Ruger 77/22 bolt action

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by chansta, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    So, my father wants me to consider a long term loan or even a trade. Up for loan/trade is his ruger 77/22 bolt action rifle. He tells me it is a high dollar gun which he had sent off for modifications, including trigger work, and something to do with a dollar bill (I have no idea).

    I own a like-new ruger 10/22 semi auto. Both have the same exact scope.

    Mine is incredibly accurate with CCI mini mag 22 LR ammo at 25-30 yds and I can do mostly accurate work leaning against a tree w/o a rest.

    I have not shot his gun yet. I'm curious... what are the key differences between the two, pros and cons, and for hunting, if I am mostly looking into squirrels, would there be a difference.

    FWIW I am an inexperienced hunter, still working on stealth, patience, balance. But I will admit that after holding the 77 with shoulder strap on my elbow, it was more balanced for me. That cross hair didn't dance around near as much as the 10/22. So that's something

    He keeps his guns in pristine condition, kind of the way a doctor or lawyer treats a boat or a hot rod. He also claims it's easier to clean.
     
  2. slysir

    slysir Supporter Supporter

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    The Ruger 77/22 is a 22 Hornet not a .22lr. The "dollar bill" he's referring to means it's been glass bedded. And yes, MSRP is about $1000.

    -John
     
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  3. halo2

    halo2 Typical Swamp Yankee Supporter

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    The biggest difference I could see is in a second followup shot for hunting on the bolt versus the semi. The semi should be faster, though depending on the shooter that may not matter. Weight & ergonomics may be a factor. The bolt gun may be less finicky ammo-wise but that doesn't mean all makes shoot to the same POA.

    The 'dollar bill' thing is probably free floating the barrel for better accuracy. The same thing can be done on the 10/22 though if it has the barrel band that may complicate free floating a bit.

    Have you shot your 10/22 slung in?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  4. lodge camper

    lodge camper Supporter Supporter

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    i have the 77/22 mag and it is my favorite gun to shoot. i think that magazine holds 9 shells.
    i don't hunt but i can shred the bullseye at 50 to 60yds with just the iron sites. i have no such luck with our 10/22.
     
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  5. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    The Ruger 77/22 is not a 22 Hornet, it's a boot action 22LR modeled after the Ruger M77 which is available in numerous centerfire calibers.
    Depending on what he's asking for loan, you could very well be on the upper end of the deal.
     
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  6. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    The 77/22 is worth considerably more than most 10/22s, so you'd be getting the better end of the deal. Beyond that, I think it's a matter of personal preference. If your preference is for high quality with a steel receiver, I'd go with the 77/22. If you like playing around with after market accessories and or like to shoot fast, the 10/22 is probably the way to go. Both rifles use the same magazines.
     
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  7. Birdman

    Birdman Opportunistic generalist Supporter

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    The 77/22 could be had in 22lr, 22wmr, and 22 Hornet over the years. Currently the only production 77/22 is chambered in hornet.
     
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  8. slysir

    slysir Supporter Supporter

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    That's where I was confused. I only found the Hornet on the Ruger sight.

    Thanks,
    -John
     
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  9. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Hobbyist Supporter

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    The dollar bill is a free floated barrel which means it doesn't contact the stock.

    The 77/22 is a great rifle. It uses a standard 10/22 rotary box magazine which are low profile and extremely reliable. You can also use several different magazines like Butler creek and Rugers BX 25 or 15 round magazines.

    Given the choice of a 77/22 and a ruger American, or a lot of other brands, I'd pick the 77/22 any day, especially if it had quality work done....and it was my fathers gun.

    Try shooting it further than 30 yards, like 50 and 75.
     
  10. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Tracker

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    Trigger work was probably an after market sear ($30-40), dollar bill was probably free floating the barrel (dollar bill will fit between the barrel and stock up to the action). Slinging up (strap on your elbow) will make any rifle more steady. Do you sling up with your 10/22? Biggest advantage I see to a bolt gun is the ability to easily cycle low velocity (quieter) ammunition. I'd take it as a gift, but no way I'd trade "fair" value on it. There are a pile of great bolt action 22s that can be had for half the money or less.
     
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  11. kelpie13

    kelpie13 Scout

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    You should also consider if the 77/22 is one of the target models which has a slightly better barrel and can be easily identified by the barrel finish.
    I think they are fine rifles and, depending on the condition, worthy heirlooms to be handed down to family. I own both target models (22 and 22wmr) and they are tack drivers.
     
