7x57 chamber observation.

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twerpymoon

Single-Sixer
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Dec 1, 2012
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State of confusion.
Picked up a tang safety 77RS in 7x57 (also a .30-06, but that is beside the point) at a show a couple of weeks ago. Serial number 70-44889, supposed to be third year production (1971). I also have a 1-A serial number 134-35640 in 7x57, which shows as 2011 production. So, forty years apart.

I drew a Pronghorn tag this year and plan to use the 1-A to fill it. A peccadillo of mine is No.1's for speed goats. First one with a 1-B in .30-06, second one with a Boddington .300 H&H 1-S, and third one I carried an RSI in .30-06, but never filled(the reason is a painful story in itself). But I digress.

Anyhow, I have always heard/read that early 7x57 chambers had long throats for 175 gr. round nose bullets and newer ones the throats had been shortened.
What better opportunity to check it out, thinks I. I gathered up four or five different bullets, my Stoney Point gizmo, and proceeded to find out.

Huh, what do you know. There isn't two thousands difference between the two. So much for reams of paper and buckets of ink used up for articles to the contrary.

I will say the No.1 chamber seems to be a bit tighter, but not enough to be of consequence.

Anyone else found similar results?

twerpy.
 

wunbe

Buckeye
Joined
May 19, 2002
Messages
1,240
Location
Reston VA USA
Congrats on your good luck with the RS. Measurements aside, does it actually shoot the 140 grain stuff into tight groups?

Most of the sloppy 7x57 chambers in early Rugers that i have heard about were in the #1 models. And then not all of them showed the same characteristics. I have had two RfSI #1s in the caliber from the early era and both much prefered the heavier round nose fodder to the sleeker 140 modern stuff. I still have a #1B in the caliber with the same preference so I have many boxes of the old style ammo to feed it.

wunbe
 

picketpin

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Jun 29, 2006
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Owyhee County, ID, USA
The FIRST 7x57 77s were an uncatalogued run in 1971. At that Point in time they were still using Douglas premium Match Grade barrels and Douglas was doing the chambering. The 257 Roberts was introduced in 1972 as an uncatalogued run of Round Tops, STs with sights and the medium weight sporter barrel like the magnums. They too were fitted with Douglas barrels.

The problem didn't occur until they started ramping up production in late 1972/early 1973 and Douglas declined to try and fill the contract. That's when Wilson started doing the barrels for both rifles. THAT's when the problem of excessively long throats appeared. It was a particular problem for early production Wilson barrels in 7x57. The generally accepted thought was that they chambered them with the idea that people were still limited to the old 175 grain round nosed bullet so they throated the first production run to fit a much longer bullet than most of us currently use in 7x57s.

Not sure when they got it fixed/figured out but my earliest 7x57 "A" has a long throat. The 7x57 "B" I have from the uncatalogued run of 1975 is correct for Spitzer bullets and it seems the "problem" was fixed by then.

I have a 77 from the early 1971 run and it and the #1 "B" are so close I can use the same seating depth. That said My earliest #1 "A" won't even get close to the lands with anything short of a 150. A 120 grain bullet can't be seated correctly before it falls out of the case. Seating a 140 with a caliber length in the neck results in a LOT of free Bore. That said, they will hit a deer.

I'm not sure how a guy should look at it. Lucky because you bought an early 77 in 7x57 with a barrel by Douglas, or the guys that ended up with the earliest Wilson barrels were just unlucky? The chances are just about the same.

Both were produced in a short ammount of time Like a LOT of things RUGER there is way more BS floating around in public opinion/culture that have very little regard for the actual truth of the matter. I started using #1s almost exclusively by the mid to late
80s. Prior to that I used a bunch of 77s, all the way back to the earliest flat bolts. I think I have or have had at least 20+ tang safety 77s in 22-250, 243, 6mm, 6-284 (a punched out flat bolt that started life as 6mm)250 Savage (3) 257 Roberts (4), 25-06, 264 Win Mag, 7x57, 7mm Rem Mag, 338 Win Mag and 35 Whelen. I had a 458 RSC and sadly sold it when I left Oregon in the early 80s. So I have 77s from the earliest tang safety guns to the last production. iIn fact they are the only 77s I have ever owned and all shot/shoot well. MY personal opinion is the long throat issue was an aberration that was soon fixed but the myth was born and persists to this day. It was not universal to all cartridges and encompassed a very narrow time frame.

RWT
 

Dave H

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
71
Location
Rushville, Indiana, U.S.A.
picketpin,

I'm not trying to derail this thread and I apologize to the OP for doing so, but I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your posts and how much I appreciate you sharing your experiences and accumulated knowledge. I've learned much from reading your posts and thought it time I said, "Thank you!"

Best regards,
Dave
 

wunbe

Buckeye
Joined
May 19, 2002
Messages
1,240
Location
Reston VA USA
One flaw in Ross's excellent presentation is that no one --even Ruger -- can be sure that rifles produced in later years do not have the sloppy chambers that were made in a brief, earlier, time span. No Ruger barrels have point of origin markings. And Ruger stockpiled new parts w/o any reference to date of manufacture and so they used them in no particular order.

So, you can have a rifle shipped , say, in 1975 or 1985 with parts of vastly different vintage made long before. Since only the action has a serial number given at birth that allows a ball park guess on its date of manufacture, the other parts' dates remain mysteries. In essence, Ruger shipped lots of 'parts rifles' of mixed vintage -- a real problem for serious collectors. But then of course Ruger mainly sold shooting and hunting gear not collectibles.

wunbe
 

Dave H

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
71
Location
Rushville, Indiana, U.S.A.
I should have added in my post above that I just picked up a tang safety M77 in 7X57 a couple of months ago. I can't remember the serial number but its in really nice shape...too nice to leave in the rack at the local pusher's shop. I haven't had the time to do much with it yet, but now my curiosity is piqued.
 

twerpymoon

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 1, 2012
Messages
123
Location
State of confusion.
wunbe,
I haven't shot it yet. I am working on a load for the No.1 and final zero. Getting down to the wire. Season starts this Saturday. But rest assured I will get to it and let you know.

picketpin,
Thanks for the insight. It never even crossed my mind about the Douglas barrel. Bonus for me. I will try to get some pictures up sometime here. I too had an early Roberts many moons ago. It shot great. In about 1988 a niece of my wife got married and her hubby expressed an interest in deer hunting. I let him borrow the Roberts the first year and he fell in love, soooo, I sold it to him with the caveat that I got first dibs if he decided to sell it. Three years later he and I and my father-in-law were deer hunting in the Pine Ridge area and my father-in-law had a heart attack and died. Two things transpired. First, the kid had never seen anyone die, let alone a man he adored, and second, in some way decided deer hunting was the root of it all and never went again to this day. Some years later I asked about the rifle and of course he had associated it with the death and did not want it even in the family, so had sold it. Que sera.
 
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