.243 rifle advice, please

Paul in Idaho

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I have an older (late 80's?) Ruger M77 .243 that has been sitting here mostly unused for several years. As far as I know, everything is factory original, including the ridiculously stiff lawyer-proof trigger. It is in very good condition. It has been kept with the intent of using it for shooting practice since its recoil is less than the -06 I use for hunting, and in hopes my wife may want to use it some day. I finally have had opportunity to shoot it some this year, and am now trying to decide whether to keep it or trade it in for a different rifle.

I have been reading some older posts here about .243 usage:
http://onyourownadventures.com/hunttalk/showthread.php?t=257469
http://onyourownadventures.com/hunttalk/showthread.php?t=209005
http://onyourownadventures.com/hunttalk/showthread.php?t=254110

It seems that bullet choice and distance are the main considerations when using this cartridge for hunting. If I were to hunt with it, I'd use a Barnes or similar premium bullet.

My quandary is mostly a financial one. Would it be better to spend money having a gunsmith improve the trigger (and potentially some accurizing), or keep everything original and sell/trade it for a new rifle, that would likely have a good trigger and better accuracy right out of the box?

Which would you do? If you'd get a new rifle, which cartridges would you consider given my reasons for having the .243?

Thanks.
Paul
 

jryoung

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Unable to determine due to velocity
How bad is the accuracy and do you think it is related to the trigger?

If you think accuracy issues are just the trigger and possibly finding the right ammunition they I would swap the trigger and try some ammo and get it to come around. If you like to tinker, try and bed the action. There is a great tutorial for a M77 on 24hourcampfire under the "hunting rifles" category (see the sticky)

If you think it is more than that, then I might seek to trade it out.
 

kiwi hunter

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sell and get something in the 264 range(260/creedmore)better bc and better sd
a 125 partition has the same sectional density as a 165 in 30 caliber
good enough for wapiti
 

huntRme

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The .243 won't stand up to the benefits of the slightly larger 6.5x55 or .257 Roberts. Have seen good results with the 6.5 125 gr NP in the sporterized Sweedish Mauser I had built for my son (wish I had one too). Very zingy and very accurate. My old go-to rifle was a 700 classic in .257 that, with hand-loads, was equally zingy (I never liked the large amount of tissue damage it caused). I used the 115 gr NP in my .257. Both rifles burned H4831.
 

VAspeedgoat

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What sort of hunting are you wanting to do? This may help in giving advise. As asked earlier, do you think there is an inherent accuracy issue or is it the trigger?
 

mtmuley

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I don't see where the OP stated an accuracy issue. I didn't even read that the OP had even fired the rifle. mtmuley
 

VAspeedgoat

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I think I assumed there was an issue because he said that he had an opportunity to shoot it and then said something about a new rifle being more accurate right out of the box. You know what they say about assume!
 

Paul in Idaho

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Thanks for the input, guys.

I haven't shot it enough yet to have a good feel for its accuracy. Last time at the range, the .243 put 6 shots in a 1-inch group at 50 yards. Next time I go to the range I'll try it at 100 and see what it does.

I'm assuming some accurizing work may be needed mostly since my hunting rifle (.30-06) is the same model and I have taken it to 3 gunsmiths over the years due to accuracy problems. The stiff trigger is no doubt a big part of any lack of accuracy. That was the first thing I had done to my -06 and it helped a lot.

@jryoung - I don't know enough about rifles to be comfortable tinkering with bedding or other tweaks.

@kiwi, @huntRme, thanks for the caliber recommendations. I'll look into those.

@mtmuley, yes, it's a tang safety model. Made in 1989 if I'm reading the serial number history right.

@VAspeedgoat, I intend mostly to hunt paper targets with my smaller rifle, but mule deer and antelope would be in the list too. I hunt a lot of open country, so anything that replaces this would need to be useful at >200 yards.
 

VAspeedgoat

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For pronhorn I think any soft point, ballistic tip etc should work. For the mulies I would rather see a partition, or accubond. For something different try a 90 grn scirrocco. I have never tried it personally, but I have friends that love it. I second keeping it. Have the trigger done and maybe recrown the barrel if the trigger doesn't fix it all.
 

mtmuley

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If it is a tang safety rifle, I would keep it. Matter of fact, I have one. My trigger isn't bad. Some say the barrels on the tang guns are the best Ruger ever had on a rifle. Mine absolutely loves the 95 grain Berger VLD. Found that out by accident, and although I am not a rabid Berger fan, it works and works well. For deer and antelope, that Ruger is perfect. I'll go so far as to say (and I used to be adamantly against this) with a Partition or Accubond, elk at reasonable distance is not out of the question. mtmuley
 

Mthuntinfool

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if you get confident with it, there is no reason you can't hunt with it. my dad hunts exclusively with a .243 ruger, and has killed scores of deer, elk, antelope, and bear with it. all these idiots who think you need a big magnum to hunt or shoot at ranges greater than 200 yards have mostly fallen for the advertising hipe. I would see if a gunsmith could install a timney-type trigger, try out different loads to see what it likes the best. its a great caliber, and I see no reason to get rid of it if I were you. Just my two cents worth.
 

1_pointer

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IIRC that trigger is user adjustable or you may need to try a new spring (sub $10 fix). I'd get some 95gr Ballistic Tips and get to shooting. For a rifle of that age, I wouldn't consider trading it until I shot/tinkered with it a bit.
 

mtmuley

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The triggers are adjustable. There is also a Ruger re-call on those rifles. It was for the trigger overtravel spring I think. I sent for them for my rifles but never installed them. I have a tang rifle in .270 also. Great shooter with 140 Accubonds. mtmuley
 

dan.kirkpatrick

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I like my ruger m77 .243//makes for a good antelope gun///mine is very accurate out well past 350yrds.and doesn't tear the animal to pieces.
 

bobbydean

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My first rifle was a Ruger M77 .243. Absolutely loved that rifle. Very accurate. Put on a Redfield scope (do not hear about them anymore), but was awesome combination, This was when I graduated college in 1976 (I am that old).

Keep that rifle and use it,

Mine was stolen in a home theft in the 80's. Lost several shotguns and pistols, but only missed the Ruger. Kept it on the police alert list for 20 years.

Again, use that rifle.
 

roknHS

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My gun smith would fix your trigger (3 - 4lbs) for less than $50 dollars.
Shawn Thomason, Winchester, Idaho. He's good............
No need to spend over a hundred on a Timney.
 
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