So what makes this rifle so accurate? First, I believe it is plain old good quality workmanship and materials. The design is simple but one thing that Ruger does is lock in their actions by slanting the front action screw, so as you tighten it down it pulls the action in tighter. On this rifle the good trigger pull definitely helped me shoot better groups. The stock was laminated, which should keep the action in tight.
The Ruger 77VT as tested.
The second rifle tested was a Ruger #1V. Unlike the 77VT the trigger was factory set at 4lbs. 3oz. It had one redeeming factor; it was a very crisp trigger. The varmint model is my favorite #1 because it has a medium taper heavy barrel and the scope bases are attached directly to the barrel. I have had many Ruger #1’s over the years. The early ones had adjustable triggers, but no more.
I noticed a couple of things on this new rifle I did not particularly care for: the safety was not curved to fit the contour of the tang and the wood was left proud (high) where it met the metal. This was a standard way of doing the fitting over the years on this model, but this sample was just a little too high for my taste. This may seem like nit-picking but the #1 was their top of the line for many years and I just expected better.
I mounted this new #1 with a Weaver scope, 6.5x20-44 A/O. Again this would not be considered a long range scope but it did fill my needs for a scope to test loads and groups. This scope’s clarity, fit and function seemed very good scope in this price range. You can see for yourself how well it performed.
The rifle’s chamber was pretty tight, especially in the throat area. All the new Hornady brass had to be re-sized first, and even then some of the rounds required a slight push to get them to chamber. I use a Lee priming tool and have for years. I noticed some of the brass fit the suggested shell holder and some did not. It was not a real problem since I just moved up one size and it worked fine. This does mean to me that the rims may vary slightly in thickness.
The Ruger 77VT ready for the tests to begin.
After trying a lot of loads that got as large as 2”, I found the mother lode for hunting and accuracy. First you start with once fired brass (this rifle likes it), then add 40grs. of IMR4350 and seat a Berger 140gr. VLD/Hunting bullet to an overall length of 2.82”. This produced a five shot ragged hole. The same load with a 140gr. Hornady Amax with the same OAL produced a group just slightly larger than the Berger’s, both loads clocked in just shy of 2600fps.
Either one of these rifles, with the proper optical setup could be a fine long range rifle. I would probably change the trigger on the #1 to something I can adjust down to about 2.5 lbs. or less. Both rifles like the Berger and Hornady 140 gr. Bullets, but this was no surprise due to the fact that the round was designed around the 140gr. Amax bullet.
This was the best group I could get out of the #1 but I think this accuracy would be sufficient for most shooters.
The 6.5 Creedmoor was built to fill a certain niche in the long range competitions but it certainly has spread into a lot of manufacturers’ cartridge line ups. I just heard that even Browning will be chambering the A Bolt rifle in the Creedmoor. Ruger is spreading the Creedmoor’s virtues on their sponsored television hunting shows, and why not? The 6.5 may be a very accurate caliber but it can also be a very effective hunting round. So if you were wondering if the 6.5 Creedmoor was just a flash in the pan, only time will tell, but at this point, I would bet it will be around for a long time.
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