Marlin compared to Henry


June 8, 2011, 12:40 AM
Many years ago I had a Marlin Golden 39A. I had it scoped with a 3-9 X Bushnell. Right off the bat, I started to notice several blemishes on the stock. I don't know how I overlooked one which was a half dollar size! After trying out several brands of ammo, the gun jammed numerous times. And the action was very heavy, not smooth. It was as if it were binding.

Disgusted, I had to send it back to Marlin at my expense and tons of paperwork from CA to have it worked on and the stock replaced. As I recall, they sent me a new rifle. How nice. The stock was reasonable... Again, the rifle jammed every few rounds! HUH???!!! ANY ammo run thru it jammed. So again it went back to Marlin. They apologized and "fixed it." I am now out of $100 in shipping fees, etc. And I don't have a rifle to shoot. Again, a new one came to me. Same problems. I gave up and sold it.

Then I bought a Marlin Papoose. Never had a problem, even tho I tried hard to jam it, firing 25 rounds as fast as I cold pull the trigger. Any ammo would cycle. Pretty good accuracy too.

Fast forward to today. I have a Henry Golden Boy .22 It is perfect. No problems. Far more accurate than any other rifle I have ever shot in any caliber! Will it last for 100 years? I won't be around to see it, will you? The Henry is a work of art. I buy a gun for accuracy. When it wears out, I buy a new one.

The Henry will outshoot ANY other rifle -- especially ANYTHING Ruger or Marlin have. The 10-22 was the second worst firearm I ever shot. It never shot the same place twice! LOL Hope this sheds some light on this issue.

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June 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
Saying that a henry 22 will outshoot "any other rifle" is a bit of hyperbole. I have several marlins that have been excelent, both reliable and accurate. My marlin 1895 will shoot MOA with the right ammo. I'm sorry your experience was different but I know many people who would disagree.

June 8, 2011, 01:39 AM
marlins have too heavy of a trigger pull for me. i've noticed the quality of henry's are step up from marlin as well.

i don't know it'll outshoot anything, but henry gets my vote :)

June 8, 2011, 01:56 AM
That is not true in my case. I have a Ruger 77/22 MKII that outshoots my Golden Boy everytime, all day long. MY GB shoots low left by 3"-6" all day long where my Ruger 77/22 shoots MOA.

June 8, 2011, 01:57 AM
Glad you are happy with your Henry. Tis the way it is supposed to be. I'll stick with my Marlin 39A. Outshoot? Henry 22's are known for acceptable accuracy, not great accuracy. You need to broaden your horizons a bit past $250 22 rifles....

June 8, 2011, 04:01 AM
My Henry 22 has the smoothest action of any lever gun I have tried. It came with a gorgeous stock, far nicer than my Marlin 1894 and at half the price.

June 8, 2011, 04:40 AM
Agree with the hyperbole comment. You may have an accurate rifle, fair enough. Saying it will outshoot any other rifle though is a claim you cannot back up in any sort of practical, reasonable manner. I have both marlins and Rugers that can shoot one hole 50 yard groups all day long. Thats accurate enough for me, but I won't claim them to be the best shooting rifles EVER. You haven't shed any light on anything with your post, aside from your belief you have a good rifle. Fair enough....I know many people happy with their Henry purchases. However, not a one of them is foolish enough to claim their rifle will outshoot any other. Anyone can make a claim of owning an accurate rifle...and depending on your particular definitioon of accuracy, they can make such a claim honestly. However, NO ONE can claim their gun will "outshoot all others" and anyone making such a claim had better be prepared to offer proof of their claims. A range report making such a claim, but absent of even a single measured group posted is, and should be, immediately suspect

June 8, 2011, 08:23 AM
Thanks for the smile ... a great way to start the day!

I have a couple of both, a 1949 Marlin 39A which is very slick from wear ... never mis-feeds makes golf balls dance at 50 yards and a new 1981 that I shot for the first time a couple weeks ago. Heavy trigger, stiff ... both made of walnut and real steel, blued; beautiful.

