Range Reports

Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine — Classic Look, Modern Performance

top down view of Eve Flanagan shooting the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine from a prone position using a mat

Who knew? America’s prolific producer of lever guns can make a darn fine semi-auto carbine, too. Henry Repeating Arms, the legendary lever gun company with factories in New Jersey and Wisconsin, raised eyebrows a couple months ago when it announced the release of a semi-automatic carbine. It’s called the Homesteader 9mm. I was fortunate to get my hands on one for review. While the exercise was one that I first treated with skepticism, it turned out to be a pretty sweet experience. Here’s how it went.


I expected more than a nod in the direction of tradition in terms of appearance. The Homesteader does this well, while having just a touch of old military-flavor edge. Upon unboxing it, the Ruger Mini-14 came to mind, probably because the Homesteader has a rounded top profile and gas blowback operation, much as the Mini-14 does, and similar proportions.

Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine, right profile, positioned in a Yucca plant
Here, the Homesteader 9mm wears a Glock 17 magazine. The rifle worked great with the numerous Glock mags we used during this test.

The stock, at least on the test model, are made of better-than-basic grain, dark-stained, solid walnut. It took a minute of tapping on and examining the lightweight, checkered forend to conclude it really is wood and not polymer. The forend’s angles are squarish and contribute to the classic military carbine appearance, as does the windage-adjustable rear peep sight.

There’s a fixed front sight. The anodized aluminum receiver, threaded 16.37-inch barrel and action (with a 12×28 thread pitch) have blued finish. The overall length is 35.75 inches, and Henry Homesteader weighs 6.6 pounds. The receiver is drilled and tapped for a Weaver rail. Sling studs are included.

Keeping with the “this reminds me of a Ruger” theme, the charging handle will look familiar to 10/22 users. It is shipped detached, as it protrudes too far for the gun to fit in Henry’s familiar, skinny long gun box. The internal flange of the simple handle has two holes that engage attachment points inside the receiver. I was surprised at how simple and quick it attached, thinking surely it would be insecure when the gun is carried around and rubs against the body or gear.

However, I was wrong. It is entirely stable once inserted. Not only is the charging handle secure, but it’s also ambidextrous. Simply remove it, swap sides and, voila!, it’s set up for operation with the other hand. Likewise, the bolt hold-open catch is cloned on each side, just in front of the trigger guard.

A 5 and 10-round Henry magazine are included. Consumers may also order their Homesteader with a Glock 9mm double stack or SIG Sauer P320/Smith and Wesson M&P-compatible magazine well. The sample gun included a Glock receptacle in addition to the standard one.

Inserting the charging handle in the bolt of the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine
Inserting the charging handle on the right side. It’s so easy to change sides. I didn’t think it would be solid, but it was.


My partner, also a gun writer, and I really put this Homesteader through its paces with the Henry magazines as well as Glock OEM and Magpul magazines for Glock. All fed flawlessly. As the round count climbed to over 200 between the two of us, multiple magazines and at least seven different brands/weights of ammo, we were both increasingly impressed with the consistency of the Henry Homesteader. It just worked no matter what we fed it.

Changing Magwell

Henry did a fair job with the manual for this gun. There are plenty of pictures, and the procedures for changing the charging handle side, loading, unloading, and operating the ambi safety on the tang are clearly described. What’s only described in words (instead of pictures), and not clearly explained, is the procedure for exchanging magazine wells.

Three pins, located on the side of the receiver, are the obvious attachment points. Whether they were supposed to be removed entirely or just to one side, and from what side to start, isn’t so apparent. After some trepidation and careful tapping with a punch, we learned that they must be entirely removed, starting from either side, in order to release the factory receptacle and insert the alternate-brand magazine attachment. Once this is understood, the procedure is simple.

There is no field-expedient disassembly procedure for the Homesteader, as one would expect for most any rifle with wood furniture. If the action were to get sticky during a long day of use, my advice would be to unload the mag and chamber, give it a squirt or two of an aerosolized CLP product such as RemOil at the bolt, work the bolt a few times, and wipe off the blackened excess. This simple, quick fix has worked well on my Ruger 10/22s during long days of shooting at Appleseed events, including shooting during blowing-dust conditions. Serious cleaning should be done at a table, as it requires removal of the forend by taking out the screw at its top to expose the recoil spring and barrel. Removing the stock using the aforementioned procedure for changing out mag wells gives access to the trigger mechanism.

lower receiver showing the right and left bolt catches
Henry did a great job of making this gun usable by right- and left-handed shooters without a lot of fuss. The bolt catches are shown here. Also visible in this photo is one of the pins that must be removed to exchange magazine receptacles.


