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Thread: Ruger M77 tang style safety questions

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Default Ruger M77 tang style safety questions

    Just traded a buddy a savage axis 30-06 for his 30-06 m77. I feel like I got the better deal, but he wanted the trade, so I did it. I cleaned it (it was disgusting), and put itall back together. Grouping was about 1 1/2". I noticed it has never been glass bedded, and does not have a free floating barrel. I was thinking of ordering a nice bush's stock, after it looks like he used the current stock as a hammer quite a few times. I have read mixed reviews on free floating or bedding the barrel of the old m77s and curious on your guys thoughts. It seems like everyone recommends glass bedding, which I will do, but more curious on the free floating, and how to adjust the trigger. It seems that all over the internet it says its adjustable trigger but no place tells you how. Thanks!
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

  2. #2

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    I'd kinda take it in "stages" to get acquainted with the gun, rather than do all the stock mods at once. If you're going to restock, then why bother with any stock mods?

    First off, if you look at the barrel channel, most Rugers have a little "bridge" of wood right at the tip of the forend. About an inch long. I'd remove that first, then see how it shoots. With that done, I'd wrap a cigarette paper or some other light paper under the barrel just in front of the forend and try sliding it back toward the action, just to see where it's touching, if at all. Many are "free floated" from behind the bridge all way back to around the chamber. Some will have warped a little and touch somewhere along the way. That's for sure something to get rid of, whether or not you bother with the contact right about the chamber.

    Next I'd look real hard at that the inletting for that angled front action bolt. If wood touches that bolt anywhere, it raises cob with accuracy. Relieve the hole if there's contact. A rat tailed file is your friend.

    Only after all that would I think about bedding. I don't bed the whole Ruger action, rather I just do the area right behind the recoil lug, a "stripe" about half an inch wide just in front of the action, and a small area back under the tang. All you need really to stabilize everything in the wood stock.

    Once you get through monkeying with the stock, go back and seal all exposed wood inside the barrel channel and action inletting. TruOil is your friend here. If you leave it bare, it will soak up humidity from the air and warpage will almost always happen. Seal it good, and never worry again.

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    Member Hughiam's Avatar
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    I have the same gun in .300 win. I had the barrel free floated, and the action bedded. I also had it Mag-Na-Ported and recrowned the barrel. This was all done over 20 years ago and at the time I was doing a lot of reloading and working up loads for it. I'd like to say it improved the accuracy with factory loads, but then I went way beyond that with hand loads. Mine still has the wood stock, but it hasn't been used much up here. As was mentioned above not the whole action was bedded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    It seems that all over the internet it says its adjustable trigger but no place tells you how. Thanks!
    http://www.shootersforum.com/gunsmit...djustment.html
    There is a link in there to diagrams for your gunsmith to perform the reshaping of the sear. Don't do that.

    http://www.ruger.com/pdf/m77.pdf Handy info, but not the process. I guess I need to pull out the old rifle and see what it has marked on the bolt.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=472472
    Good info in this thread. The basic issues as discussed is the need for smoother surfaces, a lighter sear spring to lower the pull weight, and then adjust the trigger creep.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    I meant boyds stock in the OP. Also, I read a lot on how everyone swears by bedding and recommend on every gun, do you not?
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

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    I've had a slough of M77 tang safety rifles and have had only one with any significant problems. I've probably glass bedded several dozen of them and have never seen it negatively affect accuracy. The suggested method by BrownBear will work, but I normally bed the entire length of the action and the first inch or so of the barrel shank. As for the speed bump in the barrel, I remove it and float the barrel to start with. I can remember only one time that pressure bedding improved accuracy and that's on my first year production 6mm Remington. Its barrel is glass bedded for its full length and that notably improved upon its finicky nature. Put simply, properly bedding a rifle never hurts.
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    If you're getting 1 1/2" groups from it now, I'd be going slow. Do you reload? Probably be able to work some magic on the group size if you do. I had one of these rifles in 280 Rem a few years back. May have been the most accurate rifle I ever owned - right out of the box - no mods. My basic load in it was 140 grain Ballistic Tips (for whitetails) - consistantly sub 3/4" groups. Going to 160 grain partitions opened groups some (right around 1") but the amazing thing was that the scope only need to be adjusted 1-2" to re-zero. The same thing happened with everything I ran down the barrel. I even loaded 115 grain bullets to about 1600-1700 fps (for the kids to shot) and didn't have to re-zero. Just fantastic
    I'd try some different loads before I started working on ANYTHING, to see what it might do.
    One of my kids had the same rifle in 7X57. We got the gun used and it was glass bedded. It shot ok, but nothing like my 280. Just saying that glass isn't always the answer.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    No I do not reload. I have really wanted to get into it, just don't have the extra funds to start a new hobby. What do you mean the speed bump in the barrel. I did notice there is a little bump in the barrel right past for foregrip, only about the length of a dime. Sometimes its really hard to see, so it is not that noticeable. Perhaps I need to rebarrel?
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    No I do not reload. I have really wanted to get into it, just don't have the extra funds to start a new hobby. What do you mean the speed bump in the barrel. I did notice there is a little bump in the barrel right past for foregrip, only about the length of a dime. Sometimes its really hard to see, so it is not that noticeable. Perhaps I need to rebarrel?
    By speed bump I meant the bump at the edge of the forearm that puts upward pressure on the barrel. In dozens of M77 rifles, I've only seen one case where upward pressure was desirable and even with that some type of inert bedding material is preferable to wood that will inevitably move. Rifles that are properly glass bedded will shoot as well as they can. There is no possibility of harming the rifle's accuracy if it is done properly. If it is done improperly, of course it can screw up the accuracy, but leaving plain wood insures that eventually the bedding will shift and then accuracy will be detrimentally affected. Using some type of high-quality epoxy based bedding is the quickest way to make certain that your rifle's basic platform is solid. There is NO DOWNSIDE to having any rifle bedded properly, irrespective how well it shoots right now.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  10. #10
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    I fit my buddy's to a new Boyd's laminate stock. It takes longer to sand, but it's easy to completely free float the barrel and I was really satisfied with the performance of it, at the range and in the field, and I'm an amateur as far as gun work goes. It's also hard to compete with Boyd's prices. Also the aesthetics. Here's what he got.




