Henry Repeating Arms is celebrating 25 years of American-made, lever action excellence this March.
Their first rifles rolled out of the factory in March 1997, launching a relationship with the American outdoorsman and lever action enthusiast based on the motto “Made in America or Not Made at All.”
While 25 years as a leading American-made, long gun manufacturer is a tremendous milestone, it must be noted that the Henry name actually dates back to the 1800s. It was in 1860 that Benjamin Tyler Henry patented the first repeating rifle.
Breitbart News spoke with Henry Repeating Arms founder and CEO Anthony Imperato about the history of his company during a firearms conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 25, 2019. He described the history of Henry rifles from Benjamin Tyler Henry’s 1860 patent to the 21st century. Some highlights:
- The Henry Lever-Action Is America’s Rifle — Imperato described the 1860s firearm as “a rifle which we consider America’s unique contribution to international firearms design.” He said, “The lever action, by fact, is truly American ingenuity while most other actions — the double action revolver, semiauto pistol, bolt-action rifle — the birthplace of those actions were elsewhere. They came from Europe, as in England, Germany, Austria, etc.”
- The Henry Rifle Came to be Called Winchester in 1866 — From 1866 through nearly the entire 20th century, the Henry name sat dormant.
- Imperato Acquired Henry in 1996 — He said, “We secured title to the ownership of the Henry name in the middle of 1996” and “shipped the first guns in March of 1997.”
- Imperato Comes from a Family That Has Been in the Gun Business for 100 Years — Imperato’s grandfather owned a “police equipment gun shop” in lower Manhattan. In the late 1950s-early 1960s, Imperato’s father turned the shop into a “wholesale firearms and police equipment business and he did very well.” In the late 1960s, Imperato’s father bought Iver Johnson Arms and owned it for several years. Imperato began working in the retail and wholesale shop in the 1970s and then also at Iver Johnson.
- The Henry Motto Is: “Made in America or Not Made at All” — Henry is red, white, and blue, through and through.
- Henry Proudly Stands with U.S. Veterans and Law Enforcement — On the day Breitbart News interviewed Imperato in Indianapolis his rifle company was honoring U.S. Army Iraq War veteran Sgt. Omar Avila, who was severely wounded by an IED. Henry was also honoring three World War II veterans: Don Burwell, Al Hutchcraft, and Wetzel “Sundown” Sanders. Barron County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald and USMC Michael Easley were honored posthumously. Easley served two combat tours and was tragically killed by a car after he returned stateside. Imperato told Breitbart how he tires of seeing Hollywood actors get so full of themselves for playing the role of hero when “it’s the everyday Joe who did these things, these heroic things, and, a lot of times, didn’t get recognized.” Imperato added, “In particular, I have a soft spot for World War II vets, the Greatest Generation.”
- The Henry Mantra Is to Deliver Quality — Imperato said, “When someone takes out their wallet to purchase a Henry, we’re going to give them more than expected in the product and the support system. For sure, 100 percent satisfaction, hands down.”
Imperato was noticeably moved as we sat in a hotel dining area that day in Indianapolis. There was great pride in his voice as he talked about the opportunities in America, water in his eyes as he discussed the men and women who have fought in our country’s armed forces, and joy over the ability to make rifles that are truly American.
He and Henry Repeating Arms have been living the American dream for 25 years and they are, right now, as dedicated to the American outdoorsman and lever action enthusiast as they have ever been.
On March 1, 2022, Imperato pointed to Henry employees a key to the company’s success:
Without a doubt, we would not be here celebrating 25 years of success without the hard work and dedication of every Henry Repeating Arms employee, several of whom have been with me since day one. They are the heart and soul of the company. And to all of Henry owners around the world that chose to make us a part of their lives, thank you, we are eternally grateful.
Company President Andy Wickstrom says, “Henry fans and customers have a lot to look forward to this year and beyond.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at email@example.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.
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