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Old July 1, 2013, 11:40 AM   #1
bamaranger
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dusted off the old 77V

About 1980 or so, Remington stopped making 5mm rimfire ammo and I needed a new groundhog rifle.

I walked into a shop I frequented and there was a heavy barrel varmint rifle, absolutely gorgeous. A classic, simple stock of walnut. Deep blue on the tapered heavy barrel, I was stricken.
I plunked down $275 of seasonal pay for the Ruger 77V, in 22-250, the old model with tang safety, red pad, and semi adjustable trigger. The rifle came with a target and a suggested load that was really impressive. I had to save a bit more to get dies and a scope, but eventually found a used Weaver K12 ($35) and got the rifle up and running.

Oh man, what an eye opener. I shot tight groups and groundhogs further than I thought possible, way beyond the range of my little 5mm mag that had been my groundhog rifle before. I new little about precision reloading, but it didn't seem to matter. Size and seat a new primer, weigh the noted charge of 4064, and plug a 52 Sierra match HP (no clue as to ideal seating depth) and shoot, further than ever.

Life went on, got married and we relocated, no groundhogs to speak of in the new locale, and I retired the varminter. It was just to good a shooter to sell, but it languished in the safe. I pulled the old Weaver off for my first F-T/R build (again, couldn't afford a good scope right away) and when I eventually remounted it on the Ruger, did not even re-zero.

I dusted the Ruger off when a neigbor complained about crows raiding his fields. I unearthed a partial box of my old reloads and re-zeroed a tad over an inch high at 100.

This morning, a crow settled in a distant tree and I settled into a rest against an old hay wagon and lined up about an inch over its back and squeezed off a shot. I lost it in recoil, but as I re bolted I saw a crow sail in and land on the ground at the bottom of the tree. Lined up again, same hold, and shot. Saw that crow flop. Well, the old rifle scores again! At least I got one, even if it took two tries, thinks I.

After a bit I went over and was tickled to find two very dead crows about 6 feet apart. I'd lasered some distances there earlier, and believe the shots were at 275. Plenty pleased.

So, lets start an old 77V thread. Did/do you have one, how'd it shoot? What glass did you put on it. Gosh, ain't they pretty. If I could find one not shot out in .308.......I might part with some hard earned bucks again.
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Old July 1, 2013, 12:44 PM   #2
FrankenMauser
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I have one that originally wore a .220 Swift barrel. My father bought it new.
The rifle saw many thousands of rounds, but the throat was still good when I sold the barrel.

Now, it's wearing a 25" Shilen 6mm barrel with a custom chamber (consider it a .243 Win).

The first scope that rifle had mounted on it was a Leupold Vari-X II 6.5-20x50mm. It's still there, today; and has not been out of the rings since the day it was mounted.


That rifle has always painted pretty little pictures with tiny little groups.
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Old July 1, 2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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bamaranger, you weren't concerned about shooting up into a tree with that .22-250? Had you missed, that bullet could have gone quite a long ways.
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Old July 1, 2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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I have one in 220 Swift, though the original barrel has been replaced. Wonderful shooter with old barrel and with new barrel. I've read that the original barrel was probably a Shilen. But whoever made it made a good one.

I had always wanted a 220, and I found this one at a gun show in Houston. Some old cowboy had the barrel shortened so that it would be easy to put on the dashboard of his truck for coyote elimination. I think I paid $200 for it. That was back in the 80's. And I used it one time on a crow that was about 200 yards out. When the Nosler 55 gr SBBT hit him there was a halo of black feathers. That's the rifle I reach for when the 'mail' absolutely has to be delivered.
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Old July 1, 2013, 11:58 PM   #5
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I had a 77V in 22-250 I picked up in trade for working on another rifle. Had the old brown Micro-Bed bedding. Wouldn't shoot, I was told. I dug out the old bedding material and did a proper glass bedding job on it, set the barrel back two turns, put an old Tasco 6-18 rangefinder scope on it, and went to sight it in. First two shots touching was very promising, and the next three gave me a 1/2" group. A friend of mine wanted a 22-250 but was unconvinced by paper targets. We took a drive around his dad's ranch to find appropriate targets to test the rifle on. We were driving up along a hillside and he stopped the truck, got out and asked me to hand him the rifle. Out in the pasture about 450-500 yds, at the end of a branch, bobbing up and down about a foot and a half each swing of the branch, was a crow. He leaned across the truck door and fired. The crow disappeared in a puff of black feathers. He was pumped! "This rifle is a killer! How much do you want for it?" I told him what I wanted plus enough room to bargain, and he said OK. Later I asked him how he had doped the shot, he said he just put the crosshairs on the crow and fired. I figure he must have fired at the top of the crow's swing and hit it at the bottom of the swing. Had to be one of the luckiest shots (or unluckiest crow) I have ever seen!
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Old July 2, 2013, 07:55 AM   #6
kahrguy
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If the price was right being shot out is not a problem. I had an old smithy rebarrel my ruger 77mkII with a #6 profile kreiger 27"barrel. Accurate beyond my dreams.
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Old July 2, 2013, 12:28 PM   #7
bamaranger
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"up into a tree"

Well actually, it was a level sort of shot across a large hayfield. The tree in question on the woodline along the opposite side, with a wooded hillside rising behind. After punching through the crow, that little slug likely didn't go 10 ft before it buried what ever might have been left of it in a hardwood limb or blew itself to pieces.

One should always be sure of their target and beyond. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old July 2, 2013, 12:41 PM   #8
bamaranger
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220 Swift

Regards the old 77V's in 220 Swift. I believe, for some odd reason, that I have seen more of those rifles, in that caliber, setting used in the racks, than any other chambering.

The odd duck seems to be one in .308. Wonder if the high-power guys simply rebarrel and keep shooting them? Or it may be that the varmint cals were more popular in my area. At one point I think the 77V in .308 was a popular metallic silhouette rifle and there has not been a lot of that around here.
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Old July 2, 2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Back in the 1970s I had a heavy-barrel Ruger in .220 Swift. I put a Canjar single-set trigger on it, and a 3x9 Redfield. 3/8 MOA from the bench. I used the Sierra 52-grain HPBT and 3031.

I'd sit all comfy, leaned back against a tree not far from the house and watch over a swale-like valley in the late afternoons. Feral house cats at 300 to 400 yards. Perfect tool for the job.
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Old July 2, 2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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I have a 1973 or so 77V in 25.06 and a 1976 in 22-250.

Just great rifles. I don't know off the top of my head the twist on the 25.06.
It does not like the 87/90 gr. bullets. It does like the 117/120 gr.

I have really been pleased with both of them.
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Old July 3, 2013, 12:30 AM   #11
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Regards the old 77V's in 220 Swift. I believe, for some odd reason, that I have seen more of those rifles, in that caliber, setting used in the racks, than any other chambering.

The odd duck seems to be one in .308. Wonder if the high-power guys simply rebarrel and keep shooting them? Or it may be that the varmint cals were more popular in my area. At one point I think the 77V in .308 was a popular metallic silhouette rifle and there has not been a lot of that around here.
Mine spent its whole life in Utah (other than quick trips to Wyoming or Idaho).
Around here, I have never seen another factory 77V that wasn't a .220 Swift. And, even with the re-barreled rifles, 90% of them still have .220 Swift or .220 Swift AI chambers.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:36 PM   #12
bamaranger
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wow, 220 Swifts

Now that IS interesting. If I recall correctly, Ruger sort of resurrected the Swift in that era, as it was long gone as a factory chambering by all the other mfg's by that time.
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Old July 8, 2013, 03:33 AM   #13
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Got the 243 Great little rifle,little heavy but atrue shooter.
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Old July 8, 2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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I have the same gun. Used it in the 80's to kill rockchucks for my bros. fox farm. Seemed to shoot every load 1/4-3/4 moa. Accurate as snot with a 4x12 Leupold AO and Harris bipod.
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Old July 12, 2013, 03:14 AM   #15
bamaranger
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freebore!!!!!!!!!! skads of it

Well, my vintage reloads about all gone, I decided to apply all my new knowledge about reloading and apply it to the 77V.

Shock!!!! The freebore is so long, that a 52 MHP will not come close to the rifling, even when barely bumped into the case mouth. Seat the bullets so they feed from the mag and they are way off the rifling still.

The rifle doesn't know about proximity of its bullets to the leade, as it still shoots like a demon despite all that "extra" space.
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