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  12. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Hobbyist Supporter

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    The 77/22 is the last of the great bolt actions. Everything now is made as cheap as possible and apparently thats what most people want. Its not even in the same category as the new stuff. Remington, Ruger, Kimber, Winchester, all used to make a quality bolt gun, but most of them have quit making them, including Ruger. And like I said, none of the new cheap stuff was your dads.
     
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  13. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    I should mention the 77 was bought used by him circa 1980. That may clarify some of the questions about models. And yes, I shoulder sling my 10/22. It's not nearly as steady for me for some reason. We will do some plinking at the range tomorrow and I will report back.
     
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  14. field-expedient

    field-expedient Misfit Supporter Bushclass II

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    I would do it. More accurate and reliable. Better made gun and worth a lot more money than a 10/22.
     
  15. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Tracker

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    Probably comes down to weight, balance, and/or stock fit. If nothing else it would be interesting to figure out why you hold the 77 better. My 77/357 does hold nicely.
     
  16. 41magfan

    41magfan Scout

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    The first year of production for the 77/22 was 1984 and the early guns had blued bolt-handles, wood stocks and were only offered in .22 LR with either plain barrels or iron sights. The early guns are the nicest in terms of fit and finish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 8:31 AM
  17. Crambone

    Crambone Tracker

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    How do you know it’s a Hornet? Ruger has made the 77/22 in .22lr and .22wmr also.

    The dollar bill trick just means it has a free floating barrel.

    I have owned a 77/22 in .22lr for 18 years. It is ridiculously accurate. And is amazingly quiet with CB shorts and no can.
     
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  18. JeffG

    JeffG Guide

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    I think the biggest differences you will see, are the trigger, a larger fit of the gun over all. Those things with the free float, will combine to increase accuracy, and shootability noticeably.
     
  19. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    I also like the bolt. Old school.
     
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  20. rescout

    rescout Scout

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    As I recall, the 77/22 has a reputation as a fine, "adult" 22, but it also has a reputation for either mediocre accuracy or fine accuracy. If yours was accurate, you considered yourself lucky. If it wasn't, sometimes you would start chasing "fixes". I agree that the 77/22 was a bit of a "flagship" model, and not made as cheaply as most 22's If it were me, I'd like to shoot the 77/22 before concluding a deal.
     
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  21. halo2

    halo2 Typical Swamp Yankee Supporter

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    I'd suggest trying two rapid shots on the same target as a test. On the bolt gun, it may take longer to re-acquire the target through the sights since you may need to break your sight picture to cycle the bolt. Follow up shot may be slower or less accurate from the bolt; but the ergonomics of the 77/22 may actually feel better on you than the 10/22.

    Again, that may not matter for some hunters depending on your comfortability with the action.
     
  22. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Bushclass I

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    I've done quite a bit of long range 22LR shooting with early production 77/22 guns set up specifically for that out at a cattle ranch in Montana. We also use 10/22 guns for short to mid-range 22LR shooting at the same time. The only 10/22 that remotely came close in accuracy to the 77/22 was my 10/22T (factory target gun) with hammer forged bull barrel.
     
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  23. Wil

    Wil Tracker

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    The 77/22 that has been accurized is a very nice rifle, same with the 10/22. I have target CZ's in 22 cal. rimfire which are bolt rifles but my 10/22 shoots right along with them but it took some green backs and aftermarket parts and barrel to get it there. I have, however, two 10/22's that I worked on that I enjoys shooting the most. It became an addiction to get them that way.
     
  24. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Hobbyist Supporter

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    You can also change out the barrel on these with a Lilja, Shilin, or Green Mountain barrels.
     
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  25. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    This.
    This.
    And this.
     
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  26. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Crambone,
    Try the CB Longs; they feed from the magazine better and are just as quiet..

    Regards,

    ezra
     
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  27. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    The craze of accurizing the 10/22, I remember reading about, was started in the early or mid 1970's. The U.S. Marines competed yearly in an international service competition that required a long swim, long run in sand, and multiple stops in the sand to shoot at very small targets while heart rates were up. The typical rifle was a biathlon style or target heavy barrel bolt action .22 .The Marines wanted to be quicker at the repeated shots so the armorers ( and maybe Jim Clark, if I remember correctly) reworked some 10/22s with match grade triggers and cut-down Winchester 52 barrels. Clark then commercialized this process and the 10/22 aftermarket was born.

    Regards,

    ezra
     
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  28. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    Thanks, all. We are going to set up two targets at the firing range this afternoon, depending on how Pops is feeling. We will compare at same range using the same ammo. Ultimately, I think it will depend on how well I can shoot without a rest, how the weapon feels in my hands, and of course accuracy.

