Marlin Model 60 SB Reviewed
Marketing from Marlin Firearms
An economically priced rifle that’s earned the title of “most popular 22 in the world.” Since it was introduced in 1960, it has continuously represented one of America’s finest rimfire values. It has a 19″ Micro-Groove® rifled barrel, cross-bolt safety, manual bolt hold-open and a patented automatic “last-shot” bolt hold-open. The tubular magazine holds up to 14 Long Rifle rounds.
America’s favorite autoloading 22 rifle also comes in weather-proof stainless steel with a walnut finished laminated hardwood stock. The adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight is complemented by a ramp front sight with high-visibility post and cutaway Wide-Scan™ hood.
Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms, www.marlinfirearms.com
Model: Model 60 SB
Action: Autoloading Semi-Automatic
Finish: Stainless Steel
Stock: Monte Carlo walnut finished laminated hardwood; full pistol grip; tough Mar-Shield® finish
Sights: Adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear, ramp front sight with high-visibility post and cutaway Wide-Scan™ hood. Receiver grooved for scope mount
Trigger: Single Stage
Barrel Length: 19″
Overall Length: 37.5″
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Capacity: 14-shot tubular magazine
Twist: 1:16″ RH
Rifle Grooves: 16 w/ Micro-Groove® rifling
Marlin’s Model 60, also known as the Marlin Glenfield Model 60, is a .22LR semi-automatic rifle with a tubular magazine that was first introduced back in 1960. After having been in continuous production since, and more than 11 million made, Marlin claims the Model 60 is the most popular .22LR semi-automatic rifle in the world. I don’t really know how accurate that claim is, but I do believe it is a fine entry-level firearm.
In this review, I will be focusing mostly on the Model 60 SB which is one of the Stainless Steel models available and the one I had the opportunity to try out.
The action design is a self-loading, straight blowback operation, with right-side ejection. The receiver top has a serrated, non-glare finish. The receiver is held in the stock by front and rear machine screws through forearm and the trigger guard respectively (later models add a wood screw behind the trigger guard to reinforce the wrist of the stock). The receiver is grooved for a scope mount. For use without a scope, the barrel features an adjustable open rear sight and a ramp front sight.
The charging handle is used to load the first round from the magazine and can be retracted and pushed in as a manual bolt hold-open feature. Current models have an automatic “last-shot” bolt hold-open device with an external lever in the front of the trigger guard to release the bolt. Earliest Model 60s did not have a bolt hold-open; first the manual, then in the mid-1980s the automatic “last shot” hold-open feature was added.
The Model 60 also has an easily accessible cross-bolt safety located above the trigger. When disassembled, the trigger guard with trigger and safety remain in the stock.
Marlin uses their proprietary Micro-Groove rifling in the Model 60. The twist rate is 1:16 inches, right-hand. Micro-Groove rifling uses 16 small lands and grooves rather than 4, 6 or 8 deeper grooves used in most rifles. This increases the accuracy of the rifle by lessening deformation of fired bullets traveling down the barrel. Although the Model 60 is one of the least expensive .22 semi-automatic rifles sold, it has the reputation of being one of the most accurate rifles out of the box, with no modifications necessary.
Remington Thunderbolts w/Iron Sights @ 25yds
While many .22 semi-automatic rifles were designed to function with .22 Short, .22 Long and .22 Long Rifle interchangeably, the Model 60 is specifically optimized for the .22LR cartridge only.
A day at the range with my son and Marlin’s Model 60 was both impressive and enjoyable. The rifle performed just as well as I had expected. It was very accurate and cycled ammo from many different manufacturers with only a few minor issues which I attribute to the ammo and not the rifle.
One thing to note… The red hi-vis front sight tended to disappear on my target. It was very difficult to see the the front sight near the center of my targets so I opted to zero slightly off center. The red sight contrasted well and became a thousand-times more visible against the black background.
Winchester 333 .22LR w/Iron Sights @ 25yds
The Model 60 is an enjoyable rifle to shoot. It is well-suited for small-game hunting and vermin control, as well as low-cost target practice and entry-level competition shooting. The relatively large ammunition capacity is more than adequate for casual plinking. The Model 60’s light-weight construction and ease of handling coupled with its low price make it a firearm very well-suited for new and young enthusiasts alike.
While the Model 60 might not be as popular as the Ruger Model 10/22, you can still find them on the shelves everywhere. I think the popularity of Ruger’s 10/22 has a lot to do with the vast number of aftermarket parts and accessories available. I would suspect more than any other gun or rifle made today. However, you can still find a fair amount of parts and accessories to personalize your Model 60 in most any way you like. Everything from aftermarket stocks and sights to trigger assemblies can easily be found on the Internet.
So if you find yourself in the market for a quality small-caliber long gun at an affordable price, the Model 60 is certainly a rifle worthy of consideration, no matter if you are a seasoned marksman or just learning to use a semi-automatic rifle.
About Marlin Firearms
Marlin Firearms Co., formerly of North Haven, Connecticut, is a manufacturer of high power, center fire, lever action, bolt-action, and .22 caliber rimfire rifles. In the past, the company made shotguns, derringers and revolvers. Marlin owned the firearm manufacturer H & R Firearms. In 2007, Remington Arms, part of the Freedom Group acquired Marlin Firearms. Remington currently produces Marlin brand firearms at its Kentucky and New York manufacturing facilities.