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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been doing a lot of research lately on various sites about a good caliber for kids (10-16 boys or girls). Seemed that the there are a lot of choices out which made it tough to decide. then throw in the manufacturer and a budget and that made it even worse I am sure most of you going out there to puchase can agree.

I am not going to bore you with my various selections and reasons for picking what I did, but with the black Friday sales it gave me an excuse to go out and make a purchase. So after all said and done, I picked up a Marlin XL7 in .243. Later found a Bushnell 3x9 scope and put it on today. Now I have a reason to go out and sight it in some time this week.

This gun is a "get what you pay for" set up, but I think for a first gun it is very good. It isnt going to match up to the $500-700 rifles out there but, it isnt meant to either, I dont think. As soon as I get the chance I will report on my sucess at the range/field.

Thanks to all that post on this subject (new guns for son/daughter) here on this site, it helps guys like me make decisions based on other peoples experiences even though we may not know each other.
 

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i think you might end up being pleasantly suprised by the results/performance of that set up when you go to the range.
 

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nothing wrong with that set-up for a first gun, nice caliber also, my first centerfire rifle was a remington mohawk bolt action in a .243 it's a good all around caliber for whitetails and smaller
 

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I've been hearing a lot of good things about the Marlin. I'm sure it'll be a good shooter. My first deer rifle was a LH Rem 788 in 308 that I bought back in '76 for the grand sum of $150 with a weaver K4 scope on it. I still have it and it'll still shoot better than a $150 rifle has any right to. It's ugly as sin, but gets the job done every time I pull the trigger.
 

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Ain't nothing wrong with that Marlin.
Cost of a rifle is irrelevant. What counts is the ability to put a bullet where it is supposed to go.
Pretty and expensive don't make a shooter - practice does. You would be amazed at how many people own guns worth well over four figures that can't hit the broadside of a barn.
 

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You made a good choice, those Marlins are getting a LOT of good press now. John Barsness, the gunwriter who writes for the NRA magazines, used to write for Rifle and Handloader Magazines, now writes for Guns Magazine, thinks they are the best rifle (for the money spent) available today.
I haven't met him personally, but I've corresponded with him on another website quite a bit. He's the best and most common-sense writer in the business today. That "common-sense" part is important, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
went out to Busch yesterday afternoon around 3 to see what I could do with it. Shoots good, I like the trigger pull and have mixed feelings about the shoulder pad. very soft which is a plus for the recoil, but grabs/sticks to clothing and makes moving it around somewhat difficult. Hard to explain, but it would always drag on my coat as I was moving it onto the shoulder. Went through half a box and ended up with ~5" pattern at 100 yds. I thought that was pretty good considering. And I am not an expert shot by any stretch obviously, but I put the target out there just to see where the shots would fall.

I think I will take it out this weekend and see how well it does, maybe this is what I need to break the string of bad luck on deer this year.
 

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Make sure everything is still tight and get it dialed in tight. Shoot at a 2 inch or smaller target at 100, you will be suprise how much tighter your groups will be. Also remeber to give it some cool down time after every couple shots.:eek::
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tips.

on a different note, when did Busch get spotting scopes on the rifle range? I thought that was a nice addition.
 

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Quote: "ended up with ~5" pattern at 100 yds"

I'm curious to what that little squiggly line is in front of the 5? Are you saying that you ended up with a grouping that measured 5 inches in diameter? If so...sumpin ain't right on your set up. That rifle should straight out of the box shoot a group under at least 2 inches even with a novice shooter. Check out the scope mounting screws on the rings and bases. Make sure when you shoot for groups not to rest the barrel itself but use the forearm on the front resting point. Plus use a rear rest as well. You have to get the rifle solid prior to squeezing the trigger. No flip flopping of the butt of the gun in mid air like I've seen done at the range by fella's zeroing in their rifles. Good Luck on your next outing.

P.S. Just noticed the model of your purchase....Are you sure that you don't have a Marlin XS7 instead of the XL7? By Marlins website the .243 caliber only comes in the XS7 version.....unless you have a special order rifle. ??? Either way... it looks like a excellent choice in rifle brand and caliber for young and old shooters IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry, guess I should have elaborated a little more, I just used the hard plastic rest and set the stock on it, but did not have a rear rest. As far as ~ means "about".

I didnt make the trip down to measure, but just guessed. I know it wasnt the 2" grouping you mentioned that is for sure but would expect to get better next time around.
 

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[rquote=1491017&tid=104167&author=yankee]nothing wrong with that set-up for a first gun, nice caliber also, my first centerfire rifle was a remington mohawk bolt action in a .243 it's a good all around caliber for whitetails and smaller[/rquote]

wow yank, my first gun was a Remington Mohawk 48 12 ga semi-auto.

never saw anyone else mention "Mohawk"....I wonder if anyone knows much about em, or has anything in print?

mine has been the "go to" gun for the past few years, never misfired, Ive had it 38 years now. :2thumbsup:
 

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[rquote=1493811&tid=104167&author=knockemdeadd][rquote=1491017&tid=104167&author=yankee]nothing wrong with that set-up for a first gun, nice caliber also, my first centerfire rifle was a remington mohawk bolt action in a .243 it's a good all around caliber for whitetails and smaller[/rquote]

wow yank, my first gun was a Remington Mohawk 48 12 ga semi-auto.

never saw anyone else mention "Mohawk"....I wonder if anyone knows much about em, or has anything in print?

mine has been the "go to" gun for the past few years, never misfired, Ive had it 38 years now. :2thumbsup:[/rquote]

Remington went through a phase when they called economy grade guns "Mohawks" for some reason (probably the Mohawk River Valley in NY, where Ilion is) Your Mohawk 48 is probably the same thing as an 11-48, only with less costly wood. The Model 600 Mohawk referred to by yankee was the same gun as the 600, but with a lesser grade of wood on it. And there was the Mohawk Brown Nylon 66s, etc.
Later on, they went with "Sportsman" for the name of their economy grade guns, as in 1100 Sportsman (with birch instead of walnut) and the 870 Sportsman (just before the 870 Express came out).

Metal work was the same as the "premium" guns, but maybe with a slightly less polished blue. No matter, they were still good guns, all of them, regardless of the name on 'em.
 
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