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Many people compare the Marlin 60 vs. Ruger 10/22 and end up with nothing on the other side. They’re both relatively equal .22s, but we’re not settling in this guide. We’re breaking down every detail until we come up with a clear winner. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ll use our experience, research, and testing to guide us.
Stick around and find out for yourself in this Marlin Model 60 vs. Ruger 10/22 review.
Understanding the Marlin Model 60
Marlin Firearms Company is a leader in the rifle industry, and they produce a vast assortment of excellent rifles used by shooters and hobbyists all over the country. One of their top-selling rifles, the Model 60, is what we’re looking at in this comparison guide.
The Model 60 debuted to the world in 1960, but it wasn’t the first auto-loading 22. What it was, was a rifle that stood the test of time and a variety of changing hands in the company. One thing remained true, the Marlin Model 60 would always be a mainstay of the company’s product line.
It comes with a 21-inch Microgroove bull-barrel paired with an 18 shot tubular mag. The Model 60 earned its reputation as one of the most accurate rimfire rifles to ever hit the market.
Through the 1980s, the company got rid of their long rifle due to capacity magazine laws, so now you’ll find a shorter 19-inch barrel with a 15-shot magazine as the primary product from Marlin.
Having three fewer rounds allows the company to sell their rifle in more locations, and legislation says that the reduced number of rounds makes the gun appear less like a destructive weapon and more like a hunting rifle. We can let you decide your opinion on that; we won’t get into politics in this guide!
In 2017, Remington purchased Marlin, and since then, we’ve seen more complaints and issues pop up about their quality control, but we haven’t experienced much of an issue. The Model 60 is still an exceptionally accurate rifle, but we wouldn’t go so far to say it’s a step up from the Ruger 10/22 by any means.
Understanding the Ruger 10/22
The Ruger 10/22 is a semi-auto rifle manufactured by the company “Sturm, Ruger, and Company.” It possesses a .22 long rimfire cartridge with a 10-round rotary magazine with higher capacity options available.
Their standard is the Carbine version, which has been on the market since 1964. Its longevity and consistent quality make it one of the most successful rimfire rifles ever. Numerous third-party producers have tried to replicate its design by offering parts, accessories, and upgrades, but they have all fallen short.
Aftermarket support on the Ruger 10/22 are the bread and butter, and it’s become its own market. There are so many upgrades you can make to this rifle that you can basically customize the entire thing from butt to tip if you’ve got some money to throw around.
You also have newer models consistently being introduced into the market, like the Takedown model that came out a few years ago. The rifle’s extreme reliability, consistent performance, and dedication to quality will make it hard for the Marlin to compete.
Marlin 60 vs. Ruger 10/22: Which One is Best?
Now that you understand a little about the origin of both of these rifles we need to make a side-by-side comparison. In this Marlin Model 60 vs. Ruger 10/22 review, we’re holding nothing back. We’re covering all the details so you can make an informed purchasing decision if you’re unfamiliar with these firearms, or you’re simply looking for a second opinion.
So, let’s break down one of the most important features. What works for the Marlin 60 accuracy is the Microgroove design. This rifling contains more grooves in a tighter design, which results in less deformation of your bullet. When this happens, there’s less resistance on the bullet on its way out of the chamber. As a result, you get improved accuracy.
Windage and elevation are a huge factor as well, and Marlin has accounted for these issues. They use a sheet metal rear sight that is easily adjustable and highly accurate. The problem is, the iron sight doesn’t help improve your shot, and if you’re trying to hit a small target in low light, forget about it.
The Model 60 is also incredibly lightweight, weighing around 5.5 pounds in most cases. We’re not accounting for any upgrades or modifications that might have been made here.
The Ruger 10/22 is a little bit heavier at the base model weighing around 7.0 pounds, but here’s where things get tricky. There are a million different aftermarket options that allow you to lower the weight of the Ruger overall, which should help improve accuracy. The jury is out on this, and it’s really up to the individual. If you think that weight helps you handle the rifle better, then, by all means, there are upgrades to help with that.