My Henry's ... one a basic model from walmart ... pretty smooth; the lever is getting sloppy, but it has a lot of rounds through it ... you can make pop cans dance at 50 ... light and handy, well balanced; its painted pot-metal and the wood is OK ... don't care for all the plastic on it; they can be upgraded. Never needed it but Henry is reported to have top-notch Customer Service ... #2 is a Golden boy engraved Blued barrel, some sort of gold alloy receiver with factory engraving, nice wood with brass fittings ... bought it thinking I would have my initials engraved in the space left for it ... shot 10 rounds ... Decent trigger and the lever is still stiff but it has the worst balance of any long-gun I own ...

In the end, both my daughter and grandson wanted to shoot "my rifle" the 49 Marlin 39A and grandson (8) said "This is the one I want when I grow up" ... which suprise me ... its not pretty or shiney and they saw past that.

All of them are tools and have their applications and limitations ... that said, the Marlins are the keepers.

June 8, 2011, 08:38 AM
Dang, that's the last straw, I'm selling the Mountie I got in '63 and buying a Henry.


June 8, 2011, 08:46 AM
Guns are like models and brands of cars YMMV. I have seen several Henrys and Tons of Marlins shoot great. I will agree with bout the Ruger 10/22 the one I had shot all over the place after 40 yards. IMO I got a Lemon because I shot other 10/22 that would hit golf balls at 70 yards.

June 8, 2011, 10:09 AM
Once again most are compareing an OLD Marlin to a new Henry. Have you guys looked at a NEW Marlin? I did and bought the Henry...... two of them actually, and both are doing just fine.

I do agree that not all of ANY brand build the most accurate guns, that's the luck of the draw. (i'm talking out of the box)


June 8, 2011, 10:19 AM
i've noticed the quality of henry's are step up from marlin as well.
Wishful thinking.

June 8, 2011, 11:18 AM

June 8, 2011, 02:55 PM
Wishful thinking.

personal observation.

June 8, 2011, 08:01 PM
Jeff56 said ....It's too bad really because we can read how fast a car will go from 0-60 but we just have to go on word of mouth to know what rifles are really accurate unless we get a MOA guarantee or something. And no rimfires do that AFAIK.

Actually some do. My Remington 547 has such a guarantee as do Coopers. Not so sure about Anshutz rimfires, but I'ver never heard of one that won't do 1 MOA.

Shep said...The Henry will outshoot ANY other rifle -- especially ANYTHING Ruger or Marlin have.

Many people that own the Ruger 77/22 will disagree with you, but since buying a 10-22, I became sort of negative toward Ruger 22 rifles. My 10-22 actually shoots okay for a 10-22. It actually does fine as my semi-auto plinker. Local gunshop has a 77/22 in 22WMR that I have an itch to give Ruger another chance over. :)

Marlin and Savage 22 rifles are pretty well known for their accuracy. The Marlin triggers aren't so great, but they shoot well in most cases. The Marlin M60 consistantly will surprise most people for accuracy for such an inexpensive 22 rifle.

Added: Welcome to THR. Don't sweat the sweeping generalization. Many of us will do that at one time or another. I believe I said that about a Remington 541-S that I own at one point and I quickly learned about generalizations. It's still my favorite 22 rifle even though my Weatherby and Remington 547 will out shoot it.

June 8, 2011, 08:03 PM


Your statement about how your Henry will outshoot "any other rifle", especially anything Marlin or Ruger makes brought a smile to my old face...

Wow, what a statement to put in a first post..

I congratulate you on having the most accurate rimfire rifle made, and I'm sure my applause will be echoed by those owners of other makes of rimfire rifles all over America..

Guess that statement puts to rest the idea that some of us have that EVERY quality firearms manufacturer of rimfire rifles have some that go "out the door" extremely accurate, while others less so...

