Thoughts on 77/357

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bigheaddaddy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
111
Location
NC
I bought a 77/357 back in March, had to immediately return it to Ruger for numerous cosmetic issues, got it back 6 weeks later, and have now taken it out twice. The rifle is a blast to shoot. The trigger isn't too bad, and seems to get a little better with each shot, but honestly it's probably just me getting used to it. My 49 year old eyes do not like the stock sights, but I can't decide whether I want to try a peep sight (either skinner of NEGC) or put a scope on it. The rifle feeds well, and there is minimal recoil even with hotter loads.

This was my best target of the day, 25 yards, standing with the front hand braced on a big oak tree. 15 shots of Berry 158 grain FP, 6.5 grains of Unique, and CCI SP primers.

I have some 158 grain Missouri bullets that I am working with as well, but I haven't found the right load yet. Anybody have any suggestions using the Missouri bullet with either Unique, 2400, or AA#9?

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Powderblast

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
64
Location
Western Ky
I have obtained a 77/357 as well a couple of months ago but have not had time to develop
a load for it. I shot some 38 specials I had loaded but couldn't get much of a group with
the load I had worked up for a Rossi lever action .38/.357. I was able to get decent groups
with some 158 gr. hp jacketed .357's I had loaded years ago with 2400 powder. Not meaning to
hijack the thread but closely related enough I would like to know if these guns will shoot decent
groups with .38's if you can find the right load or is that a losing game in this Ruger rifle chambered for .357?
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,350
Location
So. Florida
Powderblast said:
I have obtained a 77/357 as well a couple of months ago but have not had time to develop
a load for it. I shot some 38 specials I had loaded but couldn't get much of a group with
the load I had worked up for a Rossi lever action .38/.357. I was able to get decent groups
with some 158 gr. hp jacketed .357's I had loaded years ago with 2400 powder. Not meaning to
hijack the thread but closely related enough I would like to know if these guns will shoot decent
groups with .38's if you can find the right load or is that a losing game in this Ruger rifle chambered for .357?
Why would you want to shoot 38's? If you handload just down-load 357mag brass. A shorter case in a rifle chamber will put the bullet in a bad position. I expect the bullet wobble at the start, in front of the throat, will be a problem for accuracy.

My Pet Loads with Accurate #9 I like 13.0gr with a 158gr Ranier bullet for plinking.
also Accurate #9 13.8gr with a 158gr XTP bullet.
also Accurate #9 12.0gr with a 180gr XTP bullet.
 

Powderblast

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
64
Location
Western Ky
Why would you want to shoot 38's? If you handload just down-load 357mag brass. A shorter case in a rifle chamber will put the bullet in a bad position. I expect the bullet wobble at the start, in front of the throat, will be a problem for accuracy.

My Pet Loads with Accurate #9 I like 13.0gr with a 158gr Ranier bullet for plinking.
also Accurate #9 13.8gr with a 158gr XTP bullet.
also Accurate #9 12.0gr with a 180gr XTP bullet.

.38 brass is a lot easier to come by than .357, and usually cheaper too. And as I said, my Rossi .357 Carbine will feed
.38's all day long and shoot tight groups with some loads. I just wanted to know if anyone had the same experience with the Ruger 77/357, and if so which Load. I will take note of the #9 loads in .357 though.
 

9x19

Hunter
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
2,567
Location
Texas
I only shot mine with irons enough to be confident they were properly aligned.

I put a low power variable on mine and couldn't be happier... Volquartsen sells a replacement sear (marketed for the 77/22 but they share the same lockwork) that will usually make a marked improvement in the trigger (it's not hard to install either).

R77357btv.jpg
 

RJ556

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
1,070
Location
Focsani, Romania
Powderblast, I had a couple of 20 round boxes of Speer 38 special 125 grain +P loads left over from when I owned a 38 SP revolver. I decided to try them in my 77/357, just to shoot them up. I was shooting at 100 yards. I shot two 3 shot groups. Both were just over one inch. I also had my Marlin 1894CSS and tried them in it. The groups (3 shot) in the Marlin ran about two inches. I thought that was great in the marlin with a receiver sight. My 77/357 is wearing a Leupold FX-2 4x. I have a 3rd carbine in 357 mag, which is a T/C Contender, G2 with a Bullberry custom barrel with a match (as in very tight) chamber. It will shoot some of my hand loads under MOA as long is it is not too windy. I was never able to get 44 mag carbines to shoot half as accurately as the 357's.
 

