Marlin Model 60 .22LR

by Azreel | March 25th, 2006

Free Spirit Mind’s Review of the world’s most popular gun – the well known and well loved – Marlin Model 60
Our model of the Glenfield Marlin Model 60 is a 1979 model with a 22″ barrel and a 17 round magazine tube. It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that Marlin chopped the barrel to 19″ and shortened the magazine tube to meet the 15 round limit for auto-loading firearms in New Jersey. Don’t worry, we’ll be careful never to take our dangerous assault rifle to New Jersy.

History of the Model 60

Close Up of the Marlin Model 60
The Marlin Model 99 was designed by Ewald Nichol back in 1959, but it was only sold for two years. It would later be redeveloped and renamed the Model 60 – the same year it was released. Only minor differences existed between the Model 99 and the Model 60, mainly the scope mounts; the Model 99 was tapped for rings, while the Model 60 is grooved.
Initially, the Marlin Model 60 was only offered with a birch stock. This was done to keep the rifle affordable by keeping production costs down. Walnut was only available on the Model 99DL. After 1965, walnut stocks became standard, but birch was still offered on the Glenfield Model 60G; sold to mass merchandisers such as Montgomery Ward and Sears for their own branded versions of the firearm. One other interesting fact about the Model 60 stocks is that they always had squirrels carved into the wood. Our rifle is marked as a Glenfield Model 60, which was manufactured between 1966 and 1982.

When it was first introduced, the Model 60 had a number of significant innovations for a budget autoloading .22 rifle. First, Marlin introduced micro-grooves; they used 16 smaller grooves instead of using a smaller number deeper grooves. The micro-groove technology allowed a “soft touch” when imparting spin to the bullet. Smaller grooves bit less, and more grooves gave a more uniform surface area for engagement. This gave the rifle better accuracy than any competing auto-loading .22 rifle at the time, since the smaller micro-grooves caused less bullet deformation as the bullet expands and speeds down the barrel.
The tube magazine of the Marlin Model 60 was also redesigned with a brass inner tube. Previous designs had used a steel inner and outer tube, causing rust to be an issue. Often, the tubes would jam, wouldn’t feed, or could rust together. Using a brass inner tube completely eliminated the rust problem.

Range Test

The accuracy of the Marlin 60 speaks for itself. There is one important reason that this rifle is the world’s most popular – and it’s not just the price and the reliability. This thing is a tiny tack driver. We initially tested the rifle off a bench, without a vise, indoors at 25 yards with iron sights. The first group of three yielded a one-hole group. Firing two more made it a one hole group; with a lone flyer on the fifth shot. Subsequent groups were approximately the same, with one little tiny half inch, five shot group. Yow! In the right hands and with a scope, this rifle could easily produce a sub 1 MOA group. Just for the heck of it, we loaded up the tube and put one round in the chamber, then topped off the tube and shot off a string of 18 rounds. The results of the group were stunning: Squirrels beware!
Target From an 18 Shot Group

I don’t think that you can possibly find a cheaper way to start shooting. Used Model 60 rifles can be found for as little as $50 at a gunshow, and new ones can be had for just a bit over $100 at Wally World (or your equivalent). A brick of .22LR ammo can run less than $20. For less than $100, including range fees and 500 rounds of ammo, you can be the proud owner of a used Model 60. Over 11 million of these rifles have been sold, and it’s easy to see why. This thing is incredibly accurate right out of the box; add a cheap BSA scope and bingo – you’ve got a competitve target rifle, or an incredibly deadly squirrel/rodent rifle.

Marlin Model 60 Stats
Weight: 5.5lbs (unloaded)
Caliber: .22 LR
Barrel: 19″ / 22″
Action: Semi-Auto Blowback
Capacity: 14+1 (19″ barrel) / 17+1 (22″ barrel)
Length: 37.5″ / 40.5″

Marlin Model 60 Disassembly Instructions

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