January Build of the Month
For January I decided to dig out an original build of mine that is now vintage. In 1991 I was looking for a gun that could hunt as hard as I hunted. No bluing to rust, no wood to scratch or warp, and then Ruger came out with their awful looking Zytel (boat paddle) stocked M77 Mark II. It was beautiful ugliness that I immediately fell in love with. You could swim the river with it, paddle your canoe, sit all day in the freezing rain.....all things that I probably did with it whilst killing 150 class whitetails time and again. Later on it took moose, elk, goat, mountain lion and bear that I can remember. What's more, it probably never did get cleaned (seriously) until my son cleaned it up last night for these photos.
Optics cost more than the gun?
The Zytel M77 MK II is an indestructible gun, so I used it as a firm foundation to build as close to an indestructible optics package as I could afford back then. The Ruger integral bases and rings made the perfect starting point. From there, I added the Leupold Vari X III 3.5x10x to ensure high quality and low chance of parallax. Not much to go wrong here and nothing ever did.
Meat and Potatoes
In 1991 I wanted a 7mm but the local store only had this rifle in 30.06. Hunting season was a couple of weeks away so I swallowed my pride. That turned out to be the best decision as I quickly learned the 30.06's versatility would outweigh the need for 7mm trajectory in the years to come.
Ugly is the new beautiful.
Watch for the ugly Zytel M77 to be the hottest new collectible production rifle in the near future.