Marlin Model 60 full

By Ing

In his 2010 review of the Ruger 10/22, TTAG’s Brad Kozak called the .22 long rifle the Rodney Dangerfield of cartridges (it gets no respect). If that’s true, then the Marlin Model 60 is the Rodney Dangerfield of .22 rifles. Marlin bills the Model 60 as “an economically priced rifle that’s earned the title of most popular 22 in the world.” In a world that hadn’t seen the 10/22, that claim would be inarguable, but alas, popularity is a slippery claim. In Marlin’s favor, however, is the fact that it has sold well over 11 million of these little semi-auto rifles. Fair enough . . .

Marlin also says of the Model 60:

Since it was introduced in 1960, it has continuously represented one of America´s finest rimfire values.

Ah, value. Another one of those squidgy marketing terms. If you want a firearm that (kept well and used sparingly) can sell years later for more than your purchase price, this isn’t the value you’re looking for. In the Model 60’s milieu (much like Meineke’s), value starts with the fact that you’re not going to pay a lot. You could say it’s cheap, but that would be…well…cheap.

Let’s just say you’ll get a lot of bang — literally — for your buck. A little bit of history:

The Marlin Model 60 has been in continuous production since its debut in (surprise!) 1960. The rifle hasn’t changed much in the intervening 54 years. Somewhere in its early days it gained a manual hold-open that locks the bolt in its fully rearward position, but the best change came in 1985, when Marlin introduced a mechanism that automatically locks the bolt halfway open on an empty magazine.

Marlin Model 60 open bolt

The original Model 60 had a 22” barrel and a magazine tube of corresponding length, which held 18 rounds of .22 long rifle. In the late 1980s, to comply with New Jersey’s newly minted restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons guns that scared its legislators, Marlin chopped the magazine tube down to hold 14 rounds. At the turn of our current century the barrel was shortened to 19”, which brought the overall length of the rifle back into proportion with the magazine tube.

Model 60s were sold under the Glenfield name until 1983, and were sold under private-label names for JC Penney, Montgomery Ward, Western Auto and others.

Among Model 60 collectors and enthusiasts — yes, they do exist — the pre-1980s versions with the longer barrel and magazine are the most sought after. Although some would disagree, its partisans call the Model 60 a modern classic.

Declaration of biases

There’s no such thing as an unbiased review. Despite that, I still think a review can be honest and useful if the reader knows where the reviewer is coming from. So here’s where I’m coming from: I really like this gun. It’s the first gun I bought for myself (about four years ago). It brought back skills learned in long-ago Boy Scout camps in dusty Southern Utah, and I taught my wife and kids to shoot with it.

While we’re at it, I’ll admit to my limitations, too. This is an owner’s review; I’m not calling myself an expert. I’ve put a few thousand rounds through my particular Model 60, so I know its capabilities and idiosyncrasies. I’ve done a little research and comparison, but I’m not a collector or a pro or a history buff. Basically I’m reviewing this thing from my perspective as a diehard plinker and cash-strapped shooting enthusiast.

I’m just a guy who really loves shooting guns. And some of my favorite shooting memories are tied to my Marlin Model 60. That said, I’m not blind to its faults.

Airing of grievances

The trigger is, in a word, terrible. Well, okay, it’s not irredeemable. But if you’ve ever shot a rifle with a half-decent trigger, you’ll know the Model 60’s trigger is more like a shirtless Rodney Dangerfield than a bikini-clad Israeli model. I haven’t measured the pull weight, but those who have say it clocks in anywhere from five to seven pounds (I’d guess closer to seven). And it’s gritty, and the travel is long, and it stacks, and you may even be able to hear springs creaking when you pull it. Still, it can be managed with good results.

When I bought my Model 60 about four years ago, I didn’t have anything to compare it to. I hadn’t shot a gun in nearly 25 years, and I thought that’s just the way triggers were. So I learned my trigger and got pretty good with it. With a little practice I found that I could instinctively stage the long trigger pull: get on target, pull the trigger halfway, breathe out, let the sights settle onto the bull’s-eye…and then bang. It worked pretty well.

A few weeks later, when I bought my Marlin 336 — which does have a half-decent trigger — I was so excited to put lead downrange that I didn’t bother with dry-firing it or any kind of practice (yeah, I know…now). I just loaded that sucker up with 5 rounds of .30-30 and started my usual routine. Get on target, pull the trigger halfw — BANG! Ouch… Missed the target completely. That’s how different the triggers were. But I hit my second shot, and now that I know what I’m dealing with, I do well enough with both rifles, trigger disparity notwithstanding.

A minor gripe is that the stock doesn’t come with studs for mounting a sling. When Marlin says this is a no-frills rifle, they mean it (although a sling is arguably a necessity, not a frill). I installed my own.

Model 60 stock & action

As for cleaning, there’s good news and bad news.

Disassembly is easy enough; removing two screws separates the stock from the barreled action, and a single easy-to-remove pin holds the action and bolt in place. The bolt is simple and easy to clean, and there’s plenty of room to work on the barrel once you take the action assembly out of the receiver — but inside the action assembly is an assortment of springs and fiddly bits that you should never attempt to take apart.

What with .22 LR being a very dirty round and this gun positively daring you to throw hundreds of rounds downrange every time you pick it up, there will be gritty residue everywhere. And unless you have a solvent bath to soak the action in, you’re never going to get those fiddly bits fully clean. The good news is, you don’t have to. Just get the parts you can reach, paying special attention to the feed ramp, and you’ll be okay. That’s all the cleaning I’ve given the innards of my gun, and as far as I know my nephew hasn’t ever cleaned his (and he got it used, so who knows how long it’s really been).

This gun doesn’t seem to mind running a little dirty. That said, you do have to clean it.

Model 60 action & bolt

The gunpowder haircut: A cautionary tale

Back in the faraway days of four years ago, I didn’t know guns needed cleaning — the guns in my life had all been rural closet-dwellers, fired once or twice a year to dispatch a pest or farm animal, and of course never cleaned. Why bother?

