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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking at a custom 300win mag Ruger M77 Hawkeye, blueprinted and built by a no-name smith, stainless Douglas match barrel, Jard trigger, Boyd's Pro-Hunter stock, glass & pillar bedded. Guy says less than 100rnds down the tube, he did load work up then decided to go to a lighter rifle for hunting - I've known him long enough and worked with him enough to not expect him to be exaggerating too much on that. I've shot the rifle, it put hand-rolled accubonds under 1/2MOA.

Any idea what a fair offer would be?

I have no idea what the guy actually paid to build it, and I'm fully aware that custom work is usually sunk cost, but it's a big improvement over a factory model, and improvements that I'd want to have done myself.

I usually plan on $1500-2500 to build a custom rig, but I can kinda add up what he has into this one: Trigger's $80-100 new, figure $500 for the barrel work, I'd guess $100 for the stock, just for parts. Then there's $100 or so for bedding work, $150-250 sunk into the truing job. He bought the rifle new, and at the time, All-Weather's were going around $650-700, so he has that into the base rifle (minus any sold take-off parts). All of that'd adds up to about $1700. I could pick apart the price - the gunsmithing fees are 100% sunk cost - then I could buy a used rifle for $400, used trigger for $50-75, buy and bed the same stock for $150, true it myself, then get $500 into the barrel (I'd have bought Shilen instead of Douglas, but I like Douglas barrels just fine), but I'll knock it down to $350 for used value - which all adds up to just under $1000. Seems like a reasonable price, but it also seems strange to pay $1000 for a Ruger M77 Hawkeye too.

I'm not going to break the guy's heart by lowballing, but I'm looking for a fair price to offer him.
 

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Hi there VT,

I have lots of MKII & 1 Hawkeye rifles.

My costs are:

Rifle, used -----------------$400 to $500
Barrel, stainless----------- $450 to $550
Trigger, Timney -----------$125, self installed (great trigger)
Bedding, stock finishing -- $50, self done -Browning Accuglass & Minwax Poly Rub
Stock, replace plastic -----$100 - $150, Richards Micro Fit

The re-barrel job(s) include lapping bolt lugs and squaring off receiver ring and generally add $85 to re-barrel job.

Total cost comes in at $1,125 to $1,350

Subtract $100 to $150 if you want to keep the well designed for most use Ruger stock.

Buying rifles is sort of subjective and defies logic. I have sold some of my rigs for under $1,000 to folks that I liked, giving them a good deal along with dies, brass, bullets, and some targets having tiny groups.
 

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Me personally...........there is likely not a Ruger bolt rifle on the planet I would invest $1000 in, custom barrel or not. What matters, is it worth that much to YOU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pairing a Douglas match barrel with a Boyd's stock doesn't really seem to make sense, but I like the Pro Varmint Boyd's stock well enough, and it's a simple black/grey color - pretty hard to screw that up. It seems the bedding job is done well enough so I can't complain too much about the stock - but it does seem like a $5 saddle on a $40 horse.

And I'm sure a lot of folks like msp3903 consider putting a $500 match barrel on a $500 Ruger is like putting a $40 saddle on a $5 horse...
 

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I have a preference for M77 MKII and Hawkeye rifles because they are tough and simple. A re-barrel job is relatively simple - no coned breach, extractor cuts, and multiple cuts in the breach face as in the Rem 700 types having that finger nail extractor and multi part brazed bolt.

The incredibly tough and amazingly precise investment cast receiver and bolt enables this rifle to be produced at a moderate cost.

The negatives appear to be the peculiar bedding system having a diagonal bolt/screw, tiny recoil lug, and short safety lever. Epoxy bedding fixes some of these deficiencies.

Generally the factory stocks are acceptable having a low comb and a very slight negative pitch. Using them with low front and medium Ruger front rings works out well. Going up to medium front and high rear creates a sort of un-natural stock fit for me. Use of 30 mm rings creates a more un-natural stock fit.

Ruger triggers are a challenge in both MKII and Hawkeye. The Hawkeye is somewhat better but both are un-sat out of the box. A simple trigger job or installation of the Timney trigger fixes the problem. I have one MKII that has a Hawkeye trigger installed that works very well; some fussing was needed.

The scope mounting situation is either pleasing or aggravating. Use of factory rings after a ring lap job usually works out well. But should more elevation be required an angled base or Burris Signature rings are needed. The Murphy outfit makes a base but it is pricy and requires drill and tap of 4 holes, 6-40's would be best. Burris makes a Ruger to Weaver type adaptor but this mounts the scope way up there, near 1.75 to 2 inches or so.

Attached are 2 pics of one of my favorite rifles - a MKII LA, 6.5-06 with a McGowen D4 contour 24 inch, 1-8 twist barrel -- this is a match barrel and it would perform much the same should it be installed in a pricy BAT receiver/action. The 140's bore though air real well but I like 100 grain Barnes tipped 3x or Hornady 123 SST's for hunting.

