When it comes to a tried-and-true lever-action hunting rifle, there is nowhere I’d think of turning first before the fine folks over at Henry Repeating Arms. With the release of the Lever Action X Model .30-30, we saw quite the turn from the expected. Previously, I would have imagined a finely crafted walnut stock that would inevitably be dinged up from season after season in the woods.
When I unboxed this rifle, I lay eyes on the fully synthetic stock and the worries dissipated. Weighing in at 8 pounds, this rifle is light enough to carry deep into your woodland adventures, while still having enough heft to it to help absorb felt recoil. Also worthy of note is the overall size of this rifle. Measuring in at an overall length of a smidge over 40 inches, it can be easily maneuvered within a deer blind or deer stand without becoming cumbersome. Lastly, hunters and sportsmen will appreciate the threaded barrel ready to accept a suppressor should you wish to toss one on—otherwise, simply leave on the thread protector and head out to the range!
Aside from the stock, this rifle comes ready to go with studs to hook on your favorite sling, with a rubberized recoil pad on the rear. It can accept your optic of choice if you decide to forgo the iron sights. If you are one that tends to favor irons, the Lever Action X comes preinstalled with fiber optics on both the front sight and the fully adjustable rear sight.
With the intent of taking this into the woods for the upcoming deer season, we went ahead and mounted a 4-16x44 from Riton Optics after installing our Picatinny rail. (This rail does not ship with the gun so you will need to purchase it separately.) This rifle scope ended up being an excellent choice, as the 44mm objective lens cleared the rear sight with just enough room so as to not need taller rings, which would have inevitably resulted in needing a cheek riser. (If you’re in the market for a new hunting optic, be sure to check out their Primal line of glass and others at ritonoptics.com.)
Our ammo of choice for this range session was none other than Federal’s Hammer Down 150gr 30-30 WIN. Designed specifically for use in lever guns, we had zero malfunctions, cycling issues or problems that once plagued this iconic platform of the Wild West. (If you find yourself looking for ammunition to feed your lever action, give this option a look at federalpremium.com.)
Whether we used the tubular magazine (with a five-round capacity) or loaded from the side gate everything went nice and smooth, so now on to the fun part…pulling the trigger! Our five-shot test group measured in at 0.85 MOA. The Lever Action X had very little recoil to speak of, making this not only pleasurable to shoot throughout the afternoon, but also a great option for anyone who may tend to be more concerned about how much "punch" a round may impart on their shoulder. When compared to the .308 round that I used to take a spike buck on opening day last year, the difference in felt recoil was even more noticeable.
If you find yourself in the market for a new hunting gun this season, I highly encourage you to take a look at the Lever Action X line from Henry Repeating Arms. MSRP $1019; henryusa.com.