Well, it turns out that while you’re having a blast sending bullets downrange every weekend, that nasty-dirty .22 ammo is leaving layer upon layer of deposits behind, and if you don’t clean it periodically, you’re just asking for misfires. Eventually you’ll start seeing failures to feed as cartridges get hung up on the carbon-encrusted feed ramp, or failures to fire as the built-up crud pushes the cartridge out to where the firing pin can’t quite reach the primer.

In a more extreme scenario, you might wind up pulling a mangled piece of brass like this one out of your gun.

22lr case failure

This particular kaboom gave my son a gunpowder haircut — the blast went back into the action, and the hot gases coming out of the gap between stock and receiver singed one side of his bangs clean off. Fortunately neither human nor gun was harmed. Heck, people actually paid for lopsided haircuts like that back in the ‘80s.

We joke about it now, but at the time it scared the crap out of me. Safety glasses, people. Safety glasses. Near as I can figure, crud on the bolt face and in the chamber prevented the bolt from closing completely, but the firing pin somehow still connected with the primer. Case failures like this are very rare, but somehow I made it happen.

Since then, I take a look at the bolt face every 500 rounds or so and scrape it off if I see any excess buildup happening. It only takes a few seconds with my specialty tool of choice, a $2.99 mini-screwdriver from Ace Hardware. Although you could give your gun a proper cleaning instead. If you want to be that way.

Feats of strength

Shooting this gun is just plain fun. The trigger pull may be heavy and rough, but the blade is substantial and ergonomic, with a wide surface and just the right amount of curvature. Holding the gun just feels natural. And then there’s the sheer joy of ripping through 14 rounds of .22 long rifle in one go. The Marlin Model 60 could well be the ultimate plinking gun.

Thanks in part to its relatively thick barrel, the Model 60 is just a tad heavier than some rifles in its price range, but that’s not a bad thing; it’s like having a bull barrel with a little less bull. It is a short and handy rifle, but it’s not “youth” sized; length of pull is a fairly adult-standard 13.5 inches.

The Model 60 is a reliable little beast. I’ve fired thousands of rounds through mine with the only malfunctions being a handful of failures to feed and failures to fire. (And that one gunpowder haircut.) The majority of those, I attribute to a criminally dirty gun.

There is one caveat, a foible endemic to semiautomatic .22 rifles: they’re finicky about ammo. You may get one that eats whatever you feed it, but you’re more likely to find that it prefers certain types and chokes on others. Generally speaking, higher-velocity rounds and heavier bullet weights are more likely to please your Model 60’s palate. (Mine will eat only standard Blazer round-nose and CCI Velocitors, for instance.) Find out which ammo it likes best, and you’re good to go.

Accuracy

The Ruger 10/22 may have become The Rifle to Which All Other .22 Semiautos Shall Be Compared, but there’s nearly universal agreement that the Marlin Model 60 has the edge in inherent accuracy.

Marlin touts its proprietary Micro-Groove rifling, which has 16 shallow grooves instead of the usual fewer and deeper grooves. The idea is that the many small grooves grip the bullet firmly without deforming it and without allowing gases to escape around it, thus yielding better stability, more uniform velocity and more consistent accuracy.

I dunno about all that, but I do know that my rifle is more accurate than I am.

Sample Target

Yeah, so it’s not hard for a rifle to be more accurate than I am. I have no range equipment — I’m a plinker, remember, so this is just me kneeling in the dirt in the boonies — but that’s not much of an excuse. I can be pretty accurate when I do my job right, but as you can see here, I often don’t do my job right. In this case my groups opened up as the daylight faded and I got impatient. A decent marksman should be able to produce groups like the two smaller ones consistently at 50 yards.

Fit and finish

The Model 60 is made with budget constraints in mind, but it still looks good. In aesthetic terms, likening this rifle to Rodney Dangerfield is more like a gross insult than a simile. It may get no respect, but this is a fine-looking little gun. Chuck Hawks says it has “streamlined, timeless styling,” and I’m inclined to agree.

The current version has a stock made of very nice-looking laminated wood; less-current Model 60’s (like mine) have a birch stock. The birch stocks look good, but I consider the laminated stocks an improvement. The wood-to-metal fit isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t call it sloppy, either; even though the stock features a couple of places where the fit could be closer, at least it’s uniform, and the parts that need to mate solidly do so.

I think the bluing on the barrel actually looks better than my Henry rifles. The receiver is an aluminum alloy (probably ZAMAK) painted black. After four years of use, the black coating is starting to wear a bit around the ejection port, where it takes lots of abuse from flying brass and hot gases; however, it remains unblemished elsewhere.

Specifications:

Caliber: .22 long rifle (will not accept .22 short or .22 long)
Barrel: 19 inches; has Marlin’s patented Micro-Groove rifling
Overall Length: 37.5 inches
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Action: Semiautomatic
Sights: Open rear sight, adjustable for elevation and windage; ramp front sight. Receiver grooved for scope mount.
Finish: Blued steel barrel, black coated receiver
Capacity: 14-shot integral tubular magazine
Price: $149 to $179

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):

Ratings are based on the merits of the firearm compared to other similarly priced and marketed firearms. The final rating is not the product of the component ratings, and may include other aspects not discussed.

Accuracy: * * * * *
This rifle sets the accuracy standard its budget-priced brethren hope to reach. The Monte Carlo profile stock provides a decent cheek weld, and Marlin’s signature micro-grooved barrel is inherently accurate. The trigger isn’t good, but it can be managed; once you’re used to it, you can treat it almost like a (heavy and not very smooth) two-stage trigger. Groups in the half-inch neighborhood at 50 yards should be routine if you do your job right.

Ergonomics: * * *
The rifle handles well and is a lot of fun to shoot. However, reloading the tubular magazine is an awkward process and the trigger is pretty rough. With practice both can be run effectively, but compared to similar rifles that have detachable magazines and better or more easily upgradable triggers, the Model 60 loses points. Take the reloading awkwardness out of the equation, and you’ve got a solid 4+ stars.

