A Tale of Two Budget Rifles - Stevens 200 and Marlin XL7 (pic heavy)


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Schleprok62
May 10, 2009, 05:11 PM
OK, I've read many a thread where the question is asked which is better... Now that I have some time on my hands, I will run down the my opinion of the real, practical differences. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination... I'll leave the hard core questions for those more qualified to answer.

http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783MarvsSav1-med.jpg

I will not do a comparative range report because comapring a 7mm-08 to a 30-06 is like comparing apples to oranges... (in my opinion) I will say that both rifles are definitely in the 1 MOA playground out of the box... ok, on with the show...

I've read people say that the stock on the Marlin is better than the stock on the Stevens: Well, what do y'all think?? Stevens Left - Marlin Right

http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100002-med.JPG

Stevens: Notice the flash line...
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P4280003-med.JPG

Marlin: Nice and smoothy...
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P4280002-med.JPG

When comparing fit and finish, I'd definitely say the Marlin wins, but comparing how well built one or the other is, I'd have to lean toward the Stevens... The Stevens has a fitted block of styrofoam inside the buttstock whereas the Marlin uses a cheesy piece of folded packing material like sheet of expanded foam - :scrutiny:

Triggers: Well, this are is pretty much a no brainer... The Marlin definitely has the better trigger... Although, the Stevens can be, at little to no cost, adjusted to be a lot better than the factory setting. The Marlin uses a system very much like the Accutrigger of the Savages... Easily adjusts with common household tools.

Stevens:
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100015-med.JPG

Marlin:
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100014-med.JPG

OK, next up we have the recoil pad... The Marlin has a nice cushy one, where the Stevens has on that leaves a little to be desired, although, a 7mm-08 Rem doesn't recoil quite as hard as a 30-06 Sprg.

http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100017-med.JPG

Free-float: Hmmm... this is a no brainer either... The Stevens get's the thumb-up here...

http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100027-med.JPG

Barrel crown: This is a toss-up to me... as long as the crown is in good shape it should make little difference... But we all have preferences.

Stevens on top:
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100031-med.JPG

The bolts... Well, to me it looks like the Stevens bolt get's the nod here. The name is etched on it... and the Marlin's looks like it could use a bit more attention to detail, and/or refined. This is probably just cosmetic, and probably has liittle to no affect on the rifles ability to do what it was intended to do... But I like the cleaner looking Stevens...

http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5100035-med.JPG

OK... that's pretty much it in a nutshell... For whatever it's worth, I don't see any real, practical differences to say one is that much better or worse than the other... Those looking at these two rifles should give them both a good looking at... But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it either of them... you're getting a lot of rifle for your hard earned money. If I was to have to recommend one over the other, I'd have to lean toward the Stevens, but only because the is a vast aftermarket for stocks and barrels available for it... via the Savage 10/110 parts bins... Other than that... flip a coin... The choice is easily clear as mud on a rainy day... :neener:

One other note: The Stevens is a bit lighter than the Marlin...

I hope this presentation and mild comparison has helped everyone in some way... Cheers... and always good shooting and be safe...


Tom

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bang_bang
May 10, 2009, 05:37 PM
Very nice post! I own a Stevens Model 200 in 300 Win Mag and couldn't be happier with it's performance so far. I have taken several deer with it and a couple of groundhogs.

They are ugly as sin, but that's why God made Krylon, is it not?

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/ss_drummer/DSC00377.jpg

P.B.Walsh
May 10, 2009, 05:49 PM
Nice writeup, someone needs to do this with a Savage and a Remington 700 of the same class.

taliv
May 10, 2009, 07:50 PM
very nice post

RedLion
May 10, 2009, 09:19 PM
Awesome, Thanks for the comparison!

Dr_2_B
May 10, 2009, 09:30 PM
Wow. Great post. May motivate me to do my own feeble comparison of some handguns.

jaholder1971
May 10, 2009, 09:31 PM
.300 Win Mag for groundhogs? Y'all must be feeding them steroids and meth over there!

Nonetheless, Carl Spackler would be proud of you!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/23/28718936_69128fe6b5.jpg

Fburgtx
May 10, 2009, 09:31 PM
After handling both, I guess I would personally have to give the nod to the Marlin with one noteable exception. I DON'T like the safety on the Marlin. It's not the location that bothers me, it's the fact that it is a 2 position safety (vs. the 3 position of the Stevens). On "Safe", the Marlin doesn't lock the bolt handle down.

