Rifles > Bolt-Action

Ruger 77/357 Rotary Magazine Rifle Review

The 77.357 would make a handy, lightweight ranch carbine in a pistol load.


Luckily for firearms' enthusiasts, gunmakers do us the favor of picking up old, tried-and-true shooting concepts and giving them a new spin. Take the idea of the pistol-caliber carbine, for example. Being able to feed both a long gun and a handgun from the same box of cartridges is a great way to reduce ammunition costs and lighten the load when out in the field. Most of these carbines arrive in the form of lever-action cowboy guns or AR semi-auto variants. But not too long ago, Ruger released an all-weather configuration M77 Mark II bolt-action rifle in .44 Mag. With the success of this rifle, the company has expanded the line to include a model chambered in .357 Mag.

This latest pistol-caliber carbine, dubbed the 77/357, is loaded with the features shooters have come to expect of Ruger rifles. The rugged, heat-treated stainless-steel action features a right-hand turning bolt with 90-degree bolt lift. The frame-mounted three-position safety, located at the rear of the bolt, is both accessible and practical since it can be positioned to unlock the bolt for loading and unloading the rifle with the safety fully engaged. The receiver is milled with Ruger's patented integral scope mount, with three ring cuts to facilitate different scope sizes. As an added bonus, a free set of cast stainless-steel scope rings are included with the rifle. It's a nice touch, making it much easier to get the rifle ready to shoot right out of the box.

The 18.5-inch stainless-steel barrel is hammer-forged and topped with an adjustable rear sight and a gold bead front. The lightweight composite stock features molded-in checkering, sling swivel studs and a serrated rubber recoil pad. The 77/357 uses Ruger's signature detachable rotary magazine. It's easy to load, reliable and fits flush with the stock to provide the rifle with a 5+1 round capacity. Unloaded, this rifle weighs in at just 5.5 pounds, which is only a 1/2-pound more than the ever-popular 10/22 carbine.

.357 Mag. as a Rifle Round
Although the .357 Mag. has never been considered a "fluffy" cartridge, some might wonder how it found its way into a rifle. The .357 has proven its potency as a defensive round when fired from revolvers. By chambering this cartridge in a bolt-action rifle, the longer barrel gives the powder more time to burn, and the closed breach prevents the pressure loss caused by a revolver's cylinder gap. The result is a measured increase in velocity that brings the .357 Mag. in line with other cartridges appropriate for the taking of medium and small game.

To measure the increased velocity of the .357 from the 77/357 rifle, some test rounds that were later used for accuracy testing were fired through a Cutting Edge Dynamics (CED) M2 chronograph. Black Hills' 125-grain jacketed hollow points proved to be the fastest of the test group with an average velocity of 2,794 fps. Hornady's 140-grain FXT, an excellent all-purpose cartridge for both handguns and rifles, left the barrel at an average velocity of 1,818 fps. Federal’s 180-grain Swift A-Frame jacketed hollow points, a dedicated hunting round, produced an average velocity of 1,400 fps. Based on these results, proper shot placement with bullets in these weight ranges should get the job done.

A long gun chambered for .357 has other advantages to consider. The 77/357 will feed both .357 Mag. and .38 Spl. loads. As a result, this handy little rifle can be loaded down for low-recoil plinking with soft-shooting .38 target loads, or ramped up to full power with a wide variety of .357 factory or handloads. The .357 is a common round that is easy to find at reasonable prices, and, best of all, you can buy a 50-round box of cartridges to practice with for about the same price as a 20-round box of rifle rounds.

At the Range
The 77/357 is an enjoyable gun to work with. Its feather-light weight, reduced overall length and low recoil make it easy to operate from the bench or from other shooting positions. The bolt showed a bit of factory-fresh roughness, and the magazine was a little tight in the rifle frame, but both of these issues resolved themselves as the rifle was broken in.

For long-range accuracy testing, the 77/357 was fitted with a Hawke Panorama EV 3-9x40 IR EV scope. The Panorama lens configuration works to give a much broader and brighter view than one would expect from a scope this size. This particular model offers a fixed black line 10x ½ Mil Dot reticule that can be illuminated with five levels of brightness in blue (day) or red (night) light. As one set of outdoor shooting tests progressed from the bright light of late afternoon to the low light of early evening, a simple twist of the light adjustment knob on the scope kept the illumination at just the right level and color for the light available.

