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Question on improving my factory rifle

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Question on improving my factory rifle

Old 04-23-2008, 12:17 PM
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Default Question on improving my factory rifle


Looks like there a wealth of information in this group. This is my first post and I'm really looking forward to your input.

I have been a bowhunter most of my life and so I have one and only one rifle. It is a Ruger M77 in 30.06. I bought it new probably about 10 years ago. I have put a hundred rounds through it and it seems to be a pretty decent shooter.

I am interested in spending more time hunting with the rifle in the coming years and so I want to look at optimizing this setup. It is a factory rifle with no enhancements whatsoever. I have a 3-9 Burris signature scope on it.I am not the best shooter in the world buti seem to be able to get1.5 - 2.5" groups off a bench at 100 yds with factory ammo (Federal Prem. 165 BTSP) pretty consistently.

What things would you recommend that I do to improve the downrange accuracy and in what order would you prioritize them? Trigger? Bed? etc.?

I think as a shooter I would be capable of 200 - 250 yd shots on game. Is there any point in spending the $$ with a gunsmith given the current performance of the gun?

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Old 04-23-2008, 12:32 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

You do not have a bad set up but I would not be happy with 1.5 - 2.5" groups. I would start by trying different ammo to see if you can get better and more consistent groups.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

Sell the Ruger/Burris combo and source a Remmy/Leupold set up...

That'd be my first improvement to make, what can come from that is icing on the cake..........
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

Just for the sake of discussion, I am going to keep the Ruger. I like the looks and the feel and it's probably a better shooter than me.

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Old 04-23-2008, 01:35 PM
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

Does it have a tang safety or the 3-position safety???

The trigger on the tang safety can be safely adjusted down to 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, with no creep or over travel by a good gunsmith...Doing so will help with your groups as a heavy trigger that creeps before it fires hurts your grouping...

If it has the 3-position safety it is easier to remove and replace with an aftermarket safety, like a Timney...

New, these rifles are not free floated, I would leave it that way until you have tried at least 4 different factory loadings and see if there is one it likes (groups) best...

What stock does it have??? Wood or Synthetic???

Ruger produced some synthetic stocks with a narrow butt area and hollowed out butt stock...Those rascels kicked like a mule, not good for the shooter and you can develop a nice case of flinching....I had a buddy that had one in .270 and he finally got rid of it...If it does have this stock, I'd put an after market stock on it...

After shooting and finding out the potential of the gun, you might want to consider free floating the barrel, but I would wait until you have more time behind the gun before I did this...

It should group 3 shots into a inch and a half group at 100 yards, measuring the holes center to center...

I would also check the screws that hold the barrel and action to the stock, the front screw should be very tight, the rear two screws, snug...Tighten the front screw first...If you remove the barrel and action, this can affect groups and your sight in on the gun...
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:43 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: S.W. Pa.-- Heart in North Central Pa. mountains-
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

There is nothing wrong with that rifle. Rugers are fine guns. It should be capable of a little better groups than that, however. The first thing I would recommend is getting the trigger worked over. A pull in the neighborhood of 3 lbs. will help considerably. You may want to have the bedding checked by a good 'smith. Rugers are a little different with the recoil lug. I solid bed the actions on the Rugers and about 2' of the barrel. The rest of the barrel is free-floated. I'm sure others have done different things with them, but that's what has worked for me.
I don't know if you would be up for trying handloading, but that is probably the number one thing that will improve your gun, providing the bedding is satisfactory. A lot of off-the-shelf guns have benefitted greatly from the right combination handloads.
I'm pretty much a hard-core Leupold guy, but your Burris sounds like it's doing OK if the groups you are shooting aren't wild and all over the place.
Just a few things to think about.....Oh...And by the way.....Welcome to the forums!!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:49 PM
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

As a Bow Hunter you know how important practice is. I would only do two things to start with. I would definitely have the trigger adjusted. I would buy lots of inexpensive ammo and practice. IF you have only shot 100 rounds in ten years-then IMO you need to practice with this rifle. Yourcartridge choice is great because you should be able to find some inexpensive import ammo for practice.

IMO your groups may be a bit large, but still more than acceptable for deer hunting out to 250 yards. It is not going to do you any good to spend a lot of money trying different ammo, until you feel more comfortable with the rifle. Get out and shoot it, just like your bow. Tom.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:50 PM
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

I also wouldn't like 1.5-2.5" groups, though how you personally shoot can determine much of your groups.

I'd try 150gr, or 165, in a number of different factory loads....

IMO the '06 uses 150 or 180's, less it just happens to love 165grs

My .270 shots sub-moa at 100yds bench, Browning BAR. 130gr, not bad for factory ammo. It loves the 130grs, so that's what I give it.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle

Your bedding may or may not need work. First thing I would do is get a trigger job. If your M77 is anything like mine was it is horrible. And forget that earlier post. Mine was a 3 position safety and my gunsmith did an excellent job on my trigger. That alone improved accuracy. And while it is at the shop, ask him to check the bedding. He may be able to do it all in one visit if a bedding job is needed.
I had both done to my M77 and group size was cut in half.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:52 PM
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Default RE: Question on improving my factory rifle


It's got the 3 position safety anda walnut stock. It kicks but I don't find it uncomfortable. I will check those screws. And I seem to recall that when I first go t the gun I tried Remington ammo and Federal premium, and the feds shot better. I will get my hands on a few more loads and see what shoots best.

Thanks for the info. That's exactly what I was looking for.

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