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#6309038 - 05/23/16 09:24 PM Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77
GPS Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 936
Loc: Flower Mound
Ok, I need a summer project and I want to make a long range rifle. Last year I picked up a Ruger M77 in 7MM mag. Iím not looking to make this a super expensive, high end rifle. I would like to explore different options that would take this rifle from a deer rifle and convert it into something a little more, something that can really reach out to 800 plus yards. I would really like to keep the original stock on the gun. What can I say, I like the traditional wooden stocks.

I have never done anything like this. I just buy a rifle and put a quality scope on it and sight it in. What advise can everyone offer. Where do I start? What are the 3-4 must haves or must do to this rifle to make it an effective long range rifle. I would like to be able to test it at 1000 yards at the end of the summer.
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#6309071 - 05/23/16 09:59 PM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9397
Loc: Lewisville, TX
You will need a barrel that will fit your existing stock channel (i.e., no bull barrels will fit in the stock barrel channel)

What is the action threading on a Ruger M77? If it's metric, you will need to find a gunsmith that will work on a metric threaded action. If it's American Standard threading, then almost any gunsmith can do it. You will want to explore, or speak with, a gunsmith that has worked on M77 rifles.

Pick the bullet you want to shoot first, then select the barrel twist. Research the proper twist before you purchase the barrel. Work this backwards.
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#6309096 - 05/23/16 10:33 PM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
Korean Redneck Offline


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2274
Loc: Houston
Speaking from as a fellow beginner's perspective, I'd second chad's statement. Get a new barrel and find a good person to install it and then spend moneys for reloading stuff.

The only thing I would add is I think it's worth getting your wooden stock pillar bedded as well. That will maximize the barrel upgrade.

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#6309143 - 05/24/16 05:22 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
P_102 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 514
Loc: Grapevine
How does it shoot now and what glass is on it? It may be capable of distance as it is. You may only need a 20 MOA rail so you can dial that far.

P_102
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#6309166 - 05/24/16 06:20 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
These guys have you on the right track. And u agree with everything stated.

Often times the difference between can hit at long range, and can't is the scope. Be prepared to have a decent budget for base, rings, and scope. The scope is so important, and they cost so much that I use three scopes on six rifles.

Mil/ Mil, first focal plane, all the way.
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#6309244 - 05/24/16 07:43 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
GPS Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 936
Loc: Flower Mound
Thanks, I have some follow ups:

Chad - The rifle is stock from Ruger, I haven't changed a thing and was wondering if I could make this a 1000 yard rifle with the originals barrel. Can I?

Also, I am not sure the threading. How do I find this out?

Bullets: I need to look more at these. I purchased a box of Hornady ammo just to test fire the rifle. At 100 yards it was dead on. I stacked 3 shots that could be covered with a dime.

Korean Redneck: Can you clarify Pillar Bedded?

P_102: It has a Leupold 3x9 on it now. I plan on adding a different scope. Last season I put a Vortex on my 270 and I really like the scope. Any thoughts on a scope?

FiremanJG: Of all the areas I was planning on spending or in this case over spend is with the scope and all the part that go with it. Any suggestions on bases, rings and a scope?

Thanks for the help. My goal is to keep the rifle as close to factor look as I can and have a rifle that can consistently hit targets at long range.
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#6309294 - 05/24/16 08:18 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I need to know budget to recommend a scope to get it done. You do get what you pay for with rifle scopes. At least the ones I'd point you toward.
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#6309297 - 05/24/16 08:22 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20284
Loc: Texas
If you can constantly cover 3 shot groups with a dime @ 100 yards with factory ammo there is not much to do with the rifle to shoot a long ways other than a good scope designed for the task.
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#6309332 - 05/24/16 08:43 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
P_102 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 514
Loc: Grapevine
GPS, I use Vortex also (6x24 PST) but I'll leave the question to Chad and JG, they have much more knowledge...P_102
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#6309370 - 05/24/16 09:12 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
dogdown23 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 865
Loc: TX
If you're on a limited budget the PST is the best scope under 1k. You can find good used ones between 650-750 in the classifieds. I have a couple PST but bought a Schmidt Bender PMII 4x16FFP a couple weeks ago and it blows the PST out of the water. You get what you pay for, if you want to shoot long range just go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a good quality scope. If you can't see what you're shooting at, your probably not gonna hit it.
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#6309397 - 05/24/16 09:23 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
SingleShot85 Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 1749
Loc: S.A. and Kinney Co.
I'll say what know one has.... scrap the build on a Ruger M77 I'm not saying its a bad gun, just a bad gun to build on........ buy the time you do all the thing suggested you WILL have an expensive rifle project. you'd be better off trading or selling the Ruger and getting a Remy sendero 7mag or 300wm and be done
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#6309493 - 05/24/16 10:33 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: dogdown23]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: dogdown23
If you're on a limited budget the PST is the best scope under 1k. You can find good used ones between 650-750 in the classifieds. I have a couple PST but bought a Schmidt Bender PMII 4x16FFP a couple weeks ago and it blows the PST out of the water. You get what you pay for, if you want to shoot long range just go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a good quality scope. If you can't see what you're shooting at, your probably not gonna hit it.


Having had a PST, and now a Burris XTR II (which was intended to compete with PST in price) I give the 100% nod to the Burris. Glass is slightly better, features are significantly better.

Bushnell Elite is a good option.

SS 5-20 HD is a good option

The more affordable Night Force SHV seems to be doing a pretty good job, as well.
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#6309538 - 05/24/16 11:02 AM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
MDMORROW Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 2531
Loc: McKinney & Pottsboro, TX
Like others have said your desire to keep your factory stock will limit what you can get out of it barrel wise. A heavier barrel contour won't work with a factory stock in most cases. Also, most long range rigs use aluminum bedded synthetic stocks because they don't expand and contract with moisture like a wood one will. That equals out to less consistent support of the action. I second it to ditch the M77 and get a remington action to build on. Lots more parts availability. Good glass makes all the difference in the world too.
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#6309649 - 05/24/16 12:24 PM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: GPS]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Just to be clear.

You don't "have" to have a heavy barrel and synthetic stock to shoot distance. Gunny Hathcock didn't in 1967. You do want the action tightly married to the stock, bedding and pillars fix that. You do want the barrel free floated, Emory cloth and a bipod will fix that. And with wood, I would give extra clearance between barrel and stock for temp and humidity swings causing the wood to move.

The purpose of the heavy barrel is so that you can shoot more rounds before the barrel heats up and starts shanking shots. So if you're happy with be able to shoot 3-5 rounds and then waiting to cool, rock what you have. I've taught many shooters that had that scenario and we did just that, let the barrel cool.

You sure could learn how to do it with the rifle you have, then build another one after you get more experience, and figure out what you want. The 7 Rem Mag could be a slightly modified great hunting rifle, capable of serious distance. Then you could build a ground up rifle in a short action you would enjoy shooting for more rounds in a session. Longer barrel life, and less money to feed.
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#6309651 - 05/24/16 12:28 PM Re: Want to build a long range rifle from a Ruger M77 [Re: kmon1]
Tactical Cowboy Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2844
Loc: Abilene
Originally Posted By: kmon1
If you can constantly cover 3 shot groups with a dime @ 100 yards with factory ammo there is not much to do with the rifle to shoot a long ways other than a good scope designed for the task.



This. I'd make sure the stock is free floated and bed the action. Then buy whatever scope these guys recommend.
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