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View Full Version : Ruger M77/357 - What a FUN gun!


NINEX19
June 15, 2015, 10:29 AM
Just some random thoughts and first impressions on this gun ( http://ruger.com/products/rotaryMagazine77357/models.html ).

I was lucky enough to find a used (slightly) one recently for a somewhat reasonable price. This has been on my short list for years, but I have found them, in the past, impossible to locate in my area. I don't want to buy online as I want to inspect, touch the actual item before buying and risk the hassle of sending a firearm back, getting refunds, loosing out on shipping, etc.

Anyway, I have found this to be not only a fun little rifle, but also a potential lightweight hunting rifle also. I love what it can do for the .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges. I have gone from lightweight plinking .38 Spl. rounds at @850 fps to .357 Mag. rounds (158g) at @2400 fps.

I like the all weather stainless steel. The composite stock is a perfect match for it and makes 30-30 rifle level loads feel to have the recoil of slightly more than a .22 LR. The 18.5 inch barrel makes for a nice short rifle that is easily maneuvered through the woods. The open sights are rugged and get me on target easily, but I did put some yellow fingernail polish on the brass bead front sight to contrast better. The bolt is strong and smooth.

The rotary magazine is probably my only real complaint; though it is minor. It would be nice if it was larger than 5 rounds. A 10 round one would be better, but I understand the issue of a rimmed cartridge in stacked magazines. Having said this though, the magazine does function flawlessly in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Easy to load and snap into place, but it does have a little tricky learning curve on getting it back out of the gun.

So, anyone love this gun, or do you find it just an unnecessary firearm that others can do better. Does anyone else share the same opinions or am I blinded by love and need to be set straight? :D

Tony Z
June 15, 2015, 10:44 AM
Would love to get a 77 in .357! Would it happen to be available in a walnut stock?

NINEX19
June 15, 2015, 11:03 AM
I have not seen any in a walnut stock, but possibly in the past Ruger listed them with that option. Currently, the only M77 with a walnut stock option is the .17 HMR and WSM.

Walnut would be nice option looks wise, but would add weight (@ 2lbs) and take away somewhat from the mobility of it.

Colt46
June 15, 2015, 12:26 PM
For handguns it's not really able to make use of that. In a strong rifle action, the sky is the limit.

NINEX19
June 15, 2015, 09:48 PM
Perhaps these are either more difficult to get a hold of or there just is not the interest in them. I thought there might be more feedback from owners of this little gem.

Colt46 - yes, a max charge (compressed load) of H-110 produces amazing velocities.

Sevens
June 16, 2015, 12:41 AM
Looks like a heap of fun and I really want one and in the last couple of weeks I was even pretty close to buying one... but can't do it. The price annoys me.

I'm not 100% sure why it grates on me so, afterall I chase handguns that cost the same or more money.

I think it's the trend in the last ~5 years of budget bolt action rifles with prices MUCH lower. Ruger's entry in to that ballgame with the American series just rubs salt in to the wound.

How annoyed have I gotten?
Well, local huge gun store here had em in stock and tagged at $779! I asked to handle one and said no way and the salesman asked me what I would offer and I thought about it, got a little gun fever and told him $700 OTD. So he went back to the office and came back with $700+tax, and I walked.

Six days later they release their new montly flyer and wouldn't you know it, their $779 rifle is on sale (right now) for $649.

But I'm out. Sorry. Looks like a blast at $450. Until that happens or they release an American in .357, it's merely a rifle for me to read about.

ChiefTJS
June 16, 2015, 09:37 PM
I LOVE this rifle!! Yep, it cost too much and yep I have plenty of other rifles that out shoot it and offer way more power but this little rife just makes me smile every time I take it out.

I wanted one for a long time and just couldn't make myself put up the cash. I I threw out a trade offer on another forum against a gun I liked but didn't love and now I got something I love. I need to put a scope on it one of these days to see what I can really do with it but I'm just having so much fun plinking with it with open sights it may never happen.