Reliability: * * * *
Once you identify its preferred ammo, just keep feeding it what it wants, and it’ll go bang whenever you want it to. In several thousand rounds I’ve only experienced a handful of malfunctions, and a very dirty gun contributed to most of them.

Customization: * * *
The options are sparse compared to a Ruger, but nothing competes with a 10/22 in the aftermarket department. Sights and optics that are made to fit rimfire rifles in general will fit your Model 60, and there are a few places that make snazzy replacement stocks. You may want to improve the trigger, but unless you’re into amateur gunsmithing, that’s a job for a professional (who will probably ask why you didn’t just buy a Ruger; you can reply that you wanted inherent accuracy, not aftermarket tomfoolery).

Overall: * * * *
I had a hard time not giving five stars, because that’s how much I like my Model 60 — but I’m trying to be objective, and it’s not perfect, so four it is. This is one of the cheapest .22 rifles on the market, but it’s the good kind of cheap. It’s reliable and accurate. A delightful little plinker. A quick-handling varmint killer. A perfect gun for the cost-conscious (i.e., poor) shooter who needs the best possible fun-to-money ratio. A low-risk, high-reward starter gun for beginning shooters. In terms of bang for your buck, it’s pretty hard to beat a Marlin Model 60.

81 Responses to Gun Review: Marlin Model 60 [P320 Entry]

  1. Now I need a .22 rifle/carbine, I just knew someone would insidiously spew more propaganda and manipulate me into doing something drastic after the Ruger bit. Screw you author, you knew I was thinking about how cool a tube-feeder would be…

    …actually maybe a bolt-action…yeah. &%&*(!

      • Nothing worse then trying to read a article about marlin rifles and half the article is about the Ruger 10-22.

    • The best thing about .22 rifles is also the worst thing: the price. Most are very reasonably priced, which is great – until you get a couple, and realize you’re hooked, and want nearly every one on the market. A couple hundred bucks is a great price for a rifle, especially considering how much fun they are, but it starts to add up when you get five or ten of the damn things…

    • Glenfield model 25. Bolt action 7 round detachable mag. Extremely accurate smoothest bolt action ive come across yet. Especially in a 22lr.

  2. I had Model 60. They’re great plinkers, but I still prefer the 10/22. I just wasn’t a fan of the tubular magazine.

  3. I’ve fired a Model 60 and it’s pretty much what you describe. Fairly accurate, bad trigger, though I’ve had my share of tube loaders and you can get into a certain rhythm with some practice.

    I inherited a Model 60 and it’s been nothing but problems for me. This one is an older Sears model, so it’s not called a “Marlin”. I can’t remember if it’s branded as a Ted Stevens or Glenfield, but it’s essentially the same gun with a scope mount. This one is pre-1985 so no hold open and a full 18 rds. Unfortunately, the older ones suffer from some bad springs and sometimes need replacement parts. It’s not as rugged as a Ruger apparently.

    As a cheaper than dirt gun, it gets the job done. However, you can find Ruger 10/22’s base models for just around $200 and then modify them as you get a little cash. The only reason to pass on a 10/22 is if $200 is too hard to come by honestly. What the Model 60 gets you is definite value for it’s price. No worries about lost magazines and if you are never going to customize it, though I have seen some interesting options including a bullpup stock for one, it’s going to work just fine. If someone were to give me one that worked I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it. In fact, I’d rather have this than Marlin’s magazine fed rimfire rifle. (Can’t remember the model # offhand)

    • I think you mean “Ted Williams”–like the shotgun my dad won at a shop pool and has since been passed down through me to my son.

    • The magazine fed is the Marlin 795, and can be had for a pittance at Academy. Something like $129.

    • I have a 60 model marlin 22 long. Got it when my son was 6, he’s 33 now. shoots what ever I feed it. I have a 3x9x32 on it. Love the little thing. Never had 1 problem out of it. Will be passed down to my son’s 4 sure

  4. I have a 40 year old Marlin bolt action .22 with a “micro-grooved” barrel and at 25 yards, shooting off a bench, using a Weaver 3-6 power scope, I could shoot the thumb tacks holding my paper target after I was done with the target. I have always liked the accuracy of the micro-grooved barrel. About 10 years ago, I got a Marlin “Papoose” take down version of the model 60. Cute little gun, and I had plans for it, but somehow, it got tucked into a corner of the safe and has never been fired. You have inspired me to dig it out and have some fun with it.

  5. Worth keeping in mind that the 10/22 is about 100 bucks more to get something similar, more if you start wanting options. So it’s really bottom-of-the-barrel in terms of pricing, and the thing works pretty darn well.

    That being said, I own one of these as well and as much as I like it, I think for plinking and teaching you are far better off with a bolt action. You just get more mileage out of it. Part of the problem is that the rifle is not particularly well balanced, in that too much weight is too far back. The result is that when the slide blows back, your point of aim moves far more up and to the right than one might expect with a .22. This results in quite a bit of difficulty for shots greater than 40-50 yards. This could be helped with a sling, but I still think the bolt action is the way to go for an entry-level rifle in this caliber.

  6. A pair of these have been living in my safe for ~15 years now, sporting 4x20mm scopes even. Taught all three of my kids and the Mrs. to shoot with them. A couple more years and the grandkids will be toting them to the range. Probably the best 120 bucks I’d spent in 1999…and that was for the pair of them. Great shooters for plinking cans or paper, or small game, rabbit squirrel etc..

    I must have gotten lucky as they eat whatever I feed them… but Winchester Wildcat were their staple diet when they were available. I have one brick of them left, with the $8 pricetag affixed last I looked.

  7. —In the late 1980s, to comply with New Jersey’s newly minted restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons guns that scared its legislators, Marlin chopped the magazine tube down to hold 14 rounds. At the turn of our current century the barrel was shortened to 19”, which brought the overall length of the rifle back into proportion with the magazine tube.

