Stock to barrel fit (M77 Hawkeye)

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IrvJr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Messages
137
I bought a new Ruger M77 Hawkeye in 308 Win. The gun has a nice laminated wooden stock and a brushed, non glare stainless finish (which I actually prefer to the shiny stainless).

At the advice of Divernhunter I checked the barrel to stock fit using a crisp dollar bill. I noticed that on the left side I can run the dollar all along the barrel, up to near the very end of the fore-end where there is a contact point.

However, on the right side of the barrel there is a tight fit, and I can only run the dollar close to the receiver, but as I get to a few (maybe 4 or 5 ore more inches) the barrel touches the stock and there is no gap.

Should I be concerned about this uneven contact? I am planning to remove the stock to see if I can align the barrel more evenly, but I wasn't sure if this would affect accuracy significantly.

This morning at the 100 yard line, I had a couple of shots in the 10 ring, but the third shot was way off (9 o'clock) and barely in the black. Afterwards, the gun shot only so so, with most of the shots in the black, but not a very good group. I was hoping to keep my shots within 2MOA but the radius of the circle is closer to 4" at 100 yards.

I watched an online video from the Ruger web site which shows how to remove and reinstall a stock from an M77. The video says that the screw that attaches the receiver to the stock near the mag well should be tightened to 95 inch pounds. Is this exact torque amount necessary?

I don't have a torque wrench that goes that low.

Thanks in advance.
 

Canazes9

Bearcat
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
48
Irvjr,

There are some of us that don't like to see uneven pressure points and find they negatively impact accuracy. It is possible that the uneven pressure point is affecting your accuracy. It is an easy fix - get a couple of different grits of sand paper (40, 80 and 200) and a deep dish socket and of approximately the same size as the barrel channel and hog it out a little bit. Start w/ the rougher paper and move to the finer grit as you go.

When removing material from a stock, the thing to remember is to sand a little and check the fit A LOT! It's not hard to do, but you want to remove just enough. Before anyone comments that 200 grit isn't nearly fine enough for finish work on a stock - I agree, but this is the inside barrel channel, not the exterior and as such 200 grit will be plenty smooth enough. Also be careful not to round off the top of the barrel channel as your sanding - it won't look as nice if the edges aren't crisp.

After you have completed the sanding work it is a good idea to refinish the freshly sanded surfaces w/ an appropriate finish like tung oil. I have had very good success over the years w/ Formby's Tung Oil Satin finish, available at most hardware stores. This will help protect the stock from moisture warpage and delamination.

Although I would (and have) corrected a "defect" like this in my rifle without giving it a thought, I should mention that there are many that choose to ignore these odd pressure points often w/ no ill effects. It's more likely that ammunition choices are to blame for your rifles mediocre accuracy and that experimentation w/ the wide variety of ammunition available in that caliber will turn up a winner w/ no additional tweaking (conversely, removing the pressure point may not make it shoot ammunition it doesn't like any better). Also, it is not uncommon for a factory barrel to be a little rough and need a couple hundred rounds through the tube to get best accuracy. I generally make it a point to put 200 rounds through a rifle before I worry to much about accuracy.

Finally, the torque setting prescribed is generally the preferred method for attachment and removal of a stock. However, failing to bring torque settings back to exact torque settings usually will not adversely affect accuracy as long as it's relatively close (pay attention to the feel of the screws when you remove them). Failing to retorque rifle actions into stocks generally WILL cause POI changes, so don't remove from the stock unless you have the opportunity to rezero before you need it.

HTH

David
 
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