I'd say if you're on the fence then you need to buy one. It's worth it!

ratshooter
June 16, 2015, 10:37 PM
I have gone from lightweight plinking .38 Spl. rounds at @850 fps to .357 Mag. rounds (158g) at @2400 fps.

I would really like to know what load you are shooting where you get 2400fps with a 158gr bullet. I have been shooting and loading for 357 lever guns for over 20 years and never had or seen published any 158gr load that comes close to that speed.

Did you chonograph the load or are you just guessing? I have gotten around 1850fps (chonographed) from my loads which match what the loading manuals say but I do not believe you can get enough of any proper powder in that little case to reach the velocity of 2400fps or even come close to that speed.

Glad you like your rifle. My Marlin is my favorite of all the guns I own. Far better than the Rossi I had for several years.

NINEX19
June 16, 2015, 11:07 PM
Rat shooter, thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are correct it was not 158 grain. I had to go back and look at my records to double check. The @ 2400 fps (actually 2340) load was with 125 grain Remington sjhp using published data of 22 grains compressed H-110. Yes, I was using a chronograph.

Yes, it always puts a smile on my face.

Deja vu
June 16, 2015, 11:10 PM
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii564/Deja_vu357/77-357rifle.jpg

here is my short review with some pictures

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6024423

Mine is for suppressor use. I cut the barrel to 16.25 inches and threaded the barrel. I changed out the iron sights. I also added a slip on recoil pad that allows me to store a few small things in the stock. I have sense gotten a Leupold 2X7 scope in silver for the gun.

Very fun. I have even loaded some 250 grain soft lead bullets to about 1050 FPS for quiet plinking

eventually I still want to add a bipod.

as for velocity I have gotten a 158 grain bullet to about 1900. But my gun seems to be the most accurate with them slowed down to about 1800. It also likes 140 grain Hornady bullets at about any speed I have tried. I have never even pushed any bullets to 2400FPS in any of my 357 magnum rifles. The fastest I have ever got any of my 357 magnum rifles is about 2200 with a 110 grain Hornady bullet. Going this fast the 110 grain bullets tend to explode on small game. H110 or 300MP seem to be good bests for speed. For very heavy bullets 2400 has been my go to.

bamaranger
June 17, 2015, 02:58 AM
I've got to agree that a .357 carbine is a fun and suprisingly practical firearm, .....but I have mixed feelings about a bolt gun so chambered.....unless one intends to suppress the rifle.

For quite a few years, an early Marlin lever in .357 was my GP rambling, woods, truck rifle. Loaded it up and down the scale, shot full house factory mags through it, as well as factory wad cutters (.38) single loaded. Unfortunately, my aging eyes do not let me shoot the peep sight I installed early on, as well as I'd like. After many years of stating no scopes on lever carbines, I may have to do so.

One thing that caught my eye was the aperture sight on one of the pics posted.

NEG, the sight people, make a clamp on aperture sight that fits the Ruger factory sight ring receiver scallop. That would be an interesting sight set up and likey very suitable for rough/GP use on one of these stainless/synthetic bolt carbines, and put the peep at the rear of the rifle, increasing sight radius and theoretical accuracy as well.

AK103K
June 17, 2015, 06:31 PM
the magazine does function flawlessly in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum.
Mine didnt with the .38's. They "rimlocked" enough to be annoying, and you have to take the mag out, and fiddle with things to get them unlocked.

The .357's were fine.

The problem is with the OAL. The .357's fit the mag. the .38's are just short enough, they can move fore and aft when shooting or the gun is jostled, and the rims can, and do, "jump".

NEG, the sight people, make a clamp on aperture sight that fits the Ruger factory sight ring receiver scallop.
I had one of these too. Sort of well made, but fiddly and you cant take the aperture out if you want a ghost ring.

If you mount it in the rear most "scallop", where it belongs, the bolt wont clear. Mounted in the forward scallop, it will, but the peep is now more forward than it should be.


