Tang Safety accuracy

Help Support Ruger Forum:

mlazarus5388

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
179
I have heard that some of the older Rugers, with the tang safety, suffered in the accuracy department. Can one of you experts give me the straight scoop on this? Are the tang safety models worth picking up? Or will I be disappointed with 2 to 3 MOA?
 

mohavesam

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
5,847
?
Any first-hand experiences? or just barstool experts?
I've not met many guys IRL, who can even shoot 2-3 MOA in a hunting situation. On a bench, with cool barrel and sandbags, etc. it is not easy to shoot 2MOA in any rifle.
Insofar as "some of the older Rugers..." I have a few that seem to break all the "experts' " rules. Solution: Fit, sight, breathe, trigger.
 

Chief 101

Hunter
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
2,048
My experiences with older ruger bolt rifles is simple. In 1978 I bought a 243 Winchester in a 22 inch barreled mod 77 and it would shoot target rifle tight groups when I first dialed it in.. I gave it away a few years later to a friend in need and it still shot better than it should have. About 10 yrs ago I bought an unfired 257 Roberts made about the same year and I had trouble keeping shots on a sheet of paper at 80 yds till I loaded the heaviest bullets out to over 3" long and it settled down to good hunting accuracy...all handloads with either rifle. I have only seen others with Ruger M77's that are thrilled with how they shoot. I have read on the internet about how bad they are, but only by self appointed experts...not sure how accurate their accounts are. Never had a bad shooting #1, my favorite varmint rifle.
 

Big Old Boy

Hunter
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
2,354
At one time I had a 77 rsi in 06 that would shoot under 1 in. all day long from the bench, don't believe everything you here or read.
 

oldgreyguy

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
37
I own a 220 Swift, a 22-250, a 243, a 25-06, a 6MM, a 308, and a 280 Rem, all Ruger tang safety models, years range pretty much thru the whole tang safety time. All are stock, no mods to the box, stock triggers, and if I do my reloads right, all can hold 1 to 1.5 all day long (with my shaky hands, bad eyes, and just plain poor demeanor included).

The biggest culprit I have seen is the forward mounting bolt gets loose and the weapon shoots all over hell and back. That's what them big screwdrivers are for.
 

Mtneer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
180
mlazarus5388 said:
I have heard that some of the older Rugers, with the tang safety, suffered in the accuracy department. Can one of you experts give me the straight scoop on this? Are the tang safety models worth picking up? Or will I be disappointed with 2 to 3 MOA?

mlazarus5388, I don't know what "experts" you're talking about, but I've been around Ruger 77s a long time and I'd never heard before that the older tang safety ones "suffered in the accuracy department." My old tang safety, M77 30-06 will put 3, 165gr Hornady BTSPs under an inch at 100 yards with boring regularity. And my wife's old (1983, I think) tang safety M77 7mm-08 will put 3, 139gr Hornady SPs under an inch at 100 yards just as often.
I WILL admit though - my wife's tang safety M77, 7mm-08 doesn't like Hornady boat tails at all. And it doesn't like Sierra boat tails much better. Neither company's BT bullets will go much under 3" at 100 yards from her rifle, and we've tried a whole bunch of different loads - different seating depths, different powders and charges, and different primers.
By the way - I won't argue that minute of angle accuracy is necessary for a hunting rifle. Minute of angle accuracy is what I want from a (scoped) hunting rifle. And it's no one else's business how I spend my time and money getting it.
 

mlazarus5388

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
179
Thanks for all the input. I would think that any hunter would want the most accurate rifle they can afford/field for a variety of reasons beyond simple range exercises. If nothing else, the accurate rifle will eliminate one excuse for missing. I suspect most of us could shoot to our rifle/ammunition potential given a steady bench rest and proper conditions.
 

Kudu m77

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
308
I have yet to come across a bad one. But there are way more US made firearms and examples where you are.

Below is a few targets shot with different M77 tang safety rifles in different cal. The ones we get over here most probably have Wilson barrels which is seen as the 'crappy' ones. I do however bed and free float M77 even before I shoot them.

Ruger M77 R 1987 tang safety in 7RM

7 shots at 100m



3 shots with different bullet weight.



Ruger M77 RS 30-06 early 80s model.

This group was fired at 200m with 165gr Sierra GK



Three shots at 100m



3 shots at 200m



Not an M77, but a wilson barreled 30-06 No.1

180gr bullets at 100m



The latest is a 1975 Ruger M77 in 270 Win. I sold it to a friend of mine and he shoots Federal 150gr 3 shot groups at around .8 of an inch. I also bedded and free floated the barrel.

I am not saying for one moment that every single group out of these rifles looks like this but the majority of the groups I fire from these rifles are exceptional. I did do some load development and cannot say that they would shoot like this with factory ammo.

I kind of enjoy picking up used M77s that is in a good condition, glass bed them, free float them and see how well they shoot.
 

taxed2death

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
21
I have an old Round Top 77ST in 30-06 that I have used since the early 80's. I have bedded the action, floated the barrel, and glass-lined the channel, but it is stock otherwise. With a 4x Zeiss scope, and either my handloads (53.5gr IMR4350, CCI 210 primer, Nosler 180gr spitzer partition) or Federal Premium with 180gr Nosler Partitions it will produce 200yd groups of 1/2". Yes, I said 200yds. At 100yds the group is essentially three 30-caliber bullets in a 32-caliber hole. Needless to say that gun is never leaving my possession! I have tallied over 300 head of game with that combo and have yet to need a second shot. Matter of fact, I've taken two pigs with one shot more than once!