Accuracy was excellent and could be even better with a fine red dot or magnifying scope that would slim down the margin of error inherent in shooting with iron sights. I fired five-round groups at 25 yards from prone, with the forend on a Lyman shooting bag. Targets were bright orange, 1.5-inch Lyman brand stick-on bullseyes. With the fourth “flyer” round eliminated from two groups due to shooter error, here are the results, in order from largest to smallest:

Load and WeightGroup Size (inches)
Federal Syntech 124-grain Total Synthetic Jacket           2.75
Winchester USA Ready Defense 124-grain +P2.0
Hornady Custom 124-grain XTP1.75
Federal American Eagle 70-grain Lead-Free1.6
SIG Sauer 365 115-grain Full Metal Jacket0.8

I had not shot groups before from a rifle barrel using SIG Sauer’s load specialized for the short barrels of micro compact pistols. It’s quite interesting to see that this ammo performed significantly better than the others. And for what it’s worth, the Federal 70-grain lead-free ammo group was 2.5 inches below point of aim and included the cold bore shot.

Were this to be my ammo of choice, I’d need to develop the habit of using a hold-over at 25 yards to achieve superb accuracy. None of these groups were a disappointment. As I mentioned before, the gun never hiccupped.

After shooting groups, we experimented with hitting a large (36×60 inches) steel plate at 175 yards. With a little bit of “walking shots in,” hits were consistent at that distance using a top-of-target hold. Some fun with rapid fire at 10 yards was also had. The Homesteader just ran and ran, with four different Glock magazines and the stock Henry mag.


Final Thoughts

I came away from this review with great fondness and respect for the Henry Homesteader. Henry sure took its time coming out with a semi-auto, but no one can say it didn’t do it right. In the reliability and user-friendly areas, I give this carbine an A+. It can be an ideal partner for recreation, ranch varmint control, or home defense. Its good looks should appeal to young and old users alike.

Paper target showing the groupings from the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine using different ammunition
Target showing groups and ammo types. The fifth round was eliminated from measuring all groups to compensate for shooter error.

As of this writing, market prices are hovering in the $900+ range, often above the MSRP of $928 for the Henry OEM mag or $959 with a Glock or SIG/S&W magazine well, with actual expenses (tax, shipping, transfer fee) bringing total outlay to around (or just over) $1,000. I expect this above-MSRP frenzy to cool in time, but this is one hot carbine right now.

The Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine is a departure from the lever-action offering we have come to love and know. It looks like Henry spent the time and paid attention to every detail. How does the Homesteader 9mm stack up to the competition in your mind? Share your review or thoughts in the comment section.

  • Man shooting the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine offhand in the desert
  • left side of the receiver on the Henry Homesteader
  • Thumb safety on the Henry Homesteader 9mm carbine rifle
  • threaded barrel cap on a rifle
  • top down view of Eve Flanagan shooting the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine from a prone position using a mat
  • Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine disassembled for cleaning on a workbench
  • Paper target showing the groupings from the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine using different ammunition
  • Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine, right profile, positioned in a Yucca plant
  • Threaded barrel with cap on the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine
  • BArrel markings, forend, and rear peep sight on the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine
  • Inserting the charging handle in the bolt of the Henry Homesteader 9mm Carbine
  • lower receiver showing the right and left bolt catches
  • Highly figured Walnut rifle stock
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (24)

  1. I have really thought about getting one of these Henry Homesteaders as a companion to My Ruger PC 9, but, as has been said, the price is exorbitant. I love the classic looks of the Henry, but the Ruger has great sites, a fluted barrel, it breaks down easily and you never have to worry about banging it around because it has a plastic stock. This is coming from a man who loves blued steel and walnut.
    If Henry comes out with a 10mm or 45ACP in this same configuration, I will buy one, but as it is, I have nothing to gain from buying it in 9mm.

  2. Lots of comments saying Henry should have made this in 357 or 44 or 45. I say why not 9mm as they did?! It’s the most common caliber out there and it’s a great one at that. I saw the video of the Homesteader not feeding correctly. It sucked. But I also saw several other videos of it shooting flawlessly. If someone has a problem with any Henry, THEY WILL FIX IT!! Every once in awhile there’ll be one that has issues. Ya it sucks, but don’t think they all will just because one does. I say RIGHT ON HENRY!! Great new addition to your awesome firearms.

