Marlin 39A vs Henry 22 Lever Action Rifle.....


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asquires2
August 20, 2009, 03:43 PM
which 22 is the cream of the crop, the Marlin 39A or the Henry H001?

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jtheise4
August 20, 2009, 03:47 PM
I looked at purchasing both rifles you've mentioned. The Marlin seemed like a better rifle, but was MUCH more expensive and didn't seem worth the extra money. I ended up purchasing the Henry and have been extremely happy. Its more accurate than I am and fun to shoot.

ArmedBear
August 20, 2009, 03:48 PM
39A: machined-steel, takedown design, made in the USA with few changes since the 1890s, Annie Oakley's exhibition gun over a century ago

H001: smooth, cheap, fun, attractive, a German design now made in the US, mystery metal receiver

The 39A is the better gun. For the price, it'd better be, but it's worth more, too.

The Henry, especially in its basic, least-expensive form, is worth getting and shooting.

fireman 9731
August 20, 2009, 05:01 PM
The Marlin 39A is the cream of the crop.

But that sure doesn't mean that I don't love my Henry with its silky slicker than snot on a greased door knob action :)

asquires2
August 20, 2009, 05:18 PM
Yeah the Marlin is about $200 more than the Henry . The Marlin has a nice design and the Henry is plain jane. The Marlin comes in a 24" barrel, the Henry comes in 18 1/4 " barrel. I had a Marlin and somehow my father ended up with it , I still dont know how that happened but now I need another 22 lever action.

ArmedBear
August 20, 2009, 05:25 PM
I have two Marlins, myself, so I have my prejudices. But you sure won't find a lot of people on here, complaining about their Henry .22s.:)

Nematocyst
August 20, 2009, 05:31 PM
Asquires, drop by over here (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=261635) and ask that question.

Guess what answer you'll get? :D

ArmedBear
August 20, 2009, 05:47 PM
A little BMW 128i is a nicer car to drive than a little Chevy Aveo on a number of levels.

That doesn't mean the Chevy isn't a better choice when one is on a budget.:)

Nematocyst
August 20, 2009, 05:54 PM
I concur.

BMW owners are a little biased, nonetheless. :)

aka108
August 20, 2009, 06:01 PM
Bought my Marlin in '55. Bought a Henry about 8 or 9 years ago. Still have the Marlin. The action on the Henry was smoother than the Marlin. That was the Henry's finer point. The Marlin offers better (all steel) construction, easier take-down for cleaning, better in the accuracy department, at least for me. It is however 2x or so higher priced than the Henry. From past ownership experience, if I had neither, I'd exercise a little patience and save the extra bucks for the Marlin 39. You really can't knock either firearm, just depends upon what you are willing to part with money wise.

SwampWolf
August 20, 2009, 06:41 PM
The 39 costs more because it costs more to make. But worth every penny imo.

jmr40
August 20, 2009, 07:11 PM
The Henry is a good inexpensive gun that will do the job for most people. It is not in the same league as the Marlin however. The Marlin is a gun that will passed down for generations.

SGW42
August 20, 2009, 07:22 PM
I have a 39A but if I were to get a Henry it'd be the H001T, with the octagon barrel and Marble's sights. Actually I'd be going after that nice slide-action, assuming I had money to burn.

What turned me off on them though is that the manufacturer doesn't recommend taking them down at all (no instructions even included).

22-rimfire
August 20, 2009, 07:23 PM
No question that the Marlin 39A is the better rifle. You pay for it, but it is in my opinion worth the extra money. You can find them used for a pretty fair price if you look.

The Browning BL-22 is also a great little rifle. I have been looking for a Winchester 9422 to keep my Marlin 39A company.

Glockman17366
August 20, 2009, 07:23 PM
I had a Henry as my first .22 rifle in years. I now have a 39A which I truly love. My choice would be the 39A, but I'd recommend a Henry H001 to anyone looking for a lower cost .22 lever action rifle.

BTW, I bought my 39A used...and the price wasn't much more then a new Henry H001.

