School me on lever .22's

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Gareth68, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    So, I have been lusting over the thought of owning a decent lever action .22 for a while now.

    I would prefer an older model, but am coming to accept that my lack of patience coupled with some beautiful spring plinking weather might force my hand and make me choose between the modern offerings.

    I have started researching, but my google fu seems to not be serving well.

    So, here is what I have dug up....

    Henry:

    Low price, short action, non-blued receiver...has good reviews. Seems to be a shooter....American made. If I can get past the receiver an obvious possibility.

    Marlin:

    Many stories out there saying the same thing. "They ain't what they used to be" Premium price, for a cheapened product riding on a stellar past reputation.

    Browning:

    Supposed to have a wonderfully short action....found lots of complaining about the trigger, however. Good looking gun.


    Mossberg (no not the hideous tacti-cool thing)..

    I haven;t dug much up on these. Mid level price point..would be interested in more info.


    So far, the only one I have handled is the Henry. I liked the sights and the action...some parts seemed cheap.

    :dunno:

    What have I missed?

    Is what I've dug up so far accurate?

    Any other contenders?

    Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide.
     
  2. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

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    Seriously, I would wait for a nice example of short barreled Marlin 39 with the straight stock. Not the current long barrel model - especially because Marlin's quality is lately "legendary" :whistling: From the ones mentioned by You I would go with the Browning lever.
     

  3. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

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    This thread's title angered my inner grammar nazi.
     
  4. concretefuzzynuts

    concretefuzzynuts Brew Crew

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    Winchester Model 9422 if you can find one they stopped production in 2005. Mine was a 1975 version and was the absolute best 22 lever action I have ever had. Traded it.
     
  5. concretefuzzynuts

    concretefuzzynuts Brew Crew

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    My grammer wasn't a Nazi, neither was my gramper.:wavey:
     
  6. Four Knives

    Four Knives

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    Pretty good overall assessment.

    I am a Marlin guy - love the 39A models and variations thereof.
    Personal favorites are the 20" straight stocked models like the Mountie, 39M, Texan

    What I like about the Marlin:
    Rimfire with a 'big gun' feel
    Action, although not claimed as THE slickest, is plenty smooth after you've worked the lever from shooting or dry-cycling.
    The action just feels to me like a lever gun should feel
    Easy takedown - and access to internals
    Pre-drilled for easy scope mounting, or mount of receiver peep sights
    Renowned for accuracy
    Classic, and quite possibly THE name for rimfire levers (my opinion)

    Anything JM stamped is going to be a winner - the Remington takeover has reports of poor quality, but if they haven't already, they'll get their act together and get back to the quality level of old, but the days of JM stamps are over.

    The metaphor to JM stamped Marlins, IMO, would be how pre-lock Smith revolvers are more desirable by a certain subset of revo enthusiasts vs. the post lock.


    Henry: no experience, but I have a pump Henry inbound that I'm looking forward to. People love their Golden Boys and Frontiers, but the cheapest model allegedly has plastic BB gun sights (I can't confirm) which I would not be happy with. So take that FWIW

    The Henry has a zamak receiver and owners are very fervent in asserting it is not pot metal. I'm comfortable with that. The cool thing about the zamak receivers is they are easy to faux case-harden, and there are a few threads on that at RFC.

    Browning BL-22: By all accounts a fine firearm. Well fit and finished, accurate, maybe smoother than the Marlin.
    I have handled one recently, and take nothing away from it.
    However, perhaps being used to a full cycle lever, I did NOT like the short throw of the BL. I'm used to my 357 Marlins, my 39A s, etc. and the BL short throw just wasn't my thing. People who own both, will often comment that it's a toss-up as to which they like more.


    I believe a JM Stamped Marlin is the best choice in terms of resale going forward, with Browning in close pursuit.
     
  7. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    I humbly thank you for your munificent nature in overlooking my colloquial slang.

    Your nugatory contribution to this thread has been incalculably helpful.

    :whistling:
     
  8. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

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    :tongueout:
     
  9. Golddog

    Golddog

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    I've had a Browning BL-22 since 1971, when they first appeared; terrific gun with a great action. I also loved my Winchester 9422 with the 16" barrel - nice trigger but a longer lever throw than the Browning. But that barrel length has not been available in large numbers.
     
