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Thread: new barrel for Ruger M77 MKII

  1. #1
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    Default new barrel for Ruger M77 MKII

    The first rifle I ever bought, and for a long time the only rifle I owned, was a Ruger M77 MKII in 7mmRemMag. It's seen a lot of use, and I've taken several moose, caribou, sheep, deer, and goats with it. Due to lots of time outside in Alaska the stock has almost no finish left on it, and the barrel has a few spots where the blueing is worn off or blemished.

    Lately I began to pay more attention to really cleaning the bore (I was pretty good about keeping it oiled, but never did more than run a few patches soaked with Hoppe's through it to clean it) and noticed a few things. Accuracy is good for only three shots, and after as few as three shots it takes me about three days (I'm not kidding) to get all the copper out. Also, when I push a patch through the bore there is a spot (the same spot every time, about three inches from the muzzle) where the cleaning rod "jumps" as I push, meaning it gets really easy to push for about an inch.

    Is the Ruger M77 MKII action worthy of a new custom barrel and stock? If I get a new barrel I'll probably go with a nice one (recommendations?) so what will this "remodeling" my old favorite probably run me?

    Or should I just sell it and buy a new rifle? I'm sentimental, but not all THAT sentimental.

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2

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    I have posted this very same question on another shooting site (Long Range) about my old Ruger M77. The barrel is fried and I have shot almost all my game with it including a B&C ram and a real nice bull elk. A number of guys reseponded with pics of builds they did off their old tang safety M77's and had some good results. One draw back with the Ruger actions is the angled front action screw. It makes a good bedding job a little complicated. Also they have cast actions, but mine has always been fine for me and I got about 1 -1.5 moa out of it with factory ammo and .75 MOA with handloads that I didn't spend a whole lot of time developing.

    My decision is to hold on to it and when I have some extra cash, I'll rebarrel with a Lilja and put a McMillan stock on it and get the action trued up. In the mean time I have a new rifle for hunting and I also saw a Rem 700 Sendero in a pawn shop for $900 that I could probably get for $700. I'm not a big Rem fan but the Sendero's are supposed to be good shooters. If it shoots well as is, that's great... If not I'll rebarrel. The stock (aluminum bedded HS Precision) and action are worth more than $700, and with a new barrel and some gunsmithing it could be a real tack driver.

    So I would say your decision is a toss up. I probably wont buy any more Rugers, although they make a fairly good gun, because of the angled screw and there are a lot of brands putting out sub MOA rifles now.

    Here's my thread from the other forum, hope it's not against the rules as I didn't see anything in the rules against it.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/foru...n-build-33427/

  3. #3

    Default Rifle

    Unless you just want to use the same rifle,consider. FOR the same bucks as a rebarrel and stock you could purchase a NEW rifle and just put the old beater in the safe.
    Then your only decision would be what would your new caliber be.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  4. #4
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Default

    If it was my rifle (and I do have an old ruger), I'd re-barrel, refinish the stock, and just keep using it. An old and well used Ruger has a slick feel to the action that you aren't going to get from a new gun, and a well used stock will feel more comfortable in the hand than one with the shine still on it. I would clean it up and put an oil finish on the stock though.

    But that just my opinion, and some people like new rifles every year. If you do a complete new barrel, stock, and bluing, it will be cheaper to have just bought new.

    Yk

  5. #5
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Default

    Perfect time to rebarrel to a 257 wby mag. I think midway usa has some good deals going on Douglas stainless barrel blanks right now.

  6. #6

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    How sure are you that your barrel is toast. Any idea on a round count? 3-shot accuracy is all you really need for a hunting rifle. How many times do you fire 4 rounds at an animal? Usually shot-out barrels are barn door groupers. Are you letting the barrel cool between shots? Try wipe-out and follow the directions. Then maybe some JB bore paste. I bet you will get some more service out of that barrel. As far as Rugers being worthy of a re-barrel, heck yes. I would re-barrel. A gun that I have killed lots with, is a gun I have confidence in.

    I was in the same boat with my MarkII last year, except my stock split. New stocks from Ruger were $280. The gun was probably worth $300, so I found a used one for $150. I am pretty darn happy that rifle is back together and shooting better than it ever has. Try to find a M77 take off barrel. Put an add on the classifieds for one.

  7. #7
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    Default Put another Ruger barrel on it!

    Don't spend major $$ for a custom barrel and stock - look around and pick up a used as new pull off from a M77 and put it on your gun. I've picked up good used barrels often for $25 - $50 at gun shows or you can check the auction sites. I looked quickly through my stuff and I have a M77 barrel in 7mm Mag that appears to be an unfired that I'll sell; I may have a used one also. Your gunsmith may have some also.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcherdaddy View Post
    The first rifle I ever bought, and for a long time the only rifle I owned, was a Ruger M77 MKII in 7mmRemMag.