Kanook

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
1,123
Location
FL
Mine wears a Leopold vx1 and likes the xtp158 with a full dose of #9.

My Dr. says that around Sept I will be able to start shooting a rifle again, can't wait till I can try playing with some cast in that thing.
 

9x19

Hunter
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
2,567
Location
Texas
Kanook,

After having shoulder surgery a few years back I was advised to stop shooting the hard-kickers (or plan on more surgery), so the .357 has become a favorite. I sometimes miss my .4570 & .500 S&W Handi-Rifles, but the .357 consumes alot less powder!
 

Kanook

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
1,123
Location
FL
I had the wife get it ready for last season, it was 5 months after my bi-cep relocation. Shot one deer with my load and it felt like a mule kicked me later.
 

Powderblast

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
64
Location
Western Ky
Powderblast, I had a couple of 20 round boxes of Speer 38 special 125 grain +P loads left over from when I owned a 38 SP revolver. I decided to try them in my 77/357, just to shoot them up. I was shooting at 100 yards. I shot two 3 shot groups. Both were just over one inch. I also had my Marlin 1894CSS and tried them in it. The groups (3 shot) in the Marlin ran about two inches. I thought that was great in the marlin with a receiver sight. My 77/357 is wearing a Leupold FX-2 4x. I have a 3rd carbine in 357 mag, which is a T/C Contender, G2 with a Bullberry custom barrel with a match (as in very tight) chamber. It will shoot some of my hand loads under MOA as long is it is not too windy. I was never able to get 44 mag carbines to shoot half as accurately as the 357's.

RJ556, that is the evidence I was looking for. I just need to find the cast load suitable for my 77/357. I currently have two Lee molds, both 158 gr., one round nose and the other SWC, so I'm hoping I can find a cast bullet load that will do the job. If I could get 2 inches at 100 yrds. I would be plenty satisfied for my purposes. I think someone else mentioned a 125 gr. cast load that also worked well, so maybe that weight bullet or close to it will be my next bullet mold purchase. I do like the 77/357, it is just fun all around gun, and since I cast and reload, with the price of .22's through the roof, it is almost as cheap to shoot .38's as .22's. I still can't find .22's around my neck of the woods.

Powderblast
 

Kanook

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
1,123
Location
FL
Since you reload, could you leave the bullet long out of the case to help prevent rimlock?

Not sure if you got enough with the lighter 125's, but should be able to do it with the 158 swc. (just a thought if it locks up on you)
 

Powderblast

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
64
Location
Western Ky
Well, thought I'd provide an update on my 77/357 after a little session today. I tried other loads
and two powders in .38 special with no luck yet getting at a decent grouping. Then went to the .357
case and used same bullets, same powder and that was a different story. I didn't have time
to get a lot done with the .357 but my cast bullets from the Lee 158 gr SWC tumble lube mould
cast with half wheel weights and half pure lead (tests around 11 bhn) and either 5.0 gr. of 700X
or 5.0 gr of TiteGroup are coming in at 1 1/8 inch group at 35 yds. Didn't have time to
get the chronograph out so don't know velocity yet. I'm getting almost same groups
with a hard cast 125 Round nose (commercial bought before I started casting) that is just barely
short enough to go into the magazine when seated to the edge of the forward band. It's a pretty long
bullet for a .357 bullet, almost looks like it should be a .356 9mm bullet. Anyway, feelin better about
using lead in the 77/357. I'm sure with some experimentation with powders and OAL I should be able
to knock off another 3/8 to 1/2 inch from that group, and that hopefully will give me 1.5 inches at
100 yds. or thereabouts. This will be fine for my purposes. Evidently the .357 case is going to be a
necessity to make it a shooter, at least in my case anyways. The suggestion of seating the bullet further
forward in the .38 case I hadn't thought of, and will try just to see the results. This is one of the most
enjoyable little rifles I've handled. I'm primarily a handgun enthusiast but this 77/357 is going to keep me
at the loading bench.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,350
Location
So. Florida
I would really like to see you try some 180gr bullets. The long barrel combined with a slow powder turns the 357mag into a real medium game getter. :D
 
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