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Old July 10, 2012, 10:09 PM   #1
DeltaCypher0
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Lever vs Bolt

So I've been contemplating purchasing another .22, and I've been set on a bolt action for superior accuracy. How do people feel about lever action? I think the Henry rifles are pretty cool and supposedly "tack driving accurate". Should I just go with a bolt action like Marlin or another American company instead?
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Old July 10, 2012, 10:17 PM   #2
Nine the Ranger
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I regret not picking up a .22 Henry instead of my 336.

Somthing about throwing a bunch of .22 shorts in the chamber seems so appealing.
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Old July 11, 2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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Accuracy??

Delta Cypher Zero--What do you intend to do with your contemplated .22? That would figure heavily in my recommendation as to lever or bolt.

If you intend to compete with this rifle, you'll have to get a bolt action, probably heavy barrel rifle. Levers just don't cut it in the extreme accuracy department.

If you are more into cool looks in a rifle, well, every lever gun out there out-cools every bolt, and most are accurate enough for casual plinking.

So: Tell us what you want to do with it, and we'll tell you what one to get, to do it.
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Old July 11, 2012, 11:25 AM   #4
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Unless you put them on a bench I doubt you will see any difference between a good lever and a bolt.
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Old July 11, 2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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As Smokey Joe says, lots depend what you want to do with it. The Henry has a silky smooth action and is very accurate, but a good bolt action will be more accurate for competitive shooting. The Henry is a great gun for plinking and more casual target practice. And Henry is well made in America with excellent customer service..
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:24 PM   #6
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I will be hunting small game, squirrel and rabbit. But, I do enjoy target practice.
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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I will be hunting small game, squirrel and rabbit. But, I do enjoy target practice.
Your choice. There's nothing wrong with either for hunting, indeed I've used both. Plus semis. My Marlin 60 has probably accounted for more small game than any of the others, excluding shotguns.

So, for a hunting rifle, the choice is yours. The lever is a lot of fun, but the bolt may (just barely) shave it for accuracy. I wouldn't feel handicapped at all with a good lever .22 in the squirrel woods.
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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My henry .22 was a tac driver. Only downside to the lever action was when shooting scoped from the bench cycling the action with the lever vs bolt makes it harder to get back on target.
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Old July 11, 2012, 05:07 PM   #9
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Same here...our Henry golden boy is also a tack driver and looks awesome as well!
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Old July 13, 2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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lever or bolt

Consider Marlin 39A or Browing BL-22 for lever needs.
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Old July 13, 2012, 11:22 AM   #11
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I'll toss in that if you get a Marlin, get an OLDER one...better made than the new ones or the Henry
Plus you can usually find 'em inexpensively in pawn shops/gun shops/online auctions if you shop carefully

There are also Modern Lever-actions like the Marlin Levermatics (56/57/57M/62) and the Winchester 150/250

Marlin 56


Winchester 250


Of course, the new Marlin XT22's bolt-actions are out, wicked adjustable trigger, new style synthetic stock, etc...
inexpensive and full of features!! and the Boyd's 800/900 Marlin stocks are a direct fit if you prefer laminates
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Old July 13, 2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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My friend has a Henry 22 rifle and I like it very much. It's great for plinking and small gaming. The only downside to Lever Actions is when some people put scopes on them, lol.
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Old July 13, 2012, 08:47 PM   #13
phil mcwilliam
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I own a CZ452 bolt action .22 that is an extremely accurate .22. My brother has owned a Marlin 39a lever action .22 for over 20 years. In my opinion, the Marlin 39a lever action is just as accurate as my CZ, BUT I'd never admit that to my brother.
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:08 AM   #14
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Since our .22s probably see more use than anything else, and we have more of them than anything else, just acknowledge the inevitable and get both.
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Old July 14, 2012, 10:28 AM   #15
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My Browning BL22 is hard to beat in the short throw quick action and accuracy department -



Can't compare it to the Henry or the 9422 - haven't owned or shot either - but am happy with the BL22 - I was started on bolt action but, never learned to love it like I do my lever guns.



Here I am in about 1933 with my first bolt action 22 and "trophies"

YMMV
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Old July 14, 2012, 12:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OJ View Post
My Browning BL22 is hard to beat in the short throw quick action and accuracy department -



Can't compare it to the Henry or the 9422 - haven't owned or shot either - but am happy with the BL22 - I was started on bolt action but, never learned to love it like I do my lever guns.



Here I am in about 1933 with my first bolt action 22 and "trophies"

YMMV
Great pictures OJ!
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Old July 14, 2012, 04:22 PM   #17
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My first .22 was a semi, then Lever and I guess I'll get a bolt some day.

