Best Scopes For Marlin 60

The Marlin 60 is the top .22 autoloader ever made. 

Some may argue the Ruger 10/22 is the most popular. Industry figures show about 7 million 10/22s left the factory. In contrast, the Model 60 has more than 11 million made. That is a solid claim on first place.

The Model 60 is also branded as a Glenfield Model 60.

Given the accuracy in this rifle, thanks to the Micro Groove rifling, many people add scopes. Micro Groove deforms a lead .22 bullet less than a barrel with deep grooves. The result is a more stable flight path. In the hands of an expert, the Model 60 is capable of 200 yards shots, which certainly qualifies as long-range for a .22 caliber rifle.

About The 60

The Model 60 has several variants: 60, 60C, 60DL, 60S-CF, 60SB, 60SS, 60SSK, 60SSBL, 60W, 600. Some have wood checkering, some are smooth and some have synthetic furniture. The barrel and receiver can be blued or chrome. Some people invest in aftermarket stocks to make their chosen rimfire look better and hopefully tweak the accuracy a bit.

For purists, there are two kinds of Marlin Model 60. The first is made by the original Marlin company. These rifles are identified by the JM stamp on the barrel near the receiver. When Remington took over, the JM stamp was abandoned. For a while, the Remington versions were known to suffer from production quality issues. Time will tell what the new owners will do.

Beyond that, the Model 60 comes from the factory in the first configuration at 37.5 inches long. In the mid 80's, Marlin went to a 40.5-inch gun. Mechanically, they are identical. Production started in 1960.

The rifle is tube fed, chambered in .22 LR and is a blow-back action. The rifle will shoot .22 Long, if you can find them any more, and .22 shorts but will not properly cycle either. If you want to shoot these, you are looking at a single-shot.

You can tap the barrel for a suppressor. A .22-specific suppressor has a narrow diameter and should not interfere with a scope. You do need to use clean-burning ammo with a can.

Suppressors tend to blow gasses and unburned powder back down the barrel. This can foul the action if you use dirty powders.

A pair of dovetail rings or other type of scope mount on top of the receiver allows a scope. A Weaver or Pic rail converter can be added. This can give you more length along the rifle to mount a scope. It also raises the scope slightly.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR ACCURACY

SightMark Core SX

SightMark Core SX

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Length: 11.26 in
BEST FOR WEATHER

Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40

Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.4 in
BEST FOR .22LR

BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22

BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22

  • Diameter: 22mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.2
BEST AFFORDABLE SCOPE

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.39 in
BEST FOR CLARITY

Leupold FX-IM

Leupold FX-IM

  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Length: 9.2 in
BEST FOR BRIGHT IMAGE

TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact

TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Length: 9.25 in
BEST FOR SHARP IMAGE

Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire Riflescope

Vortex-Diamondback

Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire Riflescope

  • Diameter: 35mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 11.6 in
BEST FOR QUALITY IMAGE

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro

Leupold-Deltapoint

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro

  • Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Length: 1.82
BEST FOR CLEAR IMAGE

Trijicon SRO Sight

Trijicon-SRO

Trijicon SRO Sight

  • Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Length: 2.2 in
BEST FOR LONG BATTERY

Holosun Elite 2 MOA Dot

Holosun Elite 2 MOA Dot

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: 1X
  • Length: 1.37 in
BEST FOR 4K RECORDING

American Tech Network X-Sight 4k

American Tech Network X-Sight 4k

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Magnification: 3-14x
  • Length: 13.8 in
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT SCOPE

ATN Thor LT Thermal

ATN Thor LT Thermal

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 3-6x
  • Length: 11.5 in

Scope Types

Scopes for rimfires are grouped into four categories. Each has some benefits and each has some drawbacks.

Your shooting needs and style should dictate which you want. If you want to hunt squirrels, rabbits and such, a simple scope is all you need. Given that squirrels generally sleep late and go to bed early (at least down here), a rimfire scope is plenty.

