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January 30, 2008

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... and the Poor Man Shall Rejoice

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.

Zoom_xl7

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 marlinfirearms.com and click on bolt-action centerfire rifles.


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Comments

ishawooa

Clay:
We have used the .22 pistol story for years and gotten a lot of mileage out of it. I'm glad you reminded me of it as I had not thought of it in some time. Along that line a fellow who used to live here but has since moved to Montana hunted with us a few times. He was about 6'3" and weighed somewhere around 325 to 350. Hard to find a horse that could pack him very well for long time periods. We called this guy "Bear bait" and often jokingly threatened to use the .22 if ole Griz showed up. He always thought it was humorous and is a great guy.
I am told that in the old days locals would wrap bacon on cans of Eze-Off oven cleaner and toss them around the edge of camp. Apparently after you heard the can pop from the bear bite there was quite a bit of commotion in the woods until the bear reached the creek to gargle. It was said that you could tell if the bear had been trained or not because the experienced ones had either bleached hair or were bald around their mouths. I never knew for sure if the old guys were lying or not. Note that I do not adovcate this practice as I believe that it is against regulations and consider it not to be an appropriate way to treat animals.
Another friend claims to have a deal with the grizzleys...they don't stick their head into his tent and he won't put a .44 in their skulls.
One more story before I bore all of you to tears and this is true. Last year two friends hauled a load of old meat far into the mountains to establish a bear bait site a few days before the season opened. Upon their return to the pickup a black bear was standing in the bed licking the residue. After throwing sticks, rocks, yelling, etc the bear reluctantly jumped out of the pickup box. As they approached he jumped back into the box and started growling at them. They went through the throwing and screaming routine again. Finally one guy got on each side of the pickup with one of them attracting the bear's attention. The other guy ran like hell to the driver's side, jerked open the door, cranked up and hauled butt. As the bear rolled out of the bed with the tailgate down the other fellow ran up and jumped in the cab. They said it was a fairly large black bear and of course never saw him when the season opened.

Jim in Mo.

Jim D,
That bugel thing, when my boy was nine we'd watch the huntin shows and he could sound bettet than the elk.
Eyeball On,
You want a good $200 scope? Burris Fullfield. No kidding.
Pb Head,
Leave Dave alone, if I had one of them booth babes cornered I'd be irritated if you interrupted me.

Clay Cooper

Jim D
About barrel twist, don’t lose any sleep over it. 1-12 like in a 30-06 is the middle ground. From 100 grain plinkers to 190 grain SPBT, my rifles shoot less than MOA. Competition shooters shooting 30-06 and 308 Win have settled on 1-10 because it performs better with 168’s and 190’s. 155 grain a 1-11 and of course the 150 1-12 has been adopted to be the standard twist. Unless you’re trying out for the Nationals, Camp Perry or the Olympics etc, the 1-12 will do you a fine job practically with every bullet weight except 30 cal 250 grain. Man, that’s one long bullet!

Rocky Mtn Hunter

A new concept on Dumping the BEAR.Uae what-ever ia necessary unlss you really are Bear Hunting and want that rug. Me, I'll take the Elk hide and meat. I recall my first Elkhunt s if yesterday. That Bugle still rings in my ears. No one can even begin to feel the sinsation one gets when the bugling begins on a frosty AM unless he;s been there. There is no sound any better in the woods unless you are lost and its help coming. Just hope this winter kill-off does not interfer with all us guys planning a Rocxky Mtn hunt for Elk/Mulies, but afraid teh weather will play a terrible roe in our success. I don;t think we NR will have problems drawing tags this year, as the Game Depts will beg us to come bring our Money. Hopefully us out East can draw a tag in PA or KY this fall, then let the West suffer without our $$$$ a few years. OK,guys time to begin cleaning guns and making plans for what-ever we hunt this fall. THink I will try few Coyotes in a day or so. Yep, the West sent us a load and they love our Black Angus and Hereford Calves and old cripples. Now you know why I want a Haul around 270 at all tims, as cattle all around my place on 3 sides. Hopefully the 270 will work. Hey to the guy on scopes. A Nikon can;t be beat, quality and price, For 250.00 you can get a great view and with Leupold base/rings Dual Dove tail, it will stay on 0. Mime ahve been flown west 5 or 6 times, and never had to adjust after the fist sight in, but I use same Ammo all ways. I have guns that pattern some ammo better than others, so I use that ammo in tht gun, has s note attachd to it, to use so and so ammo only. Good Hunting guys. Shoot often and sraight. Watch out for the hungary Bears in a few weeks, they will be hungary again.

