Ruger M77: Exploring Updated Additions for a Timeless Rifle

Ruger M77: Exploring Updated Additions for a Timeless Rifle

Posted by Jordan Voigt on 2nd Apr 2024

One of Ruger’s most popular offerings, the Ruger M77, was introduced in 1968 by Jim Sullivan during his three-year tenure at Sturm, Ruger, and Company. The Ruger M77 was engineered to fit a hole in the market left by Winchester when they moved away from their traditional controlled-round feed action to compete with the Remington Model 700. Ruger stepped in with an action heavily modeled off of the Mauser 98, featuring the external claw-type extractor Model 70 aficionados knew and loved as well as a plunger-type ejector to replace the traditional blade-type.

The original M77 design was discontinued years ago but was redesigned and brought back in several different iterations, including an upgraded barrel and trigger design on the M77 Mark II. The action incorporated the blade-type ejector, a three-position safety and a completely different trigger system. Ruger brought their barrel production in-house and began adding hammer-forged barrels to their offering, improving specs and accuracy.

The author’s M77 Hawkeye on stand in brown bear country

Alaska Arms, recognizing the popularity and timelessness of the Ruger M77, has developed several offerings for one of Ruger’s most iconic lines. One of the most popular items are their quick detach Ruger M77 scope rings; true sportsmen and -women will appreciate the engineering acumen and attention to detail of the custom-milled rings. They are designed and built in Big Lake, Alaska, home of Morris Melani, owner of Alaska Arms, LLC.

The author’s son hunting black bear, Alaska Arms rings and floor plate are visible.

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of utilizing Morris’ keen knowledge of all things Ruger, adding a set of scope rings and an extra-round floor plate to my Alaska bear rifle, a Ruger M77 Hawkeye, chambered in .375 Ruger. The QD rings are as good as advertised; after following Morris’ installation instructions (blog post here) for my Leupold VX-6HD, I’ve packed the rifle on planes, boats and four wheelers never having lost zero or suffered a mechanical issue.

Large-bodied game animals often require follow-up shots. The author’s friend with a Shiras moose that was hit hard yet still required a follow-up shot to anchor him.

Morris’ aftermarket floor plate allows an extra round to be added in the magazine of magnum calibers and two extra in standard calibers. Easily installed, it’s a no-brainer upgrade for working rifles. My son and I enjoyed a spring black bear hunt with the .375 in a country heavily traveled by brown bears; while a big bruin’s account can be squared with the first shot, it’s comforting knowing there’s plenty of follow-up opportunity available if needed. As Morris says, “Hopefully you won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be dang glad you have it.” Links to Alaska Arms floor plates can be found here:

  • Link to Ruger Extra Round Floor Plate (Standard Magnum Calibers)
  • Link to Ruger Two Extra Round Floor Plate (Standard Cartridges)
  • This Boone and Crockett brown bear was lethally hit three times at close range with a .416 before stopping. Faith in a hunter’s rifle, scope and ammo is a must when hunting where big bears live.

    Whether you’re a long time Ruger customer or are just unboxing your first rifle, check out Alaska Arms site for high-quality, Alaskan-made parts that will ensure your rifle is ready for a hunt of a lifetime.