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Gunfight Friday: Remington 7 vs. Ruger 77

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December 06, 2013

Gunfight Friday: Remington 7 vs. Ruger 77

By Phil Bourjaily

Today's gunfight is between a couple of deer rifles—a short-action Remington versus a Ruger in the ageless .30/06. Both are bolt actions, both are made in the U.S., and both have the number "7" in their name, and they would seem to be exceedingly unlucky rifles for whatever animal finds itself in their crosshairs. One was a little bit of project, the other a killer out of the box. Neither rifle needs any more introduction than that, so here they are: 

Robert Jones's Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08

This is my old Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08. I purchased it new and have killed many a critter with it. I could never get better than 3-inch groups, even with hand loads, so I finally had a No. 4 contour Shilen barrel installed and had the lugs trued up and lapped. It's had a 2-pound trigger job and with careful hand loads I can shoot little bitty groups, but that accuracy came at a price. It now weighs 9 pounds. It carries a Burris Compact 2-7x33 that is bright, clear, and bulletproof. I have no problem pushing down barbed wire or paddling with it and once used it sideways to pull myself out of the mud. It was stolen in the mid '90s and recovered by local police along with several other firearms. I will never part with it again!

Mickey Rountree's Ruger Model 77

This is my Ruger M77 Mark 2 in .30/06. I bought this new in 2006 when all .30/06 caliber firearms were on special in honor of the 100th anniversary of the cartridge. It is topped with a 3-9x40 Nikon Prostaff scope. It is my go-to rifle for big-game hunting. It has accounted for my best deer and, in my opinion, is the epitome of a classic rifle in a classic caliber.

There you have it—.30/06 vs. 7mm-08, both in classic packages. Let's hear which you like and why. And, of course, keep the gun pictures coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com and please remember to write a few lines about the gun you choose to submit.

Comments (26)

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from kolbster wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

i have both identically , i have killed deer with both and both shoot great, the 7mm-08 is used when im hunting hard woods where most of my shots are well under 100 yards, the other gets used if im hunting over fields or food plots where alot of my shots can range out to 300+ yards, i guess im am just going to give the edge to the model 7, both my rifles are bone stock no trigger work no barrels added nothing, out of the box the model 7 has a much better trigger and feel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

Both solid rifles, solid calibers, solid shooters.
Other than I'm just a bit partial to the M77, it's a toss up.
I prefer the Ruger over the Rem.
I prefer the 7-08 over the '06.
But I am partial to wood stocks! Guess it's the Ruger for me!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I don't know what's wrong with me today. I would normally never even consider choosing a stainless steel plastic stocked rifle over a blued walnut stocked rifle regardless of make, model, caliber, etc.....

There is just something attractive about that little Model 7 that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it is all the work that has been put into it to make it a serious shooter. I do that too. Maybe it is because I switched from an '06 to a light recoiling 7mm Mauser which is very comparable to the 7mm-08. With a 9 pound 7-08 you probably can't even feel it bump your shoulder when you pull that sweet 2 pound trigger either. Maybe it is the cartridge carrier loaded down with what look like Hornady SST bullets that I have been having incredible success with this year in my 7X57. Hmmmmm.

And really everyone I know that is into Ruger firearms says the 77 is their best model. I own four Rugers, all of them are excellent, and none of them are 77's. I have fired a few 77's and can't find anything to complain about. They are accurate, they are smooth, and they are everything a bolt action rifle should be. For some reason this time I am going against all of my better judgements and voting for the Remington.

Robert and Mickey you guys both have rifles that you can be proud of. Neither one is a loser.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

All things being equal (or close, anyway) I also usually go for the wood/blued/tight grouper/good looker. But I also appreciate a composite stocked s/s barreled tack-driver in a classic caliber (I own one of those as well) for it's ruggedness and shooting capability. I had to go with the Remington.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgp wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I had a Model 7 in .308. It looked and felt great in the hands but I have found that I don't do well with rifles or shotguns that have the weight back in the stock and are barrel-light. I gave the rifle to my son. I also have a Ruger 77RL, the ultra-light version in .257 Roberts, not the most accurate thing I own but very good in the hands, better balanced than the Model 7 and it killed my first buck so it has a home with me forever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I like the Ruger M-77 rifle, but really prefer the Burris Compact scope on the M-7. The tie breaker went to the Ruger because a 9 pound short-barreled rifle that weighs as much as my .300 Weatherby Mark V does not fall into the "Fun to Carry" category. Both great rifles!

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from jxc574 wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

The old Model 7s are a tank of a gun: Fiberglass or Kelvar Brown Precision stock with 18.5in barrel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

This is really hard. I have both Rifles, My Rem 7-7mm08 with a Sightron 3-9x40, My Ruger 77/223 with a Leupold 3-9x40.If it come down to the wirer.I pick the Rem 7/7mm-08.

