fabrication-Prussienne-item-11379278.html?utm_source=favsearchalert&utm_medium=email

 

It is presented as a “prussian made rifle”, as these are not well known in France and the documentation available in French is somewhat limited…

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January 22, 2024 - 8:10 pm
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These were used for the Bodyguards (“Leibwache”) of the Bavarian King… 

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January 23, 2024 - 6:44 am
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That sounds very interesting. Is there any more information on this?

Greetings from Bavaria

Stefan

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January 23, 2024 - 8:59 am
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Houze, in his history of the WRACo book, states that 500 guns of this model were made in 1864 under contract from the kingdom of Bavaria in the Bridgeport plant.

These guns are the only one, to the best of my knowledge, with the Briggs modified loading port on the slit tube typical of the Henry (thus getting rid of the swiwvelling front part of the magasine.)

I’d also love to hear more about this, or at lest be directed to more information, as they are so far scarce and often misleading (“Prussian made rifles” come quite often, made in Prussia, or in Bavaria also surface a lot, but without any source for backing the affirmation)

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January 23, 2024 - 9:05 pm
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If there was a picture of the rifle in question barrel address, that would help clear things up some. The barrel should still have the Henry barrel address on the top of it. If it doesn’t have the barrel address on it, then I would begin to suspect it not to be of Henry manufacture. Likely a period copy of the Henry, which actually maybe more rare than the Henry. Most copies of the Henry I’ve seen, roughly copy the mechanism and not the outside / receiver profile very well.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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January 23, 2024 - 9:05 pm
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Thank you for the further information. I have now emailed a friend at the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt to see if he knows more about it.

I’ll report back if I find out anything new.

 

Stefan

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January 24, 2024 - 6:58 am
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The sn 181 of this model rifle is in the Cody Museum.

May be we could get an answer on wether or not the barrel is marked as such.

But there is no question these are “real” Henrys, albeit of a specific contract model.

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January 25, 2024 - 4:14 am
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freebird1968 said
The sn 181 of this model rifle is in the Cody Museum.

May be we could get an answer on wether or not the barrel is marked as such.

But there is no question these are “real” Henrys, albeit of a specific contract model.

Well the more I research into these, I don’t think that they maybe “Real Henrys”, and may be period European Copies.

The original Winchester New Haven museum catalog lists it as a European copy.

WinInventoryDescriptionW-121.jpgImage EnlargerFound the inventory description on Cody’s site but not the inventory photo shown in Houze’s book. But this description matches the rifle shown in Herb Parson’s book with the sling and marking.

Rob Kassab had serial #471 for sale a while back, but it doesn’t appear to have a Henry barrel address and is blank. Just like the one on the auction site.

Here are some more reference materials for you as well.Waffen-Archiv-Page-Scan.JPGImage Enlarger

 

Sincerely,

Maverick

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January 25, 2024 - 7:18 am
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Thank you Maverick,
food for thought.

If you look the following page in Houze book, you’ll see he mentions these guns were made in Bridgeport by the New Haven Arms Co (after B. Henry departure), and he also claims that the different loading system has been patented by Briggs.

I have no way to ascertain what is said in the source he cites as evidence to his claim.

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January 25, 2024 - 5:00 pm
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Reading through Henry related content on “rarewinchesters.com”, I came across the following mention of “patented british Henrys”, whose descriptions also match perfectly the “Bavarian” Henry.

Oliver Winchester in 1863 patented the Henry rifle in England. A few examples of the English Henrys are known. They differ slightly from the US Henry in that they have a loading aperture closed by a sliding cover toward the forward end of the magazine. The magazine tube is slotted in the usual way but is round like the barrel, there being no turning sleeve. Another peculiarity is a ramrod mounted on the left side of the barrel, between it and the magazine, displacing the usual sling fitting, which is placed on the right side.(37) “

 

https://www.rarewinchesters.com/articles/art_hen_06.shtml

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