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Henry Golden Boy, Marlin, or Winchester ???

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by cherzog, Oct 7, 2012.

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  1. cherzog

    cherzog Member

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    I have been wanting a lever action 22 for a while and had been looking around for a Marlin or Winchester. After looking at a couple of the Henrys locally I am really interested. They seem to have quite a reputation and are made in the US. Cabela's has the Golden Boy for $400... what do ya'll think?
     
  2. DonP

    DonP Member

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    Well, I've got two of the ones you're considering.

    The Marlin 39A is an older one I picked up at a gun store, used at an obscenely low price. I'm using it to teach the grandkids with open sights. The fact that it's light and I can use .22 shorts, long or long rifle make it the cheapest rifle to shoot. After a basic clean up it shoots like a dream at 50 yards with open sights.

    The Henry Golden Boy uses the same variety of ammo, but is a lot heavier and seems to be a little more more of a showpiece with that brass receiver cover. But it's American made and a darn good shooter once you get past that receiver. We use the Marlin about twice as often as the Henry.

    Don't have a Winnie 9422, but I hear they are pretty good too.

    Given a choice I'd go with a good Marlin 39A, I think the newer ones are called "Mounties" and have a gold plated trigger?
     
  3. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    While I wouldn't get the Golden Boy (I like Blue Metal and Wood) the Henry's are good rifles. I have a preference for Marlins but the Henry's are good rifles.
     
  4. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    A Marlin 39A will last a lifetime and then become a family heirloom. I'm less familiar with the Winchester 9422 but understand that they are an excellent rifle as well. The Henry, while not necessarily a bad rifle, is just not in the same league with the other two that you mentioned. I owned a "Henry" 22 for a short while, back before they became popular and were still very reasonably priced (less than half what they are now), and frankly, when a friend offered to buy it I was glad to be rid of it. It worked OK, had decent wood and finish but many of its parts and internals were rather cheaply made. If you go with the Henry I would probably stay away from the "Golden Boy" if it were me. I'm not sure how durably that gold finish is but once it starts to go I'm guessing that it will look much worse than the blue model.
     
  5. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    I've had all 3 and I prefer my 39A without a doubt ... however I've heard rumor and Internet scuttlebutt that the current production new models have spotty QC.

    The Henry is ok but may be too heavy for youngsters unless they are sitting at a bench ... Keep in mind the receiver isn't brass; Henry calls it "Brasslite" it's some sort of a brass/aluminum alloy. For a youngster you might consider the standard Henry. I doubt it would ever be an heirloom as its receiver is painted pot metal, the barrel is only pinned on and has a plastic barrel band; but I've heard good reports and Henry is supposed to have top notch customer service.

    The winny 9422 I didn't like the feel of the lever (felt mushy) or the trigger, but YMMV.
     
  6. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    I have some of each and they're all good. Handle them all and choose the one that fits your budget and your body the best. If you want a Winchester then you'll have to pay quite a bit for a nice one, but they were built from forged steel receivers and are much smoother than any Marlin I've ever encountered. The finish on the Golden boy holds up just as well as most other finishes in my experience, and if you do ruin it somehow you can always paint it in the same manner as the other Henry rifles since it's made from the same alloy.

    Main thing is just get one and start enjoying it. If you decide you really like the lever rimfires, and I suspect you will, then you can always add more to the herd.

    Best of luck in your search!
     
  7. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    cherzog: I bought my Marlin 39A in 1963, first rifle I had ever bought. I still have it and I still hunt with it. I have shot 1000`s of rounds thru it over the years, and never a problem. The action is smooth as glass and a 100yd shot on a jackrabbit when I still had good eyes was fairly common. The old rifle still shoots as good as when it was new, mabey better. I have never shot a Henry so I can`t comment. A close friend had a Winchester Lever 22 and it was a real nice gun. But my Marlin had a longer barrel and would out shoot the Winchester. I have shot a truck load Jackrabbits, cottentails, squreliis, crows, pd`s, and ground hogs with my Old Marlin. So my choice would be a Old Marlin 39A, if I were pickin.
    GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken
     
  8. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

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    I own 2 39As, a 52 and a 77. Unless it's been seriously neglected or run over you can't go wrong with an older Marlin. I have not held or fired a new one so I can't speak to that.

