Ruger 77/357 Bolt-Action 357 Magnum/38 Special Rifle


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

July 27th, 2011


YouTube Video





Click pictures for a larger version.


Ruger 77/357 Bolt-Action 357 Magnum / 38 Special rifle.



Three-position safety.



Rear of firing pin serves as a cocking indicator.






Integral scope bases.



Ruger stainless steel scope rings are included.



Author recommends applying a dab of grease to the rings (top), and LocTite to the screws (bottom).



Trijicon 1.25-4x Tritium / fiber-optic illuminated-reticle scope.



Amount of illumination is easily adjustable by sliding a cover over the fiber-optic gatherer. In low-light and dark conditions, the reticle is illuminated by Tritium.





A couple of years ago, Ruger reintroduced their handy little 44 Magnum carbine, the Model 77/44. I reviewed it here back in September of 2009, and it has proven to be a dandy little rifle for hunting in the deep woods, and is also capable of taking game out to moderate ranges, limiting myself to about 150 yards or so with weapons in this class. Now, Ruger is producing the same little carbine chambered for the 357 Magnum cartridge: the Model 77/357.

From a carbine, the 357 Magnum is a whole new cartridge, ballistically speaking. The 77/357 fires the same 357 Magnum cartridge as has been used in revolvers since 1935. However, with the closed breech and longer barrel, the 357 Magnum is much more potent out of the carbine than it is when fired from a revolver.

The trim little Ruger weighs in at five pounds, seven ounces on my scale, with an empty magazine in place. The eighteen and one-half inch barrel has a one-in-sixteen-inch right hand twist, and is hammer-forged from stainless steel. The receiver is also made of stainless, and has integral scope bases, milled to accept Ruger scope rings, which are included with the rifle. This is an advantage of buying a Ruger rifle that is often overlooked. After buying the rifle, you do not need to try and hunt down scope bases and rings. The bases are integral, and the rings included, which saves time, trouble, and a sizeable chunk of cash. Good scope bases and rings are not inexpensive, and having them supplied with the rifle is a real plus. The Ruger rings are cast out of stainless steel, and are rugged and reliable.

With an overall length of only 38.375 inches, the little 77/357 carbine is very handy. The 357 Magnum cartridge is very efficient in the 18.5 inch barrel, and a longer barrel would likely do nothing to enhance velocities. The Ruger balances right under the ejection port with a scope mounted, and comes to the shoulder quickly. The stainless steel bolt handle lifts ninety degrees, with the front portion of the bolt not rotating. The bolt locks up at the rear of the receiver. The three-position safety locks the bolt and blocks the trigger in its rearward position. In the middle position, the trigger is blocked, but the bolt can be cycled. The forward position releases the trigger to fire when the trigger is pressed. The bottom metal is, thankfully, made of stainless steel. The rotary magazine holds five rounds, and does not protrude below the stock. The magazine body is made of a black polymer, and has stainless feed lips. The magazine follower is also made of polymer, and works well to facilitate smooth feeding from the magazine. The black reinforced polymer stock wears sling swivel studs, as should any stock on a hunting rifle. The trigger is made of stainless steel, and released crisply with slightly over four and one-half pounds of pressure.

I tested the Ruger 77/357 using both 38 Special and 357 Magnum ammunition, with bullet weights ranging from 100 grains up to 200 grains. All ammo tested fed and fired perfectly. Cartridge overall length is limited by the rifle’s magazine, but even the heavy 200 grain load had plenty of clearance, and the only length problems were encountered when trying to handload some heavy, long-nosed bullets. LBT-style bullets presented no problem at all, and again, all factory loads tested fed perfectly. There were no extraction difficulties encountered, and all empty cases extracted and ejected normally. Chronograph results are listed in the chart below, with velocity readings taken at a distance of twelve feet from the muzzle. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains. Powder weights are also listed in grains. Velocity readings were taken on a hot, humid day with an air temperature in the ninety-two degree Fahrenheit range and a relative humidity of eighty-six percent, at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. JHP is a jacketed hollow point bullet. JSP is a jacketed soft point bullet. HC hard-cast lead bullet with a wide, flat meplat. PB is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall. DPX is a homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity

357 Magnum



Buffalo Bore HC 180 1783
Buffalo Bore JHP 170 1794
Buffalo Bore JHP 158 2047
Buffalo Bore JHP 125 2301
Grizzly Cartridge HC 180 1754
Cor-Bon DPX 125 1483
Cor-Bon PB 100 2131
Cor-Bon HC 200 1652

38 Special



Cor-Bon DPX 110 1409
Cor-Bon JHP 110 1401
Stryker JHP 158 1100
Buffalo Bore JHP 158 1388

In addition to the factory loads listed, I ran several different handloads through the Ruger 77/357 carbine. My favorite hunting bullet for the 357 is the Remington 180 grain JHP. That bullet has a lot of exposed lead, and opens up quickly, especially at velocities achieved from a carbine barrel. I was able to safely push the 180 grain JHP to over 1800 fps using Lil’Gun powder and a CCI 550 primer. The 357 Magnum from a carbine is in 30-30 Winchester power class, but with a larger diameter bullet, and works really well on whitetail deer. The little Ruger is lightweight and handy, and makes for a very quick-handling woods rifle, while still shooting flat enough for a 150 yard shot.

For accuracy testing, I mounted a Trijicon 1.25 to 4 power AccuPoint scope in the Ruger rings. The AccuPoint has a post reticle with a lighted dot atop the post. The intensity of the red dot is automatically adjusted by existing light conditions, illuminated by an adjustable fiber-optic enhancer in most lighting conditions, with tritium illumination in total darkness. It is an excellent hunting scope for close to moderate range, and at its lowest power setting, works very well with both eyes open, making for exceptionally fast target acquisition and shooting. Accuracy was very good, especially with some of the loads tested. Accuracy varied from well under an inch at fifty yards to a bit over two and one-quarter inches. At one hundred yards, the best groups were fired with Buffalo Bore 357 Magnum 158 grain hollowpoint ammo, grouping three shots into under two inches at 100 yards. At fifty yards, this same ammo grouped five rounds under one inch, repeatedly. This ammo would make an excellent hunting load for whitetail deer and similar animals, and would also serve very well for defensive work. From the Ruger’s barrel, it is pushing 2050 fps, and hits hard upon impact.

The Ruger 77/357 is a welcome addition to Ruger’s rotary-magazine Model 77 line, and seems to be well-received already. I have received a lot of email on this one already, asking for a review. 357 Magnum carbines seem to be underappreciated by many hunters, but as more realize the power of these handy little weapons, the concept is gaining in popularity, and the Ruger 77/357 is a very good choice for a rugged, reliable, lightweight, and handy 357 Magnum carbine that is made in the USA.

Check out the entire line of Ruger firearms and accessories online at

For the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at

To order the Model 77/357 online, go to

To look at the line of quality Trijicon optics, go to

To order high quality 357 Magnum and 38 Special ammunition online, go to,, and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.






Sling studs.





Five-shot rotary magazine.



Bolt release.





Factory ammo tested.



The 77/357 proved to quite accurate, especially with Buffalo Bore's 158-grain JHP load, as these five-shot 50-yard (top) and three-shot 100-yard (bottom) groups show.