• Rimfire

Dedicated rimfire scopes used to have a 3/4 inch tube and no magnification. Their light transmission is seriously lacking compared to their big brothers thanks to both the smaller tube and a smaller objective lens. 

Best Rimfire Scope

Today, few companies make small-tube scopes because no one buys them. Optics companies do make dedicated rimfire scopes, but they have 1-inch tubes, decent light-gathering capabilities and some come with zoom features.

• Traditional 

These are the scopes you'd put on a shotgun, handgun or deer rifle. They are much bigger than a rimfire scope, which does add weight. The benefits are more magnification range and better light gathering.

deer hunting scope

• Red dot 

Most people don't think of putting a red dot on a .22. It works just as well there as it does on any other gun, and offers the same benefits of unlimited eye relief and lightning-fast target acquisition at close range.

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sights Reticle

• Night

Night vision and thermal scopes are the realms of varmint hunters. States that have a raccoon and other nighttime furbearer seasons often limit the kinds of weapons allowed. A .22 is generally allowed in most places where night hunting for game animals is legal. These scopes reduce the need for lights while still offering a clear view of your target.

night vision

Some Scope Basics

MOA v. Mil

Scope adjustments are either in minute-of-angle (MOA) or milliradians, shortened to mil or milrad. At 100 yards, an MOA is about an inch. At 100 yards, a milrad is about 3.6 inches. 

Focal plane

Scopes either have a first or second focal plane. Ask any group of shooters and you will get shooters who prefer one over the other. Choose which works for you. I prefer second focal plane.

Tubes

Scopes come in different tube sizes. The most common is one-inch. Some rimfire scopes have a .75-inch tube. Bigger rifle scopes can have 30mm or 34mm tubes.

Parallax

Some scopes allow you to adjust the parallax focus. This is important as you get into longer range shooting and precision shooting. In a .22, parallax is not as critical as with other guns where you need to reach long distances. 

It is also worth noting that some rimfire scopes have the parallax adjustment built directly into the objective bell - these are called adjustable objective, or AO, scopes.

It is still important, especially if you are trying to put a bullet into a target the size of a silver dollar at 100 yards.

It is still important, especially if you are trying to put a bullet into a target the size of a silver dollar at 100 yards.

12 Best Marlin 60 Scopes

Dedicated Rimfire Scopes

Some rimfire scopes are not built to the same standard of durability as bigger scopes that have to take a lot of recoil. Some are built tough. Given a choice, go with a scope that has a high shock rating. True, your rifle won't deliver that much punch, but riding around with the gun on the front seat of your truck can. 

The scope rings you use also play a role in handling recoil, and while a .22 has negligible felt recoil to the shooter, it can actually be rough on some scopes thanks to the impact of the relatively heavier bolt slamming into the barrel breach, especially if there is a metal bolt buffer involved.

If you are just plinking on a range, magnification may not matter. If you are trying to find that squirrel hidden in a tree, magnification is your friend.

1. SightMark Core SX

marlin model 60 scope

If you are looking for a dedicated rimfire scope for the Marlin 60, this is the one to get. The ballistic drop reticle is calculated for a bullet drop with standard velocity 40 grain and high velocity 29 grain 22 long rifle ammo.

You can reach 200 yards using the BDC. As rifle and ammo performance will vary, you need shoot a few rounds to get the exact place on the reticle picked for various distances.

The front bell is 32mm, which gathers plenty of light, and the eye relief is quite generous for this kind of scope.

Parallax is fixed at 50 yards.

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube
• .22LR BDC reticle
• 4x fixed magnification
• Second focal plane
• 1/4 MOA click value
• 70 total MOA adjustment for elevation and windage
• 25.19 feet field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof

SightMark Core SX

The price of SightMark Core SX varies, so check the latest price at

2. Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40

best scope for marlin 60

Sometimes you just have to make the call and say which is the best pick. With that in mind, on any given day, the SightMark and this Athlon run neck and neck for first place.

The determining factor is the reticle. The Athlon does not offer quite as much as the SightMark. Most shooters and hunters will be hard-pressed to know the difference. The 40mm objective lens also pulls in a surprising amount of light for a bright, crisp sight picture even in relatively low light conditions.

