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Chief Dave!!!Please help!!

745 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  VaFish
Chief Dave i need your help.
My dad wont let me do any thing with my stock 77/17. Well its not exactly mine cause im only 16 and i got it for my birthday but i am the only one who really shoots it. My dad wont let me do anything no free floating the barrel, no glass bedding the stock, and no trigger job. There was an exeptionally big no on the free floating part. See my dad thinks he knows stuff about guns but he obviously doesnt cause he thinks these changes are gonna ruin the gun and make it less accurate (go figure!!). My gun is just asking to be free floated all the signs stringing groups poi changing and its not from heat cause i shoot my groups slow. Could you just explain why and how free floating affects accuracyand perhaps touch on glass bedding and trigger jobs. Use big fancy words cause when i show him itll impress him!:D He wont listen to me so i figure if a competent gunsmith like your self explains it, it will steer him in the right direction.

All input from others are welcome (as long as your supporting my cause). The more people sayn it the better!!:D :D

Thanks Pete
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working on the 77/17

Pete--I'm sorry if this isn't supporting your cause, but I have a few questions for you. What kind of scope are you using? Exactly what kind of groups are you getting? At what distance? Shooting off of what kind of setup or bench? How much have you shot the gun?

I just recently bought a 77/17 and I haven't had the chance to shoot it much, but it is shooting 3/4" five shot groups at 100 yards off of a crappy bench, totally stock. I did put a good scope on it--Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20/40. It appears to me that I am not capable of holding it better than 3/4" as I was shooting it, so I am anxious to see what it will do in good conditions off of a decent benchrest. My point here is that at 20 power I can see how poorly I can hold it--with less scope, I might think I was holding dead steady.

I'm not at all saying that this gun can't be improved and improved greatly. What I am saying is that you should be sure of what it is doing before you start messing with it. I am not the expert here, but I have read almost every post on this site, and it seems that the experience is that free floating the barrel may improve accuracy, or it may make it worse--I have seen varying results posted--seems to depend on the individual gun and situation. Perhaps an expert floating or bedding job will always improve the situation, but I am commenting on the results that I have seen reported here.

As for the trigger job, it seems to be universally accepted that the Rugers need a trigger job--I'd agree from my experience that it could be greatly improved. But even here, my gunsmith said that I should shoot it for a while and get some wear on the parts before I do anything to the trigger. That's his opinion-I'd be interested to know what Chief Dave or anyone else says about that--good advice or not?

If you have a good starting benchmark, and a specific problem that can be remedied with some work, I would support you 100%. I'm not unsympathetic to your desires. Like you, I was thinking about work that I could do, and considered ordering a replacement trigger or sear, before I had even received the gun. But now, I'm anxious to see the best that I can do with it before I start working on it.

I look forward to hearing more details about your situation, and I especially look forward to anything Chief Dave has to tell you. I know this is a rare thing in the gun world, but I am aware of and freely admit my limitations of knowledge and experience. Hopefully, we can compare notes in the future.

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Hi Pete,

I have to agree with Big Lou in asking what your shooting off, how your possitioning on the bench, what size groups your pullin down now etc, some rugers respond to having the barrel completly freefloated (like mine) others prefer to have a pressure pad at the forend. 3/4 inch groups are indeed possible, and I've read on another post that with piller bedding that 1/4 inch groups can be had. Now I assume that this was with the rifle completely locked down. my 77/17 will hold 5/8 to 3/4 if I do my part. the barrel is freefloated completely, and this afternoon I pulled it all down and piller bedded the action. the trigger has been reworked also. I'm very ancious to see how it shoots after the bedding has cured.... every project needs to be aproched with a thought out plan and aproched in steps, that way, when something doesn't go the way it was intended you can undo it instead of having 4 or 5 things to try and figure out which caused the problem.

don't know if any of this helped or not,
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Chief says :

Yes : your 77 can and will definately like about any improvements you can offer it.
Despite what others might say, its a factory production gun.
Production guns are just that =- mass produced.

Now if you wish your sweet 17HMR , TO SHOOT ITS BEST.
YOU must do a few minor things to help it.

1. TRIGGER . the factory trigger is decent , but not excellent.
I reccommend replacing just the sear. no polishing nothin.
just a drop in sear from Brownells. safe, easy, perfection.

2. Stock work. TRY= the dollar bill test. Try slidiing a dollar
bill fron the forearm front toward the rear. It should freely slide
all the way to the front lug ( action screw) . if not = there is
pressure put on the barrel. this must be relieved (floated out)
before optimal accuracy can be achieved.

FULL FLOAT or ramped = IF there is no pressure points touching the barrel , fold a couple of business cards and insert
them between the barrel and forearm. test fire the rifle.
This will show if you need to ramp=pad the forearm to barrel
relationship. (cures or starts vertucal stringing).

lastly - anything you do to the factory setup stock , be it floating or bedding of the barrel or action , if done correctly , will show
a vast improvement over the sloppy fit from the factory.

If you need help = Chief is just an Email away. and can send you
step by step instructions and pics - to help your 77 shoot better.

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Chief Dave has great advice on making your 77/22 shoot better. (and is much more qualified to speak to this than I am since I've only picked up a 77/22 once and have never fired one, to add to this my 17V is still on back order, although I have done similar modifications on centerfire rifles)

But it sounds to me like the problem is more convincing your dad that you should be able to do the work on it. As a father of 2 boys I can tell you that your dad is most likely concerned about you stuffing up his gun. He is probably very happy with whatever performance it is giving him. Since you shoot it more often than he does, and you have found this forum which speaks of much better performance than you are getting, you are not happy with it's performance.

So here's my 2 cents worth:

If the gun was really given to you as a birthday present your dad shouldn't care what you do with it, as long as it's safe.

When I was a young lad of about 12 My dad had a single shot .22, I loved shooting it, but wanted a semi auto. I saved my paper route and lawn mowing money and had him buy a Marlin model 60 for me. A short while later I decided that a full auto would be a lot more fun than a semi auto, so I tried to modify the sear. My dad walked by as I was filing away and asked what I was doing. When I told him he just shook his head and walked away. I ended up stuffing it up and we had to send the gun back to Marlin and have some new parts put in it. (at my cost)

My point is that my dad didn't care that I was dorking with the gun because it was mine. I had paid for it, and I paid to have it fixed right when I screwed it up. Same thing happened when I bought a car. My dad didn't care if I was modifying it (as long as It was still relatively safe on the road) because it was my money and my car I had paid for.

My suggestion is that you buy a new stock for it. Modify the stock you bought to show your dad how accuracy can be improved. By following CD's suggestion of replacing the sear with one from Brownells you are not making any modifications to the gun that can't be put back into it's original condition.

Many of the guys on this forum have replaced the stocks on their guns with aftermarket stocks, check around and see if you can find one cheap. That way you can play around with your stock not your dads. (just don't glue the action into your stock when you try to glass bed it) Or try Gunparts corp, they have walnut stocks for $195 (dang that's more then my 17V cost!) and synthetic for $92.70 Or, Brownells has Volquartsen pillar bedded stocks for $235 and the sear kits are $37.

Finally stop treating your dad like an idiot. While he may not be a gun smith, he has a lot more experience at life than you do. He also knows you better than you think he does. Big words won't impress him. Show him that you can be responsible and make some simple modifications to your gun and still have the ability to put it back the the way he thinks is best if your ideas don't work.
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