I have done accuracy packages on about 5 ruger m77 pre-hawkeye mark 2 and tang models, the blued/wood versions mostly, and load development for 3 of those. I feel I have a very good handle on what it takes to make them shoot, but have never really touted their performance.
My first four were all older Rugers, This week I accurized my first Hawkeye in 257 roberts. I did my Package #3 on it, and took it out to shoot the customer supplied factory core lok ammo thru it. Now when it came in the fellow said he was sick with it. He had always wanted a Roberts and the rifle was giving him 2-3 inch groups. I did the usual bore inspection and seen nothing to lead me to believe he had a bad barrel. So off I went about the work.
I was testing in 5 degree temps at a local range, (mine is a bit snowed in and wind swept) shooting off my rolled up matt and small benee bag. I had not shot a ruger in some time, I loaded up the magazine, and feed a round into the chamber, the first thing that came to mind was the recollection of how nice these Rugers feed rounds from the box.
From the fresh cleaned bore the first 3 went into 1.25" with number 2 and 3 a 1/2 inch apart. I adjusted the 3x9 scope and the next 3 cloverleafed at 3/4" I was a bit suprised, But I shouldn't have been, The preveous 4 rugers I worked over had all done under 3/4" with handloads some better than a 1/2".
Now this is not to toot my horn, I honestly think this rifle will shoot a bit better with good bags and shooter friendly weather.
Rugers have some pretty good hunting rifles, with good barrels. BUT Rugers from the factory are handicapped right from the start by the final assembly.
I"m not really sure why I posted this other than to say if your budget dosen't allow it and your a bit handy yourself, You do have a viable option in a nice hunting rifle with the Rugers.
NO I don't own any Ruger shares.
The way Ruger stock has been going up I should have bought some a year ago!!!
I never intended to own any Ruger rifles. Now I own three. The first was a .338 Win Mag. Stainless and synthetic with the old canoe paddle stock. I trashed the stock and put a Hogue (professionally bedded) on it, had a trigger job, muzzle brake, and had the action lapped. Shoots .75 @ 100 consistently, and the best group on record is .217".
Second was a 6mm284 rechamber of a .243. The crown was bad, so the guy chopped the barrel down a tad and recrowned it. Great bedding job with the factory lam stock. I traded him for a Rem 700 LVSF that I could not get to shoot. This one has got down in to the .17" range with groups, even though the barrel is too short to take full advantage of the cartridge.
Third, a M77 Mark II ,(they all are), in .308 Win. This one sports the Hogue stock with the full length aluminum block. Guy said it would not shoot. He took it to the late Norm Thompson and was told that it would never shoot with this stock, and probably had a bad barrel. He gave up on it. Years ago, I told him I would buy it, and he finally said okay. I got it for a little less than a song. My first load test produced groups from .45" to 1.025" at 100. Definitely a shooter, just a matter of fine tuning.
The thing I find as a common denominator with Rugers that wont shoot is the torque on the front action screw. Being at an angle, it locates the action in the stock and controls all bedding pressure. If it is too loose, or torqued in a sequence that works against it, the gun wont shoot. I have never had one from the "bad barrel" era so my opinion is biased. I like them.
I nearly threw up when my $800 Remmy, plus trigger job, plus 1.5 years load development, plus bedding job, yielded a rifle that could not hang with any Ruger I own.
Not to overly bash Remington, as I did have a 700 Custom Classic in .375 H&H Mag that shot under .7".
I think alot of Rugers are given up on just because of the front action screw.
I wish they had a bolt-on trigger group though..........
Don't knock em till you try em.
I've had Darrell Holland and Kevin Wyatt building my custom rifles for 25 years now, but decided to see if I could get a Ruger to shoot as good as a custom Remington action build.
So I started with a Rugger m77 mk2, stainless in 338 win. mag. Put a 30" #7 Pac-nor stainless super match barrel in 338 Edge on it, a spec-tec adjustable trigger , hogue stock with full length aluminum bedding block, a home made cheek piece, and a Bushnell 6500 Elite 2.5-16x50 mil-dot in factory Ruger 30mm rings, Harris bi-pod, buttler creeks, glass bedded recoil lug and 2" barrel pad.
This rifle will shoot in the 2's with 300 gr. MK's and RL-25. I have 1100+ rounds down the tube and most are from 1,050 to 1,425 yds. My target is a 3'x2' piece of AR500 with 12" circle painted in the center.
This rifle with lower priced, somewhat lower grade (what some people would consider junk,) parts and pieces will shoot almost as good as my Holland built $4,000 customs. And I have about half the money in it.
Any other hints or tips for a Ruger, I may get to work the kinks out of a MK II 300 win mag. It is bone stock so I will be tearing it down and cleaning it up and looking for things to help it out and making some custom reloads for it.
I have seen that torque was mentioned, what sequence and torque would you guys suggest? Bedding ?
The Rugers I have been around really got better after a couple hundred rounds through them and the action and barrel smoothed up a bit, all have been shooters.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
Yep. I never put a high B.C. bullet in a magazine even when I can. You start bangin' the meplat around and your long range consistancy can go to hell fast, especially in high wind. Which is why you need one in the first place. The wind.