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Like it says, I just picked up a nice 1988 model 77, in 30-06, with a Simmons scope. Is there anything I need to be aware of, quirks, tips, tricks, etc?

I'll post some pics soon, but it is a pretty basic, standard barrel, no frills hunting rifle. Overall it's in pretty good shape, and the scope seems to be just as good. The bolt, however, is one of the slickest I've encountered in a long time. It's the first m77 I've owned, although I've handled a couple.
I'm looking forward to some range time with this thing.

I read through the thread about relieving pressure on the internal magazine, and will definitely look into that, but I'm wondering if there are any other tips or tricks along those lines out there? Please share your experiences, good and bad with this generation of m77...
 

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I agree with Hairtrigger. Shoot it first, with various ammo and see if you find one particular ammo brand and weight that shoots the best. If you are a reloader, you know the drill of trying different combinations of components to find the best round for your gun.

Relieving the magazine box to eliminate pressure is considered if 1. No ammo shoots well, and the groups are randomly all over the place, rather than stringing up and down as the gun heats up. 2. The mag box feels tight, with no perceptable wiggle, and 3. You have tried assembling the gun without the mag box and checked it by shooting one round loaded at a time and seeing how it groups. This proves or disproves that the mag box is a problem.
 

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Proffett,
I too have a tang safety M77 30-06; but mine is of 1973 vintage. (I bought it after Uncle Sam "released" me in '73)
Mine had acceptable accuracy for whitetails w/150 and 165 gr. bullets. When I started reloading for it, it was quickly evident that it liked 165 gr. bullets the best (sub 1 MOA for 5 rds.), so that's what her diet has been forever.
Regarding mods to the rifle, the only thing I did was adjust the trigger down to +/-2 lbs. When this rifle goes bang - if your target doesn't go down, DON'T blame the rifle!
As others have noted - shoot it with several different loads and bullet weights BEFORE making any mods - you may find she's a real shooter and doesn't need to be changed!Enjoy
 

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I'll cast the dissenting opinion vote. If a rifle shoots well with an impediment, just think of how well it would shoot if you removed the imperfection!?!? The old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" doesn't apply if something is broken, but your expectations are too low to realize it. If a rifle shoots 1" groups with irregular bedding pressure, it might shoot 1/2" groups if you fix the bedding. Does the difference in 1" and 1/2" matter to you? Lots of hunters say it doesn't to them because they shoot meat, not targets, but I'd argue that it should. I've never seen a target limp off into the woods, destined to die of infection due to a shot that missed the bullseye - but that happens to deer every year because some jackwagon didn't deign to concern himself with precision.

Free floating the mag box, free floating the barrel, blocking and bedding the action, and doing a trigger job are all things that will help any Ruger M77 shoot better. None of those things can or will do anything to hurt, and are cheap enough that it's worth doing even if the gain is minimal.

Unless you're willing to do some considerable gunsmithing, or pay to have it done (few hundred bucks), then that's where it probably ends. If you have a relatively tight headspace now, you might talk to a smith about truing the locking lugs and then lapping them to the receiver, but doing so may require the barrel to be set back and rechambered if he has to cut too much to true the lugs (headspace may grow), which increases your cost quickly.

Float the box and barrel, get the trigger tuned, and block & bed the action. An old M77 tanger will shoot very straight with those things done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the great replies... some good info.
I don't reload, yet, but plan on diving into it soon.
Of course, I've been saying that off and on for over 30 years.
Now, with this acquisition, and the Lee Enfield Longbranch No4 Mk 1* that came with it, I may just have to finally suck it up and do it.
I do plan on taking it to the range as soon as work allows, in order to run it through it's paces a little before I do anything major to it.
Varminterror, the things you mentioned are the first things on my list of things to consider, for the reasons you stated.. they are cheap and relatively simple to do. Something like a trigger job I definitely wouldn't do without first putting a few rounds through it, though.
 

