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Author Topic: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308  (Read 15796 times)

Offline sparky0068

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Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« on: July 25, 2013, 04:16:19 PM »

Marlin X7VH TAC .308

With long range shooting becoming more mainstream, everyone seems to want in the game.  If you have checked lately the start up cost of a medium to long range rifle setup can get quite expensive, and there are a lot of folks who cant swing four figures for a perfect setup.  Thus enter the realm of cost effective rifles, not just the high dollar shooters can play the long range game anymore.

Ok, so what you may say, another cheap gun, woo, big deal.  Now just hold your horses there bucko, hear me out.  Since Marlin has existed the have always been at the forefront at supplying quality firearms that working class Americans can afford and they excel at this.

The Marlin X7VH TAC isn’t much for looks but she’s got the goods right where she needs them to be.  The one I currently have for testing is of the 308 win variety,  With it’s 18” threaded barrel it has promise of being a superb mid to long range rifle, with suppressor, or other muzzle device capability out of the box. 

At first opening the box, wow, that is short! 

After closer initial inspection it is quite the interesting piece. 

The action is copy of a Winchester 70


The bolt body looks similar to a Weatherby, the bolt face, barrel attachment and trigger is Savage.
 



The barrel is made side by side with Remington.


The stock is definitely that of a price point firearm, flexy, ugly, plastic, but it is pillar bedded, albeit not free floated.  It does have a generous recoil pad and a cheek rest.


The threaded muzzle will host any 5/8-24 devices and it comes with an excellent thread protector.


It comes with a one piece scope rail, it would be nice to see this from other makers.

The safety is a two position, one drawback is it does not lock the bolt closed like the Savage.

I topped it off with a Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x42 AO scope with ballistic compensation reticle mounted on Burris signature ZEE rings.  With Federal American Eagle 168 OTM it shoots respectable for not being free floated. 

After getting on paper I figured a 200 yard test would be a good starting point.  Of course I had to pick a day when the wind is blowing 20+ from left to right, and the groups reflect this, but anyways it shot very well with factory ammo.  2.25" was the best five shot group at 200 with this setup, I did notice is tends to string the group from high left to low right, not too surprising with the poor metal to stock fitting. 6" was all I could do in a 10 shot group at 300, mind you in the wind.  I feel floating the barrel and hand loads will help greatly. 




After polishing the bolt body it feels much better and functions much better.  I also added a cheek riser to help with eliminating the chin weld of the low comb of the factory stock.


In recap for the retail price of $400, rifle alone, is a great buy for a heavy barrel entry level tactical rifle.  Currently there is a very limited aftermarket for this rifle but in time perhaps this will improve.  With the addition of a quality optic and some hand loading this would be a superb choice for a person on a budget.

KD0LKT

Offline NE Bull

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 04:35:12 PM »
Nice write up.
How did you like the trigger? adjustable? did you play with it any?
Something that also stuck out is the great gripping/tool surface on the barrel?
“It is not an issue of being afraid, It's an issue of not being afraid to protect myself.”
 Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert
 "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that."  Shane

Offline sparky0068

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 04:45:21 PM »
A few things to add, I only tried one kind of ammo, as the shortage was very active at the time of review, and I did not try hand loads in this gun.
KD0LKT

Offline M7025-06

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2013, 06:21:52 PM »
Nice write-up. 

I've heard nothing but good things about these Marlins...I even looked at 1 real hard when they first came out.  I'm not sure about other aftermarket parts, but I do know Boyd's makes aftermarket stocks for both the XL-7's & XS-7's.



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Offline CliffD

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 10:14:58 PM »
Awesome write up sparky...and congrats on the new rifle! I like how you outfitted it too.

For about a year, I've been wanting a bolt action .308. I keep browsing Cabelas but haven't pulled the trigger yet (literally actually lol). The Marlin is definitely in the budget. Your positive review has me now wanting to go look at one in person. I've had the scope for about a year now, just no firearm to mount under it!

Nice shooting too! If you head back out with it on a calmer day, please post back with your results.

Thanks for this interesting review!

(btw, this is EXACTLY what I was hoping for with the Featured Firearm suggestion. Thanks! :) )

Offline bkoenig

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 10:21:26 PM »
Now let's hear about how awful your Tikkas shoot.  :P

Offline sparky0068

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 10:59:07 PM »
 Since I wrote this review I sold this package to a friend.(I drug my feet on posting it. Oops )
KD0LKT

Offline Hank

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 08:57:35 PM »
Nice write up.
How did you like the trigger? adjustable? did you play with it any?
Something that also stuck out is the great gripping/tool surface on the barrel?
I purchased a XL7 Youth Model in .243 Win. a couple years ago and yes the triggers are adjustable.
I adjusted the trigger to what I thought was `about right` but in fact it was much too light and I had to re-set it a little heavier. I have to agree they are a decent entry level rifle for the price.
I had to shim the rear of the included scope mount about .008" to keep the scope centered better.
Mounted a Burris FFII 3-9 and took a nice 5x4 buck year before last with hand load 95g Nosler/Combined Technology Silver Tip.
It is crazy the amount of money that can be wrapped up in a custom long range rig. Friends set up is something like 10k for rifle and another 5k for glass. More than I see myself ever spending, but it is impressive to watch him hit 10"x10" steel plates at 800 and 1080 yards first try, little breeze and all.
+1 on the good write up/review.