    Is the Ruger M77 MKII action worthy of a new custom barrel and stock? If I get a new barrel I'll probably go with a nice one (recommendations?) so what will this "remodeling" my old favorite probably run me?

    Or should I just sell it and buy a new rifle? I'm sentimental, but not all THAT sentimental.

    Thanks for your input!
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  8. #8

    Default rebarrel

    Put a good barrel on it. If thats all you do, it'll be half the price of a new gun, and probably shoot better. Beside, you are not limited to the 7mm just because that is what it came with. If you like that caliber, stick with it. If you want to try something else, change it up. Either way, a custom barrel from Shilen, Liljah, Hart, etc...are going to be well worth the money and a vast improvement over any factory barrel.
    Good luck on your choice.

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Another recomendation for getting a good custom barrel fit. While you might spend as much getting a custom barrel fit as another new gun, the quality of a factory barrel likely won't be as good as custom barrel properly fit. And what better way to keep a charished firearm than to upgrade it with a top notch barrel.

    As to barrels, I'd say first pick your gunsmith, and then go with his recomendation. I really don't think any of the top makers put out a bad product. Krieger, Lilja, Hart, Pac nor, Shilen, Douglas, Lothar-Walther. Who chambers the barrel is IMHO much more important than who made the barrel.

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    Default split decision!

    Thanks for all the input! To answer a few of the questions:

    I haven't written the barrel off as toast yet. The number of rounds through it is actually quite low, and when it's clean it shoots pretty good. Even after it gets a few rounds through it and groups start to open up, it's not dramatic. 100yd groups go from between 1 and 1.5" clean to about 2.5" as it fouls.

    While it's true that as a hunting gun I could live with that, my biggest issue is how much work it takes to get it clean. It takes all the fun out of shooting it! Like I said, after as few as three shots I can run bore cleaner/copper solvent soaked patches (I've tried several different well recommended brands) for 45 minutes straight. Then I put it in the garage and fill the barrel with Wipe-Out and leave it overnight. I push dry patches through in the morning (they come out dark blue) and repeat the process. It takes about 5 or 6 of these 12 hour applications before I start getting reasonably clean patches.

    Since in years past I never really cleaned the barrel this carefully I don't know if the barrel came from the factory this bad, or if I did something to ruin it in the years I've had it. Since I don't have much to lose I'm going to try fire-lapping the barrel before I completely write it off. The supplies for that are only $50, and if I can get the bore reasonably smooth I'll just go with it.

    If I can't get it cleaned up and shooting well, I'm looking at either the Weatherby Vanguard Sub-MOA or Sako A7, both of which come with accuracy guarantees and a solid reputation.

  11. #11
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    Default

    I like the custom barrel route myself. I own a LH Ruger that I rebarreled to 338 WM and used a Lilja barrel and had the action trued. Put the entire mess on a McMillan stock. Rifle will shoot any load under moa, and I am a rotten bench shooter.
    Something to be said about your confidence factor in the rifle once you "customized" it to your liking.
    Peyton, Colorado

  12. #12
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    Default cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Another recomendation for getting a good custom barrel fit. While you might spend as much getting a custom barrel fit as another new gun, the quality of a factory barrel likely won't be as good as custom barrel properly fit. And what better way to keep a charished firearm than to upgrade it with a top notch barrel.

    As to barrels, I'd say first pick your gunsmith, and then go with his recomendation. I really don't think any of the top makers put out a bad product. Krieger, Lilja, Hart, Pac nor, Shilen, Douglas, Lothar-Walther. Who chambers the barrel is IMHO much more important than who made the barrel.
    I've never had a gun rebarrelled. I looked up costs for a rough barrel blank and they seem to average $200-250, plus shipping. Add in $200+ for a good stock. Does that seem about right? How much should I expect in gunsmithing costs to have the barrel installed and the action bedded in the new stock?

    I agree that a custom barrel will be far better than a factory barrel, but the rifles I was looking at (Weatherby and Sako) would cost me under $1000 and come with MOA or better accuracy guarantees. Sure there's some sentimental value to the Ruger, but I'm by far a function-over-form, bang-for-your-buck type guy. It doesn't make sense to me to spend more and not get more.

  13. #13
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    Default New M77 barrel

    I'll sell you my M77 7mm Rem Mag. barrel for $75- from appearances it is a new unfired pull. It has one small scratch and no blue wear at all. I ran a patch through it and it appeared to still have the factory grease in it. There is no sign in the bore or chamber that it has ever been fired - are the new guns even proff tested anymore?

    A new barrel is always a gamble but this one would get you back up and shooting at min. $$ instead of hundreds of dollars in a new custom barrel you would never get your money back from.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Default pm sent

    tvf,

    Thanks for the offer! I sent you a PM.

  15. #15

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    Take it to a gunsmith and have him check it with a bore scope. Him might also have a few suggestions that will help out.
    It should not take all the cleaning you describe to clean the copper from 3 shots out. Something is wrong there, weither it is the barrel or your technique I won't even guess.

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