View Full Version : "Flat Bolt" Ruger?

Rob Pincus
December 18, 1998, 06:44 PM
Someone pulled that term out on my today referring to an older Ruger Bolt action and I had no clue what they were talking about.

Someone care to explain it to me? (like which years or ser# ranges are "flat bolts" and any palpable differences between there and "regular" bolt Rugers.)


George Stringer
December 18, 1998, 07:18 PM
Rob, I don't really remember what, if any, differences there were and don't actually recall ever working on one where that came into play. Ruger stopped making the flat bolts in 1972 or 73 I think. I don't have a serial number breakdown on them. Maybe one of the other guys can tell us a little more about them. George

Rob Pincus
December 18, 1998, 07:25 PM
Thanks George, glad to hear that it isn't some major thing.
I know about as much about the history of bolt rifles as Col. Walter Kurtz knew about braiding his own hair.


Rob Pincus
December 21, 1998, 10:00 PM

Could you describe how one could tell the difference between the two bolts?

I'm trying to figure out if I have one. The Ser# was inconclusive based on your last info, in taht it was apparently manufactured in 1973!


George Stringer
December 23, 1998, 12:23 AM
Rob, I've been racking my brain and looking through everything I have on Rugers and I can't remember much in the way of differences. The flat-bolt did have a bolt handle that was flat on top and bottom but nothing else really stands out to me. If I come up with anything more like serial numbers, etc. I'll let you know. George

4V50 Gary
December 23, 1998, 12:52 AM
I may be on the wrong track, but when the Ruger M77 was first introduced (1968), it featured a prominent "dog leg" style bolt which was reminiscent of the British Enfield rifle. Bill Ruger liked it so much, he patented it (Des. 218,304). Few others, including employees, shared Ruger's enthusiasm and it was the most disliked feature of the M77.

Forward to 1970. In steps Leonard Brownell (of Brownell fame), one of the few whom Ruger trusted for taste. Ruger challenged Brownell to design a new bolt handle and Brownell's submission was adopted the day after being presented to Ruger. That bolt handle was short lived and in 1971, to facilitate casting, Ruger eliminated the hollow in the bolt handle and the bolt took its third and final form.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

Rob Pincus
December 23, 1998, 02:06 AM
thanks Gary. If your date is accurate, my gun is definitely not a flat-bolt.
The bolt handle doesn't really look much different from any other bolt, so I guess I have a normal one.

Doc Lisenby
December 30, 1998, 11:58 AM
Gary, nice explanation of the Ruger bolt handle evolution. I wondered how that happened. The Rem XP 100 has what Gallagher would call "STYLE". Would you please interpret the Latin for me?

4V50 Gary
December 30, 1998, 12:58 PM
Equity aids the vigilant and not one who sleeps upon their rights.

December 31, 1998, 04:07 PM
Yes, I have an old 77 flatbolt in 250-3000 and the top of the bolt handle is flat and there is more "dog leg" in the handle also. If you see them side by side it is easy to tell.