The Henry® Golden Boy® Lever-Action Rimfire Rifle delivers exceptional accuracy for hunting small game, plinking, or firearms training. A 20″ octagonal barrel adds weight out front to steady your aim; and a fully adjustable buckhorn-style rear sight and a brass bead front sight allow precise shot placement on small targets. The Golden Boy is an attractive firearm, with an American walnut stock and fore-end, accentuated with a brass butt-plate, receiver, and barrel band. (Receiver is Brasslite.) The barrel, lever, and magazine tube are blued. There is no loading port on the side of the receiver as ammunition is loaded directly into the tubular magazine from the top. Henry utilizes an internal transfer bar safety that prevents hammer contact with the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. The rifle cannot fire from being dropped onto the hammer, nor will it accidently fire if the shooter’s thumb slips from the hammer while cocking. (There is no manual cross-bolt safety or traditional half-cock notch for a safety.) The trigger pull is crisp and clean, allowing for fine accuracy. The Henry Golden Boy Lever–Action Rimfire Rifle has traditionally American lines from the Old West, as well as the rifle’s design and function. Made in USA.
20″ octagonal barrel
Brass bead front sight
Buckhorn-style rear sight
Internal transfer bar safety
No manual cross-bolt safety
Brass butt-plate and barrel band
American walnut stock
REVIEW: HENRY CLASSIC GOLDEN BOY
By FRED TOAST FROM gunspatrol.com
The lever action rifle and the 22 LR rimfire cartridge go together like watermelon and hot summer days. Both of these 19th century innovations are still around and perhaps as popular as ever, despite the march of time and technology. It is hard to find a gun shop that is not stocked with lever guns, especially those made by Henry Repeating Arms.
THE GOLDEN BOY SILVER
To the credit of Henry, they have kept the lever action alive and very well in the 21st century and they are made right where the lever action design originated, the United States. As a woodworker and a machinist by trade, I definitely appreciated the work put into their rifles at first glance and it was not until recently that I finally decided to give one a try.
I reached for Henry’s new spin on their classic Golden Boy, the Henry Golden Boy .22LR
The Golden Boy Silver is, in essence, the same popular plinker that is the Golden Boy, except the Silver features a nickel plated alloy receiver, barrel band, and buttplate. This old fashion method of rust prevention is very well done and reflective enough to use as a mirror. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
The Silver features a full length straight American Walnut buttstock and forend and a prominent 19.75 inch blued octagonal barrel, overly thick for the caliber and made of 1130 series steel.
The barrel is topped with a Marbles semi-buckhorn rear sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation and a front post with a brass bead at the tip. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
The Silver’s receiver houses an all blued steel lever action mechanism with a standard lever loop. Like all lever action rimfire rifles, the Silver is tube fed and is available in 17 HMR, 22 LR, and 22 Magnum.
This handsome package has an MSRP of $599-675, but you can expect actual retail prices to be lower than that.
Now that we have established that the Golden Boy Silver is clearly top of the class when it comes to good looks, but would that translate to a stellar performance actually doing what the rifle was intended to do—shoot?
ON THE RANGE
In many ways, the Silver should be the perfect contender in the central Texas heat and humidity so it was only natural to bring in a variety of ammunition and let fly.
The test ammunition all performed well for an initial twenty-five yard sight in.
22 Short 29 grain HP**
22 LR Velocitor 40 grain HP
22 LR HV Match 40 grain LRN**
22 LR Target 40 grain LRN
*Velocity average of three shots, chronograph 10′ from the muzzle. Denoted in feet per second.
**HP—hollow–point, LRN—lead round nose
With a benchmark for accuracy established, my range partner and I decided to pick up the pace and stretch the Golden Boy Silver’s legs with some rapid fire drills and longer 50-yard shooting.
Loading the Silver is straightforward. First, ensure the rifle is unloaded by throwing the lever down and inspecting the chamber. Next pull the brass magazine spring housing out of the magazine tube and drop in individual cartridges. The 22 LR Silver will chamber and fire 22 Short and Long ammunition without a problem and the gun holds a healthy number of them: 16 rounds of 22LR and as many as 23 rounds of 22 Short. Once you have loaded, replace the magazine tube and chamber a round. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
Carrying the Silver was not much of a chore despite the gun being somewhat heavy for its class at 6.75 pounds. Carrying the rifle while loaded is safe and accomplished with a traditional half-cock notch in the hammer. Simply pull the hammer back slightly and it locks up the trigger and keeps the hammer from falling on a live round. The Silver does lack sling attachments from the factory but the heavy octagonal barrel allows for good balance in the hand.
It also keeps this balance when shooting, making holding on target easy to do. I was quite taken away with how comfortable the rifle is to shoulder and fire. The stock length is a generous 13.75 inches and clearly meant for adult shooters—which is refreshing considering many 22 caliber rifles on the market are short and youth oriented. Though the nickel buttplate felt a bit slippery against the shoulder while working the lever action between shots, this comes with the territory of going with a vintage design. This did not hinder shooting. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
It was easy to empty the magazine in a matter of seconds with a quick, effortless flick of the wrist and a light touch on the trigger. The sights worked well and picked up well on target. Hitting small soda cans and rimfire steel spinners at twenty-five yards was easy. Hitting a small torso silhouette at fifty yards was done with boring regularity, but at one hundred yards the front sight began to cover up the same silhouette. Unfortunately, the Silver’s receiver is smooth and has no provision for scope mounts, so the Silver will shoot as well as you can with the iron sights.