    They are pretty salty, I saw a 1953 in great shape at the gun show this weekend with a $475 tag. I don't know if it sold at that price or not. Then again I saw an Armscor pos semi listed at $269, that's just ridiculous.
     
  9. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    If you can find a Winchester 9422 XTR, that's the one for me. I bought one in the early 1980's. Still a very sweet and accurate gun.
     
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I don't care for the Golden Boy at all. Too flashy. The standard Henry 22 is a decent shooter that will serve well. With their painted aluminum and plastic parts it will never have the long term value of either the Winchester of Marlin. If you just want a decent gun to shoot they are a good gun. If you are looking for a family heirloom that will be passed on proudly for generations get either the Marlin or Winchester.
     
  11. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Don't forget about the Browning BL-22, or maybe you're not considering one.

    I pulled mine out of the safe 2 weeks ago, for the first time in 15+ years. I had forgotten how much fun a lever .22 is! It was a blast. Quite accurate and it worked great. The guy I was shooting with had a brand new Henry. It was pretty slick as well, but it's more of a full-sized rifle compared to the smaller Browning. I think the Browning handles nicer though, and the 33 degree lever action is very quick and positive. Just a thought for you...
     
  12. jerry46

    jerry46 Member

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    I have two of the rifles you mentioned, the Winchester 9422 and an older Marlin 39A. The Winchester looks great. It is very smooth and shoots great groups. But there is just something about the Marlin. It is a little heavier, but feels great in your hand. On top of that, it is probably one of the most accurate guns I own. Every time I go to the range, I just seem to grab the Marlin. I bought it used and it doesn't look as good, but as I said earlier, there is just something about that gun.
     
  13. cherzog

    cherzog Member

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    Thanks for all of the ideas. I did decide against the Goldenboy. Just happened to start looking at the Browning... haven't ever seen one in real life. The pics on the net look good and the price is in line with the others from what I see.
     
  14. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Probably a good decision on the GB. The finish just isn't built to last on them. My friend has one and he didn't have it any time at all before it got a huge scratch. It shot decent but the front sight was canted quite a bit. I would probably choose the Marlin if I could find one made a few years ago. Marlin lever guns have had problems in recent years due to the change to new ownership.
     
  15. aHFo3

    aHFo3 Member

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    I bought my son the youth model Henry for his birthday this year. It does lack quality for reasons that others have already stated. I recently inherited my grandpa's Winchester 9422. It has much better finish and quality. I'd like to find a Marlin. I know the Mountie is a straight stocked shorter barrel model, while the standard has a curved grip and a longer barrel. Think carbine vs. rifle.
     
  16. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    As far as quality, the Winchester is the best of the bunch but they're commanding collector/speculator prices. They're all milled steel with no stampings, castings or plastic. The Browning is right behind it with the Marlins in third. The Marlins are good guns but often a little rough inside and out. The Henry is a distant fourth. Decent guns for the money, they're rather cheaply manufactured with a pot metal receiver and painted cover along with plastic parts.
     
  17. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I was in the LGS the other day and handled a few different lever action .22's - Browning BL-22, Marlin 39A, Henry H001, and Mossberg 464.

    The Browning handled better than the others but I don't like the sights - I much prefer the hooded front sight on the other rifles.

    The Marlin was a nice rifle but noticeably heavier than the others, not nearly as handy as the Browning or Henry rifles. The gold-colored trigger is just goofy.

    The Henry had the best sights and handles well but also has the cheapest construction.

    The Mossberg left little impression.

    I have not handled a Winchester 9422 but the prices are absurd.

    If the Browning had better sights it would be the clear winner...but it doesn't.
     
