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Discussion Starter #1
I ran accross a used M77 Compact in 7mm-08 earlier today that was a pretty good deal and I have to admit that I really liked the light weight and balance of the gun, but the light weight and seemingly extremely short barrel kind of worry me ....

How much of a difference in performance, in terms of accuracy and max effective range, will there be between a M77Compact (16.5” barrel) and it’s “standard” counterpart (22->24” barrels)??

Would it be more pronounced in one chambering verses another (.223Rem, 243Win, 7mm-08 & 308Win)?

Thanks in advance for your help!
SSSSteve
 

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Hmmm....

I shoot an old tang safety M-77 RL Ultralight in .250 Savage that I bought new in 1985. It is topped with a Leupold 2 X 7 33mm Vari-x IIc scope. The rifle has a thin, 20" tapered barrel and is pretty light, but well balanced.

In spite of the thin, short barrel, this rifle shoots 1" groups with a variety of ammo, including Remington 100 grain factory stuff. It is, in point of fact, the most accurate M-77 of the seven I've owned. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is.

I don't think a short barrel has a detremental effect on accuracy. The most accurate firearm of any that I have ever shot is my father's Remington XP-100 single shot pistol in 7mm BR and it will practically put a group into the same bullet hole.

A thin barrel can be an issue, but my Ultralight is obviously not a prairie dog zapper or rapid fire target rifle. It is a hunting rifle for varmints like jackrabbits or coyotes or groundhogs, or larger deer sized game. And in that role, it is an ABSOLUTE JOY to use. It's still plenty of fun at the range if I keep my rate of fire down to a reasonable level.

Now, about performance.... Even with a 16.5" barrel, this 7mm-08 Compact you're considering almost certainly has more terminal ballistic authority than my litte "popgun" has, and if that isn't true, it isn't likely to have any less. I shot one of the biggest mule deer I ever killed at around 250 yards with it -"pop, flop." My dad used it to shoot the last deer he killed -a massive mule deer for our area that was 175 pounds field dressed and that he shot at a distance to ridiculous to print. It only took one bullet, and the buck ran about 20 yards and collapsed in a heap.

Or, think about it like this.... I did a little hunting with a Super 14 Contender in 7 -30 Waters. To me, what that firearm would do in the field, my Ultralight would also do, but with one major difference. My Ultralight is MUCH easier to shoot than the handgun was. Ballistically, there isn't enough difference for the critter getting killed by one or the other to care about. I'd suspect that this Compact in 7mm-08 might have at least "a little more beans in the can" than my Super 14 Contender had, and it had plenty for deer hunting.

Another point to ponder is that I don't really see how one would lose much money on a rifle like a Compact in 7mm-08 if one bought it, tried it, and didn't like it, for whatever reason. They aren't quite the common commodity that standard sized 7mm-08's are.

I'm pretty sure that if I got tired of my Ultralight, I could sell it today for a bit more than the $250.00 I paid for it when it was new. But I'm not inclined to do that.

Conceptually, a short, compact bolt gun is like a lever action .30-30 with more long range reach. I find it ideal for the "still hunting" style of hunting I like to do out west... Walk a bit, glass the country, walk a bit, glass the country, over and over and over again. One area I liked to do that in had me meandering on the edge of a burn for miles. I might "jump shoot" a buck out of his bed, or I might see one way out yonder on the other side of the burn. With my Ultralight, I had it covered, thanks to the light, dynamic handling. A short rifle like that is also kind of neat from tree stands, if you're in to that sort of thing.

If you like the rifle, and you aren't asking it to do something niche like wacking elk at 500 yards, I think you might find it highly usefull and uber-cool if you gave it an honest try. If not, I can't see how the experiment would cost you all that much. As long as mothers and fathers have kids that they want to introduce to big game hunting, there will always be a secondary market for something like a Compact in 7mm-08.

In other words, I say "go for it" if you like it, and it sounds to me like you do.

TC
 
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I have one in. 260 rem and love it I get sub inch groups at 100 yards. Can take deer too 300
No problem.it is a great litle gun. I do not think you will regret it.
I have the same rifle and get the same results. The rifle is very accurate, and while I haven't had a 300 yard shot at deer, it sure does the job at 150!
 

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Here's the dealio with short featherweight barrels vs. standard long length medium contour barrels: The fact that a barrel is short has no bearing on accuracy in the least, but the fact that it's a "lite" barrel does. A lite barrel will heat up much faster than a normal weight barrel, which causes the group to ''walk'' as the barrel heats up. This is disastrous if you want to do Prarie Doggin', but otherwise it's only annoying at the range. The "lite" barrel may cause little if any problems for you.I've also noticed that lite barrels are "fussy" when it comes to their bullet preferences, especially when it's a CRF rifle ith a lite barrel. Find the right load and you should have a shooter, and you can always just find the bullet you like and the gun should shoot it good enough regardless.


