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Marlin Model 60 long-term durability vs Savage 64 long-term durability

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rjc149, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. rjc149

    rjc149 Member

    Hey all,

    I would like to get a .22 rifle for hunting small game in Maine up to 75 yards with headshots only. I would like it to be a semi-auto. I am primarily looking at the Marlin Model 60 and the Savage 64. I know both are going to be accurate. But I've head Marlins develop problems over the long run, like broken recoil buffers and springs and such. Are these easy to replace at home? Does this also happen with the Savage?
  2. gotigers

    gotigers Well-Known Member

    Older Mod 60's are great. I've had a mod 60 since ~1981 and it still runs like a champ. It is one of the more accurate guns i have. It has been a regular squirrel hunter most years of its life. It just needs to be cleaned occasionally.

    The newer Marlin's quality has been spotty, since freedom group bought them.
  3. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    Broken recoil springs come from people not putting them back in right. It's a little tricky but if you do it right that spring will never break. Buffers rarely break. It's usually because of shooting hyper velocity ammo which Marlin clearly says you shouldn't do.

    Both parts are very easy to fix and cheap to buy if you need them. I've been shooting Marlin 60's since the mid-1960's and I've never had a buffer break. I have kinked a couple of recoil springs but it was because I wasn't paying attention. I didn't kink one until I had owned that particular rifle for over 20 years. I still have that rifle BTW. I has about 160,000 rounds through it.

    All firearms will eventually wear out springs but I have not had to replace anything that wasn't caused to have a problem by something I did wrong. The rifle has never worn anything out. I have a 2009 60 with about 10,000 rounds through it and it works perfectly still.

    It should prove something that you can go buy Marlin 60's from as far back as they were first made. There are used examples in ever pawn shop and LGS on the used rack. They are extremely durable.

    Savage on the other hand has a great reputation for building bolt action rifles. Their reputation for semi-auto rimfire rifles is not that good. They seem to not last as long. I have a bunch of Savages but they are all bolt action. I have a bunch of Marlins too. If I wanted a semi-auto I would (and did) buy a Marlin 60 every time. I'd love to have a Ruger built to shoot very accurate but they are not inexpensive by any means. Marlin has the best deals on semi-auto rimfire rifles of any rifle maker IMO. They also have the best reputation for reliability. You'll get some Ruger people that will argue about that but a lot of myths get built up about Marlins apparently by Ruger fan boys. I've seen a whole bunch of things said about them that I know aren't true. Like about them breaking buffers. That just rarely happens and it's user error 99.9% of the time IMO. You just can't shoot hyper ammo through them.

    About the newer Marlins - it's the lever action rifles that have had problems. The semi-auto rimfire rifles have had a few problems but not many. Like I said I have several of their newer rifles and they all work great. The only problem I have is that my 795 will eventually break firing pins because the LSHO feature doesn't always work and I end up dry firing the rifle too often.
  4. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    The first time I looked into the bowels of my 15 year old model 60 I muttered no way dude and put the action back in the stock.

    Fast forward... after some study on rimfirecentral.com I've had my rifle completely apart any number of times, and it has become a non issue.

    Nice thing about the 60 is all the parts are available. Add the knowledge from folks here and on RFC.com and there's nothing to hold you back.

    I have a stainless model 60 that would be perfect for Maine hunting conditions (I spent some time at Shin Pond). I bought a second rifle, both are reliable and way more accurate than the price would indicate. Pawn shop finds run from $100-$150, heck of a deal.

    Marlin has sold more than 11,000,000 of the model 60, they get the job done.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    I've worn out 2 model 60's. They could probably be repaired, but I've just left them in the closet and moved on to better guns. They are accurate and reliable enough. The weak link is the tube magazine. After years of loading and unloading they simply wore out and became unreliable on my guns.

    Any magazine will wear out, but a deachable magazine is easy enough to toss when it wears out. In fact most folks keep spares. Other than that I have no problem with the Marlins. No experience with the Savage.

    I've pretty well settled on the 10-22 as my go-to 22 semi auto.
  6. farmer pliers

    farmer pliers Member

    When my older boys were growing up, two of them got the model 60 and the other the Savage 64 as that is what the local store had for sale that day. They have shot side by side for the past ten or so years with them. Their both good models. The Savage is not quite as picky about what you shoot through it but the ever so slight edge goes to the model 60 for accuracy. I myself have a couple of the Marlins. One is the SS model 60 the older one I got 41 years ago, it is a model 99M1. It has had tens of thousands of rounds through it with no problems, the SS 60 has also been trouble free although it probably only has 5 or 6 thousand rounds through it. I think you will like which ever one you pick.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  7. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    How do you wear out the tube? I could see wearing out the spring on the inner mag tube but at inner mag tube is just as easy to replace as any rifle part. You might manage to just replace the spring that pushes the follower.

