Ruger 77/17 RM
Caliber tested: .17 HMR
Weight as delivered: 6 lb., 4 oz.
Barrel length: 221/8 in.
Metal finish: Blue barrel and receiver
Sights: Ruger rings
Trigger pull: 4 lb., 1 oz.
Intended purpose: Light varmint hunting/ plinking
The usual description of Ruger's trim M77 bolt rifle begins with, "It would be a great little rifle if it weren't for the...." The sad exceptions are a trigger pull that feels like you're dragging an anchor over asphalt and so-so accuracy. (Accuracy services and replacement barrels for the 77/Rotary Magazine Series have evolved into an industry, which is surely an embarrassment for Ruger.) Even before the 77/17RM was on dealer's shelves, independent barrel makers were hawking replacement "drop-in" barrels. But if all of Ruger's .17's are as accurate as our test sample, there will be little or no demand for replacement barrels. Groups of one inch, and slightly under, at 100 yards weren't uncommon. In fact, during one session test team member Stan Widner went to the bench with the Ruger and a box of Hornady ammo and shot a 15-shot group that measured 1.390 inches. Of these, 10 shots were under an inch and six were in an overlapping cluster. All would have done asunder a gopher at 150 yards.