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Thread: Which 22 lever gun?

  1. #1

    Default Which 22 lever gun?

    I caught some wind concerning the kids and grand kids going together and getting me a 22 lever gun for Christmas.

    I am really liking the Browning BL22 or a 39a Mountie which would have to be a good used one since they are no longer offered.

    What are your expert thoughts on the matter?

    Thanks EKC

  2. #2
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    EKC,

    I'm by no means an expert, but researched these extensively a while back. The general consensus among those who opinions I trust most on the matter are that the best ones out there are the Winchester and the Marlin. If you can find the 39A mountie, so much the better. There were a lesser number of votes for the Browning, but it was still mentioned. I personally will eventually own a Marlin 39 in some configuration. Call it a combination of my current satisfaction with my two Marlin rifles and the recommendation of others more experienced than I.

    I haven't yet had the money for the right Marlin 39 though, and since I "had" to have a lever action .22, I went the cheaper, but also very good Henry Frontier model. (octagonal barrel, and metalic sights and barrel band, instead of the plastic ones on the base model.) The metal in the receiver of the Henry isn't as good as the others, but Henry's customer service is second to none, and after roughly 1000 -1500 rounds through mine I have no complaints thus far.

    I sure hope my kids do something similar someday, and whatever they wind up getting for you, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. If you'd like to do some research on them, there's a wealth of information over on rimfirecentral.com.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  3. #3

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    I'll call it prejudice rather than expertice, but of all the makes I've always prefered the feel of Marlins. I wouldn't turn any of them down, but Marlin is my 1st choice.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I'd probably go with this 5.5 lb. lever action gem:

    http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-lever-magnum.cfm

    A combo of the price, a real checkered walnut stock, no protruding magazine, made in America, and good Henry Cust. Serv., it would be pretty hard to beat. Henry has been around for a long time, that's got to say something. I think they are the oldest American Lever-Rifle manufacturer.

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    I have two of the Marlin 39 A made in 1957 and 1958. Neither is a Mountie. You cannot buy a better 22 rifle than the 39 A.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

  6. #6

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    Just my 2 cents, but have a Golden 39A that is 31 years young now and has never missed a beat. A 13 year old kid can be hard on a gun and this one took everything I could dish out. I love my Marlin.

  7. #7

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    Mainer for some reason I just can't get past the painted aluminum receiver on the Henrys. I probably coudn't where one out in a lifetime but it still bothers me. They feel good and the ergonomics on them are great. Part of this has to do with the fact that I once bought a brand new Franchi 48 AL 20 gauge. I killed a hundred pheasants a year with that gun for 5 years but finally the receiver just wore out. The friction of the steel bolt ate up the aluminum receiver. It's a mental thing now.

    BrownBear as you know I have several Marlin centerfires and love them. I am leaning toward a Mountie.

    I feel a little bad that I am picking it out. I guess the family has probably heard me call more than one gun a piece of junk so I am probably hard to predict with all of the choices.

    The Mountie may go over their budget so I may just give the Mrs. some money to put in the kitty. This will be a cherished gun so what the heck.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Can't go wrong with either one EKC, I would rank them Marlin, then Browning of these two.
    I bought a couple Winchesters right before they shut the doors, one is 1 of 200 - beauty - gold rabbit on one side and Quail on the other, second one is a 17HMR. I had a Henry and it was smoothest lever I ever used for sure. Only complaint is the drop on the buttstock is just too uncomfortable for me. I'd have another in a heartbeat if they redesigned the drop a bit.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I've got a 39A.
    It needed a bunch of smoothing up on the guts. Once smoothed and polished it's nice. A good shooter.
    Of my meager collection, it's one of my favorites.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  10. #10
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    EKC:

    Can't go wrong here with any of your choices. Just make yourself and the Grandkids happy. Think of which one you will hand down to them.
    Afflicted by condition human

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Mainer for some reason I just can't get past the painted aluminum receiver on the Henrys. I probably coudn't where one out in a lifetime but it still bothers me. They feel good and the ergonomics on them are great. Part of this has to do with the fact that I once bought a brand new Franchi 48 AL 20 gauge. I killed a hundred pheasants a year with that gun for 5 years but finally the receiver just wore out. The friction of the steel bolt ate up the aluminum receiver. It's a mental thing now.

