Marlin Model 60

8.4
8.4 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.4)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 23 user ratings
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2 star
4%
3 star
4%
4 star
21%
5 star
69%
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Everyone has that one favorite thing they keep around, even when other, fancier versions come around. Everyone has their favorite bathrobe, or pair of shoes, or sunglasses – it can be something silly, but you love it and keep it around because it’s functional, comfortable, and familiar. For a large portion of the gun-owning American population, that “old reliable” is their Marlin Model 60. With over 11 million rifles sold since its release in 1960 and few accessories offered (or needed), this tried and true .22 rifle is an American classic, and it’s clear why it’s here to stay.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts most .22 LR rimfire bullets
  • Autoloading, tube-style magazine
  • Accurate to 100 yards, scope compatible
Cons
  • Ammo-finicky from gun to gun
  • Right-handed only
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.0 hours analyzing a total of 358 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I've had mine since 1993 and I haven't had a problem. it's a great gun to have and to shoot.
  • I decided to take a chance on this because it was such a good price at my local store. I'm so glad I did because I'm not disappointed at all. It was so light when I shouldered it at the store. I love it. There's simply nothing to complain about.
  • If I have to choose just one gun this would be it in a survival situation. you can live forever in the woods and all you would need is some bullets. These guns are always so fun and accurate to shoot. In my opinion, everyone should own one.
  • The only downside to this gun is that I wish I would have bought two or three. I got this on sale during the holidays and after shooting it at the range I wish I owned more.
  • I would certainly recommend this to a friend. It is easy to operate and it's not fussy about the ammo that you put through it.
  • I got this rifle because it was relatively inexpensive and I could shoot quietly. it works flawlessly. I did use a scope since my eyes aren't what they used to be. Overall a nice rifle.
  • After shooting a hundred rounds through this I will definitely be buying another one. This is a great price for what I was looking for which is a gun that was reliable and solid.
  • I was able to run a 300 rounds through this without any stoppage. I did have to swap out the sight . This is a great rifle for the money and definitely worth more than I paid for it.
  • This is a great rifle for a young or new shooter. The Marlins are excellent rifles. Accurate, reliable and allows for a mounted scope. I had to get one of these after shooting the one that my wife owns. In fact, everyone in my family has one.
  • Great all-around gun.
  • I got this for my 12 yo who has put over a hundred and fifty rounds in it on the first day. This is great for easy wipe down. It was time for her to move up from the single shot 22. It looks like I have to get my wife one too because she's trying to steal my daughter's Marlin Model 60.
  • Very reliable, beautiful and easy to clean.
  • This is a gift for my son who's on rifle team at school. Will be great for practice outside the season.
  • I love the Marlin Model 60 rifles and that you can upgrade them with tactical stock.
  • Now wish I would have bought another one when it was on sale. Great rifle,
  • This rifle is pretty accurate. I was able to shoot several rounds without any problem. Very simple to take down and clean up. No problem with reloading. This is a great fun and affordable rifle. It's perfect.
  • This rife has been around forever, it seems. Dad had one and we both had a good time with it. It's a reliable 22 with auto reloader. I would definitely buy one of these again with no hesitation.
  • I wanted a gun for backyard shooting and this rifle is great, very accurate even without a scope. I highly recommend this rifle and would definitely buy one again.
  • I've had this gun for years. I got it when I was 8 years old and I am now 42. It is still my go-to gun for squirrels. It looks new still to this day. If you're thinking about buying it you will not be disappointed.
  • I got this gun to teach safety to my wife and my 13 year old son. It's important to know how to have safe fun while shooting. I enjoyed this rifle more than I thought and right out of the box we put in several rounds. This is an excellent gun for teaching.
Negative
  • Not mag loaded
  • Most buyers replace the sight because it's not the best quality
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 358 reviews we found in total, 12% were negative, and 88% were positive.
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Barrel / Receiver

Barrel / Receiver

When the Marlin Model 60 was released in 1960 the barrel was 22 inches long, but in the 1980s it was redesigned due to various state and federal regulations, leaving it at 19 inches in length. Every Marlin Model 60 has Micro-Groove rifling, which makes for 16 shallow rifling marks on the bullet, instead of the more common 6 or 8 deeper rifling marks on other rifles. The Micro-Groove rifling was designed with accuracy in mind because deeper grooves decrease accuracy as the cartridge fires. Owners of the Marlin Model 60 have reported groupings as small as one inch apart.
On the outside, the receiver has a non-glare finish across the top and bears a groove for scope-mounting. If you choose not to apply an after-market scope to the rifle, you’ll still have the adjustable open rear-site and a ramp front-site to help you aim at your intended target. Without a scope, the Marlin Model 60 boasts accuracy of up to 100 yards, with some owners reporting as close as 1-inch groupings at ranges. Different variants of the Model 60 have been released with nickel-plated stainless-steel barrels, such as the 60SS, the 60S-CF, or the 60SSK. For those hunters who head out year-round in all kinds of weather, there’s even the 60SB, which is a weather-proof stainless-steel version of the basic rifle.
Stock Options

