Marlin Model 60 trigger assembly
We look at Marlins Model 60, a tube-fed semiautomatic .22 rimfire rifle, among the most popular on the market today. That model has sold nearly 3 million copies over a 30-year period. Here's how to fix the major problems it has.
By Frank Fry, American Gunsmith Magazine, Book of the Rifle
Its safe to say that Marlins Model 60, a tube-fed semiautomatic .22 rimfire rifle, is among the most popular on the market todayand possibly among the most favored in history. After all, when a model has sold nearly 3 million copies over a 30-year period, something has been working right.
Like any product with such a long service record, this Marlin has undergone a number of revisions. Some of the changes have been cosmetic in nature, some have been significant improvements, and some appear to have been driven by cost-control efforts. The Model 60 has been offered in a variety of configurations and under several different names. It has also enjoyed success among the private-brand marketers. Companies like Montgomery Ward (Western Field Mod 50), Coast-to-Coast, Cotter Company, J.C. Penney (Foremost), United Merchandisers, and OTASCO have all sold some version of the venerable rifle.
All the parts are interchangeable between the private-label and Marlin versions.
The Marlin Model 60 is not a glamorous rifle, doesnt retail for a fortune, and gets used, abused, and neglected. It has never gotten as much attention as the Browning Auto 5 or the Winchester 94 rifles. Most of the general information here also applies to the less popular magazine-fed versions.
As mentioned above, Marlin has made a number of design changes in the 1960 version of the Marlin .22 Auto which affect gunsmiths. These design changes need to be identified as the evolution of the rifle is brought up to date with modern parts.
Three major changes were made on the rifles feed throats. The original one in 1960 incorporated the ejector as an integral part of the feed throat on the upper right side of the assembly. The unit was made of heavily plated die-cast metal. New assemblies are made of the same material, but having tried to file the new feed throats and seeing sparks produced from grinding, it may be that some feed throats were made with steel or other metals.
The original feed throat concept was excellent. However, after years of constant use and being struck by thousands of cases, the pot-metal ejector tips began to batter and lose their square edge. This allowed empties (and live rounds) to ride over the top of the feed throats integral ejector, resulting in serious jams. In 1976, this malfunction had become so critical that Marlin changed the original design. The ejector was removed from the feed throat, with the tension end of the lifter spring now acting as the ejector. This change necessitated replacing three partsthe feed throat itself, the lifter, and lifter spring. These parts were sold as a set.
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