How's Your M77 Shooting

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gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
:D Hi all, well I was able to get out and shoot my new M77 Ultralight in .308 today. I broke in the bbl prior to this. Anyway, I started out with 150gr Federals and I was not impressed to say the least. Poor groups and rounds walking up. I was letting the bbl cool in between groups.

This really bothered me, so I went and got some 168gr (this wt. is supposed to be the best for this caliber) Winchester Supreme. The gun now shot some very good groups at 100yds, 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" depending on how much time I took and how long I let the bbl cool.

So......what kind of groups are you getting? Would you say the groups I was shooting is about par for this gun?

Any thoughts or comments would be great!!

All the best!

Greg
 

Canazes9

Bearcat
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
48
I would say the groups you are getting are OK, but below what I would hope for w/ that rifle. I have a standard M77 stainless in a ultralight stock chambered in 338 federal and it shoots a little better than that w/ factory ammo:

338Fedbest.jpg


How many rounds have you put down the bore? Sometimes factory barrels need some extra shooting to smooth out rough spots and get best accuracy.

Are you confident w/ your bench technique? If yes, we move on - if no, may be worth discussing. Ultralight rifles can be difficult to bench shoot properly.

Perhaps some different ammunition choices would improve your performance - lots of stuff available in this caliber, keep trying....

How's the trigger pull on your rifle? Trigger pull can have a profound effect on accuracy.

What type of stock is it? Is the barrel free floated properly? Some minor modifications to the stock may significantly improve performance.



HTH
David
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
I wouldn't be satisfied with only 1 1/2"-2 1/2" groups @ 100 yds, with a barrel that I DIDN'T let cool between shots.

I've found that lightweights, and ergo lightweight barrels, benefit from some extra "up-pressure" on the barrel bottom just to the rear of the forearm tip - easily temporarily tested via inserting a small piece of business card there, then replacing the card with something permanent if it proves out for your rifle.

.
 

gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
:D Hi and thanks!! The rifle has about 60rds thru her, the trigger pull is 4 1/2lbs, I'm shooting from a good steady rest, I can pass a dollar bill around the bbl (except where the front swivel stud, and stock cap are). I hope this will help explain things more.

As I said before, I'm a shotgunner. I like to deer hunt, but birdhunting is my passion. So any suggestions on improving my rifle skills are appreicated!!

I'm testing out different ammo, in fact I have a friend who's going to reload some different loads for me.

Thanks all!!

Greg
 

Canazes9

Bearcat
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
48
Where are you resting the rifle when you are benching it? Are you resting in on the end of the forearm? That would normally be just fine but if you are having a stock problem (and you may be) it may be making things worse. I would do 2 things now.

#1 Remove the rifle from the stock and investigate why the barrel is not free floated there. As mentioned previously, a pressure point can be designed there or it could be another problem like the the tip of swivel stud touching the barrel or the barrel channel being to narrow. Look at the underside of the barrel - any shiny spots?

#2 Shoot it again w/ some good quality ammunition, this time resting the stock just forward of the magazine floorplate. If the stock is causing you problems due to barrel impingement at the fore end, groups should improve by moving the resting point to the rear (the solution then is to work on the stock - this is just to help diagnose the problem).

It is not unusual for a factory rifle to have a rough bore that can contribute to poor accuracy. Usually, about 200 rounds need to go down a bore before it's shooting it's best. I think your rifle should be performing better than it is right now, but this may be contributing.

Bench technique: Rest the forearm of the rifle on a solid, rest trigger hand pulling the rifle rearward into the shoulder but NOT torguing the pistol grip. Unlike a shotgun, use just the pad of the index finger on the trigger - do not wrap the trigger to the 1st joint. Off hand should be under the rear of the stock grasping the rear bag - NOT touching the rifle. Rifle is pulled gently but firmly into shoulder. You are comfortable but not leaning or resting on the rifle or applying excess pressure to the rifle from the pistol grip or from the cheek weld. Line the crosshairs up in the center of your bullseye, take a deep breath, gently release about 1/2 of the breath and hold. Gently squeeze the trigger w/ the pad of you finger until the sear releases. Focus on being able to maintain the sight picture of the crosshairs centered in the bullseye even through the shot fired (you won't be able to - too much recoil, but you should still try for each and every shot).

hth
David
 

gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
:D Hi David and thanks!! I would say that my shooting postion (bench rested) is ok. I'm able to get 1" or less groups with my Remington Model 7 and Browning A-Bolt. I've never had a problem with these rifles, always good to excellent groups. I would say that I'm an average shot, but do need more practice (don't we all).

