Hey guys- I am new to the forum but not new to the Marlin XL7. I am a big fan of the XL7. I own the black synthetic .25-06. I have owned the gun for several months now but I have shot less than 10 rounds through it. The reason I have not shot it? I can't afford to! I am torn on whether I should keep the .25-06 or sell it and buy a XL7 in .270 or an XS7 in .308. I currently am in Grad school and at this point, I don't have the time or resources to handload- if I could handload, we would not be having this conversation because I love the .25-06 as a caliber.
Things I like about the .25-06
1. Minimal Recoil
2. Great deer gun - even for Idaho mule deer
3. Accurate and flat shooting
Things that I don't like:
1. Fear that I can't get ammo as easily as the other two calibers
2. Factory Ammo price- $25 a box
I do alot of target shooting, deer hunting, and I want to get into Elk hunting. IT IS MY OPINION that the .25-06 is sufficient for Elk, but maybe only when handloaded- the availability of good factory Elk hunting ammo is questionable. I do however, have a box of Winchester Ballistic 115 grain silvertips. Should I sell the .25-06 and buy a .270 or .308?
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Would not sell the 25 06. Keep it and use it, when can add 308 if you want, but the 25 06 is a very good deer caliber. Should be able to get some ammo with 120 Gr Nosler Partitions, if not maybe can get someone to hand load some for you.
Just Squeeze The Trigger
If you sell the 25-06 you are gonna lose money and probably spend more than you did the first time on the next rifle. The cheapest .270's shells I have found are about $19.00 a box, not a whole lot of savings there. My bro-in-law killed a Red deer with a 25-06 with one shot using cheap old coreloks, so the rifle will take elk if shot properly. Not sure about the .308 recoil but my .270 has recoil a plenty when target shooting and I also own a 7-08 that will give a thump, although a bit less than the .270. You want hard ammo to find try the 7-08, it took me 2 months to even find 2 boxes of the ammo I didn't want, forget about trying to find the kind I did want! I'm sure what ever you decide to do it will make you happy. Good luck in Grad school!
I have a 30 year old Remington BDL 270 and but has been to the gunsmith for a float and bed, trigger pull adjustment and the creep taken out excellent shooter expensive to shoot since I do not reload either. A few years ago I went to the premium ammo. This year a bought the Marlin 308 and I can almost shoot it as well as the 270 with 30 years of experience. The gun can shoot as well as the Remy but I am not as comfortable "yet". This past weekend I won XL 30-06 and can't wait to shoot. Too much snow on the ground right now. So have you thought about the 30-06, you can buy Remington core lokts cheap, and the ammo is easily to be found.
For the price of either you could get a really nice reloading kit and solve the problem.
Retired Tool & Die Maker -- Spend your life looking out for #1, you will step in a #2.
Oh yeah PaperP. is totally right, cheap ammo, easy to find definately! Will kill almost anything. The only downfall would have to be extra recoil.
Well I'm all for you selling it..... TO ME!!!!
I love my 25-06.
Seriously, Which part of Idaho are you in? I think the only spot I didn't find it was Kooskia.
Spend $80 on the Lee Aniversary reloader. Gives you EVERYTHING you need(ok, no bullets or powder, primers)
If you are up in the north part, I may even do you some loading.
Yes you can certainly take Elk. 120Gr Hornady's were made expressly as a big game bullet for the 25-06.
I'm a firm believer in the theory that "If it bleeds, I can kill it"
I wouldn't sell it either. If you are thinking of getting a second rifle I'd go as far to the other end as possible with the XL7 and pick up a 30-06. Were I to go on an elk hunt I'd feel better with something a little heavier. I've been looking into it and the Outfitters seem to want their clients to bring heavier rifles. Also, KY for example has a 270 minimum; with a premium bullet you may well be able to do it but if those who do it for a living want more I think I'd pay attention.