    Model 60s were sold under the Glenfield name until 1983—

    I’m not sure that paragraph is accurate – I have a Glenfield model 60 that holds 14 rounds. It belonged to my grandfather, and was passed over to me when he died – according to my google-fu on the serial number was made in 1971.

    • Interesting. So there could be more Model 60 permutations than I thought. I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge my limitations here. That part was purely internet research, and all my sources agreed, so in it went.

  8. Bought a Marlin 795 recently, which is basically the same rifle, but box-magazine feed and with a synthetic stock.

    Out of the box, the action was filthy. I mean, full of oily grit to the point where you think working the action is doing damage.

    But once I cleaned it up and put a basic scope on it, it eats any standard. 22lr ammo I feed it, and produces 3 and 4 shot groups that make 1 hole at 50 yards.

    Lighter than a Ruger 10/22, cheaper by a good $100, and accurate. I guess I can forgive the filth. If I have to.

    • Toss on some tech sights, replace the trigger on that 795, and use some emery paper to smooth out the magazine well. That’s some fun shooting – heretically, I slightly prefer shooting it over my 10/22. I wish I could find some 22LR, though.

  9. I was given a Model 60 by my dad as a kid and it is still a faithful companion of mine. It’s a pre-83 with a NJ mocking 18rd magazine tube that I plan to pass to my kid AFTER I leave this mortal coil. I have replaced the trigger guard with an aluminium DIP one after cracking two plastic guards from the factory reefing that screw on the rear. I also replaced the wooden stock with a plastic one that is more resistant to the elements and has built in sling studs. Add in a sling and a cheap bi-pod and squirrels fear me as soon as I step off the beaten path. A Spee-D-Loader or the body of an aluminium arrow make reloading a small rush of adreniline and shells. This rifle has become the flagship of my .22 fleet that includes a Henry octagon, a Henry youth, a S &W 22A, and a Ruger SR22 pistol. I plan on adding a Ruger 10/22 Takedown to round my collection but my Model 60 still holds as the king. Now, only if I can find some shells…

  10. I bought my Marlin 60 almost 20 years ago, it was the first gun I ever bought. It fires everything I feed it, including the bulk ammo I still have from 20 years ago. It’s the only 22 rifle I have, although my wife has a 10/22.

  11. I never noticed a trigger issue on my Model 60..
    And every time somebody brings them up.. I miss mine.
    I’m going to have to go find one made before Freedom Group..

  12. When I was young, my Glenfield model 60 was my favorite long gun. I put thousands of rounds through mine with minimal cleaning and no broken bits. It’s an old one, and doesn’t have the empty hold open, but it does have the 18 round tube. I had an optic for mine, but I always prefered the iron sights.

  13. I love my Marlin Glenfield 60. It was the first gun I ever bought when I turned 18 back in 1984 ($69.95 at Kmart). It’s a 1982 model with a 18 round tube magazine. I guess the fact that it had been sitting around Kmart for 2 years is why it was on sale when I bought it. I lost count of rounds through it years ago at around 10,000+ rounds. When I first bought it I’d put a brick of ammo through it almost every weekend that summer. I bet I had close to 5000 rounds through it before the thought of cleaning crossed my mind (hey I was 18 and stupid). About two months ago the recoil buffer broke (the yellowish/white plastic piece in picture 4) and trying to keep springs from flying everywhere while partially disassembling the action was quite a chore. Hint: zip ties and taking it apart inside a clear 1 gallon ziploc bag (to contain any errant springs that might fly off) make it a manageable task. After replacing the buffer I also decided that after 30 years the iron sights were getting a bit tough to see, so I put a cheap 4x scope on it, After sighting in the scope on the bench rest was wondering how good of a group the old girl would shoot. the answer was 0.4″ three shot group @ 50 yards with cheap Winchester western bulk ammo. I think in the 30 years I’ve owned it, I’ve more than gotten my original $70 back in enjoyment of shooting. It was the first gun my daughter shot and it got her into shooting, so even if the trigger is a little iffy, it still has a place in my heart and gun cabinet.

  14. Great little rifle. Great for training new shooters, etc. I bought my ’60 last year, used. Paid $69 IIRC. I traded a friend some Russian 7.62x54r ammo on stripper clips for a 4x scope.

    One thing about my rifle which as built in 1990 — I found it extremely easy to bend the recoil spring upon reassembly. Ask me how I know. As such, I keep an extra one in my range bag. Just in case.

    Since loading a tube-feed can be a pain, I bought this handy little tool:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/511932/spee-d-loader-spee-d-15-22-caliber-rimfire-tube-magazine-rifle-ammunition-loader-polymer-clear?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    Note that I’m not advocating buying the gizmo from Midway, I’m just singing the praises of the device. It gives eight (8) tubes of 15 rounds. And it’s much easier to refill the spee-d-loader than it is to drop rounds down the rifle tube.

    I doubt I will ever sell my 60. One of the best 2A purchases I ever made.

    – Brad

    • I probably should have mentioned the existence of speedloaders in the review. Tubular magazines will always be more awkward than a box magazine, but the speedloaders help a lot.

      I made my own out of brass tubing and plumbing fittings. Only two tubes, and my total cost was about the same as Midway’s multi-tube plastic device, but it was a fun little project…and mine look better. 🙂

      Hmmm…maybe I’ll get some plan drawings and photos together and submit my little project as a separate article. Something to keep up my sleeve for the next content contest.

      • Made my “speed-loaders” out of some used aluminum arrow/crossbow bolt shafts, they work great and the best part is they are free, that is after they are no good to use as arrows anymore!

  15. Well written review! I also have a soft spot for the model 60, as I grew up shooting one. My brother and I probably put a million rounds through that gun, and loved every minute of it.
    While I finally drank the 10/22 coolaid, it still doesn’t balance or point as naturally as the old marlin 60

  16. Last summer when I was looking at .22’s for the family to shoot and learn on, it was down to either the 10/22 or Model 60.