Stock Options

With any popular rifle, you’re going to find different looks based to market to different aesthetics, and the Marlin Model 60 is no different. Some people will prefer the classic walnut with Mar-Shield finish as found in the standard rifle. Others will prefer the Monte Carlo hardwood of the 60DL. Other variants include the 60C option’s camouflage appearance, the fiber-glass pattern of the 60S-CF, the black fiberglass stock of the 60SSK, or even a laminate grey and black combination as found in the 60SS. The 50th anniversary edition, called the 60DLX, offers gold fill on the roll marks of the stock. All in all, though, they are at their heart all the same full pistol grip Marlin Model 60 that countless gun owners know and love.
Primary and Secondary Uses

Primary and Secondary Uses

The Marlin Model 60 is a simple, out of the box accurate and easy to handle rifle, making it a very popular preference for hunters who go out daily with intent of putting food on their table, or for beginners looking to start easy and get a feel for a rifle as a plinkster. It has been called the heirloom rifle because it can be passed down from parent to child in order to safely teach a youngster about gun safety and how to fire accurately. The Marlin Model 60 is also mentioned as a “pest-control” rifle by certain owners, and while no attempt is being made to comment on the judgment calls of others, it seems pertinent to mention in general that if you intend to use this rifle in a pest-control capacity, please (as with anything) do so safely.
Some hunters also use a Marlin Model 60 to practice before moving on to different hunting rifles, which is fine – everyone had a reliable bicycle before they started looking at 6-speed mountain bikes, didn’t they? – but unless you’re hoping to go after big game, there really isn’t much reason to stray from the reliability of this little hunting rifle. Just don’t go out thinking you’re going to bag a deer with it – the Model 60 is intended for small game, not large game. Squirrels, porcupines, rabbits, and occasionally foxes are generally what hunters focus on when wielding this particular firearm, and with good reason: it’s easy to bring hunting and carry home even if you have a brace of conies on your belt.
Ammunition

Ammunition

Like many rifles of its caliber, you’ll be looking for .22 LR rimfires for the Marlin Model 60. Be sure you’re purchasing LR rimfires, not regular .22 or .22 longs. It must say .22 LR on the box, as per the manual, to avoid any unintended misfires. Granted, you’ll still have a selection to choose from – but be aware that your friend’s Marlin Model 60 might prefer Remingtons, where yours is going to prefer CCI, Federal, or Winchester brand rounds. Marlin Model 60s are a reliable sort, but you need to learn what yours likes best. Some hunters suggest picking up a box of each and heading out to plink before taking it hunting, so you can learn what palette your Model 60 bears. The good news is, .22 LR cartridges aren’t a specialized or hard-to-find custom bullet, so they’ll be easy enough to procure. Granted, being among the most common and popular, they tend to fly off the shelves, but once your Marlin’s favorite bullet is found, the trigger can be pulled thousands of times, reportedly, without a single misfire or jam. The only warning that’s generally given is bulk ammo –everyone finds a dud eventually in those cases.
Loading and Function

Loading and Function

Before the mid 1980s, when the rifle’s overall length was 40.5 inches, the tubular magazine held 17 rounds. After the length decreased to 37.5 inches overall due to changes to various state and federal regulations, the magazine was shortened and nowadays only fit 14 rounds. The magazine is auto-loading and comes standard with the patented automatic “last-shot” bolt hold-open, meaning you can load it once, hunt all day, and the gun will tell you when it’s empty by staying locked open. Something else to note is never to try and reload the magazine before you’re completely empty. Fire all 15 rounds – the magazine and the chambered round – before reloading. If it takes you fifteen shots to hit a rabbit, maybe head back to the range to practice more – or check and be sure your rifle is clean before trying again. There’s no shame in having a bad day, but trying to sneak more bullets in before you’re empty so your hunting buddy doesn’t notice how much you’re missing your prey is potentially dangerous.
Some reports have been made of a heavier trigger pull than anticipated, quoting around five pounds of pull, but when compared to a Ruger 10/22 it was deemed that the Marlin Model 60 had a better trigger pull overall. Additionally, though unsurprisingly with most American models, this rifle design bears a side ejection on the left – the Marlin Model 60 is a righthanded rifle with no lefty flip option. Just watch your arm if you hunt in short sleeves near a tree – if that spent round bounces off the bark and hits your skin while the metal is still hot, you’ll know it. Truthfully this is so rare that it almost doesn’t bear mentioning, but in the interest of being thorough the simple resolution is this: wear long sleeves.
Price and Value

