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What is meant by "Alex Henry" style forend and what is the purpose or idea behind the notch at the tip??
 

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The "notch" isn't the point, as it's only the stylized version of the schnobble forend tip, virtually standard on classic & European rifles.

The AH style means it's Bill Ruger's way of attributing that feature to 19th Century gunmaker Alexander Henry, and the type of forends that he to put on his handmade guns.

The adornment, or carving, on the end of a short forend/forearm, draws visual interest to that part of it, making the wood seem longer than it really is - a trompe l'oeil, if you will.
 
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