Marlin XS7 (Short action XL7)

Earlier this year Marlin introduced the value-for-money XL7 rifle cambered in 25-06, 270 and 30-06. I thought it was odd that they did not offer a short action version. John Snow reports that a short action version will be available shortly in .248, .308 and 7mm-08.

Marlin XL7 (the long action version)

John has the specs and a brief range report.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Eric

    I have been very interested in getting a XL7 but wanted to get a 308. Glad to see I will be able to get it with the XS7! Is this rifle in stores yet?? If not when will it be available? Thank….

  • van

    I’m also like one in 308win..let me know too please..Thank..made in U.S.A

  • John

    I’m looking around trying to see if they did add .308 win to the Xl7 lineup. I’m going to buy one right away if they did ! Not saying it is a superior cal to the others, but for some of us it is common ammo to other rifles we have, which can be a consideration especially with ammo prices and availability nowdays.

  • harold


  • Rick

    I started to buy one, but it was only offered with a Camo Stock.
    I thought the Camo was ugly so I didnt buy it.

  • Mike Boyd

    I found one at Academy Sports today for $289.95 in .308. It came in a XL-7 box with XL-7 manual, but is definitely the short throw bolt in .308 Winchester. I also picked up a Pentax 3-9X50 scope, which they mounted and bore sighted for free. I brought it home and cleaned it and was quite surpirsed that the bore was so dirty out of the box. I believe it was test fired, but I don’t thing the cleaned it after firing it. I ran a dry brush through it on a clean white rag at the end of the barrel and was surpirsed how much junk cam out, so make sure you clean yours right away after purchase.

    I compared it to my Rem BDL .30-06 when I got it home, it almost looks like a clone of the Remington, similar bolt design and the trigger out of the box feels like 3#s, breaks nice and crisp, just like my 40 year old BDL. I like the Pentax scope a little better than my Nikkon Pro that is on the Remington.

    I will laser sight it tonight at 100 yards, then off to the range tomorrow with my grandson to see how it shoots. I found Remington Core Lok 150 grain bullets at Wal-Mart on the way home for $17.97 per box, so bought two boxes. If all goes well, it will be my granson’s new deer rifle for this fall, we may go shoot some Javelinas for practice once we get it sighted in.

    This looks like a real nice rifle for an unbelieveable price. Rifle, Scope and strap was a little over $475 out the door at Academy. That’s less than half the price of a new BDL!! Hope it lasts as long and shoots as straight!!

    Cheers and happy hunding!!
    Mike B.

  • Steve

    Hey guys im new to hunting and Im looking for a good starting bolt action rife that I can use for huntting deer. I was readinng in one of my magazines and I noticed the Marlin XS7 and it looks like a really good gun. The price is good but thats it. Since the gun has such a good price tag is it any good some reviews have said its good but Im looking for a honest review from the owners of this gun. so if any one here can let me know how good this thing is I could really use some hands on reviews on how the rife is also a suggested caliber would be fine to if possible.

    Hope to here from any of you soon,

  • Mike Boyd

    Shot mine a few weeks ago, three first shots touching each other slightly off center at 100 yards after bore sighting with a laser bullet. Grand Son shot great with it too. Buy it, you won’t regret it, great gun at great price!!

  • jeddy p

    I just ordered mine from davidsons for $330 in .308 here in Hi, and mounting a vx1 should be in a couple of days. looking forward to it and will report back asap..

  • Jed Clampet

    My buddy bought one of these MARLIN XS7 a few months ago for his son, I believe it is a 308, he said the gun performs well for an entry level gun and would recommend it to a friend.
    Anyway I noticed in todays flyer that Bass Pro Shops has it on sale for $279.99 in both the 243 and 308.

  • Andrew B.

    I am thinking of buying it in .308 as well. I would like to hear more from someone who has actually shot it. Mike Boyd’s review is only the second first hand review of the XS7 I have found.

    I would also like to know more about how to break in a rifle. A friend of mine told me that I needed to shoot a whole box of shells, cleaning the gun out completely between each shot…thoughts?

