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Stopped into my local gunshop today. They had just gotten in a new 96/17 Ruger lever action. I was quite impressed with the little rifle. It was slick, smooth, handled good, and I could not find any flaws, or mistakes. I was so impressed, I have almost decided to buy it........but I have some questions I need some advice on. Ummm, will the 96/17 shoot as good as the 77/17, or the 10/17 out of the box, with no tuning, no add-ons, no tweaking to either rifle? Can the barrel be floated, with that funny barrel band installed? Can the trigger be smoothed by one of the Ruger 10/22 smiths? Is the barrel attachment the same as the other Ruger rimfires, so I could someday install a drop-in match barrel? Or should I wait till one of the gunshops, or Wally World gets in a 77/17 or even a Marlin? I have fallen prey to the Hummer craze, and this Ruger is, for right now, the only game in town..........Any advice will be put to good use.........Grant.
 

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Grant,
The 96/17 does need a bit of work, but it can be remedied.
The trigger is horrible, but some easy stoning can reduce it to a safe 2 1/2 lbs. You can send it to me if you can't find anyone locally. For scope mounts, you can use the rear base and rings for a Remington 700, Leupold #50018 (matte). You will need 2 sets. These are for a 30mm tube scope. See picture.

You can use any barrel made for the 10/22 magnum as a direct replacement. A barrel for the 77/22magnum or 77/17 with some modifications.
The stock does need some work also. Remove the barrel band and free-float the barrel channel. Then add a pressure point.
See the Tips and Tricks forum for more detailed info. If the lever opens and closes hard the head-spacing needs adjusting via using a shim/spacer on the barrel shank.
The accuracy of the 96/17 is right there in comparison with the 77/17 and better than the 10/22magnum, due to the locking bolt.
It is a very handy walk around/truck rifle and swings easily.
No one makes any aftermarket stocks for them yet though.
Ted
 
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