  3. Shot groups on a 9mm carbine off a bag at 75yds? Really?
    Aside from maybe being a defensive hiking/brush gun if attacked by a coyote or an angry goose, what purpose does this rifle serve that any old Glock doesn’t?

  4. Guess I’m the odd man out.
    i don’t see the Homesteader in 9mm as a very attractive weapon. 9mm pistol (I have several, like the CZ75 best) is more handy for home defense, you can’t conceal the carbine so when you take it outdoors every one knows it, and I wouldn’t hunt with a 9mm.
    Now if they offered it in .357 Mag or .44Mag with an 18″ or 20″ barrel and in stainless, I’d get real interested in it as a brush gun.
    But I have a couple of Rossi lever guns in .357 Mag and .44 Mag, both with action jobs, that work very well at 50 to 100 yards, just can’t use pointed bullets. Haven’t tried the Hornady Leverevolution ammo yet.

  5. Looks good. Like a few others, I’d rather see it in .45

    Now onto verbiage. The word “partner” was used in this article, and not in the proper context. If you are playing a scotch doubles pool tournament, you have a partner playing with you. If you start a business with someone, they could be described as your partner. A potato sack relay race…

    But for your husband/wife boyfriend/girlfriend…ostensibly the most important and intimate person in your life…and you will refer to them as your partner?? It makes me cringe inside for the person so named and I can only hope they don’t call you the same and that this disgusting trend dies out immediately. Make love great again

    Not sure if this comment will make it through but that’s ok, I’ve spoken from my horses back and I shall now ride off with excellent form

  6. i have to agree with mr sands….i also have a henry..and like it..best lever ive had…but….this little carbine…is a pistol with a long stock..at a price of a real rifel cal…i have no doubt it is a well made and its fit and finish is good…but there is no way im laying down over a grand for this henry…if you want to stay in a small cal…fine…how about one that has no comparisons…reach out and tuch at most any distince with a 1 to 2 ” gp at 300 yrds……..22-250 light, small,almost no recoil..and it not a pistol….just my 1.5 cents..gents

  7. As someone already noted there is a review on YouTube in which the firearm was jamming on almost every Henry mag. In regard to this review it seems the Glock mags were flawless. Funny you’d think Henry would have test fired the rifle before shipping it to the reviewer. Be as it may it seems like a cool rifle however, I don’t know if Henry makes their own mags or contracts them out.

  8. I like the looks and concept, but Henry is selling its name not the carbine. I have several Ruger carbines that are comparble at a much lower price. Would like one but will not pay the ridiculus MSRP.

  9. So why only lame 9mm ammo? I know the FBI after saying it was the worse caliber is now saying it’s better then sliced bread!

    Be nice if they had a 45 acp, 460 Rowland or 10mm

  10. Enjoyed the review and comments very much which I cannot always. As for PCC guns I managed , several decades ago to find a Marlin Camp Carbine in 9mm. I’d wanted one in .45 acp but never saw one. I’m now happier with the 9mm Camp Carbine. Mostly because I found a S&W 6906 9mm pistol. The carbine and pistol share caliber and magazines. S&W mags for model 59’s all both. My pistol uses 12 shot mags and the 15 round model 59 mags work wonderfully. Megar makes a 20 round S&W 59 mag which compliments the same cal. and mag capability. The carbine has 4x scope and a laser site making suitable for close range quick shots and 100yd.+ shots. If I had to bug out this combo along with my Rifled sights High Standard 12 Ga.pump and a Keltic Su 16 in .556 cal would be my go to set up. All are relatively quite light and the 9mm carbine and Keltec lacks the “evil” pistol grip so hopefully remain legal if/after pistol gripped long guns are outlawed. There’s a folding stock for the Marlin around and the Keltic breaks down for compact carry. The gun show purchased Carbine and pistol were notably less than $900 including several 12, 15 and 20 round S&W mags. My health rules out my 24” Les Baer upper bull barreled AR and my Springfield Loaded M1A1 as now simply too heavy for my well used and abused 74 yo body.

  11. Not a bad weapon, but I am into tactical. I hope Henry will consider a model with a black polymer stock and for end. A collapsible stock would also be nice.

  12. I saw a review of this carbine on YouTube. The shooter was using a Henry Magazine although he wanted to get the Glock insert so he could use Glock magazines. While shooting with various manufacture of ammunition (Federal, PMC Bronze, Winchester, etc.) with the Henry magazine the shooter got continuous failures to feed and failures to eject. This was very disappointing to see. Knowing the impeccable reputation Henry Repeating Arms is known for this was a disaster to see. I hope Henry does something to eliminate these flaws. I’ve always known Henry Repeating Arms to sell flawless, top of the line products and I hope they further investigate and correct the problem.

