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Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) #16388303 08/29/21
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VarmintGuy Offline OP
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Lucky day here in the high valleys of SW Montana! It kind of began Friday afternoon when my travel partners and I headed out for a gunshow and to do a gunshop or two.
The show opened at 1:00 PM and at about 1:30 PM I spotted a nifty super clean Ruger 77/22 Magnum heavy barrel model (stainless all weather I guess they are called - I call them Varmint/Targets).
The asking price seemed "fair'ish" for so far out in the country ($800.00) but I wasn't to anxious to deal on it as I so much more prefer the 17 HMR rimfire round.
The owner/table holder invited me to make an offer but I wasn't to motivated.
Off we went to a couple of gunshops (one was closed for some unknown reason?)
I returned to the gunshow Saturday morning and the 77/22 Magnum was still there and again I failed to find a flaw anywhere on the Rifle.
I had brought my snap-caps with me that day and the trigger was crisp but quite heavy!
Off I go to view an estate collection and ended up buying the most beautiful Smith & Wesson Model 17-2 I have ever seen. It is the 6" model and like so many guns from this collection appears unfired!
The grips on the Model 17 are THE most beautiful "Diamond" grips (target style) I have ever seen - they are dark like English Walnut - and the 60 year old checkering (manufactured 1961) is as sharp as the day they were made!
So my interest in the 77/22 Magnum waned a bit.
I did stop at the gunshow on my way home and looked it over again (one magazine with it and the factory rings were very nice).
I get home and against my better judgement I went onto the computer and checked a few "gunbreaker" type websites looking into Ruger 77/22 Magnums.
My searches gave me pause to reconsider the nifty liitle Rifle.
I have its twin which I bought way back when and its in 17 HMR - so why would I need another somewhat pricey rimfire?
I can rationalize about anything when it comes to "gun chasin"!
Bright and early today I load up and head for the gunshow to see if the Magnum is still there (on Saturday afternoon the owner had intimated he would take $700.00 cash for the gun!).
I am now thinking if I buy the Rifle and it does not shoot well I'll just re-sell it and maybe make a fifty or a hundred dollar bill on it?
The owner was also selling a fair amount of ammunitions from his table so I took some of my "on hand, long time, but now desirable ammo" with me for trading stock.
Soon I had the 77/22 Magnum in hand and on my way home with it - and only out of pocket about $575.00 (I paid $400.00 cash and the cost of the ammo I had stored at home - $175.00 worth or so!)
I felt good/lucky.
Now to see if it shoots.
I am home by noon today and quickly re-aligned the Ruger integral rings and lapped them. I chose a Leupold 6.5x20 Target scope with E.F.R. feature, bore sighted it -  and by 3:00 I was at my friends private range with 7 different brands/styles of 22 Magnum ammunition to test.
The first ammo I tested for accuracy (after getting onto the paper) was the Hornady 30 grain V-Max stuff.
First group (5 shots at 50 yards) turned out to be .540" and I was somewhat pleased with this.
It was 83 degrees today with much mirage (we've had rain lately and the ground/air was moist) and I dealt with it as best I could.
I thought heck I'll try this ammo at 100 yards before things get hotter/worse.
The mirage at 100 yards was way worse than at 50 and I even got out my battery operated electric fan and set it up to try and blow away any "heat" coming from the barrel - that didn't help.
I dialed out all the parallax I could there at 100 yards and even that was frustrating to deal with.
Anyway I started plugging away in the difficult conditions (no wind, just mirage) and the next group at 100 yards turned out WAY better than I thought it could - it measured .950" for 5 shots.
I was elated and all thoughts of selling that Rifle came to a halt right then.
I decided "good enough for me - especially for today"!
The drive home had me planning the "replacement" of that heavy but crisp trigger.
I have done a couple JARD replacement triggers on two other Ruger 77 rimfires (both in 17 HMR) and they turned out wonderfully for their owners.
Anyway just had to share what I consider a "lucky day" with you all (lucky to get a bargain and lucky to get a shooter).
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy
P.S.: The Leupold 6.5x20 E.F.R. "Target" model scope performed perfectly adjustment wise by the way.

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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16388787 08/30/21
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Congrats on the purchase.

I've always loved the look of those rifles and have had one in every caliber except for 17 Mach 2.

They've all went down the road as none of them shot as well as I'd hoped and the much cheaper CZ's replaced them.

My only 77/17 now is an 18" 17WSM All Weather, which shoots quite well.

It sounds like you've got a keeper!

