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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago I asked about making a carbine out of the XS-7 rifle. Well, I got it back from the 'smith and it looks and handles great. I only got to sight it in before handing for the woods, but it hits exactly where I aim. Once the season is over, I'll get to the load development work. Here is a picture of my new gun Thumper. A 7pound field ready 308 whitetail killing rig. Think of it as a poor man's Model 7.


 

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It's a real nice looking rig. This rifle should serve you well for most of your hunting needs. I happen to own a Model 7 stainless/synthetic in 7mm-08 and I love it. Don't think any whitetail would know the difference between a .308 and a 7mm-08. Despite the proliferation of short fat ultra magnums, the .308 family of rounds is all one really needs for whitetails.

If you're new to hunting with 30 calibers, you'll ultimately find that 180 grain spire point bullets do not put whitetails down as quickly as 180 grain round nose bullets or 150 and 165 grain spire points.
 

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Sounds like a plan to me. I think you'll like the Marlin, the quality is great. I got one in, a long action 30/06 with a "stuck" bolt. Long story involving amateur handloader, but I got it open and the case was scary. Primer was vaporized, the pocket was huge, and the head was expanded to 0.492". Serious checking showed that the headspace was still spot on and the chamber was not damaged or expanded in any way. Needless to say I had a long heart to heart with the dad about letting his 16 year old reload unsupervised. Here endeth the epistle. Goatwhiskers the Elder
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like a plan to me. I think you'll like the Marlin, the quality is great. I got one in, a long action 30/06 with a "stuck" bolt. Long story involving amateur handloader, but I got it open and the case was scary. Primer was vaporized, the pocket was huge, and the head was expanded to 0.492". Serious checking showed that the headspace was still spot on and the chamber was not damaged or expanded in any way. Needless to say I had a long heart to heart with the dad about letting his 16 year old reload unsupervised. Here endeth the epistle. Goatwhiskers the Elder
I have a XL-7 in '06 and liked it so much I wanted one in the 308. But, I like short carbines for 308 length cases, so I cut the barrel down on this one. Now I just need to get it's first whitetail kill sometime this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
It's a real nice looking rig. This rifle should serve you well for most of your hunting needs. I happen to own a Model 7 stainless/synthetic in 7mm-08 and I love it. Don't think any whitetail would know the difference between a .308 and a 7mm-08. Despite the proliferation of short fat ultra magnums, the .308 family of rounds is all one really needs for whitetails.

If you're new to hunting with 30 calibers, you'll ultimately find that 180 grain spire point bullets do not put whitetails down as quickly as 180 grain round nose bullets or 150 and 165 grain spire points.

I plan on trying the 150 and 165 grain bullets in this gun, but the 170 FP has me curious too. I used to load those for a friend in his short barreled 308 and when pushed to 2600FPS they were like the Hammer of Thor on deer.
 

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Have absolutely no experience with the XL-7 nor even remember seeing one at the gun range. Even so, that's a nice looking short rifle and am sure it will more than satisfy your hunting needs on whitetails. The Marlin version of Accu-Trigger should be a real bonus, also.

Had a Remington M7 in .308 that I sold last week. Just couldn't get it to group more than 2 shots together, no matter what combination of bullet/powder/primer in handloads or any brand of factory (ugh!) ammo. Nice handling little rifle, but as Col. Whelen said "Only accurate rifles are interesting".
 

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Being one of those folks with short arms and legs, I have always liked short rifles, one I can carry by the pistol grip and not drag the ground. Your new rifle is just the type I like. Thanks for the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have absolutely no experience with the XL-7 nor even remember seeing one at the gun range. Even so, that's a nice looking short rifle and am sure it will more than satisfy your hunting needs on whitetails. The Marlin version of Accu-Trigger should be a real bonus, also.

Had a Remington M7 in .308 that I sold last week. Just couldn't get it to group more than 2 shots together, no matter what combination of bullet/powder/primer in handloads or any brand of factory (ugh!) ammo. Nice handling little rifle, but as Col. Whelen said "Only accurate rifles are interesting".

My father's model 7 in 308 groups at 1.25-1.5" for 3 shots all day long with 150 grain Speers and 4064 powder. My Model 7 in 260 is exactly 1" for three shots with it's favorite load.

I would bet the Marlin's heavier profile barrel will handle the heat better and should stay inside an inch with a load it likes.
 