Maybe not much of a complaint, but it does bother me.

Either one is a much better choice than a Mossberg or a Remington 710/770 (at least, I think so). Remington's parent company (Cerberus, which also owns Marlin) would do well to stop production on the 770 and let Marlin have that end of the market. The Marlin's a better gun, and Remington's name would be better off not having a piece of junk like the 770 associated with it (once again, just my opinion).

rangerruck
May 10, 2009, 11:29 PM
it looks like the marlin gets the edge here; taller ridges on the inside of the stock for more rigidity, looks like a thicker bolt, stock looks one piece, and the trigger allways accounts for at least 30% of the final round of the Ms. Universe pageant. I like the recoil pad also, and it also looks like the bbl is a couple of inches longer, am I right about that? How about any accuracy conclusions thus far, or are you working on that?
I also def prefer a recessed crown...

Schleprok62
May 10, 2009, 11:46 PM
The barrels are the same length... I think the differences in the above photo are due to me lining them up from the butt end... the Marlin, in this case, is a long action, and the Stevens is the short action... measuring from the muzzle to the receiver is exactly 21.125" for both rifles.

The ridges on the inside do not run full length... there is a seam that runs the middle of the Marlin stock, although, it was cleaned up much better than the Stevens.

I covered the range report department above: I will not do a comparative range report because comapring a 7mm-08 to a 30-06 is like comparing apples to oranges... (in my opinion) I will say that both rifles are definitely in the 1 MOA playground out of the box...

But, if you want me to give my personal experiences with each rifle, I will:
The 7mm-08 Stevens is the more accurate of the two. Easily inside of 1 MOA consistently. My personal best with this rifle is right at 5/8" @ 100 yards...
The 30-06 Marlin's accuracy is in the 1 MOA arena.

Again, comparing a 7mm-08 to a 30-06 is like comparing apples to oranges. Either will drop a deer a fer piece away without any real problems if the shooter does his/her part.

The bolt thickness':
Stevens: 0.692"
Marlin: 0.690"


Cheers...

TehK1w1
May 11, 2009, 01:09 AM
BTW, as they are basically the same rifle, pretty much any parts and accessories for the Savage 10/110 rifles will work on a Stevens 200.
How does working the bolt feel on the Marlin vs the Stevens? Is the Marlin smoother to cock?

bang_bang
May 11, 2009, 01:15 AM
.300 Win Mag for groundhogs? Y'all must be feeding them steroids and meth over there!

Nonetheless, Carl Spackler would be proud of you!

You gotta love some 110 gr HP in a 300 Win Mag! :neener:

Those 2 pictured above were some smart ones that evaded me last year. I got tired of trying with a 22 Magnum, so I brought out the 300 Win Mag to even the odds a bit. :D

Schleprok62
May 11, 2009, 04:00 AM
How does working the bolt feel on the Marlin vs the Stevens? Is the Marlin smoother to cock?

I honestly can't say one is any smoother than the other... after break-in, I'd have to say they're about the same in that category... although, in my case, the Marlin has the long action.

Bolt removal is definitely easier than the Stevens, but, I wouldn't go so far to say that it is so bad as to change your mind about the Stevens. It's not THAT difficult.

Schleprok62
May 11, 2009, 04:01 AM
I got tired of trying with a 22 Magnum, so I brought out the 300 Win Mag to even the odds a bit.


err... uhmmm and if they evade the .300 WM??? Is the Howitzer next in the progression???? :D :D :D LOL

murdoc rose
May 11, 2009, 04:11 AM
wow debate about that stock some more would you rather have a little or a lot of Styrofoam lol no thanks I'll take walnut anyday

Yo2slick
May 11, 2009, 04:28 AM
I like both of these rifles. For the money they both do a hell of a job.

I like the stock on the Marlin better, but I like the trigger on the Stevens better. I think that has to do with that wanna be Accutrigger thing. Everytime I would squeeze the trigger on the Marlin I couldnt figure out why the gun wasnt firing and I had to remind myself about this new trigger. LOL, nothing wrong with it. Im just not use to it. The Stevens is very lightweight and has that edge over the Marlin. I like the way the Marlin feels when shouldered.

Long story short it boils down to personal preference. Which one feels more comfortable? Which one is the right weight? What style of trigger do you like? Do you like a long or short action? Both rifles are very well built and both are shooters. I would not hesitate to add both of these rifles to my collection.

