The Marlin Papoose (or Marlin 70PSS Take Down as it’s also known) is a self-loading .22 Long Rifle takedown-type rifle based on the popular Marlin 60 series. The rifle is similar in conception to other takedown rifles, but notably lighter and more compact than most.
The Model 70 has been offered with wood stocks and the Model 70PSS is a stainless steel version. The synthetic stock version may make the most sense as a survival rifle, but the version tested features the standard aluminum receiver and blue steel barrel.
The term “Papoose” isn’t official, it seems, but it’s the most common moniker for this rifle.
Features and Specs
This is a neat and versatile rifle with a 16.25-inch barrel. The barrel features the famous Marlin Micro Groove 1:16-inch twist.
The Papoose is 35 inches long and weighs a scant 3.25 pounds. That is light for a .22 rifle. Many single shot rifles weigh more than the Papoose. The rifle’s stock is large enough to allow use by a full-size adult. This is good, as the rifle doesn’t have a forend.
The best technique is to stabilize the rifle by holding the magazine or perhaps wrapping two fingers around the end of the stock. The stock has molded roughening to allow for a sure grip.
Construction and Operation
The Model 70PSS is well-made of good material with no glaring faults. The rifle is almost “cute,” but not quite. It is a plain rifle, but one that is friendly to use well. The sights are the standard Marlin 60- type that’s been in use for more than 100 years.
A leaf-type rear sight is used with a hooded post front sight. They work well enough. Most variants have an orange insert front post. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. The rifle is simple to operate.
A seven-round magazine is loaded and the bolt racked to the rear to load the rifle. There is a cross-bolt safety located in the rear of the trigger guard. The magazine release is a simple lever behind the magazine.
The Papoose features a last-shot hold open, a rarity among .22 caliber self-loading rifles. The bolt may be locked open manually as well. Press the lock upward to lock, press it downward to unlock.
You cannot operate the bolt to release the bolt and load the gun if the manual hold open is activated. You must release the hold-open button.
Disassembly and Portability
The selling point of the rifle is the ability to take it down and transport it easily. Disassembly is simple. Lock the bolt open using the bolt hold-open lever, unscrew the barrel fastening nut and the barrel may be pulled out of the front of the receiver.
It is quite easy to reassemble and the point of aim and point of impact are preserved, per my testing.
The rifle is supplied with a tool for tightening the bolt. When broken down and stored in the supplied soft case, the rifle is less than 25 inches long. It is easily stored. The rifle is a fun gun, but the job profile must be considered as well.
The Papoose is intended to be stored in the truck, the trunk of a vehicle, in a plane or in a backpack. In an emergency, the rifle could be used for hunting small game, for signaling or for protection.
I think that it would be wise to lay in a couple extra magazines for the rifle. It isn’t difficult to carry the rifle, two spare magazines and 100 .22 Long Rifle cartridges along (just in case).
Accuracy and Reliability
While a handgun is lighter, the Marlin rifle is much easier to use accurately than any handgun. The question is, how accurate is the Marlin 70PSS Papoose? I have fired several single-shot survival type rifles chambered in .22 LR and some in .22 Hornet.
Many did not strike to the point of aim or they were difficult to use well. The Marlin was tested with a wide range of .22 LR ammunition, from Fiocchi and Remington to Winchester.
The rifle is reliable and fed, chambered and fired with high-velocity ammunition without any type of problem. I limited testing to 25 yards, mostly because of the iron sights.
I put the rifle hard into my shoulder and took a good grip with my support hand pressing the rifle into the shoulder. At 25 yards, all of the loads tested put three rounds into less than two inches—some three-shot groups from the bench rest were as small as one inch.
That is excellent accuracy from this type of rifle. The rifle also proved reliable, which is the baseline for performance. It is a fun gun that encourages practice and a rifle that may prove useful for many chores. It is well worth its modest price.
What do you think of the Papoose? How would you use an affordable .22 rifle like this? Let us know in the comments below.