I guess I'm a bit of a procrastinator. I've had my Marlin XL7 30-06 for about two months now. I'd have had much more time to work up accurate loads if I had taken it out sooner than the day before a hunt, but at least I had the fore-sight to work up multiple loads. I'm going out after black bear tomorrow, and today I pulled the trigger for the first time on the new Marlin. I have to say I have mixed feelings. This Marlin seems MUCH more picky about ammo than the XS7 .243 I recently sold.
I fired loads using 180 gr. Nosler Partitions, and 150 Gr. Hornady GMX bullets with Varget, H 4831, IMR 4350, and RL 19. The best 100 yard group was with 180 gr. Nos. Parts. using a near-max load of RL 19. Three shot group was just under an inch. That's the load I'll be using tomorrow.
I guess for the first time out with a budget rifle I can't complain too much. I used the same Redfield 3-9X40 accu-range optic that was mounted on the .243. Here's hoping a black bear gets in the way of my bullet tomorrow!