New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

This is a discussion on New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH within the Rifles forums, part of the Sniping Related category; First, let me start by saying hello. I have been reading articles on this website for many moons now and have finally decided to join ...

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  1. #1
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    New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    First, let me start by saying hello. I have been reading articles on this website for many moons now and have finally decided to join and release a review of my own.

    I am by no means a skilled sniper. I have been shooting targets since before I was in my teens. However, My first attempts at making accurate and consistent groups came in the last year and this is my first rifle I would consider to be more than "milk jug at 100y" accurate. So, onto the good part...

    I bought a bolt .308 back in early September. I purchased a Marlin .308, a XS7VH to be exact. I read an article a few years ago in Shooting times magazine that listed the XS7 as one of the best bang for the buck bolts you could possibly buy. After reading that I thought if one ever came around I'd have a winner for my next project. Then I read where Marlin came out with their heavy barreled version of the rifle in 308. Loved it. Bought one shortly there after and took it straight to a local smith to have the barrel cut and 11 degree crown taken care of. Got it back after a few weeks and mounted my Bushnell Elite Tactical 10x40. First time out to the range was some unhappy timing. Nothing great coming from it and a lot of disappointment. I had a friend come with me for the second outing and after 20 rounds, we realized the scope base had come loose and some ring issues with scope took place. Light fading and other plans waiting, we gave up on it for the day. This morning I loaded up and headed to the range alone just to get some trigger time and see if I could help my own accuracy. I was sighting the scope in with some really cheap PRVI 308 match grade ammo. However after sighting it in to pretty close, I noticed something that I wasn't expecting. I was actually expecting 2-3 inch groups after reading some reports with it, but it is not what I found.

    Run down:
    Marlin XS7VH
    Marlin Protrigger
    Marlin scope base
    Bass pro brand rings
    Bushnell 10X40
    Caldwell 6-9 bipod


    As I bought it

    After the local smith's work

    Because you have to have a ruler to make a measurement

    And you need something to measure....

    Before range time

    This is the best group of 5 after 40 rounds of PRVI. It measures right at 1.375 inches.

    This is the best groud of 5 after 20 rounds of FGGM. It measures 1.5 inches.


    No that is not a typo and I promise that I didn't confuse them.

    A couple of after thoughts. Marlin has built a solid performer in my eyes. If I can swing 1-3/8 groups at 100 with the cheap stuff I think it'l be promising for me to get some more range time and see what this gun is really capable of. Obviously, 1 3/8 groups are by no means amazing, and being the best mean that the others were larger. However the largest group on the paper was 2.25 inches(which I blame entirely on the shooter, myself) Also, the recoil pad that marlin built into this rifle... nothing short of amazing. I put 60 rounds down range in 2 hours and left feeling nothing. I've owned, 270s, 30-30s, and lots of shotguns. That being said, recoil from this rifle with the pad feels like a light load 410. It is significantly less than the 270 and I feel it is even less recoil than my SKS. Even as I sit here and type this I rechecked my shoulder and no bruising and only slight pressure marks appeared. I am extremely happy with this point. For anyone considering starting in the 308 game I HIGHLY recommend this rifle. Total investment in this rifle is under $600 including the first 100 rounds of ammo I put through it. That being said.... My rifle came from a local dealer, rings were off the shelf cheapies, bipod and scope came from a "buy anything website" and the ammo was bought from a company 5 states away from me. However, all of it was brand new and all of it was shipped to my front door for under $600. That being the key here and I would have to agree with Shooting Times review. Bang for the buck? I like to think I got my monies worth.

    Hope to continue with the range time and get the group size down and hopefully get some sub 1 inch groups.

    Thanks,
    Aaron

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rhyno430's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Better rings and base may help.

    I am assuming that the factory stock is not free floated?

    It might be hard finding upgrades for it.
    Joseph "Rhyno"

  3. #3
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Quote Originally Posted by avolcek
    Marlin has obviously tried to save as much money as they possibly could. Think about it a heavy .308 for just over $300 that includes a weaver scope base. It would be really interesting to actually open that puppy up and see how she ticks.

    When it comes down to it, if one were to pick up that Marlin, there is very, very little upgrade path for a guy to squeeze as much out of that rifle as you can. For beginners, I would seriously check that stock and make sure (especially w/ the bipod) that you had a good free floated barrel. They say it's piller bedded, but if I were you, I'd read up and do a full bedding job. Otherwise I'd pick up a new stock...oh wait...nobody makes anything else. So unless you send it somewhere and have something custom done, your stuck. As Rhyno pointed out rings and a base could help, but as long as it's secure, that should not be a huge problem, but even if you wanted to change your base...oh wait...nobody makes anything else...so unless you want something custom made, your stuck, again.