Athlon says it can stand up to 1000G or recoil, that is 1,000 times the force of gravity at sea level. That's unlikely as that much recoil means it could be mounted to small artillery and still survive. 

Regardless, it will hold up on a Marlin 60.

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube
• .22LR BDC reticle illuminated
• 3-9x fixed magnification
• Second focal plane
• 1/4 MOA click value
• 80 MOA adjustment for elevation and 80 MOA windage
• 37.75-12.57 feet field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof

Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40

The price of Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40 varies, so check the latest price at

3. BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22

marlin 60 scopes

BSA turns out good optics for the money. The scopes are not the best in the world, but they are far from the worst, especially at this price range.

The BSA Sweet .22 checks in at No. 3 on the list because it has replaceable turrets for the .22 LR. You get three, one for 36 grain, one for 38 grain and one for 40 grain. If you know you will only shoot one of those all the time, you are good to go.

However, as we all know ammo is scarce right now. You shoot what you can get. If you have the 36-grain turret mounted and can only find 40-grain bullets, you either have to make adjustments in the field or swap turrets and sight in again.

It has a 40mm bell.

Parallax begins at 7.5 yards and reaches to infinity. This is the best of the lot.

This scope has brothers in the same series that have turrets for the .17HMR, .22LR, .223, .270 and .30-06

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube
• Duplex reticle
• 3-9x fixed magnification
• 1/4 MOA click value
• 45 MOA adjustment for elevation and 45 MOA windage
• 40-13 foot field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof

BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22

The price of BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22 varies, so check the latest price at

4. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

marlin 60 scope

If you follow the rule of thumb that says your scope should be in the same ballpark price as your rifle, the Leupold VX Freedom Rimfire is the one to get. This scope clocks in at a much more affordable price than the Leupold's that go on big rifles, but still offers much of the same quality.

It has a generous, for a rimfire, 40mm front bell. If you hunt at night with a spotlight, you will appreciate the light-gathering abilities with a coon is at the top of a 100-foot or taller tree. And in bright sunlight, the fully multi-coated optics reduce glare and reflection.

The duplex reticle has 1 MOA hash marks on the bottom elevation crosshair for a total of 20 MOA in-scope bull drop adjustment.

Parallax adjustment is fixed at 60 yards.

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube with black matte finish
• Duplex reticle
• 3-9 magnification
• Second focal plane
• 1/4 MOA click value
• 60 MOA adjustment on elevation and windage
• 33.1 to 13.6 foot field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof 

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

The price of Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm varies, so check the latest price at

5. Leupold FX-IM

marlin 60 scope mount

Taking the next place in the rimfire scope category is another Leupold, the FX-I. This is a fixed-power scope set at 4x. That means when you are looking through the scope, the target is about four times as large as what you will see through your naked eye.

The 28mm front bell does not gather as much light as its brother above. It has a plain duplex reticle.

Parallax is fixed at 60 yards.

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube
• Duplex reticle
• 4x fixed magnification
• Second focal plane
• 1/4 MOA click value
• 95 total MOA adjustment
• 25.5 foot field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof

Leupold-FX-I-3

Leupold FX-IM

The price of Leupold FX-IM varies, so check the latest price at

Traditional 

Traditional scopes, for lack of a better word, are the kinds of scopes you could mount to most any deer hunting rifle. They generally max out at 9x magnification. More zoom on a rimfire rifle is simply not needed unless you are genuinely trying to reach out 200 yards.

These scopes are not designed with a rimfire in mind, but they will serve well atop a Marlin 60.

6. TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact

scope for marlin 60

Truglo touts this scope as ideal for airguns and rimfires. To be used on an air rifle, the scope must be built to stand up to forward recoil as well as rear recoil. This forward recoil is what destroys scopes mounted to rifles with muzzle brakes.

This Truglo has a 32mm front bell, which is moderate for a rimfire scope. The magnification is fixed at 4x

Parallax is set at 100 yards.

