Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

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Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 12:59 pm

There are many people who are loyal to certain rifles, brand loyalty is fine. I have had no experience with Ruger up until now and am dumbfounded as to how a company with such poor QQ has managed to stay in business. Further I found no complains about any of these issues online. This led me to believe either there is a strong brand-loyal crowd overlooking these issues, or, I have a lemon (evidence points towards the former). If anyone is from the Ruger fanclub, I do not aim to offend anyone, I am just going to point out the objective issues I have faced with the M77 Hawkeye. Lets get to it:

Background, I recently learned (after my purchase) that Ruger uses investment cast process to cast. Yes it is different from conventional cast. However, that difference is simply the process allows for a greater range of steels to be used (stainless, titanium etc), with greater detail (small parts with greater accuracy - better finish), not in strength. Cast steel, regardless of the process, is never as strong as forged. Argument I read is if its 'good enough for planes' - but it isnt, planes use forged for all areas requiring strength, and just like cars, not all planes are built equal. I have found some forum threads on other forums that mention the Ruger No1 proven to withstand 200PSI, yet, there is NO documented evidence. And even if this were the case, that does not prove the (cast v forged) argument. There is no argument, its simple fact, forged is far stronger than cast as the forging process strengthens steel.

For those that dont know, Ruger uses cast for EVERYTHING except the barrel (because cast could never provide the tensile strength required) I cant stress this enough. A cast trigger guard etc I can live with. But, every little piece of steel Ruger uses is CAST. Bolt, Receiver, extractor claw (really Ruger?) down to the detailed of the safety switch. Unimpressed? The cost savings from cast isnt enough for greedy Ruger to bother applying a small amount of machining to remove cast marks. The Ruger Hawkeye range comes in at about $1800 for their cheapest variant. Pick one up, look at it properly, cast marks on bolt handle etc. The inside of receiver has a very raw finish, its like sliding a bolt on 80 grit sand paper. A very cheaply manufactured rifle with a premium price. I do not know of a rifle brand that is finished in such poor craftsmanship and quality.

If the cast marks on every part of the rifle other than the barrel were not bad enough, the stock was not machined in properly to leave a large gap around the receiver. wood stain (yes it is stained) was on the Ruger badge on the bottom of the grip and grain was still porous. Yes the bolt handle has the flakey casting marks on it as does the whole bolt. It is not a effect in the image.

In summary issue with the Ruger hawkeye M77 range:
1. pitting marks from cast found on pretty much everything except barrel.
2. inside of receiver as rough as grinding gravel
3. cast mold marks on everything except barrel
4. poor stock fitting
5. stock stained with Zero QQ (NOT OILED FINISH).

For an almost $2000 rifle, if your happy with the above, go ahead, otherwise look elsewhere.... And literally anywhere else. Compared to a $600 Howa, the Howa looks like a level up in craftsmanship...

This will be the first and last Ruger I will ever purchase. If you look at Ruger Hawkeye M77 images from the internet (even Ruger website) and look at the bolt handle ring where it meets up with the Bolt, be prepared to have that finish across everything that isnt machined (pretty much only the outside surface of the receiver - pitting from cast marks.

See images below. Compare this to any of the rifles you have at home not made by Ruger and tell me if you would pay $2k for this level of QC.

Rifle has been sent to NIOA under warranty, I would not accept a $2k rifle in this condition.

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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 1:02 pm

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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by wrenchman » 25 Dec 2022, 1:09 pm

i am sorry you got a bad one i do have ruger and other models but you can get a lemon from any maker
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by bladeracer » 25 Dec 2022, 1:28 pm

Those parts certainly look cast, but don't you get similar flash lines from some forging processes? Do you know for certain they're cast or are you working on the appearance only?

I have a Ruger American in my hands and everything appears to be machined steel as far as I can tell. Never owned the M77 so no idea about those. It does look like you have a very poor example.

More important to me is how it performs, how does it shoot?
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 1:32 pm

Yes, Ruger states there cast
https://www.ruger.com/casting/index.html
https://www.americanrifleman.org/conten ... g-process/

Did not shoot it as when I received it i was shocked and sent it back to supplier. They are working with Ruger to rectify the issue.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by bigpete » 25 Dec 2022, 2:27 pm

My experience with modern rugers is via my father,who has a ruger American. Bloody horrible,plasticky piece of junk compared to my weatherby vanguard. No way I'd spend 2k on one.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 2:33 pm

This isnt the american though, the American is meant to be Ruger's budget rifle, the M77 Hawkeye is there premium control feed rifle.
Compared with the wonderful late CZ 550 or the Winchester M70, this looks and feels like absolute junk.