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from pcspecht wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

Gonna go with the Remmington mostly because its stainless and a composit stock. Most of my working firearms are constructed in this manner and here in Alaska there is good reason for haveing a rifle built in this manner. If I had a choice between the two calibers I'd go with the 30.06 if for no other reason than its easer to come by here.
Both are good choices for general hunters and seem to me to represent a good one on one face off.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

Once again a choice between two fine rifles, either of which I would be happy to own. Both are also chambered in two of my favorite cartridges. Close call, but I cast my vote for the Ruger 77 .30-06. I own a .77 International in .243 and this would make a nice big brother. Selling points are the classic Ruger walnut stock and the 77's controlled feed. Simply one of the best-built, most handsome factory production rifles ever made. It's pretty close in all respects to the H&R 340 '06 I already own, but I also have a synthetic-stocked Stevens 200 (actually, my wife's) in 7mm-08, so that's a draw. Also, that 9lbs the 7 represents is a just a pound or two more than I prefer to lug around these days. Will say the personal history behind the 7 makes it more interesting, though. That's a pretty amazing story about the recovery. You don't hear about that happening very often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ShaversMt wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

I've not shot the Ruger M77 in .30/06 but I've owned 2 M77 in .270 and hand load. If I miss it's not the gun it's me! One the most accurate guns I've ever pulled out of the box.
I've got a 2x9 Gold Ring on it and have carried it for the last 25 years and have not touched the gun on scope since. The first 1 was stolen in the UP of Michigan with the Tang Safety and I miss it every day. The 2nd one has the 3 position safety which is the Only thing I don't like about it. I did contact Ruger and ask them some years ago if they would re-fit it with the old style they told me no. I also own a couple of there NO.1 in .270 and .223 all I can say is WOW !! They love hand loads, the Hotter The Better, Feed the Beast !!

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from Northeastsportsman wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

I voted for the Ruger. My primary deer hunting rifle is my Ruger M77 in .308. The Ruger M77 doesn't get a lot of publicity but it is a great looking and great shooting gun for a reasonable price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jaybird1 wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

It has to be the Ruger. I have one in .280 and it's my 'go to gun' for everything from whitetails to moose. A 140 or 160 Nosler and it drives tacks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from guncrazy74 wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

The Ruger IS my deer rifle same caliber and all! Killed my biggest deer on the wall a monster for Missouri at the time. Sounds like the owner of the Remington wouldn't even vote for his own rifle since he had to change it so much. My Ruger has killed so many deer it's a legend in my family because if someone has never gotten a deer I loan it to them and BOOM! First deer! Great gun. Guess I am partial but I think this fight was lost as soon as he said he changed so much.

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from Greg Hart wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

With it's wood stock and timeless chambering I have to vote for the Ruger.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

My first center fire rifle was a tang safety m77 in .270.
Still have it and it is the family gun.
I really like the model 7. That is a fine gun that it's owner set up as his.
But I voted the ruger.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

It is a tough choice. Both are good calibers but will go with the Ruger. Nine pounds is a bit much for that Model 7 in my way of thinking.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

30-06 vs nine pounds of something that's not real easy to find ammo for. My vote goes to the 30-06 but they are both very fine guns. I do admire a rifle that is made to fit the shooter and made to use indiscriminately in the field ... but nine pounds is too much weight.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from .30-06Hunter wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

It's great to see some love for two designs that don't get their due in mainstream media attention. Gotta go with the Ruger. Blued steel, beautiful wood stock and a classic chambering. What's not to love. I am also impressed with the handiness of a short rifle like the model 7.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

I too voted for the '06. I have two, so that probably prejudiced me.
Robert, I am happy that police returned your firearms. I also had a home invasion (robbery), years ago and never got a dang thing back but an insurance check. Still unhappy.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

I picked the Ruger;Cause
1)It's in a .30/06
2)Has a wood stock
3)has a PRO STAFF scope(same as my .35 Whelen)
4)It's a Ruger 77
5)I don't like the Remington 7 rifle, BUT like the 7mm-08

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 18 weeks 2 days ago

This is an easy choice.
The Ruger 77 is a better rifle design.
The .30-06 is a MUCH better cartridge.
The Ruger 77 looks better.
Wooden stocks are better than plastic ones.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RandyMI wrote 18 weeks 1 day ago

Absolutely love this Ruger. Mine is tied for favorite w/my Savage 99 Brushgun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 18 weeks 1 day ago

I have never been a real fan of the Ruger but I have never been able to be a very good shot with a rifle with the weight rearward like the Model 7. It seems like I can shoot them off the bench but when in the woods they are just too light in the front.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 17 weeks 6 days ago

