View Full Version : Ruger M77
September 14, 2007, 10:27 PM
I own an old 77 tang safty 7mm mag.I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the best shot but this gun is far from a tight grouper.It's primary use is for hunting but I'd sure like to shoot moa or better groups anyway.Is it really worth the price to bed,tune or rebarell it.I have to admit it's a beautiful looking gun and I like the crf. With the price of a vanguard sporter it seems it will be a cheaper route to buy a new one.
September 14, 2007, 10:43 PM
I'm NOT a fan of the 77. I had one in 270 that would shoot no tighter than 3" at 100 yards. When I called Ruger, they said that was within the accepted tolerances. I sold it. My friend has a beautiful little 77 in 22 hornet that he decided he wanted to make shoot tight, because it is such a pretty gun. He took it to his gunsmith to have him glass bed it--and the smith told him that it had no recoil lug! After sever hundred $ of work it shoots tight, but for the life of me I can't understand why the 77 sells. Its ridiculous to me. If you want accurate, buy a savage. If you want pretty and accurate, buy a remington or a weatherby. I'd sell your 77 and move on.
September 14, 2007, 10:46 PM
I think I'd bed it and float it. If that doesn't help a pressure point at the tip of the forearm might tighten it up further. A moderator here likes to use several layers of wax paper for the pressure point. Some others like an "o" ring and they trim the "above the wood" part once it's proven. Ruger used a private barrel maker for many years back in the tang safety/red pad days. Some had long throats and sloppy bores, others were very well made. The tang safety M77 is one of the finest bolt actions ever produced IMO. Unfortunately the barrel production of some years is a crap shoot. I don't know if it's worth your energy and dollars on a new barrel, but you have many things to try first before you deduce that as the problem.
September 15, 2007, 06:09 AM
I think you have a very nice rifle in the 77 Tang safety model, and if I had it, I would want to do some accurizing before dumping it. I'm positive that it can be made to shoot well, by glass bedding, free floating the barrel, and doing a trigger job, all of which are very doable.
My 7 mm Mag shoots three shots into a 1/2" group at 100 yards using 63.5 grains of H-4831SC, with 150 grain Nosler Partitions, and Federal 210M Primers.
Incidentally, my Model 77 Mk II in 257 Roberts shot the first three shots out of the barrel into a 9/16" group at 100 yards, after boresighting. No load development required. And, the rifle was stock with only a trigger job done.
Now that I think of it, I think you can get that 7mm Mag to shoot well by doing some serious load developing.
September 15, 2007, 06:19 AM
I like the Ruger 77's as well. I traded for a heavy barrel 25-06 back in the mid-80's. It was so so with accuracy. I rebarreled it in 6.5-06 for about $250 from Shaw and I'm happy with it now. I think the Ruger barrels of that era were not the best, but the action and stock are fine.
September 15, 2007, 12:25 PM
I've had several 77s (currently have two, synthetic stock 7X57 and 308 win.) most all of them shot at least 1.5 moa if I do my part and handload for best result. My first 77 was a 30-06 I bought new in 1979, that shot better than 1 moa, wish I had it now.
September 15, 2007, 12:41 PM
I own Rugers, I have owned Rugers, and I will continue to own Rugers. There are a lot of folks who don't like them, but they are bulletproof. Strong, solily built, and good shooters if you do a few necessary things to accurize them.
* Ruger uses unpiloted reamers to finish the chambers on their barrels, then cut the throsts at the end. I have seen Rugers with almost 2" of freebore. Not terribly conducive to accuracy. We used to accurize Rugers by first bedding, then trigger job, then set back and recut the chambers. Worked every time.
* Ruger 77s with the tang safety are not controlled round feed. They are push feed, they just happen to have claw extractors. The new Ruger 77, the Mark I, is controlled round feed.
* Rugers do have a recoil lug. All CF one-piece-stock bolt-action rifles have recoil lugs. The smith that said it had no recoil lug didn't know what he was talking about. On a Ruger 77, it's just smaller, that's all.
* There are several ways to make your rifle shoot better. Rugers tend to be a bit finicky about loads becasue of their longer throats, but they have always had good barrels on them. If you can afford $200, send the rifle to ER Shaw and get it rebarreled. If you can't afford that, talk to a smith and ask how much it would cost to get the barrel set back.
September 15, 2007, 12:49 PM
That gunsmith needs new glasses...
In my experience, that generation of Ruger bolt actions benefit from full-length bedding more than free floating.