    To add more to the mix, Dad bought some zinger ammo which shoots something like 1650 fps I believe. I'll have to look at the box. I'd rather just shoot the same mini mag ammo to see for sure how each performs.

    The one MAJOR difference I can tell so far is how long I can hold a crosshair on a small target this is both kneeling, sitting, standing, and against a tree. For some reason, even though the 77 is heavier, it just works in my hands. Hopefully the range will paint the same picture. The 10/22 just doesn't feel the same, and if putting meat on the table is the name of the game, I'll probably side with a bolt vs semi automatic for that reason. I'm excited to hit the range, hopefully tonight. If I'm lucky, I will be able to take some pictures.
     
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  29. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Hobbyist Supporter

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    Wouldn't it be worth having just because its your dads? I kinda touched on that earlier but decided to mention it again, you can do whatever you want of course. If hes interested in getting rid of it and you don't take him up on it you may never get to have it? I wish I had more of my grandfather's and fathers stuff that they had to get rid of, it never occurred to buy it myself.
    My grandfather had a shotgun that was his fathers which I was promised, but when he died his brother came in and snuck out with it back to California. Its probably in a yard of scrap these days. I wish it was in the closet.
    Maybe this 77/22 doesn't have that kind of sentimental value, or maybe it has just enough since it was his, or a lot idk. Just rambling some thoughts.
     
  30. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The 77/22 does not have the numerous aftermarket parts like the 10/22 does, but it does not need them; they are typically very accurate right out of the box. I have seen single shot adapters for them (looks like the box magazine with a flat top where the rounds normally load in) that is nice to have if you want to shoot shorts, CB caps etc.
     
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  31. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Hobbyist Supporter

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    I like single shot adapters for exactly that.
     
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  32. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I don’t recall if the one I had was a Ruger product or an aftermarket thing machined from nylon or some other plastic. I imagine today they could be 3D printed pretty easily.
     
  33. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    Well here's the update I promised: I shot many rounds with varying CCI ammo. Out of the lot, subsonic was the clear winner. Not only at the range but...

    I heard some leaves crunching, turned around, saw it on a log about 15-20 yds away. I didn't even have time to use the shoulder sling or a tree. Popped it right in the chest. I was only in the woods for like 15 minutes. Now I just need a recipe.
    Pretty amazed. I think this made the choice for me, especially knowing it was my Dad's gun and my first 22 kill.


    10E974E6-B9F7-446D-AC8B-F485C761EB2B.jpeg
     
  34. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Do it! It is a fine rifle!

    Regards,

    ezra
     
  35. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Scout

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    I had a sweet blue and walnut 77/22 in .22lr with iron sights and a peep sight installed many years ago, it was my first grown up .22 rifle. Why did I sell? I cannot recall, but still miss that rifle.

    The 77/22 is an expensive rifle, very well made, and on average much more accurate than a standard 10/22.

    The 77/22 has a very nice feel and smooth action.

    However, mainly due to the two piece bolt design the 77/22 cannot usually compete with a CZ 452 or Anschutz for top level accuracy. But still a great hunting or plinking rifle.
     
  36. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    Excellent response. I recently saw a used one for $500.00 The only thing I can add: Keep the rifle in your family. If you keep shooting, you will appreciate the quality of the M77. Keep the 10/22 as well. And lastly, have fun shooting!!
     
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  37. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    They are overbuilt for what they are. I honestly wouldn't do the trade.

    If you want a bolt action 22 there are lots of options.
     
  38. Mink

    Mink Tracker

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    Let's see, old school 77/22 with attached sentimental value versus a 10/22 you could replace off the shelf at your LGS this very minute. Definitely would do the trade.
     
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  39. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Definitely would do the trade...
    77/22 is a fine little rifle.

    Regards,

    ezra
     
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  40. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    Glad u found a rifle that fits. I like to say "it talks to me" u know it when u see it.
     
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  41. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    I also like that I can completely remove the bolt for ease of cleaning .
     
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  42. blake g49

    blake g49 Scout

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    I have the 77/22 stainless/synthetic version and it has been an absolute workhorse. Come the fall it never leaves my truck unless it's shooting something, and in spite of the fact that I have several 10/22's the bolt gun seems to be the one included in pretty much every range trip packing session. Since all of my hunting rifles are either bolt action or single shot the 77 gets the pre-season position rifle practice duty and does it admirably. It has worn a Leupold 4x RF optic since I got it and has never needed more, and it stays sighted in for CCI SV (which I have several cases of)...
     
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