In 1967 Sturm, Ruger & Co. made the first of its M77 center-fire rifles that remained in full production until 1991. They have now been supplanted in Ruger's line by the evolutionary M77 Mark IIs that have a three-position safety selector mounted beside the bolt sleeve in lieu of the M77's tang safety.
The M77 received enthusiastic acceptance on the market, soon taking its place along with the other "7"s, Winchester's Model 70 and Remington's Model 700. Clean, classic lines did nothing to slow down sales.
While generally based on the Mauser Model 98 principles of dual opposing lugs on the head of a one-peice bolt body and an external claw extractor, the M77 has many features that are distinctly non-98.
Among these innovations are the extensive use of investment casting (including bolt and receiver); the angled front mounting screw, a fully adjustable trigger, a swaged-in-place bolt guide lug and, of course, the centrally located, sliding tang safety...