If we’re taking a look at Ruger 10/22 accuracy, we have to talk about the sights and ammo. The sights on the Ruger are a bit better, and they lend a nice hand when you need it. Ammunition is the key to accuracy with your Ruger because you need to use high-quality ammo that loads and provides a consistent shot.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find the Ruger 10/22 to be slightly more accurate than the Marlin 60.
Marlin 60 vs. Ruger 10/22 reliability is a tough nut to crack because it’s dependent on so many different factors. It depends on what type of ammunition you’re using, and it depends on how well you maintain your rifle. Both of these guns are of the highest quality ever made, so they’re both very reliable; if you know how to maintain them.
Like all 10/22 rifles, the Ruger 10/22 functions well with pretty much any ammunition, but it’s been said that they feed round-nosed ammo better than flat rounds. We didn’t experience that problem with the Marlin 60.
As for the Marlin 60, you’ll want to play around with the ammo. Go with high-quality rounds, don’t skimp on the price, stay away from bottom shelf crap, and you’re likely to have no issues with reliability.
If you’re experiencing a lot of malfunctions and misfires, chances are you need to clean the rifle and do a better job of maintaining it. Try to get on a regular schedule and find the ammo that works best for you and the gun and stick with it. Once you do that, you shouldn’t have to worry about reliability because both of these are great choices if you’re in need of something that won’t get in your way.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find the Marlin 60 to be slightly more reliable than the Ruger 10/22.
Magazines play a major role in the reliability of a rifle as well as your composure when firing, which plays into the accuracy of the gun overall. The Marlin 60 uses a feed throat to get rounds into the chamber.
We don’t like this because they wear out over time, and if you’re involved in competitions, plinking, or you’re using your Marlin frequently, you’ll end up wearing this out pretty quickly, which will result in hang-ups and other issues that will lead to added costs and aggravation for you.
The Marlin also only has one option for the magazine, so it doesn’t require any thought to know which one you’re choosing, but it’s not a perfect option by any means. The mag is known to get stuck, and if you’re out in the field on a cold day trying to pry out a jammed magazine, you know how that goes.
As for the Ruger 10/22, there’s some issues with spring compression. Some people don’t have this problem, while others say it’s the primary thing that keeps them away from the Ruger.
Many people say that when they leave their rounds in the magazine for a period of time and then go to fire them, they choke on the spring and continue getting stuck in place, so they can’t get the rounds to load further into the magazine. When this happens, you have to constantly take it out and reload it to get it to work.
This is a problem that some people experience, and others don’t. The saving grace here is that you can upgrade your Ruger 10/22’s magazine somewhat affordably if you’re having these problems. They have a variety of customization options that should work without breaking the bank.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find that the Ruger 10/22 has a better stock magazine and more upgradable options than the Marlin 60.
Points of Disassembly
In terms of disassembly, when comparing the Ruger 10/22 vs Marlin 60, there’s no competition. They both disassemble in a similar way. The internal components from the receiver consist of a spring, steel bolt, guide rod, and charging handle.
To extract them from the Marlin 60, all you need to do is lift the bolt out of the receiver, pull the charging handle out, and the rest comes out all in one piece. That means there are only 2-3 steps involved with disassembling it. Having an easy disassembly and reassembly process is important because it allows you to have an easier time cleaning and maintaining the rifle. We all know that maintenance is important, and we’re much more likely to do what we’re supposed to do when the process is simple.
The Ruger is a bit of a struggle to disassemble at times. While the charging handle, guide rod, and spring are all one piece, you have to fight to get them back in because you have the bolt action pushing down on top when you’re trying to get the single piece reinstalled.
Many claim that the dual extractor bolts on the Marlin are responsible for the simpler process. As mentioned, this is something that some people might never notice for as long as they fire both of these rifles, but it’s a small issue that can make a huge difference for some.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find that the Marlin 60 is easier to disassemble and reassemble than the Ruger 10/22.
We don’t think we need to get too involved in this section because you know the answer already. The Ruger 10/22 has the largest aftermarket network of parts compared to any other .22 combined.
The market today is huge, and you can customize everything, which is a big plus for many hobbyists. If you care a lot about the appearance of your Ruger 10/22 and you like customizing it to your personality and preferences, you’ll find that easy to do at a cost that is fair for what you’re getting.
