Gun Review: Henry .22LR/L/S Golden Boy Rifle

Today’s review is the Henry Golden Boy chambered in .22LR/L/S. I plan to post reviews of the “regular” Henry .22LR/L/S as well as the Henry .22 Magnum, and Henry Big Boy .357 magnum carbine.

Here’s Spice at the range killing some gongs (she had just pulled the trigger, I tried to get it during the shot, missed. Oh well). It’s hard being married to a woman who’s face is often blurry 

Philosophy Of Use:

This gun fits very much into my personal philosophy of owning .22’s that will shoot any rotgut cheapass .22LR/L/S shells you can dig up and shooting them accurately. I am going to borrow some words from another review (the Ruger American Rifle .22LR I reviewed last week) because many parts of the POU works for both guns.

The Henry .22 will eat any rotgut .22LR, L or S ammo you can dig up, from subsonic quiet rounds all the way up to Stingers and Mini Mags, with a caveat. You CAN shoot CB rounds out of the Henry, but it’s not recommended since those rounds have such a low velocity that they lose energy very quickly, to the point that they can get stuck in a rifle’s 20 inch barrel. I’ve shot them, but I don’t recommend it (I ALWAYS made sure that my round hit before I chambered another round. If you can find is a brick of that horrid Winchester white box 333 LR crud or those nasty Golden Bullets? No problem, this gun will eat it and drive tacks with it. CCI Quiets? Sure. Shorts? It will hold a bazillion of them. 

As I have consistently stated, I think from a prepper/survivalist point of view, being able to use any available ammunition is important. The Golden Boy .22 just works great with any round.


There’s a lot to love about the Golden Boy. It’s got excellent workmanship, a lovely finish, good sights, a heavy tack-shooting octagon barrel, smooth lever action and a good trigger pull. 

The wood stock is a gorgeous walnut from right here in the Honey War area of Missouri, and the parts are expertly machined. I’ve had a chance to talk to Anthony Imprerato personally a couple of times while he was in our part of the country (exceedingly nice fellow, by the way) and we discussed the company’s quality control, specifically how they do it. That falls outside of the scope of this review, but I encourage you to talk with him if you get the opportunity. 

There’s only one downside to the golden boy for the prepper… after the SHTF you won’t want to be walking around with a golden gun reflecting sunlight… so you need to do what I do, and keep some black paint on hand. It will be sad if I ever have to paint over the brass, but honestly by that time a little paint on a gun will be the least of my worries.

Tale Of The Tape

Stock: Lovely Walnut
Capacity: 16 rounds .22LR & .22L, 21 rounds of .22 short 
Finish: Satin Blued and brass
Barrel Length: 20.00″
Overall Length: 38.50″
Front Sight: Beaded
Rear Sight: Adjustable buckhorn rear
Weight: 6.75 lbs.
Magazine Type: Internal Tube
Suggested Retail: $550 I paid $425


I gotta be honest, I bought this gun because I thought it was just really pretty. My wife, however, latched onto it and it’s now “her” go-to gun for plinking, shooting and small game.

This gun is a joy to shoot. The iron sights are easy to use and very accurate. A scope mount is available (the design of the gun changed a couple years ago, if you buy a used Golden Boy and want to mount a scope, you should make sure you get the right mount).

This gun absolutely drives tacks. At 50 yards it shoots 1 inch groups consistently with good ammo (CCI Stingers).

The action is basically flawless, with one exception. You can make a Golden Boy jam consistently if you engage the lever action while the ejection port is vertical. I did this once by accident, and it jammed, so I tested it for repeatability. Other than that, the gun is flawless feed wise, so “just don’t do that”.


I would say “just go buy one” but… I have to admit, I also like the $100 cheaper “normal” Henry .22 nearly as well. The sights on the Golden Boy are different and I like them better, but both guns pound tacks. For prepping purposes, I’d buy the standard model and save the $100.

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  1. I made the mistake of buying 3 Henry 22LR and .17 HMR. They all have problems. One requires two strikes to fire a shell. One wonders after 8 or 10 shots. The other hammer failed during firing.

    • If you have a problem, call Henry customer service. They are great, and there’s a pretty good chance that the guy answering the phone owns the company. He answers the phone a lot. Seriously.

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