    Again I have 160,000 rounds through my old Model 60. I don't know how many rounds it takes to wear it out but it must take a lot. Most people make mistakes in caring for their firearms and cause problems themselves.
  8. rjc149

    rjc149 Member

    Thanks for the replies, appreciate it.

    I read somewhere that the cleaning solvents chemically react with the nylon recoil buffer on the 60, making it more prone to breakage. Is that true?

    Also, I read that the best way to lubricate a Model 60 is to grind pencil lead into a powder and cover the bolt with it, and never use oil. Could that work?
  9. Plinker82

    Plinker82 Member

    I know you want to compare the Marlin and Savage but the Ruger 10/22 is better than both for the same money.
  10. danimoth17

    danimoth17 Member

    my 1975 marlin 99c (basically same as model 60 but with walnut stock) is working flawless.
  11. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    First off the Ruger costs more than either of the two mentioned and it is no better at all. I know Ruger guys like to think that because that's all they have. They know accuracy is not on their side.

    I couldn't count the people I've seen monkeying with their 10/22's trying to get the mags to feed correctly. I realize no company is perfect but I've been around a bunch of rifles in my life and I KNOW the Ruger is not a better rifle than a Marlin. Truth be told they're about equal in how well they hold up over time. That doesn't make the Rugers better.

    People think this is a Ford vs. Chevy type argument. It isn't. Marlins are clearly better rifles unless you upgrade your Ruger. I've shot too many of them side by side with both being brand new rifles. The Marlins have been more accurate every single time. I'm sure that is not "always" the case but it has happened when I watched every single time.

    And let's not forget the 10_22 is made in about 7 different formats. So which ones are better and why? Marlin makes ONE rifle they call the 60. They do vary the stocks and between stainless and blued.
  12. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I've seen more problems with the model 60 than with the 10/22.
    The model 60's I've shot were really accurate, but they seemed to need more cleaning than a 10/22 to be reliable.
    With a good Ruger magazine, malfunctions with the stock 10/22's I've shot and owned are very rare.
    Just my experience.
  13. zerofournine

    zerofournine Active Member

    I have much love for the Marlin Model 60. I can't visit a gun shop without looking over the .22lr section, and sometimes you can find a 60 in great shape for next to nothing. Accuracy out of the box is excellent on pretty much every example due to the micro groove rifling. Anyone who says the Ruger is a better rifle out of the box, without at least some upgrades to make it run or shoot right, is trying to sell you something. Usually they are trying to sell you their Ruger which doesn't run right! :)

    Here is my 1959 Model 99, the origin of the Model 60...


    That's an all original 1959, including the original buffer, and it still runs as smooth as the day it was made. I would show you the rest of my 60's, but I don't have time to photograph them all. I am going to an LGS later today to look over a Model 99M1 that I spotted a couple of days ago. Wish me luck.
  14. zerofournine

    zerofournine Active Member

    Oh yeah, regarding the broken buffers. I have been reading online forums for years, and there have only been two or three instances of broken buffers that I have seen actual photos of. In one case, no cause was ever found. In the other two cases, the buffers broke because the shooter was using CCI Velocitors or some other really hot round. DO NOT use hyper velocity ammo in a Model 60. Use CCI Mini mags or standard velocity even.
  15. rjc149

    rjc149 Member

    Thanks to everyone who posted and for the advice. After reading these posts and doing some more research, I've decided pretty firmly on the Marlin 60. Opinions on the 60 are overwhelmingly positive, thread after thread. Back in college I had a Marlin 336C .30-30 it was a beautiful and accurate rifle. I had to sell it to free up some cash (broke college days) and I've regretted it ever since. I'm going with Marlin again.
  16. StrutStopper

    StrutStopper Well-Known Member

    Nothing but love here for my 1989 Model 60. Always reliable and accurate.
  17. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Well-Known Member

    I've got one that was made in '78 and one that was made in 2010. They are wgually awesome and outshoot just about every 10/22 it's been out up against.
  18. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    I have a model 60 that I've owned since 1975. Hasn't been shot alot at all but compared to my Remington 77 the Marlin is more accurate and has no feeding problems.

    I'd bet I haven't fired that model 60 since at least 1978.

    Anyone know where I can find out when mine was made?
  19. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Well-Known Member

    I've had the same model 60 since I was 10 years old (a long time ago) and I have put more rounds in it than I can remember. It is still just as good as it ever was and I was far from kind to it growing up.

    I **** it last weekend and still hits where I aim it. I love that gun.
  20. ldlfh7

    ldlfh7 Well-Known Member

    I have had a marlin 60 for 20 years. Probably only cleaned it 2 or 3 times ever. I know thats not good maintenance but it just keeps shooting accurately so why worry about cleaning it?

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