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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been playing with different ideas for a 17Mach2 since Sept at Shawnee where I saw Sarge's and Knotty Bumpo's Savage & 10-22/17.

I'd thought about getting a Ruger 96/22 and switching barrels (still may do that :lol: ), buying one of the low price Savage or Marlin bolt rifles, or even the NEF as recommended by RustyNuts ('course I'd like to have one of the $600 Anschutz's but that's beyond my wherewithall :cry: ).

A dozen or so years ago I picked up a very well used Ruger 77/22RP in synthetic stainless. It shot pretty well for a 77/22 but I couldn't abide that uggglyyy "boat paddle" stock with the green plastic inserts so, over the years I've modified, tweaked, massaged, and generally changed it to a completely different rifle. I'd always thought the bright ss ruger would look good in a nice walnut stock but alas, they don't make 'em that way. Found a used factory walnut stock, target grey bottom metal from a VBZ (polished off the grey finish), but it still didn't look just right with the slender factory 20" bright ss barrel. Picked up a couple of the 24" VBZ target grey barrels off the internet, hogged out the barrel channel, added a Power Custom sear, and pretty soon, this thing really wanted to shoot :D .

Of course by now I'm starting to get a few bucks into it but, what the hey, it's a unique, one of a kind, right :?: . I've taken quite a few squacks with it.

Anyway, a couple or three weeks ago, I found a guy in Guntersville, AL that'll drill and reline a 22 barrel to 17 caliber and chamber for 17Aguila, 17HM2, or 17HMR for $75 and you pay shipping both ways. Still had the spare 24" VBZ barrel laying around doing nothing so I fired off an e-mail to him and asked if he could do his job on it. He said it was a "hottie" and should do well with the Mach2. Also said his current turn around time was 2 days. I packaged it up, dispatched it on a Wednesday, receipt confirmed on Friday evening, and I received it back the next Wednesday 8) .

Had to wait a couple of days before getting it installed but finally did and last Friday, 11/19, I took it & a box of Hornady ammo back to deer camp with me to give 'er a try. Guess this barrel sets in the receiver a little different because it took quite a while to get it on paper at 50yds (I left the same scope on the receiver but couldn't boresight because my .177cal spud won't go in the 17HM2 bore :? ) so only had a couple dozen rounds left to fire for groups. First group from a makeshift table/rest at 50yds was .474" and an inch or so right. After scope adjustment, second group was still around a half inch with a flyer (I'm calling it that anyway :twisted: ) opening it up to an inch. I feel quite sure that with some additional shooting/tweaking, maybe lap the bore with J-B coupound, and a solid bench, this thing just may shoot :D . This was with the Hornady ammo. Haven't yet had a chance to try the CCI or Aguila.

It's a little heavy for carrying if you have to do a lot of walking, especially in hills, but that longer barrel sure makes it come to the shoulder and hang well for offhand shots (not that I'd ever consider shooting offhand :p ). Couple of winter projects will be to refinish the stock in a satin oil finish, and polish the grey finish off both barrels (still plan to use the 22 barrel some).

Anyway, here's some pics of the original stock (1), the first version with original barrel (2), how she looks now (3), and first group target with 17HM2 barrel (4) -







 

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I will want to be seeing that one at Shawnee next year. That is a good group to start with and with break in/polishing it should only get better.
 

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Nobody39: Nice rifle! Your accuracy parallels mine to an extent. I have a Green Mountain prototype 17M2 barrel on my 77/22 at the moment and it will cluster 4 shots very tightly and toss the fifth. My groups are a bit smaller than yours (about 30% smaller) but that flier is still there. Often that flier is low or high as I've found the cartridge to be "bag sensitive" when it comes to group shooting. My 77/22 shoots about the same sized groups with 17 Aguila ammo as the Hornady M2 just a tad lower at fifty yards. I like the Aguila for edible game so I haven't found a niche for the M2 yet. My Brno 22LR with "Velocitors" hits harder than the M2 at normal ranges -from 20 yards to 100 yards. I like the M2 but I find it more of a curiosity than anything else. When it comes to 17 rimfires I'll take the HMR for critters I don't mind damaging and the Aguila for those in the pot. At least that's the way it's working out so far. Keep up the good work. ~Andrew
 

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Nice looking rifle! It appears that it is going to shoot good too!! You do good work for an old man!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Sarge, Andrew - Yeah, some good work :lol: , some not so good :twisted: . Maybe it all evens out in the end :wink: .
 

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Nice Nobody.. Real nice plus a shooter.. don't get much better than that
 

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Len Brownell designed the stock for the first 77's- a design that carried over into the 77-22 line. Too bad Ruger went with that synthetic eye-sore- yucko to the extreme. Apparently the only way to get a 77-22 now is with that synhetic stock. The stock on my 52 repro comes quite close to the lines of your walnut stock. I like this cut a lot in rifle stocks.

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Larry, it'll probably do its part if I do mine :lol: .

Doc -

Yeah, one Brownell's trademarks is the open curve of the grip (also a personal preference of mine), usually with a cap of some kind. I was lucky to find this one as they're pretty scarce and usually pricey also :wink: . Some previous owner had added the Kick-Eze buttpad which entailed squaring the butt. Don't think they shortened it except just enough to take out the curve. I modified the Kick-Eze somewhat but still don't like it. Another project for this winter (as if I didn't have enough already :roll: ) is to put the curve back in and install either a black factory pad or an original buttplate. Think you can still get a 77-22 with walnut stock (haven't seen Ruger's new catalog but the walnut stocked rifles are still listed on the website, which of course hasn't been updated since 2003 :? ).

I've been coveting one of the 52 repro's since I first saw one of the Brownings back in the 90's, but haven't yet found one that I'm willing to pay for :p . 'Course I'd love to have an original 52 Sporter but they're even further out of reach than the repro's :cry: .
 

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LOL Nobody-39.... The repro's are slowly inching up in price from what I've seen over the summer-500.00 seems to be the ball park these days for excellent condition guns- about what I paid for mine new. Better decide soon, unless the bottom falls out and USRAC has another re-release :p

The originals are well outta my reach. I can see little difference between the 2 rifles except lack of sights on the repro and the repro d&t'd while the original wasn't. Thirty five huindred is a heckuva lotta scratch for a .22 that would sit there begging to be shot....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 
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Hey Nobody,

Think you'ld want to trade that in for a slingshot and a partially used nudey magazine? Didn't think so. Looks mighty nice. Good work,

Sweetman
 
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