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Old February 12, 2019, 04:50 PM   #1
clockwork65
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Ruger M77?

In the $600 to $800 hunting rifle (medium to big game) range, everyone talks about Tikkas, 116s, and 700s and some of the Browning bolts. No one ever seems to mention M77s. When I was growing up, we always thought of Ruger as rugged and dependable. Has something about the guns/company changed or just what's en vogue? (Note: I'm not in the market for one, just asking out of genuine curiosity.)
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Old February 12, 2019, 05:18 PM   #2
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Rugers Hawkeyes are rugged and reliable. They also are hunting accurate. They have a good field safety. They are finished in a pretty good blue. The wood is good not great.

That said, Win M70’s do it all a little better.

Savage tends to out shoot many factory rifles.

I think Rugers good, not great rifle hurts their appeal.
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Old February 12, 2019, 05:56 PM   #3
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The 77 has all but been discontinued. They still show them in the catalog, but I can't remember the last new one I saw in a store.

If I wanted a rifle to hunt game that bites back the Ruger 77 or a Winchester 70 would be at the top of my list. If I wanted an accurate rifle, that was dependable enough the Ruger 77 series would be near the bottom of my list.

Very few people hunt in conditions where rugged reliability is a major concern. And today the vast majority of rifle owners are shooters, not hunters. Having the utmost accuracy is of a much higher priority than reliability or aesthetics.
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Old February 12, 2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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I bought the Ruger 77 because it purttier than the others. It is accurate enough for deer hunting but it is not a tack driver. The design and metal is prettier than anything but a Model 70.
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Old February 12, 2019, 07:30 PM   #5
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We weren't hunting in extreme conditions... we just assumed they'd last forever, in spite of all the dumb (rough) treatment they got in deer camp. They seem to be all over the place online.

For my money, the Win M70 extreme weather is the sharpest looking bolt action around.
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Old February 12, 2019, 08:30 PM   #6
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I had been looking for a Ruger 77 in 257 Roberts for years. Never had the money to afford one. Till the other year.
Found a previously enjoyed 77 MKII in 257 Roberts for $400.
Thing easily keeps up with any and all of my Savages with all 25 caliber bullet weights.

My second M77 was also previously enjoyed in 280 Rem.
While not a "tack driver" it does produce close to MOA results.
Way better than minute of deer.

Now to find one of the all weather paddle 77's, preferably in 7mm Rem Mag.
Or a 77 in 7X57.
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Old February 13, 2019, 06:05 AM   #7
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I would add that CDNN has some nice deals on Hawkeye m77 rifles. They had a Ruger with open sights in 300 RCM for $599 not long ago.
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Old February 13, 2019, 06:28 AM   #8
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Perk...
That would be perfect tp re-barrel to 7mm RCM..

Hmmmm.
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Old February 13, 2019, 07:56 AM   #9
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I certainly appreciate the "looks" of a Ruger 77 and I have a pair of 77 rim fires but I've never owned a 77 centerfire. Good looks and "hunting" accuracy didn't sway me from budgetary demands.
Now that budget isn't the issue, I'm seeing the rifle I always wanted--Ruger 77 synthetic stock in 280 Rem on sale. Problem is, I can no longer stand the recoil of the 280 so just let those sales pass.
If you like a good looking rifle and only need hunting grade accuracy, those Ruger 77's are a winner.
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Old February 13, 2019, 10:13 AM   #10
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Mobuck - that's how I ended up with a Winchester XPR. I didn't need a 1000 yard sniper rifle. Just something around $$450-500 with a good trigger and a good barrel. It's got some other nice features thrown in (nickel teflon bolt, perma cote, etc), too, but it's mainly a stop gap until I can bring myself to drop $1300 on another rifle.
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Old February 13, 2019, 10:32 AM   #11
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I have an M77 MkII in 30-06 which does perfectly well at 600 yards. I didn't try for 1,000 because my scope mounts are too low.

I'm happy with it. Occasionally, I see used M77's for sale in the local gun stores and they are tempting, even though I already have the one!

