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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A young friend is looking for an entry level hunting rifle. He has settled on .308 as the caliber and is debating between the Stevens 200 or the similar priced Marlin. I'd like to get some comments from owners of those rifles as to trigger quality, accuracy and quality in general.
 

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Never shot an XS7 but I did shoot a XL7 in 30-06 on time and I liked it. They are very similar to a Remington as far as the safety and such goes but they are alot more affordable. dmsbandit may be the best man to ask. I think he has a XS7 in 308.
 

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I got my Marlin XS7 in .243 for $335.00 OTD and so far with handloads its shooting at just under an inch for three shots. I have been VERY surprised, and VERY happy with this rifle! Fit and finish are very good, the stock isn't cheesy, and while not abused, its not a rifle im going to cry about if it gets scratched. In fact, im probably going to get a couple more in other calibres.
 

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Haven't used the marlin but I've used the Stevens. The stock on the stevens is ordinary, and the trigger pull wasn't great. It did shoot reasonably well though. The marlin seems to have a setup similar to the savage accutrigger, which should be miles ahead of the stevens setup.

The marlin has received rave reviews out here for a budget priced rifle. One reviewer in a well known magazxine even said that the stock had some of the best checkering he's seen on an injection moulded plastic job.

I'd get the marlin!
 

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I have an XL-7 in '06 that I have over 700 rounds thru this year and liked it so much I went and bought an XS-7 in 308.

The XL-7 is the most consistanly accurate deer gun I own and they weigh around 6.5lbs with the synthetic stock. IMHO, the Stevens isn't even in the same league. Outdoor life has named the Marlin gun of the year, and they also listed it as a "Classic Gun" for the future.

If the weather cooperates next week, I plan on running my XS-7 Carbine in 308 thru some ammo at the range and see what that little gun will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info! In researching older posts I found many say "Stevens hands down" and just as may say "Marlin hands down". Fortunately I don't have to decide, I'll just pass on what I've learned but I suspect the trigger will tip the scale in favor of the Marlin.
 

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The Marlin is an attempt to copy the Savage. Spend just a bit more money and buy a Savage with a real accutrigger. The Marlin is NOT the same. Just a copy attempt. You WILL NOT beat a SAVAGE for price and accuracy dependability, all else being equal. All naysayers can bring it on, I will debate if you think you have an arguement. The Marlin IS just a cheap copy. End of story, and will never be a true Savage. By the way, I love Marlins lever guns and this is not a brand race. I just know a copy when I see one.:rolleyes:
 

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i don't see the marlin as a copy of the savage... the barrel nut is simply an economical way to set headspace and the stock, trigger and recoil pad are lightyears ahead of where savage was when they occupied that price range. i wouldn't get all worked up about marlin trying to "copy" savage... like i said, the barrel nut is cheaper than traditional headspacing methods and as to the trigger i think it is different enough from savages design that there won't be any patent issues, in fact marlin says that it's operation is entirely different than the accu-trigger...
 

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i don't see the marlin as a copy of the savage... the barrel nut is simply an economical way to set headspace and the stock, trigger and recoil pad are lightyears ahead of where savage was when they occupied that price range. i wouldn't get all worked up about marlin trying to "copy" savage... like i said, the barrel nut is cheaper than traditional headspacing methods and as to the trigger i think it is different enough from savages design that there won't be any patent issues, in fact marlin says that it's operation is entirely different than the accu-trigger...
Marlin certainly has copied aspects of the savage action in designing the XL7 but also taken features from Remington, Sako and Winchester rifles. I don't know that they're a "cheap" rifle as such, quality wise anyway. They certainly retail for less than the average Savage but the quality seems to be high.

I've never considered Savage rifles to be particularly well made anyway, although I'll admit the bastards will shoot!
 

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'Joe,
All I can say is at this time last year my local gun shop could hardly keep a Savage/Stevens rifle in stock. This year he sold less than 5. But, he can hardly keep the Marlins in any caliber or stock style on the shelfs. When you can buy a new Marlin with similar features as the more expensive Savage for nearly 1/2 the price, why would you buy a Stevens without those features?

The Marlin has a good recoil pad, adjustable trigger, pillar bedding, lightweight design, fluted bolt, weaver style bases included, and comes in black synthetic, camo, walnut, and Laminated stocks. The Stevens lacks most of these features and cost just as much as the Marlin.
 