Birdhunter1
May 11, 2009, 08:43 AM
I need a photo of the hole on each side of teh action up near the chamber. I bedded my Steven's in a laminated t-hole stock and I think I may have it a bit high, if you can get me a photo of that hole on the side i can gauge mine.

SwampWolf
May 11, 2009, 09:47 AM
After handling both, I guess I would personally have to give the nod to the Marlin with one noteable exception. I DON'T like the safety on the Marlin. It's not the location that bothers me, it's the fact that it is a 2 position safety (vs. the 3 position of the Stevens). On "Safe", the Marlin doesn't lock the bolt handle down.

I agree entirely; so much so, in fact, that the difference might be enough to be a deal maker/breaker for me. I have the same reservation about the later Remington 700s.

Schleprok62
May 11, 2009, 11:47 AM
I need a photo of the hole on each side of teh action up near the chamber.

You mean these???

Left side:
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5110001-med.JPG

Right side:
http://www.photohost.org/gallery/data/500/2783P5110002-med.JPG

ArmedBear
May 11, 2009, 01:28 PM
I agree entirely; so much so, in fact, that the difference might be enough to be a deal maker/breaker for me. I have the same reservation about the later Remington 700s.

Hear, hear.

I will, however, say that it bothers me more on the 700, because this "feature" or rather this lack of a basic feature, is found on their most expensive guns as well.

At least here we're talking about a budget rifle, and you have to figure they save money somewhere.

paintballdude902
May 11, 2009, 07:30 PM
i love my xl7 in .30'06

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a121/paintballdude902/03274611.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a121/paintballdude902/12274805.jpg

the doe was a head shot at 90 yards

Schleprok62
May 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
Either one is a much better choice than a Mossberg or a Remington 710/770 (at least, I think so). Remington's parent company (Cerberus, which also owns Marlin) would do well to stop production on the 770 and let Marlin have that end of the market. The Marlin's a better gun, and Remington's name would be better off not having a piece of junk like the 770 associated with it (once again, just my opinion).

I have to say I agree with you on every point you make.

However, my intentions with this thread were to point out that either of these two rifles was well worth the money paid. I like both of them, there are things on each that I like better than the other, but you will have that in much higher priced rifles also. Which one is better?? Who am I to say, they are both quite capable of doing what they were intended and marketed for. Low cost, high quality hunting rifle.

The Stevens offers more choices in long and short action. The Marlin currently is only available in long action calibers. Though, the short action calibers should be hitting shelves very soon - I am impatiently awaiting their arrival as I plan to get one in 7mm-08 so I can do a REAL side by side full comparison including a full range report. I am also planning on putting the exact same model scope on it so there won't be any notable discrepancies.

Things I'd like to see on each:
Stevens: a better trigger and recoil pad, cleaner fit and finish of the stock.

Marlin: 3 position safety, 2 piece scope mounts instead of the one piece, cleaner more refined bolt assembly, and a free floated barrel...

I would also like to thank everyone for the positive feedback...

Thank you...

Tom

Fburgtx
May 11, 2009, 11:27 PM
FWIW, I saw a short action Marlin at Cabela's about 3-4 weeks ago (it was a .308). They were asking $299. Picked up a 25-06 (long action) a while back and it had 2 piece scope mounts (not one piece).

I do wish Marlin would come out with a .223 or a 22-250 in this gun.

As for the Stevens 200, I had heard and read (I think some was even quoting the head of Savage), that the stocks for the Stevens' were made in the old molds deemed "too worn out" for the Savages (at least the gray-stocked models). Maybe now that the Savages are getting the "Accu-stock", the Stevens will get the "less" old Savage molds with less obvious mold lines.

paintballdude902
May 14, 2009, 12:32 AM
the marlins are kinda hit and miss witht he 2-piece scope mounts

i got a 2 piece with mine but it seams like its 50-50 for a 1 0r 2 piece

my barrel is fully free floated and im thinking about doing a full glass bed to try and get rid of all play and maybe squeez a little bit more accuracy out of it

i also wanna pick up a wood stock for it just because i like wood stocks

id love for marlin to polish the bolts so they look nicerbut oh well i can shoot a .75 inch 5 shot group with mine at 100 yards

id also love for marlin to get rid of the plastic trigger guard

id totally love for an aftermarket company to make some stocks so i can drop her in a target stock

