1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

.22 lever action question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hardware, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Hardware

    Hardware Well-Known Member

    I've been considering picking up a .22 lever action recently. I took a look at one of the Henry .22 rifles and discovered they load from the muzzle end of the tube magazine.

    Are there any .22 rifles that load through a gate on the receiver? I realize the size of the round might make the gate ridiculously small.
  2. steelhead

    steelhead Well-Known Member

    Negative. Your options are from the top of the tube magazine or from the butt stock.
  3. M110

    M110 Well-Known Member

    I have the Henry in .22 LR and the action is veeerrryyyy smooth. Shoots great, and accurate. Didn't like the micro groove on the Marlin .22, so went with the Henry. very glad I did.
  4. Steve H

    Steve H Well-Known Member

    I went with the Henry Golden Boy. Glad I did. It's a GREAT gun. Now I'm thinking about the Henry .44mag.
  5. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    I've had several variants of both Henry and Marlin.

    I don't believe _any_ .22 levers load from a side gate. Muzzle-end, buttstock, or detach mag are your options. The muzzle-end loading is fine once you get used to it. A side-gate variant would be really annoying, trying to jam 18 rounds through it all day. With the muzzle-loading you can just pour them in.

    My vague impressions:

    Marlin: little heavier, very solid walnut/steel construction. Little stiff in all the ones I've tried.

    Henry: little lighter if compard to Marlin carbine, _much_ lighter if compared to Marlin full-size 39A .22. Hardwood stocks, steel main parts, aluminum receiver. Not really a big deal, as almost every .22 receiver on the market is aluminum (Marlin, Ruger, etc). Lever is _far_ lighter due to being a totally different link system, invented in the 1960s vs. 1860s.

    I'd just try 'em both and go with your gut. Or pocketbook as the case may be. The base Henrys go for $208 at Academy Sports chain-stores. Marlins go around $400 new.

    Good luck,

  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Gate loading tube magazine .22s have only been tried twice that I know of.
    The Colt Lightning pump had an arrangement where a loading block with the head of the magazine tube pushed out to the right of the receiver.

    The early Marlin 1891 .22 and .32 rimfires had a real gate on the receiver, same location but different design to centerfires'. But they went to the frontloader in the late version 1891 and all later rimfires from 1892 to date. Must be some difficulty getting the little cartridges through a gate and into the tube; and then back out to shoot.

    Note that even the Henry Big Boy .44 is a frontloader; as is the Rossi .454 Casull. Must be cheaper to make the dual tubes than to design and build a gate.

    Same deal, I have always thought a deluxe .22 bolt action ought to have a fixed magazine that loaded from the top. But no takers.
  7. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    Browning makes 'em all look cheap...

    You'll be doing yourself a big disservice if you don't check out the Browning BL-22. The Henry is a pretty nice rifle, but in my own opinion, the Browning is by far the finest lever action .22 you will find at any price...
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    If you buy a Henry, be advised that the bluing is really paint. If you use some stronger solvents for cleaning, you'll end up with bare metal.
  9. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    According to my dad, who is the most credible expert on guns I will ever know, the Henry is excellent. His comment was that it had the smoothest action he had ever felt on a .22 lever. Having no reason to doubt him, I report this to you with confidence.

    Also, as reported earlier, your out of luck with a .22 that will load via a gate. Even if you could, it seems to me that loading a tube from a gate with a round as small as a .22 would be a major pain.
  10. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    Are you referring to the bluing on the steel, or to the coating on the aluminum receiver?

    I'm pretty dang sure the barrel and other steel parts are properly blued.

    The receiver has a dark coating, since aluminum won't blue. I'm sure that certain solvents may be incompatible with that coating. However, the same would apply to almost every .22 rifle on the market. If I'm not mistaken, the Browning uses an aluminum receiver too.

    I have a Ithaca 72 (now called a Henry carbine), and I recently bought an 18" Marlin Mountie lever .22 . The Ithaca/Henry is quite satisfactory, but between the two I'm keeping the Marlin, since it's only slightly heavier, and I like the idea that it's solid steel. However, the Ithaca replaced my previous .22 lever (Marlin 39A) since that 24" sucker was too heavy for a .22. So for me Marlin Mountie > Ithaca 72 > Marlin 39A.