I'm wondering about the weight of the bbl. When I fire the first two or three rounds, they are right together, right where I want them. It's only after I fire more do the groups open up. I'm wonder with such a light bbl if I need to let the bbl go totally cold.

The last ammo I used was Winchester Supreme. This ammo was not walking all over, like the cheaper stuff I was using. But still after the first 3 rounds the groups opened, not a whole bunch, but you could tell.

Your thoughts on this?

Thanks again!!!!

Greg
 

Canazes9

Bearcat
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
48
How hot is it getting? If it just feels warm to the touch it shouldn't make any difference. If it feels uncomfortable to leave your hand on it for 5 or more seconds, then yes it probably is getting too hot. Featherweight barrels do tend to heat a lot faster but they can still shoot accurately. The shortness of the 20" barrel helps to add stiffness as well.

I would really be interested to know what's going on w/ the forend of the stock, why the barrel is not freefloated.

David
 

rugerjunkie

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
1,890
Canazes9":3avib901 said:
I would really be interested to know what's going on w/ the forend of the stock, why the barrel is not freefloated.

David

Ruger 77's are not designed to be free floated. They are built with a pressure pad at the end of the barrel channel. Some respond well to floating , some do not. Most that try it seem to put the pressure point back in. I would start by trying different torque settings on the action screws and then possibly bedding the action. And since it is a Ruger...a trigger job never hurts. :lol:
 

gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
:D Hi David, thanks again, lots of good info your providing. Ok, so the bbl should be free floated the length of the bbl? Just curious as my Remington rifles are not free floated in this manner. They have the same set up as my Ruger. The dollar bill will go under the bbl until about where the swivel stud is then stop. The bill will then go under the bbl about an inch after the stud and continue on down the bbl to the action.

Your thoughts on this?

Thanks again!!!

Greg
 

Ruger Packer

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
1,558
Its a hunting rifle. NOT a target rifle. Your groups are good enough to put meat on the table. Aren't they???

I have two.... a Model 77R .270 and a Model 77RL (light barrel) .243, both are original tang safety models. Both will shoot 1.5 - 2" groups all day. On a cool day, the .270 will shoot 1.5" groups as fast as I can shoot and aim within reason, no barrel cooling. I haven't done anything to the bedding. These are just as they come from the factory. I can pass a dollar bill between the barrel and stock up to the point of the swivel stud.

I think you're expecting a hunting rifle to perform like a precision target rifle. JMHO 8)
 

gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
:D Hi all, I was re-reading my posts and I forgot to mention something. The first 3 rounds I shot out of a stone cold bbl all grouped within an inch. Only after I fired a few more rounds did the groups get bigger. The bbl was warm to the touch. That's when the groups got to the 2-2 1/2" size.

I'm just wondering if am reading to much into this and starting to get anal about this whole thing. All I'm really after is a good group that will hit the vital area of a deer out to 200yds.

Funny, I've hunted deer for 30+ years now and never worried about getting super tight groups, most were in the sub 2" range and I can count on one hand the years I never shot a deer. It just seems that this year I'm more worried about accuracy than in the past......old age I guess.

Anymore thoughts or comments?

All the best!

Greg
 

gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
Ruger Packer, you posted your response while I was typing my last post. So I guess our thoughts were on the same page. I do think I'm getting worked up over this. I'll just try some more loads and go with the best I can do.

Thanks!!!

Greg
 

Ruger Packer

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
1,558
gjw":afntvzi3 said:
Ruger Packer, you posted your response while I was typing my last post. So I guess our thoughts were on the same page. I do think I'm getting worked up over this. I'll just try some more loads and go with the best I can do.

Thanks!!!

