The 77 came out at a time when the average working man, could not afford a new rifle that was aesthetically appealing as well as rugged and reliable. Most factory bolt action rifles had monte carlo combs, white line spacers and press checkering.
Ruger hired a custom stockmaker to design a good looking stock in the classic style with cut checkering and nice finish that could be mass produced. The actions were strong with one piece, bolts and machined actions made of good steel.
The Model 70 Win, so much loved, was gone. In its place was the post- 64 version which though cheaper to produce, lacked the simple classic lines of its predecessor. Bill Rugers ideas influenced other makers, causing Winchester to change its stock designs with the XTR model 70 and Remington with its Classic and Mountain Rifle versions of the model 700. The Mk II had true controlled round feeding as does the Hawkeye. I believe the new Hawkeye has further refined this rifle, making it even better. I know that my views are old-fashioned and polished walnut, good checkering and blued steel do not make a rifle any more useful. I got my ideas of what a good rifle should look like, reading Jack O' Connor and Jim Carmichael. I guess I was brainwashed.
Yep, bought a Model 77 in 1982. IMO it was the best looking rifle on the market at that time. Period. Blued steel, good wood, no monte carlo stock, excellent mounting system for a scope. Just simple clean lines. Still have it and use it every deer season. We've both aged a bit but I think we are both still looking' good. Now on the other hand, there is my rough painted camo Mossberg 500 Turkey special……...