I've had similiar luck with a 35 Whelen 77RS (wish I'd kept that one), 300 Win Mag 77RS and a .270 77R, all of which I was able to get under 3/4" at 100yds. Interestingly though, I had a 77RS in 7X57 that I couldn't get under 3", and a 7mm Rem Mag that I also could not get under 2" at 100yds. Not sure why, but my guess is that Ruger's 7mm barrels at the time just were not as good for some reason.
 

taxed2death

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
21
mlazarus5388 said:
Are there any particular years known for the less than stellar barrels?

The 7mm rifles I played with were circa 1984-1985. Those didn't shoot worth a dang. The 30-06, the 35 Whelen and the 300 Win Mag were all made in the same era, so no trend there. I have also had 77s in 308, 250-300, 22-250 and others with good results. The 7s were the only ones that wouldn't shoot.
 

CLAYPOOL

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
388
I have been buying them .257's up on Gun Broker. Don't buy/bid on any of them, there junk.. I will buy them and junk them out. Save you from being cheated. .257 Roberts. Tang safety model , year around 1985. started @ 35.5 book load, Sierra 120 Gr. boot tail. 3/4 inch. groups. Took it to 36.0 still better. This was after off and on years of load attempts. This one doesn't like low pressure loads and its got a long throat. I don't even check any other loads these days.. If you read here and there you will find out what needs to be done with the .257. Please don't copy cat those people calling it a "BOB".
 

oldgreyguy

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
37
I think that rifles are a lot like trucks, they all will get you there, but you learn to run what you brung, and it will do things that are limited for the most part, by you

having said that, as inexpensive as the tangers are, get one, and work it in, I doubt you will be disappointed
 

The Preacher

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
385
I've gone through a few Ruger 77 Tangs over the years and with but one exception, I never had one that wouldn't shoot well, and most were exceptional. I've bedded some, sweated some on detailed handloads, cut some bbls. shorter, had trigger work done, etc. They all shot well enough for their intended purpose be it varmints or deer and I'm fairly picky. Only one, a Ruger 77 International in 308 Win., I traded out of frustration and while it too would shoot very good, it wouldn't hold point of aim from one shooting session to the next. I chalked that up to the full length stock and bedding and just didn't want to mess with it.

The Preacher
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
.

Out of more than a dozen (15 or so) of various model (R, RL, RS, RSFP, RSBZ, RSI, etc) tang-safety Model 77's I've owned (in .250-Savage, 7x57, .308, .30-06, .300 WinMag, & .338 WinMag) only 4 showed disappointing accuracy - 3 were RSI's in .308, the only other a 7x57.


.
 

taxed2death

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
21
pete44ru said:
.

Out of more than a dozen (15 or so) of various model (R, RL, RS, RSFP, RSBZ, RSI, etc) tang-safety Model 77's I've owned (in .250-Savage, 7x57, .308, .30-06, .300 WinMag, & .338 WinMag) only 4 showed disappointing accuracy - 3 were RSI's in .308, the only other a 7x57.


.

I forgot about an RSI I had in .308...couldn't get it to shoot either. I tried all sorts of loads and the best I could get was around 4" at 100yds. And, as someone else mentioned, I had issues with wandering zero on it too. I'd finally get it dialed in only to have it 6" off the next time I took it to the range. I never developed enough confidence in it to take it into the field. Disappointing since it is such a beautiful little rifle with great handling qualities. I had one in 250-3000 also, and while not a tack driver it would manage 2" groups with one of my handloads. Just had to be careful not to let the barrel get too hot. That is another one I wish I had kept.
 

SonofBassMan

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
19
Re-barreling a M77, tang safety or MKII is a relatively straight forward procedure - no coned breech, no extractor cut, no different level machining for breech (Rem 700) like the old M98 Mauser.

If you like it and it does not shoot re-barrel it - provided the cartridge length and base diameter are the same calibers can be changed, like .270 to .30-06, .257 R to .270 and so on.
 

FergusonTO35

Hunter
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
2,420
What I most admire about the 77 is that it is the only sub-$1000 rifle I can think of that can be ordered in a true variety of calibers, year after year. With most others the only way you're going to get something other than .223/.243/7mm08/.308/
.270/.30'06 is to rebarrel it. All these cartridges, good as they are, bore me to death!
 

Quattroclick

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
292
All my tang safety 77's have been better than acceptable shooters. I have found a load for every one of them that would place 5 shots inside 1-1/4" fairly repeatability. My 280 is a bit better than that. It is critical to properly torque the action screws, and I have had them loosen up.
 

PAShooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
199
I have 4 tang safety Rugers, all good shooters, including a 308 RSI. My heavy barreled 220 Swift is exceptionally accurate. My friend and I each bought a Ruger 77 in 7mm Rem Mag for Colorado elk hunt back in the 1980's. During a range session before the hunt, I was getting under one inch groups at 100 yards. He, on the other hand was getting 3-4 inch groups. He told me that my carefully worked handloads were no good for his rifle. I asked if I could shoot his rifle and I shot three shots, all holes touching. With anger, he packed up his gear and went home.
 

Latest posts

Top