The Ruger M77 Hawkeye is one of the most durable bolt action rifles for serious hunters and comes in a variety of stocks and caliber configurations depending on a shooter’s needs and preferences—from backyard varmints to larger game on serious African plains hunts.
The M77 Hawkeye has the reputation of being one of the most reliable sporting rifles and has the best designed actions ever invented. Ruger’s gunsmiths have made several design iterations and produced a myriad of chamberings over the years to take this rifle to a whole new level of appeal and functionality. The M77 Hawkeye is manufactured in the United States, weighs 7.2 lbs., is 42 inches long, and shoots sub-MOA right out of the box. There are 7 chamberings available for this versatile tool of the shooting trade.
The M77 Hawkeye’s wooden stocks are beautifully and ergonomically contoured straight grain walnut with tight checkering for easy grip. The stock holds a free-floating cold-hammer forged 24-inch barrel with muzzle threads (5/8 x 24) for a muzzle break resulting in precise rifling providing exceptional accuracy at distance.
The barrel comes in blued steel, matte, and stainless-steel finishes. There is a nice rubber recoil pad on the butt of the stock to absorb the shock from larger rounds and reduce the opportunity of the butt from slipping off of the shoulder. Also provided are sling swivel studs for the quick attachment of a favorite sling.
The M77 Hawkeye has a three-position safety (similar to the safety on the Winchester Model 70) that is thumb or forefinger accessible allowing the shooter to lock the bolt and safety in the first position, open the bolt while maintaining the safety in the second position, and load or unload the chamber with the safety engaged in the third position. The safety system can also be worked with the thumb and forefinger together in a quiet fashion if game is within earshot.
This safety system makes it extremely unlikely that a shooter accidently knocks the safety off. Integral scope mounts are machined directly on the solid-steel receiver and provide stability for included scope rings eliminating any chance of bases loosening in the field. This has been a needed innovation in that much game has been lost or injured when mounting screws and scope hardware loosen as that seen with other rifles and mounting configurations.
The M77 Hawkeye has a full plate magazine system. This is an improvement over other manufacturers in that a hinged steel floorplate allows for easy unloading without having to chamber each cartridge. The attractive Ruger logo in engraved on the plate that has a patented latch system that is flush with the trigger guard to avoid accidental loss of cartridges. The M77 Hawkeye have a one-piece steel bolt with a non-rotating, Mauser-type claw extractor.
The claw bites the round as it is being pushed into the chamber. The ejector is a fixed blade type that positively ejects empty cases as the bolt is moved backward. There is some is some play reported in the slide action of the bolt limiting smoothness of operation on occasion. Rounds are loaded easily into the magazine. Feed from the magazine is smooth and controlled by a single-feed mechanism.
The M77 Hawkeye holds four rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber resulting in a maximum capacity of five rounds. With the higher quality and premium factory ammunition, the Ruger M77 Hawkeye produces consistent sub-MOA groups at long range. It has a single-stage trigger with a 3.4 lb. pull weight optimal for hunting. The trigger is non-adjustable and has a little creep. Once the shooter gets used to this, the gun breaks the same every time.
Finally, The Ruger M77 Hawkeye is easily disassembled for cleaning. It truly is a rugged and reliable sporting rifle that future generations can enjoy that is perfectly engineered to accomplish its purpose. This model is fun to shoot when new shooters are learning to accurize the rifle for distance shots, especially when considering all of those factors that affect the bullets path to the intended target.
The right caliber and right loads really do count when considering this all-around sporting rifle. Also, finding the best factory ammunition that works best for this gun will take some time but also improve accuracy and precision. This is a standard go to gun for younger hunters that are still learning or older and more experienced hunters that appreciate its reliability. As far as sporting and hunting rifles are concerned, the Model 77 has the reputation and accuracy needed for a successful hunting trip.