Theres various versions of the m77 rifle and there all different. The original m77 then went to the m77 mkII and now im not sure what they have now as i have a custom M77 in 30-338 win mag and a MKII in 270 that covers my needs. Sure some one with way more knowledge will chime in.
Yah, there is tons of different M77s, I have a brand new Timeny trigger for a non MKII MK77 if someone wants to buy or trade for it. I think they still build non mk II M77.
I have a M77 MKII 223 Varmint rifle myself, it is a thing of beauty and a real joy to shoot.
My first one was the 200 year model made in 1976.Lost it in a breakin back in 07.I replaced it with a 1982 model.Both were in 30/06.I like the old tang safety they had.On the range they were both good enuf for government work.lol
My experience is with an older M77 that lacks alignment between the way scope mounts and the impact of the bullet grouping. It could not be sighted in with the supplied factory mounts. A set of windage adjustible mounts were purchased and then it was possible to sight in the gun. Moral was at least at the time this gun was made was that ruger did not have very good QC in M77's. The design is a good one, but QC is still important.
I bought a M77 Mark II .223 target rifle last year. Put a new Nikon P223 4-12X40 scope on it yesterday and took it to the range today. 15 shots inside a 2 inch circle once I got the scope adjusted. Don't have much experience with other rifles like this, but this one is fun to shoot. I also have a 77/22 VBZ with Nikon scope which is a good trainer for the .223 cousin. The .22 is also a good shooter.
I have an older M77 in 220 swift. I love that gun. It is a pain in the rear to clean because swift leaves all this crud in the barrel, but some Sweet's 7.62 clears that up pretty well. It's the gun that made me like bolt action. Before, I preferred lever action, with semi auto in second place. And full auto in third, because it costed me $100 to fire off three magazines for a Thompson(20 round stick, not 50 round drums). I decided never to get an automatic weapons license, they are way too expensive in the long run!
Like I mentioned a while back I have one of the Early 223 Varmint / Target models, It is a M77 MKII with Stainless Steele hammer forged barrel, grey finish, laminated stock etc.
Anyways, it has always been a good shooter and I am still surprised how it handles a wide verity of loads pretty will.
Out of the box my trigger was just under 3lbs of pull, there is no creep, just a clean brake. If you want to nit pick I could say that there is a tad bit of side to side play in the trigger but I never cared enough to do anything about it. I suppose if I wanted to impress all my imaginary friends on the interwebs I would fix that or at least never mention it, what the heck I like to think I am honest at the very least.
I have not seriously put it on paper for many years so I could not tell you how tight of a group it is holding but I will put that on the list of things to do because I have worked up a bit of curiosity as of late. The last time I shot it I was shooting steel plates across a canyon. So I drilling Steel Pigs and Round plates at 350 - 460 yards until I just got bored. Well I have a short attention span so it wast really that long before I grab something else to shoot. But anyways that ought to give some of you at least an idea of what a stock V/T can do.
I have a Leupold Vari-X III 6.5- 16? or 20?, I prolly spent more money on the scope then the rifle at the time, the V/Ts were not all that expensive back in early to mid 1990s when I got it and I worked in a gun store and a gun factory back then so I got a sweet heart deal from the Rep. What else is a dumb kid going to blow his pay check on?
One nice thing is that Ruger gives you rings with the rifle most of the time if not all the time (Center fire Rifles with no sights at least). In this case I needed high or Extra high rings and the rifle came with medium rings (my scope has a pretty big Objective lens). I called Ruger and they sent me some extra high rings for free. I think I had to send them the medium rings back,, but don't quote me on that, my memory is a bit fuzzy. The rings are the ghostly gray stainless that matches the barrel and action. While I am on the subject of Rings, I know it is kinda painful that Ruger uses some what proprietary rings but they are a high quality set up. I take my scope off the rifle for transport and storage, I still have friends who think that is horrible idea but it works for me and the Ruger rings are ideal for this.
Back in the day the Laminated stock was a big up grade from the usual suspects, it had a nice wide fore end and free floated the barrel. This is more common now but back then there were not that many factory rifles like this. The front sling stud also has a nice flange nut on it so you don't have to worry about ripping it our of the stock with your bipod or sling.
Just for the sake of general knowledge, if you have any issue with accuracy the first thing to check is the front action screw. These rifle have 60* thrust block in the front. That front screw is at an angle, this is to help the action bight into the stock better and that screw needs to be pretty damn tight. IIRC It is suppose to be torqued down to 90 inch pounds. If you have the some what older rifle like I do then you have a standard slotted screw so be prepared to get a wheeler Torque screw driver which is pretty badass or mickey mouse a large flat head bit on your torque wrench. If you have a newer rifle you prolly have a Allen head screw in there which is easier to torque without tearing up the head.
If you still have issues with accuracy you might just be shooting the wrong load or you don't have your scope set up right. Some people are shocked to find out that you cant punch a perfect with pattern at 200 yards with any ammo that fits in the chamber. Other people are even more surprised that scopes come with instructions for a reason. Now back in the day before someone invented youtube, you had to actually read instructions out of little booklet to set up a scope right, these days your average 7 year old can do it after watching a couple of good videos. Let me just say there is more to setting up a scope then bolting it on and dialing in the cross hairs with a bore sight if you want a consistent pattern.