Mid September 2010
Long time no write !
Having spent the summer moving and settling into our new home and routine I have found little time to do any writing. Much like my trigger finger needing to shoot, there are some topics I would like to pen.
In an effort to steer myself into being an "X" smoker, I have vowed not to smoke in the new house. For me however, sitting here at my desk and actually doing some writing always included half a pack of cigarettes. So if I get the shakes and add too many lettters in words, you'll know why.
Yesterday, I received the November issue of Shooting Times magazine. I only made it through one article so far but it was an article I wish I had written.
Basically a product review on the Marlin X series bolt guns, it drove home what I already knew. For the money, it's an excellent rifle. Last fall at the shop, I sold several of them and the buyers reported being very pleased with the performance of the Marlin's. I have not shot one of them yet but it's on my list of things to do.
Let me regress briefly. I said I hadn't shot one so how is it that I "already knew" that it is an excellent rifle? For starters, Marlin has always turned out some very accurate barrels. My first Marlin was a little Model 60 22 and it still sits in my safe 35 years later. In fact if I had to blame one single thing for me being a "rifle addict" it would be the Model 60. Fast, accurate and cheap to shoot were all the right ingredients. 3 years later when I bought my first centerfire it was a Marlin 336 30-30. I don't even know off the top of my head how many deer I have taken with that rifle but it would fill a lot of freezers.
In the late 80's I watched a friend of mine shoot weeds with his model 39A. Literally, he would tell me which weed at 50 plus yards that he was going to shoot and then he did it, with open sights.
So when I opened the first Marlin X series to arrive at my shop last fall I was full of anticipation and was pleasantly surprised at just how nice the gun was. It reminded me of a Ford truck purchase I made in the late 90's. My brother called me on a Monday morning and told me that the dealership he was working at had gotten a used F250 in on trade over the weekend. An hour later I drove onto the lot with my older F150 and got out to talk to the salesman. He insisted that I test drive the F250 before signing on the dotted line. He finally won the argument and I went for a "test drive". It was a waste of time, I didn't need to test drive it. It was the big brother of the truck I had been driving for 5 years. I drove that F250 9 years. Marlin knows how to build a rifle, I really don't have to shoot one to know that the odds of it being a fine rifle are pretty damn good.
The finer points in a nutshell:
Then probably most importantly, at your shoulder, it has the fit and feel of "home" with traditional styling, size and balance.
Savage/Stevens 200 was the one to beat for this market and I think Marlin was successful at it. Savage has a new rifle out now called the "Edge". The first one arrived at the shop this week in 223. It is even less expensive than the Marlin. The trigger is nasty but otherwise the gun has a nice fit and feel. It does have a detachable magazine for those that appreciate a detachable but I'm not one of them. It is a Savage and if I were a betting man, it will shoot.
Taking a closer look at the Savage Edge there are some noteable differences. The Savage has an integral trigger guard, in otherwords it's part of the stock, similar to the ever popular flop, the Remington 770. The action sits farther foward in the stock which would account for the nose heavy feel at your shoulder. The stock has a taper or recess area above the forearm which I think adds a certain sleekness to the gun. The seam in the stock from the molding process is a big improvement over the Stevens 200 seam which had you wishing you had a piece of sandpaper nearby to fix what they didn't bother to.
While Savage fans will have no problem dealing with/fixing the nasty trigger, those interested in out of the box and off to the range will likely enjoy the Marlin more.
Update July 2012
Marlin dropped the camo and dropped the stainless offerings. A program I would not have recommended but so be it.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:01 AM