Marlin XL7 Hunting Rifle Review: Why Bring it this Hunting Season?

Marlin is one the grand old gun names in America. Famous for its value priced .22 LR rifles including the greatly popular Marlin Model 60, Marlin is a name that many associated with rugged and economic firearms. Scopes which you can see at is also compatible with rifles from it. Marlin’s lever action 336 is an old favorite in many deer woods, but they have had some problems during quite a few tries to enter the bolt action centerfire rifle market. It appears that Marlin may have found a winner in its Model XL7.

The Marlin XL7 is a bolt action rifle that comes in a standard 22 inch barrel, with a checkered black synthetic stock that also has built in sling studs, and a nice bluing job that conveys its design as a hunting and not a shiny show piece. The Marlin XL7 has a recoil pad on the stock that also allows the hunter to quietly rest the gun on its butt stock when compared to the hard plastic butt plates that used to be found on some inexpensive guns. The Marlin XL7 feels light in the hands, this is confirmed by factory stats showing a weight of under 7 pounds. The XL7 holds four cartridges in the magazine. The XL7 does not come with open sights but is of course drilled and tapped for scope mounting. The standard XL7 is offered in 25-06 Remington, 270 Winchester, and 30-06. Other model variations are also available including camo or wood stock and some other calibers.

The XL7 that I had to shoot was chambered for the 25-06 Remington. The trigger for the Marlin XL7 is called the Pro-Fire which the manual explains and does not take long to get used to using. The trigger broke crisp with a fairly light pull. I personally like a little heavier pull (the trigger is adjustable) for a hunting gun. With or without gloves, when your hands are frozen a light trigger might not be a good thing, but that is just my preference.

I shot the Marlin XL7 for accuracy with a couple different 25-06 loads. The hands down accuracy winner (and therefore the one I would hunt with) was the Remington Core-Lokt 120 grain pointed soft point. Groups were reliable at an inch or so. There was a slight wind that day so better groups may be possible and a handload worked up for the gun would probably improve things as well. Then again a 1 inch group is more than enough accuracy for hunting. The XL7’s felt recoil was not remarkable but the light weight may make a model in 30-06 with a large bullet kick considerably.

The Mossberg XL7 is an economic choice for those who are looking for their first deer hunting rifle or for anyone else interested in a gun that will get the job done well at an affordable price.

Written By
More from Carlo Ilagan

Who Else Wants to Learn About Virtual Data Room Providers?

So you have sufficient time start prior to the lift. So you...
Read More