Ruger’s M77 Hawkeye Magnum Hunter joins the ranks of classic American-made hunting rifles. Not only does this gun just look sharp with its straight lines and simple elegance, it also offers features and accuracy you’d expect from a custom or factory custom rifle — and at a great value compared to those other options.
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The M77 Hawkeye Magnum Hunter is currently offered in only .300 Winchester Magnum, and when I first saw it, I naturally asked myself what it offers above and beyond the M77 Hawkeye All-Weather in the same chambering other than a muzzle brake and upgraded stock to justify the additional $200 in price. The leading feature I found is an innovative new muzzle brake “system” that gives you the benefit of practicing with the brake but hunting without it, with no shift in point of impact.
Muzzle brakes do a great job of reducing felt recoil, but they have one big drawback — they’re very loud. And even though there are electronic hearing protectors you can wear while hunting, most hunters and guides don’t wear them in the field. Any shot you take without hearing protection will ring your bell and damage your hearing, and using a brake takes things to otherwise unheard-of levels.