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jmluds
November 3, 2008, 02:23 PM
Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I am kind of new to the rifle modification/accurizing scene and am looking for some help and info.

I currently own a Ruger M77 Mark II Stainless/Synthetic 30-06 (one of the older ones with the skeleton style stock). I am having some difficulty getting it to group well. I have tried many different factory loads and seem to average 3" groups, with the best groups being about 2" at 100 yds. After this fall's whitetail season, I am pretty much going to pull out all of the stops and do whatever I need to get this thing to group better. I am looking for some help from some of the more experienced as far as what of the following will give me the best bang for the buck, which order to do things, etc. Here is what I'm considering. I am looking for comments on the following as well as suggestions for anything that I've overlooked.


1. Handloading - see if experimentation with handloads will improve the accuracy of this rifle.

2. New stock - purchase a stock from HS Precision, Bell and Carlson, etc (any other recommendations?) and install it

3. Glass Bedding of the new stock - Does glass bedding enhance accuracy of a high end full-length aluminum bedding block stock?

4. New Barrel - Purchase a new barrel from Lilja, Hart, etc. and get the action squared etc, when the barrel is installed.


Assuming that I can get this thing to group well, I am also planning on getting a new scope and trigger, but neither of those is causing my 100yd accuracy problems.

Where should I start? Or, would I be better off starting from scratch with a new rifle? Any help is appreciated.

Also, what are the other good centerfire rifle forums? Not planning on double posting this, just wondering for future reading.

Thanks!

trekkie951
November 3, 2008, 02:35 PM
..but its walnut and blued and newer. Compared to other rifles i have shot, the barrel on the ruger heat up the quickest. after only a few shots the groups widen. that could be what your noticing. I use remington core lokt 180's and they work good for me.

spruilldog
November 3, 2008, 02:47 PM
I have the exact same gun. Mine doesn't group well either. Some rugers are accurate. Others are not. Same with any gun except ruger seems to have a lot more in the not so accurate department. You can do a lot of things that may or may not help. I suggest getting rid of it and getting something else. Pick your poison, almost any off the shelf rifle these days will group better. The good thing about ruger is they are built solid so you can beat the game over the head with it if you can't get it to shoot.

fisherman66
November 3, 2008, 03:22 PM
I'd first let someone else try to group. That bugger kicks like the devil. You might be flinching.

I try different ammo next. Let your barrel cool as long as you can wait. I take a 22lr to the range to shoot between centerfire shots.

Are you sure your scope is in good shape?

Check your action screw to see if it's torqued right.

jmluds
November 3, 2008, 03:27 PM
Thanks fisherman. When sighting in I am generally shooting from a machine rest, and the gun does group similarly when others shoot it. I will try allowing more time between shots to see if barrel cooling helps. How would one go about checking the torque on the action screw?

Kentucky Deer Hunter
November 3, 2008, 03:32 PM
I have the exact same gun. I had the same problem and have been able to cure it. Here is what I did:

1. When I first got it, I took it out and shot it repeatedley without taking breaks. The barrel was extremely hot. After doing research, I learned to wait it out and let the barrel cool for 3-5 minutes between each shot. I also left the action open so it would allow cool air to flow through it freely during the break.

2. Took the gun to a gunsmith and had the trigger lightened significantly. If I remember correctly, it was over 6 lbs from the factory:eek:. I had it lightened to around 4 lbs and it has made a world of difference. When shooting, instead of pulling the trigger and then bang, I ease the trigger back while on target and the bang surprises me!

3. I tried several different brands of ammo. (These results were taken after the trigger job, these numbers were 2-3" worse before I had this done)
Remington Core-lokt - 3" group at 100 yds
Winchester X - 5" group at 100 yds
Federal (Blue Box) 150 gr. - What I use. 1 1/2" group at 100 yds

I have managed to get 1 1/2" groups at 100yds and 2 1/2" groups at 200 yards. Overall I am very pleased with this gun, at first it was frustrating, but it was fun tinkering with it.

