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I am very experienced with revolvers but not rifles. Haven't fired a rifle since the Army about 4 decades ago. Now I would like a .357 rifle to complement my Blackhawks. I want it for putting holes in paper and home defense and just for some fun. What would be easier for someone like me with no mechanical expertise to use and maintain, a Ruger 77/357 bolt action or a lever action 357?
 

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The ruger 77/357 will be the easiest rifle to operate and maintain for you between the two options in my opinion. The bolt action (actually a split bolt, but functionally the same) is completely and easily removed by simply depressing a spring loaded plunger tab to the left rear of the bolt slide bed for ease of cleaning and maintenance. The stainless steel rifle and synthetic stock are also 'naturally' more resistant to, well, everything from the elements to the owner.

I have one and love it, it's paired with my 6" ss GP100. I highly recommend getting a Skinner barrel mount aperture/peep sight for it to replace the factory rear (I would actually say the same thing if someone was to get a leveraction .357 as well), and enjoy stretching the .357 magnum cartridge's legs while confidently and cheaply taking out nearly whatever you want within 200 yards.
 

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Chances are that they'd be equally easy to use. If you felt the need to disassemble for cleaning, the 77/357 would certainly be much easier to field-strip than a 92-clone lever gun and would be somewhat easier than a Marlin lever gun.

As far as accuracy, reliability, and capacity (which you don't bring up), I've found that the accuracy of my 92 is perfectly fine in .357 (easy 1.5" at 50 yards with most loads, 3" at 100 - can almost halve that with loads it especially likes), the reliability is good with anything but full WCs, and the capacity (10 rounds in the 92 short rifle) is a whole lot better with the lever guns than with the 77/357.

I think you'd have fun with a 77/357. :)
 

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I have the 77/357 and a Henry .357 Big Boy. I have to occasionally work the lever a little to cycle the next round on the Big Boy, never a problem with the Ruger. The Ruger is a little eaier to maintain. To scrub the barrel on the Big Boy I use a muzzle guide to keep from hurting the crown. Because of my eyesight, both are scoped and the Henry seems to be a little more accurate.
 

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I think that any rifle in a .357 magnum would be great. Personally I have a Marlin 1894 Cowboy Rifle in.357 magnum. I really love this rifle. I had mine about 4 years I came across it on Gun Broker I was really attracted to it because it is one of the early models with a 24 inch hexagon barrel. This model has been discontinued a few years ago the newer ones have I think a 18 or 20 inch hexagon barrel. I was told because the condition of my gun is so nice that I could easily get $1000.00 for it weather that's true or not I don't know but it will never be put up for sale !! Way way too nice of gun. My Ruger Vaquero Bisley older model that is stainless steel with a 5-1/2 inch barrel really complements the Marlin nicely. A Ruger M77 in .357 would be a neat little rifle to have and very nice to maintain. My Marlin has never gave me any problems what so ever. I would like to try it on the deer hunt as I hear a 100 yards or under they make a good caliber to use on deer
 

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Greetings,

I have a 77/44, and it is a good shooter. I had a Winchester trapper in 357 magnum, and it was a fun gun. However, for where I live, (out in the sticks) the 44 makes more sense.

mooondog911 :cool:
 

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A 77/357 is right at the top of my firearms Wish List. I already carry a .357 revolver w/ me while I hunt in case I stumble upon an ornery black bear. Considering I've never had to shoot a deer at a distance of more than 50 yards or so (hunting in the woodlands of central PA tends to be a see-&-react proposition), I think a rifle in the same caliber would make a fine addition to the arsenal. It would also be easier to carry than my .30-06. I just hope I'm able to find one once I have a chance to buy, prob. in Feb.
 

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A 77/357 is right at the top of my firearms Wish List.

It would also be easier to carry than my .30-06. I just hope I'm able to find one once I have a chance to buy, prob. in Feb.
I have a set of 77's in .22LR, .357, .44. The .357 and .44 both shoot well, but required a bit of effort to get them there. Triggers come through heavy and rough, the 77/357 and 77/44 both suffered from vertical stringing.

Others have had better luck, both of mine were early run models, and I suspect that's a factor.

Easy carry? You bet, as rifles go, maybe the easiest. An '06 that weighed as much would be a hazard. Accuracy is in the 1.25"-1.75" from both rifles with a range of bullet weights for 5 @ 100yds. The .357 shoots best with 180gr Remingtoin HP's over 2400, the .44 is tops with the 265gr Hornady FP over W296. Speer Deep Curls also shoot well, when they are available.

I grabbed extra magazines from Bud's, and have four for each rifle.

They are very easy to maintain, and upgrade. The .357 wears a Nikon 1.5X-4X, the .44 a Weaver 1x-3X. I like the Weaver the best.

