The New Henry Silver Golden Boy Rifle

By Mary and Dr. Jim Clary

Illustration courtesy of Henry Repeating Arms Co.

When Henry Repeating Arms introduced the Golden Boy in 1999, it took the shooting industry by storm. It was the first firearm to honor the legacy of Benjamin Tyler Henry's rimfire repeating rifle. The sales of the Golden Boy took off and by 2001, when it was selected as the Gun of the Year”, by Guns & Ammo magazine, it had become one of the most (if not the most) desirable rifles in the U.S. Today, twenty years later, the Golden Boy is still the best selling lever action rimfire on the market and moving towards a million in sales.

With the success of the Golden Boy rifle, one might wonder where the idea for a Silver Golden Boy came from. Remember, 150 years ago, blackpowder (then and now) was extremely corrosive and very hard on working guns. In order to reduce the corrosive effects, gunsmiths experimented with electro-plating of critical components. The element nickel was the first and most successful as the electro-plating process evolved. In fact, nickel-plating became the standard due to its ability to maintain a long-lasting wear and tarnish-resistant finish. Not to mention resistant to corrosion; however, if not done properly, flaking and peeling of the finish could occur. Never the less, if one could afford it, a nickel-plated firearm was well worth the price.

Fast forward to the 21st century, take a Golden Boy rifle using modern metallurgical techniques, nickel-plate the rifle and you have the Silver Golden Boy. A rifle that has all the reliability and superb handling of the Golden Boy, but in a modern nickel-plated finish. A finish that will not flake, peel or wear off, even after years of use. A worthy tribute to the past.

The Silver is tube fed and is available in 17 HMR, 22 LR, and 22 Magnum We ordered our test rifle in .22 WMR which is our preferred varmint caliber. This is not a slam against the .17 HMR, it is simply a personal choice. You may prefer the .17 HMR or the .22 LR. That is what makes this rifle all the more versatile... you have a choice of calibers.

We mounted a Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm scope using the Henry Golden Boy Cantilever Scope Mount (GB-CSM). A Caldwell Fire Control front rest with a rear bag was used for stability when shooting. Our targets were set at 50 yards. We determined that 10-shot groups would be a fair and reasonable test of the rifle's accuracy.

After burning through 300 rounds of .22 WMR ammo, we measured our groups. The smallest measured 0.63”, the largest was 0.89” for an average spread of 0.75”. It really didn't seem to matter the brand of ammunition that we fired with one exception. PMC ammunition, while it cycled flawlessly, was inaccurate with several fliers, requiring us to discard their groups.. Federal ammunition produced the most accurate results with its best group size of 0.63” and CCI being a close second with a group size of 0.70”. There were no miss-fires during our tests.

The detailed specifications of the Silver Golden Boy are as follows:

Model Number H004SM

Action Type Lever Action

Caliber .22 WMR

Capacity 12 rounds

Barrel Length 20.5"

Barrel Type Octagon Blued Steel

Rate of Twist 1:16

Overall Length 39"

Weight 6.75 lbs.

Receiver Finish Nickel Plated

Rear Sight Fully Adj. Semi-Buckhorn w/ Diamond Insert

Front Sight Brass Bead

Scopeability Drilled and Tapped

Scope Mount Type GB-CSM

Stock Material American Walnut

Buttplate/Pad Nickel Plated

Length of Pull 14"

Safety 1/4 Cock

Best Uses Target/Hunting/Collector

The bottom line – this gun is reliable, accurate and fun to shoot. It is well worth the money. In fact, we purchased this one for our family.

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Copyright 2021 by Mary and Jim Clary and/or All rights reserved.