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Accurizing a Ruger?

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Old 08-06-2004, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 54
Accurizing a Ruger?


I've got a LH Ruger SS 77 in .30-06' with a laminated stock. I've tried numerous handloads in various charges and with several bullets types and it shoots about 2.5-3.5 MOA. I did find one load that shot a clover leaf at 100 yds. I downloaded it to a velocity between a .30-30 and a .308 Win.(too anemic to hunt with) to see if I could find a load it liked. Whenever I load it up to a respectable hunting velocity the group size grows.

I've been told that removing the wood at the end of the stock where the barrel contacts it will potentially reduce the size of my groups? There is a small area about the size of a nickel that applies upward pressure on the barrel.

Anyone have any ideas on how to improve the accuracy of this gun. I would be happy with 1.25-1.5 MOA.

Thanks, Pat S.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Urich, MO
Posts: 838
Re: Accurizing a Ruger?

Yes, I would remove the that and free float the barrel and then maybe a bed job and a trigger job for starters.
Chris Matthews
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Old 08-07-2004, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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Re: Accurizing a Ruger?

Pat S.

Have alot of Ruger M77MkII's come into the shop these days having similar problems.

First thing I recommend is a quality bedding job to my customers. Doing this on the Ruger generally helps alot with consistant grouping, certainly better then what you are experiencing.

With groups like that I would say you have a mechanical problem somewhere in the rifle.

Since you state it shoots tight groups at low end pressures and goes to hell with top level loads, I would be very suspicious of the bolt locking lugs not baring evenly.

I have seen this alot with Rugers, especially those of the last 5 years or so.

On rifle in particular, an M77VT in 220 Swift was an amazingly accurate rifle when I started load developement for it using virgin brass and lower pressure loads.

I was getting groups in the 2's and 3's but only getting 3600 fps with the 50 gr Blitzking from Sierra. Thats pretty weak for a 22-250 let alone a Swift. The customer wanted 3800-3900 fps at least with this bullet and I told him 4000 fps would be easy to get in the Swift but 3900 fps would be easier on the barrel.

Well, once the velocity reached anything over 3600 fps, the groups jumped up into the 1.5 moa range and at 3950 fps it was shooting patterns rather then groups.

I retested with the fireformed cases leaving them a tight fit in the chamber hoping to improve bullet alignment with the bore.

No group with these brass broke the 2 moa mark.

Then I took a look at the bolt locking lugs and noticed that only one was baring. The other was totally floating and when I trued the rifle for the customer, I found out it had 0.003" of air between it and the locking recess surface.

What happens is that at low pressure, the one lug has enough rigidity to hold the case square to the bore. With the higher pressure loads, the bolt thrust flexes the bolt until the floating lug stops its rearward motion, resulting in very poor alignment with the bore.

Once the lugs were trued and the rifle rechambered to the 22-6mm AI since the customer decided he wanted more speed. The rifle is not grouping in the 3's with the 55 gr Blitzking clipping along at 4125 fps with 55.0 gr Rl-22.

I have seen this on several other Rugers so pull your bolt out and take a look to see if you have even baring on both lugs. If you do not they need to be recut and lapped.

Good Shooting!!!

Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Old 08-09-2004, 05:35 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 198
Re: Accurizing a Ruger?

interesting,a friend has a new ss 7mag ruger that has over 500 rounds in 140-175's,min to max loads,and no less than 5 powders?just to see one group under 3" at 100 yds would make him happy.it has been to the gunsmith and had the trigger smoothed and barrel floated(synthetic),and still not working?he is hesitant on sending it back to ruger because of the work that has been done?should this be bedded? burris 4.5-14ao that has been sent to factory for inspection.
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:36 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
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Re: Accurizing a Ruger?


There is nothing more frustrating then they type of rifle because there is no good place to start for the shooter himself to do.

When I get rifles like this in the first thing I do is cut a new crown on the muzzle. About 60-65% of the time this solves the vast majority of the problems if the rifle will not shoot any load well.

The good thing is that I charge $12.00 to recrown a barrel. On the ruger there is also a $10.00 barrel removal charge simply because the trigger frame is just a bit wider then my big Jet ZX lathe will accept through the 3 1/8" spindle bore.

Generally this solves alot of problems. From there the cures for the problem gets more complicated and and expensive.

When I see a rifle that will not shoot any load well, no matter the pressure level, I suspect a mechanical problem with the rifle.

Bedding problems will cause some fliers from time to time but generally it will present itself as walking groups and stringing.

WIth a well machined action and barrel, even a moderately good bedding job will shoot in the 1.5 moa range sometimes much less.

But one thing to remember, a perfect bedding job will still not overcome poor machining, EVER.

That said, the Ruger M77 does respond well to a quality bedding job, especially if the action is in good condition.

Free floating a factory sporter barrel is kind of hit and miss. I would say that it runs about 50-50 as far as if factory sporters shoot better with a little forend pressure or free floated, just have to do it and see.

Any custom barrel I fit is floated period. There is no need to induce outside forces to a properly fitted match grade barrel.

Factory barrels are not quite so easy to tame or predict.

The trigger on the Rugers are a true pain in the rear. They can be tuned into fine big game triggers but as they come from the factory they are very poor triggers averaging in the 6-7 lb range.

I guess thats what happens when you get sued like Ruger has been.

If your fiend can into myshop with his Ruger M77, the first thin I would do is recommend he get rid of that factory synthetic stock. Alot of guys like them but they are one of the hardest stocks on the planet to shoot accurately.

If he wants the light weight, there are several other after market composite stocks that would be much better.

Also, the factory stocks should not be bedded. They material they are made of is a patroleum based plastic that will not allow the bedding compound to hold long term.

Generally they seperate very quickly because the stock and bedding compound expand and contract at very different rates in varying temps. This basically pulls them apart.

So with a new stock, I would recommend recutting the crown, looking at the bolt lugs for even baring and when the barrel was off for recrowning, I would check to see if the barrel shoulder was square as well as the receiver shoulder.

If they were not square I would recommend squaring those to get rid of the stress on the barrel that will cause.

The good thing is that if I true up the bolt lugs, say I take off 0.005". This will add 0.005" to the headspace of the rifle.

To correct this I would take roughly 0.0025" off the barrel shoulder to true it up and another 0.0025" off the receiver face to even it up, then we would be back to the original headspace measurement.

THe interesting thing is that most of these factory rifles have some degree of excessive headspace. Sometime alot more then you would expect.

One can easily tighten this measurement up by the mentioned steps.

This may all sound like major surgery but sometimes this is needed to get a rifle to shoot.

If the rifle is worn much, I would recommend getting a new barrel and start over right.

Good Shooting!!!

Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Old 08-10-2004, 10:16 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Accurizing a Ruger?

Fifty's hit it dead on the head! I would first check the stock to remove any pressure because you can do that yourself, and it doesn't cost anything to do it. After that, if you still have a problem, get a recrown and go from there until you get where you want to be.
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Old 08-10-2004, 12:28 PM
LB LB is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Upland, CA
Posts: 423
Re: Accurizing a Ruger?

What's the method being used, in the above instance(s) for tighening the action screws? It may be possible to spring those side rails? Thereby, creating the mechanical problem, mentioned by 50.

Good hunting. LB
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