The Sidney Bicentennial Committee will be offering commemorative Henry rifles to the public, Sidney Committee Co-chair Bob Guillozet has announced. The commemorative rifles will include three models. Those models include the Henry Standard, the Henry Golden Boy, and the Henry Big Boy.
“When the committee first began planning Shelby County’s Bicentennial, we discussed offering a commemorative Henry rifle,” Guillozet stated. “The Shelby County rifles were so well-received that we were almost immediately asked by collectors if we would be offering a similar rifle for Sidney’s Bicentennial.”
“When the Shelby County rifles sold out in just a couple of weeks, the decision was made to offer a Sidney rifle,” Guillozet continued. “Collectors will be given the opportunity to purchase the same serial number for the Sidney rifle as they purchased for the Shelby County rifle. Obviously not all will want to do that, opening the door for others to purchase guns that did not purchase one of the guns produced for Shelby County.”
“Just like the Shelby County version, one of the toughest parts of the entire project was designing the engravings that would best illustrate Sidney’s history,” Guillozet stated. “Mary Beth Monnier of Creative Marketing Strategies worked with Sidney Mayor and Bicentennial Co-chair Mike Barhorst on the images that would be used on the gun, and several were tried and then exchanged for other images that committee members thought better told Sidney’s story.”
“The artwork was then forwarded to Brian Nesby of Rocky Mountain Firearms, who worked with his engravers on the final artwork,” Guillozet explained. “Once the final artwork was approved, proof guns were produced, and forwarded to us for final approval.”
Located in Johnstown, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Firearms is a small, family-owned business that has been producing special edition firearms for 17 years. “My wife and I grew up in South Dakota,” Nesby said. “When we both turned forty, I was offered a job in Colorado in the firearms business. We talked about the opportunity, and knew that if we didn’t move at 40, we never would. I started my own company two years after we moved. We’ve never had reason to regret the move.”
“We’ve sold a number of commemorative Henry rifles in Ohio, including the gun sold for Shelby County’s Bicentennial last year,” Nesby continued. “We generally create these guns for centennials, sesquicentennials and bicentennials. I try to spend a lot of time learning about the history of the community for which the guns are being produced.
“Rocky Mountain Firearms is far more interested in quality than quantity,” Nesby said. “As you can see in the pictures of the rifle being produced for Sidney, we engrave historical scenes from your area and your history. The rifles make very fine family heirlooms and make great gifts as well.”
“We like to give back,” Nesby said. “We want to leave money in Sidney, and that’s why we are donating two guns, a Henry Standard and a Henry Golden Boy, to be raffled off, with the money benefiting the Sidney Bicentennial Committee.”
“Benjamin Tyler Henry invented the first practical, lever action repeating rifle,” Sidney Bicentennial Committee Chair Mike Barhorst stated. “The Henry rifle, patented in 1860, gave a single man the firepower of a dozen marksmen armed with muzzle-loading muskets. The rifle changed the outcome of several engagements in the Civil War, and certainly in the Indian wars. Henry rifles are still manufactured today, and popular with sportsmen.”
Available From Rocky Mountain Firearms will be the Henry Standard. The .22 caliber rifle will have a blued receiver and round barrel. Only 25 of the guns will be available, and each gun will be engraved with the number in the series. The Henry Standard will sell for $699.00.
The Henry Golden Boy has a brass finished receiver and octagon barrel. It too is .22 caliber. Like the Henry Standard, only 25 of this model also will be available. The Golden Boy sells for $895.
The Henry Big Boy is a large-bore rifle. Although only 10 were offered for Shelby County’s Bicentennial, 25 will be offered for Sidney’s Bicentennial. It comes with an octagon barrel, and can be ordered in one of four calibers, including .357 magnum, .41 caliber, .44 caliber, or .45 caliber. It too, comes with a brass finish receiver. It sells for $1,495.
The right side of the butt stock includes an engraved image of Sir Philip Sidney and a map of the original 14 ½ blocks that comprised Sidney’s original plat. The left side includes Sidney’s Bicentennial logo and an image of the Monumental Building.
The right side of the pistol grip includes an image of The Big-Four Bridge, an image that since its construction in 1923, has served to symbolize Sidney’s role as the Gateway to the Miami Valley. The left side of the pistol grip includes an image of Ross Covered Bridge in Tawawa Park.
The right side of the forearm stock includes an image of the logo of the All-America City program. Often called the Nobel Prize for constructive citizenship, Sidney was named an All-America City in 1964. In addition, there is an image of The Spot restaurant, the local diner that has served generations of Sidney residents and visitors (and at least one United States President) for more than a century.
The left side forearm stock includes an image of the People’s Federal Savings & Loan building. Designed by architect Louis Sullivan, the building attracts scores of architects and architectural students to Sidney every year. In addition, there is an image of a wagon filled with barrels of beer brewed by the John Wagner Brewing Company. The local brewery produced beer from 1850 through Prohibition, and briefly after that “grand experiment” ended in 1933.
Those wishing more information or to purchase one or more of the commemorative Henry rifles should contact Brian Nesby by phone (888.742.4867 or 970.231.3050). Orders are placed in the order received.
“It truly is a limited edition offering,” Barhorst stated. “Once the guns are sold, no more will be produced.”
“I would also caution those wishing to purchase a bicentennial commemorative gun that there were at least two other companies that offered ‘Shelby County Bicentennial Henry rifles’ last year,” Barhorst noted. “People are certainly welcome to purchase one of those guns if they want to do so, but they are not authorized by the Bicentennial Committee.”
“Additional information concerning the raffle for the Henry Standard (number 1) and the Henry Golden Boy (number 1) will be released once the guns have been manufactured and delivered,” Guillozet stated. “We hope to have raffle tickets available shortly.”