More On The
Emory, thank you so much for your
information! We found it extremely helpful on the Henry and Winchester
rifles. My son just got his grade (an A++ !) on his project and the entire
class was amazed in the original cost versus some recent sales of the
antique guns. Your info was more than good enough for Fox work!!! By the
way, I do think it would be a great thing to add to the website. We looked
in a lot of places but never could find that info. As I said, the kids in
my son's class were very interested in the topic!
Thank you again for your help!
Yes, we do, have information on the cost of a Henry
rifle at separate periods of time. The price jumped around a lot because of
the general economic collapse after the Civil War. The Henry was barely
saleable after the Civil War, and after Oliver Winchester bought the
corporate loans from the bank that couldn't be paid because of poor sales,
he then dictated to the inventor Tyler Henry to make the improvements of a
loading gate and especially a wooden forearm necessary to get people to buy
them. Thus the Henry went out of production in 1866 to put the (1866)
Winchester into production.
In round numbers, the Henry rifle cost about a
month's pay for the "working man." Sometimes only two weeks pay. So,
depending on economic conditions, call that $16 to $30. To also put a
relative value on this, that is about the cost of three boxes of ammunition
for it at 50 shots a box for $6 a box. Learning to shoot with a Henry was
way too expensive. Because of the high cost of ammunition, the older muzzle
loading guns stayed in active use in the civilian world into at least the
The term "comparable" Winchester begs a question.
The Henry was improved to become the first Winchester with both
rifles shooting the same cartridge woefully underpowered for military
rifle use or buffalo hunting. The 1873 Winchester had a new cartridge that
was a little better, but not much. It wasn't until 1876 that Winchester
came out with a bigger lever action model, but it was too heavy, expensive,
and sometimes wouldn't stand up to the rigors of service. So, it wasn't
until 1886 that Winchester had a lever action gun for powerful cartridges,
and that went through two models to make the slightly less powerful model
1894 Winchester that you can buy newly made today. The 1894 is way more
powerful then the Henry, but the two are very different in the cartridges
they will shoot and how they work internally.
I'll have to think of where you can look for
information. My primary source of 40+ years ago isn't coming to mind
quickly, and would be hard for anybody to find to look at. The general
economy reference comes from bunches of historical reading over many years.
Thank you for your comment and praise on the
Good enough for Fox work? Does this suggest
another question or line of thinking from you? Let me ask you, is this of a
broad enough interest to add to the website?
My name is: Fox
I like to read: historical books - in particular those based on fact
Hi - was wondering if you could help me with a question. My son read the
"old Yeller" at school at had to do a project making comparisons between
time period and now. We have found a lot of info on the 1860 Henry Rifle and
compared it to a current/comparable Winchester. Our problem is finding and
original sale price for the 1860 Henry - do you have any idea of the price
can you give me a place to look? Thanks so much -
p.s. Your website has been very helpful!
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