Marlin Model 7000 .22 Rifle
June 25, 2008
Marlin Model 7000 Semi-Auto Target Rifle
As with most shooters these days buying ammo is a real pain in the budget. Having that on my mind led me to buy a rifle I haven’t owned in years and that’s a 22 rifle. Saving money and shooting more isn’t the only reason to have a 22 rifle. A Marlin like this one is accurate at a greater distance than one might think. This model 7000 isn’t made anymore but can be pretty easily found. It has a heavy target barrel 18″ in length. The magazine holds 10 rounds of 22 long rifle. If you need extra magazines you can pick them up at WalMart which is convenient. The rifle comes with a black synthetic stock of the Monte Carlo type with a length of draw made for an adult. It also has sling rings which can be used to mount a bipod instead or you can add another sling ring to the rear of the stock front one for a bipod. The rifle weighs in at just over 5 pounds making it very handy to carry around the woods or range.
Right side view with a 4×32 scope Simmons.
Something you don’t see very often on a 22 rifle is a bolt hold open after the last round is fired. It also has a bolt hold open lever at the front of the trigger guard. The safety is the usual button that pushes right to left to take the safety off and is located just behind the trigger. The scope that came with the rifle was a Simmons 4×32. After going to the range I decided I needed a bit more magnification and replaced this scope with a new Bushnell 3x9x32. This scope is brighter and has a cleaner view than the Simmons and came with heavy duty scope mounts. At the rear of the scope is a ring to set the scope from 3 to 9 power. Scope covers come with this scope.
Bushnell 3×9 replacement scope
At the range I set the scope up for 100 yards. I know that may seem like that’s pushing the limits of a 22 long rifle but actually once the scope was calibrated the groups were around 2 to 2 1/2 inches using Federal hollowpoints. My best group was 2 inches firing 10 round strings. The balance of this rifle is very good. Comfortable to shoot and very easy to hold on target off hand. The groups I mentioned above were fired using a table with elbows resting on the surface. Not as stable as a rest but good enough for the groups I shot today. All total I shot 300 rounds without any problems at all even though it has been some time since the rifle has been cleaned. After cleaning I took the rifle back to the range and improved my 10 round groups by 1/4 to 1/2 inches. I used Lanigan products to clean the receiver as well as KG 2 bore polish which makes the inside of the barrel shine like a new penny. A lot of shooters buy a 22 rifle or pistol and never clean them. Sorry but I can’t do that and never have been able to. I want my guns clean inside and out no matter if it’s a 22 or whatever. I used Lanigan KG1 to remove powder residue and KG 12 Bore Cleaner to remove copper. If you can’t get your rifle clean with these products you can’t get it clean with anything. I followed up with Wilson Combat’s Ultima Lube gun grease which really slicks up the bolt and a touch of Wilson gun oil for other moving parts. Now you have a clean and very smooth action. The Wilson Gun Grease is especially noteworthy in that it is the slickest gun grease I have ever used and stays where you put it and last for a very long time.
I was able to purchase this little used rifle with Simmons scope for $130 then traded in the Simmons scope for the Bushnell for a total cost of $145. Not bad at all for a Marlin like this with the heavy target barrel. In short this is a very nice rifle at a good price that has some nice features with much better than average accuracy at distance which I’m sure is due to the heavy match barrel. Of course your wallet feels much better after you purchase a brick of 22 long rifles rather than .223’s. That and they are just as much fun to shoot now as when you were 12 years old!
I found our something interesting concerning ammo I thought I would pass along. The small groups I got were with Remington Copper coated hollowpoints. Yesterday I went out to the range and used some Winchester lead hollowpoints. The difference in accuracy was astounding to say the least. My groups opened up to 4 to 4 1/2 inches! The ammo wasn’t that old and there were no other factors to account for this difference in accuracy with the exception of brand and the lead bullet. I can only conclude that the Micro Groove rifling Marlin uses doesn’t like lead bullets at all. Just a little info for those who want max accuracy should stick with the copper bullet and leave the lead ones alone.