The Ruger M77 is a bolt-action firearm manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Company, an American firearm company based in Connecticut. It was designed by Jim Sullivan when he was working with Ruger. The rifle sports a 2-lug bolt with an extractor made in the traditional Mauser style.
- Length – 42 to 44.75 inches
- Barrel Length – 22 to 24 inches
- Weight – 6.75 to 8.25 pounds
- Rate of Twist – 14 inches
- Magazine Capacity – 3 to 5 rounds, integral box magazine
Intended to be a modernised Mauser 98, the Ruger M77 went through numerous changes from its original design. Bill Ruger changed the way the receiver was made from forged to investment casted. The bolt had a plunger-style ejector instead of the Mauser’s blade-type ejector. Even the tang safety and the trigger system were designed from scratch. For something that was supposed to follow certain design, the Ruger M77 is not even close.
However, there was one thing that the M77 did keep from the Mauser, and that is the angled action screw. This only means that the rifle draws the action down and then to the rear, which tightly beds it against the stock. It makes the Ruger M77 unique from traditional bolt-action rifles where the action draws the receiver directly down to the stock.
One of the positive features of the rifle is the action. Many users comment that it is smooth and reliable, and it can even feed upside down. Though not likely to be used that much in that way, it is good to know that it won’t jam that easily.
Another one of the positives of the Ruger M77 is the safety. The sliding button is located on the tag and has two positions. With the safety on, the trigger and bolt can both be locked independently. This locking gesture is easily mastered so that the user will be able to do it without making a sound, very useful when on the hunt and the game is nearby.
The stock is beautifully made with American walnut and finished with a matte lustre. There are also variants of the M77 that comes with synthetic stocks, which can be used for all weather and all terrain conditions, as it will definitely be less cumbersome to carry than those with a wood stock.
There is the Mark II, which is a retooled version of the M77 introduced in 1991. The bolt, safety, and trigger were completely designed anew. The plunger ejector went the Mauser way, using a blade. The Mark II also featured the three-position safety allowing the bolt to be worked even if the gun is still on safe mode. This variant also did away with the adjustable trigger.
The Hawkeye, which was introduced in 2006, had major changes to the trigger system. It used the LC6 trigger is lighter and smoother, which addressed complaints from users about the Mark II trigger. The stock on the Hawkeye was also re-contoured for a more sleek appearance.
Then there is the 30.06 Cal SAR or Search And Rescue Rifle. It was designed to be a compact rifle for use by Canada’s Search and Rescue Technicians and made to attach to their parachute harness. It is based on the M77 Mark II with the barrel shortened to 14.5 inches. The stock can also hold an additional ammunition of 6 rounds.
The latest variant of the Ruger M77 is the Gunsite Scout Rifle which was introduced in 2011. It was developed in close cooperation with Gunsite Training Centre so that it could meet the criteria of the contemporary scout rifle. It weights 7 pounds and has a 16.5-inch barrel and a laminate stock in black. It has additional features, such as flash hider, ghost-ring iron sights, and picatinny rail for hiring optics of scopes.
Ruger built this rifle not only with performance and versatility in mind, but also took the opportunity to make it stylish as well.