With the Hawk scope sighted in, from-the-bench accuracy testing was conducted with the 77/357 fitted into a Caldwell Shooting Supplies' Lead Sled Solo rest, with targets set at 100 yards. The two best single groups of 1.5 inches were produced by both the Hornady 140-grain FXT and the Federal 180-grain Swift A-Frame jacketed hollow points. The best five-shot group average of 1.75 inches was produced with the Hornady load, followed by the Federal load at 1.90 inches, and the Black Hills 125-grain jacketed hollow points at 2.55 inches.

Final Thoughts
The 77/357 presents itself as a handsome, handy, lightweight carbine ready to roll out as a ranch gun, a low-recoil training gun, a practical plinker or as a scoped hunting rifle for medium and small game. The rifle’s carbine configuration and all-weather construction also make it an ideal choice as a camping or survival rifle. However you choose to put it to work, Ruger's American-made M77 Mark II Target 77/357 rifle demonstrates the same level of fit, function and reliability as the company’s rifle-caliber models.

Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.; Ruger.com
Model: M77 Mark II Target 77/357
Action: Bolt-Action
Caliber: .357 Mag.
Finish: Brushed Stainless Steel
Stock: Black Synthetic
Front Sight: Gold Bead
Rear Sight: Adjustable
Barrel Length: 18.50”
Overall Length: 38.50”
Rifling: 8 Groove; 1:16” RH
Weight: 5.50 lbs.
Capacity:  5+1 Removable Rotary Magazine
Suggested Retail Price: $793.00

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53 Responses to Ruger 77/357 Rotary Magazine Rifle Review

RJ wrote:
November 11, 2014

I shoot a stainless Ruger SP 101.357 and it is very accurate (In the right hands) so I can't wait to ad this stainless brush rifle to my Bug Out rig... Keep it up Ruger!!!

simon c wrote:
July 26, 2014

does anyone know if there is an aftermarket 10 shot mag around yet ?

simon c wrote:
April 27, 2014

Great carbine! better than the marlin I traded in on it due to easy to keep clean in dusty conditions ,removable magazine for safety ,and weight for young shooter. With the right loads handles wild pigs well and easy to get around with in thick bush .so much more pleasant to carry than the marlin or rossi lever actions and faster to reload when we strike a big mob of pigs .

Sharpshooter wrote:
March 26, 2013

I own both the Marlin 1894C & Ruger 77/357 along with four Ruger revolvers from the LCR to the GP-100 in .357 mag. You just can not go wrong with the .357 as a versatile survival caliber. I find no difference in accuracy between the Marlin & the Ruger; both are very good. The Marlin is too nice to bang around, but the Ruger's stainless steel & synthetic stock are great for roughing it. Take a Gp-100 & a 77/357 in .357 mag to the woods with appropriate ammo & you are good for just about anything that comes your way. By the way, the 77/357 stock is hollow & very simple to convert the recoil pad to swivel aside so that you can put fire starting, cordage,bandages or whatever else fits for emergency needs. This is one sweet survival & all around great firearm. If you miss with this rifle, it is the operator & not the gun.

Royce Gillham wrote:
March 17, 2013

I got one and I just want a 10 round mag offered, that is all!!!

Yo Jase wrote:
March 14, 2013

Hey how would this go as a rifle for my wife, how would the recoil compare to say a 243 or 308? She's pretty small so I'm not sure she could handle a big kick. She already doesn't like my 308 scout.

357advocate wrote:
January 11, 2013

A semi auto 357/38 carbine with 10 shot 'clip' should be a no brainer! I would be a first time RUGER RIFLE customer. Perfect compliment to my Black Hawk!

Ruger77357 Forum wrote:
January 08, 2013

How about chambering for .50cal to go with my Desert Eagle and make it semi auto like the 10-22. Just sayin...

Mattyvac wrote:
January 07, 2013

The marlins outshoot the Rugers for sure. But Ruger makes a stout gun. If you don't mind mediocre accuracy, Ruger is a tough reliable boomer perfect for camp and bugout. Can't beat the old marlins for accuracy Tho.

Moose1 wrote:
January 07, 2013

For Gunbunnies, check out Tech-Sights.com for peep sights. They use scope mount screw holes on the 10/22

zeprin wrote:
January 07, 2013

the .38 Spl in a carbine is a Death Ray on small game. The accuracy of a .22 but without blowing up a lot of small critter meat like some .22 HP's. Perfection in a woods walking gun.