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Old February 13, 2019, 05:11 PM   #12
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My 1984 M77 ultra-lite in .270 will put 3 shots under a dime at 100 yds. After that the barrel gets to hot to touch.
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Old February 13, 2019, 11:25 PM   #13
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The 77 has all but been discontinued
I don't think so, I have two, purchased relatively recently. One is a Gunsite Scout model, the other a FTW Predator. I'm not sure what "hunting accurate" is, but if that means hitting vitals at 100 yards, then I guess my two are good for hunting mice in the open fields
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Old February 14, 2019, 07:36 AM   #14
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"I'm not sure what "hunting accurate" is,"

Back in the late 70'-early 80's (which is when I was doing most of my "casual competition" shooting), the majority of the Ruger 77 rifles were well outside the 1.5 MOA accuracy level it took to win the "jackpot". That's still well within "hunting accuracy" but if you're shooting for grocery money or long range fur, it's not good enough.
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Old February 14, 2019, 08:55 AM   #15
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I wouldn't disagree with that, my impressions were about the same of Rugers, back then. It seems, however, a little bit has changed in forty years. Ruger makes rifles now that are capable of really fine accuracy. Their Ruger Precision rifles are very popular so far as I can tell and a lot of that is because of their fine accuracy.

As for retail sales, I don't have any special knowledge in that area, but I suspect the average joe that walks into a Cabela's to buy a deer rifle, is looking for something in the price range of the Ruger Americans more often than not. i can concede the 77 line is almost certainly not Ruger's bread and butter anymore, but it's a long way from discontinued I think.
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Old February 14, 2019, 09:44 AM   #16
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I believe they are under the Hawkeye name now.

As for hunting accuracy, dependant upon the weather, i would have little quarem about shooting to 600 yards with either of mine.

I've seen MOA shot by one person at 1,000 yards. 257 Roberts using a 75gr Sierra HP Varminter of all things.
Like the rifles, some people can just shoot!
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Old February 14, 2019, 09:56 AM   #17
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I have a Ruger 77, 270. Bought new 1st year of production. I was a Win 70 guy (pre 64s) and bought the 77 just to try one. The stock on these early 77s are just like 70win. The rifle
will do 1" or better at 100yds. Sometime in late 70s my Bro gave up trying to trade me out of it and bought one. The stock wasn't rounded into action & barrel. It had a narrow flat that ran length of stock instead. Accuracy wasn't bad but not quite into 1"/100yds. I have herd various stories about barrels on 77s. The first one were said to have Douglas barrels and then a couple other subcontractors before they made their own barrels. I have had several since used. I had 220S, 243, 30/06, 300 & 7mm mg. While the 220 was HB Varmit and was a tack driver the other were run of the mill off the rack BAs. I bought a 77/22 when they hit the market. It shoots with the best of other 22 BAs like Rem 541s and several of the imports. I hear complaints on 77s and 77/22s on accuracy. Most don't load and pump out factory ammo. Everyone thinks a rifle is suppose to shoot into one hole at 100ys and we
know that ain't so. All in all the 77 is a decent rifle. At the time they came out your only other choices were Win70, which were junk at the time, or a Remington 700. Neither of these was up to pre 64 m70 standards but early 77s came close. I was a big Ruger fan. In the 60s I had every handgun they made, 44 carbine & 10/22s. Also #1s & #3s when they came out. Now the bean counters have got in the mix and Ruger ain't what it use to be. If I had to buy a new CF bolt gun there is nothing US made that interests me. I would be looking at Sako or looking for Pre 64 m70s or Browning Safari. I don't do the hi tech stuff.
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Old February 14, 2019, 05:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
I believe they are under the Hawkeye name now
Sort of; all Hawkeyes are 77s, but not all 77s are Hawkeyes. The Gunsite Scouts for example, doesn't use the Hawkeye moniker. Neither do the 77/22s or 77/44 etc.
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Old February 14, 2019, 06:15 PM   #19
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My two main hunting rifles are both Ruger M77 Hawkeyes and I love both of them: they're rugged, reliable, and darn accurate
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Old February 14, 2019, 10:25 PM   #20
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I like them.
Almost every gun owner in my family owns at least one 77 Mk II or Hawkeye. In addition to my M77 Mk IIs, I have a 77V (tang-safety). I believe one of my uncle's .458 WMs is also a tang-safety 77, not a Mk II.

