Ruger 77 VT 26" barrel 223

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mtudb24

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
5
I have inherited a 2000 model year Ruger 77 VT 223 with 26in barrel. It has a pentax 8.5x32x50AO scope and a magpul bipod.
My son and I (along with 2 other dads and their sons) are heading for a PD hunt in South Dakota for their HS senior trip in July. As I just got this rifle, I had no plans on taking it and have a AR in 224 Valkyrie and a AR in 223 Wylde, and a 17 WSM savage B-mag as the guns I planned on taking for the 2 day hunt.

I've done some research on this 223 gun and it seems its a 1-12 twist which is pretty slow and probably limited to 55 or maybe at best a 62 grain bullet. From my wife's family, they have very little info on it but its had less then 200 rounds through it. I know nothing about this gun.

I have a Ruger 77 in 300 win mag which is highly modified and a tack driver for big game. I have a Ruger 22 RPR which is awesome, a Ruger 450 Bushmaster bolt gun, and a couple of single six pistols.

Is this a gun I should add the list of guns to take on this PD hunt in July? Is it an accurate platform? Our 17 WSM is a .5 MOA gun, our 224 is .45MOA and the 223 wylde is .6 MOA.

It all comes down to carrying more ammo and another gun, but curious as to what others who have this gun have seen for accuracy and what loads those guns seem to like. I understand each gun is ammo specific, but if this gun isn't a 1 MOA gun, then I really don't want to buy the ammo and have to lug a 4th gun out on this trip. We're from Michigan, so space is limited on our trip
Thanks
 

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Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,031
I had the same gun in 308. With a 3-9x40 scope it shot under MOA. Sold it and went to smaller calibers for target. I think yours should do well.
On my last PD trip, I took one rifle in 22-250, two rifles in 223, one rifle and one handgun in 221 Fireball, and two rifles in 17 HMR. Next year I will leave one 17 at home.
 

mtudb24

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
5
I had the same gun in 308. With a 3-9x40 scope it shot under MOA. Sold it and went to smaller calibers for target. I think yours should do well.
On my last PD trip, I took one rifle in 22-250, two rifles in 223, one rifle and one handgun in 221 Fireball, and two rifles in 17 HMR. Next year I will leave one 17 at home.
Thanks for the feedback. How did your 17 HMR do? What range were you shooting with 17? I'm hoping the 17WSM has a bit more range and my son was ringing 2" steel plates at 200 yds on every shot with a 10mph cross wind. I think part of that was he has the MRAD Christmas tree scope reticle so holidng over for windage is a bit easier then a standard reticle
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
6,896
"but if this gun isn't a 1 MOA gun,"
Well, it has the POTENTIAL to be (with the right ammo) BUT it's a game of chance to find that 'right ammo' right now. That said, .223 is probably the most available ammo on the market. That leads to the question of whether you have a well stocked retailer where you can buy 1-2 boxes of 5-6 different brand/load to test fire. That option isn't available many places. Ordering and paying outrageous shipping on 1-2 boxes seems counter productive.
Regarding the 26" 1-12 bore: The longer barrel will deliver all the velocity the .223 can produce but I doubt this will be enough to achieve good accuracy with bullet weights over 55 grains. In fact, I'd say the 26" is a bit too long for the typical factory loaded ammo since the most popular barrel length is 16-20". I have two .223's with 24" 1-12 twist barrels and neither shoots any bullet over 55 grains well. One prefers 40 grain V-Max and the other 50 grain V-Max.
 

Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,031
mtudb24
The 17HMR's ae great out to 125-150 yards. We shot them further, but the wind makes it tough. I have a Volquartsen Light Weight and a Ruger American Standard size in 17. With the Volquartsen I have got 3 shot groups from .3" to .5" at 100. The American does .75 to 1.1" at that distance. Of course, they both like different ammo.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,350
I have the same rifle, but haven't shot it for many years, for no other reason than I have other, lighter and smaller rifles that shoot incredibly tight groups.

With the above rifle, it shot so well and so easy, I never took the time to find what ammo worked best. I'd buy commercial reloads by the case, and whatever sage rat or other critter I aimed at, simply blew up without question.
 

mtudb24

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
5
"but if this gun isn't a 1 MOA gun,"
Well, it has the POTENTIAL to be (with the right ammo) BUT it's a game of chance to find that 'right ammo' right now. That said, .223 is probably the most available ammo on the market. That leads to the question of whether you have a well stocked retailer where you can buy 1-2 boxes of 5-6 different brand/load to test fire. That option isn't available many places. Ordering and paying outrageous shipping on 1-2 boxes seems counter productive.
Regarding the 26" 1-12 bore: The longer barrel will deliver all the velocity the .223 can produce but I doubt this will be enough to achieve good accuracy with bullet weights over 55 grains. In fact, I'd say the 26" is a bit too long for the typical factory loaded ammo since the most popular barrel length is 16-20". I have two .223's with 24" 1-12 twist barrels and neither shoots any bullet over 55 grains well. One prefers 40 grain V-Max and the other 50 grain V-Max.
You are correct. I need to go shoot it to see what it can do. I was just curious if anybody had experience with this platform as I have not. Bore looks very clean but nobody knows if the barrel was broken in properly or did they just go shoot rounds right out of the box etc.
Thanks for bullet grain suggestions. I'll buy a box of about 6 different weights and in various manufactures and see what happens
Let you all know.
 

mtudb24

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
5
I have the same rifle, but haven't shot it for many years, for no other reason than I have other, lighter and smaller rifles that shoot incredibly tight groups.

With the above rifle, it shot so well and so easy, I never took the time to find what ammo worked best. I'd buy commercial reloads by the case, and whatever sage rat or other critter I aimed at, simply blew up without question.
Great news to hear. Thank you so much!
 

moparclan

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
35
Bought that same rifle but in 220 Swift. Had an older model 77 with the tang safety in that same caliber. Great caliber but dont push it to fast and burn your barrel. Put a 8x24 by 44mm scope on it. LGS actually had factory ammo the other day for the 220! Reloading the 220 is the only way to go!
 

AJGUNNER

Hunter
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
2,130
I bought the same rifle and caliber when they first came out--? years ago. I bore sighted a cheap Tasco scope by eye and went to the range. First shot was high and right about 2 inches. Moved it over and fired again. Now 2" high at 100 yards, so dropped it down a bit. The next 3 shot were one raged hole between the bull and the 1" line. I was amazed as it was right out of the box and bore sighted by eye just looking down the barrel. I was into rock chuck shooting back then, but life gets in the way. Anymore rock check shooting property is hard to come by without paying for access. One of my favorite places had family occupied rock piles at 75, 100, and 150 yards. Was the perfect place to spend 1/2 a day shooting. Sadly the entire area in now a housing development. :(
 
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