AR15.Com Archives
 Anybody hunting with a Ruger 77/44?
doorgunner  [Team Member]
5/28/2011 7:26:47 PM EST
I just made a sweet trade on a 2004 production Ruger stainless/synthetic 77/44. It's had a trigger job, that breaks at about 2.5 pounds, and is in flawless condition. I'm going to buy a Leupold 2-7X33 variable to slap on it tomorrow. Just curious if any of you guys have toyed around with a 77/44?
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Snowden  [Member]
5/28/2011 8:21:22 PM EST
For me, a 2.5 lb trigger is fine for a target rifle or pistol, but too light for hunting.

Also, I wouldn't use a scope with the short range .44 mag and would prefer iron sights instead ... ideally ghost ring rear - gold dot front.
doorgunner  [Team Member]
5/28/2011 8:48:42 PM EST
Well all my hunting triggers ether have replacement triggers, or trigger jobs, so with about 30+ years of experience with light (and safe) triggers, that's not an issue. I have no heartburn with the open sights issue, I just need a scope for my old eyes. What loads are working for you with your 77/44?
Zoomer302  [Team Member]
5/29/2011 2:54:37 AM EST
I run an older M77 (1985ish) in 30-06 for deer. It's my favorite rifle to hunt with. It's responsible
for 25 or so deer in the fridge and multiple heads on the wall. I put a timney trigger in it - 4 - 4.5
pound, clean crisp break.

Great gun.
doorgunner  [Team Member]
5/29/2011 4:21:45 AM EST
I guess I'll restate my question in another way. Is anyone hunting with a bolt action 44 Magnum? If so, what loads, factory or reloads, are you having good luck with? Thanks.
dbd870  [Team Member]
5/29/2011 9:22:42 AM EST
I don't have a 44 bolt gun but I do a 44 lever gun. I use a 240gr JSP behind a full charge of H110. I haven't connected on one yet when I've had it out. We can't use the usual high power rifle rounds in a long gun here. A low power variable should be fine; I would leave it on the lower end and only turn it up when needed. I have a 2.5 fixed on my 44. It's obviously not a long range gun but out to 150yds ought to be fine
M4Madness  [Site Staff]
5/29/2011 1:49:17 PM EST
My wife has a brand new stainless/synthetic Ruger 77/44 sitting in the safe right now. She used to be quite the buck slayer, and bought this rifle for that purpose, but hasn't hunted the last two seasons. This season, I'm planning to use a new T/C Omega muzzeloader that I've had a few years, but may pack the Ruger a few times if she isn't.
adrock1  [Team Member]
5/29/2011 3:11:52 PM EST
Every now and then I hunt with my Winchester 94 in .44mag. I've killed one nice buch with it. The Winchester White Box 240gr jsp performed admirably. Expanded well and penetrated pretty damn deep. I know it;s not a bolt action but the performance should be comparable.

doorgunner  [Team Member]
5/29/2011 6:33:44 PM EST
Thanks for all of the load suggestions, and information. Couldn't find the scope that I wanted locally today, so I'm going to order it online on Tuesday. I'm pretty excited about hunting with a pistol caliber rifle, after decades of hunting with larger caliber and magnum rifles. It's going to be fun having to close the distance, and do things differently. I'm looking forward to the challenge, even if it's pretty un-Texan in style.
frozenny  [Team Member]
5/30/2011 5:24:59 PM EST
I used to hunt with a .44 Marlin 1894. Not a bolt action but .44 is .44. One word of advise: Avoid loading nosler 240 JHP for use on deer. They are an okay pistol bullet but carbine velocities are higher. The nosler jacket is thin and VERY prone to jacket/core separation. I would typically see these bullets completely shed the jacket on a 15 lb woodchuck. They don't hold up on deer.