Greg

I think you're good to go! As you practice and put more rounds down the tube, you'll be ironing out any rough spots and it'll get better over time within reason.

Am sure you'll have meat in the freezer come hunting season! :)
 

Canazes9

Bearcat
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
48
rugerjunkie":3tml3124 said:
Canazes9":3tml3124 said:
I would really be interested to know what's going on w/ the forend of the stock, why the barrel is not freefloated.

David

Ruger 77's are not designed to be free floated. They are built with a pressure pad at the end of the barrel channel. Some respond well to floating , some do not. Most that try it seem to put the pressure point back in. I would start by trying different torque settings on the action screws and then possibly bedding the action. And since it is a Ruger...a trigger job never hurts. :lol:

Rugerjunkie,

I don't have a tremendous amount of experience w/ Rugers - the factory synthetic stock for my Hawkeye did not have a pressure point on the fore-end (though the barrel did contact the barrel channel). The factory mkII ultralight stock that I bought to replace the synthetic stock did not have a pressure point. I free floated the barrel on my rifle and you can see how it shoots from the above picture.

I have had numerous Remingtons that had pressure points designed in their stocks. On 2 model sevens and 5 of 6 model 700's the rifles shot better without the pressure point. The 6th? it was in a very heavy, very solid laminate stock and the rifle shot well enough w/ the pressure point that I didn't attempt to free float it.

Point being - design has got nothing to do with it, it's about what will make the rifle shoot better. I haven't advocated doing ANYTHING to the stock - just wanted to know what is going on w/ it. From the sounds of things, firing 3 shots from a cold barrel in less than 1" then spreading groups the problem is likely w/ the stock.

Are you saying that a 77 w/ out a pressure pad that has the stock contacting the barrel will shoot it's best that way?

David
 

Canazes9

Bearcat
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
48
Greg,

Your rifle is certainly more than accurate enough for any deer hunting chore out to 250+ yards as is. I think it should be capable of better w/ a minor amount work - if you are happy with it, enjoy!

David
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
gjw-

I also think your rifle is perfect for deer hunting. I have a Ruger 280 that shoots 2-3" groups with most ammunition. My handloads with a 150 grain Nosler E-Tip and Reloder 22 go into .385" @ 100 yards, and .777" @ 200 yards. Even with it shooting 2" groups, I still managed to take 4 deer with 5 shots last fall. Unfortunately I have nearly used up my supply of Re22. I need a couple of 5lb jugs, as it works better than anything else in my .280, .270, and 3 .25/06s.
 

gjw

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
16
Hi all and thanks!! I appreciate all the comments and I did learn a lot from this discussion. I do think I was looking to much into this, but now that I'm back on earth, I'll sleep nights!! Davis, thanks for the info, I learned a lot as I said.

Now, for the kicker........This week, I'm gong to sight in my M77RSI (7mm-08 ), but this time, I won't go nuts like this time.

Thanks again, this is a great forum!!!!

Happy 4th to you all!!!

Greg
 

Ratslayer

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
1
On other forums I always see a post about a ruger mark II not grouping very well. I think the new models barrels are not as good as the older ones.

I bought mine in 94, 270 cal .It groups good with winchester power- points and hand loaded e- tips. Mine has fore end presser to.
 

sixgunner357

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
1
I have a 77II in 22-250 simonds 4x12 scope. I'm using winchester wb 45gr hp varmint loads. It will shppt under an inch. I'm just talking hear for my own sake I guess. But your question got me to thinking and smiling. My cousin who is ver in to long rande shooting in a nut for tight groops. He kept telling me that i neede toget rid of the ruger and get a remington 700. It will shoot better and has a better triger. We argued back and forth for months. Any way a few months ago he stopped by with a 700bdl in 22-250. a 70 series and told me to try it. I did yes the triger is better. but you know what teh damn thing shoots about a 1/4 inch tighter. Now i just use this riffle to shoot ground hogs. Not to brag but the only one i have missed with the ruger was at 400 yards. Most shots are between 100-250. I have used the remington for a few weeks now. And guess what I cant tell a difference with the same amo on hogs. just as dead.
 

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