Henry v. Marlin 22 Lever


August 5, 2007, 12:10 PM
thinking of getting one these. Looked at the Henry 22 and the action was terrific so smooth. The Marlin 22 39A looked better built, stronger but handled bulkier and the action on the lever was not as good as Henry. Anybody have one of these and can recommend ordiscuss.

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Ken C
August 5, 2007, 12:26 PM
The Henry Goldenboy (H004) is a great rifle. The action is smooth, good trigger, sights are no so good for me. I will be buying the cantilever scope mount. If you have young eyes, not a problem.

Ken C

Tom C.
August 5, 2007, 01:25 PM
When I bought my 39A 44 years ago, my big question was whether to get the 24” barreled 39A or the 20” barreled 39M. I chose the 39A. Not bad but a little long. Two years ago, I found a little used 39M, made in 1969 for $300. It is much more handy than the 24” 39A. Unfortunately, they aren’t made any longer so you have to find it used.

August 5, 2007, 02:35 PM
I've got the Marlin 39A. I like it a lot, shoot it a lot. Very accurate. A friend of mine has the Henry, I shot it and like it too. It's smaller and lighter. Less expensive too. Either would be fine. I chose the 39A because it's supposed to be more durable than the Henry, plus I wanted a larger rifle. But if I was going to buy a rifle for my wife, it would be the Henry.

August 5, 2007, 08:04 PM
For some good reading on why the Marlin is the best, here's a link to the High Road Marlin 39 club:

Bottom line: The Henry is a modern mass-produced stamped cheap Chevy.
The Marlin is a legendary milled steel and walnut Roles Royce.

In 10 years of heavy use the Henry will be a worn out, beat up old gun with little or no real value.

A Marlin 39 will be a just broken in heirloom your great great grand kids will be using in their old age and will be worth more then you paid for it.

August 5, 2007, 08:36 PM
We have one of both, buy the Marlin.
Not bashing Henry, her Golden Boy is a nice gun we like it plenty I just prefer my 39 for several reasons. She does too except her's is " prettier".

August 5, 2007, 08:49 PM
I have a 39A, love it. Bought it new, the action has smoothed out a lot since the 3 or 4 bricks of ammo I have put through it. Nice classic gun.

I don't own the Henry, but a lot of people seem to like them reasonably well. They go for about half what the Marlin does in my area, and may be able to give you what you want for the price point. You may like the lighter weight as well.

But then again, it's like dfariswheel said... I know I'll only have to buy the Marlin once. I am satisfied.

August 5, 2007, 08:50 PM

Marlin 45 carbine
August 5, 2007, 08:57 PM
they are both great rifles, Marlin may have very slight edge in accuracy, but Henry has the best customer service in the factory-produced firearms industry. the company Prez handles inquirys himself. and they are smooooth actions. you will do good either way. :)

August 5, 2007, 09:13 PM
i love my henry, i've put 15,000+ round's through it. and it still shoots great, i also like my marlin bolt action 22 mag. i don't think you can go wrong with either one.:)

August 5, 2007, 09:22 PM
Bought a 39A in 1955 and a Henry about 5 years ago. Given a choice it would the Marlin. Simply more accurate, easier field stripping and 100 per cent steel. The Henry has by far the smoothest action. It has a good number of non-steel metal parts, more involved field strip proceduce and some common hardware lock washers and plastic parts. Not a bad little rifle but does not have the lasting qualities of the 39A.

August 5, 2007, 09:23 PM
I have a Henry and its been an excellent little rifle. Great value for the price. Considering these both shoot .22 LR, I wouldn't worry to much about long term use(at least in terms of shooting, if you abuse your guns then that would probably be another story).

August 6, 2007, 07:56 AM
My son and I have put box after box of ammo through our .22 Goldenboy. When I purchased it I took it to a gunsmith and had him install a nice scope thinking it would make a better Varmit rifle. The smith drilled and taped holes in the top with no problem. It is as accurate as my Model 7 .308 out to 100 yards with the only real difference being that the wind will move that little .22 round a bit more than the 168 grain .308 bullet. Action to this day is a smooth as silk and it looks really great!

August 6, 2007, 09:28 AM
What don't I like about my Henry (H001)? After a couple bricks of dirty bulk ammo at the range the action gets gunky and the only way to clean it properly is a full tear down. You generally have to re-zero the scope after you've had the lid off. Also the stock dovetail sights are a little flimsy. Easy to bump the rear sight off line if you're not careful while handling.

Otherwise I'm quite pleased with it. Big 3-9 scope I mounted makes it kind of clunky though. Good for far side of the garden shots, but no good for close quarter battle with back door varmints. Considering re-fitting it with aftermarket peeps.

August 6, 2007, 11:06 AM
The Marlin is VERY easy to clean. That screw on the side lets you take down the rifle into two halves, much like a break-action shotgun.

The action is then completely open (one side of the receiver stays with the barrel, the other with the buttstock). This makes it really quick and easy to clean the inside of the action if necessary, and to clean the barrel from the chamber end.

