THESE TWO IMPORTED RIMFIRE LEVERGUNS
ARE QUITE SUITABLE FOR SMALL GAME, VARMINTS AND PLINKING.
Who could’ve ever looked in the future at the time the first successful leverguns and sixguns appeared in the 19th century and seen they would be running side-by-side with plastic polymer, high-capacity, semi-automatics as the most popular and most used firearms available?
gun, the Smith & Wesson .22 tip-up 7-shooter, goes back to 1857 and it was joined by the first Winchester levergun three years later. The .22 is probably our most popular cartridge and is currently chambered in just about everything considered a modern firearm as well as replicas of old original firearms.
The latest leverguns from Uberti take us all the way back to the days of the 1860 Henry and the 1866 Yellow Boy. They are the Silverboys offered in both .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum.
Both of these new leverguns are virtually identical except for the chamber marking inscribed on the top of the barrel in front of the receiver. Both versions have post front sights set in a dovetail, however, the rear sights are different, as the one found on the .22 Magnum can be adjusted for elevation using the notches usually found on levergun rear sights. However, the rear sight on the .22 Long Rifle Silverboy is just a simple, notched sight set in a dovetail.
Even though the .22 Magnum may have an adjustable rear sight, I could not get it to adjust enough when the rear sight was bottomed out. With my hold, and my ammo the rifle still shot 10 inches high at 50 yards. On the other hand, the nonadjustable .22 Long Rifle version was close enough at 40 yards, to still be useful.
John found the short stroke of the Uberti Silverboys to make for a quick-handling rimfire.
The only difference externally between the .22 Long Rifle (top) and .22 WMR Silverboy is the
rear sight is fixed on the .22 LR and the WMR has a rear sight with an elevator. Note the
loading is accomplished on the right side of the mag tube rather than the traditional
Firing at 40 yards with the .22 Long Rifle version, my best groups were right at 1-1/2 inches with Winchester’s bulk pack “525” ammunition, while Winchester’s Power Points did just barely over 1-inch at 50 yards with a scope in place (these were 9-shot groups). Both of these rifles were drilled and tapped for scope mount bases. However, I could not get anything out of Benelli—the importer—so I had my gunsmith Tom at Buckhorn make me a base. I used it first on the .22 Magnum since it was not usable with iron sights and then switched it over to the .22 Long Rifle Silverboy. In both cases I simply borrowed a scope from another .22 rifle I had on hand.
I was a little more frugal with my .22 Magnum ammunition since this is so hard to come by and rarely seen on dealer shelves these days. Three-shot groups were fired at 50 yards with two examples from CCI, the Maxi-Mag and Maxi-Mag HP coming in at 3/4 inch, while Winchester’s JHP and Super-X JHPs both grouped in just over 1/2 inch. This rifle is certainly accurate enough for varmint and small game hunting. It did not like the CCI super velocity Maxi-Mag +Vs nearly as well and its groups were well over 2 inches.
Both of these .22’s have chrome-plated alloy receivers and barrel bands with the balance of the metal parts being blued. Wood-to-metal fit is generally good with a slight overrun of wood on the buttstock where it meets the receiver. Too much is easily fixed, too little is a problem. The lever-action stroke to remove a fired case and chamber a new cartridge is relatively short. Both Silverboys feature controlled-round feeding which allows the rifle being fired from various angles. Trigger pulls feel very good with the .22 Long Rifle version measuring 6 pounds while the Magnum comes in at 3-1/2 pounds.
Targets fired at 50 yards with a scope-sighted .22 Long Rifle
Silverboy show it quite capable of taking small game.
Targets fired at 50 yards with a scope-sighted .22 Magnum Silverboy
show it, too, would be a good choice for small game and varmints.
Every .22 levergun I’ve ever seen features a magazine tube which is accessed by pulling a plunger forward until a silhouette cutout of a cartridge is exposed on the bottom of the tube. Cartridges are then loaded through this opening and dropped down the tube. Uberti has rotated the cut-out 90-degrees counterclockwise so this silhouette cut-out is now on the side— a very minor operation, which makes loading much easier.
Both Silverboys weigh in at 5.8 pounds with 19-inch barrels. They are light enough for easy carrying while at the same time being solid enough to give a big levergun feel. They should both serve for small game and varmints at suitable distances while the .22 Magnum can certainly be used for medium-size predators. Of course, both excel at the wonderful sport of plinking.
By John Taffin
Maker & Importer: Uberti, USA
17603 Indian Head Hwy
Accokeek, MD 20607
Action Type: Lever action
Caliber: .22 LR or .22 WMR
Capacity: 14 +1 (.22 LR), 10+1 (.22 WMR)
Barrel Length: 19 inches
Overall Length: 37 inches
Weight: 5.8 pounds
Finish: Chrome plated receiver, blued barrel
Sights (.22 LR): Fixed, adjustable for windage, receiver drilled and tapped for scope
Sights (.22 WMR): Rear adjustable for windage & elevation, receiver drilled and tapped for scope
Stock: Walnut, Price: $589 (.22 LR), $599 (.22 WMR)
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