View Full Version : OT: Ruger M77 Mark II VT in .223.

03-13-2005, 07:40 PM
I won't have it for a little while but I chose the Ruger M77 Mark II VT Target Rifle in the .223 caliber. Now I'm going to need a scope.

Any recommendations for a scope for critters from ground hogs to coyote sizes out to maybe 200 yds? I may need it for gophers too to clean out the field next to where we're building the house. Probably no more than 100 yds. Of course, I'll want to kill more paper than anything. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


Tim Clarke
03-13-2005, 08:24 PM
Okay! Now that you have bought my favorite gun, It's time to think optics. I have a Swift 3-12x on my Ruger. I got it a few years back for $99. I know that the basic rule of thumb is to spend the same for optics as the firearm in question. However, I needed a make-do scope while saving for a nice scope. The Swift is a import scope, comparable to a tasco, etc. I probably won't buy a more expensive scope for this rifle. It works fine. The 12x is enough for shooting tiny groups @ 100 yds. I shoot varmints out to 200 yds with this gun, and I like the horsepower I have.

Others will advise differently, and I will probably agree with their logic. However, for my shooting, this scope has worked so well, that I won't change it until it barfs.

There are some online dealers that have very good prices on optics. One is S.F.W.A., at:
www.riflescopes.com (http://www.riflescopes.com)

When you get this gun, make sure you break in the barrel correctly. I hesitate to recommend the method, there are many more knowledgeable gun experts around here than I.
That being said, shoot a few shots and clean, a few more, clean again, etc until you have about 100 rounds down the pipe. A good way to see if you have cleaned well is to push a white cleaning patch into the barrel with a toothpick, about a inch or so. Then shine a flashlight into the bore. The patch will reflect light, and you will be able to see how clean your bore really is.

Regards, Tim

03-13-2005, 08:56 PM
I would think that you will be happy with a variable 3 to 9 power.
One with a large ( better field of view ) diameter lens. Good luck.

Have Fun
Be Safe http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

03-13-2005, 09:12 PM
I like my Leupold 3.5 - 10x on a Ruger #1, .25 Niedner.

junkin duck
03-13-2005, 09:18 PM
Before I start rambling I love the lyman all american but without a time machine you can't get a new one. I have a burris 6.5-20x50 with target knobs and think a lot of it. It is a little large but on a heavy barrel remington 6mm I don't carry it much farther than to a good rest. I have several other burris and leupold scopes and find the quality to be very good. I think a little more of the leupold but not much. As for cheeper scopes I looked at a couple for my new .17 M2 but I think I will wait for another leupold. On heavy contour barrels I like big powers and target knobs. I shoot lots and know how much to turn the knobs to shoot 600+ yards.

03-13-2005, 09:35 PM
Hi Dan,

I guess I'll bite on this one. I prefer Leupold scopes (performance vs. price). Nikon and the Bushnell Elite series scopes are good for the money. For goofing around the 4200 series Bushnell is a great buy. Nightforce is hands down the the scope of choice for long range shooting but they are heavy (thats why I don't shoot one) and they start at about $1200. A bit much to set on a factory gun.

As far as breaking in a barrel the general procedure is shoot one shot and clean for the first five rounds. Then shoot and clean after five rounds till you get to 20 shots fired. After that your good to go.

A bit on cleaning a barrel. During the break in shots I like to use Kroil and USP bore paste. Any cleaner and bore past like JB Compound will do. A rod guide through the bolt way makes cleaning easier. That was the first thing of use I made when I got my lathe. Use a high quality cleaning rod. The jury is still out on coated or not, just make sure it's straight. I don't like the idea of pushing stainless steel down my rifling so I like coated rods. Run a couple of patches with a fowling/copper cleaner through the bore. Then wrap a patch around a brush and goober it up with paste. Short stroke the patch back and forth in bore. Don't try to pull any patch back through the muzzle. The patch will be black. Sometimes I will do this with a couple of patches. The mild lapping compound will help smooth out the rough bore from when it was made. Most all factory barrels are hammer forged now I believe. For cleaning after the break in period I use a brush dipped in Butch's Bore Shine or similar copper eating product. Pull the brush gently back throught the muzzle. Follow with a light oil. Most highpower shooters I know follow these general procedures. The proof is in group size http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif.

Don't use those nasty patch holders that you wad the patch up and poke it through. Use the wrap'em or poke'em jags.


[This message has been edited by meho (edited 03-13-2005).]

03-13-2005, 11:07 PM
I thought that running a hard rod down the bore prevented abrasive grit from adhering to said rod and abrading the inside of the barrel. (whew what a long sentence) Im really curious as to whaat is recommended for a cleaning rod for centrefire rifles.

