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

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by the444shooter, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  2. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    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
     

  3. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. stomp442

    stomp442 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    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.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f37/ruger-m77-action-build-33427/index2.html

    Hope you get it worked out.
     
  6. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  7. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. stomp442

    stomp442 Well-Known Member

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    I will never understand the hate of Ruger actions. The angled action screw is really no big deal and not any harder to pillar and bed than anything else. I wish I had more of them.
     
  9. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    Go figure--I was looking for the McMillan stock that stocky's stocks *had* in stock, and lo and behold, they're sold out......

    That was my other option that I was playing around with in my head.

    As for filing down the threads, are you referring to the entire end section of the screw, or are you talking about just the threads? I'm assuming the former, as I would think just taking off the threads and leaving the shank would still allow the screw to bottom out in the hole (if that's the culprit)
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    There could be some issue with the action. I would recommend a truing/blueprint job prior to bedding it in a new stock.

    I have a SAKO M85 that is shooting similar to your M77. In my case, I think it's the barrel. It's going to get a total makeover, trued action, McMillan stock, Benchmark barrel.

    Good luck.
     
  11. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to buy a McMillan dude...To me they're overpriced for what they are. Just my opinon. Look into the B&C Medalist stocks or HS Precision. They're about 1/2 of what a McMillan is.
     
  12. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    I don't think B&C or HS Precision make a stock for the older tang safety Rugers. (aside from B&C's carbelite stocks that need a lot of fitting)
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Stomp,

    People seem to like to throw the "hate" word around very loosely. I don't "hate" any action. To me, they are what they are. Some are better than others and they all have their strong and weak points. Some have more strong points and some have more weak points.

    I hunted many years with my M77 and it served me well and killed a lot of critteres while it lasted. It is now permanently retired because I don't want to put the $$$$ into it to build on it for a lot of reasons which I won't go into here. If I hated it, I would sell it. But I'm not going to sell it because it killed most of the heads and horns that are hanging on my walls.

    And BTW, I have read numerous threads and posts where the angle screw was the culprit in accuracy issues. If it was such a good design, why do people try to "fix" it?

    Chill out fella...
     
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Both of my old 77's are the old stainless/skeleton (boat paddle) stock models (7mm-08 & 7mmRM) and both of them will drive tacks. Never had any reason to change mine out of their original stocks, and never had any reason to change them in any way. They were designed a certain way to do a certain thing, and they both do it well...Which is to be lightweight all-weather guns.

    That being said, I don't have any desire to ever use them for custom guns. I have much better options for that.