I like the gun for the most part, but some little things annoy.

The bolt knob could be bigger, and with a scope mounted, placed differently. Kind of hard to work the bolt with a scope mounted.

The recoil pad is to sticky, and makes the gun to long.

Mine hated 158 grain bullets, and especially lead. It shot pretty well with 125 grain JHP's though, and seemed to like the Hornady XTP's.

When I first saw it, I was thinking more along the line of .38 158 grain LSWC's for plinkers, as I shoot a bunch of them. Kind of killed two birds with one stone here.

The price has really gone up on them too. I got mine NIB when they first came out, for just over $500. The last couple i saw in shops around here, were going for close to $800. It might be a $500 rifle, its not an $800 rifle.

bamaranger
June 17, 2015, 11:53 PM
Well that is most interesting from one who has been there. AK103thanks for your report.

I knew of the NEG sight, but have never owned one. From your report, Apparently, the dimensions on the 77/22 (357) action are not compatible with rearward mounting.

Mid range 158 LSWC is one of the loads used out of my Marlin, micro-grooves not withstanding. It did OK. The load was paired with a well worn Ruger Blackhawk. But the zero was unique to the load, anything more powerful required a significant adjustment of sights, and I found myself tweaking the rifle back and forth, from mid range to full house, which grew old. Now adays, my carbine is zeroed for 158 JHP, and will likely stay there. I ran into a bargain on 158 JHP slugs a few years ago, and have a bunch loaded up.

Factory 125 mags were absolute grim death from the carbine barrel, and I expect the velocity was well in excess of 2000 fps. They were truly destructive on ferals, pests, coyotes and the like. The 125 slug, designed to expand at 1400 fps or less, was grenade like 500 fps faster!

I'm warmng up to the idea of a .357 bolt, especially the stainless synthetic models, they would serve well as a rough use rifle, scope easily, and I expect the triggers are manageable. As we hear reports of Marlin quality on the slide, my old .357, sans safety, is likely pretty desireable as a trade.

COSteve
June 18, 2015, 01:11 PM
I completely understand the attraction of a 357mag rifle. I have 2 Rossi leverguns chambered in 357mag, a 20" Carbine and 24" Rifle and I love shooting both of them. I have a tang and globe sight setup on the rifle and regularly shoot it at steel plates at 300 yds with my 158grn handloads.

I've written Ruger and asked them to consider re-releasing their 96/44 levergun and Ruger 44 mag or 99/44 semi auto in 357mag; as a 96/357 and Ruger 357 mag or 99/357.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_96-44.jpg

http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t222/PALADIN85020/GUNS/RUGER_44_MAGNUM_CARBINES-1280_zps79efed5f.jpg

In today's market I think that they would sell better than the 44 mag versions as knock around camp rifles.

CCCLVII
June 18, 2015, 03:42 PM
After shooting lots of 357 & 44 magnum carbines I'd go with a 357 every time. Sure the 44 has more power but the 357 is more than enough for what these guns will be used for. If you want bigger there is 454 lever actions out there. Not to mention 45-70 and 30-30s that wil out preform either.

Just my opinion, don't mean to offend any one.

NINEX19
June 18, 2015, 04:04 PM
the magazine does function flawlessly in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum.
Mine didnt with the .38's. They "rimlocked" enough to be annoying, and you have to take the mag out, and fiddle with things to get them unlocked.

The .357's were fine.

The problem is with the OAL. The .357's fit the mag. the .38's are just short enough, they can move fore and aft when shooting or the gun is jostled, and the rims can, and do, "jump".

I have read that in a couple of different places but have not had that experience myself. I seems that not everyone has that problem. Not sure why... not as much jarring around? bullet shape? COAL? older vs newer magazines?


I'm not 100% sure why it grates on me so, afterall I chase handguns that cost the same or more money.

I completely understand this thought. It was actually a painful decision for me and the exact same thought went through my head right before I bought it. I think it is overpriced at $500. Not sure what came over me while paying $625 for it used (near new - but without scope rings). Must have had a "fever" that day. I still consider it a good purchase, but at the top end of price.