  18. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I purhased a brand new Marlin 39A in 1955 (before the ugly gold trigger business) and still give it frequent use. About 5 years ago I purchased a Henry. The Henry had about the smoothest lever action I ever felt. I could not get the same accuracy that I could get with the old Marlin. Also did not care for the off the shelf screws and lock washers that held the Henry's reciever together and the one I had used a lot of plastic exterior parts.
     
  19. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    I would agree that I don't really like the Browning sights all that much either, but if that's all that holds someone back, they could be changed. I'm sure there's a different leaf you could find for the rear, and the front will slide out of a dovetail. You could also put a Williams peep sight on it if you wanted to. What appeals to me about the Browning is how handy it is. Despite the sights, it's still pretty easy to hit a target spinner at 50 yards with it. :)

    Here's mine:

    bl22-2.jpg
     
  20. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    FWIW, ignoring costs my choices would be in this order:

    1. Winchester 9422
    2. Marlin 39A (pre-2010 manufacture)
    3. Henry Golden Boy
    4. Marlin 39A (post-2010 manufacture)
     
  21. VancMike

    VancMike Member

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    I've owned the 9422, the Marlin and the Browning.

    A used 9422 that's slightly beat would be my first choice, followed closely by the Browning. Alas, since 9422 production stopped, for a while, too many sellers were a little too proud and prices jumped. Lately, though, prices appear to be falling slightly, at least at the latest gun shows I've attended.

    But for all that, my experience is that Browning and Marlin quality-control is a little better......but maybe that's just me.
     
  22. cherzog

    cherzog Member

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    I found a like new 39AS. They say it was made in 1997... sounds like the ones made in the last 5 or so years aren't made as well since Marlin was sold. The best I can tell is that for most of the 90's they added the S (39AS) and have gone back to just the A (39A). Any advice on the 39AS? What would be a reasonable price... would the prices be the same as a 39A?
     
  23. cherzog

    cherzog Member

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    Got It!

    Thanks to all for the advice... couldn't wait anymore. Just picked up the 39AS and it really does look like new.
     
  24. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Many don't like the "AS" because it has the cross bolt safety rather than just using the hammer as your safety. I believe the 'S' is for the safety. I have an M39AS made in the late 80's. It shoots good. You do have to get used to the safety, but otherwise a fine adult sized lever action 22 rifle. I have no issues personally with the safety. I paid $380 last year for one in excellent condition at a gunshop. I felt that was a pretty good price. My thought is if you find one for under $450 in excellent condition, that's a pretty fair price.

    I found a nice Winchester 9422 at a pawn shop, but they wanted like $800 for the thing. I know they are sought after, but I felt that was a bit on the high side. I have never owned the Winchester and wanted to try one out.

    The Browning BL-22 is a fine little rifle. My brother had one and he loved the short throw of the lever and the smoothness. It is far smoother than my current Marlin 39AS. The fact is my Marlin is a bit stiff. Then Brownings are just a little "small" for my tastes. But you can still shoot them quite easily. They have good accuracy too overall.

    I would skip the Henry Golden Boy unless you just want one. I think they are just too heavy and you can't mount a scope on one easily. I have looked at them many times. I bought one of the mare's leg Henry 22's for fun. I kind of enjoy it, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it as your only 22. It is my first Henry lever action 22.

    Added: You posted while I was fiddling with this post. Congratulations on the Marlin! You'll love it. I know how it is once you make the decision, you just have to pull the trigger as soon as possible.
     
  25. cherzog

    cherzog Member

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    22-rimfire-
    It was just like you said; once you make your decision you have to "pull the trigger." Funny you mention the Browning, I was thinking about a new one from Buds for $509. When I was looking at their recommended FFL's the last one was gone.
    I found the Marlin about a 45 min drive from home for $375 and figured I couldn't go wrong... and didn't want to miss out.
    After looking in the blue book, I found that in 1988 they were all the AS until 2001 when they went back to just the 39A (with the same safety). I grew up with a 30 AS (30/30 Win) and the safety has never bothered me a bit.
    Thanks for the response... I am very glad I went to pick it up and believe it will be in the family for generations to com.
     
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