Ruger .338

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by erikljoh, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. erikljoh

    erikljoh Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    Hi guys,

    Looking at picking up a Ruger M77 in .338 Win Mag (wood stock, 24" brl, not new, but never shot). I have never owned a Ruger Rifle, or a .338 and have heard pros and cons for both topics. This rifle would simply be a addition to my hunting/shooting rifle battery as an occasional shooter.

    Any input on experiences with either Ruger Rifles or the caliber?


    Big E
  2. NTM

    NTM Active Member

    Mar 24, 2004
    Had a Ruger m77 in .338 Winchester that I used for hunting elk and moose-worked extremly well for what I was using it for.

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    Big E,

    I have sold many Ruger M77 MkII rifles to customers and have had several times more come into the shop for accuracy tune ups.

    The worst thing about them is if it has one of those god awful hollowed out synthetic, spelled plastic stocks.

    The M77 MkII really benefits from a quality bedding job and I do alot of them because most have problems. The Ruger has great big flat bedding surfaces which is good but the bad thing is that they often have alot of side to side play in the stock as well asd this is why they often group in horizontal groups. A good bedding job will generally tighten groups up to 1 moa or slightly under with no other work done.

    The trigger is also a problem, they average in the 6-7 lb range but are usually very creepy. Ruger got sick of being sued by stupid people so they made the triggers lawyor proof and they did a good job doing it as well.

    Tuning a factory trigger to a clean 3 lb let off is a simple matter which I charge $40 to do.

    Other then that about the only other thing that I have seen from time to time is the bolt lugs will not bare evenly. This problem will present itself only with top end loads.

    In fact with moderate level loads these rifles with this problem generally shoot pretty well. When pressures increase to near max though the bolt really starts to flex and you will see vertical stringing in the groups.

    On average, I would say the Ruger is as good as any factory big game rifle and in my opinion, a very classy looking rifle.

    It is generally not a real trick to get them to shoot under 1 moa and sometimes they will shoot very well.

    Just sent a 270 and 300 Win Mag out last week that were 1/2 moa rifles after a bedding job and a trigger job.

    They can shoot and generally do after a little tweeking if needed.

    Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
  4. preacherman

    preacherman Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    ...imo, ruger rifles are as good as any in the same price range... they are however, a totally different design from the more conventional industry standard i.e. remington 700... while I've always had pleasurable experiences with my rugers, there's not much "potential" for super accuracy due to the "rough" barrels and the action doesn't attach perpendicular to the stock... also, triggers can be horrible and some can be pretty nice, but no "jewell" available and very few gunsmiths will seriously commit to accurizing... but I still like them for what they are (I was reluctant to submit this because invariably someone will chime in with their testimony of extraordinary accuracy etc... I also have had good accuracy with mine, just would avoid a ruger if I planned on serious accurizing in the future) hope this helps...
  5. lead foot

    lead foot Active Member

    May 25, 2004
    I used to shoot a lot of Ruger rifles. I've had both extremely good and extremely bad luck ... more variation / less consistency than with Remington.

    I've had two Ruger 77 (mk IIs) in .338. The first one shot great after I replaced the factory plastic stock with a Ramline synthetic. With 210 grain X boat tails (moly coated) it'd shoot in the .3s. The second one I just traded off. It was the laminated/stainless configuration. Accuracy was acceptible out to 200 yards but something funny happened between there and 300 ... nice round groups suddenly strung horizontally in both directions.

    I _realy_ liked the way that 2nd rifle felt. Compared to the Remington 700 LSS in .300 Win Mag which took it's place, the .338 was noticibly more comfortable to shoot in terms of felt recoil.

    Replacement triggers are a bit of a problem but it's no big deal to get one that's of fair hunting quality. Not a BR competition trigger, but good enough. I put a Timney setup in mine which had both new trigger and sear along with some springs. I'm not a Timney fan, but their Ruger trigger is a noticible improvement over stock.

    The previous 77 mk II I worked over using a combination of 77 mk II and 77/22 parts. It ain't officially approved, but so far as I can tell the two rifles use interchangable sears. I dropped a Volquartsen 77/22 "match" sear with the gold titanium nitride finish and a Dayton Traister M77 mk II trigger into the first Ruger .338, did a little stoning and fitting, and wound up with a 20 ounce trigger which I thought was a good balance, light enough for decent shooting, but not too light to handle with wet cold hands.

    Anyways, for a .338, if I could get one that shot, the Ruger 77 is probably my favorite choice of rifles.