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Coyote WT
July 2, 2011, 01:03 PM
I'm considering picking up a Marlin XL7 30.06 as my first hunting rifle. I love shooting my 91/30 but I'm not comfortable relying on my skill (and poor eye sight) with iron sights.

I've read some of the threads here that mention this rifle when discussing other topics as well as a few reviews that seem to have some positive input and high aspirations but I thought I'd pool the readership for some more direct experience.

I will confess that I don't know a lot about what makes a good gun vs a bad gun. I will also admit that the price point for the Marlin was a serious consideration in checking it out in the first place. I have a better chance of putting a couple hundred bucks together than a grand.

So, open for discussion. Would you recommend this to a newer shooter who is currently putting about 60-100 rounds down range a week and wants to be ready for his first deer hunt by 2012?

publius
July 2, 2011, 03:04 PM
Nice rifle, you will be happy with it. I would also consider a Savage. Not as pretty as the XL7 but usually very accurate. That is not to say that the XL7 isn't accurate but the Savage is considered by many to be the most accurate out-of-the-box bolt rifle available.

TX Hunter
July 2, 2011, 03:14 PM
if your putting 60 to 100 rounds down range weekly i would recomend getting some sort of a switch barrel rifle because about 3000 rounds is usually the life of a center fire rifle barrel.

jmr40
July 2, 2011, 07:38 PM
After 3000 rounds you may lose enough accuracy to make a difference in benchrest shooting, but for a hunting rifle you you will probably never notice any difference in accuracy for at least double that if you don't overheat your barrel or ruin it with improper cleaning.

I consider the Marlin a best buy in a budget gun. Remington is offering 700 ADL's now for around $350 which I would have to consider. I like the Marlin better, but the Stevens 200 sells for about the same price and is offered in many more chamberings than the Marlin.

Rob3
July 2, 2011, 08:09 PM
The Marlins use a barrel nut similar to Savage (they use the same wrench). Switching barrels is no problem.

Coyote WT
July 2, 2011, 08:23 PM
That's good to know. When I do pick up a hunter I'll keep the round count down. I'll zero it in and do enough to stay familiar with the gun but spend most of the physical training (breath/trigger) with the 91/30.

Went to a local pawn shop/gun store recommended by one of the members here and now have a wider idea of what's out there.

Thanks everyone for your input so far.

baddarryl
July 2, 2011, 09:29 PM
I have one in .270. Very comfortable, great recoil pad, smooth adjustable trigger, nice fit and finish. Only regret is I didn't get the Walnut stock. At the time it wasn't available.

Bamashooter
July 2, 2011, 09:50 PM
I think the T/C Venture Weatherby Vanguard, and the Remington SPS are all better guns than the marlin. If you are gonna spend the money for the marlin why not add 150 bucks and get a really good rifle. All of the ones I listed can be had for under 500 dollars.

shanzlik
July 3, 2011, 06:18 AM
I have one in .270. Very comfortable, great recoil pad, smooth adjustable trigger, nice fit and finish.

Same thoughts about my .270. It makes a very good hunting rifle, and is very cost effective.

mdd
July 3, 2011, 12:18 PM
big shrek will be along shortly to tell you the marlin is better than indoor plumbing, beautiful women, and great cigars. Possibly the single best invention ever second only to fire. Everything I've read says they are good guns at an affordable price. However, there are lots of good yet affordable rifles on the market today & you owe it to yourself to find one that fits you well. You might pick up a marlin & love it. The converse may also be true. If you're not brand loyal then go fondle a bunch of different ones in your price range and a little above to see which works best for you.

dts686
July 3, 2011, 03:10 PM
Everything I've read on Marlin's XL7 has been high praise and I've read a lot of reviews. The rifle is very accurate and has a great adjustable trigger. At $300 it's really hard to beat. For $330 you can get a XL7C, a camo version.

It's the 30-06 rifle I am going to buy next. Add a Limb Saver pad and you'll be ready to go.

Best of luck to you!

Omaha-BeenGlockin
July 5, 2011, 08:03 AM
If you're actually shooting a hundred rounds a week:

Walmart ammo $13.97 per 20 x5 = 100 costing $69.85

$69.85 x 52 weeks=$3632.20 plus tax

The $300 you spent on a rifle will matter little.

Coyote WT
July 5, 2011, 08:17 AM
The price of the ammo would be another factor keeping from putting that many rounds down range. With my Mosin, I'm buying surplus ammo at about $90 for 440 rounds (rougly 20 cents/round).

I envision my shooting routine to be something like 1/month fire 1 box of 30.06 and the rest of the month using the 91/30.

rantingredneck
July 5, 2011, 08:20 AM
I had a Marlin XS7 for a time and ended up selling it. It was a fine rifle though and the only reason I sold it was that it didn't do anything for me that the 2 Remington 700's or Ruger 77 in the safe did. Basically it became a safe queen that rarely got shot, though when it did it did well.

It was a 7mm-08 and with factory winchester powerpoint 140's it would hold 1-1.5"/100yds all day long.

Poodleshooter
July 5, 2011, 11:01 AM
I've experienced 2 XL7s and 1 XS7.

The XL7 in .270 was a decent shooter. Not MOA, but a good solid 1.5" at 100yds with a terrible scope on it. Trigger was ok. It worked just fine.

Another XL7 that I got to shoot broke its extractor. The extractor edge just sheared right off leaving a (fired) round in the chamber. The owner was shooting factory ammo,so it shouldn't have been an ammo issue.

My dad has an XS7 in .243. The trigger is ok. It's a good inexpensive, relatively lightweight rifle. When compared to the various entry level bolts such as the Remington 710, or the Savage Edge or the various big box store "ADL type" blind magazine'd Remington 700s, it seems like a pretty good rifle.

When compared to a Mosin, it's a wondrous marvel of modern technology, with a better trigger and a far better option for sighting.

Coyote WT
July 5, 2011, 11:54 AM
Poodleshooter that was too funny! Yeah, no one here gonna argue the difference between a rotary phone and a cell phone. That's why I'm looking for a modern rifle. I want the option of using a scope without having to modify my old girl as well as something a little more practical for taking on a hunt than a WWII era chunk of wood and metal.

FrankenMauser
July 5, 2011, 03:52 PM
My .30-06 XL7 is a tack driver. It's hard to argue with consistent sub-MoA groups. (Accuracy is fantastic with the factory stock's pressure points. I also tried a Boyd's stock, but my barrel didn't like to be free-floated.)

However, I have a Marlin barrel, and a Marlin production rifle. The newer X7s (Remington barrels and production) have very mixed reviews.

NWdude83
July 7, 2011, 04:06 AM
think the T/C Venture Weatherby Vanguard, and the Remington SPS are all better guns than the marlin. If you are gonna spend the money for the marlin why not add 150 bucks and get a really good rifle. All of the ones I listed can be had for under 500 dollars.

check Gunbroker, a couple SPS start at or just above $500 (youth model) but $550 seems to be the average price for the full size.

Bamashooter
July 7, 2011, 05:09 AM
NWdude.... I did check gunbroker and I saw several SPS rifles that were under $500. One was used and all the youth models I saw were over $500.

The going rate for the Marlin was around $350 and I think the Marlin is an ok gun, but for $100 more you could get a Remington SPS. $50 more dollars will get you a Weatherby Vanguard. $75-80 more would get you a T/C Venture. If you just want the Marlin thats fine, but if it was me I would save up a little more and get a better rifle.

natman
July 7, 2011, 05:40 AM
I think the T/C Venture Weatherby Vanguard, and the Remington SPS are all better guns than the marlin. If you are gonna spend the money for the marlin why not add 150 bucks and get a really good rifle. All of the ones I listed can be had for under 500 dollars.

An extra $150 is almost half again the cost of the Marlin. Sure, you can get a nicer rifle for more money, but some people have budgets to keep.

I'd rather have a Marlin and a Leupold scope than a Venture/Vanguard/SPS with a cheap scope for the same money.

twins
July 7, 2011, 08:51 AM
$75-80 more would get you a T/C Venture. If you just want the Marlin thats fine, but if it was me I would save up a little more and get a better rifle.

+1 with this advice.

I have both the XL7/30-06 (bought first) and Venture/.270. The Venture is well-worth the +$80 for the life-time warranty. IMO, the 5R rifling is more accurate. I like the Marlin but if I did it all over again, both guns would be the Venture.

NWdude83
July 7, 2011, 08:28 PM
NWdude.... I did check gunbroker and I saw several SPS rifles that were under $500. One was used and all the youth models I saw were over $500.

The going rate for the Marlin was around $350 and I think the Marlin is an ok gun, but for $100 more you could get a Remington SPS. $50 more dollars will get you a Weatherby Vanguard. $75-80 more would get you a T/C Venture. If you just want the Marlin thats fine, but if it was me I would save up a little more and get a better rifle.

$500 if you find one in the caliber you want PLUS $20-$30 s/h PLUS $30-$35 FFL fee. Im not hating on the SPS, it a good gun. I would buy one. But some people can or only want to spend $400 or less on a new rifle...

Bamashooter
July 8, 2011, 12:04 AM
I saw them in my caliber of choice and even with shipping and transfer it would still be under $500. Just barely though. If your only gonna spend under $400 I guess the marlin might be your best choice. I have never just wanted to spend under $400 for a bolt action when I could save a little longer and get quality. Thats just me though. I dont settle.

EmptyHull
July 11, 2011, 04:46 AM
I've had one in a 30-06 for 2 years now and it is a keeper. I have a Bushnell 3-9x50 on it and a sling and that is all I have done to it. I wish that they had been offered with a camo stock back then. It is a great cheap gun. Worth every penny. Tim

habuch
July 11, 2011, 11:46 AM
I have a marlin XL7 in 30-06. This is the most accurate hunting rifle I have ever owned. This out shoots my Remington's and weatherby's. It will put 3 shots inside an inch at 100 yds and this is with remington core locts not the expensive ammo. The gun is light and inexpensive, Just the right combination for hunting. The trigger is pretty good for an inexpensive rifle and you can usually get these from $300 to $350 new. I got mine used, a guy won it in a raffle and didn't want it, I paid $250 and it was unfired. I would not hesitate to buy another one in fact I may get a 243 for coyote hunting. They do make these with a camo stock now mine is the basic black but I use this for hunting so what the heck if I get dings and scratches in it I only paid $250. I can save the remington and weatherby's to look at since they never get in the woods anymore.

Nightshadow
September 2, 2012, 07:37 AM
I have not fired a rifle since I was in the Army just over 20 years ago. I recently switched jobs and started working with 2 avid shooters one of which is prior Army also. Listening to them talk reminded me how I use to enjoy shooting long range targets 300+ meters and the shooting bug was starting to bit again. Last night I broke down a Marlin XL7 in a .243 and a Bushnell 3X9 scope with some 2 boxes quality rounds and 2 boxes of cheap 85g rounds to use for siting in the at 60 then 100 yards. With the cheap rounds at 60 yards, firing uphill, with a 9MPH right to left crosswind my first 3 rounds were 6 clicks low and 5 clicks right, but I was shocked that all three rounds were within ¾ inch grouping. I made the adjustment to the scope and shot another 3 rounds. All three rounds were on target in under ¾ inch grouping again and two of the three holes were over lapping. At 100 yards using the same cheap 85g rounds I put 3 more rounds on target in a ¾ inch grouping without needing to adjust the scope. At 150 yards the rounds hit 1 inch low and 1.5 inches left the grouping was 7/8 of an inch. At 200 yards the shots hit nearly 3 inches low and nearly 5 inches to the left in a 1.25 inch grouping. I bumped up to some better rounds that are 100g and hit the target at 200 yards in a ¾ inch grouping. I then went out to 300 yards and I hit ½ low and ¾ inch left in 1 inch grouping. I am amazed at how tight the groupings were and how little the round dropped at range with store bought rounds and a rifle scope combo that ran about $350.00

ltcboy
November 10, 2012, 03:51 PM
Frankenmauser and Nightshadow,

I have read numerous reviews on the Marlin XL7 and I took the plunge. I got mine off Gunbroker for $307. I bought a 30.06 because I have over 8k rounds of it and I can reload it to pretty much any weight I want. I plan on getting the Nikon Monarch 4x16x42 scope mounted on it. I hope she can deliver the mail at anywhere from 100-500yrds. Hopefully, we shall see.


Mike

shanzlik
November 11, 2012, 08:44 PM
I have the Monarch it sounds like you're talking about, it's a nice scope. Congrats on the new rifle.

Axelwik
November 12, 2012, 11:52 AM
I have an XL7 in 270. With the plastic stock it did okay, but not sub-MOA. Then I put a Boyds laminated stock on it, floated the barrel, and bedded it. Now it's 0.75 MOA! Great rifle for the price. It likes a Nosler 150-grain partition with some H4831SC behind it. Also does well with Sierra 130 grain boat tails, same powder.
http://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae42/axelwik/P1020894.jpg

FiveInADime
November 12, 2012, 05:14 PM
Nice job, Axelwik. How does that Prairie Hunter feel compared to the plastic stock as far as cheek weld and shoulder fit?

Axelwik
November 12, 2012, 09:19 PM
How does that Prairie Hunter feel compared to the plastic stock as far as cheek weld and shoulder fit?

It's better - the rifle comes up to my shoulder more naturally, the "Monte Carlo" cheek area does a better job at putting my eye inline with the scope, the pistol grip fills the hand, and the forend is wider at the base and narrows with a nice finger groove along the top. Overall it's more ergonomic and adds a little weight, reducing recoil.

FrankenMauser
November 13, 2012, 02:23 AM
ltcboy - I hope you enjoy it. I haven't shot mine very much this year (if at all? :eek:), but I know I can count on it any time I need it.


Axelwik, I'm glad that stock worked out for you.
My rifle just didn't want to be free-floated. It was a tack driver in the factory stock, but printed shotgun patterns in the Boyd's stock. With some card stock wedged between the Boyd's stock and the barrel, for a fore-end pressure point, some of the accuracy came back. Since I needed a bit of a light weight "mountain rifle" anyway, and didn't feel like pillar-bedding and building pressure points in the Boyd's stock, I just went back to what I knew worked.

However, the gentleman I sold the Boyd's stock to said that with no modifications, it took his .30-06 XL7 from a 1.5"-2" 100 yard rifle, to a 0.5 MoA tack-driver.
Luck of the draw, I guess. But... it worked out for both of us. ;)

ltcboy
June 1, 2013, 09:04 AM
I am a new XL7 owner (30-06). I bought my rifle to not only enjoy, but to also shove into this pompous idiot's face at a range I shoot at. I am mostly a Garand guy, I also shoot Springfields and I comepte in NRA High Power with the M1 Garand and a match AR. A friend of mine bought the Remington 700 Sps tactical in .308 and he seems to enjoy it. I was always contemplating getting a commercial bolt gun for deer hunting anyway, but what motivated me really to buy the XL7 was , A) the reviews online as far as accuracy goes, B) I have over 10k rounds of surplus 30-06 and it all reloadable & C) there is this a$$ at our range who is the type of guy that if your car does 100 mph, his does 105mph. If you catch 12 fish, he catches 13 and his are bigger. He has a new Weatherby Mark V Deluxe rifle in 30-06 and he mounted a new Leupold scope on it. He paid big $$$ for his rig. Is set out to find the most economically accurate production bolt rifle in 30-06 made today and upon investigating this the Marlin XL7 was mentioned all the time. So I bought mine brand new off Gunbroker. I paid a grand sum of $305 (s&h was included), $20 for the FFL transfer, $335 for a new Nikon Monarch 3-12X42 mm scope, $35 for mount & base and then $99 for a Harris bipod. Without the bi-pod, I am out $695. He paid over $2500 for his setup. Now I am not knocking the Weatherby rifle. I am sure its a fine weapon and is nice to shoot and all that good stuff that makes one warm and fuzzy owning one. But, the rubber meets the road and the results are what counts.

I went out and bought a deck of playing cards and brought them out to the range. When my Weatherby friend showed up we had a little friendly competition. I took all the clubs out of the deck. I gave him the three of clubs and I took the two of clubs. Whoever could get the closest grouping by shooting out one club using four shots would win. We were shooting at 100 yards. Keep in mind, I was using neck sized reloads with a 150 grain Hornady FMJBT 3037 bullet over 45 grains of IMR 4320. COAL was 3.31. He was using his reloads too. Long story short, my $300 Marlin out shot his $2000 Weatherby. Again, is it the gun or the shooter? I'm sure it's both. But I love the fact that he had it thrown in his face that a cheap Marlin rifle outdid his Gucci gun.