Over my almost half a century of shooting firearms, I've had a pile of rimfire rifles in particular come and go, and some were average in accuracy, some above average, and a couple surprisingly accurate... But each shooter has his/her own limitations as regards vision, steadiness of hand, and inherent skill as a marksman, NO MATTER HOW INHERENTLY ACCURATE A PARTICULAR FIREARM MIGHT BE, so chances are excellent that magnificent Henry you are bragging about just might not shoot worth a crap for my tired old eyes and hands, even tho it performs miracles for you.

I have several rimfire rifles, none of which are Henry.. I have no issue with Henry, as it seems most folks who own 'em, love 'em.. But Henry's are as common as wood ticks in my little redneck part of the woodlands of S.E. Georgia, and I just prefer something a bit different..

For example my Marlin Model 39 Century Limited (1970 mfg) with the Model 70 Redfield peep sight...

If your Henry is any prettier, or more accurate than my CL I'd be just a bit surprised... ;)

It's accurate enough for my tastes, and it's not "plated" anything...

No offense..


June 8, 2011, 08:30 PM
If a marlin .22 doesn't shoot MOA it probably isn't the rifle.

June 8, 2011, 08:55 PM
I have a Marlin 39A and the Henry Golden Boy. If I could only keep one, I would keep the Henry. In terms of accuracy, I can't really tell them apart. The Henry's action is slick and effortless. The Marlin, not so much.

June 9, 2011, 12:43 AM
I have both and the Marlin wins hands down. The Henry is a nice rifle, but simply can't shoot with the Marlin. The Henry is a fine rifle though and should instill pride of ownership. My Henry came with plastic sights, which seems a bit out of place on a leveraction.

I am glad you guys are happy with your Henry's! As long as we are out shooting and having fun, that's all that matters.

June 9, 2011, 01:12 AM
Saying that a henry 22 will outshoot "any other rifle" is a bit of hyperbole. I have several marlins that have been excelent, both reliable and accurate. My marlin 1895 will shoot MOA with the right ammo. I'm sorry your experience was different but I know many people who would disagree.
When I post or comment on anything, I tend to generalize, erroneously assuming others understand or read between the lines. As a old Navy guy who served with a SEAL Team as a part-time sniper until my eyesight deteriorated far beyond the Navy's waiver limits, I believe I know a lot about shooting and accuracy. No quality control is perfect. All sniper rifles are re-made by the services to make them better and more accurate. And even then, each one is different in some way. Same with Marlins and Henry's. MY Henry Golden Boy is good enough for a .22. It is very pretty, appealing, etc. Certainly for my old eyes! LOL There is NO plated or painted metal on my Golden Boy. It is not solid brass (as it should be in my opinion), nor is it gold. For weight purposes Henry used a zinc type or whatever metal. What- E V E R..... It is not important. I am not Annie Oakly. I am also a photojournalist. I do not need a $8,000 camera body and a 3,000 dollar lens to photograph a masterpiece. It is my "vision," my brain -- not the camera or rifle -- which determines my success or failure at the range or studio. The Marlin has a history, but even with repeated efforts by Marlin, the quality was not here at that time. At what point do you have a "right" to get disgusted and change to another brand?? I shoot about once a month if even that. But I love and respect precision and quality. My Henry displays all that. A hammer is a hammer is a hammer as long as it works. My Henry cost me a little less than $485. How much does a .22. Cal Marlin 39 cost. When I bought mine about 20 years ago, it was about $250. I spent over $150 in postage in shipping costs all total.

I hope this clears up my choice of words and phrases in my original post and comments. I didn't expect such nit-picking and anger from fellow gun aficionados!!!

June 9, 2011, 09:11 AM
Hang in there Shep ...

Marlin has a strong following here ... note the 39A club thread!

Don't let them run you off ... remember this is the internet and its just for fun!

