Gonna get at least a couple 22 bolt guns for 50 yard shooting on the planned 50 yard rimfire range. I know I had said in another thread that Marlin probley wouldn't be one. But I have been doing a lot of research on Rim Fire forums and found this info. Most complaints on the Marlins are about Barrels. From the guys who shoot A LOT and mostly .22 target its a bad rap. And this is from those who shoot not only Marlins but others as well. 1. The XT 22 along with Savage MKII are about comparable guns. Big differences are the Savage has a little better trigger and Marlin has a better stock. Savage gets knocked for feeding problems ( they don't have a feed ramp ) and Marlin as stated for problematic groups. There is very little info on the Ruger American 22, most complaints are lack of bull barrel version and price point around $40-50 higher than the other two. Even tho the Savage trigger is liked over the Marlin both are rated REAL GOOD, mostly a matter of opinion and even those who favor the Savage Trigger say there isn't enough difference to make it a deal breaker. As for the feed problem in the Savage it depends on who is rating it. Bench shooters say .... NO ISSUE, as they feed one at a time and that is what I will do. Stocks are like the trigger issue, Savage is said to have a Little more flex than the Marlin but again not .02 worth of difference. Now for the general shooting and group question. Seems the ones who have their Marlin XTs shooting Great groups say its strictly a bullet issue. they say the Micro Groove Barrel needs a FATTER bullet to obtain the best performance. This is due to the shallower grooves in the Marlin and they need a fatter bullet than a traditional riffled barrel as in the Savage and others. They go as far as Micking all the bullets and finding the ones with the largest diamaters. Or finding a brand that is larger than the rest. I can get an XT 22 with bull barrel and Synthetic stock for $225 at my LGS, the Savage MKII will run $235. He has a Ruger but listed at $288. So I believe I will start with the XT and then the Savage. I will wait and see if the Rugers expand their line to include a bull barrel or come down in price or I can find one for about the Marlin or Savage Price. Being realistic none of the three are going to be competitive for SERIOUS 50 YARD target. But are rated as GREAT FOR THE MONEY and able to hold .5" groups with the correct ammo and shooter. And that's my level now anyway. I think being able to put a gun on the bench with fairly good optics for around $350 is my goal for now.