The Forgotten Model 60

Amidst all the hoo-hah of Ruger buying Marlin and re-releasing Marlin lever rifles, it seems as though everyone has forgotten about Marlin’s heritage in rimfire rifles.

See if you can see what caused me an immediate RCOB on this page:

“Currently not in production”????   WTF is going on over there?   When was production halted anyway, and why?

And indeed, a cursory look at my usual thirty or so favorite gun dealers’ sites revealed that the Model 60 is MIA, everywhere.

A Marlin 60 was the very first rifle I purchased, shortly after I arrived in the U.S. as a Drenched Wetback© in the mid-1980s, and in the proper hands it is capable of astounding accuracy — for any rifle, let alone a budget one — as witnessed by Reader Brad’s recent trip to the range:

That’s five rounds at 25 yards, although he did “cheat” by using a peep sight instead of the original buckhorn/V on the Marlin.

Note to the “marketing” department at Ruger:  restart production of this little beauty ASAP, you bastards, or hell will follow.

9 comments

  1. I think there are so many factors here…

    – Ruger is an awesome company. They make high quality products at reasonable prices. And if you have any issues – they are great about getting your product fixed or replaced, quickly!
    I’ve had excellent luck with their customer service. I think Ruger Revolvers are the best. GP100 is so awesome! And the Single Six Convertible is the ultimate plinker.

    – when Ruger acquired Marlin, they had to see what they wanted to build. I’m thinking the fact that Ruger builds and sells a shit load of 10 22’s – and also the fact that the workers are trained to crank them out in bulk – Ruger probably said – Skip the Marlin 60 for now

    Another factor is the shortage of raw materials thanks to The stupid asses we have running Aka Ruining our country now. Ruger wants to build as much as they can and they are already tooled up for 10 22s so they might focus on getting the raw materials for that.

    The 10 22 is my favorite rifle. Easy and cheap to operate. But there is something to be said for tube fed old school rifles.

    There are plenty of used Marlins to collect. However yes , it would be nice to have the Marlin 60 make a comeback. Hopefully if it does the price is fair.

    Also – what about the 39A ? Lever action 22… maybe that can be resurrected as well.

  2. Yup, full agreement. And Remington should bring back the Nylon 66. In general, every single company out there, instead of releasing yet another plastic fantastic 9 mm or yet another mildly different variant of the AR rifle, should instead take a look at it’s history and start up a line of their classics at a reasonable price. And for God’s sake, S&W, take that damn hole out of your line of classic revolvers. And get off my lawn. Damn kids.

  3. CoffeeMan and Don make excellent points above.

    I think Ruger pushed the Marlin Model 60 to the back burner because they already have a very competitive .22lr rifle in the market and in production. Would adding another semi auto .22lr rifle help or hinder their sales? The 10/22 is already in a good position for price and reputation.

    The Marlin model 39A would fill a great area of the 22lr rifle market. Who else makes a lever action 22? Winchester ceased production of their Model 9422. The only contender in that market I believe is made by Henry. I hope Ruger/Marlin brings back the 39A at a fair price.

    Don, you’re right about S&W. get rid of that dopey lock that I bet no one uses.

    I’d like to see Ruger/Marlin come out with some matched sets of Vaqueros and lever action rifles to suit the Cowboy Action Shooting sport.

    JQ

  4. Marlin shut down production of EVERYTHING once Big Green went bankrupt and their assets were sold off. Ruger is SLOWLY reintroducing the Marlin line: they just (a few months ago?) started shipping the 1895 Guide Gun (or whatever alphabet-soup acronym they’re calling it now) and are going to be reintroducing more 1895 SKU’s over the next few months, then the 336, then the 1894, then MAYBE the 39A. I’m pretty sure the Model 60 is on the back-burner because Ruger already produces a wildly successful 22lr semiauto.

  5. Some might argue that the 10/22 represents a “better” product in today’s market – removable tacticool magazines and a whole industry dedicated to producing accessories. I wonder if the Model 60 tooling is worn out and Ruger sees the cost of re-introducing the rifle, no matter how “nice” it is as more than they care to spend. The guys at Ruger are good people, but they’re in business to make money.

