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Golden Boy, BL-22, or 39A? Buying one this week...

Discussion in 'Rimfire Forum' started by danattherock, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. I own two leverguns, a customized Marlin Guide Gun 45/70 and a Henry Big Boy Deluxe II in 44 special/44 mag. Want to add a 22 lever action next. In Walmart tonight I saw the Henry 22 (H001) for $299. Almost bought it, but wanted to research the subject a bit first.

    Looks like for about $450 I could get the Henry Golden Boy. Marlin 39A for around $600. Browning BL-22 for about $700 (nickel with grade 2 furniture). Price is not a factor, I want a really nice 22 lever action rifle.

    Heard the Marlin is heavy, 24" barrel, etc.. Heard the trigger on the Browning is too heavy. Heard the Henry was not in the same class as the Marlin or Browning. Love my Henry Big Boy, but having never seen or handled the Marlin or Browning 22, I have limited insight.

    What say you?

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  2. willdabeast


    Sep 25, 2009
    I have a marlin 39a, it was my first gun and wouldn't trade it for the world. It is a bit muzzle heavy, but it doesn't bother me to much. Can't speak to the others as I have never handled them, but I can say I don't think you would regret the marlin.

  3. I'd say get the one you like the best. They're all good guns, built to different price points.

    The only one of the three I've ever shot was the Marlin. I had one for years. Bought it NIB back about 1982. It was considered expensive for "just a 22" even back then, but let me tell you that thing shot lights out. With a cheap "22 scope" shooting off a shakey rest on the hood of my Ford Bronco, I could shoot ten shot groups at 25 yards that would be just one ragged hole about the size of my fingernail. I made my longest shot on a squirrel with that rifle, a counted 75 steps from where I shot to where the squirrel hit the ground. That was a squirrel killing machine.

    Alas I got older, the hills got steeper, and that rifle got heavier. The last couple of years it got to weighing about the same as a length of railroad rail. I sold it to a young fellow who loves it same as I did when I was his ago. What little hunting I do these days is with a 10/22.

    If I was going to buy a lever gun today for myself, the Henry look really good for the money. I can't understand the fastination a lot of people have for the Golden Boy. To me it just looks gaudy. I think the plain blue one looks better, but that's personal taste I suppose. I'm sure the Golden Boy is a good shooter.

    The Browning is well, a Browning. They sure are pretty. I don't know that I've ever heard anything BAD about them. I can't really recall hearing much about them at all really.
  4. The Browning is of interest, however, I am awstruck having found out that it is made in Japan. Equally concerning is the many reports that talk about the 8-9 lb trigger. Looking for a remedy, a gunsmith or trigger job for the BL-22, seems like a fruitless venture.

    The Marlin sounds like it is built like a tank. Unfortunately, that tank like quality also lends itself towards being a very heavy 22 rifle with a 24" barrel. For the tin can and 25 yard plinking I got in mind, not sure I would need a 24" barrel.

    The Henry is of interest due to my fondness of my Henry Big Boy Deluxe II. I am not sure how the Henry Golden Boy 22 would compare with my $1500 solid brass receiver 44 Mag Henry though.

    Thanks for any further contribution. Aside from the Henry H001 I saw at Walmart, don't think I will be lucky enough to see any of these guns in person. The thoughts shared here will be most useful in assisting me with this purchase. Thanks again.

  5. Went to a LGS today and saw a beautiful Henry Sierra 22. A special edition nickel plated receiver with fancy engraving and gold flake. The stock was not to my liking and I couldn't find a good cheek weld so I reluctantly passed on it. Prettiest gun I have ever seen.

    They had a Uberti Silverboy that my eye lined up directly on the sights at first glance. Very nice looking rifle and the action and trigger felt just about as smooth as the Henry. Main difference was the shape of the stock, which was far more to my liking. I bought it.



  6. Good luck in your search. Of the three mentioned I'll take the Henry H001. Accurate,light weight,smooth as glass and not much money. Best bang for the buck and made in America by a true Gentleman. tom.

    PS when you call the phone there it is the CEO that answers it.
  7. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    You did well. Competition wise the Browning is the top 22 rim fire with the Uberti,older Marlin 39 being a close second. That little voice you heard when examining the gussied up golden boy Saved you,if you hear it again pay it heed. SJ 40