Regarding accuracy, a Howa/Weatherby have stellar accuracy, people dont spend $2K purely for an accurate hunting rifle, modern manufacturing lead most brands to provide MOA guarantee - when people spend 2k they expect 2k craftsmanship.

Having said that, the american I cant imagine what Ruger would do to their budget rifle if they release this as their premium.

Tikka, winchester, cz, browning, Howa, Weatherby, blow this out of the water. At cheaper prices, it just doesnt make sense how they are still producing it and still getting buyers.

I should note, This was at a dealer interstate, so i couldnt view it until i bought it.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by Billo » 25 Dec 2022, 4:13 pm

The Ruger M77 hawkeye is a dinosaur when compared to modern rifle manufacturing techniques used on such rifles as Tikka, Howa etc.

The rifles finish looks pretty normal to me and to be honest the actions smooth up with use, buying a 2k rifle sight unseen, well that was your first mistake.

I bought a Ruger hawkeye 243 recently and there are many features I like about it, the 14 Oz trigger being the main one :drinks:
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 4:24 pm

Do you have these same issues with your Hawkeye?
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by bladeracer » 25 Dec 2022, 4:53 pm

I had a 10/22 when I was a kid, and now have four Ruger American centrefires, two Ruger American Rimfires, and the Ruger Precision Rimfire. My brother has/had a Ruger American .243 (he was talking about selling it due to his failing eyesight). The centrefire Americans have some very minor design issues with the mags (Ruger replaces the bad ones) and polymer stock (fore end is too flexible for a bipod) but otherwise I'd be struggling to fault them. And I doubt I happened to buy seven good ones out of thousands of junk ones.

I don't know anything about the 77, except that it's an old-school design, basically a Mauser 98 in a post-war hunting stock. I'm personally not a fan of those old-school designs for modern hunting rifles. I do have a lot of that design in milsurps so I don't dislike them at all, just not in a modern rifle, for me. I'm not sure I'd call one "budget" and the other "premium" though. The 77 is a more-than-a-century-old design that probably costs a lot to make using the old methods, the American is a ten-year-old design that has been designed from the ground up to be cost-effective using modern methods. Anybody building copies of the Mauser 98 action now is going to struggle to do them cheaply I think. I had a quick Google to see if anybody is producing new Mauser 98 actions and this mob appear to - though they look rather expensive. https://www.fzh-waffen.de/en/action-98/

To me it looks like you got a particularly rough example as I agree with you that people wouldn't be buying them if they were all finished to that level. This article confirms the receiver and bolt were cast.
https://www.magzter.com/stories/Mens-Interest/Rifle/Original-Ruger-M77
Are you hoping to get a nicer replacement or get your money back and buy something else? You might do better to buy an old sporterised Mauser 98 and put a custom stock on it?


jpsauer88 wrote:This isnt the american though, the American is meant to be Ruger's budget rifle, the M77 Hawkeye is there premium control feed rifle.
Compared with the wonderful late CZ 550 or the Winchester M70, this looks and feels like absolute junk.

Regarding accuracy, a Howa/Weatherby have stellar accuracy, people dont spend $2K purely for an accurate hunting rifle, modern manufacturing lead most brands to provide MOA guarantee - when people spend 2k they expect 2k craftsmanship.

Having said that, the american I cant imagine what Ruger would do to their budget rifle if they release this as their premium.

Tikka, winchester, cz, browning, Howa, Weatherby, blow this out of the water. At cheaper prices, it just doesnt make sense how they are still producing it and still getting buyers.

I should note, This was at a dealer interstate, so i couldnt view it until i bought it.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 5:03 pm

Hello bladeracer,
thank you for your input. perhaps I got a lemon. " You might do better to buy an old sporterised Mauser 98 and put a custom stock on it?" I havent thought about this, but thankyou for the advice. I think I will just settle on a Model 70 if they return it (given that there are only 2 in the country of this spec) as it appears to be well finished.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by bladeracer » 25 Dec 2022, 5:04 pm

bigpete wrote:My experience with modern rugers is via my father,who has a ruger American. Bloody horrible,plasticky piece of junk compared to my weatherby vanguard. No way I'd spend 2k on one.