I have a lever .357 and love that too, but there is something about this short, light, .357 bolt gun that hits the fun spot.

AK103K
June 18, 2015, 06:32 PM
I have read that in a couple of different places but have not had that experience myself. I seems that not everyone has that problem. Not sure why... not as much jarring around? bullet shape? COAL? older vs newer magazines?
It may be a bit of "all of the above".

Im pretty sure its the difference in OAL between the rounds, or at least with mine it was. Just measure the difference in OAL between the rounds you shoot, and then measure the thickness of the .38's rim. That should give you an idea. My normal .357's are 1.58 OAL, my .38's, 1.45, a difference of 0.13. The rims on the .38's are right around 0.05. There is plenty enough room that the rims can easily slip past each other and hang up.

The mags are made for the .357's after all, and they dont seem to have any issues. The .38's will always be an issue at some point, unless you can load them "long", which sort of defeats the purpose anyway. Might as well just shoot .357's.

If it hasnt happened yet, I have a feeling at some point it will. Now if youre worried about hunting or using it for self defense, its really a non issue, as youll most likely have .357's in the gun anyway.

seeker_two
June 20, 2015, 07:49 AM
The price has really gone up on them too. I got mine NIB when they first came out, for just over $500. The last couple i saw in shops around here, were going for close to $800. It might be a $500 rifle, its not an $800 rifle.

This is why I would like to see Ruger do an American line in pistol calibers (.357Mag, .44Mag, etc). It might be the only way to complete with the price of leverguns.

stubbicatt
June 20, 2015, 08:08 AM
Don't have the Ruger, but a lever actioned rifle in 357. It is my favorite plinker, and more accurate than I am.

mxsailor803
June 20, 2015, 08:35 PM
Seeker- Man you might be on to something there!!!! Let them use the same rotary mag as the 77 and I would be all over a couple of them!!!

Obambulate
June 21, 2015, 04:45 PM
I understand the desire for a .38/.357 rifle - the cartridge really comes alive from a rifle barrel, and the recoil is mild. My 16" Rossi 92 has a steel buttplate but my wife has no problem shooting it. A bolt-action stainless carbine with synthetic stock would be sweet.

I agree $700+ may seem like a lot. But even the stainless Rossi's are going for $600 now.

j102
June 21, 2015, 04:53 PM
I completely understand the attraction of a 357mag rifle. I have 2 Rossi leverguns chambered in 357mag, a 20" Carbine and 24" Rifle and I love shooting both of them. I have a tang and globe sight setup on the rifle and regularly shoot it at steel plates at 300 yds with my 158grn handloads.



I've written Ruger and asked them to consider re-releasing their 96/44 levergun and Ruger 44 mag or 99/44 semi auto in 357mag; as a 96/357 and Ruger 357 mag or 99/357.



http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_96-44.jpg



http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t222/PALADIN85020/GUNS/RUGER_44_MAGNUM_CARBINES-1280_zps79efed5f.jpg



In today's market I think that they would sell better than the 44 mag versions as knock around camp rifles.


I have a Ruger 77/357 and it is a great rifle. Now one of those in a lever action would be much better. IMHO.

bamaranger
July 8, 2015, 01:20 AM
I wouldn't hold my breath on Ruger re-introducing the 99/96 auto or levers, or the venerable tube feed carbine either. They can't sell enough of them to justify the production, or so say them. Now its poly stocked price point rifles.

But.....a pistol caliber carbine, especially one in a magnum revolver cartridge, is a useful gun. Powerful enough for about 75% or more of what most of us do with carbines, and the manual models can be loaded up and down the power scale to deliver the energy desired for the task. Cheaper to shoot the an all up full power rifle, and simpler to load for with carbide dies....no lube. Limited case trimming too, at least with my loads, though the .44 needs some attention now and again.