Price and Value

The Marlin Model 60 can retail anywhere from $100-$200 in general, depending upon your source, with occasional reports of deals that dropped it to a $75 area, though that is less commonly found. Any aesthetic features you opt for, such as the variant stocks, or functional accessories such as a bag or a scope, will of course drive the price up a bit, but there aren’t that many accessories on the market for the Model 60. Based on how easy it is to care for combined with its accuracy level right out of the box without add-ons, it can safely be said that at least one of the reasons for the lack of accessories is that the rifle doesn’t need them.
The Model 60 is well worth the money spent even if you find them closer to the high end of the aforementioned price range. Even some of the internal parts – minus the magazine tubes, firing pins, hammers, and feed throat mechanisms – are backwards compatible. This means that if you buy a slightly newer model, but someone is selling parts from a slightly older model, you can usually grab them up and they’ll serve your purposes some day.
If you try crossing from post-1980s to pre-1980s, however, you’re likely not going to find all that much compatibility because of the design changes that the rifle underwent around that timeframe. The older models with the longer barrel length and higher magazine capacity are actually worth more because they were discontinued during the remodel phase. Finding those in good working order now is not as difficult as with more fragile or finicky firearms, but with every passing year, they become more and more valuable. If your grandfather offers you a hand-me-down gun, and it’s a pre-1980 Marlin Model 60, say thank you and understand the gift that is being bestowed upon you.
Cleaning

Cleaning

Keeping your gun clean is the secret to keeping it in good working order, and the Marlin Model 60 is one of the most reliable rifles hands-down, if you follow this rule. Step one is of course to always make sure your gun is empty, with the safety on, and pointed in a safe direction. Step two is to make sure that any cleaning product you plan on using will not harm the material or finish on your rifle – not every gun oil or cleaning solvent is created equally, and not all ingredients are compatible with all materials. Also, if your gun was exposed to moisture or debris, that will change how involved your cleaning session will become. Even the stainless-steel options can rust, and care must be taken to ensure the life of your rifle isn’t cut short by getting dirt in the barrel or moisture in the bolt-lock. Be prepared to handle all of these things, as no one is perfect and eventually your gun may accidentally take a swim in a mud puddle, or into a pile of snow. Do a little research and find out what solvents, cloths, gun oils, and so on are best suited for the version of the Marlin Model 60 you chose.
The owner’s manual recommends cleaning the action after every 250 or so rounds, but it also goes on to note that different ammunition brands might change that number. Standard .22 caliber cleaning rods and patches will clear the bore if needed. Never disassemble the safety of your gun. If that area is posing a problem, see a professional to review it, or (if you purchased one) invoke your warranty. General recommendations from Marlin Model 60 owners suggest complete disassembly only approximately once per year, depending on frequency of use of the firearm, and to make sure you completely understand the reassembly before beginning. Always wear safety goggles when disassembling your rifle for cleaning, if you do so. Some owners found they needed the aid of a second pair of hands when replacing spring-loaded parts during reassembly, but others reported that it just takes some practice and the entire process can be completed alone. Consult your manual, and supplement with some reputable online instructional videos before getting started.
Cleaning might seem involved at first, especially with how detailed the manual’s step-by-step instructions are (if you have your owner’s manual) but like anything else, practice makes perfect and repetition is your friend. The more you do it, the easier it will be. Consider it an investment in your firearm’s lifespan, like regular oil changes and tire rotations on your car.
Nostalgia Factor

Nostalgia Factor

It is difficult to find bad feedback about a Model 60 – the only major finds online included occasionally being called a “picky eater” with its ammo preferences, and a heavier trigger pull than expected by certain users. What is colossal in its frequency is what is lovingly referred to as the “nostalgia factor”. For the most part, Model 60 enthusiasts have factual reasons for loving their rifle (typically being accuracy, ease of cleaning, and dependability, among others) but for every fact given, a review usually also comes with a happy memory of firing with one’s parent, or how someone plans to bestow their Model 60 on their child someday in order to teach them gun safety and how to shoot. Generally, people love to mention how their Model 60 has lasted them since they were younger and still fires perfectly today. For the most part, if kept clean, the Model 60 seems to last decades in decent upkeep, and some have even spanned to the next generation, they’ve been so well cared for.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

If you like accessorizing your firearm, decking it out in all sorts of aftermarket products, then I would say this gun isn’t for you. Additionally, if you can only fire a rifle lefty, you might want to borrow one before purchasing this particular rifle, as there is no left-handed option available. There are always going to be hunting rifles in higher price ranges that have a good reputation and a lot of fanfare, and they may take the spotlight more often than this simplistic entity. When the chips are down, however, people go with what they know. People know that a Marlin Model 60 is reliable, easy to care for, easy to fire, and at only 5.5 pounds it’s easy to carry all day while hunting year-round, too.
Daily hunters use their Model 60s to bring home dinner; mentors and parents use it to teach their younger siblings, children, or friends what it means to handle a firearm safely while shooting tin cans off of hay bales in their backyard or a target at a local range. The Marlin Model 60 can be trusted to do all of these things and more.
There’s no question that this gun does its job in the field or at the range, but what’s also important is the value of this rifle, and that isn’t always equated just through dollars. For a relatively inexpensive purchase, you will be receiving an incredible value. With all things, you have to take care of your possession, but as a general rule of thumb if you clean your gun regularly, you’ll be passing it down to your descendants one day. When something isn’t broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed, and that is believed to be one of the reasons that the Model 60 has experienced so few changes in the 58 years it’s been on the market. Treat it well, and the Marlin Model 60 will last you a lifetime.