There is no answer to your question. Some are exceptionally good, most are average, some are poor. BUT.... a 4" group sounds like sither something is VERY wrong with the rifle, or the shooter isn't very good at what he's doing.
I have an old (1976 vintage) M77 in .30-'06 that will shoot 3/4 inch groups all day long with my handloads, and will shoot any factory ammo I've ever tried in a 2" group or less.... usually about 1 to 1-1/2 inch groups.
I have 2 Ruger centerfires. A Stainless Model 77 in .30-06, and a #1 Tropical in .416. Of the 2 the .416 is more accurate, but not by much. From what I've seen personally, heard and read, Rugers aren't the most accurate rifles out there. Yes, you might get lucky, but your chances won't be that good. If your in the market for a Mini 14, just forget about accuracy. They are terrible! 4" at 100 yards is the norm. I've seen several that won't even achieve that. I don't understand why Ruger doesn't try and improve the accuracy of their rifles. They would certainly sell a lot more of them. There is zero reason a Savage for example, shoots so well from the box, and a Ruger so poorly. I doubt I'd buy another Ruger rifle. Handguns you bet! They make some of the best. But until they start delivering better accuracy in their rifles, I'll take a pass. Bill T.
My experience with Rugers is pretty much the same as those above and what is expected of Ruger; very serviceable but nothing to get excited over. I have a 77 in 30/06 which I'm in the process of shooting up ammo prior to selling. Depending on the brand, groups can be decent at about 3 inches at 200 yards to loose Improved cylinder patterns at 100. this particular gun seems to like 180 gr bullets, the cheap Sellier & Bellot FMJs where grouping inside 4" at 200 yards with Federal silver box soft points running an inch or so smaller. I ran a box of Olympic 150 gr FMJs through it at 100 yards and thought the scope fell off the groups were that poor. At $6 for the box I wasn't expecting much but this was not expected. A box of Winchester Power Points in 150 gr ran close to 2" at the same range.
I would do as suggested above and check scope mounts and action screws but would suspect the problem is likely the shooter unless it was a .223, 30/06, or .308 and he was using military surplus ammo. If that was the case, try some decent commercially made rounds. Groups will likely shrink. If not, it is the shooter.
I have owned 2 Rugers in the past and are the two guns I never should have sold. M77 (old style with tang safety) with varmit barrel in 6mm Remington. Shot solid 1/2 dollar size groups at 300 yards with factory ammo. Also had a Ruger #1 in 25-06 that could do the same. Why oh why did I sell these guns?
I have heard folks complain about Ruger centerfire rifles not being very acurate, but I for one would have to disagree with them from personal experiance. Buddy of mine has a M77 old style in 30-06 and although not as acurate as the guns I had owned still can placed three shot groups all touching at 100 yards all day long (hand loads).
I have two MKII model 77s, one in 7X57 and an international in .308. Both shoot well. I generally shoot at 200 and 300 yard 2" gongs for practive. I had an model 77 ,(tang safety) in 25/06 that shot fair for the frist 300 rounds and then simply went to hell. I worked on it myself and then had a couple of gunsmiths take turns. Nothing short of rebarreling was going to help it.
About the same. This is the best my brand new Ruger Stainless Model 77 will do in .30-06 with handloads. Thats a 4" orange bull. I'm sick and tired of screwing with it. I put good money into this rifle and it's been a generally poor performer from an accuracy standpoint. I have 3 other .30-06 bolt actions, (Remington, Weatherby, and Browning), and all will shoot rings around this Ruger. From what I've seen, this is commonplace for a lot of Ruger rifles. I know some will shoot, but for every one you show me that will, I'll show you a boatload that won't. I have a Ruger #1 Tropical in .416 Rigby that isn't much better. Ruger #1's have forend tension issues that destroy accuracy. I won't be buying anymore Ruger centerfire rifles. It's simply not worth the gamble when I know other brands shoot so much better. They make great .22's and handguns, but I'll let others support their rifle market. Bill T.
I bought, my first and only Ruger, a M77 (pre M77 MkII) in 7mm Remington Magnum back in 1982. In short, it patterned like a shotgun - to say it shot anything like a "group" was too generous. As a 20-something earning little more than minimum wage, it had taken me a long time to save up the money for what was my first big game rifle. I was bitterly disappointed.
I sent it back to the factory and they replaced the stock. Upon return, I had a gunsmith hone the trigger, glass bed the action, and free float the barrel. After all that, I would get 2" groups at 100 yds - with the right hand load. The wrong load would open up to 4" groups. In short, servicable, but not good enough to satisfy me, especially considering all the work I put into it.
Bill Ruger made numerous important contributions to the American gun industry. The M77 MkII looks like a good action, and the Ruger built-in scope mount system is great and should be the industry standard. Ruger also has some great rifle ideas like the 77/22 and the No.1. As others have noted some Ruger rifles shoot great out-of-the-box.
