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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok folks,

I may be in the market for a center fire rifle. All I have is a lever action 336c and a Ruger 10/22 for hunting rifles. "Everyone around is talking about how a Remington 700 is the like supposedly almost created by a divine force." I don't have a bolt gun and want one. I saw a browning a bolt at the pawn shop for like 375 which is made in Japan. Now my real question is: Why should I purchase a Marlin X7? I need reviews....... How does it compare to all the expensive name brand rifles? Help me out.....
 

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Can't help you much with the X7, but that A-Bolt price sounds good if in decent shape, and a caliber you like. I've used them for years, and love 'em! Good luck to you.
 

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Reviews do not count for much IMO. That is, I don't think I have ever read a bad one in 50 years of shooting but that has not stopped me and others from buying rifles which malfunctioned. Some people put it down to poor quality control on the part of the makers. It becomes a lottery-like experience as to whether you bring home a good one.
After reading that modern Winchesters are made on CNC equipment, I purchased a new M70 early last year. Function has been flawless, the only glitch being that the tang was epoxied in to the stock.
I sympathise with you in your search for a good rifle. Rossi, Remington and Marlin are makes that I would avoid. To paint the "big picture", as it were, my target rifle cost 2.5 times the price of the M70 and it really has been flawless, having been built by one man. Sobering really, to think about the lengths you have to go to in the quest for a rifle that works properly.
 

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I have a recent manufactured XL7 25-06, it shoots ok, nothing fancy. Hits coyotes out to 300. I have a Rem 700 308 Varmint that's set up to shoot out to 500 and it does it very well and I love the smoothness of the bolt. I've had several Rem 700s over the years and they have all been good shooters. I would avoid the Rem 710s and 770s, they are junk, I bought some cheap before I realized they're junk. If you have a good one consider yourself lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did call the marlin in Madison to find out if they still have the stainless option. The lady said it wasn't in production but they will come out with a bolt action x7 with a walnut stock and only in 30-06 next month.
 

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I WOULDN'T buy one if I could get a decent condition browning for $375. Seriously, I would buy one 1) if I had a very limited budget, 2) wanted a truck or cabin gun to treat roughly without regret, or 3) I wanted yo use it for a switch barrel setup like a savage 110. I don't generally buy those type of price-point rifles, although I do have a Weatherby Vanguard 2 that was cheap and is ugly. It shoots, and that Marlin probably would too. Many guys on here like 'em.
 

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I would sooner buy an older bolt gun in decent condition than buy anything new from what I've learned in the last couple years. The Rem 700 I bought new but the XL7 was like most guns I buy, from deals I come across. I'd find a nice old bolt gun and shoot away.
 

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A Hunter friend of mine that owns over 100 guns uses a Browning A bolt Chambered in 338. He has a Burris Scope on it. It is absoluetly his favorite gun. If he SEES a buck, its dead. Period.

What he likes about it is its only a 60 degree turn to reload if you need a second shot.

Brownings are well made. The older the better.


Mike T.
 

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Got a couple, pre & post merger. Both shoot really poor with the factory pressure points in the stock. Filed one, changed stocks on the other. I've done a few review type posts here. My 25-06 never shot factory ammo well, but is silly with good reloads. One post I showed moa at 1k with 87gr TNT's.
The barrels copper foul quickly, but doesn't seem to hurt accuracy.

Another plus for me, is that Savage wrenches and barrels swap with no sweat. That first 25-06 is now wearing a Shaw heavy Creedmoor barrel.

If you like the... "Virtues" of a Savage, buy the X7 and get the same benefit, for $300 less.
 

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Nothing wrong with the X7 but there are others to consider that are right there with it as far as quality / value. I recently shot a Mossberg in .243 that was extremely accurate and only cost $325 with scope at Dick's Sporting Goods. It had a great trigger and laminated wood stock. The scope wasn't great by any means but fully functional and allowed us to shoot 4 half MOA 5 shot groups at 200 yards with Remington core lokt factory ammo. We only shot 8 groups in total over about a 2 hour span of time, so the barrel never did get cool.

I've also had good luck with Savage lower end bolt guns, the Weatherby Vanguard, Browning and the Ruger American.

You can't go wrong with the Remington 700 at all, but there are a number of other bolt guns on the market that will hang right with it at a much lower initial price. The biggest advantage to getting the Remington would be the resale value.

Because I don't normally sell any of my guns, resale in not one of my main objectives. If I were to go after another bolt gun, I would have to give the new Mossbergs a try. They are very impressive for the price and should in the same league as the X7 in my opinion. In all likelihood it should come down to what you like best in a rifle. If you are planning on shooting on a regular basis the cost of ammunition will usually supercede the cost of the rifle pretty quickly. For me, if it shoots straight, I'm a happy guy. If the gun happens to be PURDY, it's a bonus.

