View Full Version : Ruger M77 Won't Chamber

September 25, 2002, 12:56 AM
Let me start by saying that this isn't my rifle, and I don't know a thing about M77's other than it's a bolt-action rifle.

My coworker bought a used M77 in 7mm Remington Magnum this past weekend, and when he chambers a round the bolt handle won't go down, it only slides forward to the point where it should pivot. Upon closer inspection after we removed the bolt, it seems that the pin on the face of the bolt is frozen and won't move.

My questions are is this common on the M77, and how do you disassemble the bolt to clean it and check it out? If it's not an easy fix, then he'll turn the gun back in and get a new one, but it's in such nice shape that he'd like to keep it so if a quick cleaning and lubrication would fix it, it sounds like a worthwhile project.

By the way, yes, we triple-checked ammunition versus chambering on the rifle... ;) Thanks in advance for information.

September 25, 2002, 07:56 AM
Maybe a call to Ruger's customer service? They might have a quick fix for you. Never heard of this particular issue on a Ruger M77 rifle, though

Art Eatman
September 25, 2002, 08:33 AM
If there is any sort of competent gunsmith around your area, it should be quite easy for him to disassemble the bolt and clean it. He can readily judge whether factory help is needed.

The pin should retract when the bolt is opened; you can safely do this with no round in the chamber. (Close bolt on empty chamber; pull trigger; open bolt. Remove bolt. Examine.) You might soak the bolt overnight in a pan of gasoline and try this again.

Guessing at possible causes: Either a broken firing pin; a broken firing pin spring that has jammed the pin, or a bit of grunge buildup inside the bolt and maybe some rust which has frozen the pin in place. Or maybe some doofus disassembled the bolt and goofed on reassembly, somehow. Dunno.

If a soak in a solvent doesn't help, see a gunsmith.

:), Art

Unkel Gilbey
September 25, 2002, 01:00 PM
When you mentioned the 'pin' I had to think about it for a second or two... There is the round ejector 'button' or 'pin' which stands proud of the bolt face - but off center.

I know there's a wicked spring that holds that sucker in place - I suppose that it could be frozen, but perhaps it's just stiff?

I would take some brake parts cleaner, or some carb cleaner, and spray the bolt liberally with this, allow it to drain off and dry, and then try to load and lock the weapon. If this works, you're good to go. But if it doesn't, it's time to disassemble the bolt and troubleshoot. And no, I don't believe I've seen or heard of this problem before either.

I would imagine that the stuck ejector is probably your problem, as if the firing pin were frozen out, you should still be able to drop the bolt home, there's just a chance that the rifle would fire as the bolt went into battery. A slight chance I would think, as it usually takes quite a smack to detonate a primer.

Let us know how you fare.

Unkel Gilbey

September 25, 2002, 02:50 PM
Quoteing Art Eatman;

You might soak the bolt overnight in a pan of gasoline and try this again.

Please, Please don't soak anything in a "pan of gasoline". You are setting yourself up for a very dangerous fire hazard. All it takes is for the fumes from the gasoline to make it to an open flame and it is "Instant Fireball".

You will be much better served to use anyone of the numerous "Safety" solvents around. They don't blowup so easy.

Let's promote a little safety in our endeavours.

September 25, 2002, 03:24 PM
i dont think the bolt closes on an M77 with the safety on

Art Eatman
September 25, 2002, 04:13 PM
Outdoors, LoneStranger, outdoors. Indoors, it's smelly and the wife doesn't like it. Heck, I don't, either! :)

The reason you drink real coffee instead of instant is so you have all those empty cans in which to soak or wash parts. I thought everybody knew that.


george miller
September 25, 2002, 04:54 PM
im looking at my m77 in 223.it has a 3 pos safty.1= safe(all the way back,cant unload the gun or move the bolt)2.can load and unload gun but still no fire and 3(all the way forward)= fire. ive never had a problem with my gun but that is not to say it couldnt happen.get a local smith to just look it over then if its a bolt issue,id send it to ruger.

September 25, 2002, 05:03 PM
My m77 is a mark I with the 2 position tang safety

i'm pretty sure its safety off to load

September 25, 2002, 09:33 PM
I'll check with him tomorrow and see if he used any of the suggestions on this thread to fix the rifle. We may be able to get a whole bunch of folks out shooting on Friday, and it would be a good time to check out his rifle.

Thanks again for the inputs, that's why this board is so great.

September 25, 2002, 11:10 PM
The reason you drink real coffee instead of instant is so you have all those empty cans in which to soak or wash parts. I thought everybody knew that.

Some problems Art;

1. I don't drink coffee. It tears my insides up something fierce.;)

2. As to everybody Knowing? something, well I look on that like I used to look on the people who would check 480vac circuits using their bare hands. Yes, IF you know what you are doing you can do it. However, if you make a mistake your room for manuver is reeeal limited. Using gasoline is in the same area in that you are not allowed much for mistakes.:eek:

Please, don't take this personally, but as we have gotten older in our uses of the products of technology we have killed and maimed a whole bunch of people finding out what should not be done. Let's not let their sacrifices be in vain.

September 26, 2002, 12:00 AM
Was the bolt closed (ie forward into battery and down) when he bought the gun? Does he remember that lifting the bolt one time (the time before the problem occurred) was different than previous times. I'm betting on rust or a broken firing pin spring.

Even if the solvent soaking frees up the bolt, if it was my rifle I would want to see what had caused it to jam up before I fired it again. Take it to a gunsmith and see what he says.

JohnDog (I get coffee in bags ):confused:

Art Eatman
September 26, 2002, 08:40 AM
LS, I guess I've been washing car parts in gasoline for forty years. But I doubt if even a closed container has ever come in the house with me. Some stuff is outdoors-only, and then with caution. Lotsa caution. And my garage/workshop is 50 yards from the house...

Gun muzzles, gasoline, hot wires: Caution, always caution!

Everybody knows that. :D