Pillar Bed an M77 MKII VT

Discussion in 'Ruger Rifle Forum' started by Flipflop, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    I am going to Pillar Bed my M77 MKII VT in 223, I was wondering if anyone had done it yet?

    I was going to Bed the stock with some epoxy after that.

    I can tell it is going to be challenging, it is clearly more complicated then a standard Remington or Mauser action. I was hoping someone else had some pointers.

    For one mating the front pillar to the action while the glues is still soft and keeping light pressure on it will be tough. (It is at 60* instead of 90*)

    Secondly the rear pillar probably will not clear the back end of the trigger assembly.

    Thirdly it would be nice to pillar bed the center screw but there is very little material in the stock around that screw.

    As for the epoxy bedding the rest of the stock surface:
    I am wondering if the stock has enough thickness on the sides, and the rear will wind up being a tiny pocket.

    I will post a picture of the stock inlet later
     

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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  2. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    This is not easy to explain so I marked up the photo, I hope it is legible.
    Since most of us are aware that there is a lot of Ruger haters out on the interwebs, I will take a moment to point out some of the innovations in the design.

    This is not your typical round receiver, all those flat surfaces eliminate any concerns about the rolling in the action bed.

    The 60* front action screw might be a challenge to pillar bed but it does a much better job of clamping on to the stock then your typical 90* screw angle.

    The trust block is integrated in to the receiver at 60* rather then being a separate piece attached to the barrel at 90*.

    Integrated Scope Ring mount is much firmer and stronger then your typical set up.

    This is conjecture on my part but I suspect that this receiver is stiffer then most.

    Blued/Gray stainless is the best of both worlds.

    The trigger was really good right out of the box, no creep, nice and light at about 2.7 lbs.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

  3. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    I ordered the Pillars from Brownells, Midway also sells them and they arrived yesterday. According to the product description these Pillars DO NOT fit the Varmint/Target (VT) Models, I knew that before I ordered them. They cost me $20 delivered so I was willing to roll the dice and gamble on the whether or not I would be able to modify these Pillars to fit the Action/Stock.

    I had a hunch that the rear pillar was the issue. I asked the E-tailers if they knew why this item was incompatible with the VT models and they did not know. But my hunch was that the rear pillar was too tall and to wide. On the other hand I had a hunch that the front pillar was correct and that is the pillar with the notch cut in it and that is the pillar I wanted to avoid making from scratch. It appears my hunch was correct.

    The rear pillar measure around 1.2" tall and it needs to be about 1" tall. The other issue is that it hits that little arm with the spring on it (I think that is part of the sear). So I will need to shorten the pillar and cut out an area on one side to clear the arm, (or cut down the arm)

    Again one of the nice things about this action is the all the flat surface area. One of the complaints about round actions is that it is difficult to get pillars to mate correctly since it is hard to get a perfect match between a convex and and concave shape. With this action you more or less just need the flat surfaces of the Pillars to mate with the flat surfaces of the action.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
  4. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Im watching this with interest.

    Thanks.


    jim
     
  5. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    Good to know Jim,
    I was kind of wondering if there was anyone else who was interested in the project. It wouldn't be worth the time to post and edit photos if no one else was going to get any benefit out of it. I have to think that there is hundreds if not thousands of these rifles out there. I know I bought mine probably 20 years ago and they have been selling them ever since. Anyways I had a hard time believing no one had posted anything on it and that no one else was interested in the upgrade especially since it is inexpensive.

    I am not sure how long the next step will take, I was planing on cutting the Pillar and drilling out the screw holes on a Mill but it may take a while before I will have access to a mill. You never know if I get too impatient I may just cut it by hand.
     
  6. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I have a M77 MKII from 1980 , chambered in 22-250.
    I have often thouhjt about doing this.
    But, te dang thing is a solid tack driver as is.

    Im interested in seeing if you have a improvement.

    Dont get in a hurry, just takeyour time, and do it right.:)


    Jim
     
  7. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    Good Video - Glass Bedding M77 - tightened up his group

    I like this video because the guy took the time to shoot some groups before and after he bedded his rifle.

    He also did a nice simple at home bedding job that paid off.

    http://youtu.be/mZ5i1MJefYk
     
  8. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

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    Hey flipflop,

    Just wondering what kinda accuracy you were getting with the rifle in the first place that make you unsatisfied. Or is it just a project ya want to try to do do to improve the rifle?