    The final decider was the Ruger’s removable magazine. Got 5 each of 10 and 25 round mags. Can prep in advance and not waste range time reloading. Little did I realize that it would end up having my son now considered a radical terrorist in several states.

    Still, when I see a Model 60 in a store I get a little sigh of “what if…”

  17. I have a 10/22 and a similar Marlin, the 981T. It’s a 22″ barreled bolt action with a full length tubular mag. While the loading process is a lot slower for the tubular mag than the box mag 10/22, it seems to just fit nicely with the bolt action 981T. Also, because it’s bolt action, it’s not picky about ammo at all and takes .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle in whatever velocity you want…whatever you stuff in it basically. It was advertised as having the “New T900 Fire Control System” but it seems to share the trigger pull with the Model 60…not too great. But, for $200 out the door with tax and everything, brand new, I really cannot complain. It’s been a fun little plinker! If I wanted an amazing trigger I should have paid for it.

    That said, there are all those Volquartsen parts I could get for the 10/22…

  18. Good review.

    I agree with pretty much every point. I love my Model 6.
    The only thing I would change would be the way the tube loads. Just think how cool it would be if you could load from the receiver end like a shotgun….

  19. The Model 60 is one gun that I won’t ever own.

    All those stupid C-clips to launch across the room when doing a detail strip. Arrrrg.

    • Your previous strictures on the gun were rolling around in the back of my mind when I wrote the review.

      For quite a while, I didn’t know what the not-cheap kind of gun innards even looked like. Your comments made me think more about craftsmanship and pay a little more attention to what’s inside that metal box. Still, I keep coming back to the fact that for all its cheapness, the Model 60 action works well, and just keeps on working.

      It may be a nightmare to fully disassemble, but fortunately most of us will never have to do that. Apparently that’s your job. 🙂

      • The Marlin 60 indeed works and works well.

        However, the Marlin 60 is made with modern manufacturing methods, using many “standard” sized pins, clips and parts that are very general and are in no way specific to a gun. That’s how Marlin got the price down.

        Ruger takes a different approach to getting the COGS down – they have a huge investment casting business (Pine Tree Castings) and they’ve perfected how to cast lots of parts for guns to keep the COGS down. Investment casting is cheaper than machining.

        There are other guns that take the Marlin 60 approach to gun parts – eg, the Beretta 9x series of pistols. Lots of roll pins are used there instead of gun-style pins.

        All of these modern techniques to reducing COGS work.

        Where the modern approach to gun fasteners (e-clips and roll pins) falls down, however, is ease of disassembly (and re-assembly) and repeated disassembly and re-assembly. The e-clips tend to fly off into the wild blue yonder on even the more experienced among us, and roll pins need to be replaced every two or three disassemblies of a Beretta 9x pistol.

        A classically designed gun (eg, a 1911) might need no external tooling to do a detailed strip (unless your 1911 uses hex-head grip screws), but the guns designed for low-cost manufacturing often need very specific tools to do the job right. I made my own e-clip fork for the Mode 60, and have roll pin punches I’ve purchased or made for metric roll pins as found on the M92. So yes, the manufacture is pushing some additional effort onto gunsmiths with some of these low-cost manufacturing techniques.

        As for owners of Marlin 60’s cleaning their guns: Pull it out of the stock. Take it outside. Hose it down with brake cleaner. Spray the action with light machine oil. Pull a brush and patches through the barrel, or pull a bore snake through the bore a few times. Put it back together and call it done. Don’t use brake cleaner around scopes, plastic stocks, etc.

        I usually encourage gun owners to learn how to detail strip their guns if they have the correct tools. For the Marlin 60, however, I suspend my usual advice: Don’t get into pulling the e-clips off the sides of the Model 60 unless you’re a gunsmith – because you will be sorry you did so, and then you’re going to be looking for replacement e-clips by the dozen.

        • The current Model 60 is by all accounts a POS. E-Clips on a firearm? Egads…

          My Model 60s are all Glenfields, made before 1980. As such, they cost about $90 new when that was more than half a week of minimum wage. The triggers are smooth, they eat several bricks before a perfunctory cleaning, and they just work. Accurately. Bench rest at 100 yards, they are as good as their contemporary Nylon66s or Brownings.

          Sad that the world’s most popular .22 has been given the General Motors treatment, but “Freedom Group” is the dead-end destination for all that have sadly fallen under their umbrella of doom.

        • The trick I use is to disassemble the action INSIDE of a 1 gal. ziplock bag. Any parts that try to escape either stay in the bag or land in my lap.

  20. One of my favorite guns. Mine is 20+ years old, seldom gets cleaned and (yea, I know. I read the manual) shoots nothing but CCI Stingers. Cloverleaf accurate out to 50 yards. Rabbits and raccoons hate it, I love it.It was $89.99 on sale at Wally World. Now that’s value any way you cut it.

  21. I know you can solve the trigger issue. There is a spring kit to lighten it (McCarbo IIRC) and you can get a metal trigger+ trigger guard from DIproducts. The magazine issue is solved by the Marlin 795 (same rifle but uses box mags instead of a tube mag).

    Also, yay for .22lr reviews.

    • Just looked those up. This is great. I’m learning things here.

      I wouldn’t want to tackle the spring replacement if I didn’t have to (and I don’t), but I might get one of those DIP replacement triggers. Looks like they’re simple to install and they remove the creep and overtravel, which are bigger problems than the pull weight (imho). And they’re only $21.95. Hard to beat that.

      If anyone else is interested:
      https://www.diproductsinc.com/Products.aspx?CAT=3603

  22. My son picked one out of a used gun rack about 20 years ago. It’s marked Glenfield and has a squirrel carved in each side of the stock. It came with a bottom of the line Tasco 4X scope. The gun must be very early as it doesn’t have a serial number and I remember the clerk throwing a fit as he tried to figure out how to sell a rifle that didn’t have a number.