The Marlin is all machined steel, not some alloy like a Henry, and it comes drilled and tapped. No gunsmithing or odd scope mounts required to mount a scope. The stock sights work well for me, and mine were dead-on when I got the gun. Blueing can be touched up, too, if it gets scuffed.

I love my 39A. It's a full-size gun, good for practice, and easy to shoot well offhand, with a nice cut-checkered walnut stock. Comes with sling swivel studs, too. It weighs about 6 3/4 lb., so it's not too heavy; it's also not too light to shoot well.

Does Henry make a great little gun? Yes. Will it work great? Yes.

Is the Marlin worth the extra cash? Yes.

August 6, 2007, 11:10 AM
The Henry is a great plinker for a relatively low price.
Had mine for two years and at least a few thousand rounds. Mine is the H001 model.

August 7, 2007, 02:59 AM
The Henry has the smoothest action known to man but the Marlin will last you forever. The Marlin action will smooth out with use but I doubt it will ever be as smooth as the Henry action.

August 7, 2007, 05:21 PM
The Marlin is a better rifle, but you're going to pay for it.

If I could only keep one .22 rifle, it'd be my 39A, even over such classics as the Remington 552 and Winchester 68.

August 7, 2007, 06:51 PM
Sounds a lot like the arguments between Ruger and S&W wheelguns, except in this case the Tank is MORE expensive! :)

August 10, 2007, 02:37 AM
I have a 39a that I purchased in february it is a well made heavy rifle. My buddy has had a henry for about ten years, never hung up that I know of, but its not the rifle the 39 is. But the money you save I guess you can by another henry if something happens to the first one.

June 7, 2008, 09:15 AM
Anybody know the best price for a new 39A. my local dealer in NJ quoted 569 for new and a walmart in maryland quoted 500 with a three month delivery time. I can buy online and ship to NJ if the price is good. Thanks

June 7, 2008, 10:18 AM
If you like guns made of steel go for the Marlin. If aluminum is ok go for the Henry. I have both but the Marlin will last a lot longer with the same level of care.

June 7, 2008, 02:47 PM
I've always had a fondness for .22 rifles and over the many years, I suppose I have owned fifty or sixty different models. I currently have 16 .22 rifles including four different lever actions including the Marlin 39 Texan, the Win 9422, the Browning BLR, and the Henry Golden Boy.

You couldn't go wrong with any of them. While it is true that the Marlin is a little clunky and stiff out of the box, it is extremely easy to slick up. Just changing or reducing springs will make a big difference. The Marlin is rock solid. But it is not my favorite. The Win. 9422, mine is a very early one, is my favorite. It is well build, totally dependable, accurate and slick. The BLR is also a fine little rifle. The Lever throw is incredibly short, and it is slick and accurate. The Golden Boy is a fine little rifle too and it sure is flashy. It does not have the build quality of the other three, but it certainly is slick and accurate enough for anybody.

I don't put scopes on my lever guns. You lose the great fast handling characteristics. I do put scopes on my bolt guns and the larger semiautos. For a blast that will eat up many bricks of ammo, learn point or snap shooting with your lever .22. When you gain a little proficiency, try them on "running rabbit" clays.

June 7, 2008, 03:28 PM
Have had an H001 for awhile now, at least nine to ten thousand rounds through it. Accurate (Even more so since I put a BSA 3x9 on it. See through mounts) I've used primarily the winchester white box in it and can only remember having one dud, all the others have fed and ejected perfectly. Accuracy, well I've taken 4 or 5 groundhogs at 75 yards with it, bullet entered exactly where I aimed. Action is great, not difficult to tear down and clean (Only have done that once since I've owned it) Wood is pretty good quality but a few people hav fired it and said the straight stock took a little getting used to rather then semi-pistol grip on most

As to the drawbacks. Well it's not high quality. Front barrel band is plastic, reciever cover is painted aluminum. I got a few scratches in it and rather then fix it just stripped the paint off. Now it's in silver and actually looks better in my opinion.

It's not expensive so it's a good option for a knock around gun. I used to just throw it in the trunk and not worry too much, wasn't as careful with it as I usually am when transporting/shooting but still sight has stayed true and works flawlessly. Few dings in the wood here and there but nothing else really.

I'd say if you want a handy little gun with a great action at a cheap price that you can just do what you want with, go with the Henry

June 7, 2008, 04:12 PM
I don't put scopes on my lever guns. You lose the great fast handling characteristics. I do put scopes on my bolt guns and the larger semiautos. For a blast that will eat up many bricks of ammo, learn point or snap shooting with your lever .22. When you gain a little proficiency, try them on "running rabbit" clays.

Plus one on iron sights for lever actions.

I own both a Marlin 39a and a Henry Golden Boy. I agree with all of the above comments about the quality of the Marlin. The Henry is a fun little rifle, but I can't see myself passing it down to grand children like the Marlin. As someone else mentioned though, Henry has the best customer service in the industry.

I installed a Lyman peep sight and a Williams fire sight on my Marlin, and couldn't be happier with both the accuracy and handling.

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