The polymer Ruger American is $730 currently, the HOWA 1500 is cheaper still. The 77 starts around $1600 for the base models. I think the wood-stocked Vanguards are around $2000 nowadays?
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by dnedative » 25 Dec 2022, 5:25 pm

jpsauer88 wrote:Background, I recently learned (after my purchase) that Ruger uses investment cast process to cast. Yes it is different from conventional cast. However, that difference is simply the process allows for a greater range of steels to be used (stainless, titanium etc), with greater detail (small parts with greater accuracy - better finish), not in strength. Cast steel, regardless of the process, is never as strong as forged. Argument I read is if its 'good enough for planes' - but it isnt, planes use forged for all areas requiring strength, and just like cars, not all planes are built equal. I have found some forum threads on other forums that mention the Ruger No1 proven to withstand 200PSI, yet, there is NO documented evidence. And even if this were the case, that does not prove the (cast v forged) argument. There is no argument, its simple fact, forged is far stronger than cast as the forging process strengthens steel.


Ruger No1's are the strongest sporting action money can buy, there is no doubt, people have chambered them in some of the hottest big bore cartridges made and I've never heard of anyone taking one apart.
Ruger GP100's are probably the strongest 357 magnum double action revolver you can buy
Ruger (super)Blackhawks are in the top tier of strength when it comes to big bore single action revolvers

You have issues with the fit and finish but dont s**t on investment casting.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by Billo » 25 Dec 2022, 5:34 pm

jpsauer88 wrote:Do you have these same issues with your Hawkeye?


my Hawkeye is a first year production 2007 and finish is smidge better than what you have, after 15 years of use ( not me) is slick as and the Trigger is easily the best factory trigger Ive ever used period ( i've owned more than 80 rifles ). It feeds and extracts perfectly and shoots 0.6 moa for 3 shots which for a sporter 243 Win is what you'd expect.

What cartridge is your rifle chambered in jpsauer88 ? had you ever owned a Ruger product before ?
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 5:45 pm

Hello Dnedative,

I did not "s**t on investment casting". Is it strong enough? Obviously, otherwise people would have guns blowing up all over the place. But is it stronger or as strong as forged? No.
It is a cheaper way of making things, cost saving, not stronger, not better, just cheaper for hte manufacturer. That is all.

The Ruger No1, is strong (I wont make the claim of "strongest" apparently from your view Ruger makes the strongest everything). The Mark5 Weatherby is said to be the "strongest" but then again, I dont know how true that is. But then you look at the genius design and they saved about 3" of receiver length and created a falling block almost an inch thick. Bolt action rifle lugs are less than half of that. So yes, inherently by design, it is extremely durable. But that is not because investment casting is stronger than forged steel, it is because they used a great design with a massive steel block. Gota hand it to them an excellent design!

The GP100 is not the strongest 357, what is that based on? Please provide something factual showing the GP100 is stronger than a 686 S&W or Colt Python. Stating something doesnt make it fact. The Manurhin MR 73 for example is imo stronger than all 3, built to stand double the CIP rated pressure of a 357 Magnum. Even going off manufacturers spec being a European firearm it is built to CIP standard: 43KpSI on a 357mag and SAAMI (American made stuff) is 35KPSI. So I highly doubt the GP100 is as strong as you feel. Same said for the Blackhawk. Btw Ruger does not cast the cylinders on its revolvers. They also used forged barrels on all their firearms. Because forged is stronger. So areas with critical pressure are not investment cast.

The point of mentioning investment cast in my post, is that with this price tag, and the savings made from using investment cast for the manufacturer, more effort should have been given to fit and finish. As investment cast is taking the more cost effective route. If investment casting costed as much as forged, it wouldn't exist.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 5:48 pm

Billo wrote:
jpsauer88 wrote:Do you have these same issues with your Hawkeye?


my Hawkeye is a first year production 2007 and finish is smidge better than what you have, after 15 years of use ( not me) is slick as and the Trigger is easily the best factory trigger Ive ever used period ( i've owned more than 80 rifles ). It feeds and extracts perfectly and shoots 0.6 moa for 3 shots which for a sporter 243 Win is what you'd expect.

