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Head-to-Head Shootout: Bolt Rifles from Savage and Marlin

When we pitted Marlin’s XL7 Walnut and Savage’s 111FCNS in 30-06 Springfield, the latter shot lights out with two of our test ammos and otherwise behaved like a top-quality hunting gun.

It has been said that if you can't do it with a 30-06, you probably can't do it. That little saying is likely more right than wrong. It has been over a century since the U.S. Military recalled the (.30-03) M1903 Springfield rifle and modified it to accept the 30-06 in the form of the M1906. The most popular hunting cartridge in North

Walnut-Stocked Marlin XL7 Rifle
On the left is the new walnut-stocked Marlin XL7 rifle, which was outshot by the polymer-stocked Savage 111FCNS. The Marlin is pillar-bedded, but the barrel wasn’t free-floated like the Savage’s. All in, the Marlin XL7 wasn’t particularly wonderful at anything, but it wasn’t horrible at anything, either. The Savage, on the other hand, had an outstanding Accu-Trigger that broke at 2.5 pounds, a soft P.A.D. recoil pad, and an advanced AccuStock. It would have earned an A if part of the grip hadn’t fallen off.
America has spawned numerous variations, being necked up in the form of the .35 Whelen and necked down as in the 25-06, with the 270 Winchester perhaps the most successful of its many offspring. …

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