Rebarrel Options for a Vintage Ruger M77 with Tang safety 243

mwiggi

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Jul 22, 2020
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My grandpa's favorite rifle is his Ruger M77 in 243 with a 24 inch varmit barrel purchased in the 70's. It's always been a sub moa gun up until recently and he's realized that he needs to replace the barrel since the gun is shooting 6 inch groups. There's almost zero rifling left in the barrel. The gun would be mostly used for coyotes, whitetail and target shooting up to 500 yards. Reloading would probably be easier on him since ammo is so difficult to find right now.

He's thinking about either ordering a barrel in 6mm or 243 AI and having a gunsmith install it. Or would it be easier for the barrel to be reamed and re-rifled to a slightly larger caliber? If so, which one? Or keep it in .243 since he has another rifle with that caliber? I've read that a lot of gunsmiths prefer not to work on that specific gun and I'm hoping that he doesn't take it to someone who just does what's easiest and not what's best.

I realize a lot of the questions I asked are subjective, but I truly value what yall say.
 

whatsupdoc

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    Just send it to a reputable smith that knows how to rebarrel them. Have the smith cut off the barrel
    in a lathe instead of using a barrel vice as a few have had issues removing the old barrel cracking the receiver.

    Nothing really special about doing them except for care removing the old barrel, actually once the barrel is off
    I believe a Ruger precision rifle with a barrel nut will work

    Forget about reamed and re-rifled.


    Sold my old M77V tang safety a few months ago, father set it up for his sons first deer hunt
    even though its a heavy barrel. Kids first time out shoots a huge 8 point buck and sent me a
    picture. They are very good rifles, the old ones were polished and blued second to none.
     
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    mwiggi

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    Jul 22, 2020
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    Thanks! So you believe the Ruger Precision barrels would work? That would be great because it would open up a ton of options for him. The gun has a lot of sentimental value being that old.
     

    KYAggie

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    I’ve been considering the same thing. I have one in 7mm mag that I’ve had for 40 years and a light weight 20” barreled 270 that was my dads walk around gun. The 270 with that light barrel throws shots around after the third shot and was never that great of a grouper. I’ve been considering switching it to a 6.5 cm as that would be a better 400 yard and less walk around gun not to mention I think the 6.5 makes a better 20” barreled gun that a 270.

    If you find someone to do the work, please post about it as I suspect there are others who might send that gunsmith additional business as Ruger made a lot of those tang safety guns that are getting up in years and probably about ready for a rebarrel.
     
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    whatsupdoc

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    Back then Ruger did not make barrels so they procured barrels from multiple sources, some shot excellent
    some not so much. Check that the stock is not putting pressure on the barrel and that the action
    screws are tight sometimes the front action screw will bottom out before it is tight.
     
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    KYAggie

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    I know, I should probably mess with it before I rebarrel it. I bet the gun doesn’t have 300 rounds down the pipe.
     

    mwiggi

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    Jul 22, 2020
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    If you find someone to do the work, please post about it as I suspect there are others who might send that gunsmith additional business as Ruger made a lot of those tang safety guns that are getting up in years and probably about ready for a rebarrel.

    I’ll definitely post here to let you know when he finds someone. Whidden is down the road from us so we may talk to him about what he could do.
     
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    whatsupdoc

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    The RPR barrel isn't the same as the M-77.

    Since you're in GA, try Archer Custom Rifles.

    They are not the same yes but the threads are and with a nut it does work although ugly.
    Here is one, not the one I am looking for but I have seen a tang safety one with a similar setup.
    IMG_20161221_120249_zpsbtnecbot.jpg
     

    mwiggi

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    Jul 22, 2020
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    South Georgia
    Whidden gunworks in Nashville GA said they could do it but it’s going to take 6 months for the barrel to come in. I believe they are going to cut the barrel off using a lathe as suggested.

    Thanks for all the help.

    On another note. My AR500 target came in from Krate Tactical. I was skeptical ordering AR500 off Amazon but I found out they were from Georgia and they give a discount for first responders. Came with a holder that’s easy to move around.
     

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    USABAKER

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    Apr 9, 2021
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    I send all my rifles to McGowen Precision Barrels, every single barrel that I have from them is fantastic. I had to rebarrel my Remington 721 300 H&H and they even did the custom profiling to match the factory barrel for only $30.00. I just sent a Remintion 700 SA receiver in to have a barrel in 7.62 x 51 NATO, built for a hunter I'm building for my second eldest son as a birthday gift.

    They also offer Pre-Fit barrels if you are into that style, they have them for the Ruger 77 as well for $370.00