Ruger Model KM77VT Mk. II Target Rifles
By Chuck Hawks
Ruger's Mark II Target Rifle is a striking looking rifle, with a brown laminated hardwood stock and Ruger's Target Grey finish on the stainless steel barreled action. Ruger claims that their low glare grey finish is corrosion resistant (of course, so is the stainless steel under the finish) as well as attractive.
Key features of the M77 action include a one-piece bolt with a 90 degree lift and two massive front locking lugs, non-rotating full length extractor for positive extraction and controlled feed, fixed blade ejector, three position "wing" safety at the right rear of the action, hinged magazine floorplate with a release mounted in the trigger guard, integral bases machined into the top of the receiver, and Ruger's proprietary diagonal front-screw bedding system. The bolt is easily removed from a KM77VT Mk. II rifle by pulling outward on a release on the left rear side of the receiver.
The generous loading/ejection port provided by all M77 actions makes loading easy to accomplish. Due to the Ruger's full length extractor, single cartridges should be fed into the chamber from the magazine by operating the bolt, not manually slipped directly into the chamber. That is because it is difficult for the full length extractor to ride over the rim of a cartridge already in the chamber when the bolt is closed. This trait is typical of controlled feed actions. Magazine capacity is 4 rounds.
The free floating, heavy contour 26" barrel is precision hammer forged with a 1 in 14" twist in .220 Swift, the caliber of the test rifle. The muzzle is finished with a target crown. There are no iron sights.
The laminated stock has a very tight pistol grip placed close to the trigger--so tight that in use it tends to cramp my medium size hand. In a more positive vein, there is a wide and comfortable beavertail forearm, a straight comb designed for use with telescopic sights, and a rubber butt pad. It also has a little less pitch down than most other M77 stocks. Detachable sling swivel bases are supplied.
The trigger pull on the test rifle broke cleanly at a measured 2 7/8 pounds with very little take-up and practically no creep. This big rifle is 46" in overall length and weighs 9 3/4 pounds without a scope.
The KM77VT Mk. II is available in a number accurate, long range varmint cartridges plus the .308 Winchester. These include the .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .220 Swift, .243 Winchester, and .25-06 Remington.
At the range the KM77VT passed our accuracy tests with flying colors. 3-shot groups at 100 yards ranged from an incredible 0.25" to 1", with handloads consistently shooting smaller groups than the factory loads. (For details, see the full length review.) This is excellent performance from any rifle, and fully justifies the Ruger KM77VT's premium price tag. I don't see how a serious varmint hunter could go wrong with one of these rifles
Note: A full length review of the Ruger KM77VT can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2004, 2006 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.