Friday, November 18, 2011

The Marlin model 60 survival rifle

A while back we tried to refinish the stock on a Marlin model 60 .22 rifle and had moderate success.  While we were at it, I started wondering what else we could do to it to make it more useful.  How about an easier way to carry the thing?  How about making it capable of holding extra ammo?  How about fixing it up so that it could carry some survival type items?  How about making it powerful enough to stop a charging buffalo with a single shot?  How about equipping it with a forward looking infrared radar system to make it all weather capable?  Maybe give it a Hellfire missile or two.

Some of these things we actually accomplished.  Guess which ones they are?

Here is the rifle, just a plain Jane ordinary Marlin.

I wanted some type of sling for the rifle and I also wanted some way of carrying at least a little bit of Paracord.  We went to Wal-Mart, bought a little kit that contains quick release swivels and the studs for installing them on a rifle stock.  Holes were drilled.  Studs were screwed .  But how about a sling?  Wal-Mart has them too.  There are also some neat Paracord slings available on the Internet but they cost way too much.  Why not do like some guys on those Internet videos do and make your very own rifle sling out of Paracord?  Why not indeed.  So I made a deal with my little nephew.  He wanted some Paracord so that he could make bracelets and I wanted a rifle sling.  So I gave him lots of Paracord and put my little nephew to work on that and he whipped up this black and red nifty looking Paracord sling for me.  He got to keep what was left.  It contains approximately 64 feet of Paracord that you could unravel and use for 812 different things if you so desired.  It was cheap. And it is very lightweight and strong.  How can you beat that.

OK.  That is pretty neat.  Now, for the next problem.. The rifle holds 18 cartridges.  What if there is a horde of perturbed pygmies after me and they are doing more than throwing sticks and stones?  What then?  What is the best way to handle the situation?

With lots and lots of bullets, that's how.  But where to put them?
First I would try this.  A handy dandy ammo pouch that fits onto the butt stock of the gun.  It is supposed to carry 100 rounds of 22 long rifle ammo.  I put 50 rounds of ammo in it.

But..................  But what if I get lost out in the deepest darkest woods?  Whatever on earth shall I do then?  There are big and scary ......................things out there.  How will I cope?  Never fear.  Because I also have a tiny flashlight and a gerber lock back knife in the ammo pouch.  Along with a button compass, three twelve inch pieces of copper wire for making snares, three fat rubber bands and a four way screwdriver that I made by taking two double ended screwdriver bits and welding them together, giving me a small and large regular and Phillips screwdriver.  The flashlight and the screwdriver are connected to the pouch by a piece of copper wire so that they cannot get lost.  See?

Oh.  That is better..  But is that all?  Are you going to survive for years and years out in the deepest jungle with that little bit of  equipment?  No, I won't have to.  Because there's more.

More you say? Oh yes indeed.  About 25 years ago, way before Al Gore invented the Internet, in a magazine I saw a rifle that had a hidden compartment in the butt stock.  I thought it was very cool and I wanted to try and see what we could do with that idea.  Here's what happened.

First we take a plain Jane ordinary rifle stock.  Then we drilled a hole. Then we filed. And then we drilled a bigger hole using a half inch bit.  Still it was not big enough to suit me.  We got tired of drilling and filing so we took this router bit looking reamer thing that fits onto a drill and stick it in the hole and boy, now we're getting somewhere.  It is really removing the wood.  But then we get scared.  What if we go over against the edge too far and create a hole out the side of the rifle stock?  What if we take off too much wood and the rifle stock falls apart?  A 22 has no recoil so I wasn't worried a whole lot about the structural integrity of the wood but we called it good and stopped right there.  What we ended up with was something that looks like this. 
That was as much wood as I was comfortable removing.  These holes are just a bit over 3 inches deep.  I wanted to go further but I was afraid the drill bit would come out the side of the stock.  We were using a drill press but we didn't have a good way of stabilizing the stock in a perfect up and down manner.  But now that I look at it in the picture, it does look like I could remove some more wood from the top hole and enlarge it a bit. Hmmmm.

Ah, that certainly looks interesting.  But what do you do then?  Well, what we did was to take a bunch of items and shove them in the holes.

But what kind of items?  Skittles?  Tiddlywinks?  No, no, no.  Survival type items.  Things such as these-

If you left everything else out of the two holes there is enough room to fit 52 rounds of 22 ammo.  But I wanted some other things in there. 

 This is what I have in there at the moment.  On the top row is 18 rounds of 22 ammo, enough for a full reload.  On the middle row is a bobbin spooled with 86 feet of 6 pound fishing line, a little baggie with a dozen hooks of assorted sizes and 12 split shot, another zip lock bag with cotton balls impregnated with Vaseline and also some dryer lint for tinder, a sawzall blade that has been fashioned into a knife and made shaving sharp, the metal cutting teeth are still on the back of the blade in case I need to cut my way out of a jail cell and there is 18 inches of duct tape wrapped around it. Then we have a short piece of wire, a needle and 10 feet of dental floss.  On the bottom row is an additional small knife blade, four six inch pieces of steel wire, a striker and a fire steel, wrapped with a foot of duct tape.

A ha, now we're getting somewhere.  That is pretty neat.  But how do you get to those items?  What if you just wanted to get in there and get out one twenty two cartridge?  Do you have to sit down and spend a few minutes taking off the butt plate?

No grasshopper.  Check this out.
If you will notice, the butt plate has holes drilled through it.  And there is also an aluminum plate blocking off the holes, holding the items inside.  If you leave the bottom butt plate screw not real super tight then you can merely grab the little aluminum tab protruding from the side of the butt plate and swivel the aluminum plate out of the way, allowing access to your survival items, your beer or your twinkie or whatever.


There is a slot cut in the aluminum plate to allow the plate to slide around the butt plate screw

Here is what it looks like with the butt plate and the aluminum plate removed.

Now, if you are really worried about those pygmies or all of these zombies that everyone knows do not actually exist but they seem to be awful worried about them anyway, then you can add even more ammo carrying capability.  I went to the plumbing section at Lowe's and bought a couple of thin wall half inch tubing made out of plastic.  Close off one end with epoxy, use a piece of duct tape over the other end to hold your ammo in.  If you cut them off just a hair over 8 inches long then they will fit  between the magazine tube and barrel, sandwiched between the front of the stock and the clamp that holds the magazine tube in place.
Hold in place with a few rubber bands or Velcro or whatever and it is fairly secure.  It simply does not have enough room to move forward or backward and the rubber bands keep it from moving sideways.  I will admit that it does look rather goofy but each one of these tubes will hold 32 rounds.  If you put one on each side of the gun that is 64 rounds right there.  I wouldn't run around in the woods with these on my gun unless it was an emergency but the option is there for any of you that are extra trigger happy.

And here is a final picture of the gun with everything on it except for those ammo tubes in the front.

I would have rather started off with a plastic stock because they have huge cavities built in them but I didn't want to spend 60 or $80.00 on one and also, I couldn't find one that I liked.  I kinda like this one now.


  1. Great mod. Where did you get the pouch on the stock?

  2. I can't remember for sure. I think it was Sportsman's Guide but it might have been Cheaper Than Dirt or one of the other mail order places. It was only about six or $7.00.

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