Beyond that I have little advise. No,I dont hunt specifically with a 77/44. If I'm going to carry a bolt gun, it will be chambered in .260, .308 or .350. I have thought that a suppressed 77/44 would be reaaalllly interesting though. especially if loaded with subsonic soft lead wadcutters...........
TheCommissioner  [Member]
5/31/2011 1:04:54 PM EST
I have a 77/44 bolt action with Nikon Prostaff 3x9x50 mounted. It was a new gun last hunting season. I sighted in the scope with WWB 240 gr. ammo and was very pleased with the results, i.e. 3/4 inch groups at 75 yards. Unfortunately I didn't see a deer worth shooting and never fired the weapon during the season so I guess that makes it still a virgin. But based on range results, I felt confident I'd drill any deer out to 100 yards with no trouble.

I think the OP has a good deal with a light trigger. My factory trigger is way too heavy for my satisfaction.
doorgunner  [Team Member]
5/31/2011 1:12:21 PM EST
I knew you Hoosier hunters would come through. You guys have kind of been thrust into "expert status" on pistol caliber deer rifles. I appreciate you posting your experience. I'm going to play around with the Winchester White Box 240's, and try a box of the Hornady Leverevolution stuff, as soon as the UPS guy delivers the scope.
M4Madness  [Site Staff]
5/31/2011 3:54:38 PM EST
My wife has killed deer with a Ruger 99/44 Deerfield Carbine before she bought this 77/44, and she just used the Winchester "white box" 240-grain ammo. I think we're going to put a Nikon Pro Staff 2-7X32 on her 77/44.
VaFish  [Member]
5/31/2011 4:44:17 PM EST
I don't have a bolt action .44 mag, but I do have a 16" lever action .44 mag and a 14" TC Contender in .44mag.

That Contender has killed dozens of deer. 240 gr JSP WWB from Walmart works fine, as does every 240 gr JHP I've hand loaded for it. Longest shot I've taken on a deer was 111 yards, most were 50 yards or less. At those ranges the .44 mag kills as fast or faster then a .30-06 does.
MagnusM4  [Member]
6/2/2011 9:04:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By doorgunner:
I just made a sweet trade on a 2004 production Ruger stainless/synthetic 77/44. It's had a trigger job, that breaks at about 2.5 pounds, and is in flawless condition. I'm going to buy a Leupold 2-7X33 variable to slap on it tomorrow. Just curious if any of you guys have toyed around with a 77/44?

I just bought one of the "All-Weather" 77/44's this last winter. Obviously I haven't been able to take it hunting as of yet, but it shoots really well. I mounted a silver Leupold 2-7x33 UltimateSlam muzzleloader/shotgun scope on there. I think its just about the perfect scope for the rifle. It shoots Hornady LeverEvolutions best, at about 1.25" at 100 yards. All others shoot around 2". Make sure the barrel is free floated though, that helps tremendously with accuracy.

Here's a big ass coon that I shot with the 77/44.
cowman71  [Member]
6/2/2011 10:28:55 AM EST
I have one that I had grey guncoated with 1.5-6x scope in Warne QD rings. I've mostly killed hogs with it using heavier bullets (270-285 gr.) over hefty charges of W296. It really doesn't seem to like those heavy loads from an accuracy standpoint. Best accuracy came from 240 gr. pills.

I installed one of these triggers and it breaks at about 2.5-3 lbs.

blusmoke  [Member]
6/3/2011 2:04:20 PM EST
I hunt with a Ruger 77/44 with an SRT integral supressor. It is one of my favorite deer rounds. I am using a 240 grn 44 spcl semi wad cutter. Bad ass for whitetail medicine.
pmc1  [Member]
6/4/2011 2:43:42 PM EST
My best friend has a 77/44 with an Integral SRT also. Great gun.

