Friday, November 13, 2020

How to Date your Marlin Model 60 Rifle

 When the Marlin model 60 was introduced in 1960, there was no law requiring manufacturers to put serial numbers on their guns. Many did anyway, for record keeping and warranty repairs. 

It was mostly the inexpensive guns like 22s and shotguns that didn't get the serial number. That all changed in 1968 with the passage of the '68 Gun Control Act.

Marlin did not serialize the model 60 until 1968, so if yours is older than that, you can check the date code on the barrel. The date code is located just ahead of the receiver on the left side of the rifle. This only applies to guns made between 1962 and 1968, if you have no serial number and no date code, you gun was made in 1960 or 61.

Of course all of these methods assume the parts on the gun are original.

The first letter of the barrel date code indicates the month, see the chart below:

A = Jan

B = Feb

C = March

D = April

E = May


The second letter indicates the year, again they didn't use this system until 1962 

F = 1962

G = 1963

H = 1964

I = 1965

J = 1966

K = 1967

So if your barrel code is HH your gun was made in August of 1964

Starting in 1968 Marlin used the first two digits of the serial number to indicate the year the gun was made. So a gun with serial number 703778 was made in 1970.

Then in 1973 they changed the first two digits to be subtracted from 100 indicated the year of manufacture. So a gun with serial number 210566 was made in 1979 (100 - 21 = 79).

When they got to the year 2000, they used two zeros eg: 0056772.

Beginning in 2001 the first two digits were now subtracted from 2100. Serial number 980122 was made in 2002 (2100 - 98 = 2002)

Then in 2010 they began using the MM prefix for standard models and the DLX/DL prefix for the deluxe models. The serial numbers are now sequential.

There are other ways to identify the year a model 60 was made based on the features.

If you have the older style scooped charging handle, your gun was made before 2005

Conversely if you have the newer style "spindle" charging handle, you rifle was made in 2005 or later

If your rifle has a factory 19" long barrel, it was made after 1999

If your magazine holds 15 rounds and is shorter than the barrel (see picture below) your rifle was made between 1989 and 1999

If your barrel is 22" long and the magazine is full length, your gun was made before 1989.

If your gun has the Glenfield name, your gun was made before 1983

If your gun has the last shot hold open/bolt release lever (just ahead of the trigger guard in the picture below), it was made in 1984 or after

If your gun has a checkered stock, is not a deluxe model, and it came from the factory that way, it was probably made before 1983

If your gun has two rear trigger guard screws your gun was made in 1981 or earlier

If your gun has an aluminum trigger guard it was made before 1977 (see picture above)

If your gun has the front sight and magazine band combined in one unit, your gun was made before 1975

If your rifle has no serial numbers, it was made before 1968

If your model 60 has no serial numbers and no barrel date code it was made in 1960 or 1961.

That should narrow it down for you. Of course some of the changes mentioned above may have happened mid-year or there may be some rifles made after a certain change that left the factory with the older parts as they used them up.


  1. my serial starts with 11, so 100-11 is 1989 but my feedtube and barrel are same length?

    1. That could be right, the magazine was shortened in 1989, you could have an early '89 production gun

  2. My model 60 serial is 70161620....thats 6 digits, silver trigger, 3 screws at trigger guard body, feed tube as long as barrel and the squirrel on each side of the hand grip area and ribbed groves on the fore arm area....holds 18 shots.

    Any help dating is appreciated, Thanks in advance....James

  3. your rifle was made in 1970

  4. Perhaps I could get some advice- I have a jm model 60 I got when I was a boy. The serial # is 15383897. What year is it? I'm 61.

  5. So if Serial number starts with MM it is a 2010 model n no other year for certain? Or am I confused? Thanks

  6. I’m confused . I see charts that show 6 digit serial numbers and say that either the first 2 numbers are the year or you subtract the first 2 numbers from 100 to get the year . But my gun has an 8 digit serial number and it look like there are other that do also . So with a serial number of 26719594 is this thing a 1971 or a 1974 ? 71 is the first 2 digits of the last 6 digits so is the 26 just another code or do I subtract the 26 from 100 and call it a 1974 . Why do all these reference charts say that the serial numbers are 6 digit ?

    1. somyakm@outlook.comMay 24, 2022 at 10:31 AM

      I am also confused. My glenfield mod 60 rifle has serial #25255194 and has a glenfield scope. Is this a 1975 model?

    2. Lt SIXGUN here okay my first Marlin model 60 has a serial number of 06159829, my second one is 10504134 I believe they are both mid-90s

  7. Thank You so much for the information! :-)
    Looks like I have an '85 and my wife has an early production '89....

  8. Lt SIXGUN okay so the number 10 equals out for 1990 and then I go down to 06 and that reads 1987 so I have two Marlins one of the 1990 is the anniversary edition they've been in business for 40 years and that is in Walnut stock and the one that was made in 1990 has a shorter capacity of only 13 rounds in the one who's made in 1987 has a capacity of 14 rounds