Ruger M77


Mar 6, 2017
Always heard some of the tang safety models were a crap shoot as to whether they would have a decent barrel on them or not, and I guess some of it is warranted. But I've had 2 here from the same guy that aren't just good shooters, but excellent shooters. Both of them. 1 in a 300 WM, and 1 in a 220 Swift.

Only thing I can say I done to both besides trigger work and barrel cleaning is I put the largest Snap On screwdriver that would fit that angled front action screw (which is a big screwdriver) and I tighten it with about all I can muster with a straight grip driver. At least twice what you would torque a normal action screw. Then tighten the rear screw good and snug like normal, and the middle one is last and gets just enough that it wont back out.

Factory rifle, factory ammo. It's a shooter. The 3 shots on the left side of the dot measure just under 1/4" by my measurement. Showed me pretty much the same thing several months back the first time I worked on it putting 4 shots with the same ammo, that could be covered with a nickel if I remember correctly.

My granddad had a tang safety 77V in 22-250. Every dear season he would step out on the back porch at the farm and shoot a doe behind the ear then go warm up the old '52 8N and go pick her up. Distance didn't matter for that rifle, up close or 300yrds. One of the most accurate factory rifles I have ever encountered.
My tang safety M77 barrel channel wasn't sealed from the factory and the first time I hunted with it was on a rainy day. After letting it dry out I went out deer hunting with again and missed a nice buck at around 30yds and couldn't figure out how I could have missed till I saw a fresh bullet hole in a beech tree that was a good ten feet to the right of the where the deer had stood when I had taken the shot.
The forearm of the stock had warped so bad that when I tried to remove the action I had to use a 5lb no bounce hammer to beat the stock off the action.
To remedy the problem I gutted the barrel channel to fully float the barrel and then filled it with accruglass and reinletted the barrel channel to float the barrel along with skim bedding the action which cured the accuracy problem.
I think Ruger told me the front action screw needed to be torqued to 90 ftlbs and the rear tang screw to 45 ftlbs.
From the first day this was done till present that rifle has not lost point of aim and the scope has never been adjusted to correct any change of poi. The scope is a Luepold VXIII 1.5-5 that has been on it since the bedding job was done.
It has been my go to rifle when I hunt deer.
I have found that Ruger 77's need a good solid bedding foundation whether it be glass bedding or a fiberglass stock with a aluminum bedding block.
The Hawkeye 338 Win Mag I just sold was very inaccurate till I put it into a H&S Precision stock with a full metal bedding block and torqued it down to Ruger specs.
The AF General who bought it sent me a picture where he fired a 1/2 inch group with 250gr PTs threw it and is very happy with it.
His plans is to take it to Alaska to hunt Caribou and Bear.
This rifle is nice to shoot as he just put a night force 5-20 X 56 scope on it and I had previously worked on the trigger and have it breaking at 1 lb 6oz, so with the scope set on 18 power and that trigger, the shooter has it pretty easy. But the rifle has to do the rest and it dearly loves those factory Hornady's.

After the sight in shot, I adjusted the scope accordingly and it hit that right side of the dot. Possibly wasn't bearing down as much on the adjustment shot, but it put the next 3 in that oblong hole on the left. I'm supposed to reload for this rifle....gonna be a chore competing with the way it already shoots factories. :|
I cannot speak on the MkII version of the M77 but I can speak on the tang safety rifles and red pad Ruger #1's. I have a small collection of #1 rifles in various configurations and 5 or 6 M77 Tangers. here ain't a damned one of the with a sealed stock on the inside, not one bloody one. :x

How I learned this fact was on an elk hunt up in the John Day region of eastern Oregon. Weather was kind of weird and then the wind blew something fierce and then the rain. It's hard to describe but it was like a giant unending bucket of water was being dumped on me. My rain gear was useless. I later learned that the John Day airport weather station recorded if memory serves something like 110 to 120 MPH wind gusts. :shock: Add insult to injury nobody saw a legal elk to shoot. :(

After the hunt, we stayed overnight at a ranch near King's River in Nevada. One of out group was the caretaker for a hunt club based on the ranch and he set out a few pheasants for us to hunt. We'd just gotten out of the truck and Dave, the caretaker was ready to release the dogs when he spotted a coyote maybe 75 to 100 yards out running off with a pheasant. The only rifle in the truck was my Ruger #1 (a .300 Win Mag) and the five rounds in the butt cuff. Well I shot and missed, :shock: and shot four more time before I was out of ammo. I hope that coyote enjoyed his bird.

About a week later I took that #1 to the range to see if I could find out why I missed. Care aim from sandbags and fire. Look through spotting scope and no hole in target. I try again and again no hole. I asked a fellow at the range to see if he could spot the strike on the berm and when I shot he said it kicked up dirt about two inches from the top of the berm. That berm was ten foot high and it's about 12 to 13 foot high now. When I examined the rifle I saw the edged of the buttstock and forearm stuck out about 1/16" hight than normal. I pulled the stock and forearm and put them in the oven on low heat but that didn't fix anything. I covered all the metal with a preventive grease and put the wood back on the gun, then stuck the gun in one of the sheds in my back yard. What it boiled down to is I ended up taking it out once ever six months to a year and then to the range. It took six years and a few months to where that rifle was shooting to point of aim again.

Based on that I checked out ever Ruger rifle I owned and sure as hell, not a one has ever been sealed. After that, whenever I hunted, if rain was forecast or even hinted at, the Rugers stayed either at home or in camp. Pull one out of the stock and all you'll see maybe is the overrun where they sprayed the stain. No matter, I still like the guns.
Paul B.
That is one fine shooting rig you have there.

Not mine JD. Wish it was. Classic looking tang safety Ruger in nice condition that is a tack driver. And in an off the beaten path cartridge. What's not to like about a gun like that?
I've had better luck getting the Hawkeye All Weathers to shoot than any other model. They are rugged rifles, that's for sure, and an accurate one is to be cherished!