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Henry Golden Boy .22 Rimfire Lever Action Repeating Rifle

For several years, I have been eyeballing one of the beautiful Henry Golden Boy .22 Rimfire Lever Action rifles. About a month ago I was in the right place at the right time and found one – a BSA special edition – new in the box for a killer price.

I looked at the rifle for a few minutes, put it down and walked away. Within a couple of minutes I headed back and threw down my money.

I needed another .22 rifle like I needed a hole in my head, but I just couldn’t stand it – I had to have it! I became the proud owner of a new Henry Golden Boy: Boy Scouts of America Centennial Edition. All the way home I had to fight the urge to stop and open the box so I could see it and caress it, but I managed to make it home.

These rifles are shipped with two protective socks – one over the receiver and the other over the BSA emblem on the stock to prevent any damage during shipping. Once I had these off, I was really able to see the beauty of what I had just purchased. The photos on the Henry website just don’t it justice.

The receiver is high polished brass with fancy engraving. The Boy Scout logo and oath is featured on one side, and the other side has more engraving and the Boy Scout Law. The wood is fancy American walnut with a gold embossed BSA logo on the stock and gold embossed “Centennial Edition” on the foregrip.

The barrel band is also high polished brass, and the barrel is a heavy octagon shape. The butt plate is made of more high polished brass, and all of the screws are a little darker, adding a very nice contrast to the gold-colored brass. It is one of the prettiest rifles I have ever owned.

The sights are adjustable buckhorn on the rear and beaded front. One side of the barrel near the rear sight is stamped “HENRY REPEATING ARMS-BAYONNE, NJ – MADE IN USA” and on the other side: “CALIBER .22 S/L/LR.” Both are gold embossed.

In years past, when shooting rifles of such beauty, I have found many companies spent all of their time and effort on appearance and maybe not as much attention to making it an accurate shooter. I sure hoped this was not the case with this one. But, before I would have a chance to head to the range, I needed to order the scope rail from Henry and mount a scope.

While waiting for the scope rail to arrive, I spent some time on the Henry website doing a little research. I found the Henry Repeating Arms company was started around 1860 by Benjamin Tyler Henry. His claim to fame was inventing the Henry .44 caliber rimfire repeating rifle, which in the hands of a skilled shooter was able to lay down a barrage of accurate, deadly firepower.

There is also a neat little story about the 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry that was equipped with this rifle during the Civil War. I also found out the Henry Repeating Arms Company is heavily involved with donations to the NRA, NRA Youth programs, the Ronald McDonald House, Breast Cancer Foundation, the Fisher House, which helps military families, and many others. This company not only makes a fine-looking rifle in America, but uses their resources to put something back into the community.

For me, there was only one bad thing about going to the website. I was able to see all of the models they make, and soon I wanted them all. I am now on the hunt for a Big Boy model, like the .45 Colt.

After a few days the scope rail and trigger extension arrived and were soon installed. This rifle is not drilled and tapped on the receiver to accept a scope rail. Instead, you remove the rear site, and there you will find it is drilled and tapped for the rail. It took me longer to read the simple instructions than it did to remove the sight and install the rail.

With the scope installed and bore-sighted, I was off to the range to test out a rifle that looked as if it should be in a display case rather than being used to hunt tree rats.

As I do with most firearms, I tried to bring a big selection of ammo, because most like one or two flavors better than others, and I was in search of the one or two that this rifle shot best. For this trip, I had about 20 different brands and velocities.

I first went to the 25-yard target to finish sighting-in. This rifle has a tubular magazine that holds 16 long rifles, 18 longs and 21 shorts. I loaded five each of three different flavors of long rifle for my first set.

The first thing I noticed was how smooth the action is. It is almost as if it has been polished and fine-tuned. The next very noticeable feature was the trigger. Most of the .22 rifles I have shot have need some (or a bunch) of trigger work to make them good shooters, but this trigger was as smooth as silk, with no creep and a crisp pull.

The first set of 15 rounds at the 50-yard target were all inside 1 inch, with the best grouping less than 1/2 inch.

I continued until I had shot 20 rounds of each of the 20 brands I had with me. The worst of the 20 brands shot 1.2-inch, 5-shot groups at 50 yards, and the best shot 0.2 inches, with five brands producing these tight groups (0.2 inches) in one ragged hole. Not too shabby in anyone’s book. Watch out tree rats!

This rifle shouldered just right. And, with it only weighing around 7 pounds, I found it would be easy to carry in my pursuit of the wary tree rat. The lever action operated flawlessly with every size ammo. The accuracy is remarkable, and I just loved the trigger.

One thing I must caution you about: When you are at the range, be prepared for all of the other shooters to want to look, touch and shoot this fine rifle. But, it sure is neat when other shooters form a line to see your newest purchase.

Even though it left the house with only my fingerprints on it, by the time I headed back home, it probably had close to a dozen other prints on it.

Even though my tired eyes need a scope to shoot at any distance accurately, I shot it several times at the house, using only the iron sites (at a target not far away) and I was able to hit the dot in the “i” each and every time.

After many trips to the range shooting larger caliber rifles that make a loud boom and thump my shoulder pretty good, this quiet, no-recoil rifle was a refreshing treat.

I currently own more than 20 .22 rimfire rifles. Without a doubt, this is the nicest, best-shooting of all of them. Many of the firearms I write about are sold after the article is printed, but this one I will keep.

If you are interested in a Henry rifle, they come in .22 Rimfire, .22 magnum, .17 HMR, .30/30 Winchester, 45-70 Government, .44 magnum/.44 special, .357 magnum/.38 and the one I am currently looking for – a .45 long Colt.

They offer standard, special editions, commemorative and custom-made with almost any engraving you desire, not to mention youth models, pumps and a few different bolt-action models. To see all of the neat rifles and other neat stuff they have, go to http://www.henryrepeating.com

Remember, if all firearms were treated as if they were loaded, there would be no more accidental shootings.

Shoot Safe, Shoot Straight!


Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”