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube
• Diamond duplex reticle
• Second focal plane
• 4x fixed magnification
• 1/2 MOA click value
• 20.8 foot field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof

TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact

The price of TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact varies, so check the latest price at

7. Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire Riflescope

marlin 22 scope

The Vortex Optics Diamondback is listed as a multi-use scope suited for rimfire, shotgun slugs and black powder rifles. All three have similar ballistics in terms of bullet drop, hence the multi-purpose use.

Vortex promises the scope can handle magnum-level recoil. Since it has a lifetime warranty, if the scope does take a nosedive, the company will repair or replace it.

Parallax focus begins at 50 yards and extends to infinity, and the fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing when switching between different magnification levels.

The scope is Argon purged and o-ring sealed. This is a step above nitrogen for fog proofing. Available for under $200 on Amazon at the time of this writing, the Diamondback is an excellent option if you're looking for a dedicated rimfire scope that won't break the bank.

Tech Spec

• 1 inch tube
• Plain reticle
• 4x fixed magnification
• Second focal plane
• 1/4 MOA click value
• 100 MOA total MOA adjustment for elevation and windage
• 64.3-19.3 foot field of view at 100 yards
• Waterproof

Vortex-Diamondback

Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire

The price of Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire  varies, so check the latest price at

Red Dot

Red dot scopes with a single pane and no tube offer the fastest possible sight picture of any optic. These are also known as reflex sights. They do not offer any zoom. Some can be paired with a magnifier. Reflex sights, when mounted low, will let you co-witness with iron sights.

Red dot scopes in a tube can be used with a magnifier to zoom in. They don't offer the same rapid sight picture as the single-pane versions.

The problem is finding a red dot with a small dot. Dot sizes range from 1 to 6 MOA, with 1 MOA being the hardest to find

Red dot scopes do not have a parallax adjustment. They all use batteries to power the dot. They are also the lightest of all the scopes you can mount to a Model 60.

8. Leupold DeltaPoint Pro

marlin 60 sights

This version of a reflex sight from Leupold comes with different dots. Get the Inscribed Delta version. The dot is actually a 7.5 MOA triangle.
Mount this scope and get to the range. Sight your gun in using the top of the triangle as the point of impact or put the point just belong your point of impact.

In other words, look at this sight the same way you do the front post on iron sights. Some people want the tip of the iron sight post as the impact point. Some want the impact point to sit on top of the post. Your call.

This scope comes with a movement-activated feature. If you are hunting, turn the scope on and sit down. When you lift your Model 60, the scope will automatically come on. It shuts off after five minutes.

Tech Spec

• 1 MOA click value
• 60 MOA adjustment
• Automatic and manual adjust brightness
• CR2032 Battery
• Waterproof
• Will co-witness
• Leupold's best-in-show warranty

Leupold-DeltaPoint

Leupold DeltaPoint Pro

The price of Leupold DeltaPoint Pro varies, so check the latest price at

9. Trijicon SRO Sight

marlin model 60 sights

This scope has a 1 MOA red dot, making it a top choice for .22 shooters who want the speed of the red dot. Since 1 MOA at 100 yards is about 1 inch, the dot will not completely cover a squirrel's head at 100 yards. You have plenty of room to put the dot on a rabbit head at 100 yards.

You will need to order the appropriate mounting hardware.

Tech Spec

• 1 MOA click value
• 75 MOA elevation and 75 MOA windage
• Automatic and manual adjust brightness
• CR2032 Battery
• Will co-witness

Trijicon-SRO

Trijicon SRO Sight

The price of Trijicon SRO Sight varies, so check the latest price at

10. Holosun Elite 2 MOA Dot

marlin model 60 with scope

Holosun is fast becoming a preferred red dot sight for competition shooters. They are sturdy, backed by a good warranty and hold zero with magnum handguns. On a Marlin Model 60, keeping the zero will not an issue.

It has a 2 MOA dot. That covers an inch at 50 yards and two inches at 100. That will cover a squirrel's head at 100 yards and leave you some space on a prairie dog head. Body shots are not an issue.

