A Very Good Rifle Day


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Storm
November 2, 2010, 11:05 AM
Some time back I put a Ruger M77 International in 243 WIN on layaway. I had always wanted a bolt rifle with a Mannlicher style stock. I know that the stock is supposed to affect accuracy (any opinions on that?) but what the heck, the Ruger was just too pretty and in too nice a condition (with the tang safety) to pass on. Yesterday I decided to trade a handgun that I had acquired at an excellent price that I really didn't care for all that much. As it turned out I made a nice chunk of change on the trade and had some extra bucks. Then I spotted a 1993 BAR Safari MkII in 270 WIN on the rack in outstanding condition. So, with the extra cash that one went on layaway.

The BAR really appeals to me. The only thing is that I really like to be able to shoot a rifle with iron sights (which the Rugger haqs) but the BAR is only drilled for a scope. Are there any good options for adding iron sights to the BAR? I'd hate to do anything to it that was permanent and would be fine with it if it was only scoped, but it would be nice to have an iron sight option.

Still, a very good day for rifles. The handgun won't be missed.

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SwampWolf
November 2, 2010, 01:28 PM
I also prefer to have irons on a rifle, even though it's scoped. And mostly I like irons on a rifle (even with a scope) for the dumbest reason of all: I like the looks of them! I don't think a rifle looks "complete" sans open sights and most of my rifles have them (I will admit irons would look wrong affixed to my Number One Ruger, heavy barreled Varmint rifle and they probably wouldn't look right on my little Browning Low Wall).

To answer your questions; yes you can add irons to the BAR but they will doubtless be "quasi-permanent" and, if resale value is important to you, the installation of open sights on a rifle that was made without them will negatively affect the value to a serious collector (though recently made BARs probably don't rank high on anybody's collector's list, a seventeen year old Safari model might start to qualify).
However, probably the biggest reason not to install irons on a rifle that doesn't need them (i.e., scoped) is the cost of the procedure. Several years ago, I took two Ruger Model 77s to Williams Gun Shop in Davidson, Mi. (one of my favorite companies) with the idea to have their brand of irons installed. The cost was well over $100.00 per rifle. Mind you, I was considering the procedure for mostly aesthetic reasons as I share the opinion of many folks who contend modern glass is plenty reliable and irons as a back-up proposition (though a viable strategy for sure) is redundant at best and at worst, destroy the lines of a fine rifle (yep, many people think irons detract from the looks of a rifle. The old time gunwriter, Jack O'Connor, shared this opinion). So I opted to keep the two Rugers "naked" and eventually acquired two MKIIs that came with factory irons, one of them being an International model.
You also asked for opinions as to how a Mannlicher stock might affect (I assume you meant negatively) the accuracy of a given rifle. I have little doubt that a full-length stock will seldom make a rifle more accurate and that the added wood could pose additional "warping" issues on specific rifles but the admittedly little experience I've had with them has been positive. I can count on my International to hold its zero from year to year and can expect under two inch MOA on a consistent basis using factory ammunition (it's chambered in .308 Winchester).
Good luck with your rifles. They are both great picks.

Storm
November 2, 2010, 01:51 PM
Thanks SwampWolf, that's great info. While I have no real concern for resale value I think that I will probably just keep this a scoped only rifle. I tend to agree that an unsighted rifle does look somewhat "incomplete", but I guess I'd prefer to keep the gun in as original condition as possible. It really is a beautiful rifle.

As to the Ruger, it came with the factory rings and a cheap scope (which have now been taken off) and part of what attracted me to the rifle was the iron sights. I think that I'm really going to enjoy this one. It will be nice to see what it can do with the scope and without.

philpost
November 2, 2010, 08:01 PM
I also have an M77 Int'l (in .308) on layaway, and look forward to getting it home. It was just so beautiful, my wife actually suggested getting it as a joint anniversary present (:what:). It's an '84 that comes with a 4X Leuopold scope, and I'm glad to hear that it's reasonably accurate.

Storm
November 2, 2010, 08:19 PM
The M77 is indeed pretty. If I replace the lousy scope that came with it I will probably go with the same scope that I plan to put on the BAR, a Leuopold VXIII 3x9 variable with either a 50 or 52mm objective.

BTW, late this afternoon I went over and got the BAR out of layaway. Happy dance.

sansone
November 2, 2010, 08:24 PM
lucky dog.. happy dance for you here too

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