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Old July 2, 2011, 01:03 PM   #1
Coyote WT
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Thoughts on Marlin XL7

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?
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Old July 2, 2011, 03:04 PM   #2
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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.
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Old July 2, 2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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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.
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Old July 2, 2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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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.
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Old July 2, 2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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The Marlins use a barrel nut similar to Savage (they use the same wrench). Switching barrels is no problem.
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Old July 2, 2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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3000 rounds

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.
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Old July 2, 2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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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.
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Old July 2, 2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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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.
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Old July 3, 2011, 06:18 AM   #9
shanzlik
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Quote:
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.
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Old July 3, 2011, 12:18 PM   #10
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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.
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Old July 3, 2011, 03:10 PM   #11
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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!
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Old July 5, 2011, 08:03 AM   #12
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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.
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Old July 5, 2011, 08:17 AM   #13
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to Omaha-BeenGlockin

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.
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Old July 5, 2011, 08:20 AM   #14
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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.
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Old July 5, 2011, 11:01 AM   #15
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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.
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Old July 5, 2011, 11:54 AM   #16
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Mosin vs Marlin

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.
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Old July 5, 2011, 03:52 PM   #17
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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.
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Old July 7, 2011, 04:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
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.
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Old July 7, 2011, 05:09 AM   #19
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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.
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Old July 7, 2011, 05:40 AM   #20
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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.
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Old July 7, 2011, 08:51 AM   #21
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$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.
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Old July 7, 2011, 08:28 PM   #22
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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...

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Old July 8, 2011, 12:04 AM   #23
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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.
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Old July 11, 2011, 04:46 AM   #24
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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
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Old July 11, 2011, 11:46 AM   #25
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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.
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