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Hey everyone,

After a close analysis, I have decided to get a Marlin Model 60 as my first .22LR. I now have to decide, though, which Model 60 to get. If anyone can answer some of the following questions, I would greatly appreciate it.


  • I have heard that the older rifles had an 18 round tube capacity. The new ones only have 14; does anyone know why they changed it?
  • In a few places, some people said that the older models had all metal parts whereas the new ones have some plastic in a few places. Does anyone know if this is true, and if so, which parts? Does it affect the longevity or proper function of the rifle in any way?
  • Some people said that the new models have a revised ramp design and a better bolt. Anyone know if this is true as well?
  • I really like the look of the 60SS, which has a laminate stock. Some people acted like the laminate was inferior, though. Is that true? If so, how so?
  • Is the stainless steel version a poorer quality metal than the blued version?
  • What advantages (if any) are there to buying a used model 60 over a new one?

If you have anything else you would like to share about the Model 60 or its various iterations, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your help!
 

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An older model 60 may have some advantages as you mentioned. However, I would just buy a new one. 22 are either rarely used or shot a ton. You're not saving much by buying a used 22 rifle.

If you plan on using copper washed 22lr bullets, I have been advised that ammonia based copper removal solvents are not good for stainless guns. However, wax coated unjacketed lead bullets are the most common round there is.

I really like everything marlin makes. The new ones have some pot metal and some plastic pieces, but the gun will treat you well in new form.
 

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I'd rather be Jeeping...
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Congratulations, you made an excellent choice. I'm not a Marlin 60 expert by any means, but I think I can answer a couple of questions. Yes, the older ones had longer barrels and magazine tubes and they also had metal trigger guards and followers. The new ones have plastic trigger guards, which I do not think is a problem, but Rimfire Technologies makes an excellent all metal replacement if it bothers you. I do not know about the ramp design. I have an older Marlin 60, my son has an even older Glenfield 60, but we both have new SBs on our Christmas list. As far as I know, the new ones are very fine guns, no need to shy away from them in favor of an older one. The bolt does not stay open after the last shot on some of the very older ones, so I would personally avoid those. Some new ones come with a CenterPoint scope, which some people don't like. I haven't tried one, so can't comment on that. Really the only weakish link in a 60 is the recoil buffer, but they are cheap and not too hard to replace. If you buy a used 60, be sure and check the buffer.

I have only seen pictures of the 60SS, but the laminated stock looks great. If I saw one it would probably go home with me. In the meantime, I'm drooling over the 60SB. Paint the stock camo, put a scope, sling and bipod on it. As a fried of mine used to say, "It'll drive dress pins." Oh, heck yeah...

~JohnP
 

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I have an older Marlin that still has the plastic trigger group. I see no problem in this design, some shotguns now have plastic trigger groups that are stronger than the original. Round capacity is really no big deal, if you want to you can get a loading tube that will load the rifle in seconds, that is what I use.

As far as the laminate stocks, these are actually better than the wood ones, the laminate prevents the stock from swelling on humid or wet days. Stainless is nice and requires less maintenance.

The Marlin is an excellent choice and should last you your lifetime. As far as used, I have my father's rifle and I have had to repair the stock and the trigger due to wear and use. A forty year old rifle starts to show it's wear.
 

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The longer barrel and mag were dropped for weight and legal reasons.
Keeping the count under 15 allowed them to avoid any legislation issues in Kommiefornia and the like.

The plastic parts are going to not last as long as metal ones. Just a matter of fact. The plastic outgasses and breaks down eventually. Of all the parts, I'd get a couple of good buffers and not worry about it though.

The feed ramps have been redesigned/changed over the years, the older ones can be sent back to Marlin for retrofit, not a bad idea and they'll usually go through them and fix any other issues.

The laminate is better for accuracy and breakage prevention. It's also heavier. Personally I like the added weight.

I just built a 60 out of spare parts for the 7yo, they're a good gun.
 

