Ruger M77/17 Hawkeye Prototype in .17 WSM

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At Industry Day, Ruger had squirreled away on their rifle rack a prototype micro-length action M77 Hawkeye chambered for .17 WSM. The gun is reduced in size from the regular M77, but features the same twin-lug bolt and Mauser styling (the Mauser extractor appears to have been reduced to a guide for the spring loaded extractor).

 

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My first experience with it came from the fellow ahead of me in line to Ruger’s shooting bench. I was looking at the rifle as he prepared to shoot, when I heard a rifle crack, and immediately looked around to see what gun had fired. It was the shooter ahead of me with the M77/17! Even though I watched the gun the entire time, I did not see it move, so light was the recoil.

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As I took to the bench to shoot it, I noted the gun had what appeared to be a Ruger 10/22 style rotary magazine, lengthened and widened for use with the .17 WSM. The trigger on their prototype was heavier than I expected a varmint rifle’s to be, but it was still very crisp and once I adjusted to this, it proved very easy to hit the small steel ringers Ruger had set downrange.

I am not sure how much extra OAL has been designed into this rifle, but I think that if Ruger released it in multiple chamberings, for example .17 WSM, .17 Hornet, and .22 Hornet, they could have a real winner on their hands.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Joe Schitty

    Savage, you had your chance.

  • Not in .17 it hasn’t.

  • BLN

    Finally a good bolt action 17 WSM. Hopefully for end of May PDoggin.