Suppressing A Classic: The Ruger 77/357

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One of the most satisfying firearm projects I have completed to date is the conversion of a standard Ruger 77/357 into a suppressed short barreled rifle (SBR). The whole setup came together using a combination of woodworking, metalworking, refinishing, gunsmithing and creativity. Aside from waiting on ATF to bless my application to cut my barrel down to ten inches, the entire project truly was a great experience.

Here I was, slowly putting together a tribute piece for the 77/357, when the news broke last week that Ruger was temporarily halting production of the 77 line of rifles. Now, I don’t claim to know about much about internal business practices in the firearms industry, but these rifles are loved by many and, when available, they have at least appeared to sell easily.

On top of all that, there really is nothing else like the 77/xx on the market, save for a few single shot options. There are a handful of quality lever action guns that can be cut and threaded. but altering a tube fed lever gun can have some complications. (I am, of course, a fan of both platforms. It’s best to have at least one of each on hand.)

So, what’s the deal? I hope that the shutdown of the 77 is just a way of giving Ruger time to retool and ramp up production for the next version. These rifles have a cult-like following; mostly because they are just plain fun to shoot. But what specifically is it about the 77/357 and its cousin the 77/44 that attracts so many shooters?

For one, the straight-walled cartridges are inexpensive and easy to reload, meaning that shooters can pick from a variety of recipes depending on their task. For inexpensive target shooting, try some wadcutters or semi-wadcutters. For medium-sized game, load up some heavy 200+ grain bullets. More on ammo selection later.

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Shadowdoc

Why do I enjoy the 77/357? It’s a niche gun and I have always been a fan of the unique. After all, there can’t be that many bolt action, suppressed, .357 Magnum SBR’s floating around the world. In reality, however, it’s the awe inspiring silence that makes me appreciate this rifle every time I pull the trigger. With the right load, a suppressed 77/357 can shoot quieter than a suppressed .22LR, while slinging five times the lead as that rimfire round.


Specifications from the Ruger page:

TFB - Ruger 77/357

77/357 @ TFB

  • Patented integral scope mounts, machined directly on the solid-steel receiver, provide a stable mounting surface for scope rings, eliminating a potential source of looseness and inaccuracy in the field (scope rings included).
  • Three-position safety is easily accessible and allows the shooter to lock the bolt to load and unload the rifle with the safety engaged.
  • Solid, heat-treated alloy and stainless steel actions feature a rugged, stainless steel bolt with 90° bolt lift and ultra-fast lock time for added accuracy.
  • Detachable rotary magazine features a unique rotor to separate cartridges and provide reliable feeding. Mounts flush with the stock to eliminate protrusions at the rifle’s balance point.
  • Cold hammer-forged barrel results in ultra-precise rifling that provides exceptional accuracy, longevity and easy cleaning.
  • Also includes: sling swivel studs..

Excerpts from the owners manual:

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB

Starting Out

When I started my 77/357 project I was lucky enough to have the help and guidance of the guys in suppressor section of AR15.com. Here’s just a sampling of the Rugers that have been cut down and suppressed in the last two years.

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: killjoytgedestroyer

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: killjoythedestroyer

Ryan aka “Slacker” inletted this Boyd’s nutmeg laminate stock to accept a Liberty Mystic suppressor with a fixed barrel adapter.

TFB - Ruger 77/357

77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Slacker

A fixed barrel adapter for the Liberty Mystic attached:

77/357 @ TFB

77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Slacker

The finished rifle is beautiful: truly functional art.

77/357 @ TFB

77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Slacker

My build Process

Stripped down to ten inches.

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77/357 @ TFB

Inletting:

Ruger 77/357

77/357 @ TFB

Ruger 77/357

77/357 @ TFB

Ruger 77/357

77/357 @ TFB

Ruger 77/357

TFB – Ruger 77/357

Tungsten Cerakote color scheme:

TFB - Ruger 77/357

TFB – Ruger 77/357

TFB - Ruger 77/357

TFB – Ruger 77/357

My finished rifle as seen here on TFB a few years ago:

TFB - Ruger 77/357

TFB – Ruger 77/357

77/357 @ TFB

77/357 @ TFB

Of course, there are many others that came before me; I used their builds (and knowledge) as inspiration for my project.

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TFB – Ruger 77/357. Credit: ptaylor

TFB - Ruger 77/357

TFB – Ruger 77/357

TFB - Ruger 77/357

TFB – Ruger 77/357. Credit: SuperDutyMikeMc

77/357 @ TFB

77/357 @ TFB Credit: postban

 

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TFB – Ruger 77/357. Credit: postban

The refinishing on this 77 was the inspiration for my full grey Cerakote.

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TFB – 77/357. Credit: IG720

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TFB – 77/357. Credit: IG720

And while I’m not a reloader (yet), it’s awesome to see the size of the rounds that guys have been able to fit into the five shot rotary magazines.

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: postban

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: ptaylor

Ryan, aka ‘slacker’ has worked out some impressive loads specifically for the 77/357:

Supersonic 357 MAG Hornady XTP

158gr XTP, 16.5GR H110
18″ BBL: 1706FPS
10″ BBL: 1627FPS

125gr XTP, 21.0GR H110
18″ BBL: 2170FPS
10″ BBL: 1912

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Slacker

Subsonic 38 SPL (.358 heavy bullets designed for 35 Remington, loaded mag length)

38 SPL, 200gr Hornady FTX, 9.5GR LIL GUN
10″ BBL: 1108- 1119 FPS.
SD of 11 FPS across 6 shots. Accurate load.

Subsonic 38 SPL, 225GR SPEER Soft Point, 9.5GR
10″ BBL: 1003-1012 FPS.
SD of 9 fps across 6 shots.