  10. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    Happy Henry owner; smooth quick action, very good accuracy and function. You can spend more, but they won't shoot any better. Good factory support too.
     
  11. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Here are my 3 :)

    Winchester 9422
    [​IMG]

    Ithaca model 72 saddlegun
    [​IMG]

    Ruger 96/22mag (also was made as 22lr)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  12. CajunBass

    CajunBass

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    Le'mie see ifin I kin learn ya summin' he-area.

    The only one I've got any experience with is the Marlin. I got mine about 1982, NIB. Beautiful gun, accurate as all getout. Everything about it just screams "quality." IMHO, the ONLY thing to dislike about them is the weight, and that in itself is an indication of blue steel, and walnut. You just can't get around that.

    [​IMG]

    Are the new ones as good?...Well, I don't know. The ones I've LOOKED at seem OK to me. The crossbolt safety, I think you gotta give 'em. In today's world that gonna have to be there. If it really bugs you, get something else.

    I do have a 336W that was made probably just before the Remington purchase, and I can't find anything to dislike about that rifle. It's just as nice as the 336's I've owned in the past. Never had a problem with it, although I will admit that I don't shoot it a lot. I don't use the crossbolt safety so it's never really been an issue.

    If I wanted a new Marlin, I'd inspect the gun carefull before I said "I'll take it." It seems a lot of people don't do that for some reason or other.

    Having said ALL that, this is my favorite "Lever Action 22." It's not a repeater, but a single shot. The magazine tube is fake. Long out of production it's just a FUN gun. When you dorp the lever the empty shell goes flying with a satisfying "plink". It's a gun I wanted when I was a kid and never got. Until I was an old man.

    Ithaca Model 49.

    [​IMG]

    Why if I'd had one of these when I was a kid, there wouldn't have a been a rustler in Hanover County, Virginia. :supergrin:
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  13. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr CLM

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    Bought my Wife a Win Mag Golden Boy a few years ago.
    VERY accurate, smooth action, great ballance, flawless wood & finish
     
  14. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Cool!

    Did you ever also consider the 72 saddlegun, which is a repeater. It is a short little handy gun :)
     
  15. CajunBass

    CajunBass

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    I've came close to buying a '72 once, but passed on it for no particular reason.

    The 49 is an older gun, and was marketed mostly as a starter or "kids gun" back in the day. I was 12-14 or so when I was lusting for one. I doubt I even knew there was such a thing as a repeater back in the day. I did learn years later, that Ithaca did make a repeater version of the 49, the 49R, but it didn't work well, and didn't last long. I've never actually seen one. It was replaced by the 72. The 49 was also sold by Sears under the "Ted Williams" name, but without the fake magazine tube.

    BTW. The Ithaca 72 you've got, in a slightly different version, is the gun we know today as the Henry.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  16. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Interesting, didn't know that. How'd they come about the Ithaca design?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  17. CajunBass

    CajunBass

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    Well, we're probably getting off target, but my understanding is the father of the current owner of Henry designed the rifle for Erma of West Germany. Ithaca bought the guns from Erma under their own name. Later the design came back to the family, and Henry was born.

    How accurate that is, I'm not sure, but that's my understanding.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  18. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

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    Marlin model 39 is the only way to go.

    Wait for a good one built before 1984, when they went to external safety and rebounding hammer.

    There are no new ones and probably won't be. So, find the JM proofed 39 of your dreams and open your wallet.
     
  19. Four Knives

    Four Knives

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    ANYTHING JM stamped is 'a good one'.

    All else equal, I'd prefer no crossbolt safety or rebounding hammer, but this one is my favorite:

    Marlin Texan - 20" Octagonal BBL - only made for a couple of years - they all had safety/rebounding hammer

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    '69 pre-safety Marlin Mountie

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    Thank you everyone who has chimed in so far. Nobody has any experience with the mossy's?

    So, right now, I am leaning towards keeping looking for what I really want...an older marlin to go with it's big brother in the closet.

    Will likely grab a Henry to tide me over until I find the right one.

    There is a gun show next weekend near by, I will check it out and see if anything is available.