Keith
 

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IF that Browning is in a Pawn Shop and in decent shape, I wonder how old it is? The older ones are better, and that applies to Remington and Marlins too. Remington's quality is not what it use to be and their service falls short. Being that Remington also makes Marlin now, you won't like their service if/when you have a problem with their lever guns. I have read that they are getting better, but still now out of the woods.

Stick with the older guns, you will get a better firearm for less money.



Mike T.
 

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I'm not a huge fan of the A-Bolt, but typically they're very accurate. For $375 it just might be worthwhile...

Most of my bolt actions have been by Remington, and I concur, the rifles built at least several years ago seem to exhibit overall better quality. Things seem to have slipped at Remington, after decades of producing good rifles.

Newer Winchester Model 70's tend to be very nicely made. As are the Ruger Hawkeye rifles....

A bargain on the market is the Weatherby Vanguard. Made in Japan by Howa, it's a very good rifle.

Had to repair a Mossberg for a friend. Was NOT impressed. Haven't played much with the Marlin bolt, not enough to have much of an opinion.

I'm real big on the older Remington 700's and newer (or much older) Win 70's.

My most used rifle in recent years is this Rem 700 CDL, in .25-06, with a 6x Leupold. What a rifle... Mule deer to 400 yards, coyotes beyond that. Accurate. Easy to shoot.




I've actually managed to wear out four .308 Win barrels on my Rem 700 target/varmint rifle, at about 5000 - 6000 rounds per barrel. It's a good rifle. Won a few matches with it. Lost a few more. It's cheating when I take it afield, so accurate...

Please, if you're going to get a good bolt action rifle, do yourself a huge favor and plant a Good Scope on it in good mounts...

Regards, Guy
 

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Im just a newbee and have little experience with centerfire rifles. Spent most of my life with a shotgun. Anyways, I have a Marlin x7 in .243. Got it last year and have been reloading for it for about six months. I love it. With my reloads I am getting absolutely outstanding accuracy. Starting to get three shot groups now at 100yds That measure center to center below .2", How can I complain? I know it's an inexpensive gun (as opposed to cheap) but it fit my budget. I did have to free float the barrel and when the barrel heats up accuracy takes a tumble, but for what I am getting out of it I'm very satisfied. I plan on getting one in .308 next year. That's my endorsement.
 

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I don't have a lot to offer here except my own experience a couple of years ago while looking at center fires. I handled a new 700 and was honestly appalled at the quality and overall feel of the gun. Maybe they handed me a bad one but I didn't like what I saw. The Ruger American felt great and but I waited too long to make my move and Sandy Hook , so when I returned I returned to get the Ruger there were very few guns of any kind left on the shelves. There were the entry level Mossbergs, Marlin XL7s and $1100 Brownings, but I had to keep within my budget so I went with the XL7 because it had the best feel and fit of any gun in my price range left on the shelf. I have no complaints. It's a nice looking gun, especially with a $100 Boyd's stock and has so far been trouble free. Would I buy one to go spend a week in the mountains? Probably not, but I also wouldn't have taken that 700 either.

I would have moved on the Remington 700 in a second if it had felt as good as the 700 I bought new back in the 80's but it wasn't even close, I'm not knocking them. They still sell them by the truck load so somebody must be getting good use out of them, but I can sure say the one I handled was in no way worth the extra price over the Marlin X.To sume it up I'd say the Marlin XL is good gun as it is and a very good gun for the money.

Browning? Great if you can one you like at a price you can live with.

Keep in mind I'm still a tin horn in this forum and Guns & Ammo magazine hasn't calle me for advice yet.
 

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I would rather have an old Remington 700 than anything new. I base that on my own experiences. They fit me and hit where I aim. Sitting here with my Marlin 336 in 35 Rem,,,Well that also makes me feel good! Yeah I want another Rem in 270 Win. Goodness what happen's if a 444 find's me first? Yup, Peace on earth, Good will toward's Men. Rifle's come and rifle's go,,,Do yourself a favor and choose a good woman the first time!
 

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Having both guns, the Marlin XS7 in .243 and a Remington 700 XCRII in 30-06, here is my input.