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Slacker

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77/357 @ TFB. Credit: Slacker

Writer’s Note: Reloading is serious business. Double check all formulas and load data before chambering a round and pulling the trigger.

Integrally Suppressed Rifles:

Commercially, a few manufacturers have offered 77 builds. AWC Silencers currently offers the Ultra 44, an integrally suppressed gun built on the 77/44.

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AWC Ultra 44 @ TFB

And Stalking Rhino (SRTArms) and John’s Guns have also offered integrally suppressed 77/44 rifles.

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John’s Guns 77/44 @ TFB

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SRTArms 77/44 @ TFB

The 77 suppressed around the world:

New Zealand checking in with a cut and suppressed 77/357.

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77/357 @ TFB.

Accuracy:

This sweet little rifle is not going to be entering any competitions. But it is accurate enough to ring steel and hit the vital area of a deer or hog up to 150 yards away. That is about as much as you can ask out of a cartridge originally built for lever guns and revolvers.

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77/357 @ TFB – 65yards. Credit: postban

THE end?

Well, there you have it, the Ruger 77/357 at its best – suppressed. Now, I know what you are going to say: “something, something, .300 Blackout, something”. Can you accomplish similar results with a bolt action .300BLK? Sure. But when it comes to ammo availability and price, the .38/.357 rounds are an unbeatable value for subsonic shooting.

Coincidently, Adam Devine and my new friends at Ranger Point Precision posted a recent blog article about the .357 Magnum and .38 Special cartridges. It’s a short read, but well worth your time.

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I’m not ready to write a eulogy for the 77 series just yet. There’s a chance that Ruger is taking a break to focus on other product lines. However, if you have ever been on the fence about picking one up for yourself, you should consider calling around to a few distributors. I’m betting there are hundreds of others just like you who are about to make the same call.

I’d like to thank my fellow suppressed 77/357 nerds over at AR15 for their help, guidance and allowing me to use their photos.


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Ruger Firearms – https://ruger.com/

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Customer Service Department

411 Sunapee Street
Newport, NH 03773

Tel: 336-949-5200


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Liberty Suppressors – http://libertycans.net

Tel: 706-661-6911



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • CupAJoe

    Also of note, for people who want to shoot quiet without any paperwork, you can hand load some pretty quiet 38 loads when you have a long barrel to exploit. No gun modifications, sbr or suppressor paperwork to contend with. Just be sure that you don’t load down so far that the bullets get stuck in the barrel.

    • North Polar

      My understanding was that 158gr .38 special would *usually* be subsonic out of a 10″+ barrel anyhow.

      • CupAJoe

        With the right powder load you can also cut down the noise of the explosion. Search “cat sneeze” load. It requires low power and a long enough barrel to achieve complete powder consumption before the bullet exits the barrel.

      • Tassiebush

        It’s actually about the extra barrel length taming muzzle blast rather than just eliminating sonic crack. The aim with a quiet load out of a long barrel is for it to be fast burning load that hits peak velocity in the first few inches of barrel then as it travels the rest of the way it will actually lose a teeny bit of velocity but be a fair bit quieter.

      • Gary Kirk

        Once all combustion is done, a vacuum is created, which leads to a very different impulse when fired.. Requires a long enough barrel, and also presents a significant loss in velocity.

    • Tassiebush

      I have a Rossi 92 24″ barrel for that albeit I’m using factory cowboy loads at the moment. I half contemplated getting a 77/357 and having it rebarreled to 26″ instead but it wasn’t a great match for my budget at the time.

  • Jason

    NICE rifle!!!

  • savaze

    I’ve been on a wait list for a 77/357 since ’10 with multiple gun shops that used different suppliers, and they were long lists. I wasn’t in a hurry to acquire before…

  • thedonn007

    I belong to the same local gunboard as Postban. Seeing his build and yours has tempted me to purchase a 77/357 as well, but not quite enough to pull the trigger.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Thanks for putting this together. I enjoyed looking at all the custom jobs and how everyone was just a little bit different from the next.

  • Anonymoose

    dat 77/44, tho.

  • Gary Kirk

    Really want a 77/22 mag just as a platform build.. Would get expensive from there.. Beautiful rifles, and built for a man, no scrunched up shooting. How are the CZ 455 varmints? Hate tiny stocks

  • AD

    Bruce Lee was sneaky? Not a fan of using a dead man’s image to promote your product, especially when it had nothing to do with him in any way. Does Ranger Point Precision have permission from Bruce’s family to use his image in this way?

  • iksnilol

    I’ve always wanted something like this, just in 7.62×39.

    Seems like a handy gun for smaller game.

    • Tierlieb

      There’s no commercial subsonic 7.62×39 load, is there? That’s what makes those pistol caliber versions so interesting.

      But if you just want to short, handy rifle, the CZ 527 is for you.
      Or you wait a bit for the new Howa 1500s.

      • iksnilol

        No factory loads, is easy enough to handload though.

        • maodeedee

          Right. and you can duplicate 300 Whisper ballistics in the 762×39 using heavy bullets. Just get a Lee Hand Press for forty bucks and a decent scale and you’d be good to go. I like the hand priming tools as well.

  • Marvinator

    Great article!!

  • Old Vet

    Very nice article. I would like one of the .44’s for my wife to deer hunt with and was saddened to learn of the production suspension. Now the prices will go through the roof for those left unsold.

  • maodeedee

    A lot of the loads listed in the article were supersonic and were 125 to 158 grains in weight. It would seem to me that with a suppressed rifle you’d want to shoot heavy bullet loads that were subsonic which would make the Ruger 77 in 44 caliber a better choice because of the availability of 300 grains and heavier projectiles.

    But for the 357 mag, 200 grains and heavier projectiles at 1000-1050 fps would be ideal.