Now on to velocity: Yes, for every inch there is a velocity loss, and yes it is more pronounced with certain cartridges. It is more noticeable with a .223 or .243 than it is with a 7mm-08.. However, a 7mm-08 with a 140 starts out at about 2850 (out of a 22-24" tube) if my memory serves me, so a 16.5" tube should be about a 250-350 FPS decline (depending on the rifle) so probably 2500-2650, so not all that bad. I'd stick to 140's as your main bullet weight, because you just don't need anything heavier when your bullets moving that much slower than the bullets are designed to go. I've also noticed that lite barrels are "fussy" when it comes to their bullet preferences, especially when it's a CRF rifle ith a lite barrel. You don't

I'd say go for it, if you don't like the 140's starting velocity you can always switch to 120's. A pretty light rifle, in a nice cartridge is pretty hard to beat!:)
 

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I was looking for a light weight walking varmit rifle and I was going to buy a Ruger compact in .223 till I actually found one and picked it up. I am not a big guy but the Ruger felt like a youth model even for my still smaller wife. I ended up getting a CZ model 527 in .223, its lighter than the Ruger but still has a more "adult" size stock. That Ruger stock was the deciding point for me after picking one up.
 

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I was looking for a light weight walking varmit rifle and I was going to buy a Ruger compact in .223 till I actually found one and picked it up. I am not a big guy but the Ruger felt like a youth model even for my still smaller wife. I ended up getting a CZ model 527 in .223, its lighter than the Ruger but still has a more "adult" size stock. That Ruger stock was the deciding point for me after picking one up.
That's what stops me from wanting one too. As much as I'd like one in 7.62X39, I can't get past that youth like feel. The 527 interests me too, I think it comes in .222 Rem which would suit me fine.
 

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OK I like Ruger compacts. I have 2, 308 and 243. They are short and handy. With the right reloads you should be able to shoot about an inch group at 100yds. I always consider these guns as 200yd guns but I do believe they would work well out to 300yds.

I will say this, some folks have real issues shooting them because of the stock length of pull and their lightweight. The 308 also has some serious muzzle flip with heavier loads as well. I have a slip on pad installed on my 308 and the 243 is setup for my 10 yo son.

If the rifle is a good deal buy it and try it.
 

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I've shot a Ruger compact in .308 and the recoil was somewhat brutal. I'm guessing in 7mm-08, you'd be fine.

One thing I noticed is that due to the barrel's very thin profile, it heats up quicklly and will start stringing shots after the 2nd or 3rd round.

I don't recall how accurate it was because it wasn't my rifle so I didn't pay attention.
 

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I bought one several years ago in 308 to hunt out of a deer stand. Out to about 100 yds or so, I can accurately shoot either left or right handed. This is why I bought it. Absolutely loved it. Still have it even though I don't hunt anymore. Son in law doesn't like it because he says it kicks too hard.

Thats ok, grandkid will get it someday.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
He who hesitates ….

… misses out on a sweet deal on a nice rifle!!

Late this afternoon I called the store where I saw the M77 Compact to see if they’d hold it for me before I made the drive and it was already sold! :eek:

The next one I find, I’m pretty sure I’m just gonna buy, regardless of caliber; although I doubt I’ll see the price I missed out on!! :(

Oh, and thansk to everyone for their insights on the M77 Compact's!!
 

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I bought one in .308 had to wait 7 months for it to get here (australians) cause people in your country are running around like headless chickens buying up what they can get thier hands on. Shoots 1 inch groups at 100 metres kicks hardover the bench and heats up quickly, but i bloody love it! Took it out spotlighting last night for foxes but disnt get the chance to use it on any so had some fun obliterating some hares instead, from a standing offhand shot or another field position ( against a tree, over a bonnet etc the recoil is quite mild, anyone who struggles with the kick should invest in a recoil pad because this gun is mean scrub gun. Cant wait to take it out to the drier country in central australia and try it out on the millions of pigs goats cats dogs and foxes! Positves outweigh the negatives for this little flamethrower
 

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I have a Compact in .223 and I love it. I have other Ruger rifles in larger calibers including a Scout and a RSI in .308. I may someday get a compact in .308 because of the convenience, however I do not think the recoil will be fun. In .223 it isn't noticeable. The stock size is obviously a personal thing, but for me the size is perfect for a rifle that can be easily carried all day.

Whatever caliber you choose, I am sure you will like the rifle.
 
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