Me ‘n’ Henry

me ‘n’ Henry

Below: that’s me ‘n’ Henry at some godforsaken firebase in I Corps, (northernmost) South Vietnam, March 1969

Few folks today are aware that the U.S. Army ran perilously short of M16s and M14s during the Vietnam conflict. We were bein’ overrun by native savages. The Army Quartermaster Corps had to issue us whatever was available in the armories; I was issued this 1861 Henry .44 rimfire.

During the (American) Civil War the Henry was referred to by Confederates as “That damned Yankee rifle you loaded on Sunday and fired all week.” B. Tyler Henry’s repeating rifle served me pretty well—the only serious downside being that the darned black powder gave away our position with billowing clouds of white smoke—not entirely a good thing—altho’ some misguided GIs resorted to snorting those sulphur vapors right outa the ejection port. And it had no bayonet mount, which mandated that I duct-tape my reissued WWII K-bar to the muzzle end of the octagon barrel.

Back in the 1860s and ’70s the fast-reloading/rapidfire Henry was employed quite effectively by western settlers and by native Americans on the great plains—most memorably, by Sitting Bull’s and Crazy Horse’s barebacked light cavalry at a climactic rendezvous point in Dakota Territory called Little Bighorn. So it was an appropriate musket for South Vietnam… especially since we routinely referred to the jungles and mountains and swamps and villages as “Injun Country.” 

(saga continues below)   

‘Course, you gotta know this is all a spoof. That indeed is me in the photo, and it really was shot with my trusty ol’ Argus C3 in Vietnam in 1969. And we really did refer to all the countryside outside the fortified encampments as ‘Injun’ Country.’ All the rest is unalloyed fiction.

It was a careful application of Adobe Photoshop that turned my Colt M-16 into a Henry Golden Boy .22 carbine.

Judy gave me this extraordinarily well-made li’l .22 lever-action rifle for Christmas 2004, just for fun. Y’know, perforating tin cans and such trifles.

I gave my word to Henry’s CEO Anthony Imperato that I’d display his firm’s crown jewel for you on CobraCountry. Promise kept.

He’s a great guy at the helm of one heckuva fine company… even if they are
located in Brooklyn, New York.   //:=)

Henry even sells this honkin’-big and period-correct 
Civil War–era reproduction coffee cup… which qualifies
as a world-class clam-chowder mug!
It seems to be microwave safe, which is good, since
it holds so much stuff y’gotta keep rekindlin’ it.

I hereby bestow a special, honorary,
universally-coveted
Cobra Country Seal of Approval to

Henry Repeating Arms Company
Brooklyn, New York, USA

*****

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