    The old Marlin still shoots well. After a couple of thousand rounds the trigger has smoothed out a bit. Its accurate to minute of squirrel with good ammo and son John still enjoys plinking with it. A few years back I asked him if he wanted a new scope and he replied “Why? This one works”

  23. I’ve owned the same Marlin Model 60 since the late 1980’s, put THOUSANDS of rounds through it, even had to replace parts on it! Still looks pretty damn good for an almost 30 year old rifle, still shoots dead on target. Trigger does suck, but you get used to it with practice. AND…even though I do love the Ruger 10/22…I have to argue that having the tube magazine can be a benefit sometimes. No having to buy extra magazines! All around an excellent budget plinker….:)

  24. I bought a 989 M-2 which was a Model 60 action with a 7 shot detachable magazine. It was made to resemble a M-1 carbine. It has a 16 inch barrel. There was also a M-1 model that was a shortened tube fed model. Both had walnut hand guards and square notched rear and post sights. I shot many squirrels with that rifle. Great little walk about gun too. I traded it off when I bought my first Remington 1100. the trigger guards were about the same shape, and the safety is in the same place. It came with a spare magazine, and later I bought a 10 shot mag. I eventually bought a newer model at a gun show. I believe I bought it in the mid 60’s for $49.95. The replacement cost me $100 at a gun show. Fun little gun. It’s lighter than the Ruger 10/22.

  25. Bought the base Model 60 on sale, put a Walmart $29 scope on it and I’ll be danged that it doesn’t shoot nearly as well as my Anschutz… with a lousy trigger. Great gun to keep in the back of my Volvo ;-p

    I wouldn’t discount the Model 60 as a home defense weapon, peppering someone with 14 rounds rapid fire has got to be a fine deterrent.

  26. Excellent gun to get you truly hooked on shooting. I’ve had folks at the range ask if my 40-something year old Savage Stevens 887 was a Marlin. They look like pretty comparable rifles, except for the Stevens’ gills and quirky click-clack action.

  27. Every time I run across an old mod 60 for a good price it gets a new spring kit, guide rod and firing pin before expecting much in the way of reliability. After that they become good trade fodder down the line.

  28. Nice review, realistic and basic as the firearm itself. It’s inexpensive and stone reliaible: how many kids were introduced too shooting by this basic rifle? The tube feed is common on a lot of low cost .22’s and I have yet to lose one a great feature for a teenager.
    I turly hope the so-called Freedom Group does not screw up this rifle. The trigger does suck but please find any low cost semi-auto that does not. I’ve probably been through a couple of dozen of these things in the various names/models over the years. The heart is the same a basic model 60, currently have only a stainless Papoose. The new Ruger is a nicer takedown but I really don’t want to spend the bucks on replacing my current Papoose not worth the cost.
    I hear folks begrudge the lack of accessories for the Model 60 who then spend 5X more than the initial cost for goodies on their beloved 10-22 and it still won’t be any more accurate than a Model 60.
    Crap I may have to go get another one thanks to you. It’ll be used, scratched, dirty and minimual cost at the local gun show and a whole lot of fun for about 1/4 the cost of the Ruger.

  29. I’ve got an old Glenfield/Marlin Model 60 sittin in the closet back at my mom’s house.

    I moved outta my mom’s when I was 22. I’m damned near 30 now with my own family and such.

    Why is that ole 22 from my family’s property at my mom’s? Cause it’s junk.

    It’s probably one of the earliest models, I’m sure. Jams. Misfires. Failure to eject.

    Maybe needs a cleaning? (Shrugs)

    Maybe its just junk. 🙂

    I’ve got a 1941 Remington 512 bolty that’s been reblued and is ridiculously accurate with its looong, looong barrel. Even had the old girl reblued. She’s a keeper.

    I’ve also got a 1967 Speedmaster with a spankin’ new Leupold Rimfire Scope. So long as the ammo is fresh, it’ll send it downrange. Another ridiculously accurate rifle that has NEVER been thoroughly cleaned. It’s my little squirrel machine (here squirrely, squirrely…).

    And yes, that Model 60’s trigger is lousy with a capital L.

  30. I received a Glenfield model 60 as a gift from my father in 1973. It sat idle for about 30 years until I recently got back into shooting for fun. I’ve replaced a broken feedthroat and I’m about to replace the broken plastic buffer piece. I fired countless rounds through it as a teenager while squirrel hunting with a couple of close friends. Trigger preferences aside, it’s been a great rifle to me. I consider it a prized posession. I’m now using it in silhouette shoots and it brings back fond memories every time I pick it up.

  31. I picked up a used 1985-vintage Marlin 60 at a full-price gun store in virtually perfect condition for around $120 and could not be happier with it.

    Of all the production updates and changes, I discovered after the fact that I got the short-production holy grail… full 18 round tube magazine and bolt-open on last round. Apparently less than a year of production with both features.

    I didn’t think mine had ever been cleaned, so with the help of a website guide, I tore it down and did a standard cleaning/oiling. Had not fired it before that, but I did not find any of the trigger complaints that I am reading here. Trigger is heavier than a competition-trigger 1911 for sure, but is crisp and without stacking.

    With an extremely cheap ebay scope and a bench rest, it makes a single ragged hole at 100ft (the limit of the local indoor range).

  32. I have several Model 60s. To be honest, I like the older, heavier model over the newer version. The barrels in the older models are better steel and do not heat up like the new models. Still, they are all fun to shoot. I also have a 10/22 so it is not as if I have a Brand bias. I am happy that the ammo makers are finally catching up with demand.

