Marlin Model 60 22LR


We immediately took to this wood-stocked little rifle, which we found selling for $143 retail. The feel was solid, and we liked the thought of shooting a relatively warm-stocked hardwood stock in cold weather. Our suspicions were correct. This was the most comfortable stock on our shooter’s faces. Our first surprise was that this rifle held 14 rounds, and you could get 15 into it if you wanted.

The stock was birch, slab-sawn, with a walnut-like finish. Birch is an excellent choice for gun stocks, and can have attractive grain. This one was fairly plain. The wood finish was impeccable, smooth and slick and offering excellent protection against nicks and dings. There was no checkering. The styling was classic, with the addition of a hump on the butt to get your face higher if you wanted to use a scope. The iron sights presented a really good sight picture. The front blade was flat on top and the rear, though a U notch, had a wide, flat top so elevation was not a question. The width of the U notch was just right for the size of the front sight. The rear was adjustable via the ancient spring-and-wedge system for elevation, and by drifting for windage. We had to make slight adjustments to both, for our eyes. The flat-topped front blade had a square whitish insert that caught the light and provided a much better picture than if it had been simply plain black.

The steel barrel was polished well and blued without excess glare. It plugged into a black-matte, alloy receiver that had grooves on top for a scope, but was not drilled. The trigger guard was polymer with a matte black finish. The magazine tube was blued steel, with a brass inner tube for the cartridges. A twist opened it, and as in days of old, you poured your fresh rounds into the magazine until it held no more. A tug on the bolt handle chambered the first round. Practicality told us that with a chambered round we didn’t want to open that magazine and put in a 15th round, because doing so would expose our hand to the hot muzzle.

The rifle’s safety was a cross bolt behind the trigger, in the back of the guard. We don’t like these, but there you have it. It worked well enough. After the last shot the bolt stays partly open, and we liked that. A bolt stop permits closing it if desired, or you can lock the bolt open any time you want by pressing forward on the bolt-stop lever.

On the range we found loading the rifle very easy. All operations worked to perfection, and the rifle performed flawlessly throughout our test shooting. The trigger pull was consistent and clean at 5.6 pounds. We thought it was the best trigger of the trio. Our groups were all between 1.5 and 2 inches, with occasional bursts of brilliance that we believe would easily justify a scope.

We saw many groups with four of the five shots well under an inch, at 50 yards, with a fifth spoiling it. We suspect this was our fault, not the rifle’s. This rifle was the only one that tolerated the extremely high velocity of the Aguila ammo, making several groups well under 2 inches. Velocity was 1450 fps out of this rifle, which is stepping right along.


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