I bought mine April 8th 1980. I took all kinds of turtles, rabbits, squirrels, coyotes and everything else that was caught in my trap line as a teenager. I still take it to the range every time I go. It's like a Timex, It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It will last him a lifetime.
I've had a Model 60 Marlin Glenfield (the one with the squirrel on the pistol grip) for about 25 years now, and I've never had a bit of a problem with it. Thousands of rounds have went down the barrel. Any kid should be thrilled to have one for Christmas.
I still have the first .22 Rifle that I received from my Dad. It is an old Mossberg Model 42MB. A few months ago I gave a Model 60 to my brother-in-law. I hear that he talks about it all the time, it was the first time any one ever gave him a gun and he is pushing 70 years old.
Great choice. I fell in love with shooting .22's by shooting my dad's Marlin 60 back in the mid-1960's. I've owned one almost my entire adult life.
BTW they do hold 15 rounds. You just have to release the bolt to get them to take that final round. It would chamber a round. It just lets the rounds fall down into the mag farther. That's why you have to work the bolt twice to get a 60 to load a round in the chamber.