Henry Mares Leg .45 SBR
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  1. #1
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    Henry Mares Leg .45 SBR

    I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I recently picked up a used Henry Mares Leg in .45 Colt for the sole purpose of converting it to a SBR, or short barrel rifle for those that are not into NFA stuff. I tend to nickname some guns and PUG sounds perfect for this one. I actually posted about this elsewhere on the site but figured this was a more suitable place for a build thread so will post further mods here instead. Unlike some of my other lever action projects, I am not planning to thread this one for a suppressor since loading would be problematic with the magazine tube.

    By itself, the gun in its factory configuration is at best a cool novelty, but is very awkward to shoot without an actual buttstock and is of limited practical use. Regardless, it should make a compact and hard-hitting package when complete and holds 6+1 rounds of ammo vs the 5+1 advertised on the Henry website. Furthermore this should be an easy conversion as it will only require adding a regular stock when the stamp comes back.

    Overall the gun is in good shape but shows a few scratches and a nice ding on the edge of the muzzle. It was also pretty dirty and I probably spent an hour just cleaning the lead and copper fouling from the barrel. This is my third Henry but is my first centerfire model and I am impressed with the overall feel of the gun and smooth action. For fun here are a few preliminary photos of the gun as received:




    Last edited by kingstrider; 02-12-2019 at 06:18 PM.

    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

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    Prior to getting the gun I ordered Skinner peep sight in the black gold finish. Being a first generation gun, it was not factory drilled & tapped so I also ordered the 8-40 tap set with a dovetail blank and a new front sight. Installation was relatively straightforward and was done on the milling machine in under an hour.








    rob42049, 22F, AZsparrow and 16 others like this.

    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

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    Moving my attention to the muzzle, I used a flat file to remove the damaged area then recrowned the barrel using 90˚ and 45˚ muzzle facing tools with a sulfur-based cutting oil. A little cold blue solution finished the job and the barrel now measures approx. 12.8” versus the factory 12.9”. I also removed the rear buckhorn sight and tapped in the dovetail blank. I still need to order some 8-40 plug screws to cover the scope holes on the barrel but as a final touch installed a factory saddle ring found on ebay.








    My favorite outdoor range is closed all month for turkey season so I haven't been able to give it a thorough workout but I was able to shoot it this morning to test for function. I will need to get some new fingerprint cards at the sheriff’s office tomorrow but plan to submit my Form 1 application this week. My last submission took about 7 months to come back so at this point it is just a waiting game.
    a9mmfan, jim716, Pig Ninja and 9 others like this.

    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

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    While cleaning the shop I found a set of 2-piece Warne steel scope bases that were removed from a Marlin 1895 I bought last year. I was going to sell them but realized they fit the factory drilled & tapped holes on the Henry barrel exactly. I have an American Defense quick mount for my Burris Fastfire III so had to mill the slot slightly wider but a little touch up blue and viola. Now I can install or remove the optic in only seconds.




    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

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    Great work, I am truly impressed. Also, a great idea. Looking forward to the finished product.
    kingstrider and gunscrewguy like this.

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    Wow, that's nice, impressive work.

  8. #7
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    Love it.

    I have a Rossi Ranch Hand in 45 Colt. I consider it a great Jeep gun. I don't care for the factory sights so you just gave me the solution. I love Skinner sights so I will replace the stupid Rossi factory sights with Skinner sights.

    Nice one!

    Update: Skinner makes a peep sight just for the Rossi Ranch Hand. Order placed.

    Again, thanks for sharing your beautiful work.
    Last edited by SteedGun; 04-13-2018 at 08:21 PM.
    kingstrider and pacificpt like this.
    Klaatu, barada nikto...
    And if that does not work, Molon Labe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteedGun View Post
    Love it.

    I have a Rossi Ranch Hand in 45 Colt. I consider it a great Jeep gun. I don't care for the factory sights so you just gave me the solution. I love Skinner sights so I will replace the stupid Rossi factory sights with Skinner sights.

    Nice one!

    Update: Skinner makes a peep sight just for the Rossi Ranch Hand. Order placed.

    Again, thanks for sharing your beautiful work.
    Thanks. Did you get the barrel mount or bolt mount version? I thought about those but wound up drilling & tapping my gun for XS ghost ring sights instead: https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/ta...scout-sbr.html

    Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

  10. #9
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    Barrel mount. The bolt mount would not work well on a Rossi Ranch Hand which is a top ejector. I am keeping my front sight which has a nice gold bead and I decided to bling it up a bit with a brass barrel Skinner mount.



    Val
    ironhead7544 and pacificpt like this.
    Klaatu, barada nikto...
    And if that does not work, Molon Labe!

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  11. #10
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    Nice project and now another idea launched in my head. LGS I was in tonight has one of these Mares legs but I didn't pay much attention to the price or caliber. Never thought of doing an SBR with one. Until now.......
    JACKTW likes this.


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