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Old 05-27-2020, 05:47 PM
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The 60 Chronicles



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Well today I went to Cabela's and bought what may be the only Model 60 in the St. Louis area. Called my fave and backup fave gun stores, and a Farm and Home; they apparently are not currently available from anyone's distributors. Went to Cabelas yesterday and discovered they had one in the back room (which was somehow not even in their computer!). So I went back and grabbed it today. Really wanted to buy from the little guys, but available is available. It's the black composite stock. No pics, we all know what they look like. $200 OTD.

The SN is MN27xxxB. N is the year code, 2019. Anyone know what the B signifies? Hopefully not that Bubba worked on it!

As soon as I got it home, I started to work on it.
-- Ran a buncha patches in the barrel to get it clean. Took seven wet patches; far dirtier than after a day of shooting.
-- Checked the trigger pull with my digital gauge; ten pulls averaged 4 lb 7 oz. Not too bad for stock, I'm thinking. In the process of doing this I cycled some snap caps too. Nice and smooth.
-- The inner mag tube slides like it's on bearings! Never seen one go so smooth.
-- Pulled the stock to get at the action and bolt parts. The action was very clean; just dabbed a little Frog Lube on the hammer notch and called it good, for now. Later I'll get back in there and do a lot of polishing, either with or without installing the Mcarbo spring kit. I also polished the feed ramp, ending with 1500 grit wet and dry sandpaper.
-- Pulled the bolt; polished the recoil spring guide rod to 1500 grit; did some light sanding inside the receiver; lightly lubed everything and reassembled.

Off to the range tomorrow for break-in and initial accuracy impressions. Really loving the LSHO and manual bolt hold-open, neither of which my 1964 Western Auto Revelation 120 (Marlin Model 99) has.

Future plans:
Mcarbo trigger spring kit, lotsa polishing
Boyd's Rimfire Hunter stock, probably walnut
DIP trigger and trigger guard
a scope

BTW I checked the trigger pull after reassembly, to see what the Frog Lube would do for it. Four pulls averaged 3 lb even! So with just polishing, and the 3.5" floppy disk spring replacing the trigger spring, I may well be able to get it down to maybe just north of 2 lb--and smoother of course.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-31-2020 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:34 PM
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Glad to here you got one, and it sounds like real good trigger. Give us a range report.

Mals
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:47 PM
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Back from the range, after shooting about 250 rounds. Ten-round groups all shot at 25 yards, 24X scope, bipod and bag. Ammo used was three CCIs: MiniMag 40gr CPRN, MiniMag 36gr CPHP, AR Tactical 40gr CPRN; and also Federal Auto Match and SK Magazine. Most shooting was at the rate of roughly one shot per second.

-- Long story short, it greatly preferred the 36gr over any 40gr ammo. Federal was also HVHP, so I don't think HP was a factor.
-- The Federal was somewhat inconsistent though, in terms of powder load.
-- First I shot 20 rounds of the 40gr MiniMag off target for sighters, and lubers to foul the barrel a little. I did the same when transitioning to Federal and SK, to give it a better chance to perform.
-- All ammo was HV except the SK. I gave up on the SK aftter 40 rounds (including 20 off-target lubers), since it does so well in other guns.
-- Had one hot case go down my shirt and brand me! All part of the adventure I guess.....that was an interesting few seconds.

When I got home, I checked the trigger pull with snap caps. It is now down to an average of 2lb 6 oz! The spread was 2 lb even to 2 lb 12 oz.

Now I'm gonna clean it, do some work inside the action, and back to the range tmw with the MiniMag 36gr HP and some other stuff.
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Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-28-2020 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:20 PM
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BTW forgot to mention there were no feed, ignition or eject issues of any kind. Everything ran perfectly. I purposely brought along some slower ammo (SK) to see how it would cycle.

Something I really like about the new 60s is the LSHO. After I run out of ammo, which you can feel by how the bolt does not return fully forward, my manual of arms is to put the safety on, visually inspect the chamber and feed throat, then proceed to reload. No concern at all about putting my hand in front of the muzzle. Once loaded up, hit the bolt release, rack it again to load the chamber, then take it off safe.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-28-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:33 PM
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Give 40 gr Blazer a try, my 60 performs very well with them.

