Today’s gunfight has an international flavor. It pits two rimfires rifles against one another: an American standby goes up against a contender from South Africa. While the Marlin Model 60 needs no introduction, I will confess that I had never heard of the Musgrave Ambidex until I opened Stephan’s e-mail.

The Ambidex was made by Musgrave, a manufacturer located in Bloemfontein, South Africa, that made several hunting* and target rifles before closing its doors in 1996. The Ambidex was a straight-pull bolt action .22 with a bolt that could be taken out and reversed for left-handed use. The tubular-magazine, semiautomatic Model 60 was introduced in 1960. More than 11 million have been made, and Marlin bills it as “the most popular .22 in the world,” not without some justification.

Kyle’s Model 60


I got this from my grandfather who recently passed. He used it with open sights as a ranch rifle to shoot prairie dogs. When I got it had not been fired since the mid ’80s. I restored the stock and changed out broken parts in the action. I had my mother show my grandfather some pictures of his old gun. That was about a month before he died last September.

Stephan’s Musgrave Ambidex


Greetings from South Africa. This is my Musgrave Ambidex .22LR. My father made a deal with me 25 years ago that I could have a .22 if I saved up half of the cost. I did anything and everything for the money. This rifle has accounted for rabbits, hyraxes, vervet monkeys, doves, and even an impala (long story). Nowadays I use it mainly to shoot a field-style competition at my club.The serial number is 0018 and I will never sell it.

There’s your matchup. Do you go with the American classic or the exotic import? Vote and comment below. Send more gun pictures to and we’ll keep Gunfight Friday going.

*_Did you know the 6 mm Musgrave cartridge was a .303 necked down to 6mm as a hunting round? I didn’t._