Krochus  [Member]
6/6/2011 11:40:32 PM EST
I haven't hunted with it yet but I recently purchased a brand new 77/44 that I've fitted with a leupold 2x7x33
reaper101  [Member]
6/9/2011 7:34:09 PM EST
i just got myself a new rifle this year and its a Ruger 77/44 in blue and walnut. Ive found that she likes Winchester White box 230gr. JSP's shes spot on at one hundred yards. i usually dont get the option to take deer at a farther range here in Indy. She also likes the Magtech 230gr. JSP's.
doorgunner  [Team Member]
6/9/2011 7:45:37 PM EST
Thanks guys! Well I have the Leupold 2-7X33 mounted, boresighted, and have full boxes of W-W white box 240gr JSP, Hornady Leverevolution 225gr, and some Remington 240gr JHP to play around with. Hopefully it prefers one of the three on the menu. I appreciate everybody's input while I am working on this project, Please keep the information coming.
Flatulence  [Team Member]
6/10/2011 4:15:21 AM EST
Nice set up.

You should make lots of good memories with it.
MagnusM4  [Member]
6/10/2011 7:30:04 PM EST
Looks good! Make sure that barrel is free floated good before you take it out.
Krochus  [Member]
6/11/2011 8:11:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By MagnusM4:
Looks good! Make sure that barrel is free floated good before you take it out.

shoot it first.

Ive never noted any real accuracy increase from free floating a sporter weight bbl especially on rugers. Every time i free floated one I ended up having to add pressure point back to the forend to get it to shoot right again.

IMO this "everything must be free floated", Kick folks are on nowadays is a load of hogwash. At the very least you need to shoot it stock to see if you helped or hurt accuracy.

doorgunner did your rifle come with that set of extended rings?
MagnusM4  [Member]
6/11/2011 10:11:04 AM EST
That's fine then, you can believe whatever you want. Free floating the barrel helped the accuracy on my 77/44 quite a bit.
doorgunner  [Team Member]
6/12/2011 2:10:18 PM EST
Thanks for the comments on the rig. The extension rings came with the rifle, and were purchased by the previous owner. He had a Leupold 2.5X scope on it, and evidently he needed shorter ring spacing to obtain the correct eye relief for that particular piece of glass. The extension rings work fine with the Leupold 2-7X33 that I put on it, so I have no intention of replacing them.

I have all of my big game rifles bedded and free-floated, but I don't have any with the plastic/tupperware stocks, except a Tikka T3 stainless. I'm going to shoot this one before I even think about floating the barrel. Free floating has worked for me over the last 30+ years of dicking around with various bolt action rifles, but I've seen several that shot extremely well with pressure on them.

Realistically, if this gun will print a 2 MOA three shot group, or better,then I'm going to be extremely happy. That's not the same standard that I apply to my other bolt guns, but I think that is reasonable accuracy from a pistol caliber carbine, and will more than fit the bill for what I plan on using it for.
VenomousDuck  [Member]
6/30/2011 12:00:19 PM EST
Another Hoosier with a 77/44, mine likes the WWB 240gr JSP round also. Took a decent doe last season with it, about an 80 yard shot, doe ran about 70 or so yards before dropping. I've got a Burris 3-9x short mag scope on it with the ballistic plex reticle and am very happy. The rifle is zeroed for 100 yds and, on targets I've reliably gotten hits on or very near the bullseye at 200 yards. You may have best luck in the accuracy department with bullets of .430 diameter as I've tried making handloads with Speer 210gr GDHP's (.429") and Sierra 240gr JHC's (.4295"), they tended to be more flighty that the .430" winchester JSP rounds.
MJay  [Team Member]
7/29/2011 6:58:05 PM EST
I have a Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag. I took a doe with it last season. 35 yard lung shot with WWB 240 gr JSP. Bullet completely fragmented. My rifle is weird it likes cheap ammo. I tried the Hornady LeveRevolution 225gr. FTX and was getting a 4" group, about a 2" group with WWB, and a 1.5" group with Blazer aluminum cased 240 gr. JHP. I reload now so I am working on two different loads for it. One with 240 gr. Remington SJHP's and one with Hornady 180 gr. XTP's.
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