Clay Cooper

A few months ago listening to Christian radio, a Pastor was telling the history of President George Washington. The side that historians over look what really made this one individual so great. Of all the stories, the one that has stuck in my mind the most was this one. General Washington was having dinner with a group of Officers. One Officer started cursing up a storm. General Washington stood up and said, excuse me, I was under the impression that I was with Gentlemen and walked out!
PbHead, perhaps Sir you might take note of this example and learn by it and live it!

Clay Cooper

Ishawooa
When I was in Alaska, one of the guys in the squadron went down to Chitna to dip for salmon. The following weekend, he and another hunter went to Taylor Mountain near Chicken Ak by the Canadian border to bear hunt. They followed this one bear sign for three days and a severe storm front came in so they packed it up and headed back on their ATV’s back to Dixons Jeep Wagoner. As soon they started down the mountain, the same bear sign went all the way off the mountain down, they same way down, the same trail and right up to his jeep. The bear pulled the driver’s door panel far enough out I could put my arm down to the elbow, then the bear climbed up on hood then on the roof and caved it in about 7 plus inches. Word got around so much that when I called the Wildlife Biologist at Tok, to see if the Caribou was in a specific area, he asked if I knew the owner of the Jeep. Yes I do matter of fact, want to talk to him? The Biologist wanted to use his Jeep for a bear bait station.

Clay Cooper

About 2 weeks later, Bill Miller and I were camping down by the main road and some tourists came by and stopped about 100yards away, with their fancy motor home. One 14 year old boy started yelling and the other two chimed in yelling, there’s a bear! There’s a bear! Bill and I grabbed our 338 Win Mags and started running towards the motor home. The guy’s wife was looking out the windshield and noticed two bid guys, Bill and I running at them with guns, BIG GUNS! She didn’t hear the boys yelling! The boys thought it was funny! Mom and Dad were not amused and punishment was at hand! By the way there was no bear

ishawooa

Clay:
A similiar thing happened to a friend who left his Surburban at a trail head for the day. When he arrived back he discovered that a bear had apparently jumped up and down on the roof and popped the windshield. There was a candy bar or two inside (against the law in designated Grizzley habitat) which probably prompted the activity. Nevertheless in the process the bear tore the front seat to pieces. Martin decided he would squat all the way to town which was about 50 miles with much of it on a very rough gravel road. After a few miles of driving and squatting (this was before cell phones and they don't function there even today) he figured he would build a seat. Using a handsaw and some rope he rigged a pole seat made from aspens. He actually made it home like this but noted that ascending and descending steep hills was rather difficult as his seat tended to tip and slide.
Rocky Mtn Hunter:
I would not be overly concerned about the deer and elk count as the snowpack in the mountains looks near average and we expect spring storms in Wyoming. Those wolves are another matter as they tend to eliminate the young almost as soon as they are born. A few years ago a buddy and I witnessed four coyotes chasing a cow elk which had the baby still hanging out of her. We stopped and shot at the coyotes but failed to connect. Nevertheless we think we altered their intent at least for the time we were involved. Of course the cow continued to run and we will never know the real outcome, doubtful the calf survived but you never know. Wolves had cut the Wyoming herds back drastically although the biologists and anti-hunters will give you a dozen other reasons for the decreasing numbers. I have noticed that the wolves seem to prey on moose also. It appears that the sheep and goats are somewhat immune probably due to the fact that they tend to spend much of their lives at high altitudes which makes the pickings more difficult for the wolf packs.

Del in KS

Jim in Mo,

If memory serves the 660 has a 20 in. barrel. I have owned both but sold them after buying the 700 classic in 350 and moving to the lower 48. The model 7 was also made in 350 for a while and maybe still available. Col Cooper was a big fan of the 350 for various game. It gives you the power of a Whelen in a short action rifle. Forgot to say the guy that got mauled left his rifle in the jeep. Walked away to glass for moose and ran into the bear.

Clay did you ever go dipping in the gorge down river from Chitna? It was a scary boat ride but man did we catch the fish.

