Gun Review: Henry .22 Magnum Small Game Carbine

By Eve Flanigan published on in Firearms

The folks at Henry Repeating Arms Company made another gun to be proud of with the Small Game Carbine, chambered in .22 Magnum. This lever-action rifle delivers on several levels.

Right-side profile of the Henry Small Game Carbine

Right-side profile of the Henry Small Game Carbine, chambered in 22 Winchester Magnum.

The model in this test has a dark walnut stock and blued steel hardware. There’s no flashy brass or nickel—a familiar feature of many Henry rifles. The comparatively plain appearance complements this little rifle’s stated purpose. It’s less than 34 inches in overall length. The 16.25-inch barrel and light 5.75-pound weight make it practical to pack around in the truck or around the property. The updated large loop lever allows for ease of working the action for quick follow-up shots—even in winter attire.

The rear peep sight is drift-adjustable for windage and can also be adjusted for elevation. The fixed front sight has a tiny brass inset that helps with rapid acquisition and focus—perfect for targeting and follow-up shots on small game.

Inlaid brass lettering on the barrel of a Henry Small Game Rifle

Inlaid brass on the stamped lettering adds a touch of class.

Loading requires twisting and raising the inner magazine tube, and tube-feeding up to seven rounds into the magazine. There’s a tiny rubber gasket around the top of the inner magazine tube that ensures a snug, weather-resistant, and quiet seal.

Feeding is smooth and works equally well with right- or left-handed operation. As a left-handed shooter, I’m happy to report that empty case ejection was entirely a non-issue. It was easy to maintain a cheek weld and never have the distraction of brass hitting my face. The stock is a nice length that fits most adults.

The trigger is, in my opinion, exactly right for a small-game rifle. There is a bit of travel, just enough to get a feel for the pressure required to break the shot. I didn’t gauge it, but it’s on par with any quality hunting rifle. It features a plenty big trigger too, allowing most shooters to avoid rubbing the trigger guard in instances where a rapid sight picture and press are indicated.

brass tipped front sight post on a rifle

A brass-tipped sight enhances visibility. The octagon barrel lends a rugged profile.

The safety mechanism is a half-cock of the hammer that can be engaged while pulling the hammer back or a controlled release. It’s a mechanical safety, of course, and practical for hunting purposes. Pardon this brief foray, but every person reading this knows mechanical things can fail. Exercise trigger and muzzle discipline.

Raising the inner magazine tube to a sufficient height to clear the loading port, or removing it entirely to load accomplishes loading. The inner magazine tube cap is pebbled for traction—a good thing as loosening the retention mechanism requires a rather tight pinch-and-twist on the skinny cap. The WMR version of this gun has a black cap on the spring (internal) end of the loading rod. The LR model has an orange one. It’s an inconsequential difference for function and intended use, but the black one just looks better on this classic design.

Accuracy was more than acceptable. The groups shown here, with corresponding ammunition, were made from a supported prone position in 27 mph wind, with some rocking on the part of the target itself thanks to conditions. The CCI and Hornady ammunition burned clean and functioned perfectly. Henry offers minimal advice on ammo selection. The warranty (lifetime, by the way, with the expected exclusions for wear, tear, and dumb mistakes like inserting the wrong ammo), covers the gun if it’s been fed “original, high quality, commercially manufactured ammunition in good condition.”

Grouping of shots from a Henry Small Game rifle with CCI .22 WMR ammunition box

40-grain CCI Maxi-Mag produced an acceptable group at 25 yards in high winds. Obviously, an elevation adjustment would be in order at this distance.

The gun is handsome and plain, reminiscent of a grandpa’s pocket knife. There’s no pizzazz, as well as nothing unappealing in its appearance. It’s a utilitarian tool, and a perfect example of form following function.

Henry RAC has a longstanding tradition of building quality rifles. Having tested two of them to date, I’ve truly come to respect the craftsmanship and quality of components and performance these rifles offer. Real-world prices for the Henry Small Game Carbine in .22 magnum are around $400—quite a reasonable price for a quality American rifle that has a warranty for life.

Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt button

Click the image to check stock and find Cheaper Than Dirt!’s price.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tags: , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (23)

  • Jose Escabi


    I love my 22 mag and would love to have a 4570


  • Thom Berger


    Looks like a nice gun for my Grandchildren…but make it in a .22 Hornet and I’ll buy one.


  • Vic vapor


    nice carbine.
    Like the commenter mentioned nice to have in stainless with better sights.

    Like to have it with 26 inch barrel and vernier sights.!!


  • Chris Hoopes


    Can you shoot 22 Long rifle ammunition through the 22 mag?


    • JSW




    • MisterEd


      That’s a negative. The 22 Long Rifle case is slightly smaller in diameter and could be split open.


  • Steven Plouffe


    I own the golden boy .44 mag…love the rifle but jams in the forward action of reloading the chamber…I don’t shoot it a lot so I’m thinking needs to be broken in…I just hope that’s all it is…time will tell…


  • Jay


    Why won’t you make an Ar 7 in .22 MAG ?? That would be THE PERFECT PACK GUN!


  • Richard Price


    I have a Henry 22 Magnum & I love it. So accurate & fun to shoot.


  • Maberick


    I own five Henry’s and would not trade any of them for any other lever rifles. Best on the market in my opinion.


  • Hobbs9


    Nice rifle, perfect length for it’s purpose. However, Henry should make an all weather stainless version of this, with a fiber-optic front sight!
    The price they’re asking would fit the version I’m talking about more appropriately


  • D. Brian Casady


    After seeing the writeup of Denis Prisbrey’s torture test of the Henry Golden Boy as he was doing it, I am not one who thinks Henry rifles are overpriced. You get what you pay for. I have one of the little .22lr ones with the round barrel and the plain black sides. It is all I need in .22 lr, and I would expect the .22 Magnum to work as well. You can find the torture test writeup in the current issue of Guns of the Old West.


Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: