Opinions on New Rifle
Looking for opinions on purchasing a target rifle for the wife to join me at the range as a couples activity. We are both now retired and I'm looking to get back into reloading as a hobby. I have reloaded only for my hunting rifles and a .44 mag handgun, a Ruger Red Hawk. The rifles are a Remington Model 760 pump in 30-06 and the other is a Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08. Both are topped with Leupold variable scopes.
The wife is learning to shoot with a scoped Henry Lever in .22 LR and a scoped Browning bolt .22 LR. The .22 LR just doesn't cut it with accuracy at 100 yards so I would like to get a bolt action rifle in .223 caliber. Should be easy on the shoulder and I can play with it at the loading bench. And if I ever get the opportunity I can use it a varmint field gun.
So, after lot's of research I thought a Marlin XS7 in .223 with a 3X9 or 4X12 scope might fit the bill. The rifle is probably in the $330 range and I would like to keep the optics around the $250 range including mounts.
I'm also open to a used rifle in .223 as again this is for the wife to range shoot not to go to Wyoming or Alaska for a big game hunt.
You personal experiences with various low cost (not junk) scope brands and rifles is appreciated. Not looking to be cheap, just thrifty. Thanks in advance.