June 9, 2011, 12:18 PM
I didn't expect such nit-picking and anger from fellow gun aficionados!!!

Then maybe you should refrain from engaging in the very same "nitpicking and anger" you so object to that you exhibited in your first post on The High Road :rolleyes:: The Henry will outshoot ANY other rifle -- especially ANYTHING Ruger or Marlin have. The 10-22 was the second worst firearm I ever shot. It never shot the same place twice! LOL

June 9, 2011, 01:05 PM
Well I will say this, Marlin is not what it used to be. When they where bought out they changed for the worse.

I have been flat out refused service from Marlin customer service. Add to that a close friend bought a new Marlin 60 that was missing the rear sight and had a big gash in the stock. How hard would it be to miss problems like that? Thats terrible quality control In my mind.

I refuse to buy a "new" Marlin. Used is another deal altogether though. They were once a great firearms company and there is alot of fine used Marlins out there.

June 9, 2011, 02:51 PM
We only know what the words on the screen say. When it reads like a statement of fact, I know I assume the writer meant it that way.

Some of us know quite a bit about guns and accuracy, too.


June 9, 2011, 07:48 PM
Nice explanation, but shooting comes down to a five letter word.


Breath, Relax, Aim, Take out the slack, & squeeze the trigger.

June 9, 2011, 07:54 PM
The problem really arises when folks speak very vaguely about accuracy. "My rifle is VERY accurate". We all have different standards and "very accurate" can mean very different things to different people. Even 'some' who seem to know what they're talking about can throw out some very well-meaning but equallyworthless statements. Such as, "my rifle shoots MOA". When what they really mean is that " day, I decided to stop shooting tin cans and actually bench test my rifle and it clustered three shots into an inch but will never go so again for as long as I live". Versus actually averaging MOA or better over several consecutive five shot groups and over more than one range session.

June 9, 2011, 08:06 PM
CraigC, you know some of us have been really shooting a long time, and when we say MOA about one of our rifles. We mean it.
I mean it about my Model 60 and my XL7 .25-06, my AR-15 would do it also when I had it.
This is not just a fluke. I mean every time I shot those rifles, I would shoot MOA with them.

I would like to add this addendum.

I stick to the BRASS method of shooting. Some guns will not give you MOA even if you perfect the BRASS method of shooting. Just sayin.

Sorry, OP. Got off topic.

June 9, 2011, 08:17 PM
I am A big marlin fan. I have 5 Marlin lever actions. Since Remmington took over they are shipping garbage out the door on A regular basis. I would buy A new Marlin only if i can inspect it closly before buying. has A forum dedicated to new Marlin complaints. Lots of bad stories.

Thankfully there are many fine rifles on the used gun market.

June 9, 2011, 09:54 PM
I hate to say it but it can get much worse. This is the internet after all. There's always someone spoiling for an argument and many of them won't take "leave me alone" for an answer.

These threads often remind of the famous (and great) argument sketch on Monty Python:

June 10, 2011, 12:21 AM
I believe most all firearms are decent. Marlin customer service to me was just fine. They did their best to correct the problems -- twice to no avail. I chose the Henry for looks, fit and finish, general quality, weight and most important the smoothness of the action. Henry admits to having a plastic part inside the action which has not broken or impaired the action. Other than that one small part, the Golden Boy ( $500 plus!)-- not the basic, cheap, one is all metal. As I have severe arthritis, I cannot heft a heavier firearm comfortably. And in the end, it is the mostly the shooter who decides how accurate a firearm is. That is why sniper training is so intense.

Jim NE
June 10, 2011, 01:18 PM
I also had a 10/22 that was terribly innaccurate. Also had a long barrel single six that wouldn't shoot worth a darn. Ruger's an excellent company...I own a good one right now...but I don't automatically assume everyone of them is good like some folks do. they're kind of like Chevrolet - most of what they make is fine, but there are lemons.

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