Mals
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:36 PM
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I've got 38gr Blazer. I'll try that. So far it seems to prefer lighter grains.

So I was doing stuff to it today, mostly cleaning, and when I reinstalled the bolt I fatally kinked the recoil spring. A nice Z shape. I wasn't giving it the proper attention, like you would for brain surgery, or trying to decide whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire.

Luckily I have an extra power one I got a few years ago for my WA 120, so I installed that. It was tough to get in, but I managed to do it without killing this one too. It is much stiffer, intended for hypervelocity rounds. Mcarbo says it will handle HV and even SV; we'll see about that. To work the LSHO bolt release, it is much easier to do if I pull the bolt handle back slightly to relieve some of the pressure on the release from the heavy recoil spring.

I just ordered the Mcarbo trigger spring kit, and three standard recoil springs. The heavy one I will probably cut a little bit off of, and use it as an emergency backup.

So back to the range tmw, with Aguila hyper, CCI Stinger and Velocitor, a few other HV rounds, and some Fiocchi SV to see if it cycles OK.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-28-2020 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:27 PM
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Shot another 200+ today with the HD return spring. Ten-shot groups, 25 yards, bipod and bag, 24X scope.

Row 1: Aguila Hypervelocity, 20 rounds, and CCI Stinger, 30 rounds. The Aguila was pretty squibby. The Stinger usually outshoots Aguila hyper, but they look about the same.
Row 2: CCI Velocitor, 49 rounds. Decent.
Row 3: CCI MiniMag 36gr CPHP 20 rounds, very good as expected. CCI Blazer 38gr, yuck.
Row 4: RWS Field Line HV, 20 rounds. Not too bad for no seasoning rounds. (Just finishing off a partial box.)
Federal Target and Range, awful. Stopped shooting because very squibby and lots of powder blowback. Literally painful to shoot. Stopped after 14 rounds.
Row 5: Fiocchi Subsonic, 14 rounds. As I pretty much expected, several cycling errors due to the heavy recoil spring, so I quit early. Shot pretty decently though, so once I get a lighter spring in there I will start working on SV-type ammo.

Other than the Fiocchi, no issues at all with the gun's performance.
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File Type: jpg Tgt 2b M60.jpg (315.9 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-31-2020 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:11 PM
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Bookmarking this blog for action and trigger work.

Did the floppy spring mod to the trigger. Trigger pull is now averaging 2 lb 13 oz over five pulls. Three pulls were 2 lb 11 oz.

Long story short, it looks like the pic below. The 3.5" floppy disk spring winds the opposite way, but it doesn't matter. I used a paper clip as a shim between the trigger and spring. Cost nothing and shaved off maybe 6 oz. Learned how to do this from the thread I bookmarked.

After taking this pic, I bent the spring a little more so that it contacts the trigger face more evenly. The floppy spring contributes only about an ounce to trigger pull weight.
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File Type: jpg M60 FD spring.JPG (453.3 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-29-2020 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:58 PM
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Looks good. I have a McCarbo trigger kit for a Model 60- unsure which one I'll use it on. Probably my old beater, but maybe I'll try following this blog also. There is great stuff on this site from a man that goes by the moniker of 'Arrowdodger' I believe as well. Thanks for documenting this.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:12 AM
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Arrowdodger's Youtube videos are a must-watch for Model 99 and 60 owners. I have a 99 (1964 Western Auto Revelation 120) with the Mcarbo kit plus polishing. I think I did a little work on the hammer notch. Pull is consistently 1.5 - 1.75#.

BTW I have my 99 apart right now. The Mcarbo trigger spring in it is definitely heavier than the floppy spring--but we're just talking 2 or 3 ounces vs. 1 for the floppy. The Mcarbo one feels more robust, like it's a long-lasting part. The floppy spring is bit flimsy; might hold up for a long time, or maybe not.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-30-2020 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:54 AM
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Tom,

Glad you were able to find one. I haven't been to Cabela's in St Louis since before 2014 (for obvious reasons)

I have to ask about you shooting high velocity ammo though. Did Remington/Marlin make changes to the rifle? I know that years ago Marlin did not recommend shooting high velocity due to it tearing up the buffer sooner. I have a mid 80's Model 70 and while it does shoot Federal Champion HV well, you can tell the difference in how the bolt slams back into the buffer compared to using standard velocity. And yes I replaced the buffer right away since I bought the rifle used.