You should have one.
 

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TMan: Thanks for the firsthand report, I very much appreciate it. How good/bad are the stock sights? I do want to scope it -- I'm partial to Nikon optics -- but probably won't have the necessary funds straightaway.
 

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The 77/357 I bought needed some work also. With some helpful advice from a forum member it has improved and I'm happy.

The iron sight are much like the 10/22 sights.
 

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scooter: So not great, but serviceable. I can deal w/ that for a few months. Thanks!
 

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I think the 77/357 would certainly be easier to maintain due to its simpler design. I have a 44 Magnum Marlin 1894 and it's a pretty sturdy rifle. Marlins are also fairly simple to field strip. My friend has a Marlin 1894 in 357 and it's a fine rifle, also. Hardly any recoil and tons of fun to shoot.
 

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TMan: Thanks for the firsthand report, I very much appreciate it. How good/bad are the stock sights? I do want to scope it -- I'm partial to Nikon optics -- but probably won't have the necessary funds straightaway.
I think the irons on the Ruger rifles as good as any open sights out there these days. I think they are made by Williams, and the flip up/dn aspect is a plus. I prefer that style to the ramped notch, which often leaves the shooter holding a bit high or low to get things right.

They are good enough to get the meat in the freezer.

Scope wise, I like my Nikon scopes a lot. I had the 2X-7X, and later the 1.5X-4X on slug guns for a couple seasons, including a few summers of crop damage permits. That burned up as many slugs as many hunters need in a lifetime. They came through fine. The 2X-7X retired to my 10/22 rebuild, and the 1.5X-4X is doing service on the 77/357. Both are perfect for the use they get.

The good news is that Ruger rings can be mounted/dismounted with no perceivable change in POI. A big plus.
 

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I don't hunt, but felt the need for some reason to get a rifle in something bigger than a .22lr. The 77/357 seemed like a great idea since I have plenty of 38/357 rounds and revolvers.

The sights are so-so. I didn't like the leaf sights (old eyes), so mine were quickly replaced with some NECG aperture / peep sights. My groups are fine now but shoot a little high, so eventually I'll need a taller front sight when I stop thinking about it, and just buy one.

I think the trigger is pretty stiff, and hopefully a quick search here will help remedy that issue.

It's a fine gun for my purposes,... tin cans and holes in paper.

I cannot comment on lever action, but I do hope this helps you make an informed decision.
 

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ttwotone: Thanks for adding your impressions. I'm now 99% sure I'll be buying a 77/357 in a couple of months -- if, that is, I can find one at that time. Fingers crossed ...
 

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ttwotone: Thanks for adding your impressions. I'm now 99% sure I'll be buying a 77/357 in a couple of months -- if, that is, I can find one at that time. Fingers crossed ...
Shouldn't be a problem finding one at the moment, but I'd get one sooner, rather than later.
 

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I am very experienced with revolvers but not rifles. Haven't fired a rifle since the Army about 4 decades ago. Now I would like a .357 rifle to complement my Blackhawks. I want it for putting holes in paper and home defense and just for some fun. What would be easier for someone like me with no mechanical expertise to use and maintain, a Ruger 77/357 bolt action or a lever action 357?
I'm not a mechanical genius either and was thus fortunate to purchase the 77/357 as my first rifle. It could hardly be simpler to maintain and I am a big fan. I shot the iron sights for awhile and found them satisfactory but my eyes enjoy my Nikon 2-7 x 32 scope. Everyone says a bolt rifle is no good for home defense but I'm not so sure.
 

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I don'y own a 77-357 but do a 77-44 . for most uses a bolt gun would be as good or better than a lever action. But when it comes to self defense maybe a closer look is needed . The lever action has proven it's worth in SD for over 100 years and is as good as most anything else until it comes time to reload under fire. Even then it is still useful. The bolt gun with a mag can be easier to reload but it holds less to start with so it might be a wash out . The real issue will be how fast one can work the action and take well aimed shots. In the case of the lever gun again it has proven it's worth for over 100 years. The bolt gun is also useful and for almost as long as the lever gun but does it beat the lever ? Well it depends on the operator and IMHO if a scope is involved on the 77 357. The operator either has the knack and can hone his skill or he does not . As for the scope , on my gun I mounted a 2-7 leo. and to be frank it gets in the way when running the bolt during fast cycling drills. If the gun was for SD I would remove the scope and add a EOtech sight or just use the iron sights.
 

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My 77/44 is fun to shoot. I like the open sights but at the moment I have a 1.75x4 scope on it because my cousin borrowed it for his son to hunt with. The only problem with a lever(if you call it a problem) it could be harder on ammo.
 
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