maybe ill see about getting one in .308 or 7mm08 and getting a target stock for it

benzy2
May 14, 2009, 02:11 AM
The Stevens rifle isn't using molds that are deemed worn out. It is using the previous generation stocks. They may be deemed outdated but not worn out. Most every molded stock is going to have those lines on them. The reason they exist on the 200 is because its a budget rifle that isn't given the labor to remove them. They took the previous stock mold and compound, took the previous trigger, bolt, barrel and put them on the rounded receiver 10/110 action. The only difference between today's Stevens and the previous generation Savage is that the older Savage used a flat milled to on their receiver and took flat bases where the current Stevens and Savage take rounded bases as the action is round on top. Outside of that they are the same. There are more adjustable factory triggers out there that came on some Savage models that are a direct fit/replacement for the Stevens 200 line but only those older models and not the Accutrigger will swap. Outside the receiver top all they have done is relabel the last generation rifle instead of trash the molds. The newer molds are just as crappy though have a little less flash on them. Either option needs cleaned up if meant to be kept.

czs4me
July 28, 2009, 06:15 PM
What's with the stock debate? Both stocks are ugly, as are almost all made with that material, regardless of brand. If you like the gun enough to fix (i.e., replace) the stock, then do it.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 28, 2009, 06:38 PM
Are the actual street prices the same or different on these two rifles? If not, which one costs more?

MJR007
July 28, 2009, 07:10 PM
Thank you for your time and putting your money into this project. I hope your work will help someone make a good choice on data not emotion. Little things mean a lot to different people. Most DOE's I see are not done as well.

WELL DONE!

Dookie
July 28, 2009, 08:03 PM
Are the actual street prices the same or different on these two rifles? If not, which one costs more?
Base Marlin runs MSRP of $340, so probably that out the door with tax.
The Stevens runs MSRP of $399. I got mine out the door for $310.

Never shot the Marlin, but I have yet to hear any substantial negative reviews on it. Mainly just personal preferences that are not liked.
I have a 200 in 300 WM. The recoil pad is fine, it could be bigger but works good enough. The Marlins definitely looks better.
Another thing, the Stevens is the absolute base rifle Savage sells, the XL7 described here is the cheapest model made by Marlin, but the only difference is the stock.

If you want to pick up a rifle that is decent priced, shoots good, and is reliable, either will do perfectly fine. But if you want to get a rifle and in the future do some possible building, the Stevens is the way to go.

Bone stock, my 200 shoots 1.5" at 200 yards, 5 shot groups. 3-9 scope.

I have since purchased a B&C stock, $72, complete detachable mag kit with the magazine, $69, and fully bedded the rifle. Added a Leupy scope mount and rings, $35. I have a sweet shooting rifle for Under $500 bucks. I did not have to buy the scope.

As for a factory bone stock rifle, I would have to give the nod to marlin for the reason of the trigger and buttpad. But the action and barrel would have to go to the Stevens. Since most people who will buy these don't care and just shoot for hunting, it really doesn't matter. But a side by side review is always nice.

Out of curiosity. What type of bedding is used in the marlin. The 200 uses metal pillars and am wondering if the marlin is the same.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 28, 2009, 10:54 PM
Seems like the Marlin is the better value, with the lower price and better recoil pad and better trigger. Does Marlin also use the same style button rifling as the famous Savage and Stevens rifles?

Tim the student
July 28, 2009, 11:41 PM
Really good write up. Thanks.

Dookie
July 29, 2009, 01:03 AM
Seems like the Marlin is the better value, with the lower price and better recoil pad and better trigger.Maybe a better value for the base model. But definitely not for the Savage. The marlin cannot hold a candle to that, but then it is not supposed to.

I would still take the Savage over the Marlin because I know that the Stevens action is one of the best and Marlins has yet to be proved.

akodo
July 29, 2009, 01:51 AM
why do you guys think the stocks are ugly (or any uglier than your average black synthetic stock?)

Is there something about the contours that I am missing?

t165
July 29, 2009, 02:47 AM
I actually like the Grayish looking stock on my Stevens 200. But the stock has some sharp edges. I took fine sandpaper and went over some of the sharper edges which helped a bit. If the Marlin's trigger is anything like the Savage Accu-Trigger then I would prefer that. I adjusted the Stevens 200 trigger and it is better but not nearly as nice as the accu-trigger on my other Savage rifle. I can live with the older Savage trigger and I need to do some more work on the Stevens 200 stock to remove rough edges but the metalwork on the firearm a lot nicer than I had expected. My Stevens 200 is chambered for the .223 so the recoil pad is a mute point for me in this chambering.