Pweller
August 20, 2009, 07:39 PM
I have a 39A that I bought new a few years ago. This may be an unpopular thing to say, but the internals of the Marlin are very poorly finished. I would rank the outside appearance of the gun a 9/10, and the internals about a 3/10. There are lots of machining marks, and the action is fairly rough. I spent quite a few hours trying to smooth out the action, and I was able to make about a 30% improvement. (The internal finishing on my Kel-tec was far better than my Marlin.) The new ones also have a recoiling hammer arrangement, so it makes a real nice 'sproing' sound when you fire it. :rolleyes:

The Henry, of course, has an alloy receiver. I don't have any experience with them. Personally, I'd recommend looking carefully at the Henry, Browning, and Winchester and then making a decision. Don't do like I did and assume that the Marlin looks just as nice on the inside as it does on the outside.

Make sure you work the action on them in the store to see if that is satisfactory. Of course, I may be a lot fussier than some about the definition of 'smooth', so it may not bother you at all.

arnie08515
August 20, 2009, 08:11 PM
I just bought the Henry H001 and love it. Shoots fine and just like the gun. I opted out of the golden boy though as I plan on also getting the Marlin 39A. The Henry is plenty for me and I am happy with it. Nicely made for me. But I think I'll just add the 39A a little later.

dfariswheel
August 20, 2009, 08:27 PM
The Henry is a stamped and cast rifle that will be worn out in 20 years or so, and will have little value after a couple of years of use.

The Marlin 39-A is a forged and milled steel, American Walnut legend that will only be smoother and more accurate in 40 years and will have a higher value than when it was new.

Your great grand kids will be battling viciously to see who gets the Marlin long after you're gone.

Brian Williams
August 20, 2009, 09:27 PM
I have a Marlin, and have shot the Henry, it is like the S&W and Taurus debate, the 45 v. 9mm, etc.

richamor
August 20, 2009, 11:09 PM
I wonder how many of these Henrys will still be shooting (and shooting well!) 100 years from now.

ArmedBear
August 20, 2009, 11:17 PM
I wonder how many of these Henrys will still be shooting (and shooting well!) 100 years from now.

Not many. The Marlin is a much better rifle, and if not abused or left to rust, it will be around in 100 years. There are some now that are.

I just think the Henry is a viable option for a fine plinker, even though I haven't bought one, won't get one, have two Marlins, and would strongly recommend the Marlin.

Nematocyst
August 20, 2009, 11:22 PM
The Marlin is a much better rifle, and if not abused or left to rust, it will be around in 100 years. Let's play with that a bit.

Given proper care, how long could one last?

100? 1000? 10,000?

JohnBT
August 21, 2009, 09:37 AM
I don't know, forever? I've had my Golden 39-A Mountie since 1963, so that's 46 years and counting.

JT

Temp430
August 21, 2009, 10:04 AM
I love my Browning BL-22. I've had it since 1974 and it still looks new and drives tacks. If you're in the market for a 22 lever action I suggest you try out a BL-22 at your local gun store.

CajunBass
August 21, 2009, 10:46 AM
The Henry seems to be a nice little rifle/carbine.

But it's no Marlin. The Marlin costs twice as much because it's worth it.

ArmedBear
August 21, 2009, 10:51 AM
Given proper care, how long could one last?

100? 1000? 10,000?

Not sure. But I've seen them at about the century mark, and they still look a lot like my 39M. So I can say FOR SURE they'll go for 100 years without a problem.

1891, 1892 and 1897 were previous model designations. The 39M I have is virtually identical to the 1897 20" octagon model, except that the 39M has the slightly-different high-velocity bolt. The old 1897s I've handled still look like my 39M, apart from the blue and wood looking older. So I can say for sure that they'll go for 100 years without a problem. My 39M has already gone for 36 and looks close to new.:)

Joe Demko
August 21, 2009, 12:11 PM
The present Henry rifles bear no relation to the earlier ones. The Marlin's construction is what makes it more expensive and more likely to last.
As I understand it, the Henry's frame is cast from one of the zinc alloys commonly referred to as Zamak. My experience with guns using Zamak for major components is that they do not last nearly as long as guns using steel or even aluminum for the same purposes. Zamak gets brittle with age, you see. For example, the "vintage" Transformers toys of the 80's had some cast Zamak parts; today's toy collectors handle them very gently because breakage is an issue if they are handled roughly or dropped. These toys are only roughly 25 years old. I have guns in my collection older than that which I bought new! Henry rifles, like other pot metal guns, are a disposable item IMO.

