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Old 06-27-2009, 01:18 PM
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Marlin 60 Family of .22LR Rifles Brief History



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{The information for this article was primarily derived from the book, MARLIN FIREARMS, by William S. Brophy, copyright 1989. Additional information was taken from numerous editions of THE GUN DIGEST. Also, some information was elicited from various internet sites.}

(Also, many thanks to forum members who have found omissions and mistakes in my original article and were kind enough to politely point these out so that I could make necessary corrections. If a reader believes I have made other errors I would appreciate it if this is brought to my attention. Thank you.)

It seems to me the title of this piece should be THE MARLIN 99 FAMILY OF .22LR RIFLES. After all, the 60 was originally a Glenfield model , the slightly more homely younger brother of the Model 99 and Model 99C. The Glenfield brand name was used on firearms made by Marlin, but with sales directed at the discount store market. In essence, Glenfields were the bargain store Marlins. (Note that Glenfield guns could be sold at a lower price because of the use of inexpensive wood and less expensive sights. Other than that these firearms were made at the Marlin plant with the same materials and standards as Marlin branded firearms. Thus, the quality of Glenfields is really not open to question.) However, the 60 became so popular that many, many more have been made, in the last 50 years, than the other "siblings" in this group of firearms.

It should be explained that I refer to these Marlin rifle models as a "family" not just because they are semiautomatic rifles made by the same company but also because they each use virtually the same, if not the same, mechanism and the differences are primarily external.

HISTORY: Although Marlin had made semiautomatic rifles since 1931 the results were disappointing. However, in 1959 a totally new design was marketed that replaced the Model 98. The new model was the Marlin Model 99. It had an 18 shot capacity by virtue of a tubular magazine, Micro-Groove rifling, automatic side-ejection, and other newer features. It was a complete success from the beginning and fathered many variants. 116,239 were made from 1959-61.

The Marlin Model 99DL was a 99 with some changes to make it a fancier rifle including a gold-colored trigger, gold-finished trigger guard, sling swivels, and other features. 5279 were made from 1960-64.

The 99G (G for Glenfield) was made from 1963-65. See my late correction entry below about this model.

The Marlin Model 99C was almost the same as the 99 with Micro-Groove rifling and gold-plated trigger. It originally had a band type front sight which was dropped in 1976 in favor of a ramp sight. In 1971 impressed checkering was added to the model. Over 100,000 were made from 1961-78.

The Marlin Model 989 was the first clip magazine rifle of the new line of semiautomatics started in 1959. Like the other Marlin brand models this one had a walnut stock. A total of 24,843 were made from 1962-65. The 1963 and 1964 editions of GUN DIGEST also list a Glenfield 989G; The Brophy book also lists the 989G as being made from 1962 to 1964.

The Marlin Model 99M1 was a carbine with a shorter tubular magazine holding 9 rounds. It was also different in that it had a hand guard and 18 inch barrel. It was also equipped with a rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation, gold-colored trigger, and a sling. It was made to resemble the U. S. Army M-1 carbine. More than 160,000 were made from 1964-78.

The Glenfield Model 75 was an economy version of the 99M1 but not a standard catalog item. It was sold as a promotional item. It had no hand guard and did not have walnut wood. It was made, probably not continuously, from 1967-1982. In 1983 when the Glenfield brand name was discontinued it became the Marlin Model 75C with a longer tubular magazine but minus the swivels and barrel band. The Marlin 75C was last listed in the 1992 GUN DIGEST. Because models designated as 75C were changed to having a longer magazine tube with no barrel band they are almost identical to the Model 60. (Correction of January 12, 2020: There are actually copies of the 75C with sling swivels and a barrel band as I own one. It was made in 1976. (I will note here my opinion that the 75C is relatively scarce, perhaps very scarce.)

The Marlin Model 989M2 is identical to the 99M1 except that it has a clip magazine. More than 110,000 were made from 1965-78. Like the 99M1 it had a walnut stock.

BE AWARE: The adjustable sight on the 99M1 and 989M2 fastens on the receiver scope rail. It is often missing on these models offered for sale and is very, very difficult to find through any gun parts supply system. One should take this into account when considering purchase of one of these models.

The Glenfield Model 70 was the economy version of the 989M2. It had the clip magazine with 18 inch barrel but the wood was not walnut and there was no hand guard. It was made from 1967-82. In 1983 the Glenfield name had been discontinued so this model became the Marlin Model 70. When this change took place the barrel band, checkering, and swivels were eliminated. In the GUN DIGEST editions 1989 through 1996 the Model 70 was now listed as the 70HC (High Capacity because it was equipped with a 25 round clip magazine.).

