I dont know which one is better but I can say from owning one that the Henry .22lr is a very nice rifle. The Marlins are nice looking. I havent ever really looked at a Marlin 22lr lever action. When it came to getting a lever action 22 rifle I knew I was gonna get a Henry.
I've been lucky enough to shoot both.
the Marlin is IMHO a fine weapon. Most Marlins that I've shot or worked on were the older models. y'know when someone was given one as a teenager. they almost always required a detailed cleaning and minor trigger work due to the excessive rounds shot through them over their decades life. but once cleaned and serviced, they can't be beat. Not sure on Modern Marlins as the company was taken over more than a few years back.
the Henry rifle is a model of how one should be built today.
To me, the real different is that the Marlins have that old mystique and I would buy a used Marlin over a Henry if money weren't an issue. research the pricing and you'll see the difference.
if it were between two new rifles, the Henry would win.
Hope this makes sense.
I have both and like them both. The Marlin 39 A has a fairly heavy 24" barrel. The Henry has a 18"Barrel.The Marlin is heavier and more accurate. The Henry a has a smother action. The longer barrel Marlin is quieter shooting than the Henry.That being said they both drop squirrels with ease and I use open sights.
I would suggest shouldering both rifles you will know which you like best.I have had my Marlin since 1969 and my Henry since 1998. Cliff
My dad is getting into cowboy action shooting. He has talked about it forever. A couple years ago, NRA had there big show in Pittsburg. I took my dad so he could look at and feel all the different revolvers, shotguns, and lever guns that are used in CAS. In lever guns, we looked at Marlin, Rossi, Henry, along with a few others that had 4 digit price tags. Out of the Marlin, Rossi & the Henry; the Henry was the smoothest & most well constructed...hands down! We also agreed that the Rossi was smoother than the Marlin as well. In case anyone is wondering, he bought a beautiful Henry in .357 mag.