So, I say start with the lever, I love my Henry!


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Old July 15, 2012, 01:55 PM   #18
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If you intend to compete with this rifle, you'll have to get a bolt action, probably heavy barrel rifle. Levers just don't cut it in the extreme accuracy department.
Depends on the type of competition. A local club has a cowboy rifle silhouette match and you must use a lever or pump with a tubular magazine.
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Old July 15, 2012, 02:53 PM   #19
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In my experience, if just for plinking, lever actions are more fun. If you're totally serious about small groups, then a bolt action is the better choice.

OJ - What a great photo! If more kids today had an opportunity to do what you were doing in the photo, then I suspect video game companies might go out of business. Might be nice to see kids outdoors again.
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Old July 15, 2012, 05:26 PM   #20
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whippoorwill In my experience, if just for plinking, lever actions are more fun. If you're totally serious about small groups, then a bolt action is the better choice.

OJ - What a great photo! If more kids today had an opportunity to do what you were doing in the photo, then I suspect video game companies might go out of business. Might be nice to see kids outdoors again.
Thanks for the kind words - I think we probably made it through the great depression in rural areas than they did in urban places. When I wasn't milking cows, cleaning barns, and such productive activities - I was shooting rabbits - and prairie dogs - there was a serious effort to totally wipe out coyotes (which obviously never happened) - but the reduced proportion of them produced an immense overpopulation of Jack rabbits in particular - but also cottontails and prairie dogs. I got my first .22 rimfire single shot for my 6th birthday in 1932 - and, of course, in season, got pheasants and ducks with my .410 double barrel shotgun.

It really is too bad now but kids with guns walking down streets in small towns only drew smiles and friendly waves from people driving by - today, they would be locking schools down - and such. We didn't have video games and such - even our radio was a sometime thing - so evenings were spent reading, cleaning guns, and tying flies for summer fishing.

I'll always be grateful I was put on this planet when I was - most generations of late teenagers are not given much regard and frequently ridiculed - our generation was told we were needed to save our nation in WW II from becoming Japanese or German citizens - and those telling us that were serious. Those of us who made it through really benefited all around -
I'm sure grateful for the life I got to live.

Back to lever guns - I did have a well used - but still good - Winchester 94 in 32 special - for coyotes - and most of those shots were at a fair distance and that spoke well for the accuracy of our rifles. I never felt any 22 was right for that - though others didn't share that feeling - I suspect those coyotes hit with 22s did die eventually but - not a humane death. Shooting coyotes rarely involves a close shot - coyotes are spooky and hard to get close to - but, with practice that 94 did pretty good.
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Last edited by OJ; July 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:57 AM   #21
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Obviously intended purpose is the deciding factor but accuracy is a relative term. No the average lever gun won't shoot with the average marlin, savage or cz bolt gun. Tack driving accuracy? Depends on the shooter, the size of the tacks and how far away the tacks are. I suppose it's possible.........

But on the flip side bolt action .22s are boring as watching paint dry. Unless you are looking at competition get a lever action and don't look back.
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Old July 17, 2012, 03:52 PM   #22
Ibuprofen200mg
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I picked up a .22 Henry youth model, and running
CCI CB shorts (low noise, 710 fps) through is almost
unbelievable plunking fun. About as loud as a pellet rifle,
and about 20x more fun!
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Old July 17, 2012, 04:35 PM   #23
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Unless you put them on a bench I doubt you will see any difference between a good lever and a bolt.
If you are a good shooter it makes a big difference ... this is beyond contestation; just on the trigger alone, even without the barrel, lockup factors, etc... Hitting x-rings the size of a .22 round, off-hand at 50 meters is not a place lever guns want to hang out at ... seriously, and I Love Lever guns!
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Old July 17, 2012, 05:03 PM   #24
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I dunno - we've been talking rimfires and tube fed levers - but - I got this Winchester 95 in 30-06 from my wife for our 25th anniversary (yeah - I know - I did "help" he find it - husbands are obligated to help our wives any way we can) - only mod is the Williams FP71 aperture rear sight with aperture removed for ghost ring sight -





I don't do "bench rest" but just rest my supporting fist on the tables at the range - I zeroed the sights to hit point of a at 25 yards and "fine tuned" that to hit 2" above POA at 100 yards - with this result -



The shots in pairs are all less than one inch center to center apart (one MOA - random singles were "elbow rest" and I have some tremor age related (was only 79 then). I don't see any bolt guns doing significantly - if any - better than that here.

Possibly the pointed bullets the 95 shoots are more accurate than the rounded ones out of a tube magazine ?
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Old July 17, 2012, 07:37 PM   #25
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for hunting there will be no difference. Off of a rest there may be a slight difference.
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