Marlin XL7 review/range report


June 27, 2012, 07:48 AM
Just shot my new Marlin XL7 25-06. Prior to the purchase I shot the savage Axis and the Marlin. I wanted a dual coyote/deer gun which will be used out to 200 yds, so I decided on the 25-06 and liked the Marlin over the savage. I know some people will bark at this caliber saying it's not enough for deer, but I'm confident in it, since I'm a firm believer in shot placement over caliber size.
I can't say enough good things about the gun. Shooting the 120 grain Fusion the gun (rested on sand bags) shot groups that were just about touching (sorry no measurement, but less than an inch). This gun feels like it has no recoil and muzzle rise is almost non existent. The balance is great and the gun settles comfortably to my cheek and shoulder. The trigger is a clean 3lbs.
The gun smith I go to who has 30+ years in the business said nothing but good things about this gun. He got into a lot of technical stuff validating what a good job Marlin did on this gun. I only paid $369 for the camo version and I put a 4-12 Redfield Revolution scope on it. I'm also happy with the Redfield scope. This by far is my most inexpensive rifle setup I own, and it shoots just as good as any. Completely set up this gun ran me $600 (with a $30 rebate from redfield). I wanted to post this for anyone who has doubts about buying an inexpensive or so called "low end rifle". With this crazy economy and the wacky prices of everyday needs, I'm sure there are a lot of people who can't be buying "high end" rifles. It's nice to see that a lot of companies are catching on to this and producing nice guns at a price the average man can afford.

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June 27, 2012, 09:27 AM
yes without doubt the XL7 rifles are the best bang for the buck in centerfire bolties. They remind me of Savage bolties (brrl nut)..
Marlin made the early models, now Remington is making them in a different state. Many people say the original Marlin versions are better but I have a few of each and can't really tell a difference.
June 27, 2012, 09:37 AM
I havent shot one yet, but I did get to handle one and pull the trigger a couple of times. I was really impressed with the trigger pull. A few years ago I took a chance on a mossberg 100ATR in 270 win. The trigger was not as nice but it will shoot a nice group even compared to a higher end rifle. It does seem to be the trend to offer a entry level rifle of good quality and accuracy. Except for remingtons attempt with the 710 and 770 line. Those may be good rifles, but I never could warm up to them and a better rifle can be had for almost the same money.

June 28, 2012, 02:50 PM
Jso I decided on the 25-06 and liked the Marlin over the savage. I know some people will bark at this caliber saying it's not enough for deer, but I'm confident in it, since I'm a firm believer in shot placement over caliber size.

I can't imagine anyone in their right mind saying a 25-06 isn't enough for deer. I'd prefer a bit more bullet weight and diameter for elk, but I'd happily hunt the biggest deer that ever walked with a 25-06 without the slightest misgiving as far as the chambering was concerned.

Shot placement and caliber size is not necessarily an either/or proposition. You should use the largest caliber that makes sense for the game that you can shoot well.

The Marlin XL/XS is an amazingly good rifle for the modest price. You chose well.

June 28, 2012, 05:09 PM
+1 to the Marlin rifles. We can only hope Remington doesn't kill the line to save their own. They already are somewhat difficult to find readily by comparison to other brands. They certainly are not disposable rifles as some economy ones are. All my hopes going forward are that the lineup increases along with production and marketing.

June 29, 2012, 06:21 AM
I have the XS7 in .308 and love it. I'm getting the same size groups as you. I put a Boyds stock on it and a bipod.

June 29, 2012, 08:06 PM
I got the 7mm08 . 1.0 inch grp at 100 yds with Winchester and Hornady premium ammo.

June 29, 2012, 08:43 PM
My 270 was good. My 25-06 shot poorly. I guess it was just a lemon.

Ky Larry
June 30, 2012, 08:56 AM
I have a stainless one in .243. It shoots as well or better than my CZ's, Wins, Rems, and Savages. It's pillor bedded, has an adjustible trigger, and has a target muzzle crown. The only problem I've had is the scope bridge shot loose. A drop of removeable LokTite fixed that problem. I paid $374.00 out the door. I'm curious how the new Ruger American compares.

June 30, 2012, 09:37 AM
Anyone who says a 25-06 is too small for deer has never shot one before. I would have every bit as much faith in a good quarterbore as my 6.5mms or 270s as far as deer are concerned. I had an XS-7 in 308 it was a good shooting gun, never had any issues with it. The Marlin is very much like the synthetic Savages I own.

June 30, 2012, 11:24 AM
If the 25/06 isn't enough for deer than the ones that I've shot are still running around. One of the premier deer rounds is a 257 Roberts and if that's enough than a 25/06 is a little bit better due to higher velocity.

June 30, 2012, 09:53 PM
I haven't tried getting groups on my XS7 in .308 but the range I go to has a steel silhouette area 200-1000m and I have been able to hit the 600m target pretty consistently, haven't tried out past that yet. I like mine a lot though.

July 3, 2012, 09:13 AM
Rifle was just passed here about 6 years ago, in certain areas. Prior to that everyone hunting with 12 gauge slug guns. With poor gun shops in this area, guys get sucked into listening to these ill informed kids who just don't have knowledge of rifles. They will try to sell you a 30-06, 308 or a 270, and try to make you think you need to buy an expensive rifle. You ask them about a 25-06, 257 Weatherby,.243, .260 or 257 Roberts and they'll look at you like you have three heads. When hunting in slug gun only areas I go against the grain too. I shoot a 20 gauge savage 220F bolt slug gun. This gun is the closest a slug gun will come to rifle accuracy. Again, guys will laugh at a 20 gauge, however, the few that have seen what it can do say nothing. Dropped a nice deer at 166 yds with the Savage 20 (from a shooting stick) and a doe at 150 yds after a dummy on the next farm' missed both with his "Big 12 gauge. He came over and said "Nice shooting, what the hell kind of gun you shooting"? Glad to see others like the 25-06 caliber. Anyone with Ammo suggestions, please chime in. The Fusion shot great but I'd like to hear from guys who have taken deer with the 25-06.

July 3, 2012, 06:36 PM
I've not taken a deer with a .25/06, but over 150 with .257Roberts and .257WbyMag.

My .257Roberts handloads run the 100gr bullet to ~3,100fps and the .257wby to 3,600fps. But, I can't tell any difference on deer to 300yds.

I do have to be careful with the .257wby as to bullets. The Nosler 115gr bullet is just to lightly constructed for deer with the Wby. It's just fine from the 'Bob past 100yds or so.

I like the Hornady 117 and 120gr bullets (Interloks). Also the 100gr Interlok will hold together from the Wby @ 3.600fps, but doesn't penetrate as well under 150yds as it does from the 'Bob...

FWIW; I killed the biggest deer I've ever killed with the 117gr Hornady BtSpt at 250yds. Deer field-dressed 270lbs.... Bullet traversed the torso and was balled up under the far shoulder and weighed 108gr.... Interlok feature works as advertised....

If you don't reload, try the Hornady Light-Magnum loads. Except with "Bonded" bullets, avoid the plastic-tipped bullets for deer....

July 3, 2012, 07:07 PM
I bought one in 270 when they first came out. I liked it quite a bit until I actually took it out on a hunt where I had to hike off the beaten path quite a bit. The bolt wasn't designed to lock down and it caught on clothes, brush, everything. It'd open completely (most times without me knowing) and let dead grass, twigs, and all sorts of garbage into the action. Being my first rifle, I didn't know I needed a locking bolt. Down the road she went.

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