Marlin Model XL7

Description

The Marlin Model XL7 is a bolt-action hunting rifle chambered in .25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield calibers. The XL7 is one of eight centerfire bolt action rifles produced by Marlin. The Model XL7 stock and components are synthetic with molded checkering. It differs from the XS7S and XL7S only in its half an inch longer barrel. The XL7 is also available in walnut (XL7W) and camouflage (XL7C) versions.

Features include Marlin’s patented Pro-fire trigger system that allows the shooter to externally adjust the trigger. It has a button-rifled barrel, meaning a shaped metal button tool is passed through the barrel under high pressure in order to carve the grooves. It also has a recoil pad and pillar-bedded stock. Pillar bedded stocks use aluminum or metal sleeves against which the action screws can be tightened, providing an overall tighter fit between the stock and the action. And it has a target crown, which helps reduce vibrations in the barrel while firing a shot.

The XL7 is recommended for large-game hunting.

marlin_rifle_xl71

Specifications

.25-06 Rem.
Caliber:.25-06 Rem.
Capacity:4
Features:Button-forged barrel; molded checkering; and pillar-bedded barrel
Action:Bolt
Stock:Synthetic black
Material/Finish:Steel
Scope:One piece scope base included
Website:http://www.marlinfir…
Weight:6.5 pounds
Barrel Length:22"
Twist:1 in 10"
Overall Length:42.5"
.270 Win.
Caliber:.270 Win.
Capacity:4
Features:Button-forged barrel; molded checkering; and pillar-bedded barrel
Action:Bolt
Stock:Synthetic black
Material/Finish:Steel
Scope:One piece scope base included
Website:http://www.marlinfir…
Weight:6.5 pounds
Barrel Length:22"
Twist:1 in 10"
Overall Length:42.5"
.30-06 Springfield
Caliber:.30-06 Springfield
Capacity:4
Features:Button-forged barrel; molded checkering; and pillar-bedded barrel
Action:Bolt
Stock:Synthetic black
Material/Finish:Steel
Scope:One piece scope base included
Website:http://www.marlinfir…
Weight:6.5 pounds
Barrel Length:22"
Twist:1 in 10"
Overall Length:42.5"
MSRP$0.00

Editor Review

For most of Marlin’s 140 years of history, the company has had an odd gap in their product line.  Very rarely has Marlin offered a bolt-action centerfire rifle and on those occasions when they tried to sell one, few people were biting.  This suddenly changed a few years ago when Marlin trotted out their XL-7 rifle and the guns began flying off of the shelves.

What happened?  They made a simple rifle that works really well for a low price and doesn’t break when you actually hunt with it.

The XL-7 was designed with cost in mind, but without getting foolish about it.  You won’t find anything made of plastic that ought to be steel.  What you will find is a barrel that screws on with a barrel nut which is unsightly to some eyes but is accurate and cost-effective.  Marlin’s barrels use the same system of attachment that the better-known Savage 110 does.  In fact, there are a lot of things about the XL-7 that appear to be inspired by the Savage 110, including a user-adjustable trigger.

As the competing Savage 110 has set increasingly higher standards for quality and accuracy, what was once a budget rifle has also gone up in price and left an opportunity for Marlin to move in.  The XL-7 now belongs on any short list of the best hunting rifles priced under $500.  Did you like the Savage 110 15 years ago?  Then you’ll love the XL-7 now.

There is nothing fancy or luxurious about the XL-7 as it stands.  Composite stock, two position safety, and an action that won’t win any awards for smoothness.  This is a bare-bones rifle—the adjustable trigger is the only advanced feature in terms of performance.  But it works well, remains comfortable to shoot and stands up to normal use and abuse. 

For the last 18 months I have used a pair of XL-7s as class rifles for adult hunting students.  They lean on the rack beside a dozen other rifles for students to try, some of those rifles costing four times as much as the XL-7.  For some reason the XL-7 has consistently been a favorite.  More of my students have probably bought XL-7s for themselves than any other single model.

The question I’m left with is whether this can really last.  Will Marlin follow the lead of Savage and gradually increase their prices as the reputation of the XL-7 grows?  I certainly hope that this model can remain around its current price because it offers a kind of value to new and budget-challenged hunters that no other gun on the market currently does.