Jaime Cancio wrote:
January 07, 2013

I would like to see this rifle made in .357 Casull Magnum. Shooting this duplex or triplex loading from a normal .357 case gave 180 grain hunting bullets .308 Remington velocities out of a Thompson Center Contender Carbine. The Carbine conversion, bbl pressure tested to 220,000 pounds per sq. inch, could shoot the .357 Casull, the .357 Mag., 38 Spec Plue P, 38 Special and .38 shorts all out of the same bbl. Shot shells were used in both the .357 Mag and 38 Special. One loading had one .357 125 HP Wadcutter grain bullet under it a 30 Cal ball,and the seven or eight no 2 shot mixed with no 8 shot all above a gas check-this a great all around survival round. You had to see what that round could do out to about 30 yards and the bullet still able to hit point of aim, followed by ramdom area hits of the shot pelletes. The bullet acting as a pointed bullet should and the rest as a shotgun should. The regular .357 Mag having more recoil than the .357 Casull Mag; in the .357 Casull you had only a sustained push and less recoil. What made all the difference in the world, (sorted out the men from the boys) - when you fired a .357 Casull it sounded like a .50 Cal had just been touched off. To accommodate different rounds used; taped to the rear rifle stock were ballistic charts. A great all around rifle-cartridge combination. One great rifle cartridge combination hardly describes the utility possible as just mentioned. The only limitation of the carbine combination was that it was a single shot carbine.

Gunbunnies wrote:
January 01, 2013

I recently purchased one of these fine rifles and she is all you state in your article. Accurate, fast handleing, light wieght... I'm sure she will be a favorite of mine for years to come. Now as too some of the other suggestions, I would also like to see her come in a 357 Maximum and maybe a peep sight version rather than the flip up barrel sight. I would also be in the line for a semi-auto version in 357 mag... Enjoy...

Robin G. wrote:
November 02, 2012

i agree with Hal. I love my Marlin, I'd love this Ruger too. I have 3 other 77 all weather guns that are very well made and reliable guns.

Bunnyshooter1719 wrote:
June 11, 2012

Lars, anyone who knows guns expects large points of impact between .38 Special and .357 Magnum--especially at 100 yards.

James wrote:
April 09, 2012

finally someone built a .357 mag bolt gun. The .357 mag has so much potential and now it has the accuracy to do something useful out to 100 yards or so. Now watch the wild catters turn it into a .30-357!! That would be a beautiful thing to see.

Jerry wrote:
March 01, 2012

This looks like a very useful & fun rifle for those who haven't mastered a lever action, I have packed a Marlin carbine in .357 since 1979, never had any problems with it over 1000s of .38 for fun and hot loads or .357 for serious business. This Ruger should be just as handy and versitile for bolt action shooters. The rotary clip should be really handy for a pickup gun. It seems a little spendy, but just might be worth money.

RolandG wrote:
February 27, 2012

Remember us lefties!

Phil Hollis wrote:
February 07, 2012

Like an elevator in an outhouse. Personally I would like to see RUGER build a lever action. There is a market ready made market...

jn wrote:
January 23, 2012

yes!left handed,PLEASE!

jp wrote:
January 03, 2012

Left handed bolt please!

John D wrote:
January 02, 2012

I like the idea of the M77/357. I just need them to make it in a lefty version. To Bud I have put 50k rounds through my Marlin lever action over the last decade with no ejection problems. I don't know any one who has had the problem you mentioned.

Norm Chasse wrote:
December 06, 2011

Great! Ruger.please bring back the clip fed lever actions!!!

Lars J wrote:
December 02, 2011

I have a Marlin 1894 in .357 Mag/.38 Special and the point of impact between those cartridges is huge. Also with different loads in the same caliber - big POI difference in, for example, 158 versus 180 grain bullets. Wish the review had some comment on that aspect using this rifle. I like the rifle concept tho.

robin johnson wrote:
December 02, 2011

Chamber it in 45 ACP and 9mm Para too. That would be an excellent 4-some

Chuck wrote:
December 01, 2011

will come in a left hand version??