The Marlin:


pros:
-paid $300 from Dicks
-the trigger easily/correctly adjusted down to 3lbs and feels great (and is consistent), per my Lyman Digital trigger pull gauge.
-Bolt cycles smooth
-Shoots Federal powershok and Deer Thugs to MOA or better out to 400yrds.

cons:
-Ejection is weak. Several times I've turned the gun slightly while working the bolt quickly/hard, rather than kicking brass, the brass just flopped back into the action causing me grief when trying for a followup shot on varmint.
-The bluing is thin. I live in Southern Az and this is my only gun that has ever shown any rust. It was after a morning yote hunt in the winter, a little bit of dew. After the hunt and drive home I pull gun out and the whole barrel had a light coating of rust. I had mine re-blued with a matte finish, have had no problems since.

The 700:



pros:
-looks cool
-has positive ejection and a solid platform
-lots of aftermarket
-in the case of my XCR it is a stainless barrel/action with a coating which is practically impervious to rust... tons better than the Marlin bluing

cons:
-at least twice the price of the Marlin (depending on model)
-my rifle is "post recall" and had the "fixed" X-Mark Pro trigger. It was heavy (6.5lbs) from the factory. Instruction manual said "one turn of the adjustment screw equals 1lb of adjustment". I turned the screw out two full turns. The trigger went down to 6lbs. One more turn out and the trigger was up to 7.5 lbs. Thinking instruction manual was wrong I reversed everything and turned screw in, went over 9 lbs. I set it back at the factory setting and a 10pull average with the trigger pull gauge showed that shot to shot trigger pull weights varied from 5.5lbs-over 8. unacceptable for such an expensive rifle. $100 later and a Timney fixed that problem
-The rifle didn't sit straight in the barrel channel and caused lots of contact on the right side of the barrel and action. As a result groups shifted over 5" right and 4" high after just slight heating. After free-floating the barrel it stopped having the shift.
-The "SPS" polymer stocks (same as what's on my XCRII) are super flimsy. The Marlin is more rigid. The only way to correct that is to spend the extra money on a 700 model that has either the Hogue pillar bedded stock or other aftermarket stock (like the Bell & Carlson), or dump another $100-$300 into one for your SPS stocked rifle.

Update:
I don't think the 700 stock is always a con, it'd have to be case by case. I was having consistency issues and was blaming the stock. While waiting on the two Hogue options (pillar bed nad full block bed) to show up to test, I discovered my scope was junk (tube was crushed, vortex sent a replacement). After shooting it with the new scope and all three stocks. The factory stock was actually the best performer. After mounting in each of the hogue stocks the first shot was about 2" off of the groups following, as gun settled in stock. The factory stock, first shot after mounting was only an inch diff. than the rest of the groups.

Likewise the best group I got with the pillarbed Hogue stock was a little over an inch, the full bed stock was 3/4", and the best group with the factory stock was 1/2". I will admit though that I was shooting over the hood on sandbags, so the group size differences b/t the full bed and factory could have just been me.

I'm pretty happy with the 700 now that the scope issue is sorted and I found ammo it likes. It's super light and points well with the factory stock. The Hogue stocks are over a pound heavier and feel big/bulky.
 

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If I were on a budget.I would not get an inexpensive Marlin or Mossberg bolt.I would look for an older Remington 700 or even a vintage Winchester 70.My dad owned one of each.In .308 and 25 06.Both great.If you want a new rifle with a solid build ,look at a CZ Varmint or American.They come in all calibers for around $700.Then,get you a Leupold Rifleman 4-12x40 scope on Amazon for $250,a good set of rings,and you'll be ready for love!
 

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+1 for the A-bolt at that price in good condition, I bought my .300 WM new in 1989 and have zero complaints, built by Miroku , who has an excellent reputation for quality. If a Marlin bolt gun is a must, look for a good used MR-7, built in the mid to late nineties, they are a well built rifle with all the sought after features in one rifle. I have one in 30/06 and really, no other rifle is needed. Hopefully, my wife doesn't read that last sentence.
 

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I read other forums as well as this one, my favorite! Newer 700 Remington's are like the Marlins they build. Some are good BUT, like the Marlins they make, it is a crap shoot. Most are not up to par. If you want a 700, learn to I read the dates and get an older one. The seventies were really good, but beware of the safety on all of them.

The regimen for checking the safety: Open action, make sure it is empty. Close action. Put on safe. Pull trigger. Remove finger from trigger. Push safety to fire position. Way too many drop the firing pin at this point. If it does not after a few repeats, the safety is likely
OK. Why put on safe and pull the trigger? Triggers get pulled on safe a lot during the excitement of the hunt. You don't want an accident afterwards. I have a friend who likes 700. He ignores the safety entirely. He loads the chamber when ready to shoot and removes the cartridge if he doesn't.
 
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