Here is my original thread on here asking the same questions you had, they were all answered and it may help speed up your process. http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=265126

j.chappell
November 3, 2008, 03:35 PM
Sell it to me without the scope and buy another rifle!

J.

SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
November 3, 2008, 03:53 PM
G'day, try and lighten the trigger, keep the stock, float the barrel, and reduce trigger travel. I've tried to put a link to another thread about this model rifle. They are all low cost and easy to do at home.
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316864

j.chappell
November 3, 2008, 04:05 PM
Really,

I am not assuming anything about your knowledge or ability when I say the following, so please do not be offended.

You never did mention what optics you have installed.

1. Remove the scope, rings, and barreled action, clean the entire firearm inside and out. Use a really good "copper solvent" as the one that I bought years ago was so copper fouled that it took me four hours to clean it. Before the cleaning it wouldnt hold 3" @ 100 yards after simply cleaning and remounting the same scope groups were down to 1.75".

2. Reassemble with care.

3. Check your rings and scope.

4. Check the crown.

5. Have the trigger done, and go ahead and have the crown done at the same time.

6. Try some Hornady and Federal factory loads.

Now with the few things I have mentioned you will only have a minimal amount of money into the rifle. Take it to the range and see if it has helped. If it hasnt you have not wasted your money as you will want to have those things done anyway. You might just find that these few little things will fix your problem.

J.

jmr40
November 3, 2008, 07:32 PM
Ruger purchased barrels from outside suppliers for many years when they first made the 77's. Some were match grade and shot very well, others were pretty bad. With the introduction of the MK-2's they started making their own barrels, but used outside suppliers for some of the first ones. The Ruger made barrels generally shoot very well.

Check your action screws. If not tightened properly accuracy can drop off. Tighten all 3 screws to just snug first. Get the front screw pretty tight next. Move to the rear screw and leave it a bit looser. The middle screw should be just tight enough to not work loose from recoil.

As others have said give the barrel a good cleaning.

My Rugers in 308 and 280 shoot 1" groups with Federal Fusion ammo. Consider trying it.

Bigoledude
November 4, 2008, 02:40 AM
Ruger nearly lost the company over an adjustable trigger that was fantastic! There were some knuckleheads who would adjust them so lightly, they would set the gun stock down in their deer stand and blow their heads off.

Ruger then began to manufacture the current trigger. It comes as the lousiest trigger in the world. But, it is the easiest trigger to polish down into nearly a competition-grade trigger. I still have not the confidence to try the trigger-job myself. My gunsmith has all of mine breaking at about 3 pounds.

How is it you're so sure it's not your scope? Just asking, not suggesting.

My Ruger 30-06 wanted the bullet seated only a couple of thousandths off of the lands. Then, it shot like a dream.

jmluds
November 4, 2008, 08:48 AM
The scope is a Leupold Mark II, it's not a great scope, and not impossible that it could be the scope. I just think it is unlikely.

j.chappell
November 4, 2008, 08:54 AM
I doubt that it is the scope as I have never had a Leupold cause a bit of trouble.

J.

Scorch
November 4, 2008, 04:15 PM
I had one of the early Ruger 77 Mk IIs in the Zytel stock, and it shot very well indeed, but the felt recoil was definitely an issue for whether or not I could shoot it well. First thing I would do is put it in a different stock. Hogue overmoldes stocks are good and very reasonably priced, B&C and HS Precision make a very nice stock with bedding insert but are more expensive. Timney makes a trigger that really does just drop in. Other than that, your rifle probably shoots much better than you think it does. Make sure your scope bases are tight and the bore clean, and you should be able to turn ou a 3-shot group that will amaze you. After the first 3 shots, the group will start to open up due to the lightweight barrel profile.

And BTW, a 2" group is still bigger than a deer out to 500 yds, so the rifle will still do what it is intended for.