Paradiddle
July 29, 2009, 01:03 PM
There are several write-ups on here and the Marlin owners forum stating that Savage barrels will in fact work on a Marlin.

I think the Marlin shoulders better and I prefer the feeling of the stock over the Stevens - neither are as nice as a Savage (but the Savage is more $).

Bass Pro has the XL7 and XS7 for $280.

Calibers are:

XL7 - 30-06, 25-06, 270
XS7 - 7mm-08, 308, 243

The Marlin now is available with a walnut stock - I've not seen one in person yet, but their website has pictures.

Jeff

Noban
July 29, 2009, 01:40 PM
I have an MR-7 Marlin in .30-06. This was Marlin's early and short-lived entry into the center fire market back in the ealry 90s. It is a real good looking rifle with richly blued metal and a nice walnut stock. Just for grins, I glass bedded the action and free-floated the barrel and my groups did tighten up a bit.

Deltaboy
July 29, 2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the info I am in the market for a Rifle and I would like to get a new one other a used one.

MrFox
July 29, 2009, 05:44 PM
BANG BANG...those are the biggest ground hogs ive ever seen in my life. Maybe I just need to get out more, but those things are huge. They dont get nearly that large around here.

bang_bang
July 30, 2009, 12:35 AM
Yeah, those were both large males, taken bake earlier this year. Those were the largest I've ever taken. Older ones....smart ones, couldn't get close enough with .22lr's or my 22 Magnum. The 300 shines at ranges over 100 on those critters...I'd expect (by the damage done to those large ones) that an average size groundhog would *almost* blow in half. Those both had exit wounds about fist-sized.

wyo@inbox.com
July 31, 2009, 12:18 PM
PR person at Marlin told me that the XL7w-3006 has a solid walnut stock. I have not heard this from anyone else. Is the Marlin PR rep correct or is he ignorant about his product? Solid wood? Plywood? Plastic like the plain black stock?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 31, 2009, 01:57 PM
The Marlin now is available with a walnut stock - I've not seen one in person yet, but their website has pictures.

:eek: Curse you guys, and Marlin, for making me want something new!

rooster59
July 31, 2009, 02:26 PM
Out of curiosity. What type of bedding is used in the marlin. The 200 uses metal pillars and am wondering if the marlin is the same.


The Marlin has 2 metal pillars, one the front stock bolt and one under the rear.

wyo@inbox.com
July 31, 2009, 02:39 PM
I can't find a XL7W-3006 or other XL7W locally, so I can't go and examine it to see if it is really walnut wood or just something that looks like wood. For that extra $100 it ought to be better than colored plastic.

Has any reader taken the buttplate/recoil pad off to see what's between it and the rest of the rifle?

federalfarmer
July 31, 2009, 02:58 PM
Thankyou for the work on the write up.

breakthru62
September 3, 2009, 01:43 AM
Thanks for the write up.........Marlin should send you a check cause I just bought the XS7 Youth in .308 base on it!!! I will be honest, I didn't have the patience to wait to get the full length camo stock, so if anyone has one that want to get rid of.......................................

I just lost my left foot this year from being hit by a car, so I'm going for a buget-minded, light weight, accurate, comfortable hunting rifle. Something that I can carry all day.

My type of hunting requires me not to worry about the finish since I hunt the brush hard. I have or had a couple nice rifles that have many battle wounds. I hated the nagging itch in the back of my mind to not use my rifle to push tree branches and sticker bushes out of the way. If I banged it on the truck door I would get that little sick feel of "ah man" before I started looking for scratches. Point is, $300 is a great price for a piece of mind.

I will be putting quailty optics on the Marlin--something from leupold in either 2x7 or 3x9. I have learned over the years to not cheap out on optics. Another thing thats takes alot of worrying (for me) out of taking a shoot after busting the brush.

Anyhow, many thanks for the review.

Scott

SSN Vet
September 3, 2009, 11:19 AM
the Savage 114 American Classic in .30-06 has been on my short list for two years now for my first ever bolt action rifle.....

sadly.... the longer I have to wait, the higher their prices keep going

Rundownfid
September 3, 2009, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the excellent write-up. I was just looking at these two rifles at Gander Mtn. Sat. My observations were much like yours, I believe either would be a fine budget minded choice.

