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Rifles

G&A Review: Ruger Model 77 in .357

by Payton Miller   |  December 21st, 2011 17

The .357 Magnum has been used in rifles ever since guys started rechambering shot-out Model 92 Winchesters way back when. Up to now it’s been pretty much of a lever-action thing. But with the recent introduction of Ruger’s M77 .357, we now have an 18.5-inch barreled, stainless/synthetic-stocked bolt action that incorporates two of the company’s signature innovations.

Specifically, the integral base/ring scope mounting system and the bombproof detachable rotary magazine (a five-round unit in this case). All this comes in a very handy 5.5-pound package.

Picture 1 of 6

Ruger’s excellent ring/base system was used to mount a Weaver Grand Slam 1.5-5X variable on the M77 .357.

Ruger, of course, isn’t new to the pistol cartridge/bolt-action carbine concept. But in terms of versatility and potential ammo diet, this one’s something else. After all, we’re talking about a range of bullet weights in varying configurations from (roughly) 90 to 200 grains over a (more or less) 1,000 fps velocity span.

When you stop to consider that the increase in some of the more energetic .357 commercial loadings is on the order of several hundred fps, it isn’t a stretch to note that the M77 .357, for all practical purposes, boosts magnum loadings to approach the performance of the almost-defunct .357 Maximum (from a 14-inch pressure barrel, no less).

See photos and specifications of the guns mentioned in this article and order from an inventory of thousands—all online through Gun Locator at Gallery of Guns.

  • old vet

    To me, the low end of the rifle-pistol concept, is the .44 mag. Have a Marlin 94 in that caliber and out of the carbine barrel, it's a little thumper.

  • smokejaguar

    I've been trying to solve this issue for myself for some time.Not wanting to go with the 44 Magnum I figured the 45 Long Colt might be the answer. However the general opinion is its no better than any other pistol caliber unless your willing to hand load your own ammo, and increase the charge.Even the 300 gr. JHP (Bear Loads) I fire thru my pistol are lacking in a rifle.

  • BruceInCA

    Apparently some didn't see the value in following the links to actually read the facts about the 357 Max with 158 gr HP pistol bullets out to 300 yds. One of the articles that Bellm linked was extensive with group size target photos and performance in ballistic gelatin.

    I have taken several deer, both white tail and mulies with a Dan Wesson 357 Max revolver with 8" barrel out to 150 yds. I shot the 357 Max in both NRA and IHMASA pistol silhouette for years. Accuracy was superior to my 44 mag pistols. Even talked my way into a rifle silhouette match, or two. . .my pistol against rifle shooters. Off hand at 500 yds was DIFFICULT, but the few I hit, went down.

    Those accusing Bellm of tooting his horn, I pointed him at this article because I thought he had something to offer in info on the Max performance. Bellm produces barrels in any caliber you want. He has found the 357 Max to be an ideal round for deer out to 300 yds and for silhouette shooting. He has no more monetary interest in the Max cambering than in any other caliber. He does tout calibers that he has found accurate, and the Max is a target quality round, using pistol bullets, easily taking deer, with pistol bullets, to 300 yds. That was my opinion from experience. Glad Bellm proved it true with his and his customer's research/experience.

    I have never bought a TC barrel from Bellm, but I did talk him intor re-chambering my Marlin in 357 Max. I am still working on the feeding, but fired single shot the gun is MUCH more accurate than it was in its original 357 Mag chambering. With a scope it produces 1/2" groups at 100 yds from an original Micro-groove barrel.

  • BruceInCA

    Full function has been accomplished and I have had such correctly modified rifles my hands and fired them, but my luck with gun smiths claiming to have the lever gun experience to do the mods correctly has been abysmal. The last smith had the rifle two years. The work he did was correct. The rifle fed, cycled and fired 5 rounds. Then the action jammed tight.

    Disassembling the rifle got everything freed up, but next throw of the lever, with no cartridges in the mag or the chamber, locked it up again. Quality of fit is the problem. As a welder with some machine shop experience, I'll eventually resolve the modification myself.

    • old vet

      Best of luck to you. Lever guns are deceptively complicated in timing and balance. Get an overly long cartridge in a Marlin and you find out what a real jam is. Agree there is often a wide gap between a "gunsmith's" idea of his skills and the truth. Anyway sounds like a worthy project.

  • Russ Dobbs

    I am surprised that they introduced the .357M first instead of the 44M.
    Perhaps that will follow shortly.
    Now for the person that wants a lever gun companion for their Blackhawk, Redhawk, SAA etc. then nothing else will suffice. When you consider how high new lever guns have gotten I"ll bet a number of folks will see this as a viable alternative.
    Looking forward to getting my mitts on one. Sure would like to see one in 41M

    • old vet

      They do have this in 44MAG. At least they did last time I checked their sight.

  • bhupinder.sandhu

    nice looking rifle could do with more power charge to be a real rifle serving the purpose

  • Reloader7

    I can,t wait for Ruger to come out with a stainless model 77 chambered in 500 S&W! With the flexibility of this round when handloaded, I believe it would be extremely popular! I know I would would rush right out and buy one! Somebody put a bug in Rugers ear!

    • old vet

      Cool thought, wouldn't require much tooling on their part, would be real whacker.

  • Alex

    Finally a new entry for 357/38 cartridge. With ammo getting more and more expensive, I would like to have a good companion to my revolvers. Thank you Ruger. Hope others will follow, too.

  • John

    What happened to the scope in that picture. Looks twisted and destroyed……

    • old vet

      Just bad shading. actually bad photo presentation all around, why do we so often never get a nice picture of the whole gun?

  • joshy

    PROBLEMS PROBLEMS PROBLEMS…thats what my ruger 77- 357 has been for me.rotary magazine wont work properly.jaming ALL the time,muzzle needs deburing,accuracy is very very poor.i expected more from a very expensive rifle.out of 10 points i give it 1 ..

    • Amshooter

      I have had issues with mine too. It just will not feed / chamber reliably and it's very frustrating. Also, the rotary mag often gets hung up. I purchased 2 additional mags from Brownells and tried several kinds of .357, to no avail. It is at Ruger now for an evaluation / repair and I really hope they can get it running as I otherwise enjoy this carbine. I will re-post when it returns.

    • augco

      wanna sell it?

  • Johnny NH

    Buffalo Bore 180 gr Hard cast bullets ruined 1/4 steel plates when we shot it for the first time out…almost bored a hole in 'em .Also note it was shooting quite well scoped at 100 yds(about max. distance) and it took my 240 lb. Russian Boar with no problems!! He piled up in 3 yds at 70 yds with a clean behind shoulder shot. I couldn't be happier! As for the Old Fart commenting previously…try before you squawk because this is a great gun and I've had no probs w/ mine.And having several guns that shot same caliber is nice. .38 spl are pure fun and 125 gr .357's scream out the barrel and are quite accurate. Fixed 4x scope made it my Deer gun and I love it

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