You can find scope mounts, magazines, stocks, triggers, barrels, and much more. Just keep in mind how all of these upgrades may impact the size and weight of your rifle. Sometimes less is more, and the Ruger is already a bit heavier than the Marlin, to begin with. When you go stacking all these expensive upgrades on top of it, you can increase the weight to an uncomfortable level.
The goal of upgrading your Ruger should be to reduce the weight, improve your firing ability, and increase the reliability of the rifle as a whole.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find that the Ruger 10/22 has far more upgrades and customization options than the Marlin 60.
The overall weight of the Marlin 60 is 5.5 pounds, and the length is 37.5 inches with a 19-inch barrel. The weight of the Ruger is 7.5 pounds, and the length is 37-inches with an 18.5-inch barrel. Of course, these measurements may vary slightly depending on your model, where you bought it, and how you purchased it.
The Marlin 60 is incredibly easy to handle and fun to shoot. The only problem encountered by some is the tough trigger. This would be a nice upgrade, but sometimes the trigger seizes, which can not only cause issues with misfires, but it can be dangerous in situations.
The ergonomics of the Ruger 10/22 speaks for itself. This rifle is incredibly enjoyable to handle, the sights work perfectly, the trigger is smooth and sensitive, and reloading shouldn’t cause too many problems.
One other thing that many people prefer in the Marlin Model 60 vs. Ruger 10/22 is the recoil. The Ruger 10/22 possesses slightly less recoil than the Marlin, which makes it more enjoyable to fire and easier to use for beginners and those with less experience.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find that the Ruger 10/22 is slightly more ergonomic than the Marlin 60.
When we look at the main features of these two rifles, one starts to really stand out. They’re both exceptional guns, but loading and unloading is where we draw the line.
The Ruger 10/22 uses a rotary magazine with a ten-shot round mag. The Marlin has a tubular magazine that you need to pull out and drop in the tube magazine while working around the muzzle. While this mag holds 15-shots, it’s much slower to work with, plus it’s less safe.
You can lock both in place by jacking the charging handle, but inserting a new magazine using this strategy is challenging, especially if you’re working in cold, blustery weather.
Having to dump out your ammunition and manually reload it in the field is a no-go for us, and when you have a jam with the Marlin 60, that’s your only option. The Ruger 10/22 allows you to run the charging handle and reinsert the magazine. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go.
The Ruger 10/22 also possesses a much better scope mount. It’s tapped and drilled, which allows you to install pretty much anything from scopes to red-dot sights. The Marlin 60 is drilled too, but they use a ⅜ inch dovetail, which only allows for your “run of the mill” rimfire scope. You’d have to get the rifle modified for anything else.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find that the Ruger 10/22 has far more features than the Marlin 60.
We don’t want you to dwell too much on price because it’s not that important in the long-run. But it is worth mentioning that Ruger 10/22 models are much more expensive than Marlin rifles. Expect to spend as much as $400-500 for your stock Ruger, and that cost can run up much higher if you’re involving yourself in upgrades and customizations.
The Marlin Model 60 price is a fraction of the cost at $150-200, depending on where you buy it and what it comes with.
But, you also need to keep in mind how you may progress over time. If you’re trying to make upgrades and add accessories to the Marlin, you’re going to need to get it modified and buy the upgraded aftermarket parts. This is going to become much more expensive than buying a Ruger 10/22 that is already fitted for the parts you want.
Based on research, experience, and trials, we find that the Marlin Model 60 is much more affordable than the Ruger 10/22.
The bottom line is, it’s very hard to choose between these two rifles. They’re both exceptional options nearly matching in accuracy, reliability, and out-of-the-box capabilities. That said, the Marlin 60 is much more affordable, it’s more reliable, and it is also a bit easier to disassemble.
What we love about the Ruger 10/22 is its design, customization options, and features. The rifle is made for people who love shooting and are looking for a premium option. It’s also easier to handle and a bit more accurate.
If we had to choose between these two, we would go with the Ruger 10/22 because we think you’re getting an overall better gun that you can use to grow and progress as a shooter.