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: Rolltide] #16389811 08/30/21
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Rolltide: I bought a Ruger 77/17 HMR heavy barrel when they first came out nearly 20 years ago.
I put a Leupold 6x18 scope on it and promptly shot the best group (5 shots) at 100 yards I had ever shot with a rimfire - it measured .502"!
I acknowledge that accuracy is NOT guaranteed with the Ruger 77 rimfires but for me it has been better that I expected.
Yes I am an admirer of the accuracy of the CZ rimfires and have been for a long time just could NEVER get used to the bassackwards safety on them.
In my high volume long duration days of shooting Varmints with rimfires I just could not take the chance on one - for safety's sake.
Shot dozens of CZ's owned by my Hunting friends and again virtually all of them were very accurate - but in the back of my mind I could not come to comfort with the safeties.
Finally a year or so ago I bought a couple of give-away priced heavy barrel CZ 455's in 17 HMR and only used them when Hunting by myself.
Great triggers and they shoot great.
Next I bought a 22 Magnum CZ 457 heavy barrel with the now corrected "PROPER" American style safety - that shoots quite well indeed - and again I won't need to replace it's trigger!
I have two friends with the heavy barrel Ruger 77/17 WSM's and they rave about the accuracy in them - I have seen them shoot and Ground Squirrels do NOT stand up well against them!
Did you put a custom barrel on that Ruger 77/17 WSM or just shorten the factory barrel?
Killed my first flying Varmint with the new Ruger 77/22 Magnum this morning - the black and white nest robbing bastard landed on the VarmintWifes flower box and began decapitating her yellow pom-poms - he exploded like a mo'fo in a cloud of feathers.
I have been looking at these 22 Magnum 30 grain V-Max bullets and I kind of chuckle at them - the short stubby 22 caliber projectile looks almost like a "round-ball".
They shoot good though - I imagine they don't fly flat, to far, though?
I should look that up somewhere.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16391166 08/30/21
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My 77/17 WSM was the later manufactured model, which came from the factory with an 18" barrel.

It's a handy little sucker and shoots way better than I thought it would. At the time I got it, the first scope I came to on the shelf was a little 3-15 Nikon. I had no intention of leaving it on there and may still swap it out at some point, but I don't have many 1" scopes anymore...and had no 30mm Ruger rings laying around.

That little combo has been a neat pair and I can't say I've missed anything due to the rifle or the scope...

I'm not sure how things will look once I run out of the lot of ammo that I have...but the current lot is money!

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16393040 08/31/21
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How much velocity do you lose with the 18" in the wsm, mine is a 24" and have been thinking of having it taken down to 20". It might improve accuracy also as it's not doing the best with 20gr or 25gr.

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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: Rolltide] #16393649 08/31/21
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Rolltide: Thanks for getting back to me - and good for you on that handy Rifle.
We Hunt mostly Ground Squirrels, Skunks, Badgers and a few flying Varmints out here and the 17 WSM sure does well on these - what and whereabouts do you Hunt with your 17 WSM?
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: DANNYL] #16394453 08/31/21
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Originally Posted by DANNYL
How much velocity do you lose with the 18" in the wsm, mine is a 24" and have been thinking of having it taken down to 20". It might improve accuracy also as it's not doing the best with 20gr or 25gr.


I've never put the Magneto on it, but I need to do that.

I'll bring it along the next time I head out and see how it performs...and then I'll post back here.

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16394461 08/31/21
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Originally Posted by VarmintGuy
Rolltide: Thanks for getting back to me - and good for you on that handy Rifle.
We Hunt mostly Ground Squirrels, Skunks, Badgers and a few flying Varmints out here and the 17 WSM sure does well on these - what and whereabouts do you Hunt with your 17 WSM?
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy


I've used mine on everything from coyotes and groundhogs to a gobbler or two...

I've got some friends who have been going out west to shoot prairie dogs and I may tag along some time with them. I figure the Ruger can tag along on that trip and maybe hold it's own...

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16394875 09/01/21
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I have that exact rifle - and I've tried the four different types of ammo I have on hand... Two didn't shoot well. One of the remaining two was OK but the last one had those rounds at .75" at 100 yards.. It's amazing how the .22 magnum ammo in rifles can be SO different in results - and I've noted it in the other .22 magnums also..

Glad you found that rifle and got a very (IMHO) reasonable deal on it.. Kudos VG... smile


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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: Redneck] #16395169 09/01/21
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Redneck: If you don't mind my asking which ammo shot so wonderfully well for you and your 22 Magnum?
And how is the trigger on your Rifle (factory or adjusted etc)?
I had on hand to test 6 other brands/styles of 22 Magnum ammo but didn't get to them.
I did so want to test the Norma 22 Magnum ammo I have that I found last year that shot so well in a Browning heavy barrel T-Bolt 22 Magnum I bought - but since buying that ammo last year I have NOT seen a single box on a shelf to buy since then.
So sadly this ammo shortage is still causing difficulties/concerns for me.
I, for one, wish the folks at Ruger would not have discontinued the Ruger 77 rimfires in most calibers - they have done great duty for me for a long time now.
Like others have mentioned the CZ's are doing a great job but I try to "buy American" when I can and its feasible/effective.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16397886 09/02/21
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I hear you on the ammo shortage.. I wish I could try a couple other varieties but alas, none are available around here.. I've worked on the trigger on this rifle to give a decent, 2.5# break.. Helps groups a lot.. laugh

Of those I have, the Winchester HV Varmint 30g did the best in this rifle.. I'd love to try the Norma stuff.. Might have to get some online and see how they perform.