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A friend of mine bought an XL-7 in 308. It shot so well that he put a 5-15x on it to take advantage of the accuracy. For $275.00 it will shoot right with my custom built rifles. 1/2" or so, edge to edge with factory ammo.
Pretty impressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
that does look handy, what length did you cut the barrel to?
The 'smith cut it to 18.25" and it has an overall length of just under 39".

Adding up the cost of the gun, scope, rings, sling, tax, and 'smith work it cost me only $470. That's about $250 less than a stripped model 7.
 

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That is nice! In fact just about perfect for what many people need.

Marlin should offer this right from the factory!

being a lever gunner, flat metplat bullets is what is needed to be used in tube magazinzes (prior to the Hornady gummmie tips). Anyhow there is a lot of folks that believe that the flat metplat bullets do a lot more damage on impact. While it does effect the velocity drop and thus flattnes of shooting. If your normal shots are inside 150 yards or so the use of the flat point or RN 170 grain 30-30 bullets would or should work great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Eagleeye. Maybe Marlin will start making them in carbine form.

But, seeing as they are a sister company of Remington, I somehow doubt Freedom Group [the owners of Remington and Marlin] will allow Marlin to make a gun to compete with the model 7.
 

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Being one of those folks with short arms and legs, I have always liked short rifles, one I can carry by the pistol grip and not drag the ground.
I read this yesterday and had to try it out with my T/C Pro Hunter w/ 24" barrel last night. Even though I'm short (5'6" tall), the barrel didn't touch the ground (had about 1 or 2 inches of clearance) ;) The muzzleloader barrel would definitely drag the ground, though (28").
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I read this yesterday and had to try it out with my T/C Pro Hunter w/ 24" barrel last night. Even though I'm short (5'6" tall), the barrel didn't touch the ground (had about 1 or 2 inches of clearance) ;) The muzzleloader barrel would definitely drag the ground, though (28").

that's an advantage with a single shot gun. You don't have 4+ inches of action to deal with. But you only have one chance to get it right, and sometimes that can be tough.
 

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that's an advantage with a single shot gun. You don't have 4+ inches of action to deal with. But you only have one chance to get it right, and sometimes that can be tough.
Yup, I've already had that happen with that particular rifle. I couldn't get the shot I wanted so I let it walk rather than taking a risky shot.
 

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I plan on trying the 150 and 165 grain bullets in this gun, but the 170 FP has me curious too. I used to load those for a friend in his short barreled 308 and when pushed to 2600FPS they were like the Hammer of Thor on deer.
I'm thinking about doing the same thing with my 30-06. I've got a buttload of 170gr FP bullets for my 30-30 and I'm fixing to start loading them to 2400~2500fps in my '06 and see what happens.

Keep us posted if you try the 170 FP bullets in your nifty 308.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I loaded some ammo for the XS-7 Carbine and will get to the range soon. I loaded 150 grain Pro-Hunters, 150 grain SST, 165 grain HPBT, and 170 grain Hornady FP. I used military cases, CCI 200 primers, and IMR4064 for all the loads. Depending on what I see in these loads, I'll try the same bullets with different powders as I work thru the development process.


I also have some 20 year old loads from my last 308 that I'll try too. They are 165grain Speer and 180 grain Nosler SB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I got to the range today and had a chance to run a few loads thru my XS-7 Carbine. I'm just starting the process, but so far there seems to be a few bullets that show promise. I'll have to try them with some different powders and see if they continue to give good results. This gun will be used mostly inside 200 yds so most of these trial loads would serve that purpose with no further effort, but I like to work towards the goal of getting good velocity and accuracy.

Here are some of the results. I'll post pictures when I get a chance.

150 grain Hornady SST, 46 grains of IMR4064, CCI 200, Military cases

2556 fps for an average over 9 shots
2177 fpe
1.13" average
best 3 shot group 1.08"

150 grain Remington Accutip, 40.5 grains IMR3031, CCI200, military cases

2523fps average over 9 shots
2121fpe
1.26" average
best 3 shot group .96"

170 grain Hornady RN, 43 grains IMR4064, CCI200, military cases

2412FPS over 9 shots
2197FPE
1.69" average
best 3 shot group 1.17"

These are just the first attempts at finding a good load for this gun. As the day went on, the gun seemed to start shooting better, so I have hopes of getting some loads that are even better .
 
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