    I freely admit that the Henry has a far, far smoother lever, and somewhat better trigger. I'm hoping that the 1961 Marlin Mountie will get better with some graphite and heavy use.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006

    PMATULEW Well-Known Member

    Love my Henry

    Very Happy with mine. Just fish around until you find ammo that it likes.

    Cleaning concerns: Haven't had any issues with the paint or wood finish coming off using any of the standard commerical gun cleaning products. Steel parts are standard bluing.

    Action is very smooth for 500~750 rounds at a time. (I mostly shoot sooty Remy stuff). Once it gets really dirty in there the action gets stiff, the firing pin get gummed up, and you start getting misfires. Best way to clean it is a complete dissasemble.

    Be advised that when you take receiver cover off you'll likely have to re-zero your scope if you have one mounted.
  12. trainwreck100

    trainwreck100 Well-Known Member

    I got a Ruger, it's my favorite shooter right now, dead on accurate and uses 10/22 mags and accessories (except scope mounts), not the prettiest on the market, but cheap and fun to shoot.

  13. treeprof

    treeprof Well-Known Member

    The Browning is a blued, steel reciever. I think that the Henry is a rather good bargain, but I already own Marlins and Brownings and have no interest in adding a Henry to my stable at the moment.
  14. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Well-Known Member

    I like the Marlin 39M. I've had mine for nearly thirty years now, and it just keeps getting slicker. The 18" bbl and straight-grip stock make it a good deal handier than the full-sized rifle out in the squirrel woods. Worth checking the shows and shops for, IMO.

    While the action on a new Marlin, or most any other brand new production rifle, might seem a bit stiff OTB it'll get better the more you use it. After a couple of thousand rounds you'll be amazed at the difference.

    I don't have any particular animus toward the Henry. I had one back when Erma Werke first brought them out, and it worked just fine. It just never had that solid feel to it that the Marlin and Browning have and I never seemed to be able to shoot it as well as the others.

    If something a bit different appeals to you, check out the Ruger 96. Very similar in profile to the Savage 99 and a sweet little carbine. A bit more than the Henry at retail, but a good deal less than a 39A.
  15. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Well-Known Member

    Browning makes 'em all look cheap...

    You'll be doing yourself a big disservice if you don't check out the Browning BL-22. The Henry is a pretty nice rifle, but in my own opinion, the Browning is by far the finest lever action .22 you will find at any price...

    I own the BL-22 (my first rimfire, got it for X-mas 26 years ago). I did own a Marlin 39.
    The Browning is the best out of the box. It handles and balances better, and the practical accuracy is incredible (others may be better off a rest, but in the field nothing compares). The Browning has a short lever throw that makes quick follow-up shots a breeze.
    The Marlin has a longer action, so follow-up shots are much slower. However, it is a very accurate gun as well (maybe a better target gun than the Browning). The chief benefit of the Marlin is the availability of aftermarket peep sights, tang sights, and other accessories. Its design is over a century old, I believe. This is an important factor, as my eyes have a harder time with the Browning sights than I did when I was 11.
    Anyway, I would compare the Browning and the Marlin. They are the class of the lever action rimfires.
  16. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    Haven't had any accuracy complaints about the Ithaca/Henry, only major drawbacks are that it's made in a simpler fashion from simpler materials, and is not as user-serviceable as the Marlin. The manual actually says not to disassemble it, FWIW.

    But at half the price of a Marlin 39A, 2/3 the price of a Browning (?), it's a pretty neat little gun. Unfortunately, you don't get as much gun for your buck with levers as with semis. I'd say that the Henry is about equal to a semi-auto Marlin 60, all things considered, but almost twice the price. $208 is a lot of cash to some, not so much to others.

  17. f4t9r

    f4t9r Well-Known Member

    in 22 lever action , A great gun is the Marlin 39A
    loads from the top like most and has been a great shooter for along time !!!!
  18. 270Win

    270Win Well-Known Member

    I love my Henry! Another good report here on the H001. Mine now wears a Williams peep sight, it's a big improvement.
  19. 270Win

    270Win Well-Known Member

    Man... my computer really went nuts with that one...
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  20. 270Win

    270Win Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006

Share This Page