Introduced at a recent gun show, Marlin’s XT line of rimfire rifles is perfect for target practice and small game hunting. They come in several different models, with four- or seven-shot clip magazines or 12-shot tube magazines; synthetic, hardwood or laminated stocks; ramp sights, hood sights or fiber-optic sights. All of them have Marlin innovations like the Pro-Fire adjustable trigger and Micro-Groove rifling. The XT-22 series comes chambered in .22 Short, .22 Long, .22 Long Rifle or .22 Winchester Magnum Rifle (WMR). The Marlin XT-22 I was evaluating was the seven-shot model with a hardwood stock.
I have long found Marlin’s Micro-Groove rifling quite adequate for producing good groups on paper, but my favorite part of this rifle its trigger. The Pro-Fire adjustable trigger is similar in design to the Savage AccuTrigger and produces a crisp let-off. I shoot a Savage AccuTrigger frequently on centerfire target rifles, so I’m used to their feel. The Marlin’s Pro-Fire trigger felt familiar and broke predictably. Checking the trigger pull, it measured 3.13 pounds out of the box.
A couple of weeks before squirrel season opened, I started my search for a set of mounts for the new .22. The Marlin XT-22 has traditional tip-off grooves to mount 0.75-inch scopes, but thoughtfully, Marlin also drilled and tapped the top of the receiver to give shooters the choice of better quality mounts. I started surfing and located Diversified Innovative Products, Inc., from Post Falls, Idaho. They offer a solid, one-piece mount featuring a Picatinny rail that fits this rifle. With this setup, the choices for mounting optics increase exponentially.
The DIP 15014 easily converts the bolt-action rimfire rifle’s dovetail so you can use just about any Picatinny- or Weaver-style ring and accessories. The Picatinny rail allows you to use quick-release rings so you can swap scopes between rifles. The two additional slots past the end of the receiver help with mounting long eye relief scopes for shooting from the prone position. The DIP mount is made from tough aircraft-grade aluminum and then black anodized for a durable finish. This mount installs easily with the four supplied #15 Torx screws for drilled and tapped receivers, but it fits a .22 dovetail so tightly that it can be used on a non-drilled and tapped receiver with four set screws. The model I installed had “MARLIN” laser-engraved inside the ejection port. All of DIP’s products are made from solid U.S. billet, instead of Chinese extrusions. Additionally, DIP offers a 25-MOA mount to allow a 300-yard zero for long-range shooting.