What cartridge is your rifle chambered in jpsauer88 ? had you ever owned a Ruger product before ?


Hello,
No i havent owned anything Ruger before to be honest. Kimber, CZ, Remington, Howa, Weatherby, Sauer.
Its chambered in 300WIN.

Same with the Howa, the 2008's were finished much better than the current ones with the machine lines on bolt. I just expect them to either price the rifle at like $1200 or spend a tiny bit finishing it up properly.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I can imagine with 15 years of cycling the bolt it may be a little smoother. The trigger is nice, still prefer the Sauer and cz550 trigger, but thats my opinion. Def better than Howa's trigger.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by Billo » 25 Dec 2022, 6:17 pm

Finish on a Ruger 77 is not its strong point, they are roughish. they are well built CRF, they are also heavish due to the bottom metal/trigger guard design. They have plenty of character which is something I appreciate, but then again I like old Mausers and Martini's also. :drinks:
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by dnedative » 25 Dec 2022, 6:32 pm

jpsauer88 wrote:The GP100 is not the strongest 357, what is that based on? Please provide something factual showing the GP100 is stronger than a 686 S&W or Colt Python. Stating something doesnt make it fact. The Manurhin MR 73 for example is imo stronger than all 3, built to stand double the CIP rated pressure of a 357 Magnum. Even going off manufacturers spec being a european firearm it is built to CIP standard: 43KpSI on a 357mag and SAAMI (American made stuff) is 35KPSI. So I highly doubt the GP100 is as strong as you feel. Same said for the Blackhawk, any evidence? Btw Ruger does not cast the cylinders on its revolvers. They also used forged barrels on all their firearms. Because forged is stronger. So areas with critical pressure are not investment cast.


Your trying to argue against water being wet; GP100's have superior lockup and lack side plates, 686's are fantastic revolvers and you will crack the forcing cones before you wear the frame out on either. I think the Ruger has a slight edge but eh. I rate both above Colt's if your going to run them hot. I dont buy the Manurhin MR 73 hype either, I reckon they are only telling half the story - people love to spout that they last in excess of 200,000 rounds but that's the frame lifespan I reckon because no revolver on the planet will go 200,000 rounds of hot 357 mag ammunition without wearing out the forcing cone. There are photos of a MR73 here with a cracked forcing cone, the owner didnt even get 10% of the way to 200,000. The GIGN or whoever uses them will have full armory support changing out parts as needed like everyone else....

Barrels are hammer forged from bar stock and the cylinders are machined from bar stock; Bar stock is cast and extruded not forged.

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As for the balckhawk strength, go see what John Linebaugh builds with.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by bladeracer » 25 Dec 2022, 6:55 pm

dnedative wrote:You have issues with the fit and finish but dont s**t on investment casting.


I don't think he's upset that it's cast, he's upset that the castings haven't been finished satisfactorily.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by dnedative » 25 Dec 2022, 6:57 pm

jpsauer88 wrote:I should note, This was at a dealer interstate, so i couldnt view it until i bought it.


Ah, another case of the poor man pays twice.
I reckon you just got a poorly finished example; See what NIOA can do, hopefully its not a grey import.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by dnedative » 25 Dec 2022, 6:58 pm

bladeracer wrote:
dnedative wrote:You have issues with the fit and finish but dont s**t on investment casting.


I don't think he's upset that it's cast, he's upset that the castings haven't been finished satisfactorily.


I think he kinda is upset its cast
The finish on it is poor - Issue would of been alleviated had he bought it in person.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 25 Dec 2022, 7:20 pm

Hello, I am not upset its cast.

I am upset that Ruger used a cost effective method like cast to make it, and whilst making the saving on the production cost, did not bother adding effort to provide a clean finish.
If it was forged, id be thinking, well its difficult to machine forged steel tough on toolheads etc - but when they went the cast route and didnt finish properly, its like worst of both worlds?

Spot on Bladeracer

it isnt a Noia grey import, NIOA stated its unsatisfactory after seeing the images. And they were the ones that told me there are only 2 in the country, gave me the name of hte dealers and i called them. One in WA wants $400 to send it here, the other was rural but same state.

I do wish i purchased it in person in hindsight, but i wasnt expecting this, I was expecting a nice clean finish. Parts i think, ok they could be polished and refinished, then other parts, like the corner of the receiver near the mount, I think, looks damaged from factory. And why should I be spending close to $2K then refinishing a rifle only to void its warranty?