    I have had one old M77 in .270 pre-warning since the mid 70s. Accuracy with that gun was at best near once MOA at 100 yds. It was not a tack driver by any means, just a good hunting rifle. Over the years, I tried assorted factory loads and handloads since I got it. Nothing got really better. Always waiting at least 30 minutes between shots in each group to assure a cool bore.

    Had 2 others later another 270 M77 with the warning on the barrel, but otherwise the same and a 30-06. Both used,b utl like new. Accuracy was pretty much the same level. Only the .30-06 would get down to 2/4" with some factory loads. Didn't reload the .30-06 at that time.

    Didn't wamt tp fug with my original gun, so I tinkered with the second .270 I got. Didn'twant to get into the pillar bedding thing or anyting real hard. First I tred to free float it and my groups got worse, like 2" with my best handloads. So I tried a little beddin just infront of the action under the barrel and up near the front of the barrel where the contact point was before. Got better groups again, but just barely down to 1 1/4" at 100 yds. Eventually I traded both of them. Still have my old gun.

    Last one I tried was one of the little .22 Hornets. Think it was a MKII, some kinda anny edition. It was new and the accuracy with factory sutf was not good at 1 3/4" and some fliers going out past 2." I really liked the little gun and wanted to keep it.. I fugged with it off and on for 5 years. Tried the free floating thing, worse accracy. Same kinda bedding as I did befoe ont he .270 and got it down to a consistant 1 1/4." However, I was knda miffed cause I had an H&R single shot at the time that could do just as well with no mods at all. Eventually I sold it. Maybe I was hoping for too much with it. Even tried some guy on the interweb that had similar problems with his. He had some kinda shim that went in the split bolt of the Hornets that he sent me for nothing. Took the slack out of the bolt cause it had locking lugs at the back instead of the front. Tightened the bolt,b ut didn't help any.

    So, I got to the point where I would keep a rifle if it shot 1" or less out of the box and dumped the others. Maybe that is a bad thing, but I swap alot of guns, so I never roun out of things to tinker with Been thinking of a .223 sporter and Isaw one a couple of weeks ago, but it was a Remmy 700 with a poly stock It was new and right at 4 bills out the door. Just really couldn't justify it cuause I am still tinkering with the same gun in a .243 and another wood and blue one I just got in the same cal. Just did a pre-seaason zero check on them last week. Probably do a thread on it here. Still that .223 was nice.
     
  9. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear New Member

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    What I do is cut the pillars to fit exactly to the action BEFORE you glue the pillars into the stock. I just use standard pillar blanks & cut/angle them as needed as I have a whole drawer full of them lol.
     
  10. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    Poncha_Villa,
    I figured I would put the Rifle on paper one last time before I bed it and give my self a goal to beat with the modification, I am doing as much as for trying something new as I am to squeeze that last little bit of improvement out of an already accurate rifle.

    If your not getting good groups with an M77 make sure the front action screw is torqued correctly, the front screw is on most of them is suppose to be at 90 inch pounds. Not surprisingly most people don't seem to know that and consequently the front screw is too loose and accuracy suffers. I always thought it was kind of ironic that someone will try 14 different loads, sell the rifle and get another before they read the manual or call Ruger and ask them what might be wrong, but I have seen it many times and that applies to a lot of guns not just Rugers. Of course now a days we have the interwebs and everyone is an e-gun smith, e-mechanic, well and e-expert on everything right?

    You cannot count on a stock being made out of perfectly stable material, none of them are. The tension on the screws may not have been correct when you got the rifle and it may not stay consistent over time. If the Stock is pressing on the action unevenly then just a a few 10s of inch pounds and affect your accuracy. If the Action is not secured properly then there is likely to be little consistency.

    StalkingBear,
    Thank you, yes I was planning on trimming the pillars before I glued them in. The front Pillar so far seems to be the correct length and cut to fit the thrust block, but the bottom of it will not be exposed through the stock because there is pocket for the magazine hinge below it. So it will trick to secure against the bottom of the action while gluing short of just using all the Original Equipment. I may just have to rig up a special screw for gluing in the pillar so I can get some pressure on the front pillar. Like I said, the mating surface on the top of the pillars is easy to fit because the bottom of the action is all flat surfaces.
     
  11. Flipflop

    Flipflop New Member

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    I am going to document the project on a new website I started if anyone wants to see how it goes. It will probably be a while before it gets done. I am going to put the rifle on paper one more time before I pillar bedded it, then I will wait till I can borrow some time on a mill to trim the rear pillar and bore out the screw holes. But I will be checking back if anyone has any input.

    http://www.granddeparture.com/fire-arms/ruger-m77-mkii-vt-pillar-bedding-project/