    You've admitted that the 1 1/2" groups are not great, and honestly, I'm not sure how accurate that 1.5 really is, or more so how much of that was shooter induced rather than rifle.

    Again, thank you for your time, and welcome, but I'll pass and I wouldn't seriously recommend that rifle to anybody starting out, as there is NIL chance right now of effectively building a true precision rifle out of that. One would truly have more bang for the buck spending a bit more, grabbing a Rem700 SPS Varmint and building off that. Or a Savage.

    IMO, the Marlin X7 series is a fine example that inexpensive rifles can get the job done, but simply throwing a heavy barrel on one doesn't make it a candidate for being a precision rifle. At least not yet, there just isn't support for it.
    Here's how it ticks. Marlin knew they couldn't design a brand new bolt to compete with what has already done great things in this world. So they borrowed just about everything from everyone else. In fact the only part on the gun that is truly marlin is the stock... which is probably why its so flimsy, but I'll get to that.

    The receiver and bolt are 100% Model 70 (which means smooth sliding and hard engagement of the bolt handle), the barrel nut is savage (100% accurate headspace) and the "protrigger" is a direct copy of a savage accutrigger. The barrel is made in the same place as the rem 700 heavies, by the same people. The stocks that I have found for it right now are model 70 take offs, but most of the aftermarket support given to these rifles is not on the precision end of things. There are boyds and a few others out there. Like you mentioned though, the bedding.

    The stock bedding on the rifle is... form molded webbing and nothing more. It is not free floating as the barrel has contact with the stock while supported on the bipod. I think a good amount of accuracy can be helped with a truly metal pillar bedded and metal support rods pushed through the fore end of the rifle. That being said, have a suggestion on product to be used for bedding?

    I understand its not a bravo-51, or accuracy international, or a les baer........ but I plan to have it shooting in the same category as a 700 sps tac.

    thanks and have fun,
    Aaron

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rhyno430's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    What Marin should have done was become the stevens of Remington.
    used a Remington action, with a barrel nut crummy stock and el cheapo trigger .

    Then you'd have something.
    Joseph "Rhyno"

  5. #5
    Senior Member jasonR's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Swmoevents -
    Welcome to the group. Good luck on the upgrades and let us know how it works out. 1 1/2" groups don't seem like such a bad start.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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  6. #6
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Who in their right mind spends more than $500 on a rifle. I just wish those marlins came in more calibers. Guess ill have so be a snob and get a savage. Moneys kind of tight right now so i just got a ton of reloading gear.

  7. #7
    Member 124C41's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyno430
    What Marin should have done was become the stevens of Remington.
    used a Remington action, with a barrel nut crummy stock and el cheapo trigger .

    Then you'd have something.
    :shock: That would be great!

  8. #8
    Senior Member sgreen3's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Sounds like a decent start, I would get that stock bedded an see how the accuracy comes out after that.

    Im not a Snob I just like my Savage rifle's :mrgreen:
    A reporter interviewing a Marine Sniper asked, " What do you feel when you have to shoot a terrorist"? The Marine shrugged his shoulders and replied "Recoil"

  9. #9
    Senior Member 6.5man's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    Quote Originally Posted by I say...
    Who in their right mind spends more than $500 on a rifle. I just wish those marlins came in more calibers. Guess ill have so be a snob and get a savage. Moneys kind of tight right now so i just got a ton of reloading gear.
    This strikes me as funny. You ARE on a website dedicated to precision rifles and shooting, so most people on here have spent more than $500 on a rifle meant for this position. For example, Mel's offerings on entry level rifles are a great deal and go for about $1k and generally shoot 0.5 MOA or less out of the box. If you think that's too rich for your blood, check out Gunwerks and their $7500 rifle systems and reconsider your hobbies.

    I beg to differ than Savage owners are "snobs". Savage makes affordable accurate rifles and they have a pretty loyal following, as well as Remington, Howa, Weatherby and I'm sure a few others. Bottom line, if you want a precision rifle, it's going to cost you more than $500.

    So, I think you meant to say, "who in their right minds spends more than $500 for a basic cheap hunting rifle?"
    Happiness is a warm gun.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member sgreen3's Avatar
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    Re: New member, New rifle - Marlin XS7VH

    I wish I only had 500 bucks in my rifle, I have a little more than twice that in it an its still not done .
    A reporter interviewing a Marine Sniper asked, " What do you feel when you have to shoot a terrorist"? The Marine shrugged his shoulders and replied "Recoil"

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