Joseph G Mattera wrote:
December 01, 2011


Earl Wendt wrote:
December 01, 2011

I already purchased the Henry Big Buy .357. They also make it in .44 and .45 Colt.

r l wrote:
December 01, 2011

.357 mag rifle is deer legal in Indiana, 30 carbine & 30/30 are not... this is a great hunting gun for the Midwest.. great job ruger

Bud wrote:
December 01, 2011

This comment is for Ernie B, who has decided to waste his money on a Marlin Lever Action and a Taurus Revolver. It's like apples and oranges Ernie, theres no comparison. Ruger out classes both manufacturers when it comes to quality and dependability, not to mention stout enginering.The Ruger M77/357/38 Spl thats in my gunrack has earned it's keep around here countless times. That Marlin Lever action will start having ejection problems after about 1.000 rounds. Good Day.

Tim wrote:
December 01, 2011

I love my Marlin 1894 .44 mag! Wish Ruger would make one to fill my gunsafe!

Tom Wittlief wrote:
December 01, 2011

My immediate thought was,"When are they going to make one in .45 ACP"? Please, please, please, please, please, make one of these in .45 ACP. Preferably in "Scout" form ? Please ?

Ernie B. wrote:
December 01, 2011

Ruger is always the last to come up with something, like this rifle. I've had a Marlin 1894 lever action rifle in .357/.38 Special 7 years now and I love it! It has a 9 shot magazine making for a 9+1 capacity in .357. It is quick to aim and work the lever. It is a great rifle to partner with my Taurus 617 pistol, 2 guns, 1 cartridge=simple. Plus, the Marlin comes in at a cheaper price.

Al wrote:
December 01, 2011

I hope it is better than the 44Mag. The Magazine was plastic and the spring to rotate the cartridge would pull out of the plastic shell. They sent me a new one that lasted for two cartridges. Not a life saver if something BIG is bearing down on you!! It is in the closet collecting dust.

TomP wrote:
December 01, 2011

I think this would be a perfect candidate for a suppressor.

Dale wrote:
December 01, 2011

With the 180gr JHP it would make a good low recoil deer gun too.

momentum wrote:
December 01, 2011

Mike, there is a 44 magnum/special version already, the 77/44.

Jesse wrote:
November 30, 2011

Mike, they've had the 44 version out for quite some time now. I wish they would make a semi .44 rotary mag with more than 3 rounds...great all around gun.

JT wrote:
November 30, 2011

With there being an M77 in .44 mag and now .357 mag, we're only lacking the .41 mag to make it a sweep. I'd love one in .41 (and yes, I have strange tastes).

folkie wrote:
November 30, 2011

I too would like to seeit in a357max,as well as a good lever action.

Mikek wrote:
November 30, 2011

In the first paragraph they mention that this first pistol round this rifle was released in was .44 mag.

Mark wrote:
November 30, 2011

I know what my .357 pistols can do; I'm real tempted to get this Ruger. However, I would like this pachage in .44mag.

Mitch Simmons wrote:
November 30, 2011

It is very frustrating to attempt to read or watch AR videos when I consistently get the message that there are errors on the page. Webpage error details User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C) Timestamp: Thu, 1 Dec 2011 02:48:24 UTC Message: Syntax error Line: 3 Char: 1 Code: 0 URI: http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/home-carousel/carousel.js

Metalchemist wrote:
November 30, 2011

Along with the scout rifle, I will be saving up for one of these also. I try to buy American made unless I ABSOLUTELY can't. Call it my own stimulus plan. Then there's those darn pesky zombies.......

Plinkerdude wrote:
November 30, 2011

Another reason to buy yet another safe ;-) current one is full of wants & "Deals" This might be classified as oh what the H@#$.

Kevin wrote:
November 30, 2011

oh dear!! Another on want/wish/desire list....

John wrote:
November 30, 2011

I love it when a company invents a better version of the wheel!!!

JD wrote:
November 30, 2011

The dumb factor is too extreme on this one. Even if it was a .44 magnum. Would you buy a .30 carbine bolt action? no, of course not. With the demand for used 1970s era rotary mag .44 carbines you'd think they'd try a new model after that recent .40 s&w abortion.

JL wrote:
November 30, 2011

I would like to see the rifle in .357 max and its weight around 7 lbs.

Albert Sand wrote:
November 30, 2011

Great for HOGS !

Scott wrote:
November 30, 2011

2794 fps for the Black Hills? Better than the 7.62x39? Hard to believe. Typo maybe?

Mike wrote:
November 30, 2011

Why not a .44 variant...I need a partner for my Smith/ Desert Eagle

Hal wrote:
November 30, 2011

I lobe my Marlin lever action in .357. I would probably enjoy this Ruger, too.