New Ruger M77 MkII 6.5X55


January 18, 2004, 08:48 AM
It was too cold to shoot in Virginia yesterday (by Virginia standards, not Alaska's), so I went over to Loudon Guns and found something I had to have, a Ruger M77 MkII in 6.5X55 Swedish. After exhaustive research, I had finally settled on the Winchester M70 Featherweight in the same caliber as my next purchase, but this was just too good a deal to pass up at $489. They also had a 7X57 at the same price, but it was no contest. The 6.5X55 is no longer catalogued by Ruger, so this looked like a "last chance" thing to me.

The rifle weighs 7 pounds 5 ounces. I haven't weighed the trigger accurately yet, but it lets off before the full weight of the rifle - call it 6 pounds of pull. I'd been prepared for the famous "lawyer trigger," but it really isn't bad at all. The pull is heavier than I like, but there's a bit less creep than with my Win M70, and neither one has any overtravel. The stock is straight-grained and slim. Stock to metal fit appears not great, but very good. Metal work appears good, though I haven't had it out of the stock yet. I hadn't paid much attention to Ruger for the last few years, but I rate the metal finish (blueing) as "functional," rather than "attractive;" it's the least attractive part of the rifle, IMO. The bolt body is stainless, and the bolt, handle, lugs, are apparently all one piece, rather than brazed on. The striker mechanism is blued. The safety appears placed like an M70's, but doesn't work on the bolt, but rather under the bolt. I wish they'd kept the older tang safety design - I'd have probably bought one of these things much sooner.

What I want out of it is a rifle that's fun to shoot, mostly at the range, though I'll certainly hunt with it, too. I'm growing tired of my current rifles' tendencies to kick my head out from under my hat while bellowing through my double-plugging efforts. I haven't yet finished tweaking my other Ruger or my Winnie, but maybe this one will be easier, since the testing will be more fun.

Writer John Barsness' descriptions of his Ruger 6.5X55 encouraged me in this folly, so I'm looking at this thing now as I write, wondering what to do next. I'd normally put a fixed-power scope on something like this, but if this thing is as accurate as I hope, I'll want to shoot it at 200- and 300-yards. OTOH, I don't like big scopes, so maybe a 2X7 compact is in order. Then there's trigger work, which I don't know how to do, and bedding, likely, which I do, minimally. Does anyone have any web-based advice, preferably with pictures, as to how to work on a Ruger M77 MkII trigger?


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January 18, 2004, 10:22 AM
Should've gotten the featherweight ... :neener:

Actually, that is a helluva deal. Faced with that, I would've gone the same route. I'm so ashamed of my rifle's looks...


Baba Louie
January 18, 2004, 10:28 AM
Sorry, no pictures.
I did this to my MkII RSI .30-06. Don't have a guage, but it did "crisp" it up a bit. Probably lets off around 4 - 5#. All I need for a hunting rifle.
The Ruger is a good journeyman type of rifle as you know. It's not one I'd spend a lot of money on to make it a sub MOA, but that just me. Minute of Bambi is fine at 200 yds (I use paper plate when no deer are on the menu) with open sights.
With a scope on it I'd figure a 3"-4" group would be right nice at that range for off-hand hunting type shots.
I love the 6.5 Swede round but only have it in my Swedes and they always kick my RSI .30-06's butt for accuracy; stock milsurp open sights with factory ammo.
But then I'm not a sniper or a benchrest type of shooter, just a Bambi hunting type, paper target killer.
Enjoy your new find.

January 18, 2004, 03:55 PM

I bought it with kind of a sense of resignation, since it was a good deal, but wasn't what I was really looking for. At least I knew how to adjust things on the M70.

John Barsness writes that his Ruger M77 MkII is half-inch accurate, and the barrel cleans up in three patches, as smooth a bore as his custom barrels. Because of the angled action bolt, the Ruger doesn't need to be recoil lug bedded. The trigger is simplicity in itself to rework. He says.

Okay, when you "smooth up" a trigger, what tools do you use? Do you take them apart far enough that you can apply a knife-sharpening stone or what?


January 18, 2004, 03:58 PM
This month's SHOOTING TIMES has a great article on the 6.5x55 cartridge and another option for rifles in that caliber....

I'm starting to itch for one myself...:evil:

January 18, 2004, 04:08 PM
The only centerfire rifle I own is a Carl Gustaf 96 Swede that I bought from Century Arms and sporterized. Bell&Carlson synthetic stock, 17" bbl, Millet SS mid rise rings, turn down bolt, el chapo scope, blah-blah.

Even with the short barrel and cheapy scope, it will shoot well, well under 2" at 200yds, if I do my part. The 6.5x55 is the best all around Cartridge available, IMO....I can slay Coyotes with 109s, or feral hogs with 149s...

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