Does anyone know how closely Marlin and Savage-Stevens are related ownership wise, it seems they are "kissing cousins"?

bestseller92
October 3, 2009, 08:25 PM
Excellent info; thanks. I just may go with that Marlin XL7, especially now that I've learned that they are available with wood stocks.

natman
October 4, 2009, 04:57 AM
I can't find a XL7W-3006 or other XL7W locally, so I can't go and examine it to see if it is really walnut wood or just something that looks like wood. For that extra $100 it ought to be better than colored plastic.

Has any reader taken the buttplate/recoil pad off to see what's between it and the rest of the rifle?
From the Marlin website:

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/centerfireBoltAction/XL7w.asp

"Pillar-bedded satin-finished walnut with raised cheek piece and Soft-TechTM recoil pad"

bestseller92
October 4, 2009, 08:51 AM
Marlin XL7s with synthetic stocks and "starter" 3-9x scopes are available on Gunbroker for $319, plus $15 shipping.

<SLV>
December 22, 2009, 12:55 PM
Excellent thread! I would buy EITHER in 7.62x39... if only...

So I will probably go with the Stevens 200 and install a Timney or Rifle Basix trigger for @$100. I think I might try to find a way to better fill the stock and perhaps add a little weight and rigidity. I don't mind the gray too much, but maybe a winter woods camo pattern...

bad_aim_billy
December 22, 2009, 02:04 PM
Interestingly, the XL7 just made Field and Stream's "10 Rifles and Shotguns Sure to Become Tomorrow's Classics". It was the obvious choice dollar for dollar when I went rifle shopping for a .30/06.

~Ace~
March 15, 2010, 11:31 PM
They sure tried hard to Copy / Compete with Stevens... but the Down range results and lack up aftermarket support make the Stevens the Clear Choice for the wise rifleman. Well Proven and well supported. Nuff said.




Hello Mid :eek:

Snakum
March 16, 2010, 12:42 PM
They sure tried hard to Copy / Compete with Stevens...

And to copy Remington (safety), and Savage (Accutrigger and barrel nut), and Winchester (bottom metal and stock will fit with a little inletting), but they sure didn't copy the Stevens stock on which the forearm can actually be made to wiggle if you move the rifle back and forth fast enough (I saw it done myself at Jim's Gun Jobbery In NC).

but the Down range results and lack up aftermarket support make the Stevens the Clear Choice for the wise rifleman in my humble opinion.

I fixed that for you. With guys shooting .5" groups from Marlins with no work, or keeping it tight to 500 yards with work, you'll have quite a few people with differing opinions.

Well Proven and well supported.

Definitely. Makes an excellent base rifle.

Nuff said.

Mmmmm ... I'll have to say "not really". :D

Snakum
March 16, 2010, 12:48 PM
I will say, though, the Marlin extractor is the most horrid thing I've seen on a rifle in which the extractor still worked. For $299 I don't mind stiffening the stock and bedding the action and sanding/polishing tool marks from the feed ramp. But that extractor ... I mean jeezus. :rolleyes:

DANNY243
June 7, 2010, 08:00 PM
I own both, Marlin in .243 and Stevens in .223. Over all I like the stevens betterfor its 3 possition safety, crisp adjustable trigger, and available after market parts. The Marlin was very rough out of the box and shot 15" groups. After changing scopes, filing down the rear action screw, glass bedding, free floating and fire lapping the barrel and working up some loads I got it shooting sub-moa. My biggist complaint still about the Marlin is the 2 possition safety. The bolt works itself open constantly in the field. The
Stevens has a cheap stock but everything fits together and it shoots fine.

Uncle Mike
June 7, 2010, 09:15 PM
Get the Stevens, if you intend to keep the OEM stock, and the 'floppyness'(new word) bothers you, get yourself some epoxy, resin, bondo or whatever and fill in the recesses in the forearm section of the stock, let it set up, and while you'll be totin' a heavier rifle now, the front end wont wobble on you.

Or, you could just monitor 'Stocky's Stocks' and pick up a fiberglass stock for cheap when he dumps some.

Jefferson Herb
June 8, 2010, 01:13 AM
I don't know about the marlin,but stevens in .223 and .22-250 have 1-10 twist barrels;which allows you to use 65gr Game Kings [ I have .223 ].

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