Since the last couple of blogs seem to deal with the impecunious, here is a brand new big-game rifle that just about anyone can afford and is a remarkably good gun to boot. It’s called the Marlin XL-7. It’s made in .25/06, .270, and .30/06 and costs $326 with a black synthetic stock and $356 with the same stock in camo.


What makes the XL-7 remarkable is the things it does not have, as well as things it has. Here are the latter:
*An excellent trigger, called the Pro-Fire, which is reminiscent of the Savage Accu-Trigger.
*A real, honest-to God recoil pad instead of a slab of rocklike rubberized substance.
*Just the right weight and barrel length, and extremely handsome lines.

Here’s what it doesn’t have that is universal on cheap guns:
* Mold marks on the stock.
*That most loathsome of mechanical excressences, a detachable magazine. (The magazine is blind and holds 4 rounds.)
*Tool marks on the metal.

The XL-7 is plain, simple, and straightforward. Marlin resisted the urge to equip it with wonderful new features that are needed as much as a big zit right where your collar meets your neck. I haven’t had a chance to shoot it yet, but the test group that came with the gun measured .829. I will let you know how my shooting goes.

To see the XL-7 go to and click on bolt-action centerfire rifles.