From your looking at your targets. Your rifle does seem to like the Mini Mag 36Gr ammo best.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:02 AM
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Actually the manual says it's designed for high velocity LR only, and to not shoot hypervelocity, i.e. Velocitor, Stinger etc. No mention is made of subsonic LR, like CCI SV, which I find kind of odd. I'll bet it shoots fine with a normal spring. And Mcarbo does sell a lower-power recoil spring, which is on the way to me. Just so I have all bases covered.

That's why the heavy recoil spring. Obviously when Marlin designed the rifle, they had to make a decision on how heavy to make the spring. Versatility is the way to go, so that means subsonic and HV ammo, since the hyper ammo is relatively unused. I figured that by installing the HD spring, I would lose reliable cycling of subsonic, and that is what happened. I never had any intention of leaving the HD spring in there. I have since clipped five coils off of it, and it now feels like a just slightly heavier stock spring. I bet it will now properly cycle the SV ammo.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-30-2020 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:35 AM
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Makes perfect sense. As good as it shot the MM 36gr, I would stick with that if it was me.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:04 AM
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Some pics.

Pic 1, the 1964 WA 120 in the new Marlin 60 stock. I think it actually looks good in this stock, surprisingly. Very suited to an actual outdoors gun. The scope is a Weaver 29S, steel tube 3X made in the late 1930s. The forend is about an inch shorter than the stock stock, which accentuates the length of the barrel.

Pic 2, the loading gate has been repositioned in the WA, and the taller front sight is off a Sears Model 1, to go along with my dovetail-mounted rear Tech Sight.

Pic 3, I painted the right side of the safety button white, for easier sight at the rather dimly-lit indoor range I go to. I also just added a DIP charging handle to the WA.

Pic 4, the new action. Shoulda photoed it with the old one. The new one is much improved:
-- the plastic rear fastener replaced a screw-and-post one
-- the front just has ears that fit over pins in the receiver, instead of two screws in the old one
-- in the new one, the action is held together by e-clips; in the old one, the front and rear screws held it together, and if you weren't careful in how you held it, it would just fall apart on you until you got it fastened back onto the receiver.
-- the black plastic rear action fastener is backwards-compatible with the old action, as are the new takedown screws (hex drive vs. slotted). Gonna get new replacements for all three.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 99 with 60 stock.jpg (342.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 99 loading gate and sight.jpg (326.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 99 middle.jpg (335.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 60 action.jpg (287.5 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-31-2020 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:10 PM
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A few minutes ago I tried the WA 120's action in the new Marlin 60 stock, with the new trigger and the floppy spring, just to see how much this spring made a difference. With the full Mcarbo spring kit, including his trigger spring, pull weight was consistently between 1 lb 8 oz and 1 lb 12 oz. With the substitution of the floppy spring, pull weight dropped to an average of 1 lb 4 oz.

So if you aren't planning on climbing into the action, it is worthwhile to do the floppy spring, which is pretty easy. It's useful to have a very thin set of needle-nose pliers. The floppy spring probably takes about 1.5# off the pull weight compared to the stock trigger spring. Doing this, and lubing the hammer notch (from underneath, with the hammer forward), might well get you to a 3# (or less) trigger.

I also rotated the loading gate on the 60 to be like it is on the WA 120, right side instead of bottom. The dovetail that holds the outer tube holder to the barrel is a little loose, so I used some blue Loctite to secure it. Also put some in the channel I cut in the outer tube, so the pin cannot walk out. That was an issue I had with the WA.

Once I get the Mcarbo trigger kit into it, I will be done with it, other than maybe adding Tech Sights. And looking for a nice wood stock for it.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-31-2020 at 10:01 AM.
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