My '06 77 was never a tack driver, but then again I never spent much time with it on the bench, but I did an identical one up for a friend that shot very nice with full length bedding, a trigger job, a blitz mainspring, and a decellerator recoil pad.
I think the average 77 is plenty accurate for hunting puposes, not to mention dead-reliable. BTW the 1st generation 77's were push-feed rifles, not CRF.
For some reason the 7mm mag rifles always seemed to shoot quite well, so I wouldnt give up on it.
September 15, 2007, 01:01 PM
I didn't mean to stir up a hornets nest by defaming the 77. They obviously have many fine points, after all, how many millions have been sold? I just have a hard time with a company turning loose rifles that have to be rebuilt before they are accurate. I don't have nearly the experience that some of you have, and I have learned a lot from what you have said. They are pretty guns, and they will all shoot minute of whitetail, so I guess thats the important thing.
September 15, 2007, 02:06 PM
I understand what you are saying Tyra. They are not bench guns, but I don't need a bench gun. The M77 Varmint 280 that has served as my deer gun for the last 10 years, will hold under 1 MOA with it's factory barrel with any load I've used. Not all M77s will, but that applies to many rifles. I am sick of carrying around a 10 lb rifle, so I am switching this year to a Ruger #1.
I think it was Douglas that did the tang safety version barrels. I believe they had a bad habit of letting the reamer get good and dull before they did anything about it. That would explain the crap shoot.
September 15, 2007, 02:26 PM
My best varmit rifle is a stainless M77 varmit in 22-250 I shot over 36 ground hogs with it this summer out to distances of 450 yards. I have a Remington Model 700 Varmit and it out shoots it. I also have a 22 hornet Ruger and several other M77 in other calibers and do not have a problem with accuracy. One of my favorite rifles is an old tang safety in 35 whelen. Granted it does have a douglas barrel which may account for it excellant accuracy.
September 15, 2007, 07:08 PM
Thank you all for your quick responses.I did not know the early 77's were push feed,(learn something knew every day)I had a feeling the gun might sit in the back of the safe,it's seems to be common knowledge for a ruger to shoot moa it needs to be worked on.I must still say I love there durability and looks though.
September 15, 2007, 08:24 PM
I've seen 77's that were hunted with in coastal conditions, put away damp from fog, and not uncased until the following hunting season. The rifle was *orange* with rust, the plunger ejector frozen in the "in" position since it went into the case with a round in the chamber, but some bead blasting and rebluing, and some cursing at the plunger ejector, and the customer walked out of the shop with a gun that ran again.
I think Rugers marketing has to take a lot of credit with this rifle. Really a good looking rifle out of the box, which works just well enough at an attractive price.
About the only thing I see on the older 77's that I find chintzy is the bolt stop/release bushing. Man, If I went back into gunsmithing I think I'd have a pez dispenser with those parts in them hanging over my bench. I lost them, my customers lost them..they wink off into the next dimension or something.
And while I'm thinking about it, the stupid pot-metal trigger guard and floor plate, which I replaced with the steel versions. They broke kinda easy in my opinion.
September 16, 2007, 09:28 PM
I to have the older tang 77 in the 06. I bought mine when ruger first came out with the laminated stock....I had issues with the laminated stocks...They replaced the stock afer the first issue....during the second....I requested replacement with a walnut stock and offered to pay the difference on the new walnut. They told me they will be glad to replace the laminate with the walnut. Got the rifle back in about 3 weeks with a beautiful walnut stock and with a copy of the bill mark no charge......Great rifle...and great company who takes care of the requests of their customers....well I know with me.
Oh my 77 is an excellant shooter....just as accurate as my 700 06.
September 17, 2007, 06:34 AM
It's good to know that Ruger takes good care of their customers.
That treatement has others buy their products.
That Corporate integrity is the absolute best!!!
September 17, 2007, 10:57 AM
I just talked to my friend with the 77 22 hornet. He got one of the first ones and they were built like a rimfire, NO recoil lug. That only lasted about 6 months, and then Ruger changed the 22 hornet to the same as their other centerfires. But after he had a lug added and had it bedded, it shot under an inch with loads it liked.
September 17, 2007, 11:40 AM
Back in the early eighties I purchased three NIB 77's from Ruger employees. The 25-06 were pretty dismal as far as accuracy. The .300 Winchester was a tackdriver and I kept it a few years. Early 77's seemed to be hit or miss. Essex
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