Henry’s .360 Buckhammer Recipe for "Canned" Venison

Combine the main ingredients with a quality rifle scope and you have an ideal system for “canning season” at distances of up to 200 yards.

by posted on January 5, 2024
Horman BH 001 360BHHC 4 Part Leaves

When discussing deer hunting, we will often talk about the latest caliber introduction, a recently released rifle or new accessories. But in 2023, we saw all three arrive at around the same time! They include Remington's .360 Buckhammer straight-walled rifle cartridge, Henry's X Model lever gun and Silencer Central's Banish 46 sound suppressor. Put them all together with a quality rifle scope and you have an ideal system for “canning” venison at distances of up to 200 yards. Let's take a closer look at each of these components and how they came together at the shooting range.

The Cartridge: Remington’s .360 Buckhammer Straight-Wall Cartridge
Since the mid-2010s we've seen states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio, make changes to their deer hunting regulations. In areas that used to be restricted to 12-ga. slug guns (for safety reasons) hunters can now use straight-walled rifle rounds. Much like shotgun slugs, cartridges with straight cases are energetic enough to harvest game humanely at moderate distance of around 200 yards or less. Much past these distances the bullets lose their energy quickly so as to protect people and property near the hunting area.


Remington developed the .360 Buckhammer to meet midwest rifle hunting regulations.

When these regulations came into play, big-bore straight wall rounds like the .444 Marlin, .45-70 Gov't. and .450 Bushmaster were readily available. However, these rounds can produce significant levels of felt recoil on par with or greater than a 12-ga. shotgun. Hearing customer requests for a less concussive straight wall round which fit the rules of the Midwest, Winchester launched the .350 Legend in 2019. This rebated rim round meets minimum caliber requirements and functions well in bolt-action rifles, semi-automatic carbines and even a couple of large-frame revolvers. But its rebated rim left lever-gun fans high and dry.


The .30-30 Win. (left) compared to the .360 Buckhammer (center) and .350 Legend (right).

New for 2023, Remington Ammunition stepped in to fill this gap with the .360 Buckhammer. In essence, it is a shortened .30-30 Win. rimmed cartridge case sized for .358-cal. bullets borrowed from rounds like the .35 Remington and .35 Whelen. The result is a round that loads and cycles reliably in lever-actions, just like the .30-30 Win., while meeting straight-wall regulations like the .350 Legend. However, the .360 Buckhammer operates at higher pressure levels and launches heavier bullets than the .30-30 Win. So even though muzzle velocity and bullet drop remains about the same for both cartridges, the .360 Buckhammer hits harder with up to 90 ft.-lbs. more energy than the .30-30 Win. at 200 yards, according to Remington. 

The Rifle: Henry’s X Model Lever-Action
Henry Repeating Arms teamed up with Remington to develop the .360 Buckhammer cartridge and launched the first lever guns chambered for this new round. The first two models out the door include the steel receiver side-gate loading H009G, with classic features and American Walnut stocks, along with the H009X X-Model sporting up-to-date features and polymer furniture. For this evaluation, I opted to work with the X-Model.  


The Henry X Model blends a smooth lever-gun action with up-to-date hunting gun features.

The .360 Buckhammer version of the X Model features a matte blued, all-steel construction with a 21.375" round profile barrel. Like the other guns in this series this rifle leaves the factory with an ammunition loading gate on the right side of the receiver and a removable brass liner for the 5-round tubular magazine. This allows the magazine to be topped off with additional rounds through the receiver gate as needed in the field and unused ammunition to be dumped out through the magazine at the end of the day.


This model has a side loading gate as well as a removable magazine tube liner.

The X Model is fitted with a bright green fiber optic front sight, an adjustable 2-dot orange fiber-optic rear sight and the receiver is drilled and tapped for an optics rail. I've mentioned in other evaluations of X series models how I appreciate Henry's handling of the polymer stocks. Tacti-cool adjustable stocks and AR-15-style handguards are en vogue for some lever gunners these days. But the classic fore-end and shoulder stock styling keeps the X Model comfortably in the sporting rifle category, especially in those regions where AR-pattern rifles are restricted. Nevertheless, Henry subtly molded two M-LOK accessory ports and a 4-slot Picatinny accessory rail into the front of the forend for those who do want to attach lights or laser sights to this gun. 


This rifle ships with a suppressor-ready threaded barrel.

The deciding factor for using this rifle model is the half inch of 5/8 x 24 TPI threaded muzzle. Very few lever guns are threaded for muzzle accessories including brakes, compensators and sound suppressors. Rather than going through a time-consuming and somewhat expensive process to thread the barrel, this gun is ready to get canned from the get go. A knurled thread protector is included. 

The Suppressor: Silencer Central's Banish 46
Sound suppressors, or “silencers” if you prefer, have been gaining in popularity with American sports shooters over the last few years. One of the fastest growing categories of suppressors is those configured for hunting. The recently released Silencer Central Banish 46 is intended for use with rifle cartridges sporting bullet diameters greater than .30-cal. with compatible options ranging from .338 Lapua to .45-70 Gov't.