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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Longer to sand? I assumed it was a drop-in stock seeing that it already comes glossed.
    I'm prolly out using my bow or 30-30

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    M77 tang safety are some of the most accurate rifles I own. My first deer rifle was a tang safety Ruger I've grown affectionate to them. If properly bedded they'll shoot bug hole groups. My 25-06 is the most accurate one I own its almost scary good. I skim bed the rear of the action and use timney or rifle basix triggers I was a die hard timney fan until I tried the other brand. Properly polished you can have good trigger out of the stock one but save yourself the time and spend $50 for a rifle basix polish it a bit and you are in there like swim wear. The link is for a company o it of New Zealand they love the older Ruger rifles there and know what they're talking about.
    http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Know...+Compound.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    Longer to sand? I assumed it was a drop-in stock seeing that it already comes glossed.
    It is drop in, but not perfect. Now my buddy's was a 338, so maybe the non magnum profile barrel would fit in there easier or maybe right out of the box. I just went ahead and sanded the whole barrel channel until it was free floating. It was just a little more work to sand because it was laminate wood.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

  14. #14

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    Get yourself one of these bad boys for opening barrel channels. Best money you'll ever spend for stock work. If you wanna really spice up your stock working projects, these wonders aren't a bad addition, either.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    The first rifle I ever bought was a tang safety M77 in 30-06. It is an incredibly accurate gun. I put a Timney trigger in and bedded the action (factory stock). I had free floated it, but the gunsmith who bedded it added the pressure pad (speed bump) back on the stock's fore end tip. It shoots so well, I haven't messed with it since. I haven't shot factory ammo in many years, but it used to shoot 1 inch groups with Remington core lokt all day. With hand loads, it will shoot boring 3/4 inch groups every time. Congratulations on a great deal.

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    I have a tang safety M77 in .270. I put a custom stock on it after 30 years of mediocre accuracy. I glass bedded the action , free floated the barrel, and adjusted the trigger. It now shoots sub MOA

  17. #17

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    I have owned a dozen tang safety model 77s and swear by them. What BrownBear and 1Cor15:19 have stated pretty much sums it up. The only thing that I might add is that I have fixed a good share of accuracy problems by simply tightening the front action screw. I acquired my first model 77 way back in the 70's and bought it for cheap because it was shooting 3 inch groups. My old neighbor was involved in my acquisition of that gun and said that he could fix the accuracy. He pillar bedded the front action screw and removed the pressure point and I killed coyotes with that 243 for years.

    The front tang screw is detrimental to accuracy in those old 77's. They have a tendency to work loose and then recoil sets the action back so that there is pressure on the screw.

  18. #18

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    You got it. The very first thing I do with a misbehaving 77 is use a rat tail rasp to relieve the hole in the stock for that forward action bolt. Nine times out of ten, that's all it needs to go from shooting a "shotgun pattern" to tiny groups. It's kind of a test for me. If that solves the problems, then I go ahead and glass bed the back of the recoil lug to stop any further movement, as well as the tang to stabilize the action.

    Next step is to remove that pressure ridge or whatever you call it at the front of the barrel inletting. Might or might not improve groups. In fact, I worked with one that actually needed that ridge for best groups. After seeing groups go south, I just folded up a matchbook and wedged it into the same spot with light pressure, and the groups came back. Easy fix- I made my own pressure ridge with a narrow band of bedding.

    Long as I've had the barrel channel tool out to remove the ridge, I usually go ahead and free float the barrel. Takes a good two minutes using that great tool.

    Final, final step is to go back with TruOil and seal up every bit of bare wood I've exposed with my hacking.

    It's not rocket science. It's just plain old shade tree gunsmithing. Same as a whole lot of owners have been doing in their garage for generations before composites and pillars and computers came along. Worked fine then, and it works fine now. The newfangled stuff works too, but a guy shouldn't feel like he's a nobody if he's using a wooden stock with traditional accurizing.

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