Have a standard Henry in 17 HMR. Half inch groups at 50 yards is no problem with a Redfield 2-7 scope and I am only an average shot. Read somewhere online that 17 HMR generally was more accurate than 22 mag because ammo for 17 is manufactured to more consistent specs. Never owned a 22 mag rifle so that may just be BS.
Barrels don't get shot out in 300 rounds. Is it scoped? I have had scopes lose zero, have had a couple with reticle problems. One, the reticle was floating around inside the scope. I will say any 22 WMR shouldn't keyhole, ever. Something is amiss.
Son has the youth model. Don't know who likes it more. Me or him.