03-14-2005, 08:54 AM
Hi Madman,

As I said above the bare vs. coated rod debate is still on going. I have felt cleaning rods bow and touch the rifling when working it through the bore. It makes sense to me at least that a coated rod with maybe some microscopic particles touch the bore is better than a solid rod of steel that is as hard as the barrel. This is only one opinion that is worth exactly what was paid for it.


[This message has been edited by meho (edited 03-14-2005).]

03-14-2005, 09:36 AM
I'd like to second the suggestion for Leupold scopes. I use a 2-8 VXIII on sako 270 that I hunt with and it is a fine instrument. I also have a 4 1/2-14 VXIII that I'm going to have to build a home for. I've used it to test various rifles. Also Zeiss is fine but they are pricey. Leupold makes a good quality scope and their warranty is second to none.

03-14-2005, 10:54 AM
Re the cleaning issue:
If you keep your coated rods clean, you should have no problems. The MOST important thing is to use a bore guide to keep the cleaning rod centred in the bore. Benchresters use bore guides for cleaning almost exclusively. Pay attention to what these guys do. In general, they know more about getting the best accuracy out of a rifle than anybody. Best accuracy improvement IMHO is case neck turning. With a tuned rifle, it will probably shrink your group size in half. Most people spend all their time tuning the rifle and playing with bullet weight, styles, and brands, and powders, and ignore the cases! Size, decap, and trim the cases, and weigh them. Discard the cases that are out of whack. Turn the case necks to a consistent thickness (not too thin, or they won't hold the bullet) and watch your group sizes shrink. Go visit your local benchrest club and ask questions. Most of those guys will be happy to share what they know. And they know lots!

03-14-2005, 11:29 AM
Come on! Only 200 yards? Real men use iron sights!


03-14-2005, 12:14 PM
a note on barrel break-in. barrel break in is used to accomplish two things (well, really one). it cleans the edges of the rifling to prevent fouling and unpredictable deformation of the bullet/bullet jacket (in your case bullet jacket, as i doubt you will be shooting much cast lead). most modern barrels are manufactured to tight enough tolerances that only minor imperfections are present in the rifling. in fact, that is probably more dependant on the type of rifling (hammer-forged, broached, cut, etc.) than anything else. the first thing you want to do with a new barrel is clean it, and the action, as good as possible. then fire one shot and clean. fire one shot and clean. then fire three shots and clean. repeat the "three shots and clean" procedure a few times and make sure to check the first few patches through the bore when cleaning. once the cleaning patches show minimal fouling, especially the blue stains from copper, then the rifling is about as smooth as it will ever get. any additional "break-in" beyond this point is actually taking away from barrel life as each round you fire will be one more from the 2000 or 3000 or whatever the barrel is supposed to last.
also, there is almost no reason to run any abrasive down a rifle bore on modern barrels unless you are trying to remove rust. if you ARE trying to remove rust, break-in is the least of your worries.


andy b.

03-14-2005, 02:30 PM
Neck turning for a factory chamber is not worth it. Unless the neck area is undersized by using a custom reamer all one will have by turning brass for a factory chamber is a overworked neck. SAMMI spec chamber with a undersized neck being blown out and sized back down over and over will lead to premature case neck splitting. Not mentioning the need for competition dies with removable neck bushings.

I shot a 6.5x284 tight neck for the 2002 shooting season. Standard neck for a 6.5mm is .297, the tightneck is .293. After Norma came out with a standard neck with their brass we had a new reamer made for to fit the brass. No one ever turned another neck. I have .284 Winchester brass that I just necked down with no neck turning done or sorting by weight and just shot it. It was good for a 200-8x out of a possible 200-20x at 600 yards two weekends ago at Ft. Benning. That was done shooting prone with a sling and iron sights, no support with 10 to 15 mph winds. I'll never turn another neck. I've cleaned several 600 yard targets with a .223 shooting Winchester and LC brass that had never had the primer pocket cleaned much less weighed and sorted. BR shooters with $3000 outfits may turn necks but Highpower shooters and folks with factory barrels need not. These opinions are mine own based on real life shooting experiance and are by no means meant to be a "end all".


03-14-2005, 03:08 PM
I own several Leupolds and love them. Not the cheapest, but fine quality. At 200 yards I would think a 3x9 would be ideal.

03-14-2005, 05:59 PM
Good information!

I've read so much crap on some websites I swear the smell is coming through my PC speakers. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I was leaning to either a fixed 6x scope or a 3x-9x variable. So many of the websites talk about getting scopes up to 24x!!! I don't need to count the whiskers on a ground hog at 150 yards before I can shoot it.

I'll stick with the scope rings that come with the rifle which means about a 40mm or 42mm objective maximum. Since I'll be hunting during the day I don't need anything bigger.

Again, good information! Thanks all!