  33. The only people I ever met that did not like a .22 were the same people that never cried when “Ole Yeller” died.

    • Died! whydid you have to give away the ending? What a jerk! LOL
      As a youngster everyone but me shot 10-22’s. I had a Winchester 190. No matter who was shooting it, the 190 was far more accurate than any of the 10-22’s. Now years later and shooting a used 1985 model 60 at local range am finding it also outshoots the10-22’s. A relative of mine must have over $600 invested in aftermarket upgrades and he still shoots tighter groups with my ‘cheap’ model 60. Don’t know why people think it’s better to buy a Ruger 10-22 and invest a bunch of money trying to make it shoot almost as good as a cheap Marlin Model 60. Iguess the Ruger 10-22 koolaid must be good. I have a Ruger Blackhawk and an SR22 but will never buy a 10-22.

  34. I picked up a Marlin 60 last spring. It has been a great reliable shooter with tight patterns. It shoots Federal, CCI, and Remington with no issue. Winchester on the other hand will FTE every 3rd round. I had the same results with a Walther PPK/S.

    • You should send it back to Remington they make that marlin 22 now and get the firing pin And the barrel changed out and you won’t have that misfire problem I know I fixed those rifles for years I worked at marlin firearms when it was here in north haven ct I was the first ever african American gunsmith they ever had my name is RAY A LEWIS

  35. I love my stainless steel model 60, had it for several years and with no problems. The riffle will eat just about any brand bullets and spits them out just as long as you keep it clean and lightly oiled. Remington please keep the Marlin model 60 in production and build them tolerant. Again I have one and I recommend try it you will like it!

  36. I know I’m a tad late on the comment, but the model 60 is the rifle of choice for coon hunts for me and my cousin. This thing has been shot at least 3000 times, I lost track of how many times it was dropped (once off a 10 foot ledge), its been used to move rocks, as a hammer, a walking stick, and a tent pole. If it’s not in one of our hands, it lives in a truck toolbox. I done a complete detail strip on it for my cousin for the first time in probably 5 seasons of hunting today. The finish is gone from the stock. The muzzle, sights, and part of the barrel have no bluing.The receiver is pretty much bare metal. And other than a few failure to ejects, as long as it has CCI mini mags, it goes bang no matter what. I’m almost afraid it won’t run right with this new cleaning.

  37. I have 22’s of many different makes. I admit a preference for the 10/22 for simplicity of maintenance and availability of aftermarket parts. My cheap black Savage/Stevens semi-auto in a black synthetic stock is the best for accuracy though. A Winchester 290 tube-fed semi-auto was my first 22, and I still have it. It is a pain to strip and clean, but otherwise a fine shooting gun. My 2 marlins are the 795MkII (m1 carbine replica) and a papoose. I definitely prefer the papoose to the Ruger 10/22 takedown. It is a simpler, more robust system, imho. The Marlins do seem to be more inherently accurate than the Rugers as well. Let’s not even get started on 22 bolt guns.

  38. I love my 60. I bought it for $79.00, used of course. It eats just about anything I feed it. Which is more to say than the $450 Colt OPs M4 .22 I had. I stress “had”. It’s gone and the Marlin 60 is still going strong. I clean it every once in a while. It still works… I did have a blowout as you describe once a while back….it gets cleaned more often now. I’d buy another even.

  39. The Marlin Model 60… what a great firearm!!! The very last firearm that I would get rid of in my arsenal would be my 1985 Model 60. 18 rounds of pure fun… and a real Marlin. Not those new Remington models…
    Maybe I got lucky… but my trigger is as fine as any other rifle I have. 7 pounds? Naa, it’s better than that! I bought this rifle back in the day when hunting squirrels with a rifle was the “cool” way of hunting. Plus, I wasn’t picking lead out of my mouth at the dinner table. Mine eats anything I put through it too.
    Last Christmas I bought my son one so that he could relish the pleasure of plinking, and I could relive my good ole’ days. Neither one of us have been disappointed in the Model 60.

  40. I have the one my dad own when I was a kid after he picked up a newer one at a yard sale. I know its older than me (43), but I’ve never looked up the serial number. This rife has eaten thousands of rounds with maybe a dozen cleanings in 50 years. It’s head shot dozens of squirrels, grouse, snakes, coyotes, and crows. A few years ago I took it to Appleseed and qualified rifleman between a bunch of Sigs and Rugers. Now my kids are pinging an old 8″ water man hole cover at 50 yds with it on weekends. The old 60 will shoot rings around a 10-22 all day long.

  41. How does someone who just bought their first gun a very few years ago manage a gig like this? I shot my first Marlin 60 in 1965. I loved it then. I love both of the ones I have now and all the others I’ve had. Triggers aren’t so hard to learn. If you grew up with all guns having triggers like the Marlin like I did then you wouldn’t have a single problem with it. I certainly have very light triggers now and they are more accurate. But there are good reasons for having a stout pull. It’s a hunting rifle. Not a target rifle. I don’t miss with mine. Isn’t that all that matters? I haven’t missed on killing a squirrel or a feral dog or a rabid fox or whatever in probably 30 years. Heck I even shot flying sparrows with it. I was having a very hard time keeping them out of my attic right after I built my house and the gable wasn’t quite complete yet. So I did what comes natural. I got rid of the nesting pair after they came back the second year. Bird mites are a giant pain in a house. I hate shooting song birds and that’s the only two I’ve shot in my adult life which is, as you might have guessed, a long time. I only shot them as a kid with a BB gun or rather I shot at them. My BB gun wouldn’t hit anything. But that Marlin sure would. They are a great working rifle that has an advantage a rookie like you will miss every time until someone explains it to you. They shoot the same on a cold bore as they do a warmed up bore and that is essential for hunting. There’s good reason that rifle is so popular. You obviously missed one of the biggest ones.

    More observations include the fact you don’t have a clue about loading a tube mag. It’s FAR easier than loading a box mag. And I’ve compared numerous new 60’s to new 10/22’s for accuracy. The Marlin has won every single time. You can make a Ruger more accurate by a lot but as a general rule they come out of the box less accurate than a 60.

    BTW here’s how you load a Marlin 60. Remember this is loading 14 rounds (although it’s possible to load 15) and it takes less than 30 seconds. I’d like to see you load a box mag that fast (14 rounds in 30 seconds). You just drop them in. How hard is that???