MIke

Huffmanite
June 1, 2013, 10:05 AM
itcboy, enjoyed your post!

I own a few Marlin X rifles myself and think they do shoot well or I wouldn't have three of them.

wnycollector
June 1, 2013, 02:21 PM
I picked up a Marlin X7VH in 223 about 6 months ago. It shot 1.5" groups with black hills 52gr mhp's. I put a Boyd's thumbhole stock on it and my groups shrunk by 1/2. The Marlin now shoots as well as my .223 savage 10fp but costs ~$200 less.

G-town Hunter
June 1, 2013, 08:11 PM
Acelwik..
That is a fine lookin setup

Idashot1k
June 2, 2013, 10:38 AM
I have the heavy barreled 22-250. One of my new favorite guns. My first handload with CFE223 shot 3/4 groups at 200 yards. Dropped a millet mil dot scope on it and reliably popped clay pigeons at 600 yards. Hideous plastic stock, but hey its a sweet shooting gun.

Drhc116
June 3, 2013, 07:43 AM
I have the XS7 in .308. It is a great gun for the money. I bought it 2-3 years ago and have done plenty of damage from a treestand with it. Love the rifle.

1tfl
June 19, 2013, 10:22 AM
What is the difference between XL7 and XS7?
Long vs. short action?
Did they chamber short cartridges (243/308) in the XL7 action?
I heard once from a co-worker that he had a Marlin XL7 in 243 Winchester
caliber.

Huffmanite
June 19, 2013, 10:40 AM
As you surmised, XL is long action, XS is short. My 25-06 is an XL and both my 7mm-08 and 308 are XS

Liambobbi
June 19, 2013, 12:40 PM
My wife's hunting rifle is a xs7y and she loves it we looked at a ton of rifles for her she wanted a .243 being a small lass we looked at a tikka t3 lite browning x-bolt micro Midas and the Remington model 7 and xs7 won she liked the weight and feel of the rifle and they do shoot like people say with 85 nosler partition (nosler custom ammo) she gets 3/4 groups at 100 pretty constantly

natman
June 20, 2013, 03:54 AM
What is the difference between XL7 and XS7?
Long vs. short action?
Did they chamber short cartridges (243/308) in the XL7 action?
I heard once from a co-worker that he had a Marlin XL7 in 243 Winchester
caliber.

XS=short, XL=long
The XS was used for 243,7mm-08 and 308, the XL for 25-06, 270 and 30-06. They now call them all "X7", but they still use short and long actions as needed.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/CenterfireBoltAction/x7.asp

I suspect your co-worker was mistaken.

FrankenMauser
June 20, 2013, 12:52 PM
What is the difference between XL7 and XS7?
Long vs. short action?
Did they chamber short cartridges (243/308) in the XL7 action?
I heard once from a co-worker that he had a Marlin XL7 in 243 Winchester
caliber.
XS=short, XL=long
The XS was used for 243,7mm-08 and 308, the XL for 25-06, 270 and 30-06. They now call them all "X7", but they still use short and long actions as needed.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...tAction/x7.asp

I suspect your co-worker was mistaken.
Marlington really went nuts with the X7 naming system, and has changed the model designations several times over the last 3 years.
There actually was a short period of time (last year?), during which you could get a short-action X7 with the model designation XL7 or XL7S. :rolleyes:
(I saw them in .243 Win and .308 Win, never 7mm-08; but that doesn't mean it was left out.)

So, the .243 Win XL7 is a very real possibility.

natman
June 21, 2013, 01:51 AM
I suppose it's possible that they may have made a short action 243 and called it an XL7. I doubt that they ever made a 243 on a long action.

FrankenMauser
June 22, 2013, 01:24 PM
That's exactly what I was saying -- and the lay person wouldn't know the difference. To them, the rifle is what it says it is. The average shooter, in my experience, doesn't even know that "high powered rifles" are even made in different action lengths.