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Have a Marlin bolt action .22 magnum (tube fed magazine) and a Marlin 39A (.22 LR), you'd be hard pressed to find a more accurate .22 then a Marlin. And considering for hunting small game such as squirrels, accuracy is quite important. My two Marlins love Winchesters, standard Super X, Remingtons are all over the field...some guns like different brands of rounds, and of course autos digest some rounds better then others besides the accuracy differences between different brands in different guns.
 

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As far as magazine capacity goes. You can order the older magazine tubes from brownells and they will fit just fine. Just check you local laws on extended magazines. Or magazine capacity.

I own an older one from the 1970's and it has it's share of problems. I've seen the older models at gun shows go for around $100. Just remember that all the marlin/glenfeild parts are interchangable. So if you got an old wooden stock one. You could add a newer type stock for pretty cheap.

As far as reliability goes. Everything after time breaks. No matter what it is. I've had some feed problems out of mine. Which after some looking around found that the marlin model 60 is known for this issue. But such is the way of the marlin model 60. Even my friends jams from time to time.

So in short. If you really want something reliable get something blot action. You can't go wrong with it. And if it jams in bolt action. You're probably doing it wrong. :)
 

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Doubts Most Everything
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...

The plastic parts are going to not last as long as metal ones. Just a matter of fact. The plastic outgasses and breaks down eventually. ....

Hell, I've got an early polymer grip on a H&R handgun made around 1955 that hasn't been stored very kindly most of its life ... the metal has rust, the grip looks brand new.

The fact is, present day polymers are so stable, there's no way to even non-destructively test the longevity.

Extraterrestrial archeologists will find polymer lowers laying around long after we're gone and all metal components have oxidized to dust.

- OS
 

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Fisherman
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I also have a Glenfiels model 60, I think its made in 67 as it's stamed with a 67. I have jamming problems with it. It will usually jam every 4 or 5 rounds no matter what type of ammo i use. Iv'e cleaned it & cleaned it. Taken it apart several times. Still jams.

I usually just keep a small screwdriver handy so I can pluck the jammed cases out of there after every couple shots. It's a pain in the as$.

Anybody know what the problem may be or is it worth getting fixed, New Model 60's are on sale for 150 right now.
 

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I had a Model 60 for years before an old girlfriend stole it and sold it on me. I loved it and it fed, fired & digested every kind of .22LR ammo I could find.
Used or new, stainless, blued, laminate or harwood buy one with confidence and with proper care it should last a life time.
 

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I also have a Glenfiels model 60, I think its made in 67 as it's stamed with a 67. I have jamming problems with it. It will usually jam every 4 or 5 rounds no matter what type of ammo i use. Iv'e cleaned it & cleaned it. Taken it apart several times. Still jams.

I usually just keep a small screwdriver handy so I can pluck the jammed cases out of there after every couple shots. It's a pain in the as$.

Anybody know what the problem may be or is it worth getting fixed, New Model 60's are on sale for 150 right now.
How well do you clean the barrel? The chamber area could be dirty. 22lr target shooters who are of the opinion of not cleaning their barrels clean the action and chamber area of the barrel after each shoot.

Remove the recoil spring and move the entire action by hand. IF you feel something catching or rough, find out the cause. I am a marlin fan, but only own their lever and bolt guns right now.

Get a exploded model of the gun. MAke sure you didn't swap springs or have something in the wrong place. My only 22lr semi-auto has springs that can be mixed up easily. A remington 522 viper. Extremely reliable and accurate, in the metal magazine version.
 

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I've heard people complain about jamming, feed, and ejection problems on old Marlin 60's. None of them really can't be solved by replacing all the spring which iirc only costs a few dollars.

The action breaks down pretty easily, just be careful the hammer spring like to fly away and the ejector spring is a bit tricky to get back on.

Also make sure the extractors are sharp and even more importantly that the little recesses that extractors slide into, they tend to fill with fouling leading to jamming.

Also the feed ramp will get fouled over time make sure it's clean.

The one I've got is pretty old, when I bought it it was pretty woebegone. Jammed every three rounds, I rebuilt the action, sharped the extractors, and refinished the stock and bluing.