ArmedBear
August 21, 2009, 12:21 PM
there are Henry rifles from the 1870's that are still working today

The original Henry was made starting around 1860 by the New Haven Arms Company. The company and the rifle's brand were renamed Winchester in 1866, when the post-war successor to the first Henry came out.

The first Henry was really the first Winchester. The New Haven factory closed its doors only a few years ago, and AFAIK never sold their designs to anyone. Uberti does make replicas of the 1860 and 1866 rifles -- nice ones, and for more money than anything Henry Repeating currently sells, I believe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_rifle

The modern Henry Repeating Arms Company has nothing to do with Winchester, and never did. They have never made a rifle using the Henry design. The .22 they currently produce is based, AFAIK, on a German-made Ithaca from the 1960s. Again AFAIK, they bought the design.

Martini-Henry rifles have nothing to do with either, and were designed and built by the Brits starting in 1871. They're single shot falling-block rifles, more similar to a Sharps than to any lever gun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martini-Henry

shoot
August 21, 2009, 04:39 PM
In response to Pweller's very interesting post, I have attached a picture of the inner machining of my own 2007 39A. I hope you can see the machining marks which do seem somewhat rough. Perhaps there is a reason it is made this way. If it were perfectly smooth inside lubricating oils might tend to leak out. Any sand or gummed oil might stay out of harms way in the bottom of the grooves; I don't know. I wonder if the ones made 50 or so years ago were machined the same way on the inside.
I chose to buy my Marlin after looking at the other makes because it had the feel of something made 100 years ago. The other rifles were all good in their own way but there is just something about the "heritage" of the Marlin. How much longer will they keep making them?

ArmedBear
August 21, 2009, 05:17 PM
How much longer will they keep making them?

'Til Cerberus makes them switch to plastic?:D

HardShell
August 21, 2009, 05:35 PM
I have both and enjoy both.

As has been said, and rightly so, the Henry's are very nice little rifles and a good value for their cost IMO but they really aren't even in the same league with the 39A, a true "classic."

(I will go further to say that Henry is a great company to deal with, owned/run by very likeable folks who work hard to support the RKBA -- no Henry-basher here.)

shoot
August 21, 2009, 08:40 PM
Thanks for refreshing my memory Armed Bear. I had forgotten that Marlin was sold to Remington in 2008, who in turn are one of many companies owned by Cerebus. I don't know what kind of effect this will have on Marlin's products if any. To me it's kind of sad to see them go from 100+ years of independent ownership and now to be under a huge holding company.

jbkebert
August 21, 2009, 10:43 PM
I have a 39A but if I were to get a Henry it'd be the H001T, with the octagon barrel and Marble's sights. Actually I'd be going after that nice slide-action, assuming I had money to burn.


I bought my son the H001t for his tenth birthday a fun little rifle to shoot. I was surprised at how accurate they are. We have a pile of blue rock broken in the back yard.

http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww241/jbkebert/keiganrifle155.jpg

http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww241/jbkebert/keiganrifle145.jpg

tubeshooter
August 22, 2009, 12:14 AM
I have a 39a, and it's great.

I don't own a Henry, but I have to say that I like what I hear about their attitude towards RKBA, their products and their customers. If I were to get another .22 for knock-around and/or loaner purposes, I would strongly consider a base-model Henry just as a vote of confidence. Most customers seem satisfied.


The Marlin is twice the price, and not really directed at the same market. Not a completely apples-to-apples comparison IMO.

Dollar An Hour
August 22, 2009, 12:39 AM
Where does the Browning BL-22 fit in here? I know it is shorter and lighter than the 39A, and a bit less expensive.

shoot
August 22, 2009, 11:09 AM
Could someone please let me know what "RKBA" means. Thanks.:confused:

tubeshooter
August 22, 2009, 11:34 AM
Right to Keep and Bear Arms.


Basically another way of referencing the 2nd Amendment.

