Re: Marlin XL7 Review By Jon R. Sundra
This is an update to last year's post "Rookie needing advice"
Some of the replies to my post look to have been deleted, but I can assure you, they were all very helpful.
Now I am still a newcomer, so take what I say about this gun with a grain of salt.
I have the XS7 in .243, and have upgraded from a Nikon Buckmaster 4-12x50 to a Nikon Monarch 5-20x44.
It took me about 20 shots to shrink my groupings to about 4", but I kept noticing that with a cold barrel, my first shot was dead on, and subsequent shots were opening up and to the right.
Before bedding the stock, I unbolted the reciever and spaced the reciever out from the stock with 2 nylon wahsers. What I found was that the factory synthetic stock was warped, up and to the right.
Now please don't think that I am running down Marlin, it may just be my gun.
This left me with 2 choices. 1, to have the stock bedded, or 2 to get a new stock.
Since I have small hands, I chose to get a new stock. Something that might have better ergonomics. Luckily, Boyd's has started making the Ross Featherweight Thumbhole Stock for the XL7 and XS7.
Well, after recieveing the stock, which is a beautiful stock, I was amazed. First, it bolted on with no modification. Vented forend, with fully floated barrel. Second, it added a little weight, which normaly is bad, but the extra weight in the butt of the stock ballanced the gun. Third, the ergonomics are perfect. Fourth, the raised cheek weld made eye alignment with the scope a breeze. Finaly, it took a tool, and turned it into something that my boys will fight over when I'm dead.
But let's get to the point. I mean, long range accuracy is all that matters, right?
Before the new stock, I had only put about 40 rounds through the gun, and continued to have the same problem with my goups opening up. After the new stock, it took me 4 rounds to dial in a good zero, and the rest of the box of Winchester Super X landed right where I sent them!
Well I am proud to say that in 2 years and less than 60 total rounds, I am shooting consistent 100 yard groups at about 1.5". (20 of those rounds after the new stock, and OH what a difference) And the feeling of placing my first 200 yard shot 1.5" from the bullseye was AMAZING! Can't wait to start taking longer and longer shots!
So for those of you with a Marlin X series that is opening up as the barrel warms up, call Boyd's. You won't regret it!
And if you are on a budget, a Marlin X series, Nikon scope, and Boyd's stock will have you out of pocket less than $800 (tax and all) and you will have a good start gun, that can be the same for the next generation.