Ruger Model 77 MKII Varmint Target 220 Swift


By Bill Wade

Bound for the 1999 Prairie Dog Conference, I mailed my Christmas list early to Santa Claus. She agreed to let me pick out my choice of rifles and so I did.

I picked up a new Ruger M77 Mark II chambered in 220 Swift, the first of November. This is my first "New Rifle" since 1977, so you can imagine I was a little excited. Here is a picture of most of the gun. Ruger 220 Swift

If you have visited CenterFire Central recently, you may have seen my notes on the 220 Swift as I have attempted to keep the site up-to-date on my progress with the rifle.

Going over the new rifle once I got home with it, I have found it to be nearly perfect.

"Nearly perfect" is kind of like "the right break-in procedure", I guess it is all a matter of opinion.

The hardware is smooth as glass. The finish seems to be consistent throughout with no marks or shiny spots with one exception that bothered me until I shot it. The crown has a nick or scratch that should not have been there. Here is a picture of it. I don't believe that it is going to be a problem but still wish it was not there. 220 Crown

The gun has a 3 position safety which I really like. The middle position is for loading and unloading which certainly calms your nerves a little when compared to my older Remington 700 with a 2 position safety.

The target trigger is fantastic. It has about 1/8th inch free travel and crisp release at a shade over 2 pounds. A light trigger catches me off guard from time to time at the range but this one has not done so yet. I think the free travel gives me a feeling of confidence that the next "pressure" will release the sear, so I am prepared.

The stock is laminated and I guess I would call it a medium color stain. It too is smooth and the fit to the gun looks good. The barrel is floating to the lug and is pretty much right down the middle of the groove in the stock. The bolt groove and ejector side of the receiver have square edges that could chip or wear down in time. I have even been tempted to try and smooth it up a little but have not done so. Bolt Groove

The forearm is beavertail style and measures just under 2.5 inches wide. I don't shoot in competition, so I don't know if this is a "good" size or not but it sure is stable on the front rest. It attracts some attention at the range; it is a beautiful gun. They all want to know what it is and comment on the appearance. That does not make it shoot any better, but it is nice to hear.

The rifle came with "High" scope rings for the integral bases and they are really nice. Finished to match the gun, they too are smooth and seem to be square with the world. I have mounted a Bushnell 4x12x40 AO scope on it and intend to mount a scope of higher magnification soon. The scope does not clear the chamber so a 40 mm, in this length is about all there is room for with the adjustable objective. 40mm Objective Clearance

The instruction manual is well written and thorough, which shines in comparison to some that I have seen. I like the warranty, "If you have a problem, contact us" not in 2 years or 5, just "if".

I ran 1 box of factory ammo through it and jumped in and started reloading for it. As of this writing I have fired it just over 100 times. These targets are from the last trip out with the gun on 12/27/98. I think with a little work, this one is going to do just fine. 12/27/98 Targets

Santa has not shot it yet but wants to as soon as warmer weather arrives. I have to get really good with it first because she has put me to shame on occasion in the past. I'd say beginners luck but it has happened more than once.

I offered to put a gun under the tree for her but she is content to shoot mine once in a while and informed me that if it is under the tree it should have diamonds and be a wearable item.

She must still love me though, she bought me some 220 brass for Christmas and I gave in and bought her jewelry. Maybe for her birthday, nah.

Bill Wade

You can read more about my experience with the 220 Swift here.

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Last Modified: Saturday, November 27, 2004 7:45 PM

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