However, Ruger accuracy is too much of a crap shoot for me. After being burned on my first purchase, I'd pretty much never buy another Ruger firearm.
i finally got to the range with mine. (m-77 in .30-06)
after 40 some rounds of mil-surplus, i had a 6 round shot group of just over 1.25". 4 of the rounds were touching. of course this is from a bench, and sandbags. i suspect after i dial my handloads, the group will shrink. not that there is anything wrong with it now. it would be nice to be able to shoot just one ragged hole. i don't know if I could do that even if the rifle could.
I just won't accept poor accuracy from a rifle and keep it,I've had good luck with older rugers but poor accuracy from a few winchesters and 1 remington.I sent the remington back to the factory and it came back as one of the best guns I ever owned.The winchesters required a little work,one required a new barrel,all bought new except 1 that was slightly used,I was friends with the guy that bought it new and was with him when he bought it,that one required a new barrel,less than the cost of a new gun.It shot well after that.Sometimes just lapping the locking lugs can give equal force to hold the cartridge in place and can help accuracy,on a couple of winchesters I bedded the action and that helped bigtime,I've not tackled a newer ruger yet but like the new ruger hawkeye models and may give them a try but if I get one that I can't get to shoot any better than Billt's after all I can do it will go down the road.Drop-Shot
Sometimes the accuracy problem with some Rugers is the front action bolt is tightened too tightly in the factory. By loosening the action bolts and retightening them can make a difference. A few of the 77s that I have seen have had the front bolt so tight that it was hard breaking it loose.
I have a m77 mkII in 243, with the cheap synthetic stock.that you can still get on the 77/22. When I got it, it would fire probably 4 inches with Winchester or Remington 100gr off of sandbags. I recently took the stock off and shaved the plastic ribs till they didn't touch the barrel, and the last time I took it out, I was getting 2.5-3 inches, although I did get a few flyers out to 6 inches (probably me). I want to get into hand loading and see what that can do, although as a hunting rifle, which is what I intend for this to be, that is plenty serviceable. Now I want to get a heavy barreled varmint rifle for a range toy and try for really small groups.
TempestV another thing to try is in the latest edition of Guns and Ammo magazine.The article is "The Crowning Touch"and has good information to try.It says to take white-out and coat the crown of the barrel,let it dry and shoot at least 3 times and look for equal blast marks around the crown,if its off even a little it will cause the groups to grow.I bought a crowning tool from Brownells and have helped almost every rifle I recrowned.Only 1 still shot 2 inch groups and I didn't want to go too far as he had a scout rifle with an 18 inch barrel and I expected other problems anyway,he just wanted to recrown the rifle to the 11 degree target style crown.I might add that just anybody shouldn't lapp the locking lugs as it can cause headspace problems,I won't lapp mine unless its close to start,then I use Flitz,very fine grade polisher and keep a field headspace guage in use inbetween lapping.Read the article,its a gooden.Drop-Shot
I have a ruger mkII that I think needs this treatment (lapping and re-crown). When you do the re-crown is it necesary to blue the cut area on a blued barrel? If so, what is the best way to do this? I wanted to ask before springing for the equipment.
greensock I use Oxpho-Blue,use a q-tip and spread the Oxpho-Blue around and let it sit.Its a cold blue and there are many kinds,I only tried a couple and felt good about Oxpho-Blue.Brownells sells it and I think Midway Usa sells it also,mabe Sportsman Wharehouse.I just recrowned a friends rifle,it used to shoot a 1 to 1 1/2 inch group and last group was 2 1/2 to 3 inch groups,that little crowning tool worked its magic and its shooting even better groups than than new,one group was slightly under an inch.Let me know how it goes.Drop-Shot
My R77 in .243 is the most accurate gun I own. It groups around an inch with Federal Power-Shoks so I've never really tried anything else in it. I did kill a deer with it last year. Certainly accurate enough for that.
I was shooting with a friend that had an older stainless with the old hollow synthetic stock in 270 Win. I was shooting my Browning Boss Stainless Stalker right on side of him. I shot half a box of my Federal premium 130 gr ballistic tips trying to get my rifle to "zero" and never shot a group as well as he did. He pulled out his handloads and shot a 3 shot figure 8. Two holes touching with three shots. Cased his rifle and was done. I almost asked him to shoot mine, but pride got in my way. He just plain out shot me. Rugers are fine rifles for the money.
The only Ruger left in my collection of hunting rifles is a M77 (tang safety) in 338 Win Mag. This gun was worked on by George Vais, the gunsmith who designed his own line of muzzlebrakes. This gun routinely shoots 1/2" groups with Federal High Energy 250gr Partitions. All my other Rugers were out of the box guns and none shot better than 1 1/2" -2" groups at 100yds.