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  #1  
Old 12-02-2012, 12:18 PM
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Reworking a Ruger Laminated Stock


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I have a M77 MKII in .243 with the original laminated stock.

It's stable, for sure, but it's beefy for a .243 hunting (not varmint) rifle. Maybe even porky. It weighs more than my CDL Whelen with a 24" barrel, and that's just not right.

I'm thinking of reducing the weight from the outside with a belt sander, as there's a lot of wood all around, and possibly milling some from the barrel channel, and drilling some from the butt.

Has anyone tried this?
How much weight will that remove?
Should I just buy a walnut handle?

Does anyone make a set of aluminum or titanium rings that might help. I love the durability of the Ruger steel rings, but they are overkill for less than a medium bore magnum. It's a .243.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:35 PM
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For all the work you propose you will save ounces, not pounds. Considered a composite stock?
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:00 PM
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Reads to me like you just bought the wrong rifle, or your needs have changed.

I'd not work it as you suggest. Trade it or sell it for something that does what you want.

Just my opinion.

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Old 12-02-2012, 05:01 PM
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Laminated stocks require a lot of work to shape. As suggested, best bet would be to find a good synthetic stock of your choice and go with that, saving the laminated.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:11 AM
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Ah, OK.

Pretty experienced set of responses.

I think I'll turn it into a M70 FWT then. It looked great in the catalog, and shoots well enough, but the darned thing weighs more than my Elk rifle. And not by a little.

Thanks for the insight,
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:17 PM
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If you ever go to wacking away at a stock Im going to suggest you use hand tools like rasps and files,mistakes are caught alot sooner and its really not alot more time with good tools
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:16 AM
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Thanks Romey,

I may just order a walnut stock from Ruger. They are trimmer in hand, and lighter in weight. My buddies M77/'06 stock weighs over a pound less on a postal scale.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:35 PM
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I wouldnt do it for just a pound... That Lam stock is far more stable then Rugers walnut stocks
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:14 AM
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Might be the case. Working with several Rugers with walnut and laminated stocks, the most accurate rifles have had walnut handles. I suspect the barrel and bedding are more significant when accuracy is an issue. Come to think of it, the most accurate rifles I own, a CZ527 and a CDL Whelen, have walnut stocks.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:42 AM
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Im not saying walnut isnt a great material, it is. Its just that Rugers M77 Sporter stocks are thin in areas that allow the stock to move and the channel is very often not sealed.
MOST Rugers shoot better with uppressure in the foretip for which there is nothing wrong with unless your stock moves that pressure around. IMO that is the cause of most thinking they needed to free float a Ruger only to find it shoots worse. The issue wasnt the up pressure but uneven pressure that moves alot depending on the time of year
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:05 AM
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Thanks Romey.

I have a mix of synthetic, laminated and walnut on multiple rifles. I don't have a preference other than walnut looks better to my eye.

The M77 MKII/.243 initially shot just plain horrible. It was the first .243 I've ever owned that wouldn't shoot sub MOA/5shots, just by tweaking the load.

The bore was suspect as it was rough. Vertical stringing to the left as the barrel heated suggested forestock pressure might be not all good. As a precaution I swapped out the scope, and eliminated that factor.

So far, I've dropped back and bedded the recoil lug, and relieved the pressure on the fore end. The barrel is free floated at the moment. The trigger surfaces were honed up to remove the gritty feel, and I installed a lower weight spring. I also put some time in on the bore with JB and a tight patch. Groups have improved from 2.5"-3" to about 1.25"-1.5". I'm half way there.

The single most promising trip to the range was with a box of Trail Boss loads with a 60gr Sierra HP. The sight in group at 50yds went into 0.35"/5 that opened to 0.75" at 100yds. I'm hoping that fishing through a couple recipes with RL22 and IMR 7828 with 100gr Hornady or Sierra bullets will get me there. The goal is a rifle for antelope and prairie dogs. I want to be able to swap the scopes for different loads, which has worked well with other rifles in the past.

I still may take a pass at removing some pork from the stock. If it turns bad, I'll pick up a synthetic.
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