  13. Addressing Andrew Sypien’s questions.
    It is a blowback system. The LH charging handle receptable is a mirror image of the right one. Pull ranged between 5.2-6.0 pounds as measured by my Lyman gauge. The article does mention that it is threaded. The pitch is 1/2×28 (that much I did not mention in this review, though it is typical for a PCC). I don’t have 9mm subsonic but given that it cycled the lead-free 75 grain just fine, it should do well with subsonic — just practice before hunting, since there is no way to adjust it. The take-down process for cleaning that I’d do is to remove the stock as for a mag well change, giving access to the action to de-carbon and wipe down. I’d use a Bore Snake (or equal product) from the rear to clean the barrel, even if the buttstock remains attached. Henry does not mention changing to a folding stock in the user manual and this is not a tactical rifle. Doing this with a wood stock carbine didn’t even occur to me. Same as with recoil–if PCC recoil on a non-comp gun is of concern for any user and they can’t mitigate that with custom or lightweight factory loads, a 22LR represents a better choice. As always, It’s nice to see CTD staff interacting with the gallery here. I can supply a photo of the safety to add to the article if you like.

  14. Seems that everyone is making a simple blow-back style 9mm carbine. Too bad somebody doesn’t look at what has been done before and worked. As example, the REISING models 50 & 55 in 45 ACP used a delayed or hesitation type lock work. At a rate of fire similar to a THOMPSON, but at half the weight, because of the REISING’s design, recoil is greatly reduced as well. REISINGs major failure was due to a failure to properly make interchangeable parts, but instead relied on the use of
    hand fitted parts. After #WWII, Police departments using surplus REISINGs were full of praise for them. An updated/modern REISING design based 9mm, using common (GLOCK?) mags, would make more sense than the simple blow back designs used now. REISINGs ran full auto in the model 50 and 55 versions, but also had a model 60, in a semi auto version, for people like security guards. 10mm anyone???

  15. Are these companies allergic to 45acp?
    If Marlin and Beretta could do it. They could do it today

  16. As a correct-handed, Left-eye dominant person, I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these. As for all the excitement for this PCC, it is not just because it is a Henry, but because Henry actually considered it to be used by correct-handed, Left-eye dominant people as well. In other words Henry considered the WHOLE field of buyers, unlike the Right-Hand Only, AR and other PCC manufactures crowd. There is also a company already making a pic-rail with an undercut down the center so the manual sights can still be used as a backup, in conjunction with say a Quick Disconnect Optic. The one defect in design I see for the Henry. Yes, the price could be a little more towards say the Ruger PC, but for a Correct-Handed person, on the Henry I don’t have to buy aftermarket ambidextrous safeties, or bolt release, which when added to the Ruger PC brings them more even. BTW, I am a long-time Ruger guy, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am with Ruger putting out the PC, WITHOUT A LEFT-HAND SAFETY OPTION!! IT IS A SAFETY ISSUE! Looking very much forward to wrapping my hands around one of these HENRY HOMESTEADERS!

  17. Can we assume this is a blow-back and not a locked breach firearm? If so, how does the recoil compare to other blow-back firearms like the B&T9, AR-15 in 9mm, and the Ruger PC?

    Is it threaded for a suppressor?, If so, what is the thread pitch since there’s 2 common threads for 9mm.

    An image of the left side of the receiver would be helpful to see how the charging handle fits on that side. What does the safety look like?

    What was the pull weight of the trigger?

    Is there any moving parts inside the rear stock like a recoil assembly that would prevent a folding stock?

    How do you field strip it?

    Will it operate with sub-sonic ammunition?

  18. I like it, a lot, but I already have a bunch of Glock-fed 9mm carbine platforms. Make it in .45 ACP, fed from G21 mags, and I will have one enroute to my dealer that afternoon.

  19. This is not a question, simply an observation. Henry makes fine firearms, I am not in disagreement with that. But, they are way too proud of this gun for it to carry a approx. $950 msrp. This is a pistol caliber carbine, not a .308 or some big bore caliber. I own a Ruger PC carbine that is an appropriately price $600 +/-. I give Henry no bragging rites over Ruger firearms. In fact the Ruger PC carbine has a very nice breakdown feature that makes it a perfect bug out gun also. It also takes Ruger Mags and comes with a Glock mag well. Henry has built in margin in this firearm solely based on their name. If this gun was under $700 I might consider it. BTW, I have owned Henry rifles, I do not have a bone to pick with them.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.