Odds are, you either cut your teeth on or have at least at one point in your life fired a Marlin semi-auto .22LR rifle. Today, the tube-fed Model 60 and its detachable-magazine Model 70 half-brother are the benchmark for rimfire auto-loaders around the world. Who would have thought that this all started in 84-years ago with the humble Model 50.
Marlin, coming out of the “Roaring 20s” was a company looking to change. It had established itself with lever-action rifles and had even branched out into some pump-guns before the Great War forced it to switch production for the military. In an effort to reboot production following the end of that conflict, they brought back a smaller catalog of classic designs that the gun-owning public knew and loved– but they needed something fresh.
Competitors such as Remington and Winchester had semi-auto rifles on deck such as the Winchester Model 1903 (it a unique .22 Win Auto loading) which were a hit with small game hunters and target shooters.
Marlin thought they could do better and the result was the holy grail of modern Title II firearms collectors:
The legal and transferable open-bolt semi-auto rifle.