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profett to me the Ruger M77 Tang safety model is one of the best bolt action rifles I have had. I regret not keeping them, one a .270 the other a .243. Go out and try a few different loads to fine what weight of bullet your rifle prefers. I never had any bedding problems and my Rugers were very accurate plus like you said a very smooth action. Good Luck you made a very good choice with the Ruger M77 Tang safety model one of the best one's I have had. Currently I have a Winchester Pre 64 Model 70 .270 rifle that I inherited from my late father in law. I was able to get a few deer with this rifle cannot say it was any smoother then my Ruger M77's you will enjoy your Ruger M77!!!
 

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Free floating the barrel may or may not help with accuracy. It usually either helps a bit or has no effect but there are some barrels that shoot better with pressure (not floated).

Floating the barrel is a very good idea for shooters that use their wood stocked rifle under different weather conditions. Wood can change shape either a little or a lot when subjected to high humidity and low humidity and therefore change the pressure on the barrel.

I have never seen any downside to relieving pressure points on the action, so if the box needs relief I would do it without hesitation.

I have had a few tang safety models and still keep a couple of them around. The trigger on the tang safety model cleans up nicely.
 

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People have been saying some barrels shoot better with pressure points for as long as free floating barrels have been around, but I've yet to see a barrel actually shoot better before free floating than it did after. As far as I'm concerned, it's either outdated by manufacturing processes, or an old wives tale.
 

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I have seen it. Rifles that exhibited this in my memory were simply free floated but did not have a bedding job done on the action.
 

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I grew up on a M77 .25-06 heavy barrel tang safety built in the late sixties or early seventies. The rifle is bone stock with a straight power Leupold scope put on when my father bought it(in the early seventies). I know its not the same cartridge as yours but you have a fantastic rifle that needs no modification. For us were getting 1 1/2" groups at 300 yds (Off the bags) using a Sierra 117 gn BTSP.
 

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I agree with Varminterror.........at the absolute least, check for mag well binding and free float the barrel. Do those before even shooting it. Can only help, not hurt, so why not. If the trigger is not smooth or light enough........FIX IT.

I never understand this "shoot it first, fix it later" mentality. If it has a problem or if you see something that obviously needs improvement, why not fix it vs wasting ammo first. Makes NO sense to shoot a few boxes of ammo to try and see what it likes, only to discover it won't shoot ANYTHING well and THEN the mag well is bound up tight or barrel is hard on the stock. Check it, fix it, shoot it
 

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I have seen it. Rifles that exhibited this in my memory were simply free floated but did not have a bedding job done on the action.
Barrel pressure as a bandaid for poor action support is a poor excuse. Go back in time and bed those receivers and I'd take the bet a free barrel shoots as well or better than a pressured barrel every time.
 

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If it shoots good just shoot it. I had one with a tang safety and it shot pretty good, it was stolen and I replaced it with a MKII, I like the MKII better because of the safety. The tang safety was easy to move off with gloves on, I much prefer the MKII safety, I don't think the MKII is as accurate as the other gun, but I still get my deer with it.
 

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My brother and I went halves on a M77V heavy barrel .22-250 in 1976 to snipe crows at distance. Best we could do was 1.5-2 MOA with factory ammo. Disappointed and sent it back to Ruger as a unacceptable varmint rifle. They glass bedded the action and free floated the barrel no charge. Still a 1/4 MOA phenom with handloads. Any fix a M77 needs to be great is minor so get with it and have some fun.
 

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All my Rugers (and other rifles) get free-floated before i shoot them. Not a big deal - about 15 minutes with some sandpaper, a Magic Marker (or whatever they are called these days), a screwdriver, some polyurethane and a little elbow grease.

Remove the action and other metal. Loop the sandpaper over the MAgic Marker and sand the barrel channel. Reinstall the action and barrel and see if you can slide a dollar bill under the barrel all the way back to the action. If not, more sanding is required. When done sanding, wet a piece of cloth or paper towel with polyurethane and coat the freshly exposed wood. Allow it to dry and reassemble.
 

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I have had a M77 tang safety in .270 Win that has always shot under MOA with just about any factory ammo I have put thorough it. Better with my loads. I think they are a beautiful rifle. Elegant looks and light weight. My only complaint with mine was the for end of the stock warped and after 3 shots it starts printing horizontally. That and Boyds doesn't make a stock for it without the cheek piece. If I could find an exact original style laminated stock I'd be very happy.
 
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