Uberti has made a name for itself by reproducing a wide variety of classic historical firearms, particularly those of the American West. Its latest offering, the Silver Boy lever-action rifle in .22 Long Rifle, however, is an all-new interpretation of a classic.
The Silver Boy is available in just one chambering, .22 Long Rifle, and the eye-catching finish of its aluminum alloy frame is a product of chrome, rather than nickel-plating. The action lever and barrel band are chrome-plated as well, but the external hammer is case-colored, while the remaining metal, including the 19-inch, round-contour barrel, is blued.
The rifle appears well-made and is attractive. It also feels handy because of its light weight and compact size. The fit and finish of the Silver Boy we received for testing were excellent; the receiver had no trace of tool marks. Only two slotted screws break up the relatively uncluttered flats of the receiver. The top of the receiver is closed and has a gently rounded contour and a small step where it joins the barrel. The cylindrical bolt is blued.
The stock and fore-end are hardwood stained with a satin walnut finish. Neither the stock nor the fore-end were checkered and both were slightly proud where they met metal, although gaps were small and relatively even. The butt of the stock is capped with a grooved, black plastic buttplate. Attached to the stock via two slotted screws, the buttplate has a gentle curve that helps it settle in the firer’s shoulder pocket. The wrist is straight, with no pistol grip, but the line of the stock from the wrist to the toe is almost imperceptibly curved.
Rather than a classic buckhorn rear typically associated with traditional Western rifles, the Uberti Silver Boy features a Spartan rear blade with a U-notch. The front sight is a post. Both the front and rear sights are dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The top of the receiver is also drilled and tapped for three machine screws that mate up to an included one-piece Weaver-style scope base.
Beneath the barrel is a magazine tube that holds 14 rounds of .22 Long Rifle. Unlike most center-fire lever-actions, the receiver of the Silver Boy has no loading gate, just an ejection port. Instead, a loading port can be found on the right-hand side of the outer magazine tube. To load the Silver Boy, rotate the knurled cap of the magazine tube counter-clockwise until the retaining stud aligns with the slot in the outer magazine tube. Pull up on the inner magazine tube until the follower clears the loading port. Drop the rounds base first into the tube. Then push down on the inner magazine tube and rotate the knurled knob clockwise so that the retaining stud re-engages the notch in the outer magazine tube.
To chamber a round, pull down on the action lever, which lifts the carrier, draws the bolt to the rear and cocks the hammer. The Silver Boy has a unique lifter with two fingers that hold onto the cartridge until it is picked up by the forward movement of the bolt. Pushing up on the action lever drives the bolt into battery and chambers a round. The Silver Boy has no mechanical safety buttons or levers, so putting it in a safe condition requires the firer to guide the fall of the hammer down to the safe/half-cock position while simultaneously squeezing the trigger. When the hammer is in the safe position, the sear is trapped in a notch at the base of the hammer.
We tested the Silver Boy with loads from CCI, Winchester and Remington. There were no malfunctions. We shot the rifle for accuracy with iron sights at 50 yards, and the results were quite good; however, we suspect the results could have been even better with a scope. Our groups were approximately 2 inches below point-of-aim. The trigger required about 4 1/2 pounds and broke cleanly, the pull being short with minimal take-up and no creep or stacking
Inspired by classic lever guns of the “Old West,” the Uberti Silver Boy is a modern take on a classic and beloved firearm design. For those in search of a handy, compact, lightweight and smooth-operating, rimfire lever-action rifle, the Uberti Silver Boy is an excellent choice.
Manufacturer: A. Uberti; www.ubertireplicas.com