    BrownBear as you know I have several Marlin centerfires and love them. I am leaning toward a Mountie.

    I feel a little bad that I am picking it out. I guess the family has probably heard me call more than one gun a piece of junk so I am probably hard to predict with all of the choices.

    The Mountie may go over their budget so I may just give the Mrs. some money to put in the kitty. This will be a cherished gun so what the heck.
    I can see where you're coming from but to be fair to the Henry.......the Receiver is actually steel, but with aluminum covers screwed onto the exterior of the receiver. So it appears the bolt is cycling against the inner steel receiver would be my best guess.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I can see where you're coming from but to be fair to the Henry.......the Receiver is actually steel, but with aluminum covers screwed onto the exterior of the receiver. So it appears the bolt is cycling against the inner steel receiver would be my best guess.
    Mainer, Thanks for your assessment and endorsement of the Henrys. I'm pretty much ignorant in regards to them. You've swayed my thinking.

    I had three criteria coming into this that I should have listed from the get go.

    1.20 inch barrel The Mountie ,BL22 and Henry all have them.
    2. Made in USA....exit Browning, besides the stocks are so high gloss that it'd be like carrying a mirror into the squirrel woods.
    3. price tag under $500...Henry for sure fits here. The Mounties are going for more than $500 for a real clean one. The Mounties have some collectable value and I want a shooter.

    I talked to my FFL dealer last night and he is a smart dude in regards to 22s. He said the Henry is the best bang for the buck. He has a couple that he hasn't unboxed yet and he also has a couple of Mounties in his safe and he said he might make me a good deal on one of them(he's been sandbagging on me). So I'm headed that way....I'll let you know what transpires.

  13. #13

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    Mainer I ended up with a Henry h001t. It's the octagon barreled one with buckhorn sights. He also had a Golden Boy and Smokey is right... way to much drop in the stock on that one. It was about right if I stuck the stock under my arm pit. The one I got feels just like the Browning Bl22.

    Turns out he had one Mountie and it had a crack in the stock and a buggered up screw head....not for me. He also had an older long barreled 39 but he was sorta proud of it and and I really wanted 20 inches.

    I'm happy with the one I...err the kids and grandkids got for me. I have strict orders to turn it over to G'ma so she can hide it till Christmas.

  14. #14
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Congrats kind sir.

    I'm really happy for yah because you'll be toting a nice lever rifle for small game. That octagon barrel looks sharp, and I don't think you could've done any better. The rifle has a little weight to it, and it should be a deadly little rifle in regards to offhand shooting due to the weight. Some of the other ones might not have "settled down" on target like that one. Those Marble Buckhorn sights must be sharp looking on the rifle. I really hope you post a report on the accuracy of your new gem.

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    Grew up with a Grade I Browning BL-22. Got 'er when I was 7!

    Very much the handier of the bunch mentioned here... Maybe a bit too small for some.

    The Browning quality (fit + finish + attention to detail) is better than models you described. I like the short-throw lever vs. standard stroke. I like the recessed target crown. These guns are accurate and have always held value.

    True story... In college... set my sights on a nice Weatherby Mark XXII and purchased it. I really could not afford it at the time, yet cool factor, fit, and function were the things I considered of value. Being somewhat under-funded for the Mark XXII - I put my old Browning up as trade in. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!! (especially for something of so much sentimental value, plinkin' & hunting memories).

    The Weatherby Mark XXII proved to be a tack-driver, nevertheless I felt so horribly empty handed... the following morning, I drove the next few counties over, found myself feeling pretty sad, hopeful in heart not to be disappointed , sitting atop the stairs of the Gun-shop before it opening to purchase my ol' BL-22 back.

    Lesson learned!! has never happened again!!! The nice Mark XXII eventually went down the road serving it's purpose, while today the BL-22 is still with me. For me --- My BL-22 is a gift from Dad, lessons learned, plus paved way to an ongoing passion for firearms and the shooting sport.

