|Marlin 60 "Glenfield"|
I discovered that the rifle also had feeding problems. Although the rifle ejected without trouble, about every other round would misfeed, being pushed up and into the rear of the barrel instead of into the chamber. Initially, I just assumed this was perhaps due to inadequate cleaning. However, after a complete disassembly and cleaning, I still had the same problem. I took the rifle to a gunsmith who, a couple months later, told me the issue was simply one of ammunition. Nevertheless, I still experienced the same feeding problem no matter what type of ammunition I used.
After disassembling the rifle again and paying more attention to how the mechanism worked, I discovered that the screws attaching the action to the receiver had loosened, allowing the feed throat to be forced apart--just enough that it allowed a cartridge to feed at too steep of angle to go into the chamber. After I tightened the screws down, the problem was mostly solved. However, the side plates that hold the action together cannot be tightened down enough to completely eliminate the gap between the pieces of the feed throat.
I decided to replace the feed throat with a newer, one-piece version. Marlin sells a feed throat conversion kit to adapt the older models, although you can also buy the pieces separately. Brownells, Numrich and Midway carry parts--I used Numrich and Midway for the parts for this project. Brownells has an exploded parts diagram that may be useful, even though it is for the newer version of the Model 60.
Warning: The modifications and instructions set out herein were for my firearm, but may not work for yours. All information is presented for entertainment purposes only, and you rely on it at your own risk.
Differences Between the Old and New Feedthroats
|Front view -- old feed throat on right. Note that the old feed throat is angled on both sides, while the new feed throat is squared off on one side. As described below, the new feed-throat will need to be filed down to be angled on both sides.|
|Side View -- Old feed throat on top|
You can see some of the differences between the old and new feed throat designs in the photographs above. Of course, one of the differences is the fact that the old feed throat is a two-piece design that is held together with a single rivet. As the photograph of the back of the feed throats illustrates, the two halves can be forced apart slightly (at least in my specimen), which I believe to be the cause of the feeding problem.
Another difference you will note is that the older design has three knobs or studs projecting from the sides, which fit into holes in the side plates of the action. These knobs hold the the feed throat in place. However, the new feed throat has 4 knobs. Obviously, the fourth knob (if you are looking at the feed throat from the front, it is the front-left knob, roughly corresponding to the location of the rivet in the old design) will need to be removed.
In the side view, you can easily see a third major difference, which is that the old feet throat has an integral ejector cast into it. There is no corresponding feature on the new feed throat. Instead, one of the tails of the lifter spring fits into a notch in the back of the feed throat (you can see this in the middle photograph) and projects slightly over the top of the feed throat, thereby serving double duty as the ejector.
Finally, looking at the front view, you will notice that in the old feed throat, both sides of the top of the feed throat are angled. These match up with angles cut in the bottom of the bolt. But on the new feed throat, one side (the left, as viewed from the front) is squared off. This will also have to be shaped with a file to fit into the old bolt.
The instructions below will tell you when to make the modifications to the new feed throat.
Differences Between the Lifters and SpringsThere are also differences between the lifters and springs.
|Old Feedthroat, Lifter and Spring|
|New feed throat, lifter and spring|
The springs are also different. On the old spring, the two tails (or arms, if you prefer) are close to the same length. One tail has the end sharply bent to one side, and fits through a hole in the side plate to anchor the spring. The other tail fits underneath the cartridge lifter.
The new spring has very different lengths of tails. The short tail, with the sharply bent hook, actually fits under the cartridge lifter. The other tail fits into a groove at the back of the feed throat, and projects slightly over the top to act as the ejector.
Disassembly and Removal of the Old Feedthroat PartsAfter making sure that the firearm is unloaded, turn the firearm over so you can see the bottom of stock and trigger guard, so you can see the screws that hold the receiver and stock together. At least on my particular specimen, the slots of the screws are each different sizes, so you will need at least three screw drivers or screw driver bits with varying widths and thicknesses of blades. It is easy to mar the screws if you do not use the correct size of screw driver bit.
|Bottom of firearm -- remove the circled screws|
|Back of Action|
|Front of action|
At the front and back of the action are screws that hold the action to the receiver and barrel assembly. Remove these. As with the other screws, the size of the slots are different, and you will need at least two different sized screw drivers or screw driver bits.
|Useful tools for disassembly and assembly of the action. Left to right: a small upholstery nail puller,|
a straightened paper clip, and an awl.