Silencer Central offers suppressors designed to meet the needs of American hunters.

The folks at Silencer Central understand that a suppressor can be a significant investment, so the Banish 46 is configurable for use with rifles or pistols in smaller calibers as well. Made of titanium and Inconel (a durable nickel alloy), this suppressor is 10" long and weighs 20.4-oz. in its full-size configuration. However, the front section can be removed, along with two baffles, to reduce the overall length to 7.9” and decrease the weight to 16.3 oz.


The Banish 46 features a set of removable titanium titanium baffles.

This is a user-serviceable model, meaning, it can be disassembled and cleaned by the owner. The titanium baffles can be cleaned using a brush and solvent, like a gun barrel, in a tumbler or using an ultrasonic cleaner. The baffles are keyed and indexed to make reassembly quick and easy. The Banish 46 can be fitted with various mounts. In this case, I used a direct-thread cap matched to the rifle but other options include a Nielsen Device or quick-detach muzzle brake. 


A direct-thread mount allows the Banish 46 to be easily twisted onto and off of the X Model.

Combine All Ingredients
The X Model arrives optics-ready but the mounts are sold separately. This gun was fitted with an in-house HEGW9/10PR 12-slot Picatinny mount available through the henrypride.com website. Earlier in the year I used a 1" tube Leupold VX-3DH 2.5-8x36 CDS ZL rifle scope mounted with Leupold's Back Country rings to evaluate the Marlin 336 Classic. This more compact optic and aluminum ring set was an ideal fit for lever guns, so I couldn't resist using it again with the X model.


Leupold’s compact VX-3HD rifle scope is an ideal fit for a hunting lever-action carbine.

I opted to work with the Banish 46 in its 10" configuration for maximum sound reduction since I would be shooting at an indoor range. But lever-action rifles are famous for their easy handling qualities. For use in the field, I would shorten this suppressor to 7.9" to give the gun a handier feel. The X Model was utterly reliable with a smooth action right out of the box.

Theoretically the .360 Buckhammer is going to generate more recoil than .30-30 Win. because of its heavier bullets and greater muzzle energy. However, standing behind the gun, there was not enough of a difference to be noticeable. I found this gun and ammunition combination's felt recoil to be moderate, controllable and on par with the same model chambered in .30-30 Win.


Shooting this rifle and ammunition combination with a suppressor produces moderate levels of felt recoil. 

Bench-rested accuracy testing was conducted at 100 yards by firing three 3-shot groups of the Remington 180-gr. and 200-gr. Core Lokt soft-point bullet loads. The 180-gr. round left the muzzle traveling at 2345 fps. for 2198 ft.-lbs. of energy. It knocked out a best group of 1.71" for a three-group average of 1.94". The 200-gr. bullet launched at 2173 fps. for 2097 ft.-lbs. of energy with a best group of 1.55" and an average of 1.70".


Test ammunition included Remington Core Lokt loads with 180-gr. and 200-gr. soft-point bullets.

With the formal accuracy testing completed, the Banish 46 suppressor was installed. The 3-shot groups for each bullet weight were right in the same size range as firing without the suppressor. The 180-gr. load printed a 1.80" group with the 200-gr. coming in at 1.69". But the point of impact for both loads moved down about 2.5" to 3" from where the gun was sighted in without the suppressor. So make sure to test your hunting rig with the suppressor before heading out into the field.


The largest 3-shot group fired with the 200-gr. bullet was 1.82”.

How did attaching the Banish 46 change the shooting experience? It was less noisy for certain. This suppressor is listed as providing up to 34.5 db of noise reduction in its 10" configuration. But it did more than just reduce the sound. The suppressor acted like a muzzle brake as well, reducing felt recoil by somewhere around 30 percent. It also came close to eliminating the concussive shockwave that blows your hair back with each shot fired. Overall, adding the suppressor significantly 'softened' the shooting experience.

Parting Shots
Handy lever-action carbines chambered in .30-30 Win. have been successfully harvesting deer for nearly 130 years. But as times, technologies and regulations change, it's fascinating to see that mid-range lever-guns are still such a popular option. The new .360 Buckhammer fits straight-walled round regulations with less recoil than big-bore cartridges but more energy than the venerable .30-30 Win. The Henry X Model is a reliable and smooth operating rifle with something to offer both traditional and cutting-edge lever enthusiasts. And the Silencer Central Banish 46 makes the process of “canning” venison noticeably more relaxing and enjoyable. 

Tested Products:
Cartridge: Remington .360 Buckhammer
Rifle: Henry Repeating Arms X Model (H009X-360BH) $1,091
Scope Mount: henrypride.com HEGW9/10PR 12-slot Picatinny Mount $27.50
Scope: Leupold VX-3HD 2.5-8 x 36 CDS-ZL Duplex (#180616) $499.99
Scope Rings: Leupold Back Country Cross-Slot 1", Low Mount (#175116) $99.99
Suppressor: Silencer Central Banish 46 with 5/8x24 DT Mount $1,249 (Plus $200 Tax Stamp)

 

 

 

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