Not Your Average Mag-Fed .223: The Henry Long Ranger


The Henry name is synonymous with lever-actions. Almost all of their guns are tube-fed and highly traditional in their design. The Long Ranger line, though, changed the game for Henry. Henry fans had been clamoring for a gun that could offer more reliable long range accuracy, and one that was faster to load, and the company responded: meet the Henry Long Ranger.

henry long ranger .223

Art Fuente, staring down the barrel. The irons on this Henry .223 come standard.

The Henry Long Ranger

The Long Ranger line is, as its name implies, meant for long-range shooting. Most of them, anyhow (more on that in a moment). With no magazine tube hanging off the barrel, the gun is free to move as it wants. Free floated barrels typically offer much more in the way of long range accuracy than barrels that are bound up by gas tubes or mag tubes, so the Long Ranger has that going for it.

henry long ranger .223

The bolt’s travel can take some getting used to.

The box mags of the Long Ranger are also faster to reload. They’re not as fast as an AR mag, but these drop free with the push of a button. They have bright red followers that are easy to identify. The follower can even be seen under the bolt when it is closed, which is a great indicator of an empty mag and an almost empty rifle.

henry long ranger .223

With the bolt closed, you can still see the red follower in the Henry. Barely.


The mag-fed design also allows for a wider variety of ammunition. Think of the .30-30. This round has a big flat nose that’s meant to be fed into a tube mag. It also isn’t known for its super-long-range reliability. With a traditional box mag, you can load any number of pointy calibers–rounds that would be damaged or potentially dangerous if stacked up in a tube.

The magazine is built like a tank, and fits flush.

Henry’s making the Long Ranger in .223, like this one, .243 Win, .308 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor. In each of these, you now have the option of carrying a spare magazine or two. With the .308, you may want a FMJ to punch through a boar at 300 yards, or a soft point for whitetail. Maybe you want a mag or two full of surplus rounds for plinking. Multiple mags make it easy to switch out.

Henry is offering these in two factory set-ups. One comes with scope mounts. If you know you’ll be shooting long distances, this may be the best option.

Two Henry Long Rangers. One version comes with sights, the other with scope mounts.

If you want versatility, pick one of the three models they offer with irons. You can still mount a scope on these, but they don’t come from the factory with mounts. Henry sells those as an extra.

Why .223?

I hunt in Arkansas. Hunt with a .223 is legal here. The caliber is ideal for whitetail and for hogs, and I rarely get shots that are more than 200 yards. Most are under 100. For a brush-gun, nothing beats the speed of good iron sights. Maybe a red dot. Possibly a fiber optic 1-4. But this is a lever-action. It has that feel of tradition, the way my uncles used to hunt in the 60s, only better.

Not a bad group for iron sights. The smaller holes are from a Henry 20 gauge.

And I can put down some effective groups with the iron sights. The group above is from 100 yards, off a bench rest. You can see I’m not hitting exactly where I want, but the consistency lets me know that all I need to do is adjust the sights.

The Henry Long Ranger in this form has an MSRP of $1,066. Not bad for a gun that will long outlive you.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. He was a college professor for 20 years before leaving behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry.

  • Andrew Budek

    Cool beyond words, and an excellent alternative for those who live in “People’s Republic” states.

  • MN Lew

    They are the makers and purveyors of “mighty fine” firearms. My thought would be that it would be chambered to except both 5.56/223… Definitely have the market for legacy firearms providing we will be allowed to pass them on!

    • Greg

      It actually is chambered for both. 5.56 is even printed on the side of the gun. Why they marketed with .223, I have no idea.

  • The Bearded Pretender

    Not sure why it’s not chambered for .556 so a person can shoot both..

    • Jester1137

      It is. 5.56 is considered safe to use by Henry.

    • Joe

      .223 Remington and 5.56mm Nato are exactly the same cartridge. The only difference is in the chamber dimensions. The same applies to .308 Winchester/7.62mm Nato. The military rifles (and especially machine guns) need chambers with larger tolerances.

      • The Bearded Pretender

        And you can run .223 in a 5.56 chamber but not a 5.56 in a .223

        • Joe

          WRONG! As I said, the cartridge itself IS IDENTICAL! The military chamber is only slightly larger, but the cartridge dimensions ARE identical!

          • The Bearded Pretender

            You might want to do a Google Search about the pressure differences

        • Greg

          The gun does have 5.56 printed on the side. Even considering the pressure difference, this gun is safe for both rounds.

      • Scott Schoemann

        the brass may be the same, but that does not mean the loads are. 5.56 x45 is a high pressure load, the .223 rem is not . As for the 7.62×51 and .308 Win the chambers are identical with the 7.62 being loaded to lower pressures For use in belt fed full auto weapons, to prevent damage should a round cook of before full bolt closure. You really need to “read another book”

        • Joe

          I’d have to say YOU need to do the reading. How long have you been shooting? Do you reload? Did you ever see a SAAMI chart?

          • Scott Schoemann

            Ive been reloading for 40 plus years snot nose, there are 10 5.56 AR’s in the safes here 3 .223 remington rifles and Ive cast all their chambers and throats, I know the standards and differences and suggest YOU research them before you insist on continuing to make a COMPLETE ass out of yourself you blithering fool

  • Cregg

    I got one in .243 a couple of weeks ago. It is awesome. Beautiful fit and finish, well balanced and with a great trigger. Thanks, Henry, for putting iron sights on this rifle.

  • Peakoiler

    Next varmint rifle…groundhogs, beware.

  • Spon Rilker

    Any extended/larger magazines for it?