Last edited by Redneck; 09/02/21.

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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: Redneck] #16418745 09/09/21
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Redneck: Good luck on that Norma stuff - I have just a bit left or I would send you some- and I can't find any more of it.
Have been travelling a ton all month long and have found little in the way of rimfire I need.
No 17 HMR Hornady ammo - like I need.
No Federal bulk 22 LR hollow-points anywhere like my partner and I could use.
But a LOT of pistol ammunition was seen on shelves.
I did find 2 boxes (100 rounds) of the Hornady 30 grain V-Max 22 Magnum ammo recently that my new 22 Magnum Rifle likes - and I bought them both.
I think that Norma 22 Magnum ammo would be worth the effort to try and find as my heavy barrel Browning T-Bolt Rifle loves it.
Good luck.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16533122 10/16/21
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My 77/22 magnum has done well with the 40gr Wincester JHP stuff. A few weeks ago, with fading light, I shot about a .8 inch 5 shot 106 yard group with CCI Maxi Mag +V. https://www.cci-ammunition.com/rimfire/cci/maxi-mag_-v/6-59.html I haven't been able to get back out to see if this may have been a fluke. When some becomes available, it'd be worth a try.

Our local Academy had some (large quantity) 22 magnum last time I strolled through. Can't remember what it was. CCI 30 gr polymer is sticking in my mind.

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: PaulBarnard] #16534487 10/16/21
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PaulBarnard: Thank you VERY much on the recommendation on the 30 grain CCI hollow-points.
I have not tried them as yet.
I was off on a gun-buying and Deer/Elk scouting trip all day today and the only 22 Magnum ammo I came across was two boxes of older Remington 40 grain jacketed hollow-point ammo at $16.00 per box (no sales tax in Montana).
I bought it and it is obviously and older style box - the shop it was in had taken in a huge gun collection and ammo stash from an estate.
I might use it for trading stock or for future use?
That is great shooting from a rimfire at that distance good for you - and the Ruger folks.
Thanks again - I am doing a gunshow off in another direction tomorrow and will check the shops in that area.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16534550 10/16/21
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My Ruger77 boat paddle in 22 Mag will never be sold, jeez at the stuff I have killed with it! Winchester 40g HP rules the day, killed a lot of coyotes, ground squirrels, jack rabbits, and p.dogs with this round, and on a calm day with my old Leupold vari X II, I print a tad less than 1" at 100 yards.

Last edited by keith; 10/16/21.
Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16538917 10/18/21
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Dang you guys... Now I gotta try a few more options... laugh


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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16539007 10/18/21
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Congrats, my buddy just stole one of that laminate varmits in 22 hornet for 550.

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: VarmintGuy] #16541583 10/18/21
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I've got a 90's vintage 22 Magnum, Model 77/22, sporter barrel...

That things seems to love the CCI 40 gr FMJ and HP....got a bunch of that ammo still... as I don't just go out and waste it.

On a prairie dog silhouette target, taking up a full 8 1/2 x 10 sheet of paper, I zero the rifle at 100 yds, and with a 6 powder Leupold with a Dot Reticle,

one thing I like about this rifle and this ammo... zeroed at 100 yds, you raise it 2 inches for every 25 yards further out ( 125, 150, 175, 200), It will connect with that
prairie dog target, almost every time.

When ammo was only $7 a box, I'd usually take 2 to 4 boxes out in the field shooting sage rats, to shoot while the 223s were cooling their barrels.

Ranged off every 25 yds past 100, most rounds would kill one right out to 200 yds.. handy and consistent.


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Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: Seafire] #16542362 10/19/21
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Seafire: One of my main Hunting partners bought a new Ruger 77/22 Magnum way back then (1990) and gave it to his father - it was the walnut stock and blued sporter barrel model as well.
Anyway the father never used it much at all and then became ill/elderly and the Rifle got back to my friend a couple years ago.
He brought it along Ground Squirrel Hunting last year and it shot extremely well and was great fun to use.
I forget which ammo he used but it worked wonderfully well.
Maybe "I" am missing the boat gravitating almost completely to heavy barrel rimfires for my small game and Varminting - but I do think the mass of the heavy barrel models gives an "aiming" (steady?) edge afield.
Oh to have the price of 22 Magnum ammo back in the $7.00 range.
I remember when 22 Magnum ammo crossed the $2.00 a box of fifty mark and my sadness at that.
Have a good season.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Lucky Day! (Ruger 77/22 Magnum) [Re: killerv] #16542374 10/19/21
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Killerv: That indeed was/is a steal in todays market.
Good for him.
Many years ago when they were first offered I bought a new heavy barrel Ruger 77/22 Hornet and tried to get it to shoot "well" for me.
It never did and after 2 years I sold it.
I wish I had it back as the technology for getting those 77/22 Hornets to shoot has many folks happy, nowadays, with them.
Best of luck to your friend with his Hornet.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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