This model allows co-witness. It has a solar panel on the top, so you can shoot all day without needing a battery. You can use the battery at night when you add a night vision device to the scope.

The Holoson can be paired with the 3x magnifier. This magnifier also works with other red dot sights and some reflex sights.

Tech Spec

• .5 MOA adjustments
• 20mm tube
• High rise mount, allows co-witness
• Battery CR2032
• Waterproof

Holosun Elite 2 MOA Dot

The price of Holosun Elite 2 MOA Dot varies, so check the latest price at

Night Scopes

Nighttime scopes come in two flavors, the traditional night vision and thermal. Given the limitations of the .22, most traditional night vision is enough. Night vision is also considerably less expensive than thermal scopes.

The disadvantage to night vision is it needs some light to function. On a full moon, you have plenty of light. On a new moon or cloudy night, an infrared illuminator is required to get any distance in the scope.

Thermal has a much longer range and sees through fog. Since it relies on heat signatures, an IR light is not needed. The main drawback is the price, often several times that of night vision.

No one makes a rimfire specific nighttime scope.

11. American Tech Network X-Sight 4k

marlin 60 with scope

ATN (American Tech Network) has come a long way since it began. The X-Sight 4K is an example of the advances and improvements ATN has made.

This scope pulls double duty, functioning as a regular scope during the day and a night vision scope when the sun goes down. This means you can sight in during the day and be on target at night or vice versa if the notion strikes you.

The scope is Bluetooth and WiFi capable. If you hunt with a group, it offers a mini radar and in-scope map. You tag the target with a laser. Anyone in your group with ATN smart devices can also get the map showing you, the target and anyone else in the group.

This is handy for hog hunters using dogs. While dogs often have GPS collars, hunters might not.

The scope has a recoil-activated video recording system. Don't count on that to work with a .22

The hash mark reticle allows you to vary the distance between hash marks to suit your load.

This scope has a LOT more features you will need to explore on the range.

Tech Spec

• Proprietary Li-ion rechargeable batteries
• 30mm tube
• 3-14x magnification
• Ballistic calculator
• Smart range finder
• IR illuminator
• Compass

American Tech Network X-Sight 4k

The price of American Tech Network X-Sight 4k varies, so check the latest price at

12. ATN Thor LT Thermal

marlin model 60 scope mount

If thermal is your thing, the ATN Thor LT is a great choice. This a first-tier ATN thermal scope, but still packs plenty of features. It is the smallest and lightest of the thermal lineup.

It has a 19mm front bell, but remember, this scope is not gathering light. It is looking for a heat signature.

Buttons on the top control the contrast and choice of display.

You do not get video with this one.

You can add a power pack that rides on the rifle stock to extend the scope's battery life beyond the 10 hours a fresh internal battery gives you.

Tech Spec

• 30mm tube
• 3-6x magnification
• Battery rechargeable Li-Ion
• Black or white hot mode
• Useful range past 400 yards
• Weather resistant, i.e. rain won't harm it.

ATN Thor LT Thermal

The price of ATN Thor LT Thermal varies, so check the latest price at

FINAL THOUGHTS

The little .22 is often overlooked as a hunting round. I killed a 1,500-pound animal with one shot from a .22 rifle when I was a child. In the hands of someone who can shoot, the Marlin Model 60 is deadly. 

However, rimfire rounds are not legal for big game. Rimfires are often the only rifle round allowed in some states for small game. 

I've killed more wild hogs with a .22 than any other round. A Model 60 in my hands has put pork chops on the table more than once. It's also put rabbits and squirrel in the frying pan. The tube feed delivers enough ammo to daily limit out on most small game. 

Put a high-quality scope on a Marlin 60 and you have not only a great plinker, but also a fearsome weapon that has no recoil worth talking about, a very limited muzzle blast and delivers superb accuracy at short range and the lower end of medium range as well. It is at home on the range and in the woods. 

The Model 60 is an ideal firearm to introduce anyone to shooting rifles with a scope.

References 

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