Where the Silver shines best is its reliability. Given that it is manually operated, it will cycle ammunition of different power levels and it will do so despite the fact that the rimfire ammunition fouls the action quickly. In a semi-automatic, this means the eventual malfunctioning without a good cleaning, but in the Silver, it is no problem. The only ammunition hiccup occurred when attempting to load the magazine with too many rounds: the last round hangs up in the carrier when cycled. But when loaded right to capacity, the Silver runs like a champ and shoots extremely well.
Coming off the success of the brass framed Golden Boy rifle, it seemed natural for Henry to add additional color to the lineup. But the Silver is more than simply a color variation. The nickel plated finish was well executed and held up well in the humidity, sweat, and banging around of the test without so much as a single nick. Between two shooters, the consensus is such that the nickel plating actually adds a bit more lubricity for an even smoother action. While not youth friendly, the adult gets to have a full sized rimfire rifle that not only looks great, but shoots great as well. That’s something I can’t say of other rifles in an age of cheaply manufactured plastics. So if you are a varmint hunter, a small game hunter, or just looking to pop paper and tin cans on the weekend, the Golden Boy Silver is surely worth a look.
Henry Golden Boy .22LR [Review]: Best Lever .22 Ever?
By ALEX LUFFO FROM gunspatrol.com
I’ve always wanted one and was so glad I got the chance to test one out.
Check out how we rate this awesome .22LR lever action down below.
The current Henry Repeating Arms as we know it bought the rights to the historical firearms name “Henry” and started manufacturing faithful Henry rifles in 1997. Currently they manufacture in New Jersey and have the motto “Made in America or Not Made at All.”
They specialize in lever action rifles and now even have some lever action shotguns that I really want to try out one day.
Note: Henry sent me the Golden Boy for an unbiased review.
Who Is It For?
I really want to say everyone…since who doesn’t want a brass lever action .22LR?
But it especially excels for beginner shooters (both children and adults) who start with rimfire calibers for its almost nonexistent recoil.
PLUS…you get to feel like a cowboy in the Old West.
The sights are simple, it doesn’t take too much hand strength to load and manipulate the lever, and it’s heavy enough that there’s truly almost no recoil. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
Fit & Feel
It feels quality.
And is heavier than you think it should be (almost 7 pounds) that is front heavy…but that’s because of the barrel.
I love the brass/gold shininess coupled with the wood grain.
But yes…if you’re standing and trying to make a farther shot…the brass on the butt can Slip a little off your shoulders.
All that goes away when you start using the lever action. It’s silky smooth and better than Marlin lever actions. I’m sure the more I shoot the better it will get too.
Which brings us to…
How Does It Shoot?
I brought it out to a couple range sessions where it performed admirably. And on the last session I started to shoot groups. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
I chose four of my favorite .22LR ammo I had on hand (Best .22LR Ammo for Plinking & Hunting). And set up 25 yards away with a benchrest.
First up was the bulk Federal .22LR. I’d give a little elevation miscalculation since I had the front sight a little higher. But still…a couple inch group. I shot at a normal pace of one shot every ~5 seconds.
Then up next was the Winchester .22LR which was a little tighter:
Followed up by my favorite CCI Minimag which yielded the best groups:
All in all…very accurate if you do your part. The sights could be a little better but it’s probably due to it trying to be historically accurate. My tip is to figure out where to place the front sight to hit your target distance.
It’s heavy rifle and the .22LR is a wimpy round. You’re not going to feel anything
How about shootability?
It’s super fun once you get past the slow reloading which requires you to remove a rod, drop in 16 or so rounds into the ammo tube, and reinstall the rod.
And since it’s a rimfire with a tube…you should be good to go even in states with restricted magazine sizes.
After it’s loaded up…crank that smooth lever and you’re good to go.
Loading a Round Into the Henry
All that is good and dandy…but a video makes it all better. Here I’m alternating between CCI Minimag and Fiocchi subsonics. You can definitely tell the difference in decibels. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
Henry also sent along a rail adapter to mount optics. The installation of it was very easy. But it took two tries to find the proper scope mount. Eventually the Simmons 4x Rimfire scope ($29) and its included rings fit the bill.
But my advice is…to NOT DO IT.
Or at least know that the scope will be much higher than the cheekweld on the regular stock. You’re going to have to get some saddle riser or make your own.
Plus…it looks kind of weird to have a modern-ish scope on an old school gun.
Straight from the horses mouth…the Henry Golden Boy .22LR.
Action Type: Lever Action
Barrel Length: 20″
Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
Front Sight: Fixed
Magazine Included: Tubular Magazine
Magazine Type: Fixed
Rear Sight: Adjustable
Stock Material: Wood
Weight: 6.75 lbs
By the Numbers
No failures to fire in the ~300 rounds I’ve fired across a couple of brands. Plus you’re GTG with subsonic ammo since it is lever action.
It’ll do its job with regular plinking ammo once you figure out where to place the front sight.
A little front heavy and a little slippage from the brass plate on your shoulder. But otherwise the trigger and lever are easily accessible for a wide variety of hands. Henry Golden Boy Rifle
Love the brass/gold and wood look.
There’s not that much you can do…nor is it something you should do. Keep it old school!
Bang for the Buck: 4/5
Sure…you can get a .22LR rifle for much cheaper. But is it this cool and fun? Henry Golden Boy Rifle
Overall Rating: 5/5
The Henry Golden Boy .22LR ($449) was so much fun to shoot!
It ate all the ammo, didn’t have a hiccup, and brought all the boys to the yard.
Looking for other calibers? There’s a couple more models in rimfire and common revolver loads.
I am definitely keeping this puppy around.
How about you…are you going to get a Henry Golden Boy? Or do you already have one of their other varieties?