22-rimfire
August 22, 2009, 12:03 PM
The Browning BL-22's are great little lever action rifles. They have a underbarrel tubular magazine. They are not target grade accurate, but will do as well as most Marlin 39A's. They have a short lever stroke that makes them fast and the action is generally silky smooth. I don't own one, but I have shot them. The stock is a little short for me, but they make a great little squirrel or small game rifle and the shorter stock makes them quick pointing. They came in several different grades and tend to run about what a used Marlin 39A runs or a tad more.

ijosef
August 22, 2009, 12:14 PM
I have a 39A that I bought new a few years ago. This may be an unpopular thing to say, but the internals of the Marlin are very poorly finished. I would rank the outside appearance of the gun a 9/10, and the internals about a 3/10. There are lots of machining marks, and the action is fairly rough. I spent quite a few hours trying to smooth out the action, and I was able to make about a 30% improvement. (The internal finishing on my Kel-tec was far better than my Marlin.) The new ones also have a recoiling hammer arrangement, so it makes a real nice 'sproing' sound when you fire it.
Is that the same as the quick rebound hammer that Winchester switched to on their model 94's before ceasing production? I know it's supposed to be safer, but I really prefer the old style hammers that landed flush. Half-cock safety is good enough for me as well - I don't like the cross-bolt safeties at all.

fishinfoo
August 22, 2009, 01:00 PM
I have my dads marlin 39a and for a 56 year old gun it shoots purdy well

Carl N. Brown
August 22, 2009, 01:36 PM
Shoot #31: I have a 1950s made 39 Mountie and the internals have the same degree of machining marks, internally rough, externally smooth. I don't know if it is a deliberate design intent, but it does leave space for fouling to get out of the way between cleanings. (Your cartridge carrier seems to have a nice brass patina to it.)

Back to Opening Post: I have a Marlin 39 Mountie and would not trade it for the Henry. That said, the Henry appears identical to the Ithaca and Erma leveractions designs and those I know who own them like them (Henrys) just as much as I like my Marlin 39M.

76shuvlinoff
August 22, 2009, 01:44 PM
I have my dads marlin 39a and for a 56 year old gun it shoots purdy well

My dad is 88 and his '52 39A would now be 57. He won't let me have it yet so I have to be content with my 79...

:cool:

SwampWolf
August 22, 2009, 02:48 PM
He won't let me have it yet

What do you mean "yet"? The man is almost ninety! You'd think you'd have picked up a hint or two by now as to whether he intends to keep it or give it away. :p

Nematocyst
August 22, 2009, 03:08 PM
The man is almost ninety! <smiles>

Hey, when it comes to 39's, most of us hope to keep shooting it past 95. ;)

HardShell
August 23, 2009, 09:35 AM
Could someone please let me know what "RKBA" means. Thanks.:confused:

My apologies.

I assumed anyone on this site knows that acronym well... and you know what happens when you assume. :o

Griff56
August 23, 2009, 11:21 AM
Maybe he doesn't think you are old enough to be trusted with it yet.

vicdotcom
August 23, 2009, 05:05 PM
I bought my son the H001t for his tenth birthday a fun little rifle to shoot. I was surprised at how accurate they are. We have a pile of blue rock broken in the back yard.
Looks like a great setup in the yard and looks like a lot of fun! But no eyewear or hearing protection? From family experience, even a .22 outdoors can serously damage hearing over time. My father-in-law shot strictly .22's and is deaf in his right ear and partially in the left now.

Pony Express
August 23, 2009, 07:30 PM
im not sure about the 39A but i know the henry has some pretty crude sights. i put a cheap bb gun scope on my henry and thats that, but it would be nice to have a gun with better irons.

jbkebert
August 23, 2009, 11:10 PM
Looks like a great setup in the yard and looks like a lot of fun! But no eyewear or hearing protection? From family experience, even a .22 outdoors can serously damage hearing over time. My father-in-law shot strictly .22's and is deaf in his right ear and partially in the left now.

Point well taken. I am usually pretty stern about eyes and ears. I had just given him the rifle maybe 20 minutes before and neither one of us waited to shoot. No excuse I know but didn't take the time to do it right.:banghead:

SwampWolf
August 24, 2009, 06:56 AM
All's true about the lack of eye and ear protection but you're to be commended for starting your boy off right. Great pictures too.

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