M77 Flat Bolt Question - Date stamp in barrel channel

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south_ridge

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
276
Location
Mid-Missouri
I could use some help from the M77 experts here.

A couple of days ago I acquired a Flat Bolt. It is a .243, no sights, serial number 70-023XX. I have a few others (a .270, .350 RM, and .243 with sights).

Last night I disassembled the rifle. There is a date stamp in the barrel channel of the stock. The date appears to be from February of 1985. The last two digits are a bit smudged but that's what I think it says. I showed it to my wife and she said the same thing.

My working theory is that the rifle was sent back to Ruger at some point for some work and a new date was stamped in the stock. Here are a few other clues, whatever they're worth:
1) I'm not sure when Ruger started stamping the date in the stocks. I took my .350 RM apart and it didn't have a date stamp in the stock. I didn't want to mess with the two others because they're sighted in and shooting well.
2) The stock still has the rounded pad on it, so it's not like somebody put a newer stock on the old rifle (unless someone switched pads as well).
3) The trigger is a lot worse than my other three Flat Bolts. I couldn't adjust it below 6 pounds. It makes me wonder if the rifle was back at Ruger in the mid-80s and they did something to the trigger.

What do you think? I guess a key piece of data would be - when did Ruger start putting the date stamp in their stocks? I looked in a couple of my books last night but couldn't find that piece of information.

None of this would really matter to me, except for the fact that the date I believe is in the barrel channel is an important one in my family's history. Solving this mystery will help me decide what I'm going to do with the gun.

Thanks,

SR
 

mcknight77

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
657
Location
Caldwell, ID
My guess, without any more evidence, is that it may be a clean-up rifle. That is, the action was for whatever reason not produced when it would normally have been, and in 1985 was assembled and shipped then. I would contact Ruger records and ask them for the history. BTW, if that .270 is a Flat Bolt it is a very rare rifle.
 

south_ridge

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
276
Location
Mid-Missouri
Jim - Thanks for the reply. I am in the midst of trying to get some details from Ruger.

The .270 is indeed a Flat Bolt. I bought it off the used gun rack at Cabela's a couple years ago. It wasn't even in the Gun Library, it was just out on the rack with the used Savages and such. I had to rescue it.

SR
 
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