Del in KS

One more bear story. My older half-brother lives near Cassia Fla and usually has a few pigs he raises for barbeques. He gave 2 pigs to a neighbor a couple years ago. One night the guy hears the pigs squealing runs out back with a gun and light to find ol' Slewfoot in the pen trying to get a pig. shots in the air ran the bear off. Two days later he came home from work and found both pigs gone lots of blood and big bear tracks. Few months later Bro's fox hounds raised a ruckus one night. The wife was home alone. She looked out and a sow with a cub was trying to get to the dog food in the kennel. Bear was not afraid of the dogs. Couple shotgun blasts convinced the bear to leave. After that my bro moved into town.

Bubba

Strangely ishawooa,

The biologist seem to shoot pretty straight. Any biologist that has been "out there" to actually gather the data, normally knows what the heck they are talking about.
It's the ARA folks that don't go out there, that prey on the sympathies and compassion by feeding false information to a public that does not like nor want to hunt. Some of these ARA groups would rather see a species starve themselves into oblivion rather than have a group manage and maintain a population by hunting!
I'll say it again! It ain't about the animals, it ain't about the habitat. It's about NOT hunting!!!

Hunting is the only "proven" effective method of controlling and maintaining wildlife populations and habitat!

Bubba

ishawooa

Bubba:
Last summer in Jackson one of the federal biologists finally conceded in front of a crowd of listeners that the wolves "might" be negatively impacting the local elk herds. He hesitantly added that this was his opinion and was not based upon any federal study. The biologists usually say whatever their employers tell them to say whether they be state or federal. They need a paycheck same as most folks so you will not hear them comment "those wolves we released in Jellystone are not confined to the Park and we really screwed up by bringing in a species that in fact was not the native species previously indiginous to this habitat". Anyone involved in the wolf project will tell you all the good things that re-introduction of this animal has accompished. Take a ride to the west and visit with the locals who are here year round and often visit the mountains. Then you will see what is really going on with your tax money.

Clay Cooper

Del in KS
Sure did! Man talk about something powerful as all that water going thru that gorge at Chitina and to prove I was there, there’s an old train rail that went thru their at some time.
I thought it would be neat to take the ATV’s down it but I was afraid we would get into some kind of trouble not counting that giant mound of rocks preventing anyone going down it. If you take McCarthy Road known as AK-10, just to the north across the river, there’s also a bridge down that road and talk about a long way down! Jeff Hooper and I picked up the biggest rock we can put on the front of my ATV went out to the center and dropped it. WWWWOOOOOSSSSSSSHHHHHH CAAABOOOOM! Instant gravel!! Echoed all up and down that canyon it did. And for the biggest screw up, I almost lost my ¾ ton crossing that little river/creek to get on the other side, but the biggest screw up, a gentleman just bought a high speed low drag monster river boat ran it down in the gorge then returned and beached it about noon time. 8pm it was gone the river came up and drifted down stream. Made some one a happy camper unless it got in one of those whirlpools in the gorge.

Del in KS

Clay,

That is no place to screw around with a boat. Someone dies at Chitina in an accident just about every year.
When I was there you had to pay the natives a trespass fee to use that trail. I gave a guy 25 bucks for a jet boat ride into the gorge instead.
One year I went with a GI that had twin fifties on a 20 ft john boat. Good idea, if one engine fails all is not lost. There is a small natural stone jetty down in the gorge with a huge whirlpool just below it. You could tie the handle of your net to a big rock with about 15 feet of rope. Then just lower the net into the back current and wait for a fish to hit the net. Much easier on the shoulders and arms than sweeping. I had a 50 lb king hit my net so hard he put a hole in a brand new net with his head. After that I lost a couple Sockeyes thru the hole. Two of us netted 26 sockeyes and 5 Kings in a couple hours. That was on July 4,1986. My old army pal Chuck still lives in Anchorage. These days he gets his fish from a wheel there at Chitina.

Clay Cooper

Man twin 50’s? Good medicine….very good medicine!
Speaking of Trespassing fees, I had a fella telling me I was Trespassing way out on Brigadier Trail that leads out north of Johnson Road at Eielson. For land to be no trespassing, it had to be posted with the word patented and the registration number. My side kick was from the Game and Fish Department name Mike and looked like Grizzly Adams! The individual upon finding this out backed down and disappeared real quick

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Ishawooa: Good to hear about the snow. I love the Rockies and also love to see game, but many times have eaten the tag. I usually hunt a private Ranch in Montana, and if any game in MT will be some on this Ranch. It joins Idaho on west side and is straight up. No one can drive up, walk is only way other than a 4 wheeler,( horse part of way) or snowmobil in winter. But is fenced and guy lives at the gate so not likely any sane person going to venture up that way. AS for Knock down power by bullets, I don;t believe any bullet actually knocks a animal down, Its the shock of the sudden impact that does the damage. However, if you hit the Heart, it will fall BINGO, a lung hit may take a few steps to fall. I shot a Bull elk at l65 yds in CO with l8o gr Core-lokts and he made one step and fell. It was a neck shot, all I had, but the bullet cut the wind pipe and he went over. I think knock down power is a mis-understood expression, few bullets gonna take the animal down immediately, the shock may. I shot a Bg Buck W-tail here this fall at 270 yds using l80 gr Scricco's. Hit the bucks 2" above his right front fore quarter. Bullet went all way thru and took lungs along and out the other side. The Buck jumped a 6 ft hight fence, ran 70-80- yds before pilling up. THat bulet broke both front legs and made hamburger out of the meat around its path, so if knock down power is as such, how was this buck able to jump 6 ft and run 70 yds????, I yet think the shock of the hit and the damage it dose to the Vitals is the secret to a knock down hit. I also like the animal to fall when hit, and most of mine do, but now and then they don;t I prefer a bullet that opens upon contact and does its damage as it travels thru the vitals and out the other side, that way you got good blood trails if needed for tracking. Bullet placement to me is by far more important than size of bullet.A old exprssion here says, hit him where it hurts??????

Del in KS

Clay,

I have forgotten the names of the roads behind Eilson but went out there many times to fish and hunt grouse. One time I drove out to the end of one of those roads and caught a limit of really nice big Grayling. It rained and my 4x4 would not climb out of there. The mud was like grease. Had to spend the night. Had unsalted fish cooked over an Alder fire for dinner.
Range control had nearly 1 million acres to take care of between the land behind Eilson and the Tanana flats area. I have flown all over that place in a UH1 (with extra fuel tank).

Clay Cooper

Del in KS
One thing I found about being in Alaska, don’t depend on your 4x4 to get you out. My #1 transportation was a Suzuki ATV 250cc 4x4 that would go more places than a care to go and would go more places than any other ATV. The 250cc to standards by most people to be a small power plant, but when you run it thru three ranges of gears giving you 15 forward gears and 3 reverse you can pull a motor home with it as long you have the traction. Drop the range selector in super low and in 4x4 lock and out comes Bullwinkle right up to your 4x4 on the hard pack where the truck belongs. I remember the day a couple Airmen decided to take one of the all terrain munitions cranes across an ATV/snow mobile trail and buried it to the frame plus! I knew their NCOIC and how they got it out, I don’t know, but they had to call in Fort Wainwright to bring in a piece of equipment to snatch it out. One thing people don’t understand when you on the tundra stop and watch someone walking and see the ground sink a little. 2-8 inches of surface of moist dirt mixed with dead vegetation that gives it its strength with 3 feet of mud then you hit permafrost. And if you think gumbo mud is slick and hard to get off your shovel, you haven’t seen anything yet!
I was at a Truck Stop yesterday and a driver said the same thing what I say when someone says it’s cold. Cold is when you walk outside with a hot cup of coffee toss it into the air and freezes into Folgers instant crystals never hitting the ground.

Del in KS

Clay and Jim in Mo,

I know what you mean about the ATV's we had 2 Honda 350 4x4's at range control. Problem was when you fly in you can't take them with you.

Got the Kimber back today. They put a brand new barrel on and sent a target with a 3 shot group that went about .25 in. That's what I call service.
Jim all my bolt rifles have hinged floorplates. They are quiet and never had one open accidently or under recoil.
Got great news from my daughter. She and the Son-in-law will have my first grandchild around Sep 15.
BTW the coldest day I saw in Fairbanks was -50 below. I took a pic of the post power plant that day just before sunup. Ice fog was all over the place.
When you step outside and your first breath feels like it burns. You know it's cold.

ishawooa

Rocky Mtn Hunter:
I also have eaten a number of tags. Boiled, fried, baked, or raw they are difficult to chew and swallow. Of course you get to think about the bucks or bulls that you passed up which chomping on the paper.
I feel that you are correct regarding so called "knock down". The animal drops immediately or eventually due to the amount and type of tissue damage sustained by penetration and expansion of the projectile. There are numerous studies on this subject to bear out the lack of knockdown with most available on the internet.