I just added to the herd last summer with a 7x57mm. Wasn't looking. Wasn't ready. Didn't have the money. But I'd wanted one for a long time.
Pooped some coinage and made it happen.
It's perfectly acceptable, thus far. "Hunting accurate", I begrudgingly admit is about the right term for its performance.

That being said... The 2002 77 Mk II .270 Win and the 2003 77 Mk II 7x57 both have had Timney triggers installed. And all of them are scheduled to be pillar bedded and free-floated in the coming months. None of the Mk IIs are sub-MoA rifles, but I think they can be. The 77V is getting pillars because the factory or original owner (a family member) crushed the stock by over-torquing the action screws. It's already a tack driver. I just want to stop the floor plate from popping with recoil (no, it's not my finger hitting the release!).

There are a lot of brands represented in my safes, when it comes to bolt guns (Winchester and Savage being notably absent).
I reach for and prefer to shoot the Ruger 77 Mk IIs over everything else.
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Old February 15, 2019, 04:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
I reach for and prefer to shoot the Ruger 77 Mk IIs over everything else.
I've had and have many bolt-action rifles from different makers but I like the Ruger Model 77 best. The Rugers are hell for stout, reliable, well-made, plenty accurate and I much prefer their "classic" looks. I bought two new Model 77s in the mid-seventies (a 30-06 and a .257 Roberts; the '06 being a "Liberty" variant) and two new Mark IIs a couple of decades later (a 7x64 Brenneke and a .308; the .308 being an "International" model). I prefer having factory irons on my rifles, even those that are scoped, and Ruger is still one of the few bolt-action rifle manufacturers that gives you the possibility of having them.

I treasure them all but, like FrankenMauser, I prefer the MK IIs over all the rest.
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Old February 16, 2019, 12:48 PM   #22
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I love Ruger 77's. I bought mine in the mid 90's. It was a 338 win mag. Shot Federal premium and hand loads to about 1" at 200 yards. My father in law has one in 300 win mag that shoots a little better than mine. I would get another if the caliber available caught my attention.
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Old February 16, 2019, 10:15 PM   #23
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Alaska

I read somewhere that one dude commented that the Ruger 77 had a following in Alaska, where he saw many guides and outfitters carrying one, heavily weathered, but still used steadily as "working" rifles by outdoor folks. I'd expect those were MkII rifles with controlled feed and Mauser ejector.

When first introduced, the 77 had subdued, classic walnut stocks, and the Mauser appearing extractor, and in the MKii's, the system worked like a Mauser as well. The riflemen of the time put a high priority on such things. The early 77's looked a lot like the Win 70, even though the early ones did not offer true controlled feed. When Winchester modified the 70 to push feed and button ejector, the 77 was there and available.

I believe two things have happened to the 77 line, and rifles that are similar. One is today's shooter does not place as high a priority on walnut, classic looks and a controlled Mauser type action.....witness the popularity of the poly stock price point rifles, like Rugers American. Point two is cost, a poly rifle is affordable to the rank and file, and most are splendidly accurate, or at least as accurate as their expensive, walnut, classic cousins.
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Old February 17, 2019, 04:48 PM   #24
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I always liked the old tang safety models and I still have one in 30-06...something about those old classic looking 77s...even better IMO, is the older, maybe first 77s, with the dog leg bolt.

I believe that Ruger sourced out the barrels on the earlier 77s and some could be very accurate but generally not known for inherent accuracy like 700s. But some, if you were lucky, shot as well as any production bolt gun.
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Old February 18, 2019, 01:53 PM   #25
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I bought what turned out to be a 1991, Ruger MK11, out of a deceased collectors estate sale, in .308 Win. It looked as new, not a blemish. It just woulden't shoot accurate. After trying 5 differen't bullets and 3 powders on a good day 2 1/2 group was all it would do .I called Ruger and after giving them the serial number they agreed to take it back for testing. They called me a couple weeks later and said they would re barrel it. The turn around took about a month but now it will group, 1 to 11/4 inch with my hand loads. NO CHARGE TO ME except shipping to them. Hows That For Customer Service ?????????? hdbiker
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