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Correcting a Deplorable Ruger 77/22 Trigger

Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 330 ✭✭
edited May 2017 in Ask the Experts
I purchased a new Ruger 77/22 in 22 WMR with a walnut stock, mat stainless finish, and a heavy barrel, with the intent of making it my short range prairie dog rifle. After all, my Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint in 220 Swift is overkill and loud for shots under 100 yards. So, I mounted a reputable 6X24 scope with fine crosshairs and took the 77/22 to the range over the weekend. I fired 100 rounds of premium Winchester 30-Gr WMR varmint ammo off a heavy bench with solid fore and aft rests, but results were deplorable!!! I allowed ample time between shots, never let the barrel overheat, and swabbed the bore with a BoreSnake every 5 rounds. Five-shot groups at 100 yards averaged around 5"-6" and rounds generally walked back and forth between the 9 and 2 O'clock positions, although I had one 1.5" 5-shot group at the 9 O'clock position. Colorado winds were fairly light and a little variable (predominantly blowing from my 5 O'Clock), but the biggest problem I had was trigger pull. I know, I know, pretty standard for an out-of-the box Ruger, but I'm guessing it was about 7-8#, with quite a bit of creep. That kind of trigger is just not conducive to good groups and/or ethical shots on small game. So, I'm looking for a fix. I've done quite a bit of Internet research and the opinions/recommendations are plentiful and varied. Recommendations range from manipulating the existing trigger to replacing the whole thing with an after-market piece....and the conflicting info is rampant. One could spend days sorting through the data, so having gotten good info from this group before, I decided to pose the question to you all. How would you remedy a horrendous Ruger 77/22 trigger?

Comments

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd be loading cast bullets in that fine Swift and using them for short range work on varmints.

    Try other ammo, a box of everything you can find. Whatever works the best buy all you can from that lot. A good solvent like Shooter's Choice for cleaning both copper and lead. Do a JB Bore paste lapping.

    How is the bedding?

    Trigger work is tricky. Parts are at least surface hardened so they can be tough to drill, don't respond well to red heat. Removing creep is usually harder to do than lighting the pull. Good chance if something goes wrong there will be no parts available so you end up buying the replacement unit anyway. Ask your gunsmith if they will/can work it over, assuming it's out of your skill/tool set.

    Lot easier to swap out the whole unit with a name brand assembly that gets good reviews.
  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Timney makes a sear/spring kit that you can get at around $50.00

    Trying multiple brands and types of ammo in the meantime will more then likely find your rifle a more accurate round.

    You might also check out the crowning of the muzzle, a small imperfection could also be contributing to your fairly large and seemingly inconsistant groups.

    These triggers can really be helped with the Timney kit.
  • brier-49brier-49 Member Posts: 6,732 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Give Ruger a call & ask about a better trigger set up. They do have better triggers.
  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 19,954 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Off hand or off a bench or on your belly?

    I doubt trigger pull would throw the aim off that much if you were benched or on your belly.

    Cheap way is to find the ammo it likes and shoot it off a solid base.

    Did you break in the barrel? Or looked at the crown? I would've ran a brass jag with a small dab of bore paste.
  • spiritsspirits Member Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Do the following:

    1. search internet for Ruger 77/22 and see what people have done to improve the trigger - usually involves taking trigger completely apart and very careful horning/beveling the shears - fine stone or blocked 400/600 carbide sandpaper - definitely no filing
    2. if horning/beveling helps - good - if no noticeable improvement - replace the shear spring

    Hope this helps
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    They make aftermarket triggers for that beast, get one. Personally I stone my own sear match up, and change the spring, and come off with a glass rod crisp 3 pound pull, or less if I want to go with a lighter spring.

    As for the rifle itself, it can benefit from being pillar bedded, and free floating the barrel, in which it is not, right now. Putting a shim between the bolt halves to tighten up the lock up also helps. Just have to know what to do.
  • pip5255pip5255 Member Posts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    https://www.gunsprings.com/RUGER/RUGER 77-22/cID2/mID52/dID227

    low cost place to start, then free float barrel and find the best ammo.
    just because you could doesn't mean you should
  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Fairlane66
    I purchased a new Ruger 77/22 in 22 WMR with a walnut stock, mat stainless finish, and a heavy barrel, with the intent of making it my short range prairie dog rifle. After all, my Winchester Model 70 Heavy Varmint in 220 Swift is overkill and loud for shots under 100 yards. So, I mounted a reputable 6X24 scope with fine crosshairs and took the 77/22 to the range over the weekend. I fired 100 rounds of premium Winchester 30-Gr WMR varmint ammo off a heavy bench with solid fore and aft rests, but results were deplorable!!! I allowed ample time between shots, never let the barrel overheat, and swabbed the bore with a BoreSnake every 5 rounds. Five-shot groups at 100 yards averaged around 5"-6" and rounds generally walked back and forth between the 9 and 2 O'clock positions, although I had one 1.5" 5-shot group at the 9 O'clock position. Colorado winds were fairly light and a little variable (predominantly blowing from my 5 O'Clock), but the biggest problem I had was trigger pull. I know, I know, pretty standard for an out-of-the box Ruger, but I'm guessing it was about 7-8#, with quite a bit of creep. That kind of trigger is just not conducive to good groups and/or ethical shots on small game. So, I'm looking for a fix. I've done quite a bit of Internet research and the opinions/recommendations are plentiful and varied. Recommendations range from manipulating the existing trigger to replacing the whole thing with an after-market piece....and the conflicting info is rampant. One could spend days sorting through the data, so having gotten good info from this group before, I decided to pose the question to you all. How would you remedy a horrendous Ruger 77/22 trigger?


    Lightening the trigger springs and polishing the surfaces worked very well for me when I had a 77/22. I also reduced the sear engagement, which you may not feel comfortable doing. Wet 'n Dry paper works great for smoothing but not taking off metal. Still, you have to be careful to not round the engagement surfaces even a bit. You'll probably not end up with an unsafe pull but rather a less crisp, spongy release.

    As much as I like my Rugers and have my fair share of the accuracy foibles of some of their models is irritating. The 77/22 line hasn't worked well for me and that includes the Hornet and 77/44 set up. Perhaps it's the two piece bolt, the "hooked in" trigger guard or something else. I never have these issues with CZ rifles.
  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 11,795 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Do the holes look good on the target, are the bullets hitting square? I'm thinking a burr on the crown. As mentioned before, I'd find it hard to just be the trigger for a group that size off of a bench, and that ammo shouldn't shoot that bad.
  • 5mmgunguy5mmgunguy Member Posts: 3,853
    edited November -1
    Check the actions screws and scope screws. Are they tight? I had a similar problem. My friend had played a prank on me and loosed the action screws. Ha. Ha. He thought it was funny as I shot 5 to 6 inch groups at 100 yards.

    I have a Ruger 77/17 WSM. It took work to get it to shoot. Volquartsen trigger. Rebedded the action. Free floated the barrel. Recut the crown on the barrel. 5 shots at 100 yards off the bench will 7/8 inch.
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