WA Mtnhunter

Yep, those new plastic coated tags are a bit chewy. Sort of have a little aftertaste, too.

SilverArrow

We need a new blog heading on this set! 'Reminiscences'
SA

accumbaph

What do you know about [url=http://patnichols.ghazehost.com/6eb965/moderate-consumption-of-alcohol.html] moderate consumption of alcohol [/url]
?

Jim in Mo.

I was just thinking about that new Marlin Dave was talking about.
You know, if a man wanted to build a rifle to his own likes he would have to buy an action alone that at the cheapest would cost $400 (Legacy).
This might be a gun to keep or to build on.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Thee are two kinds of cheap guns. Those that are built cheap and those that are cheap in price. Until you see, read, learn more about the now Marlin XL7 don't knock it. I read the article on the MArlin in Shootines and it's a must have CHEAP Price firearm. I just can;t wait to get one of my own. Heck, you cannot even buy a 50 yr old ll0 Savage, all beat and banged up for that amount of $. I have some high $ guns and some not so high $.When I go hunting in the Rockies the Rem 700's CDL go with me, A 30-06 and a 700 Classic Custom 25-06. Anything I will hunt a 06 will handle. Even the 25-06 will kill most anything if shot placed correct, but when Elk hunting I do use the 700 06 with a l80 gr Scricco Bonded bullet. I;ve got a Custom made 06, made in Italy that cost over l0 x what this Marlin does,, but its my show and tell rifle, wipe and oil gun.. I only hunt with it here. I don;t trust the airlines with it, even in a 200.00 case. Take the new MArlin, add a Nikon Monarch with Leupold bases, rings and you got all the gun 99% of us will ever need. I;ve never owned or shot a 270, but got a new MArlin on order in the 270. When I go to MT in Oct. if that Marlin arrives in time to add the scope, pratice a bit, it will replace teh 25-06. Weather out ther can and is death on a fine finish weapon. I hate to get a inch of snow or freezing rain on my Rem CDL. At my age of 73 ,I;m a tad more clumsy than 30 yrs back, and have a tendency to hit the gun over car doors, chairs, trees, rocks, with this new Stock on the Marlin, and a tad of black shoe polish will fix that up. Try that on a hight Dollar Walnut finish and see what you got, a royal dent.To me, from the article in Shooting times, this is not a cheap built firearm by any means. It's a gun most any hunter can afford. Plus, as in the pass, when-ever I buy a new gun, I fill my tag, and I want a nicer Mulie than I got now. Even if the gun is not up to standards of the higher $ jobs, should be able to sell for the $ invested or trade up to another one. If you want to see a CHEAP built, go look at a new Remington model 770, then you can see what a cheap gun is. At this price, I wasted more than the price of it on hunting junk I thought I needed, but never used. My hunting coat/pants cost more than the gun does.Plus all the hunting stuff that the salesperson said was a sure thing to kill game. But to each his on, buy what you want, but the Marlin new gun, is only cheap in cost, not in mfgering as you will see. If Mine arrived in AM, I would have it scoped and fired before dark tomorrow night. I wondered why I had a extra Nikon scope around for, now I got my answer. No, I don;t work for Marlin, wish I did, but just love firearms, and this gun has my #, now to talk my wife out of the $ when it comes in. If any of you guys get one before I do, please give us a review ASAP, please. The Old Gunslinger. Don't compare this rifle to the cheapo's,compare to the custom rifle, such as Kimber, etc. This syn stock is not like any run of the mill syn stocks, and the action is smooth as silk, however I will have my bolt jeweled and polished as all my hunting rifles are. You will bre suprised how much smoother a action works if teh bolt assembly is Jeweled and polished, a drop of Rem oil now and then will keep it smooth, but I never clean my rifles till hunt season is over after I get the pratice in. I do wipe down each night with a lightly oiled cloth or silicone cloth and i keep a piece of Elec. tap over Muzzle at all times, raining or now, keeps the crap out.Take care/service/clean your firearms and they will last a lifetime.




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