Henry, you surprised me with this one! I thought the Golden Boy would be another inexpensive lever gun. Boy, was I wrong. Henry put quality into the design of this gun, and it is impressive in appearance and in action. If you shoot lever gun silhouette like I do, you will notice many Henrys on the line competing and winning. 

No wonder Henry donated a Golden Boy to the Western Nationals competition as a valuable door prize recently. Follow me today as I review this surprisingly affordable, high-quality, .22-caliber modern tack driver.
 

Table of Contents

Video
My First Look
Specifications
To the Range
Blasting Targets
Pros & Cons
Finishing Up
Customer Reviews

VIDEO

 

 

MY FIRST LOOK

 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
The Golden Boy is unmistakable with its shiny receiver. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Opening the box, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning tearing away the wrapping paper. Henry makes many various models of lever guns, some with plain blue receivers. But this Henry is named after and patterned on the famous 1866 Winchester Yellowboy rifle, known for its distinctive brass receiver. This Golden Boy has a shiny, polished Brasslite gold receiver that jumps out for attention. The long 20-inch full octagon barrel is eye-catching and adds class to the little rifle. 
 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
The Golden Boy features a 20-inch octagonal barrel. Sights are a simple brass bead up front... (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
...and an elevation-adjustable semi-buckhorn rear. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Working the action, I notice that it is smooth from start to finish. The American walnut stocks show nice grain detail and are smooth to the touch. The front golden barrel band is a beautiful touch. 
 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
The Golden Boy has super-smooth American walnut furniture... (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
...which pairs beautifully with the gleaming Brasslite accents. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)

Holding the rifle, I notice its weight is substantial. This is not a carbine – it is meant to shoot well at a distance. The rear sight is a semi-buckhorn elevation-adjustable unit that has an eye-catching white diamond highlighting its aim point. The front sight is a simple brass bead that shows up well when I line it up with the rear sight. 

 
Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
Always made in the USA, this Henry comes drilled and tapped for a scope mount. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


If you have old eyes, Henry has conveniently drilled and tapped the barrel for a scope mount or other optical sight. The metal tang is important if you wish to mount a tang sight such as a Marbles or Lyman for competition. The hammer cocks back with little resistance and has a half-cock setting for safety. Yes –this is a true ambidextrous gun.

I cannot wait to take this beauty to Area 51 and test fire it!


Related: Henry's Golden Boy in .22 Mag Is a Potent Competition Rifle

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
Henry didn't miss any details, and even the butt plate is golden. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
  • Overall Length: 38.5 inches
  • Barrel Length: 20 inches/full octagonal/scope capable
  • Length of Pull: 14 inches
  • Weight: 6.75 pounds
  • Stocks: American walnut
  • Receiver: Brasslite gold finish
  • Sights: Rear semi-buckhorn, front brass bead
  • Magazine Capacity: 16 .22 Long Rifle or 21 shorts
  • Trigger: 3.5 pounds, single-stage
  • Calibers: .22 LR (as tested), .22 Magnum, .17 HMR
  • MSRP: $636
     

TO THE RANGE

 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
AT 6.75 pounds, the Golden Boy is solid but well-balanced. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


What a beautiful day for a rifle test! There is nothing like shooting steel to show accuracy. Look at all those 2-liter soda jugs – this will be fun. 

Today I selected some inexpensive Federal Auto Match bulk 40-grain solid-bullet .22 LR ammo to shoot. Loading the rifle is done with the action open by pulling the loading tube back to expose the loading slot in the magazine. Simply drop in up to 16 rounds of long rifle cartridges and close the magazine tube. Cycle the action twice and the rifle is ready to fire. Setting the hammer to half-cock allows the gun to be carried safely until aimed and fired.
 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
It was a joy to run the flawless action on this Henry lever gun. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Having not fired this gun prior to today, I am a bit anxious. I am impressed with the natural fit and feel as I bring it to my shoulder. It is comfortable to aim and natural in the way it points. I like the smooth trigger, as it breaks lightly at 3.5 pounds. Not bad for a stock production gun! 

Run that lever back and forth between shots. It is smooth. There is no hesitation as it effortlessly moves rounds from the magazine to the breech – an important feature for a lever gun. Also important is the ability to clear a dud round quickly. Simply eject it and lever in a new fresh round. Try that with a semi-auto gun!
 

BLASTING TARGETS

 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
The magazine will hold 16 rounds of .22 LR or 21 shorts. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Those aliens left plenty of targets, and I got started by letting the water out of a couple of gallon jugs. They leak after being hit with a loud “thump.” The soda cans react differently, exploding violently. Despite shooting solid lead bullets, the effect is still dramatic.

Shooting steel is next, and grouping on the close steel target is quite good. I can hit the flapper easily as well as head shots. Now, I know where to aim. Shooting solid bullets instead of hollow points, I don’t expect an explosive reaction, but each bottle hit squirts soda like a fountain. 
 

Henry Golden Boy .22 LR lever action rifle
With zero mechanical issues during my range session, the Golden Boy gets an "A+" in my book.  (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Yahoo, this is fun, pardners! I set a 2-liter root beer bottle squirting soda many feet into the sky like a geyser. The Golden Boy geyser is watering the desert! Firing a few shots at the 50-yard steel “milk-bottle” target rewards me with a clear “ding, ding, ding.” 

Finally, a mag dump on the close steel target finishes my session today with no jams nor other rifle mechanical failures. That is impressive.
 

PROS & CONS

Pros:

  • High quality far beyond cost
  • Beautifully finished wood and receiver
  • Full octagon 20-inch barrel
  • Reliable
  • Accurate – comes with high-quality sights
  • Drilled and tapped for scope
  • Ambidextrous

Cons:

  • Santa never brought me one for Christmas!
     

FINISHING UP


If you did not get one for Christmas last year, now is the time to get your hands on a Henry Golden Boy! Testing this beauty was not work, it was fun. Now I see why so many of my friends compete on the local and national level with Henry rifles. 

Accurate and reliable, they deliver when it counts without breaking your bank account. If you are an informal plinker, a hunter, or a competitor, the Henry USA Golden boy is your dream gun come true. 


Customer Reviews

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