I finally was able to get the deer rifle I have been wanting. After much reading and research I decided that I wanted my deer rifle to be chambered in .308 Winchester, primarily for ammo/bullet availability, the amount of reloading and ballistic data available, and the likelyhood that the farthest shot I'd be comfortable with would be somewhere around 400 yards. Because price was a concern (money doesn't grown on trees) I decided on a Marlin X7 with a black stock and blued finish. After getting scope rings, I mounted a Simmons AETEC that I purchased back in 2003 on it and took it to the range on Saturday. Despite not having boresighted it, I was able to get it sighted in to 50 yards before running out of ammo. The rifle shoots like a dream and all the positive reviews about it have been accurate. The only issue is I need to reposition my scope as the cross hairs do not appear to be perfectly verticle and horizontal. I hope to borrow a gun vice and make sure the scope is mounted properly. This rifle has definitely exceeded my expectations and the .308's recoil is tolerable. Overall I am very impressed with the rifle and look forward to getting in more range time with it.
"When in doubt [use] C4." -Jamie Hyneman (Mythbusters)