I spent probably 120$ and I got gun that was just as good as new.
 

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There is a big difference between the old models and the new. A new 60 has a bolt hold open device, the old does not. This upgrade screwed up the guts a little bit in that the ejector spring can move right and left on its pin and suddenly the extractors throwing empties inside the gun. This also happens on the old models but the old build was more solid.

This causes the classic mod60 jam with an empty wedged in with a partially fed and now bent new shell.

The cure for this is to give a slight bend to the left on the ejector spring tip when looking at the bolt face. Put the bolt onto the frame without the receiver cover and watch it moving with the new bend. It should rub the inside of the ejector cut as the bolt moves forward and should not move over in front of the bolt when moved back. It should stay square in the slot of the bolt and rub on the left side of the bolt looking at the bolt face but never move over in front of the bolt when all the way back.

Now take your op rod and roll it on the table to see if its bent. If straight, put the whole mess back together and go shoot the crap out of it, without any jams.
 

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Hell, I've got an early polymer grip on a H&R handgun made around 1955 that hasn't been stored very kindly most of its life ... the metal has rust, the grip looks brand new.

The fact is, present day polymers are so stable, there's no way to even non-destructively test the longevity.

Extraterrestrial archeologists will find polymer lowers laying around long after we're gone and all metal components have oxidized to dust.

- OS
There's plastic that is under stress and takes a beating such as a Glock frame and others that don't such as a trigger guard.

Plastic outgasses as it ages. Look up plastic embrittlement for more on this. Suffice it to say, it happens.

I recently returned a Glock 19 to the factory for a replacement frame. Why? The frame had developed cracks where it suffered stresses, namely around the locking block and the rails. The modern Glocks have radius cuts to help prevent this (stress cracking) but the 20'ish year old models don't and are suffering frame failures.
I've personally seen more than a dozen early Glocks with the same issue. I've also seen H&K P-9S with the cracked grip extensions, again due to age not abuse.

Not entirely dependent on the design though some plastic guns last and last.

I have a Remington Nylon 66 that's literally 50 years old and will probably last another 50 but it has little battering going on, the stresses are routed differently.

Take the Stevens shotguns for example, you're more likely to find them with the broken Tenite (plastic) stock than a broken wood model. The Tenite becomes brittle and under the heavy recoil stresses, break. They're a very light gun and have heavy recoil.

The Colt Mustang series have a plastic recoil spring guide and trigger.
The guide get's chewed up under recoil. It's how it was built. A steel replacement rod and spring take care of that. But the trigger is another issue. I've seen 4 cracked out triggers, they go at the trigger pin hole. If not caught, the weapon can potentially go full auto, unintentionally. How do I know this? Cause my Chief had his do just that. It was immediately fixed with an aluminum trigger.

For a more modern example of "plastic" issues, look at the Magpul AR-15 magazines. They had a manufacturing issue involving the drying/curing of the magazines and the mags would fail. Magpul recalled all the magazines from that date range, not just the effected ones.

Basically they'd replace all magazine bodies made before 07/07 free of charge. Now that's a good manufacturer.

Plastic is good, plastic has it's uses, but not in a weapon I'm going to rely on for a lifetime (my lifetime, not it's) of service.

Properly stored, the steel guns will outlast the plastic by many years.


Back to the Marlins, there were several changes in the lower receiver parts and how they attach over the years, some used screws at both ends, some screws at the back and sitting on a roll pin at the front and even some late models that use a couple of plastic cross pins to hold it in.
Keeping track of which is which is a pain, so if you must get lower parts, be sure and give the serial number to get the right ones.
 

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As far as reliability goes. Everything after time breaks. No matter what it is. I've had some feed problems out of mine. Which after some looking around found that the marlin model 60 is known for this issue. But such is the way of the marlin model 60. Even my friends jams from time to time.
Are you firing Federal Bulk Pack ammo? My Model 60 and my friends (both about 2 yrs old) jam firing Federal ammo. I now use CCI Mini Mags and have not had a jam since. The same goes for my friend. I have heard from others on other boards that had the same problem. The jams were all FTE's and I can only conclude that the CCI Mini Mags causes the rifle to get full blowback which fully ejects the brass.
 

