- Top: Marlin Model 39A Original Golden
- Middle: Winchester Model 9422
- Bottom: Browning BL-22
These three rifles are, in my humble opinion, the very best lever action .22 rifles you can buy.
- The Marlin is without doubt the most durable of the three, it is also highly touted for having no barrel band to influence the barrel. Its ejection is incredible, flinging the shell as far as 10 feet working the lever. Another highly appreciated feature of the Marlin 39A is the tool-less take down, this gun easily breaks down to a size dependent on your barrel length.
- The Winchester Model 9422 has become a collectors item, besides that it has a smoother action than the other two rifles. This rifle is pure joy to shoot with its smooth action and sleekly designed straight stock. The wood finish is much more polished than Marlin usually offers, the bluing is deep and beautiful.
- The Browning Model BL-22 is without doubt the most innovative and advanced of the three lever action rifles. The trigger mechanism is integrated with the lever housing, and consequently the trigger follows the lever up and down when worked. This means that when you operate the lever your trigger finger cannot be pinched by the trigger, or you cannot have accidental fire by poor finger placement with the returning stroke of the lever. Also the throw for the BL-22 lever is dramatically shortened, you can literally work the action without releasing your grip over the tang and work the lever just by spreading your fingers (opening your hand basically). The tube feed on the BL-22 also is a cut above the other two rifles, it sports a "button tube" that clips in painlessly, without effort on your part to find that silly notch almost all tube feed .22 rifles have.
I know, Henry's lever action .22's did not make it to my review, but that's because I don't own one, and I probably never will. They are not bad rifles, in fact the golden boy is quite pretty, but I have seen the way that brass scratches, and the other models have plastic barrel bands. You may think "that's abit harsh, and those are small reasons" but think, when you have these other rifles to choose from, isn't that reason enough?