Now there are at least two people who are complaining about not being able to hit with short rifles. I will join the group. I can't hit an elephant offhand with my Ruger No.1 for the same reason, I guess. I have missed three standing deer at 50 yards or thereabouts with that gun. I have killed 8 deer with my Weatherby Vanguard all offhand and have never missed with that rifle. I can shoot a Remington 700 blindfolded, they shoot where I think I am shooting, just like the 1100.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lostcajun61 wrote 17 weeks 6 days ago

I voted for the Remington 7 but own both. Ruger 77 in .270 and the model 7 in .308. I've killed a pile of deer with my "77" but it weighs 9+ lbs. My "7" weighs a tad over 7 lbs. with a 2x7 Weaver, sling and ammo. And, yes I've killed a fair number of deer with it. It really comes down to how and where I plan to hunt as to which rifle I'll carry. When I travel to hunt I always take both as I always want a backup. I love them both for different reasons and I'm always happy to have either in my hands. Just a little more partial to the Remington and also a big fan of the .308.

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Post a Comment

from NHshtr wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

All things being equal (or close, anyway) I also usually go for the wood/blued/tight grouper/good looker. But I also appreciate a composite stocked s/s barreled tack-driver in a classic caliber (I own one of those as well) for it's ruggedness and shooting capability. I had to go with the Remington.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

My first center fire rifle was a tang safety m77 in .270.
Still have it and it is the family gun.
I really like the model 7. That is a fine gun that it's owner set up as his.
But I voted the ruger.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from .30-06Hunter wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

It's great to see some love for two designs that don't get their due in mainstream media attention. Gotta go with the Ruger. Blued steel, beautiful wood stock and a classic chambering. What's not to love. I am also impressed with the handiness of a short rifle like the model 7.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

i have both identically , i have killed deer with both and both shoot great, the 7mm-08 is used when im hunting hard woods where most of my shots are well under 100 yards, the other gets used if im hunting over fields or food plots where alot of my shots can range out to 300+ yards, i guess im am just going to give the edge to the model 7, both my rifles are bone stock no trigger work no barrels added nothing, out of the box the model 7 has a much better trigger and feel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I don't know what's wrong with me today. I would normally never even consider choosing a stainless steel plastic stocked rifle over a blued walnut stocked rifle regardless of make, model, caliber, etc.....

There is just something attractive about that little Model 7 that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it is all the work that has been put into it to make it a serious shooter. I do that too. Maybe it is because I switched from an '06 to a light recoiling 7mm Mauser which is very comparable to the 7mm-08. With a 9 pound 7-08 you probably can't even feel it bump your shoulder when you pull that sweet 2 pound trigger either. Maybe it is the cartridge carrier loaded down with what look like Hornady SST bullets that I have been having incredible success with this year in my 7X57. Hmmmmm.

And really everyone I know that is into Ruger firearms says the 77 is their best model. I own four Rugers, all of them are excellent, and none of them are 77's. I have fired a few 77's and can't find anything to complain about. They are accurate, they are smooth, and they are everything a bolt action rifle should be. For some reason this time I am going against all of my better judgements and voting for the Remington.

Robert and Mickey you guys both have rifles that you can be proud of. Neither one is a loser.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jxc574 wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

The old Model 7s are a tank of a gun: Fiberglass or Kelvar Brown Precision stock with 18.5in barrel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

Once again a choice between two fine rifles, either of which I would be happy to own. Both are also chambered in two of my favorite cartridges. Close call, but I cast my vote for the Ruger 77 .30-06. I own a .77 International in .243 and this would make a nice big brother. Selling points are the classic Ruger walnut stock and the 77's controlled feed. Simply one of the best-built, most handsome factory production rifles ever made. It's pretty close in all respects to the H&R 340 '06 I already own, but I also have a synthetic-stocked Stevens 200 (actually, my wife's) in 7mm-08, so that's a draw. Also, that 9lbs the 7 represents is a just a pound or two more than I prefer to lug around these days. Will say the personal history behind the 7 makes it more interesting, though. That's a pretty amazing story about the recovery. You don't hear about that happening very often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Northeastsportsman wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

I voted for the Ruger. My primary deer hunting rifle is my Ruger M77 in .308. The Ruger M77 doesn't get a lot of publicity but it is a great looking and great shooting gun for a reasonable price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jaybird1 wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

It has to be the Ruger. I have one in .280 and it's my 'go to gun' for everything from whitetails to moose. A 140 or 160 Nosler and it drives tacks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Hart wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

With it's wood stock and timeless chambering I have to vote for the Ruger.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

I picked the Ruger;Cause
1)It's in a .30/06
2)Has a wood stock
3)has a PRO STAFF scope(same as my .35 Whelen)
4)It's a Ruger 77
5)I don't like the Remington 7 rifle, BUT like the 7mm-08

