Are all M77 Hawkeye bolts this bad?


March 16, 2013, 04:13 PM
The bolt on my Ruger Hawkeye requires a serious yank to eject a
spent cartridge. There is absolutely no way I can cycle it without
lifting my head up from the scope, gripping the barrel with my left
hand and jerking the tang. It's been like this since I bought it new
a year ago. I've put 750 - 1000 rounds through it and it still cycles
the way it did at round #1. This is my first rifle so the truth is I
don't know if it's me or the gun or what, but when I watch guys
cycle their bolt without having to hold the barrel down I suspect
the problem is in the hardware. Any suggestions?

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March 16, 2013, 04:22 PM
Sounds like you are running it dry.

Put some grease on the cocking cam, rear faces of the bolt lugs, and on the striker threads.


March 16, 2013, 04:27 PM
Per RC, a bit of grease on the lugs is important. Curious, is the camming up action that stiff, or pulling back after lifting? Which leads me to ask, does the fired brass look OK? ..and do you reload?

March 16, 2013, 04:34 PM
What do you suggest? No, I don't reload and the brass comes out just fine.

March 16, 2013, 04:35 PM
The pull-back on the bolt is smooth and very fluid. The camming up is a bear.

March 16, 2013, 04:39 PM
Again, grease the cocking cam, bolt lugs, and internal threads on the striker assembly.

The initial opening force cocks the heavy spring in the striker.
Friction from a dry cocking cam is probably what you are feeling.


March 16, 2013, 04:39 PM
The pull-back on the bolt is smooth and very fluid. The camming up is a bear.

After pulling the trigger, that Ruger action cocks the striker when you lift up the bolt handle, so there is a bit of effort required.

Is your Ruger's bolt lever also hard to open when you are just cycling the bolt open and closed without ammo? How about after dry-firing without ammo?

What other guns have you fired to compare it to?

March 16, 2013, 04:41 PM
I like the graphite grease in the winter, maybe something thicker RIG's, I believe in warmer weather. I wonder if the lugs have galled after so much use? Do the surfaces look smeared?

March 16, 2013, 05:04 PM
The effort required to lift the tang (and forgive me if my terminology is off here) is always more than I'd like but the difficulty increases by a factor of 5 when attempting to eject a spent cartridge. My only other experience with a bolt action rifle was a $2000 Sig I used for a 3 day scoped rifle class in Epping, NH. It was practically voice activated. Maybe i was just spoiled. But I have never lubricated the bolt, didn't know it was a requirement as it has never been suggested to me. All i ever hear is 'light oil' on moving parts. I'll pick up some grease tonight and try it.

March 16, 2013, 05:07 PM
I'm gonna pull waaaaay back on my 'rounds thru' estimate and call it 500.

March 16, 2013, 07:09 PM
Grease or no the cycle is the same. Could it be a poorly machined bolt? Should I have to hold the rifle down to keep the bi-pod from leaving the ground when I cycle the bolt? If this is Ruger bolt action then I definitely need to unload this thing.

March 16, 2013, 07:28 PM
Wow. That's kinda weird. I had a regular M77 MKII 30'06, and still have one in .223 and never found the bolt to be stiffer than other bolt actions, but I always kept the lugs greased. Maybe some others here have a better idea.

March 16, 2013, 09:19 PM
Is it the same when dry fired? If not, the issue is extraction and not camming the striker...

March 16, 2013, 09:34 PM
Rugers bolt actions can be a little rough compared to many other actions. Most get better after some use, but I've never had one that operated as slick as most other brands. I've never ran across one that was not acceptable after a little break in either. It sounds like yours might be a little rougher than I'd like.

I'd suggest trying some new guns in some local stores and see how they feel in comparison to yours. If they are significantly better I might contact Ruger and have them take a look at it. If not much different, then you understand why a Ruger is $600 and not $2000 like the Sig you shot.

Not bashing Ruger, they are tough dependable guns and one of my top choices, but can be a little coarse.

March 16, 2013, 09:45 PM
Chamber could be out of spec causing extraction issue. I would send it back. Ruger customer service is pretty easy to get along with.

March 16, 2013, 10:05 PM
Have you disassembled the bolt? Removed the striker from the bolt and greased the camming surface under the striker hood, where it engages the bolt body? If you haven't, the bolt will not like to be lifted from a fired position.

I make kind of a slurry of Rig grease and Mobil 1 5W30 oil, and using a solder brush sort of paint it on such surfaces. Also wherever it is on your action where the primary extraction cam is located... sometimes it is the base of the bolt handle where it bears on the rear receiver ring... Not sure on your rifle.

March 16, 2013, 10:49 PM
I would send that back to Ruger in a heartbeat.

Call them, tell them the problem, they will probably send you a shipping tag.

You can legally send a rifle via USPS to Ruger.

They will send it back to your house.

Sounds to me like you are a little short on head space. I have had a couple of M77's and they would both open and close butter smooth. I have one now and its smooth as can be.

Ruger will make it right.

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