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Old September 4, 2008, 07:30 AM   #1
Join Date: July 3, 2005
Posts: 25
ruger 77 misfires

I have an older, tang safety model 77 carbine in .358 win that has been driving me crazy with misfires. I bought the gun about 15 years ago, and started having a misfire every once in a while. I took it to a gunsmith and the problem disappeared until about two years ago. This past week I replaced the firing pin and spring with a Tubb speed lock firing pin and spring. Shot the gun this week and had six misfires out of 100. I tried a variety of handloads, and some older winchester factory ammo, and had misfires with all. The ammo doesn't seem to be the problem. The rifle will shoot every time if I slam the bolt home, but if you close the bolt gently, like you would sitting on a deer stand, misfires are more common. I'm thinking this may be a headspace issue, would only neck sizing my handloads solve this problem, or should the gun go back to Ruger?I don't have a competent gunsmith in my area that I trust, so the Ruger factory is my only option.Deer season is only about seven weeks away and I would like to get this resolved soon as this is my by far favorite rifle.
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Old September 4, 2008, 07:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: July 19, 2005
Posts: 628

Wow! This is the first post I've read about a broken Ruger M77. I was beginning to think they were the worlds toughest rifle. No joke, I've never heard of a stock Ruger M77 failing in any regard. This is the first and I've been looking for years. I've always thought the Rugers were unappreciated as durable rifles.
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Old September 4, 2008, 09:53 AM   #3
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Location: Washington state
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Certainly sounds like a headspace issue. The older tang-safety Ruger 77 rifles are push-feed and have a stout ejector, so if you do have a little bit of a headspace issue they can certainly highlight it, like any rifle with a plunger ejector. The issue is that the ejector pushes the cartridge away from the bolt face and, if firing pin protrusion is minimal, this can cause light strikes or failure to fire. Neck sizing only will most certainly help with this issue, but it may also cause the bolt to be hard to close.
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Old September 4, 2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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My tang-safety 77 in '06 did this in very cold weather, or with surplus ammo. I cleaned the bolt interior and so on, and put a "Blitz" spring in it which seemed to cure it.

No, the older 77's aren't perfect. I own two (.458 and '06) and I still like them, but things like the bolt stop could have been done better. And the recoil lug is nothing to write home about either- that being said if I had to own a bolt action rifle that was going to see a rough life, I'd probably buy my
'06 77 all over again.

As a smith I saw lots of the 1st generation 77's that had been taken out hunting in coastal conditions, then left to rattle around behind a 4wd's seat for six month until the owner pulled out the now-orange rifle...I refinished quite a few of those.
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