The continued popularity of the import lever carbines points to the utility and the practicality of such guns, but Ruger, nor anybody else, seems to notice.

natman
July 9, 2015, 09:17 AM
I have gone from lightweight plinking .38 Spl. rounds at @850 fps to .357 Mag. rounds (158g) at @2400 fps.

Are you sure about that last number because it's about 600 fps faster than published 357 rifle velocities with a 158gr bullet.

NINEX19
July 9, 2015, 12:31 PM
natman,

I posted a reply to a similar question earlier:
Rat shooter, thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are correct it was not 158 grain. I had to go back and look at my records to double check. The @ 2400 fps (actually 2340) load was with 125 grain Remington sjhp using published data of 22 grains compressed H-110. Yes, I was using a chronograph.

Now, perhaps @ .5 more grains sneaked into the case or my chronograph is off a bit, I don't know. I am just reporting my findings.

Hodgdon's rifle load data for H110 list 22 grains as having a velocity of 2,276 with a 41,400 CUP. Their data was with a 18.5" barrel. The Ruger M77/357 has an 18.5" barrel. Its close, but I did get a slightly faster reading than published.

The point I was originally making was how versatile this rifle can be, not necessarily load data specifics, though I have no problem talking about them. Its one of my favorite topics. :)

DanTSX
July 10, 2015, 07:06 PM
They need to sell these threaded for a suppressor.

dieselbeef
July 28, 2015, 11:23 AM
recently got oneof these. really like it. im not sure why..but its cools as hek

the sights to me arent very good..i will scope it. probly my eyes not the brass front sight.

the magazine wont feed reliably. any manuf. 125 or 158. jhp or jsp. ruger said they will send me a new one and i will work on getting the old one to work.

the slop in the bolt just seems wrong..works ok..but i guess i need to order a shim kit for it.

the trigger is pretty nice tho. and its really cool

NINEX19
July 28, 2015, 11:39 AM
dieselbeef,

Sorry to hear about your woes with this gun. I have two magazines, and both feed flawlessly no matter what I feed it (even .38 Specials). Your replacement one will probably be fine. Maybe you got one of those "made on Friday at 4:59pm" ones. :D

As for the bolt, while it is not the tightest bolt I have ever used, it far from the worst. I can not imagine it is bad enough to shim it.

Sights... yup, I agree. While the iron sights look good and function (if you have good eyes), I do not like the brass bead on the front. Hard to see. I painted mine yellow. That helped me a lot. I would like to scope mine, but decided against it since I knew I was only going to use it for shorter ranges and adding a scope would add weight and defeat the point of a nice light, short carbine. I also could not find a scope that did not make it kind of look ugly... in my opinion.

dieselbeef
July 28, 2015, 12:45 PM
im still playin with it. im gonna take the mag and look into it real good. it seems like the rim of the rd is diggin into the back of the mag and jammin it so it wont rotate forward. ill see whats inside and maybe give the spring an extra 1/4 turn or something. it does it even when you have it in your hand and push the rd with your thumb. maybe the recoilhas tightened the long screw. threadlocker maybe. idk..it shot fine for the first 100 rds or so. ate it all

ill never be able use the sights no matter what.

bushnell makes a silver matte trophy....thatll be my choice. id like something smaller but i have 2 of them on other rifles already so im used to using them. and i like em just fine

the 2 piece bolt isnt sloppy? im not used to the 2 piece deal but my american is nothin like this one is

NINEX19
July 28, 2015, 12:59 PM
I see what you mean by the bolt being sloppy. Yes, being two pieces, there is a bit more wiggle where they join than a different style bolt. I guess I am just use to it. Mine is not really too bad. I still would not mess with a shim, but yours might be a bit different.

j102
July 28, 2015, 02:14 PM
One thing I would like to mention here. Ruger's Website says that magazine capacity is 5 rounds. Well, it is really a 4 rounds magazine. I guess they say 5 because they see it as 4 plus 1.