|Paper clip through a hole at the base of the hammer strut|
|The two c-clips to be removed|
|Old feed throat, lifter and spring|
|Old Lifter Spring. As you can see, one part of the old spring fits into a hole in the side of the action, while the other "arm" fits under the lifter.|
At this point, you will need to grind off the extra knob on the new feed throat. The metal is soft and non-ferrous. So, if you are using a power grinder, be careful as the metal will be removed quickly and without the usual spray of sparks thrown off by steel to warn you when the grinding wheel has contacted the metal.
|New feed throat with knob ground down|
Next, put the new spring on its pin.
|New Spring. The new spring does not fit into the side of the action at all. Instead, the longer "arm" will fit into the groove on the back of the new feed throat to act as the ejector, while the shorter "arm" fits underneath the new lifter.|
|Orientation of the new lifter and spring. Remember, though, that the short "arm" of the spring (to the left in the photograph above) will need to go under the lifter.|
|New feed throat, lifter and spring in place. You can see the bit of the spring that fits under the lifter above, as well as how the longer arm of the spring fits against the back of the feed throat, and protrudes over the top, to act as the ejector.|
ReassemblyI found the reassembly after this point to be the trickiest part, simply because of the difficulty of compressing the hammer spring so you can fit the tabs on each side of the hammer strut bridge into their respective holes.
Although you may find an easier method, this is what I did: Using the upholstery nail remover, place it so the strut will fit up through the cut in the blade, and push it (compressing the hammer spring) until you can fit the tab into its hole in the left side plate. Then put the right side plate over the right tab of the hammer strut bridge, and, holding it tightly together, shift the side plate around until you can fit it over the other pins that hold it in place. If your experience is like mine, you probably are best doing this step away from children because you will likely be cursing a lot. Be mindful that the paper clip stays in its hole, or you may see the hammer strut bridge and hammer spring fly across the room!
Once the side plate is on, use a second rubber band to hold it in place, and push the two c-clips into place. You can then unwind the second rubber band. You will probably just have to cut the first rubber band loose from around the feed throat. Finally, remove the paper clip.
At this point, you will need to take a file and shape an angle into the side of the feed throat. Again, the metal is soft and easily removed. So stop often and check against the bolt. Don't take off too much material. When it is done, the bolt should ride over the feed throat without lifting up. You do not need to do any shaping of the rear of the feed throat or the side that is already angled.
One thing I found is that the lifter spring/extractor scraped and caught against the bolt. I had to bend the spring down slightly so it wasn't angled so steeply. However, check your bolt before you do this. You don't want to end up having to order a new spring.
Once the bolt rides fairly smooth, you can put the bolt back into place and finish your reassembly. Reassembly from this point forward is the opposite of the disassembly. Again, be careful of the plunger in the tube magazine.
Update (3/2/2015): I took the rifle out shooting this past weekend and put about 100 rounds of a couple different brands of standard .22 lead round nose through it without any failures to feed or extract. So, I consider the project a success.
Update (6/17/2015): Last Friday, a reader emailed asking when my Marlin Model 60 was manufactured. Interesting question. I knew that the particular model I used in my article dated from before the mid-1970's, but not the particular year of manufacture. In making a quick search, I came across the web-page for a company calling itself the Antique and Collectible Firearms and Militaria Headquarters which had several resources for determining manufacture dates for various manufacturers, including Marlin. It stated that, for Marlin firearms made between 1969 and 1990, "[t]he first two digits of the serial number designate the year of manufacture, either as the last two digits of the year (in 1969-71) or as a number code (1971 and later)." According to my reader, the system for 1971 and later was to subtract the first two digits of the serial number from 100 and that would give you the year (in a 2-digit format). My particular model was made in 1970.
Update (9/9/2015): I expanded the descriptions as to a few of the photographs to give more of an explanation of the differences between the old feed throat and spring, and the new feed throat and spring.
Update (11/30/2015): I had the rifle with me this past weekend, shooting in temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Out of approximately 50 rounds, I had two failures to eject ("smokestacks") and one where the bolt cycled far enough to eject the spent casing, but not enough to pick up a new round. Considering the temperatures, and that the gun had been sitting in the cold while I used other weapons, I thought it did pretty well.
Update (10/15/2016): I had a request asking for additional photos of the feed throat after the shaping allowing it to use the old bolt. So, without further ado:
Update (8/11/2018): I saw on a forum that cited to this article that there were complaints about the photograph showing the fully assembled rifle at the top of this article. Accordingly, I have replaced it with a new photograph that better shows the rifle.