  • Will Kenley

    I was very intrigued by the articles and comments I have been hearing about the Marlin XL7 but really didn’t want another 30-06 or 270, I kinda liked the idea of a 25-06 but I would have had to spend a lot for dies, bullets etc., I was able to resist until they introduced the short action XS7 and a 308 sounded good to me. Bass Pro had them for $279 and a 10% deal on a credit card got the price down to where I bit. I already had an Intensity 3.8-12×44 scope and a set of Weaver Grand slam rings so I was ready to get started as soon as I got the rifle home.

    The first thing to work on was the trigger, it’s the Pro Fire that has a release in the center of the trigger that helps prevent accidental discharge. It is probably a lawyer/insurance driven innovation but it works and I find it no determent to controlling your trigger pull. I removed the barreled action from the stock by removing the two #20 torque bit action screws and adjusted the trigger by the instruction in about 3 minutes. The trigger pull is crisp, light enough to shoot accurately from the bench but not too light for hunting, just right.

    Now I have the stock off I can take a look at the particulars. It’s plastic of course, mine is black and you can get camo. Sling studs and a very soft recoil pad are installed. The action screw holes are sleeved with steel tube to keep you from crushing the stock when tightening the screws. It has a raised cheek rest (not Monte Carlo), molded in checkering that looks and feels good, a removable plastic trigger guard., 13 5/16” length of pull, and has pressure pads at the forend (not free floated). It feels good and is comfortable to shoot. I happened to have a Remington ADL plastic stock in the shop while doing this and comparing the two they are nearly identical. If you like the fit of a Remington you’ll be happy with this stock, only the Reminton’s recoil pad was a little firmer and the checkering pattern was different. I went ahead and took out the pressure pads and free floated the barrel, I had to remove the pads and some more material on the bottom and left side of the barrel channel to get the clearance. My one issue with the stock came when I reassembled the rifle, the front action screw went in and bottomed out on the pillar bedding solidly but when I started tightening down the rear screw expecting the same positive bottom it just kept snugging down until it sorta bottomed out. Then I realized I couldn’t retract the bolt because the rear action screw was screwed out into the race-way for the cocking piece. The front screw solidly makes contact with the pillar sleeve and in turn the bottom of the receiver, the rear would do the same but the soft plastic trigger guard spoils the benefit of the sleeve. I crushed the trigger guard with the small head of the 1/4” action screw. I made a cone shaped bushing/washer out of tubing and created an all steel pillar and it still holds the trigger guard on snugly. I shouldn’t have to do that to a new rifle but I don’t think Marlin would have done much, anyway it works good now. The in-letting for the recoil lug was very loose, so a with a little Accuglass I bedded the lug and nothing more.

    Okay now for the action. The receiver is milled from tubing like Remington, Savage and others with a recoil lug wedged between the barrel nut and receiver face like the Savage. Drilled and tapped and supplied with a Weaver style one piece base that I like pretty well, I usually prefer the Redfield JR type rings but this one is working real well with the Weaver Grand Slam rings I used to mount my Intensity 3.8-12×44 scope. The finish is not overly shinny but not as flat and my scope’s matt finish, no machine marks, burrs etc. The bolt has groves lateraly that look like Weatherby Vanguards bolt. The bolt handle is shaped like the Ruger 77’s with a dog leg and is fluted to clear the scope. The bolts shroud looks a lot like the Browning A-bolts. The bolt release is just like a Winchester Model 70. The safety is a two position situated above the stock and above the trigger like Remington. The bolt face looks like a Winchester push feed model 70 with the slide type extractor on the outboard lug and a spring loaded pin ejector. My only complaint so far is a very weak ejector, it just barely throws the brass out onto the bench. The 22” barrel has no sights and is not drilled and tapped to receive any, it does have a nicely recesses crown. I don’t think they missed knocking off something from any of their main competitors, but it came together real well.