NINEX19
July 28, 2015, 02:22 PM
One thing I would like to mention here. Ruger's Website says that magazine capacity is 5 rounds. Well, it is really a 4 rounds magazine. I guess they say 5 because they see it as 4 plus 1.
Actually no, they do hold 5 rounds.

dieselbeef
July 29, 2015, 06:15 AM
yeah i get 5 in mine..course it dont matter since it wont feed em.

The Big D
July 29, 2015, 10:13 PM
Rat shooter, thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are correct it was not 158 grain. I had to go back and look at my records to double check. The @ 2400 fps (actually 2340) load was with 125 grain Remington sjhp using published data of 22 grains compressed H-110. Yes, I was using a chronograph.

Yes, it always puts a smile on my face.

QuickLoad confirms that load is 2350 ft/s out of a 20" barrel, but it is also 49k PSI. Be careful with that one at home kids...

NINEX19
July 30, 2015, 06:11 AM
QuickLoad confirms that load is 2350 ft/s out of a 20" barrel, but it is also 49k PSI. Be careful with that one at home kids...
Thanks for confirming that, Big D. I agree, it should not be a standard round to use because it is high pressure. I have only shot a few as test. I was using it as an example of the versatility of the gun, not necessarily a recommendation.

dieselbeef
July 30, 2015, 06:35 AM
have any of ya took a mag apart. the springs on the other end of the rotor. not like a 10/22..what a pita . i tired to rotate it one more time for some more tension..forget that...it fllew apart 10 times til i got i back together. i polished everything inside so ill try it again alongside the one ruger sent me.
i aint happy with the feed problem. nothing worse than a gun that wont load...

dieselbeef
September 4, 2015, 08:50 AM
old thread kick cuz if ya got one of these and its still jamming like mine then heres what I did.
cant do any pics so bear with me

the ejector arm that grabs the btm of the rd and pulls it back after its fired has too much spring pressure on it. the rd cannot advance forward into the chamber because the ejector arm is too tight. take it off with by removing the little roll pin in the bolt. DONT LOOSE THE LITTLE SPRING. polish it or sandblast it smooth cuz the machining edges are sharp and the hang up the rd when it tries to advance into the chamber from the mag. the rd doesn't wanna go under the ejector arm cuz the spring is too tight or the sharp edges hang it up. then the rd wont go up the feed ramp or gets slightly cocked sideways and the bolt wont go forward either way. I sanded all the edges on mine and then I cut the spring coils. I took off 1 1/2 coils. it still ejects the rd just fine and the mag can easily push the rd up underneath the ejector arm w/o cocking it sideways.

MarkCO
September 4, 2015, 09:01 AM
Love the concept, but not the price, and would also want the muzzle threaded.

j102
September 5, 2015, 09:54 PM
Actually no, they do hold 5 rounds.


I'm not sure, but I believe the package where the magazine comes in says 4 rounds. Again, not sure since I don't have the package anymore.

gyvel
September 6, 2015, 12:20 AM
Are there problems with the 77/44? (For example: Is the rate of twist suitable only for certain bullet weights or certain powder loads, etc.?)

gyvel
September 6, 2015, 12:21 AM
Love the concept, but not the price, and would also want the muzzle threaded.

There was one on Gunbroker with the barrel cut to 16" and threaded.

NINEX19
September 6, 2015, 08:53 AM
I'm not sure, but I believe the package where the magazine comes in says 4 rounds. Again, not sure since I don't have the package anymore.
You must be thinking of another gun. The two magazine I have hold 5 and Ruger website confirms it. http://ruger.com/products/rotaryMagazine77357/models.html

Are there problems with the 77/44? (For example: Is the rate of twist suitable only for certain bullet weights or certain powder loads, etc.?)

I have not had any "problems" with the .357 Mag. So I can't answer for the 44 Mag. Like any gun, and reload, you will have to see what it likes and does well for you.

Sharkbite
September 6, 2015, 11:29 AM
M77/44 18" threaded barrel.....

Now that would be a cool gun:cool: