01 March 2024

Henry Homesteader - A Small Update

I've had the Henry Homesteader for a while now and I've come to enjoy it.  In my last writing about the Homesteader, I had settled on using a Leupold FX-II 2.5x fixed magnification scope and a very low profile Ashley Performance mount intended for the Marlin 336. While this seems silly, the rifle was zeroed for 20 yards using Speer's Gold Dot 124 grain +P load. That keeps the bullets flight path below 1 inch out to 70 yards or so giving the user a good anti-varmint gun for larger critters such as armadillo or ground hog. A coyote and feral hog should watch out for such a rifle. 

Estimated ballistics chart for the Speer 124 gr +P load

I've found that the rifle has been reliable since the beginning. While I don't have a massive round count through it, less than 500 rounds, what rounds I have fed through it have had not issues. This includes hollow points, flat nose and round nose. I have used 115 grain, 124 grain, 147 grain and 158 grain jacketed bullets in the rifle without a hiccup. I haven't set it down to see what sort of groups or accuracy I can get with any of the loads available. 

I have noticed that while it runs great, as a suppressor host, I wonder if it could use a heavier recoil spring. The port pop from the ejection port as the action opens can be uncomfortable to my right ear so I use a ear plug on that side while in use. The left side has no issues. I don't remember having issues with my AR-9 like that. That was using 147 grain subsonic loads. The 158 grain PPU subs don't seem to have that issue. The video below was taken from about 15 yards away from the shooter and is using those same PPU rounds. I had been working on making a cast 160 grain load for plinking but haven't really gotten to it yet.

A few companies have stepped up to make cool products. Midwest Industries made a handguard for the Homesteader that has lots of MLOK slots and a skeletonized stock to match. 

From Midwest Industries' website

Personally, I think the stock kills the aesthetic but I know there will be people who take this setup to the next level and it will look amazing. Think Mad Pig Customs Thumper but on the Homesteader. It would probably be pretty cool. As for just the rail, I do like the idea of adding one to mine. Currently, I still have the original handguard but added a cheap Surefire knockoff light. Since there aren't any good ways to correct the mounting issue, I resorted to a cheap barrel clamp with a picatinny rail section on it. It's sure ugly but at least the rifle has a forward mounted light. I'm holding out for WOOX to make something but maybe the MI rail would be best. I can add wood panel sections to the sides to try to keep the wood aesthetic while still being able to forward mount the light. 

While fun to shoot, this setup is surprisingly heavy.

Thinking over the build idea, if I really wanted to go nuts with the rifle, I would take both the MI handguard and stock and send the barreled action over to Mad Pig. I would have MPC cut the barrel down to 14.5 inch and have them pin and weld a JMAC G-36 flash hider,. Move the front sight back a shade and install the handguard and stock. Once the gun is fully back together, have them do a Cerakote camo job. I think it would be their Thumper package V1HA1. Their website says $1999 for the work.

Additionally, I would replace the 2.5x FX-II with the Leupold 1.5-4x LPVO.

Anyway, I don't have any plans on doing any of that so I'll keep it as is though I think the scope change would make a ton of sense. No word yet from Lee Mason on a stock cuff that holds a magazine. I still think that would make for a great addition. 

Update APR 2024: The original chart used data gathered from Lucky Gunner on their PCC ammo testing. They got 1422 FPS. I finally got to test my own ammunition with my chronograph and got 1389 FPS. That chart is updated to reflect that correction.

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