    This discussion reminds me of what General Motors used to struggle with. When I was growing up in the 60s GM had a number of car lines – particularly Buick, Olds, Pontiac – that shared platforms but were different enough to attract certain buyers. Buicks were owned by doctors, school teachers and preachers. Oldsmobile had a reputation for comfort and performance. Pontiac built hot rods. Within the rest of their lines, Chevys were cheap and Cadillacs were expensive. In those days an Oldsmobile 350 engine was entirely different from a Pontiac motor and buyers had tremendous brand loyalty.

    Then the era of “badge engineering” came along – about the same time as those dreadful 400 ci diesels, Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles were the same car except for the trim and now only Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac survive.

    What’s my point here? I think the guys at Ruger see the 10/22 vs model 60 as a badge engineering issue. To a shooter and old timer the guns are different, but functionally for the person who wants to buy their kid a Christmas present, they’re both simple, reliable and inexpensive .22s. Adding the Marlin Model 60 probably won’t add many new customers, but it will set up internal competition and reduce 10/22 sales while increasing Model 60 sales (which are right now of course zero). The numbers are the same but the costs go up by operating two production lines.

    Having said all that I’ve got a Marlin 60 that goes back to the day before serial numbers were required on .22s. I bought it about 30 years ago and the young guy at the pawn shop didn’t know what to do with the lack of a number. The old timer boss had to teach him what to do.

  6. Model 60s are unobtanium because of the COVID stimulus cash.

    Tens of thousands (at least) of us middle-aged (and older) gun guys saw that money hit the old bank account and then went to the gun store. Sure, plenty went to ammo, or maybe toward a dream gun, but it wasn’t long before the shops were starting to be a little bare. Maybe that first-on-your-list item wasn’t anywhere to be found, and nobody knew when – or even if, in some cases – they’d ever be available again. Or maybe you didn’t have an urgent _need_ to fill, but decided to spend it on guns anyway (for “reasons”. or not. nobody’s business, really).

    In that environment, more than a few looked around and picked up things that they’d always passed up because there was usually something else that was a higher priority, maybe. Some of these were “nostalgia buys”, guns that they had fond memories of, or that they’d wanted once-upon-a-time when they were too young, or less flush, or whatever.

    Stuff like Model 60s – which you used to be able to find used in almost every gun store and pawn shop for somewhere between $95 and $150 – were prime for that sort of purchase (I know, because I myself lucked into picking one up last year, after a few months of frustration that they’d all disappeared from the stores right before I decided that I should grab one).

    The thing is that these things (like most mil-surps, or all those police surplus revolvers that were such a deal 20 years ago) aren’t coming back. They’re in the hands of people whose appreciation for them is more than the market is likely to value them at. Maybe in a generation or so, some of these older 22s that disappeared over the last couple years will start filtering back out to the usual used gun markets, but they’ll sell for collector prices mostly, and not for the prices we were used to.

    As for the chances that Model 60s will be made again, I doubt they could be produced for less than what a 10/22 sells for; and if there’s not a price advantage, I can’t see enough buyers picking these over a 10/22 to make a real demand for new production. (I’m just glad I managed to snag the one I got.)

  7. All,

    Lots of interesting comments on this posting. I thought I’d give some deeper insight into the details.
    How did I shoot such a tight target? Beats the sh*t out of me. I attribute the tight group to dumb luck.

    The background – I’m prepping for a 25 yard, bench-rest, rimfire league which only allows for “iron” sights – no optics.

    Kim – for whatever reason, even with my astigmatism, my eyes work very well with peep sights. Always have. The peepers might not be factory original, but according to the rules of the aforementioned rimfire league, the setup is perfectly legal.

    The sights I used .. https://www.tech-sights.com/product/marlin-60-795-rifle-adjustable-aperture-sights/

    My rifle – 1990 vintage based on the serial number. I bought it about 10 to 12 yrs ago, off the used rack at LGS. Paid $69.

    Ammo – CCI Mini Mag.

    Shooting conditions – overcast to broken clouds, light wind, moderate humidity, air temp about 60F.

    @geekwitha.45 – I remember that incident in NJ. Buggering sods who enact that law – they all need to be WHIPPED.

    @QJ – a shooting buddy has a 39a. Another shooting buddy just got a Henry Goldenboy. Both are sweet rifles. And the Henry sure is pretty.

    And before anyone asks, NO, the rifle is not for sale.

  8. I’ve had the silver one with black furniture for more than 20 years, with a Simmons 4x on it. Love shooting it but hate loading it. I bought 2 Spee-D-Loaders for it and that helps. I like loading my 10-22 better. I’ll keep both til I die.

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