It shoots so good, the fact that I have about $1 thousand into it does not bother me at all. It has never failed and always performed well no matter what - the extra cost is trifling compared to other expenses on some expedition - licenses, motel rooms, gas, fees, taxidermy, miles driven, food, tips, and compensatory gifts given to support section (Mrs. Bass Man):)

Negotiate down with the Boyd's stock. Some of the Richards' MicroFit are OK and I have bought 3 from their bargain list. They were the Modern Classic types. They have a roll over LA MKII stock that I have been eyeing but hesitate because of the garish discordant colors.

The last photo is one of my MKII rifles, that is one of the first MKII's made, it is a push feed, with a bolt face that completely encloses the cartridge. This gave me the opportunity to remove the diagonal front screw/bolt and aluminum floor plate and substitute a common ordinary 1/4 inch Rem 700 screw to replace all of this. A matching 1/4 hole was drilled and tapped into the receiver ring just behind the miniscule short recoil lug. It is a single shot, now chambered in .22-.250 with a 1-7.7 twist barrel. It is shown in a previous life as a .243 Win, the scope is a 4.5-14X40 M4. As I remember several hits on rodents that day were made beyond 600 yards.
 

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I have nothing against Ruger rifles..........they are tough, strong, reliable and make great hunting rifles. That's just not what I do, so I prefer to invest in Remington or Savage actions for my rifle builds
 

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I know this thread is about valuation of a MKII but I thought some talk about the common Rem 700 might be of use.

I have stocked several of them, and:

I can inlet a Rem 700 action in about 1/4 the time it takes with a MKII

Generally I can get them to shoot better faster but the MKII's can also shoot well but take more fussing.

I greatly appreciate working with the Rem 700 round receiver, most of the inletting can be performed with a GunLine barrel scraper tool. The recoil lug is a straight forward affair and projects directly into the stock. The front bedding screw threads into the bottom of the receiver ring.

Mounting a scope is always straight forward with many bases and ring combos available.

Inletting the trigger except for the safety is simple and the safety inlet is no big deal.

More work stocking a MKII but I have more confidence in them. I don't like the limitations of the scope mount business on MKII's. Any kind of scope can be mounted on the Remington.

Attached is a photo of a M700 that I stocked about 20 years ago and recently refinished - it is a .243, 27 inch Lilja Barrel 1-8 twist. The stock is a little too flashy for my tastes but others like it.

I have never played around with a Savage (rifle) -- yet.
 

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That's what most of them have gone for and that's why I don't sell many of them.

The ones that I have sold periodically appear and the new owners are pleased and this makes me happy.

Not much profit in the amateur semi-custom rifle market.
 

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IMO, one customizes a Ruger rifle because one _wants_ to; one wants what one has made. It's not to sell them. The cheap, junky, poorly-designed and over-priced Remington is far, FAR easier to sell and make a buck on once it's been customized. However, it's a weak and poorly made action with a defective trigger. It's great for target work because it's a tubular receiver, and because it's ubiquitous so EVERYONE makes parts and accessories for it. For a field and/or hunting action, however, the Ruger is dramatically superior.

I'd give what I was willing to pay for the end result, for the semi-custom Ruger. Not a whole lot since it's in a Boyds (I have had several; they're good, but not _nice_ stocks), but just whatever I would be willing to spend on the final result. What it cost the other guy to build just doesn't matter, unfortunately.

If he's your friend, be 'fair' to him. Otherwise, make an offer and walk away, either with the rifle or empty-handed, and sleep well.
 

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Rifle barrels are sort of like truck/car tires - they wear out and they are not cheap.

When cruising down the Inter State at 70 mph plus or shooting at some distant rodent you gotta have good stuff.
 

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IMO, one customizes a Ruger rifle because one _wants_ to; one wants what one has made. It's not to sell them. The cheap, junky, poorly-designed and over-priced Remington is far, FAR easier to sell and make a buck on once it's been customized. However, it's a weak and poorly made action with a defective trigger. It's great for target work because it's a tubular receiver, and because it's ubiquitous so EVERYONE makes parts and accessories for it. For a field and/or hunting action, however, the Ruger is dramatically superior.
Wow..........there is a whole lot of WRONG in that paragraph. There is NOTHING junky, cheap, weak or poorly designed about a Remington 700 action. You obviously have something against Remington's and that's fine.........but all those statements are totally false. Aside from aftermarket actions, likely 90% of custom rifles are built on Remington actions. That's not because they are cheap, junky or poorly made
 

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They are all of those things. The 700's trigger design is defective and unsafe up until the X-Mark Pro, and the XMP trigger uses such ridiculously deficient materials that they wear out and fail very prematurely. ANY Remington trigger should be replaced for safety reasons, straight out of the box.

The ONLY decent reason to start with a Remmy for a custom is the ubiquitousness, and therefore aftermarket parts. Unfortunately, you _need_ all that aftermarket support.
 

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They are all of those things. The 700's trigger design is defective and unsafe up until the X-Mark Pro, and the XMP trigger uses such ridiculously deficient materials that they wear out and fail very prematurely. ANY Remington trigger should be replaced for safety reasons, straight out of the box.

The ONLY decent reason to start with a Remmy for a custom is the ubiquitousness, and therefore aftermarket parts. Unfortunately, you _need_ all that aftermarket support.
You my friend are VERY uninformed, is all I can say to that.............in other words, you have no clue of what you speak
 

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Wow..........there is a whole lot of WRONG in that paragraph. There is NOTHING junky, cheap, weak or poorly designed about a Remington 700 action. You obviously have something against Remington's and that's fine.........but all those statements are totally false. Aside from aftermarket actions, likely 90% of custom rifles are built on Remington actions. That's not because they are cheap, junky or poorly made
The bashing of Remington is probably something that was read on the internet and just needed to be repeated. Many internet experts get their information and opinions from other equally qualified internet experts. It was on the internet therefore must be the absolute truth.

Just semi-kidding. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My opinion is that the 700 is a fine rifle. I also believe that insulting someone's rifle is poor form.
 

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I have seen some real expensive rigs built on Rem 700 actions complete with all sorts of spendy stocks, barrels, triggers, bottom metal and scopes. The owners make them perform well.

My single Rem 700, a 1-8 twist .243, complete with a Lilja barrel is a real good shooter and when equipped with a good target scope gets out to 1000 yards well using easily obtained mount hardware.

I have become inured to disparaging remarks directed at my amateur assembled M77 MKII semi-custom rifles but have refrained from adversarial dialogs directed at the almost universally accepted Remington 700 rifles frequently encountered at various rifle ranges and hunting sites.

Sure wish I could get some nice bottom metal, as made by Sunny Hill, to replace the peculiar diagonal bedding set up on my prize MKII's.
 

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Upon reading the article I was not able to find out who wrote it or what his creds were - engineering, forensic, or armorer or such. Are they available. There is an extensive reference to patent stuff and history.

I have a Remington 700, out of the stock in front of my key board.

This rifle has a 3 pound trigger pull and .045 inch sear/trigger engagement. Crud and filth are never there. The hefty trigger pull positions the trigger under the sear each and every time. The .045 sear/trigger engagement with the 3 pound pull prevents the rifle from firing when slammed around.

Imagine, a filth encrusted Rem 700 trigger, with a 8 ounce trigger pull and a miniscule sear/trigger engagement surface being loaded, cocked and locked. The trigger is pulled and the return spring force is so wimpy it is unable to shove the crud out of the way so the trigger is unable to be positioned under the sear. The safety is then pushed off and the sear being free to fall does just that and the rifle fires.

I attempted to duplicate the half on/off safety check but the 3 pound trigger return spring force positioned the trigger under the sear each time.

Next I attempted the "screw driver" test. I used the awl on my Swiss Army knife in attempt to dislodge the floating connector, reaching through the .123 inch diameter observation hole, but failed. It would appear the floating connector in my rifle was snugged up tight against the trigger.

If I reduced the trigger pull to 8 ounces and reduced the sear/trigger engagement to .020 for a "kiss of death" trigger job suitable for stuff like demanding silhouette competition then dunked the rifle in muddy salt water I am almost certain that I could incur a trigger failure.

Attached is the modification that enables the Rem 700 bolt to be opened without taking the rifle off safety. Just after the photo was taken the trigger was cleaned up real good with solvent and a blast of 135 psi air from my compressor - note the tiny amount of crud on the sear.

The Ruger MKII trigger and safety are exposed in the same fashion as the famed M70. The MKII trigger is vey simple having only the trigger, trigger spring, sear, trigger pin and sear pin. It is a marvel of simplicity but as issued cannot be adjusted. File the bottom of the trigger surface excessively where it engages the rotating safety in the mid position and the safety will not work enabling the rifle to fire with the safety on. Upon installing a Timney trigger this needs to be understood.

Triggers are scary - I never trust safeties.

The article needs references and supporting documentation
 

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Varminterror why not just do some looking at Remington, Savsge, Winchester, Howa, & Ruger. See if you can find a nice used 300 Win Mag. 300 WM is very popular caliber. I see used ones all the time listed for sale. Try it out first before you invest all the $$$ spent on custom stocks barrels etc. You might just find a nice used 300 WM that's accurate enough as is. I know you want certain requirements on a rifle, but some Howa's & Savages I have had are in stock form very accurate. My favorite Ruger is a M77 tang safety Ruger these were very good solid rifles as are Win. Mod 70's & older Remington Model 700's. Save some money & get a nice wood stocked bolt rifle with scope well under $1000.00 words for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I guess I could clarify - this rifle in question would not be my first custom/semi-custom, nor nor my first custom Ruger, nor my first 300win mag, not even my first custom Ruger 300 win mag.

It would be the first semi-custom Ruger 300win mag I have bought.

I do have Remington, Winchester, Ruger, savage, mauser, and cz/Brno bolt action rifles, almost none of them in their original stocks, and only a few with their original barrels.

I've only, however, purchased 5 custom rifles pre-built, none of which was a Ruger hunting rifle, as usually I prefer to build them myself. But I kinda like this one.
 
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