Saturday, February 11, 2012
Marlin 60 Owners Do NOT Overtighten Your Scope Rings!
Man, do I feel STOOPID or what!
I wanted to go to the range today to practice with my Marlin 60. The first time I took it out, the open sights were WAAAAY off! Consistently up and to the left. I'd since ordered a set of "Tip Off" scope rings to fit the dovetail grooves in the receiver, and put them on this morning so I could use the little Simmons 2.5x20 scope I had laying around.
I slipped the rings onto the receiver, and tightened them down.
TOO well it turns out.
I heard a small "SNAP", and noticed the rearmost ring seemed loose, and then I noticed I had broken off a piece of the dovetail!
I guess I'm just too used to guns being made of steel, and I'd forgotten the receiver on the Marlin 60 is Aluminum.
Castings aren't nearly as strong as forgings, or machined billet pieces, and this, coupled with the design of the receiver top, made it, uh..., not very strong, and when I cranked down on the screws that secure the mounts in place, it failed.
If you look at the pictures, you'll noticed the grooved top of the receiver. This means there's hardly any metal on the "back" side of the dovetail for support, so the metal just cracked and pulled away when I tightened the rings down.
Do I consider this a design defect? Yes.
Do I consider this a "Stupid Owner" error? Also yes.
I was able to move the rear ring forward enough that I was able to get the scope mounted for today's range session, but I'm really bummed I did this to my poor little Marlin 60.
Yes, I knew the receiver was Aluminum alloy, and probably should have known it was also a casting, given the price of this rifle.
I mixed up some JB Weld when I got home, and used it to attach the broken off piece, so at least I don't have a raw Aluminum scar staring me in the face every time I pick up the rifle.
And the range session? Terrible. First, the place was packed, and I had to wait. That part I don't mind because I'm glad to see them doing a good business. But a lot of the people there weren't very disciplined, there was brass all over the floor, and the guys in the next lane were doing rapid fire with what sounded like a 44 Magnum, and I just couldn't concentrate.
And even with the small scope, I still couldn't hit diddly squat with this thing. I just didn't have the patience today to try and zero the scope, so after 50 or 60 rounds I just packed it up and came home.