Just put an M77 Hawkeye on lay-away.

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Feb 2, 2012
South GA
I just put a beautiful used .223 Ruger M77 Hawkeye Compact on lay-away at the LGS. I've been reading a few negative reviews on the lack of accuracy. Some report 3-4 inch groups at 100 but say after resetting or rebedding the action it shrinks to an inch.

I plan on putting a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 on it and using it for a simple woods gun. I don't need to punch single hole groups but I'd like to at least be able to hit what I aim at.

So does anyone have experience with this rifle? What can I expect as far as making it accurate?
My Hawkeyes (358, 308, 30-06, 270, and 223) have been solidly one and a half MOA or better with decent factory ammo and generic (non-optimized) handloads. If anyone is getting 3-4 MOA from theirs, I suspect that their rifle has an issue that Ruger needs to fix or that they're using cheap blasting ammo (e.g. steel cased or cheap remanufactured) that is the cause of their accuracy issues.

The Compact is a nice package (short barrel and all) but I replaced the shorty stock on my Compact 308 with Boyd's Prarie Hunter to get a full sized rifle that happens to have a woods-friendly short barrel.
I have one in 25-06 and is more accurate than me. Your .223 would be fun to shoot being a soft shooter. Good luck with it.
Congrats, they're really great rifles. I have a hawkeye in 30-06 and a mark II in .308, both are sub-Moa rifles with hand loads, they both shoot factory fodder right at an inch as well. I'm not sure why people are still associating Ruger with poor accuracy, but they have fixed that problem a long time ago. Enjoy your new rifle.
I already reload .223 for my AR so I'm excited to load up some rounds for the Ruger. Thank you for the input!
Just wanted to update this thread with my results... The rifle is amazing!

The cheap ammo I had left over from Georgia Arms only resulted in about 3 inch groups. Once I started shooting my reloads (52 gr V-max) that came down to about an inch at 100. It's not a target rifle, after 4-5 shots the groups starts moving out but that's expected from a pencil barrell.

The compact is just that, makes for an extremely quick handling rifle. The short overall length makes it easy to get in and out of the truck. It's a joy to shoot and very easy to carry anywhere. This has quickly become one of my favorite rifles.
The horror stories about poor accuracy were from rifle made over 20 years ago and it seems too many never got the memo and are still repeating stuff they have heard. Prior to 1991 Ruger did not make their own barrels, but purchased them from outside vendors. Some were match grade, others hopeless.

Since changing over to the MK-II and now Hawkeye Ruger has been making their own barrels and things are much better.

I've never found even the newer Rugers to be quite as accurate as some others I've owned, but never seen one that wouldn't put 3 shots under 1" at 100 yards with good ammo. I'd be perfectly content with that on a hunting rifle.
I scored a stainless compact from CDNN a few years ago in .223. It is a total keeper woods rifle. No worries about the weather and a great shooter.

Mine is going snow shoeing next weekend.
Get a Redfield Revolution and make your new rifle happy.

The day I picked it it up my wife talked the salesman into throwing in a used Nikon Prostaff for $40. Both the rifle and scope have been flawless.

This is my wife's new deer rifle. We weren't able to get out in the woods much this year but I have high hopes for next fall.
The M77 series is my all-time favorite bolt action platform. Smooth and accurate. Been hunting with the 30.06 Mark II All Weather for nearly 15 years now.

Sounds like your .223 compact is a keeper.
The Hawkeye compacts are great. I have one in 7.62x39, and I love it. It will shoot MOA five shot groups with my handloads, and under 2" with cheap steel cased ammo. Most of the accuracy complaints you hear are second and third hand rumors about some of the 77's from 30 years ago when they were having problems with a barrel supplier.
I own several M77s and looking for one in .257 Roberts currently....all are very accurate...may be a reason that is a used rifle....but maybe something that can be fixed.
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