    • It’s been a while since a comment came in on this. Great timing — it comes in the day after I took the Model 60 out to the range for the first time since I wrote this review. (What with .22 still being scarce in my neck of the woods and my usual range closed for fire danger, I haven’t been out much lately.)

      My son and I made what we call “Smack O’Lanterns”: Jack O’Lanterns carved the civilized way…with bullets, not knives. Fun times.

      That’s some fairly slick reloading; I do okay, but I can’t do it that fast. The one disadvantage a tubular magazine will always have vs. detachable magazines is that you can’t just fill a dozen spares and have them waiting. Still, I don’t mind. It’s a bit like driving a manual transmission; connects you more directly to the machine and the experience. And the extra time spent reloading gives you that much more time to plan the next amazing shot you’re going to make. 🙂

  42. Actually you can buy a speed loader for the 60 or any tube mag rifle and load every bit as fast as swapping box mags. The Spee-D-Loader has 8 chambers that will fill your Marlin 60 in a matter of seconds. You just stick the feed tube into the tube mag and pour in 15 rounds. It’s simple and quick. But a pocket full of ammo has always worked for me. 30 seconds to reload and you get 15 rounds in the tube (or more on certain older 60’s) and you’re ready to go. Yeah I have 7 or 8 box mags for my 795 and 3 or 4 for my CZ and I always carry several mags for my CCW piece but I don’t really “need” to shoot more than 15 times real fast with a .22 very often. It’s never come up that 15 wasn’t enough except for the time I had that rabid fox right in front of me. I would like to have had a 500 round drum hooked up that day. But that was a once in a lifetime thing. At least I hope it was.

  43. I’m 68, and have some old man bad things going on…so I sold my old Glenfield Model 30 bolt rifle because I’m no longer squirrel hunting and it had been sitting around for a few years…and on the way out of the gun shop, I found a Marlin Model 60…Took it home with me. Can’t hunt with an autoloader here in PA, but I can punch paper all day long with this baby, and it reminds me of the one I had many years ago…I was in 8th grade when these first came out, and bought one in the 1980’s for fun.
    21″ from the muzzle to the receiver, got the hook bolt lever and the half-open feature, and a WARNING on the right side of the BBL. Says Marlin, no Glenfield visible.
    I know the guy at the store who cleaned it when they bought it so I’ll probably never have to do that myself…looks pretty new, no dings or rust. I’m just going to look at it for a while from time to time. Brings back good feelings just sitting there.

    Thanks for reviewing the old Model 60…I guess they are gone with Marlin now.

  44. I love the old Marlin 60s and the store brand knock offs, to those who think they are trash, send them to me. I love restoring them, parts are still available, They work flawlessly, the trigger can be easily massaged to work better, An old coffee can (plastic works) with solvent will clean the parts in a jiffy. No need to take off the C clips and all those springs. Some very light sanding on the bolt and trigger will make it like new. Great write up, but some of us were around in 1960 when these came out, Nobody had a great trigger back then, There was no internet, and only a handful of gun magazines, and they were more about big calibers. I have 5 in the safe now and 1 under construction. I pick them up any time I can. I can go from stock to highly modified with ceracoat barrel and wild colored nylon stocks from Boyds. New improved buffers and main springs are pretty easy to find. . And still a very accurate .22

  45. Don’t understand the love for this gun. I tried 3 of them, all appeared to be in excellent condition, and every one had feeding problems, jammed, etc. The 10-22 is far superior in every respect.

  46. you would be hard pressed to find a boy scout of the 80s who didn’t learn on the trusty old marlin, I still have mine squirrel carved into the stock 19 round tube and all. I build Competition, Rugers, Anschuntz, Remmys, and walthers in the 22lr, mag and 17hmr… but every time I put the Marlin on the bench nostalgia hits me like a brick and I end up just cleaning her off polishing the original workings and leaving her as is for my grandson to learn on. It’s just a fun old cheap rifle great for memories although the Savage series of 22lrs may be the demise Marlin with the a dirt cheap price out of the box, great triggers and accuracy for the avid squirrel killer. A small group will miss the rifle that refuses to work if it’s clean and I’ll still have mine to pass on as the first time rifle for my gandson.

  47. There’s a new trigger upgrade for the marlin model 60.
    Called Kat trigger .
    ArrowDodger sells them.
    Google “KAT TRIGGERS”
    I had ArrowDodger put one in my old 1986 marlin 60.
    WOW !!!! Its excellent! !!
    A two stage target trigger !
    Boys and girl’s. . Trust me.
    The kat triggers will make the old glenfields and marlins come alive! !
    Once you try it. You’ll throw rocks at every other .22 rifle.
    As a bonus.
    Any feeding or ejecting issues you might have.
    ArrowDodger will fix it.
    Im putting in new springs and feed throat in my old glenfield squirrels stock rifle.
    Mine shoots any and every thing.
    Super accurate. I’m seriously considering giving my custom rugers away.

  48. I bought one of the Model 60 50th anniversary rifles with the walnut stock. Love everything about it but the 6 lb creepy trigger. Even so, it’s much more accurate than the 10-22 I had. The tube magazine is easier to load than the rotary clip, for me, and 15 seems to be plenty. I almost never rapid fire anyway, I’m interested in accuracy a lot more. It’s just convenient not to operate the action. The action IS funky looking with all the springs and circlips, not what I expected, but it’s a low-priced gun and works very well.
    My 10-22 I bought in 1974, and picked it out of over a dozen with walnut stocks at a store in Billings. Beautiful figure in both stock and forearm. Maybe that’s why it was so inaccurate, I don’t know. Best I could do was about 1-1/2″ at 50 yards. The Marlin will do less than 1/2″ at 50 yards, if I can hold it steady. It’s better than I am.

  49. Great review. Got mine almost 20 years ago. Eats whatever I feed it. I live in the country and got it for ground hogs. Don’t need it much anymore, but still love to shoot it.

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