Offline jlmomaha

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 03:24:59 PM »
Nice looking rifle, couple of things I wanted to mention and inquire on.
I didn't see what ammo was used, I find that FGMM ammo is the best for finding the accuracy of a rifle if one is not using hand loads. I noticed from the target pic there was a bit of vertical stringing, I noticed the wind pulled it to the side as well, but for determining solely accuracy watch the vertical string. If I understand correctly that rifle was shooting approx 2moa, now the ammo used explain that, but if it is a quality ammo there are issues at the factory with tolerances on the receiver face, locking lugs and possibly more. Those problems are easily fixed with a visit to the gunsmith though. It appeared that it uses a barrel nut similar to a savage, making me interested in the TPI and diameter of the barrel shank, barrel swaps with savage bbl's may be possible?
Also for people interested in an out of the box rifle with excellent accuracy I would recommend a rem 700 sps tactical, sub 1" groups, B&C pillar stock, a little glass bedding and stiffening of the forend and it's an excellent stock. I have shot sub 1/2" using FGMM ammo, but with me a rifle doesn't stay stock for very long.lol.
I actually posted how to make a budget rifle on my blog, feel free to check it out and comment.
http://midwestguntech.blogspot.com

Offline SemperFiGuy

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2013, 10:54:26 PM »
Let's mention the Marlin XL7's Wunnerful Pro-Fire Trigger, since nobody has done so, thus far;

In the words of Chuck Hawks http://www.chuckhawks.com/hunting_rifle_triggers.htm

Quote
Marlin Pro-Fire Trigger
The Pro-Fire Trigger is a rather simple, two lever mechanism (trigger and sear) supplied in the recently introduced Model XL7 centerfire hunting rifle. This trigger uses an AccuTrigger like safety blade and is claimed to be user adjustable down to 2.5 pounds, just like the standard AccuTrigger. If emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, Savage should be flattered by the Marlin Pro-Fire, although internally the Pro-Fire is quite different from the AccuTrigger. The Pro-Fire was developed entirely by Marlin engineers and technicians. Trigger pull weight adjustment, after the stock is removed, is accomplished by loosening a lock nut and turning a set screw at the front of the trigger housing.

Always made sense to me to get the most accuracy for the least money.   [Think Remington 788, Marlin XL7, etc.]    Can't shoot engraving, checkering, walnut, or even certain names (Weatherby, Kimber) in less than MOA.

Luv my Marlin XL7 in .30-06.   Every nickel saved on the rifle can go into the scope.

sfg
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Offline jlmomaha

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 12:19:01 AM »
Semper, I'm confused a little by your post, what guns are not shooting sub MOA? Some people love the sav accu trig, some hate it, I don't have a preference, when it comes to chuck hawks i take every thing he says with a grain of salt, I like a lot of what he says, but there have been some articles that left me how wondering much he was paid or what free stuff was he given..lol.. As far as cheap guns, they need to be tried and true actions, the cheapo rem,sav,etc models have not performed to my expectations, for varmint or hunting there good, but there not going to be wearing a Swarovski more likely a bushy or buck master.lol.

Offline jonm

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2013, 01:02:41 AM »
Sub MOA out to 100 isnt the same as Sub MOA out to 1000 though.

Offline jlmomaha

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 09:39:01 AM »
So very true, seen rifles soot 1/4 out to 300yds then open up. 1000yd is very rewarding though.lol.

Offline SemperFiGuy

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2013, 09:41:56 AM »
jlmomaha
jonm:


Gentlemen:   Let's take 'em in reverse order.


Quote
Sub MOA out to 100 isn't the same as Sub MOA out to 1000 though.
Yes, Indeedy.   Totally agree w/that bit of wisdom. My usual sighting in is at 100 yards, 2" high on just about everything from .17Rem Remington 700BDL prairie dog rifle to my .30-06 Marlin XL7 deer/antelope/coyote rifle.   Both of them dial in groups at a bit under 1" diameter circle at 100 yards, which is M/L MOA.   Which is not incredible precision, but nevertheless, for which I am happy as a clam.

Now, truth is, I don't really know what the grouping is at longer distances, but surely it further deteriorates.   Additional variables enter over distance.   Which is why I agree w/jonm's point here.   I leave Really Long Distance Precision Shooting to others who have the time and patience to pursue such endeavors.   I'm more of a Practical Guy who simply wants to knock off prairie dogs out to 300 yards or so and deer at usually under 150 yards.   [Although I did shoot a deer offhand at an honest 485 yards once.  Amazed me and amazed the deer.]

Quote
Semper, I'm confused a little by your post,
Mrs. SFG is often similarly confused by my musings.   Actually, I said a coupla things in my post.   One item was simply posting a quote from Chuck Hawks.   That one can stand on whatever merit it might or might not have.   His stuff, not mine.   FWIW and all that.

The other more important point is that--being a poor, underpaid chalk-on-the-butt engineering professor,  I like economical guns that shoot well.   Like my Remington 788s, both of which were tack drivers.   Shot cloverleafs at 100 yards.   And my XL7, which cost around $300 and shoots sub-MOA at 100 yards, which is better than a pie plate.   And good enough for deer, antelope, coyotes, and the 200-yard gong at my gun club.   I'm just way too tight dollar-wise to pay for engraving, Turkish walnut, exotic checkering, and cosmetics that don't contribute to shooting performance.

So that's about as clear as I can get, without diagramming it.  Hope it works.

Cordially,

sfg
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Offline jlmomaha

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Re: Rifle review-Marlin X7VH TAC .308
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 02:23:10 PM »
Got ya the checkering part lost me a lil earlier.lol
Some times my mind goes straight to comp shooting when discussing rifles, so a 6" group at 300yds is fine for a hunter. If I can't get and maintain .5 MOA at 600yds (3.14") after working on it, I sell it. Lol. Also that rifle may be far more accurate with better ammo, that's mostly what my point was.lol