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Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

 
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  #1  
Old 12-22-2013, 06:54 PM
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Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

I have a Tang Safety M77 30-06 that my dad gave me for Christmas while I was in high school. It has killed its share of game, but some shots were just plain luck, apparently. It would never maintain any consistency as far as groups, save for "conistently" shooting 2 inches or more with many types of ammo. I bedded it, floated it, played with screw torque, put different scopes on it, all to no avail. I finally had a new barrel put on (Shilen 6 groove 1-10 twist, finished at 24") and thought for sure it would shoot lights out. Well, today at the range proved me otherwise. Still the same wild groups (from a lead sled, too) and a very disappointed shooter (me).

I can shoot well, as I have many other guns that I consistently print less than an inch at 100yds, one specifically being my 5R mil spec Remington in .308. I know I'm a capable shot, and especially in a lead sled, this Ruger should be a tack driver. It's floated, bedded (glass, not pillar), currently with a Zeiss 3-9x40 atop it, and it won't shoot for beans. I've tried 168gr bergers, 168gr Barnes TTSX, 150gr Barnes TTSX, 165gr Sierra Gamekings, 150gr Nosler Btips, 165gr Hornady Superformance SST, Interbond, and 150gr SSTs....both with the new barrel and old...just won't shoot! I'm going to try some 180gr loads to see how they do in the 1-10 barrel, but I just can't for the life of me understand why this rifle won't shoot well, especially with a new barrel. Could it be that my action is at fault? It seems as if I've taken care of all other variables, except the bolt and action themselves. I'm considering buying a new stock for it as well, as a last ditch effort, but don't know what that would improve since my current stock is already bedded.

Long story short, I thought I had all the variables figured out, but it's still shooting just as poorly with a new Shilen barrel as it did with the old Ruger factory barrel.

HELP PLEASE!
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2013, 06:48 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tucson Az
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Re: Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

I just helped a friend sort out his Ruger which also didn't shoot. He put on a new barrel and had it bedded. I discovered that the front action screw was bottoming out in the blind hole! We used his pedestal grinder to shorten the length and it now shoots bugholes with his new Kreiger barrel. Wish all fixes were this easy.

There are two ways this could happen. Bedding material got into hole or bedding ended up being lower in stock.

Some other tips that might help:

Middle action screw should not be tightened just snug enough to hold triggerguard in place.

My checklist:

Check front action screw hole for epoxy
Action screw bottoming out in blind hole
Ruger rings not properly placed in intregal bases
Poor crown, optimal way is to check with bore scope
Action screw holes in stock too small, drill larger so sides of action screw won't touch
Bolt handle touching stock
Mag box must not bind
Recoil lug making early contact in bottom of bedding (rocking action)
trigger group must not touch stock
Trigger guard must not touch trigger
uneven bedding--- tightening one action screw to see if the action pulls up at other end.
Action screws properly torqued
Clean bore
barrel having adequate clearance where it is supposed to be floated
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2013, 09:39 AM
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Re: Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

Thanks, AZ

I snugged the middle action screw down, and then backed off about half a turn, but maybe I'll give it more slack.

I'm going to try and shoot it without the magazine box, just in case that's binding it somehow.

The action screw length is a bit of a daunting task, as I don't have a grinder to trim it down.

I also don't want to give up on the stock, either, because I refinished it myself (looks darn good, too!) but I suppose giving the McMillan Ruger stock a try might be in order.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Safford Arizona
Posts: 119
Re: Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

Every Ruger I have ever messed with which has been quite a few prefer fore end pressure. I will generally free float the barrel then place a small amount of steel stick putty right at the end of the stock. Place one piece of packing tape along the barrel where it contacts the fore arm. Apply some release agent then place a small ball of putty in the stock then install the barreled action normally and tighten down the screws with the middle screw only snugged up. 57.0 grains of H4350 and a 155 Berger vld set .025" from the lands has worked really well in the last two Ruger 06s that I have worked on. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:53 AM
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Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
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Re: Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

Did you get the action blueprinted when you swapped barrels? It's also possible you got a bad Shilen barrel. It happens now and then with any barrel maker.

The angled front action screw has been a source of a lot of problems in Rugers over the years. It's one of those things that looks good on the drawing board but in practice is not so good, If the screw is touching the stock anywhere it could cause problems. Also, IMO you should have installed pillars when you bedded it. The wood will compress over time and that will eventually lead to issues. Are you sure the bedding job was stress free?

Here's a thread I started a few years ago about the possibility of doing a build on my Tang Safety M77. In post #9 you will see how some guys deal with the angled front action screw.

Ruger M77 action build???

Hope you get it worked out.
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:11 AM
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Re: Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

Thanks, Mark

No, the action wasn't blueprinted, (unless the gunsmith trued it before barrel install) and yes, I know (now) that I should've had it pillar bedded. I really thought that I took out all the major variables and that it would've been good to go, finally!

What I'm discerning from the shooting characteristics of this rifle is that both barrels were probably fine. They are both shooting almost identically, which leads me to believe the problem lies elsewhere. It shot the same with the barrel unfloated, so that's not the problem, either. It shot the same unbedded, and it shot the same with the old barrel.

There is something fundamentally wrong somewhere in the action...there's gotta be. Could be the way it sits in the stock (bedded and unbedded,) could be the magazine box? Hell, I don't know anymore. Don't believe it's the rings/bases or the optics, as I've swapped out several of each to determine whether it was a bad scope/bad parallax, etc....Burris Fullfield II, Weaver Super Slam, and Zeiss Conquest, to be specific.

Might try a new stock and see what happens--I've already sunk a bunch of money into this, and am ok with that. This is my quest! I gotta get this gun to shoot!
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:29 AM
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Location: Tucson Az
Posts: 1,264
Re: Ruger M77 Tang Safety HELP--removed all variables, still sucks.....

You could file off some of the threads on that front action screw.

As for the Ruger design not shooting.... hogwash. I have three Rugers and all have been rebarreled without any blueprinting and all three shoot fantastically. 338 RCM, 257 Weatherby and 284 win/6mm-284 (rebarreled the 6mm myself)

ALL Rugers have totally floated barrels. All are bedded in McMillan Stocks.
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