Ruger M77 Trigger & Bedding Questions


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Hunter401
January 6, 2011, 12:18 AM
I have read other threads on Ruger accuracy but wanted to start a new thread since my question is a bit different. I purchased a new M77 in .280 Remington about 12-15 years ago. Based upon the serial number it was made in 1978. I have handloaded for 40 years, but just for hunting so have never been serious about it. However, I recently upgraded all my handloading equipment and want to see how accurate it can be. With previous equipment I shot 3.5 inch or slightly better 3-shot groups with 140 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips. Having just gotten the new equipment set up, my first four 3-shot groups with 140 Accubonds were each at 1 3/8 inches with two powders, two different powder levels each. Now, I am getting greedy. First, the rifle is fully bedded (factory I imagine) or at least there is no space between the barrel and the walnut stock. I have never seen this full bedding mentioned in the threads, so what do I have and does anything need to be done to the bedding? I have never taken it down so do not know what is under the barrel. Second, the trigger pull is probably 5-6 or more pounds. The local gunsmith quoted me $75 for a complete trigger job, although I do not know what all he would do. I will continue to tinker with loads and bullets, but am wondering if I need to do something with the bedding, and whether I should have the trigger reworked, or simply buy a Timney or other trigger to drop in. Thanks for any suggestions you might have. I recognize it shoots plenty well for hunting, but you know how it is, I just want to see if I can do better, for those occasional long range shots.

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Smokey Joe
January 6, 2011, 09:30 PM
Hunter 401--I understand your desire. I, too, want "target accuracy" from my "hunting rifles," no matter that I may never need it. For starters, I'd work on stuff that wouldn't involve mechanically changing the rifle. I'd experiment with loads, and bullets, and find the VERY BEST for that rifle (i.e. smallest group--I'm assuming from your post that you're shooting at 100yd.)

You just might be surprised, and pleased, and decide to let well enough alone.

Oh, also, what quality of 'scope or sights are you using? A good rifle cannot show its best with El Cheapo Knockoff Brand 'scope, mounts, or irons.

If, I say IF, you decide to tinker mechanically, after determining the best load, the area you mention that you can do the most yourself with is the bedding. It isn't hard, and there are plenty of sources of info out there, as to how to proceed.

Your rifle being a Ruger M77 complicates things on trigger modification. My experience has been that they are picky and fussy as to trigger replacement. So mebbe the gunsmith job would be in order here. Depending, of course, on how bad the trigger is to begin with. If you go the gunsmith route, get a complete statement of what he intends to accomplish/replace/fix, and at what price, and what you can expect in the way of improved performance, BEFORE any work is started. The phrase "a professional trigger job" is far too vague.

Bottom line: Check the cheapest and easiest and most likely to show you an improvement route first. Go up in cost and/or mechanical severity from there. If you want real gnatwhisker accuracy, it's going to cost you $$$, and probably turn into a long-term project. (Not that that's inherently a bad thing!) Good luck in your quest, and please keep us posted! :)

Hunter401
January 8, 2011, 08:01 AM
Double thread--sorry. Please see other thread. Can anyone tell me how to merge the threads? Looked at FAQs but did not see how to do that. When I was writing the thread initially it timed out on me before I finished writing, and I did not realize it had posted it.

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