03-15-2005, 09:19 PM
It shipped today so I might have it Thursday. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-15-2005, 10:06 PM
MY 6x18 I can ZOOM in on a bullet hole. Field of view at 100 yards is less than three or four feet, Not really measured it.

It wiggles so much with weak shoulders I have to prop it up. I used to do 100 pushups and it wiggled much less.


03-16-2005, 12:42 AM
For the money, I like the Swift scopes. I have a Premier 4-12x 50mm on my M14. It does a fine job even in low light situations. I have also used it on my match configured AR15 to reach an 800 yard target. I originally wanted a cheap scope to put on rifles that I have built for testing purposes. But I just couldn't stand looking through some of the really cheap stuff and then I stumbled accross the Swifts. So I bought one and have been nothing but impressed with them ever since then.

I have use German optics (Zeiss) on one of my previous rifles that cost as much as $1,600.00. After using several Swift scopes, I'll never pay that much for a rifle scope again. Yes, there is a difference. But the difference is so small as to be inconsequential, IMHO. The Swift 4-12x 50mm cost me ~$190.00. Now, for every rifle scope that I purchase, I have an extra $1,400.00 that can be spent on cool tooling or more rifle parts!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Im in the process of building a 50 cal and it will be fitted with a Swift Premier 8-32x 50mm.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...

[This message has been edited by smurph (edited 03-16-2005).]

Gary Helmick
03-16-2005, 07:59 AM
I guess I have used just about all the popular scopes on the market. Right now I have a Bushnell, Simmons, Tasco, and a Leupold. Out of all of them I like the Simmons about as good as any especially when you compare price.
Why not get a scope that is a 4-12 or a 6.5-24 and then you will have it all covered.
Gary Helmick

03-17-2005, 07:07 PM
Talk about disappointing!!!

I picked up my rifle tonight after work, got it home to look it over, and just about cried. My first gun purchase in about 20 years.

There's a ding in the recessed portion of the crown right at the bore!!! The finish was covering the ding so it happened before it left the factory. That ding made a burr sticking into the bore. I took it back so the gunsmith could look at it. He agreed it was a significant defect. The gunsmith offered to repair it but I said I bought a new gun and I'd rather not have to have it repaired. He also said there would be part of the barrel at the crown left with no finish after he repaired it, i.e., it would show.

They gave me a full refund. They're ordering another one for me.


Dave Burnett
03-17-2005, 08:33 PM
I have a Ruger 77 Mark II VT in 22.250 and I put one of them $190.00 4x12 Swift scopes on it and I feel it is hard to beat. Some times just because things cost a lot it don't make them good. I always use Control Mounts and rings as they are the best I have ever seen.

03-17-2005, 08:34 PM
It is sad but true. On even the top name brands. Make sure that you
also check out what ever scope you get, at any price.
Good luck

Have Fun
Be Safe http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

03-17-2005, 09:46 PM
The gunsmith said the problems with firearms run across all manufacturers. He said you wouldn't believe the problems some new guns have when they arrive.

My wife made a delicious dinner of corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Later, I had a Leinenkuegel's Creamy Dark beer. Then a while after that a nice warm brownie for dessert that my daughter made. Life is good! Screw the rifle. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-17-2005, 09:48 PM
Theres nothing quite like the feeling of aquiring a new gun and playing with it while it still has its newness factor, except for maybe a new Lathe or Milling machine which is 100% ready to go.

08-14-2005, 02:06 PM
Well, after owning the rifle for almost 5 months I finally took it out for a trial run. Sweeeeeet!

That's an embarassing amount of time to wait before shooting it but I've had too many other irons in the fire and no urgent reason to take it out. Plus, every time I mentioned taking it out to the property SWMBO said she wanted to go out to the property and didn't want to sit around while I worked on the gun. And I really just want to be ready for when the weather cools off.

Did some break-in and roughly sighted it in. Only shot 9 cartridges.

After a couple hours of 'shoot once and clean' for the break-in I hit the quarter sized bullseye at about 75 yds I decided that was enough for today. In another week or two I'll take it out and seriously sight it in for 200 yds or so. Then it should be ready for some hunting this fall.

Seems like a nice rifle. Thanks for the advice everyone. BTW, I got the Nikon Monarch 4x12 AO which is also sweeeeeet!

Can't wait for Fall! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 08-14-2005).]

08-14-2005, 10:01 PM
I preferred the .243 in the M77 for shooting groundhogs and such. More of a reach out and touch caliber.
I bought the same gun in 22-250 with a bull barrel, and didn't shoot it for a couple of years. Dropped a scope on it, and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. Finally at 20 feet, I was able to hit a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Turns out someone had put the same size scope rings on it, when it needed a staggered height set. Gun was shooting Way off!!
David from jax
With the right scope rings, it shoots like a dream.
Have gun, will travel.

[This message has been edited by sandman2234 (edited 08-16-2005).]