    I went thru about 40 rounds of assorted ammunition that I had accumulated, some miltary, some commercial and 25 or so reloads using some pulled 168 gr. match bullets. While doing this it seemed that 150 gr bullets were the way to go and I loaded 5 rounds each of Nosler Partition Gold, Nosler Ballistic Tip and Reminton Core Loct. It showed a preference for the Nosler BT’s and I loaded 10 using Accurate Arms 2700 (max load), a Fed 210M primer and Nosler Match brass. From a cold clean barrel I shot a 3/4” group 1 1/2” high and 3/4” right. I moved the scope three clicks left and cut the verticle line 1 1/2” high.

    My conclusion is it’s worth the money and may be the best bang for the buck available. The Savage package rifle cost about the same as my set up cost me but I don’t think the scope, rings and bases on the Savage is as good as I have on the Marlin. I also like the shape and feel of the Marlin stock better than the Savages I’ve had in the past. Nine stars out of ten.


    • Will, thanks for the very informative review.

  • vin

    ecellent review!!! cheers for that, im hooked on one of these rifles, nearly have the funds together, will let you know how the beast shoots!!

  • I just bought an Xs7 in .308 about a week ago and put an old Cabela’s scope (made by bushnell) on it just because I had it just sitting around the house. I took it out to sight the scope in and put about ten rounds down range and had it dialed in. Once I had the scope right I shot another ten rounds to see what kind of accuracy the gun would hold at 200 yds. At 200 yds I made two five shot groups of about 1 1/2 inches. I took the rifle out to hunt that following saturday and took a nice buck at 150 yds with shot placement exactly where I wanted it to be. For the money I would have to say that the performance is just as good as any of your entry to mid-level rifles(including the savage and stevens). I am very pleased with the performance and feel of the rifle and am thinking about buying another one if they ever come out with a .223 version to make a sweet budget coyote gun.

  • vin

    i just recently purchased an XS7 in .243 Winchester and its excellent, great value for money, shooting an inch at 100 with my out of practice shooting, with abit more time spent with it and some hand loads im sure this will drop!
    this was just with cheaper line of ammo, Fiocchi Extrema 95 gr SST bullets
    and you dont notice the kick at all.. good recoil pad and nice well balanced comfy stock to shoulder time and time again

  • cb

    Do you think a marlin xl7 7mm08 would be good for a 13 year old to hunt with…

    • GP3

      This is a nice effecive rifle. Our friend lent my 12 year daughter this rifle for our first hunting tip for deer in Nebraska. The first shot a 9 point buck the second shot the large doe that didn’t completely dun off the field. Two harvests in one minute; we have decided to accept my friends’ offer to purchase the rifle from him. Good luck.

  • vin

    well this depends on how big he/she is, how confident a shot ander recoil etc… with good bullet builds the .243 will do the trick, but the 7mm 08 can put abit more power down range if your after longer shots.

    the .243 is accurate, and a bit cheaper to shoot, meaning perhaps more time at the range learning to place shots.
    either calibre depending on target species and range isn’t too bad a choice for a newer hunter tho 🙂

  • vin

    oh yeah, i also changed my ammo to Winchester SuperX pushing 100grain CPX2 bullets, its halved the grouping to .49 at 100 (wtf? this is crazyness from factory) and it pole-axes everything 🙂 i ranged a hare at 632 yards that i shot 🙂 there was a big puff of fur i saw in the scope

  • tim

    i have the Marlin XS7 cal .308 I whent shooting and i loved it. the only problem is that the the bolt seems a little sticky after giving it a good cleaning it works better jest need to clean the bolt while shooting other then that it is a good gun.

  • Dale

    All I can add is what I’ve said before,cost isn”t everything. My XS7 in 308 is as deadly a firearm as my other rifles costing half to twice as much. Mr. Petzal at F&S mag. named the XL/XS rifels #1 buy. I have 2 other friends who have XL7″s in 30.06&.270 and they love’m.

  • tim

    I love my xs7 308 put a nikon buckmaster on it its just as good if not better than rifles that cost 700 or more it can shot hafe inch groups at 100yards all day with 150gr ammo

  • micheal loman

    anyone know what load the 308 likes