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There is a big difference between the old models and the new. A new 60 has a bolt hold open device, the old does not. This upgrade screwed up the guts a little bit in that the ejector spring can move right and left on its pin and suddenly the extractors throwing empties inside the gun. This also happens on the old models but the old build was more solid.

This causes the classic mod60 jam with an empty wedged in with a partially fed and now bent new shell.

The cure for this is to give a slight bend to the left on the ejector spring tip when looking at the bolt face. Put the bolt onto the frame without the receiver cover and watch it moving with the new bend. It should rub the inside of the ejector cut as the bolt moves forward and should not move over in front of the bolt when moved back. It should stay square in the slot of the bolt and rub on the left side of the bolt looking at the bolt face but never move over in front of the bolt when all the way back.

Now take your op rod and roll it on the table to see if its bent. If straight, put the whole mess back together and go shoot the crap out of it, without any jams.
Awesome, I'm gonna have to get out my model 60's as soon as I get home, always wondered what to do about that!
Maybe not a good idea especially with the price of ammo, but if it's only a little bent I put the new shell in anyway, never had any problems.
Also, what is the OP rod? The magazine tube?
 

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Marlin 60 capacity, bolt hold-open

Although this is four years after the question about the Marlin 60 capacity and bolt hold-open and the fine replies by whirlibird & Brew, since answers here are Googled forever, I'm going to add some comments. Wikipedia now has about the best answers to those and other questions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlin_Model_60
Some quotes from that site:
"During the late-1980s, the capacity of the rifle was reduced to a 15 round maximum limit, to meet New Jersey's firearms law for semi-automatic assault weapons. [so New Jersey made its rules possibly before Commiefornia] For a few years in the mid-1980s the Model 60 rifles had both the "last shot hold open" feature and also held 18 rounds in the tube magazine. Those rifles with those two features are among the most sought after Model 60s. The redesigned magazine tube was visibly shorter than the barrel, which is how rifles from this period can be easily identified. Then, in the early 2000s the length of the barrel was reduced from 22 to 19 inches (559 to 483 mm), to match the length of the reduced length magazine. This had the effect of reducing the length of the rifle from 40.5 to 37.5 inches (1029 to 953 mm). "

Then, regarding the bolt:
"The Model 60 has a manual 'fully open' bolt hold position, activated by pushing the charging handle inwards towards the gun when it is in the fully retracted, open breech position. To close the bolt with the manual bolt hold-open engaged, the charging handle must be pulled out, away from the gun, before the bolt will go forward. Since 1985, the Model 60 has also included a patented automatic 'last-shot' bolt hold-open. This latter feature is a safety feature that locks the bolt half-way open after the last cartridge is fired, thereby allowing the safe inspection of the now-open action. This also notifies the user when the gun is empty. "

And yes, I have a Marlin 60 with an 18 round tube magazine and with a manual bolt hold-open as well as the last-round hold open. Only a few of these were made in the 1980s when I bought mine. A fine semiautomatic rifle!
 

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I also have a Glenfiels model 60, I think its made in 67 as it's stamed with a 67. I have jamming problems with it. It will usually jam every 4 or 5 rounds no matter what type of ammo i use. Iv'e cleaned it & cleaned it. Taken it apart several times. Still jams.

I usually just keep a small screwdriver handy so I can pluck the jammed cases out of there after every couple shots. It's a pain in the as$.

Anybody know what the problem may be or is it worth getting fixed, New Model 60's are on sale for 150 right now.
This is the problem that lead to the feed throat change. The ejector is molded as part of your feed throat. There is a conversion kit that upgrades to the new feed throat and uses the end of the lifter spring as the ejector - your problems will go away.

I just did this for a friend of mine. His runs like a new gun.
 
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