Ruger 77/17 in .17WSM

  • 9Cf7LLNh.jpg

    I've really enjoyed the 17WSM cartridge. It's an incredibly fun varmint round that everyone should definitely have, but having said that, there are precious few options available in rifles. The volquartsen and Franklin armory semi-auto's, the savage B-mag, the winchester 1887 low wall, some custom thompson contender and other break action barrels... and the Ruger 77/17 based on their hornet action. Not a lot to choose from, which is a shame, considering how awesome of a cartridge this is.

    Semi auto's can be fun, but I'm simply a bolt action kind of guy. I knew it would simply be a lottery with the above mentioned options... so it really wasn't a choice, but a lack of options. Savage doesn't interest me at all. My previous experiences with them have been terrible. Either I'm too high class for them, or they are too low class for me... either way, they simply don't produce the kind of things I enjoy. Winchester single shot just didn't appeal to me. Break actions are annoying. So, that left the Ruger.

    They offer an 18" model with green laminate stock and target profile barrel. My previous experience with the 17WSM demonstrated that barrels longer than 20" aren't really needed, so I didn't figure 18" should hurt. My previous experiences with ruger rifles in mind, I purchased a Timney sear kit for it at the same time I ordered the rifle. My past Ruger 77/22's and /17's have all had horrific triggers. This rifle was no exception. Upon attempting to have the sear installed, the rifle slam fired and was simply unsafe. So, I ordered a rifle basix trigger kit for it. The combination of these two parts got everything working splendidly with a very nice trigger with minimal creep and a nice 1.5 lb. pull weight. It was all quite easy to install and adjust.

    Did pretty well for myself on the rifle lottery with this one. It will shoot most rounds about 3/4 moa on average, with some groups being 1/2 moa or better and some being up around 1.5 moa due to the flyers. Rimfire dictates there will be some flyers, but with most batches of ammo it isn't too bad. Certainly workable for most varmint work. The action on this particular rifle feeds flawlessly and the bolt is smooth enough for what it is. I've had a couple failures to eject, with the case being stuck tightly in the chamber... but this too isn't something I'm unfamiliar with on other rimfires. All in all I've been very pleased with this rifle, considering it's low price. Plenty of things that could be better, but for a sub-$1000 rifle, I'd say it's a workable option. The love affair factory manufacturers have with sporter stocks with garbage ergo's is beyond my understanding. Especially on a rifle with a heavy target barrel where a sporter stock is about as welcome as a great white shark at the beach. I'd pay a healthy sum for a McMillan A3A for this rifle.

    I topped it with a vortex PST gen II. A fitting enough optic for a budget rifle. While workable, cheap rifles and cheap glass like this certainly leaves me wanting. I'm accustomed to significantly higher quality and shooting these things is certainly more forced than I'm used to. That being said, I've had some fun with it. The addition of the Thunderbeast 22 Takedown quiets down the 17WSM rounds handily. I put this rifle together so my companions would have something to shoot that I wouldn't have to reload for. It'll fit the bill nicely, and is cheap so I won't have to worry about them knocking it into things like I would one of my customs.

    The chamber must be fairly generous in this thing, because every so often I'll see a split neck like the one you see here. I may end up with a lilja barrel on this thing at some point, so it's not heartbreaking to see.

    100yd 5-shot groups

    As you can see, it shoots pretty well for a factory barrel. Most are like that top group. Some are like the middle group, and some are like the bottom group.


    I absolutely despise ruger's proprietary ring setup they force on everyone. Some of these old curmudgeons at these old companies need to wake up to the times and start machining pic rails into their actions, or at least make their action tops modular so you can screw on whatever rail system you want. Absolutely stupid that it's 2019 and there are still brainless actions with proprietary mounting like this being made.

    All in all, its a fun little toy that will no doubt let my shooting companions have lots of enjoyment. While they are having fun with this, there will be a custom rifle from TS Customs topped with a Tangent Theta optic in my hands. :)

  • @orkan
    I'm wondering what kind of action it will be. Just have to wait and see. Wayne

  • @rimfire All will be revealed in due time! :)

  • Might be the ammunition. These are Hornady 17 HMR and I believe Winchester Supreme or Remington. Can't remember. I don't know if the Super Mag's have splitting problems out of the box but I had a bunch of 17 HMR. They split even when they were solid going into three different rifles also and it seems like the newer ammunition I have been using doesn't do it as bad.
    Other Brand

  • Oh I'm sure it probably is the ammo. No real good offerings available.

    All 17WSM is made by winchester.