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 18 weeks 2 days ago

This is an easy choice.
The Ruger 77 is a better rifle design.
The .30-06 is a MUCH better cartridge.
The Ruger 77 looks better.
Wooden stocks are better than plastic ones.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RandyMI wrote 18 weeks 1 day ago

Absolutely love this Ruger. Mine is tied for favorite w/my Savage 99 Brushgun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

Both solid rifles, solid calibers, solid shooters.
Other than I'm just a bit partial to the M77, it's a toss up.
I prefer the Ruger over the Rem.
I prefer the 7-08 over the '06.
But I am partial to wood stocks! Guess it's the Ruger for me!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgp wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I had a Model 7 in .308. It looked and felt great in the hands but I have found that I don't do well with rifles or shotguns that have the weight back in the stock and are barrel-light. I gave the rifle to my son. I also have a Ruger 77RL, the ultra-light version in .257 Roberts, not the most accurate thing I own but very good in the hands, better balanced than the Model 7 and it killed my first buck so it has a home with me forever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

I like the Ruger M-77 rifle, but really prefer the Burris Compact scope on the M-7. The tie breaker went to the Ruger because a 9 pound short-barreled rifle that weighs as much as my .300 Weatherby Mark V does not fall into the "Fun to Carry" category. Both great rifles!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

This is really hard. I have both Rifles, My Rem 7-7mm08 with a Sightron 3-9x40, My Ruger 77/223 with a Leupold 3-9x40.If it come down to the wirer.I pick the Rem 7/7mm-08.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pcspecht wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

Gonna go with the Remmington mostly because its stainless and a composit stock. Most of my working firearms are constructed in this manner and here in Alaska there is good reason for haveing a rifle built in this manner. If I had a choice between the two calibers I'd go with the 30.06 if for no other reason than its easer to come by here.
Both are good choices for general hunters and seem to me to represent a good one on one face off.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ShaversMt wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

I've not shot the Ruger M77 in .30/06 but I've owned 2 M77 in .270 and hand load. If I miss it's not the gun it's me! One the most accurate guns I've ever pulled out of the box.
I've got a 2x9 Gold Ring on it and have carried it for the last 25 years and have not touched the gun on scope since. The first 1 was stolen in the UP of Michigan with the Tang Safety and I miss it every day. The 2nd one has the 3 position safety which is the Only thing I don't like about it. I did contact Ruger and ask them some years ago if they would re-fit it with the old style they told me no. I also own a couple of there NO.1 in .270 and .223 all I can say is WOW !! They love hand loads, the Hotter The Better, Feed the Beast !!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from guncrazy74 wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

The Ruger IS my deer rifle same caliber and all! Killed my biggest deer on the wall a monster for Missouri at the time. Sounds like the owner of the Remington wouldn't even vote for his own rifle since he had to change it so much. My Ruger has killed so many deer it's a legend in my family because if someone has never gotten a deer I loan it to them and BOOM! First deer! Great gun. Guess I am partial but I think this fight was lost as soon as he said he changed so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

It is a tough choice. Both are good calibers but will go with the Ruger. Nine pounds is a bit much for that Model 7 in my way of thinking.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 18 weeks 3 days ago

I too voted for the '06. I have two, so that probably prejudiced me.
Robert, I am happy that police returned your firearms. I also had a home invasion (robbery), years ago and never got a dang thing back but an insurance check. Still unhappy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 18 weeks 1 day ago

I have never been a real fan of the Ruger but I have never been able to be a very good shot with a rifle with the weight rearward like the Model 7. It seems like I can shoot them off the bench but when in the woods they are just too light in the front.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 17 weeks 6 days ago

Now there are at least two people who are complaining about not being able to hit with short rifles. I will join the group. I can't hit an elephant offhand with my Ruger No.1 for the same reason, I guess. I have missed three standing deer at 50 yards or thereabouts with that gun. I have killed 8 deer with my Weatherby Vanguard all offhand and have never missed with that rifle. I can shoot a Remington 700 blindfolded, they shoot where I think I am shooting, just like the 1100.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lostcajun61 wrote 17 weeks 6 days ago

I voted for the Remington 7 but own both. Ruger 77 in .270 and the model 7 in .308. I've killed a pile of deer with my "77" but it weighs 9+ lbs. My "7" weighs a tad over 7 lbs. with a 2x7 Weaver, sling and ammo. And, yes I've killed a fair number of deer with it. It really comes down to how and where I plan to hunt as to which rifle I'll carry. When I travel to hunt I always take both as I always want a backup. I love them both for different reasons and I'm always happy to have either in my hands. Just a little more partial to the Remington and also a big fan of the .308.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 18 weeks 4 days ago

30-06 vs nine pounds of something that's not real easy to find ammo for. My vote goes to the 30-06 but they are both very fine guns. I do admire a rifle that is made to fit the shooter and made to use indiscriminately in the field ... but nine pounds is too much weight.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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