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i have a marlin 60 semi auto that hits anythjing i want to out to a hundred with 4-12 on it.. i have a savage 110 in 30 06 that with its rnd is the most accurate 30 06 you can get,off a shelf..was a short time ago ,i could pop a bottle cap with either at the 100.that takes steady hands though.. niether took any accurising.... so both can be accurate in excess of the shooters ability,, usually. slim
 

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Send a message to Darkker on this board. He actually owns and shoots both. IME, the comparison is between Marlin and Savage (not Stevens) as far as features, accuracy, and quality. It's only the price aspect where Stevens comes into play; the Savages are just way too much money.
 

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Just read last night somewhere of the Stevens rifles being on sale at some outlet for $194. If I saw one of those, I'd be hard-put to turn it down.

But dollar-for-dollar, the price being the same, I'd jump on the Marlin in an instant.
 

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Just bought a slightly used .223 Stevens. 5/8" groups and I have not really started developing loads yet. No groups have been close to 1" with any load.

My 7-08 is about the same.

Trigger is heavy, but its pretty common knowledge Savage/Steven shoot very well till they foul.

Never shot a Marlin bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My price for the Marlin is $253 and for the Stevens it's $265 and Jerry's Sports has both in stock so that is a wash. Someone said "spend a few dollars more and get a Savage" but it's not just a few dollars, the cheapest Savage is considerably more and they aren't my dollars to spend.
It seems that more "aftermarket stuff" may be available for the Stevens but I just don't see that as a consideration. I'm more inclined to look for a rifle which doesn't need any aftermarket accessories, aside from scope mounts and it seems the Marlin comes with those.
So from what I've learned, both here and elsewhere, it looks like the Marlin is the clear choice.
Many thanks to all who have ventured an opinion either way, you've all given me just what I asked for, thanks again!:)
 

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OK, as MZ said here is your comparison:
The Marlin
(Either XL-7, or XS-7; same difference as Mod 10 Vs 110) is a Savage, more than Stevens.
The Marlin has a 2-Position safety like Remmy, the Back of the Bolt is like a Remmy, but has a floating bolt-head, and front half dissasembles like Savage. The Marlin has a "Pro-Fire" trigger, which is an Accu-Trigger. The Marlin has a Barrel nut. The Savage barrel nuts, barrel nut wrench, AND BARRELS ALL interchange with Savage.

Now I don't know about the accu-stock, but the Marlin is certainly no worse than the old style Steven's; personally, I think it is slightly more ridgid.

The Marlin trigger is easily on par with all of my accu-triggers for quality, and clean break.

If you are one of those folks who drive around with your muzzle on the floor board, the Marlin recessed crown is vastly superior in terms of protection from dings.

Accuracy is a complete push.

For for about the same,(less around here)money as a Stevens, I would take the Marlin.

Up until the upgraded stock options, I didn't understand how Savage could sell an accu-trigger gun, for a couple hundred bucks more than the non version.
Well with the Marlin you get essentially an Accu-trigger Savage, for the Stevens price.
 

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i had too savage 06 bought from walmart..377.00 w scheap scope.. both in the right hands with fusion 165 will hit the 1st hole with the 2nd rnd'' this with good solid scope set up an in somebody that can shoots hands..
2 yrs ago i could do it..
now they are in better shooters hands. steadier than mine..
but dollar value wise you can t find a new gun that will have better accuracy out the box..jmo slim
 

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I've had both. The wife still shoots her Stevens and won't give it up for any other in the world, (she doesn't realize its a inexspensine common rifle with a cheap scope and a basic trigger job that's not supposed to shoot half minuet of angle at 200 yds like hers does).
I had a new XS7 Varnmint with the 26" barrel that had such a poor trigger (very excessive creep), that I finnaly sold it without ever fireing the gun.
I fired another one in .308 with the standard barrel and the trigger was fine after some adjustment. Some of the low end guns like the Stevens and the Marlin XS or L7's are bound to have a few issues on some individual guns.
I worked on the wife's trigger for her years ago when I bought it for her,(reduced the sear engagement by resurfaceing the sear on a surface grinder and installing a lighter spring) and it's fine (DON"T DO THAT AT HOME IF YOUR NOT AN EXPERINECED MACHINIST / GUN SMITH).
The guy I sold the XS7 Vanmint to, had a smith work on his trigger and it worked out great for him. He tells me tha t.308 is a tack driver with the long heavy barrel.
I think the Marlin XS7 and the Stevens 200's are very comperable guns.
I like the Stevens better because it's a Savage Action, but I think the Marlins molded stock is more ridgid than the Stevens. The rest is a wash. Pick the one that turns your crank.

Get any trigger issues squared away and both guns are a very good value IMO.
 

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Fired the Marlin, but have only closely examined the Stevens. Based only on that, my nod would go the Marlin unless cost were the primary concern, in which case I'd say the Stevens looks to be darned good for the money. The Marlin looked better in my eyes, and the trigger was very, very nice.
 
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