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    I've handled most of these rifles, but the one I've got is the golden boy, it handles like a full-size gun, has fantastic open sights, and is as smooth as silk. The drop is kinda steep as some have said but I love shooting it and it loves to shoot. I won three rounds of 50 yard gong with it a few years back, despite being the only open sights in the group. Some of the others feel like toy guns.

    And it's pretty, but I believe in shooting rifles so it's already got some love on the stock and finish, but it will never feel neglected.

    Either way, rimfire lever guns are just a blast to handle and shoot. My other is a ruger 96/22 in 22 mag, loved nearly as much as the Henry...and with a scope on it, it is adored up to 100+ yards. (Took 2 rounds of 100 yard gong with it the same day). Enjoy your new toy!

  17. #17
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Mainer I ended up with a Henry h001t. It's the octagon barreled one with buckhorn sights. He also had a Golden Boy and Smokey is right... way to much drop in the stock on that one. It was about right if I stuck the stock under my arm pit. The one I got feels just like the Browning Bl22.

    Turns out he had one Mountie and it had a crack in the stock and a buggered up screw head....not for me. He also had an older long barreled 39 but he was sorta proud of it and and I really wanted 20 inches.

    I'm happy with the one I...err the kids and grandkids got for me. I have strict orders to turn it over to G'ma so she can hide it till Christmas.
    Exactly the model I mentioned, and the same one I have. The receiver scratches easily, and you'll likely be annoyed the first time it happens. I find it all but impossible to keep from knicking it round the take-down screws while disassembling it for cleaning, but now I just figure it adds character. You won't be disappointed in it's performance. It's fun to fire the 750 fps shorts in it. Mine is quieter with those that my Crosman air rifle. I may change the sights eventually, since my stigmatism is making it increasingly difficult to use buckhorn type sights.

    By the way - mine likes the action to be worked quickly - the only jam I've experienced was the result of working the lever too slowly. Henry sells a bigger lever for it too, if you need more room for using gloves in the winter, etc. I think you'll be happy with it!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  18. #18

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    Quote Mainer-



    I'd probably go with this 5.5 lb. lever action gem:

    http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-lever-magnum.cfm

    A combo of the price, a real checkered walnut stock, no protruding magazine, made in America, and good Henry Cust. Serv., it would be pretty hard to beat. Henry has been around for a long time, that's got to say something. I think they are the oldest American Lever-Rifle manufacturer.
    I think the folks at Marlin may beg to differ. The Model 39 can trace its ancestry in a direct and unbroken line to the Marlin Model 1891. The modern Henry rife company started in 1993, and as I pointed out in another thread, has zero connection to the original 1860s Henry.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Exactly the model I mentioned, and the same one I have. The receiver scratches easily, and you'll likely be annoyed the first time it happens. I find it all but impossible to keep from knicking it round the take-down screws while disassembling it for cleaning, but now I just figure it adds character. You won't be disappointed in it's performance. It's fun to fire the 750 fps shorts in it. Mine is quieter with those that my Crosman air rifle. I may change the sights eventually, since my stigmatism is making it increasingly difficult to use buckhorn type sights.

    By the way - mine likes the action to be worked quickly - the only jam I've experienced was the result of working the lever too slowly. Henry sells a bigger lever for it too, if you need more room for using gloves in the winter, etc. I think you'll be happy with it!
    Yup! I got a little egg on my face. I wasn't interested in a Henry when I read your post. Once the ignoramus wore off and I got educated on the matter concerning the Henry's......you were spot on.

  20. #20
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Yup! I got a little egg on my face. I wasn't interested in a Henry when I read your post. Once the ignoramus wore off and I got educated on the matter concerning the Henry's......you were spot on.


    I ordered my one week old nephew a Henry Mini Bolt. At no extra charge they will make the serial number a birth date or the such! Granted it needs ordered by a authorized dealer, I used Mountain View Sports. They know how to do it now. The dealer needs to fax a sheet with the info and model number. It will ship directly to the dealer, but gets invoiced through their distributor of choice. Contact Anthony Imperato by email. He is great to work with. Yes I totally their customer service is top notch. Great to work with 100%.

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