I will see what NIOA comes up with. If they refund, I think ill go for the winchester Mod 70 unless someone would advise against?
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by dnedative » 25 Dec 2022, 8:19 pm

NIOA are pretty good; I imagine they will either finish it properly in house and get another stock or just issue a refund.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by No1Mk3 » 26 Dec 2022, 12:52 am

I have several Rugers, from a M77 MkII paddle stock in 308 I've owned and used for 20+ years and I love it, great rifle. I have 4 M77 VT's, fit and finish is good and accuracy out to 600m is superb, all my Rugers have very good triggers. As for the strength of the GP100, it is equal to the MR73 and was designed to be so, if you check this you will find the test results. As for cast, I'm an engineering tradesman with decades of experience machining and fitting a wide range of metals and engineering plastics, being cast does not, in any way, make a part inferior in function, strength or wear properties just consider rock crusher jaws, cast, every one of them. Seems you have a Hawkeye with finish issues, bet it still shoots great though.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 26 Dec 2022, 1:19 pm

No1Mk3 wrote:I have several Rugers, from a M77 MkII paddle stock in 308 I've owned and used for 20+ years and I love it, great rifle. I have 4 M77 VT's, fit and finish is good and accuracy out to 600m is superb, all my Rugers have very good triggers. As for the strength of the GP100, it is equal to the MR73 and was designed to be so, if you check this you will find the test results. As for cast, I'm an engineering tradesman with decades of experience machining and fitting a wide range of metals and engineering plastics, being cast does not, in any way, make a part inferior in function, strength or wear properties just consider rock crusher jaws, cast, every one of them. Seems you have a Hawkeye with finish issues, bet it still shoots great though.


And yes, cast is sufficient in strength etc - but saying "in anyway make a part inferior in... strength" no, not as strong as forged, so yes it is inferior in 'strength' to forged, being an Engineer you would know this. Good enough yes, as strong as forged? No, definitely no. And comparing this to rock crusher jaws means nothing. Rock Crusher jaws are frequently replaced therefore it is cost effective to make them in cast, what isnt replaced is the shaft... what is the shaft made from, FORGED steel. Why?

I mean, you get into car modification communities and you will never hear someone saying cast pistons are as good as forged. Yet in firearm communities, if a brand uses a weaker method because it is cheaper, people will begin to defy physics and start believing it is stronger, because company X is using it and they own company X's products. Why do forged exist? Why are you limited with PSI when using cast pistons? Why do high output for displacement engines use Forged? Come on guys, yes cast is adequate - but it isnt "the same" or "superior" to forged? I'm not going to waste time arguing the earth is round.

Ruger uses cast because it is cost effective - this is the reason THEY provide, ok its sufficient we have been through this - the point of bringing this up is if they saved money on using cost effective option they should have put the time in to clean it up better
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by jpsauer88 » 26 Dec 2022, 1:20 pm

dnedative wrote:NIOA are pretty good; I imagine they will either finish it properly in house and get another stock or just issue a refund.


They have been excellent so far, so I am hoping this is sorted out. The stock fit is terrible.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by BMW » 26 Dec 2022, 1:35 pm

Mate it's a two grand gun, you want nice fit and finish in a bolt gun better get in contact with a manufacturer like John Rigby and sons.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by Oldbloke » 26 Dec 2022, 2:28 pm

My $500 marlin BA is finished better.
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by animalpest » 26 Dec 2022, 3:20 pm

I have had Ruger 77 rifles since the early 1980's. Yep, they are a bit rough when new, but I have certainly had worse from different manufacturers., all Mauser style actions.

Have I ever been worried about the strength of the Rugers? Nope.

The question of whether cast versus forged as to strength is an interesting one. Rugers are strong so what is the problem? Is it because you didn't know it was investment cast when you bought it?

Your argument could also be applied to the strength of various action designs. Why buy one that is not as strong as another?
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Re: Ruger M77 Hawkeye - Overpriced, Overrated, Zero QQ

Post by bigpete » 26 Dec 2022, 5:49 pm

BMW wrote:Mate it's a two grand gun, you want nice fit and finish in a bolt gun better get in contact with a manufacturer like John Rigby and sons.

:D :D :D
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