My Favorite Ruger
NRA editors rarely need an excuse to chat about their favorite firearms. So when Ruger announced its Million Gun Challenge earlier in 2011, the buzz around the office turned to not who actually owns a Ruger, but how many and which models. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into their personal collections, and invite you to tell us about your own favorite Ruger.
My M77 is a Hawkeye
Sturm, Ruger & Co. has focused on developing quality firearms for the hunting and shooting market since 1949. Some 60 years later, I’m challenged to select my No. 1 Ruger amongst 400 variations of 70-plus products over 25 product lines, but because there can only be one favorite, I choose the Ruger 77 Hawkeye. Why? Simply put, I like to shoot, but I love to hunt; I like to hunt with handguns, but I love to hunt with rifles and shotguns; I like to hunt all types of game, but I love to hunt big game—and the Ruger M77 Hawkeye more than fits my bill.
When this bolt-action rifle was introduced in 2006, I appreciated its fast-twist barrel and trim ergonomics and the classic checkering of its walnut stock and fore-end. Over the next five years, things only got better. Today’s Ruger M77 Hawkeye is available in a variety of calibers to match any hunter’s or shooter’s needs in 11 models—from Alaskan, African and predator options to tactical and sporter versions to Ruger Compact Magnums (RCMs) to, last but not least, left-handed rifles for shooters like me. While some gun manufacturers offer nothing for Southpaws, Ruger offers the standard model for lefties in 11 calibers from .204 Ruger to .308 Win., the African in .375 Ruger and the RCM in seven options from .300 to.338 RCM.
I toted an M77 Hawkeye in the then-new 6.5 Creedmoor option on an exotic-game hunt taped for “Ruger’s Adventures’ in 2010 and could not have been happier with its long-range performance. Both on the range and in the field, this gun was dead-on accurate and a pleasure to shoot. Paired with a 120-grain lead-free Hornady GMX bullet, the Hawkeye delivered the flat trajectory, power and terminal performance I needed to drop a mouflon ram at 200-plus yards. Also worth noting is the Ruger LC6 trigger, which is set to break around 4 pounds but is so crisp it feels even lighter.
All things considered, the “R” for Ruger could just as easily stand for “reliable” and “rugged.” And to top it off, Ruger can take great pride in the fact that its rifles are made in America.