Henry Homesteader: Converting to Glock Magwells, Cleaning, and Dissembling

The Henry Homesteader has been a big hit since its release earlier this year. It took most of us by surprise when Henry, a company known primarily for its lever-action rifles, announced their first semi-auto 9mm rifle. Henry has a great reputation and many die-hard lever-action fans were more than curious as to how Henry’s pistol caliber carbine (PCC) would turn out.

Most reviews out there are giving it great reports. There have been a few feeding issues reported, but not many. I’ve shot several types of ammo through my personal rifle and haven’t had any problems. It comes with Ruger mags, but a quick swap of the included Glock magwell converts to rifle to a Glock mag-eating rifle. For me, Glock mags make more sense because they are more popular and easier to find than Ruger mags. But Henry leaves it up to the consumer to decide which mags to use.

Henry Homesteader rifle.
The Henry Homesteader is a great multi-purpose rifle. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Once the magwell was changed (which we will cover in a moment), I put a 28-round Magpul magazine in it. With the square wood-colored handguard, the Homesteader reminds me of a Thompson/BAR blend. Much smaller than an actual BAR of course, but intentional or not, it has an old-school look to it. I’m curious to see if Henry will introduce any other calibers with the Homesteader. If they do, a .45 option would be pretty cool.

Now, back to our purpose here today. How hard is it to take apart the Henry Homesteader rifle and clean it? Or maybe swap magwells so you can use Glock mags? Both tasks are simple and fast. Let’s start with disassembling and then move on to the magwell.

Disassembling the Henry Homesteader

The Henry Homesteader does not have any take-down levers. Even a simple fieldstrip requires several pins to be removed with a punch and hammer. I’ve heard some grumbling about this, but the design doesn’t bother me any. We’re spoiled by how easy the AR-15 and Glock pistols are to disassemble; we think all guns should come apart with a simple lever or single pin.

Yes, it’s a great feature and helpful in the field. For combat-rated weapons, quick access to clean or replace parts is needed. But I’m not worried about needing a punch and hammer to clean a rifle or change parts, so long as the gun is worth it in the end. You don’t have to be a gunsmith to remove a few pins, and by few, I mean just three.

Taking the Henry Homesteader apart.
There are three pins holding the upper and lower together. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
With the gun lying on its side, you will see two pins just above and behind the trigger. The third pin is directly above the trigger towards the top of the gun. You need a 1/8-inch punch and a small hammer to tap them out. If you have some type of bench block, use it to allow space for the pins to come out. If not, place something under the gun to hold it up about an inch off the benchtop. Just make sure it’s not something that will scratch your rifle.

With the gun propped up just a little, tap each one of the pins out from either direction. Make sure the firearm is unloaded and the chamber is clear before you start this process. When the pins are removed, the receiver will slide up and off of the stock and the trigger group assembly.

This is about as far as you need to go most of the time for cleaning. There are additional components that can be removed for a deeper cleaning, and we will go over that too. At this point, however, the gun should come into three pieces. The receiver, handguard, and barrel are one, the stock and trigger guard another, and the magwell is the third.

Replacing the Magwell

My Homesteader came with a Glock magwell kit from the factory. Be sure to check the Homesteader’s box when purchasing to make sure it’s included. Pull the Ruger magwell out of the receiver and replace it with the Glock magwell. The Glock magwell is larger than the Ruger and has a standard push-button mag release. The Ruger version has a small lever in front of the magazine that was hard to use (in my opinion).

Henry Homesteader Glock mags.
The magwell is easy to change once the upper receiver is off. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
If all you are doing is swapping out the magwell, then the gun is ready to reassemble. The process is the same as disassembly. Insert the magwell into the receiver, slide the upper back onto the lower (stock and trigger assembly), and tap each pin back in place. Be sure not to scratch your gun as you tap the pins back in. I start with a hammer and then finish with a hammer and punch.

Removing the Bolt and Handguard

If you need to clean the bolt, the handguard and recoil assembly must be removed too. Repeat the process above and remove the upper receiver and magwell from the lower receiver. Unscrew the small screw from the end of the handguard and slowly push it forward and off the gun. This will reveal the recoil spring assembly. Be sure to take the charging handle off the bolt before starting this process.

There are two flat bars on each side of the spring that attach to the bolt inside the upper receiver. Take just a little pressure off the recoil spring and pull one of the bars away from the recoil spring assembly. You can now lift upwards on the bar and away from the bolt. Repeat this process with the other side. Now you can lift the bolt out of the receiver. From here, you can clean the bolt, the inside of the receiver, and the recoil spring assembly.

The Homesteader assembly.
The Homesteader can be taken apart up to this point. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Henry does not recommend taking the gun apart past this point. To reassemble the gun, place the bolt back in the receiver and align one of the bars with the bolt and recoil spring assembly. Place the bar into the bolt first and then pull back on the recoil spring until the bar fits into the groove on the recoil spring block. Reassemble the rest of the gun in the opposite order in which you disassembled it. I oiled the recoil spring bars, bolt, and inside of the receiver when I took mine apart.


Aside from needing a punch and hammer to take the Homesteader apart, the process is simple. Most people already have a punch and hammer that will work. Small pin and punch sets are available, however, from places like Real Avid or Wheeler. I have multiple guns that use 9mm Glock mags so the switch with the Homesteader was a given for me.

If you need a good multi-purpose rifle to keep around the farm, in your vehicle, or at home, this is an excellent choice. It appears to be a solid gun and sells well under the $1,000 mark. I am a big fan of the Ruger Carbine rifle, and the Homesteader gives it a run for the money. Check it out and let us know what you think of Henry’s rifle!

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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