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.

Oh, No

Here’s a gun which ticks all my shotgun lust boxes save two (and oh by all means. right-click to embiggen):

Let me just get the two disqualifiers out of the way:  12ga and price ($16,500, cheap for a Purdey), the combination of which means I’m unlikely ever to buy it.

But if I did… I don’t think that I would shoot it that much.  I’d mount it on a facing wall where I could look at it all day.

Or I’d just keep it next to my chair where I could pick it up now and then, and lovingly fondle it and talk to it like I would a small puppy or a mistress.

Great Vulcan’s bleeding nostrils, that is a beautiful gun.

Other Fine Guns

Comment by Reader Velocette about our little TDSA excursion:

“That Winchester High Wall is the class act of the lot, unless you were enjoying an 1873 Colt or a P 35 Hi Power”

Not quite an 1873 Colt, but we did have a 1980 Colt Python 6″ (.357 Mag), not mine, alas for I own one not:

…and yes, a Browning High Power:

…and sundry 1911 variants, of course:


…as well as several .22 pistols and revolvers, and a few other .357 Mag/.38 Spec revolvers.

Also on hand, a Winchester 1894 lever rifle (.30-30):

…a Taurus (Winchester copy) Model 63 ( .22 LR):

…the aforementioned Browning High Wall (.45-70 Gov):

…and lastly, my M1 Carbine (which Doc Russia managed to break;  Mr. FM’s comment:  “It survived WWII and Korea, but not one range session with Doc”):

There were other guns, most of them high-tech / gadget-loaded 9mm and .223 EVIL BLACK RIFLES WITH SILENCERRRRRRRS, but of them we will not speak.

I can’t believe that we blew through so much ammo, but considering that firing commenced at about 10:30am and the guns finally fell silent at 3:30pm, perhaps it’s not all that surprising.

In conclusion, I cannot say enough good things about TDSA and its owner Len Baxley.  If you haven’t ever been there, you should.  Mr. FM has been there twice (two separate trips Over Here), and says it’s the most fun he’s ever had, on both occasions.  If you want to try the place out, let me know and I’ll give you advice on what to take and not take so you can have a great time.

Lever Monstrosity

Reader John C sends me a pic (with all sorts of apologies) and a plaintive cry of “How can anyone do that to a lever gun?”

Strangely enough, I don’t think it’s completely horrible, especially given the times we live in.  If you take away the lever action and replace it with a bolt action, it becomes a simple “chassis” rifle, e.g.

Is it ugly?  Oh hell yes, and I’ve made my feelings clear about this plastic nonsense on many an occasion.

If we are going to level criticism at the chassis lever rifle (CLR), it would be this:  note that while the CLR has a bipod, it’s fitted with a red-dot sight and not with a scope — and for good reason, because at its heart, the primary terrain of the lever rifle is in the deep woods, where a scope is more often than not counterproductive in that it can limit the shooter’s field of vision.

The second criticism is this:  removing the standard wood stock and adding a bipod and chassis must add weight to the rifle, which therefore takes away the lever rifle’s most important features:  its lightness and handiness.

All that said, I don’t have a problem with adding a bipod to a lever rifle;  there are times when I, for one, would have found it quite useful — i.e. when faced with a 100-plus yard shot across a clearing in the woods.

(As an aside, if you do a search for “lever rifle with bipod”, there are precious few pics thereof, which might mean something.)

Lastly, I would suggest that unless the bipod is extended quite substantially (as in the above pic), the downward drop of the lever will slam on the ground and prevent the action from cycling properly.  Shooting from prone, therefore, would be awkward.

Also, I quite like the idea of adding a red dot sight to a lever rifle, although it compromises the clean, classic shape of the thing.

So yes, the chassis lever rifle is as ugly as Nancy Pelosi with a hangover, and definitely falls foul of the maxim that “even if you can do something, there’s no reason why you should.  Frankly, though, I think its impracticality is more of a reason why it should be ignored with extreme prejudice.

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Ruger M77 (7x57mm / 7mm Mauser)

Some time back, an Evil Reader read my constant chatter about the wonderful 7x57mm cartridge, and sent me an email saying that he was making space in his ammo locker for more ammo, and as he didn’t have a rifle chambered for the 7mm Mauser, would I like the few boxes he had on hand?

Well, I didn’t (and don’t) have a rifle thus chambered either, but who turns down free ammo?  So a week or so later, there it was.

Which means that ever since then, I’ve been looking at 7mm Mauser rifles, and moaning piteously when I found one because NO MONEY.

This Ruger M77 in particular caused some heavy sighing:

…because it is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for:   but I don’t have a spare grand floating around, and I don’t have any “spare” guns lying around that I want to sell, either.

And here I sit, 7x57mm in Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer and no gun to shoot it with.

Sometimes, I wonder if it’s all worth it.  [exit, kicking the cat]

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Mossberg Patriot (.308 Win)

After yesterday’s custom Mauser 98 at a nosebleed price, here’s something a little more reasonable, and American, chambered for a proper Murkin cartridge (right-click to embiggen):

And the action:

I rather like that spiral-cut bolt, oh yes I do.

I don’t know much about the Patriot line, but given that it’s a Mossberg, it shouldn’t suck too badly.

And the price ($500)… that’s much better.  Add a halfway-decent piece of glass on it (e.g. this one), and the rig should be fit for purpose.

Of course, I personally think the plastic “camo” stock sucks green donkey dicks, but I suppose it’s all part of the cost-cutting, and marketing to all the wannabe “operators” out there.  [sigh]