The Marlin 70P "Papoose" was introduced in 1986. It is a take-down model of the 70 with a 7 shot clip magazine and is currently sold with a padded case that floats. It is still made as the 70PSS with a stainless barrel.

The Marlin Model 49 was first made as a unique model for a mass-merchandiser but was later made for the Marlin product line. The 49 and 49DL were unique with a two-piece stock (walnut) but otherwise were essentially the same as the 99C. They also each had a tubular magazine. In 1971 scroll-work was embossed into the sides of the receiver and the Model 49 became the 49 Deluxe (49DL). 79,458 49s were made as well as 30,964 Model 49DLS from 1968-78.

The Glenfield Model 40 was only made in 1979 as a limited-production economy model of the 49DL. The Model 49 stock and forearm were birch, the trigger was chrome-plated instead of gold-plated, and a couple of other niceties were eliminated, but it was otherwise identical to the 49 and 49DL.

The Marlin Model 990 was the old 99C tubular magazine rifle with some refinements; including a new closure system, a bolt hold-open device, and other small improvements. This model was made from 1979-87 with the standard walnut stock. Moreover, the GUN DIGEST lists a Model 990L (Laminate) in the 1993-95 editions.

The Marlin Model 995 was introduced in 1979 at the same time as the 990. It was a new model designation for the earlier 989M2. The hand-guard and band-type front sight of the 989M2 were eliminated. Also, some changes in the sights were made. The clip magazine was Marlin's standard 7-shot. The American (black) walnut stock was standard until about 1997 at which time the 995 became a rifle made only with a synthetic stock and stainless barrel. It was last listed in the 1999 GUN DIGEST.

The Marlin Model 795 was introduced in 1997 as a clip-magazine model made only with a black synthetic stock. It seems to have been the replacement for the 995. It appears that, simultaneously, a heavy target barrel version of this model was introduced as the Model 7000. The Model 7000 was discontinued in about 2007 but the 795 is still in production.
{July 2009 Note: My Gun Digest editions from 1998 through 2008 show no reference to other than a synthetic stock for the 795. The current Marlin web site indicates no other stock material available.

The Model 60G (G for Glenfield), made from 1960-65, and the Glenfield Model 60 made from 1966-82, as well as the Marlin Model 60, were stated by Brophy to have, "....the same mechanism as the Model 99C and the later Model 990 except that the stock was made of birch wood rather than walnut and had a less expensive rear sight." It had a 22 inch barrel with a magazine capacity of 17 .22LR cartridges for many years. It was not listed in the GUN DIGEST until the 1967 edition. That listing originally described it as featuring a chrome-plated trigger and continued to do so through the 1982 edition. No official record has been found by this writer that describes any actual Model 60 as having factory walnut wood. This is not to say Marlin did not make such an item. This writer has seen claims of Model 60s with factory walnut stocks.

In 1983 Marlin was no longer using the Glenfield name so this popular rifle became the Marlin Model 60. At some point in time the barrel and magazine were slightly shortened. It continues to be sold in six different variants of blued or stainless/nickel plate metal and synthetic or laminated wood stocks.

According to Brophy the Model 60, "....became the most popular by far of all autoloaders, regardless of maker or model." One would find it very difficult to argue with that premise.

And, a word or two more about the Glenfield firearms as compared to the Marlin branded firearms during the time when the Glenfield name was used, 1960-1983. It has been my experience, with knowledge only of the .22 semi-auto rifles, that the following differences are consistently found: Marlin wood was walnut, Glenfield birch. Marlin butt stock pads were inscribed with the name Marlin in an oval but Glenfield pads had the oval with nothing inscribed; Marlin had a white spacer between pad and stock but Glenfield did not; Marlin had the bullseye trademark in the stock but Glenfield did not; Marlin rifles had gold colored triggers but Glenfield had silver.

Late correction entry on June 28, 2009: As GPSN pointed out below, Brophy also refers to a Model 99G (Glenfield) made from 1963-65, a .22 semiautomatic. My apologies for this omission as Brophy put this item on one listing of his book, but for reasons I fail to understand, had not put it on another listing under his section on semiautomatic rifles so I missed it. However, I am responsible for that mistake and should have read the book more carefully. Thanks to other members of the forum this mistake has been corrected.

Also, as a late correction entry, this same listing on page 562 lists a Model 989G (Glenfield)made from 1962-64, a .22 semiautomatic. Again, my mistake and apologies for not seeing that. However, I have referenced that model above because it was listed in the GUN DIGEST and have made this addition above.

Last edited by Ithacabuff; 01-12-2020 at 01:30 PM. Reason: January 12, 2019: Update/correct certain information.
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