Selective hunting appears to play a very specific role in how animals elect to locate themselves on an expanse of wooded acreage. As an example, deer graze on our lawn in the middle of the day and routinely pose while my wife is taking their pictures for the grandkids. Wild turkeys occupy our driveway to the density and frequency of a 1960’s student sit in and not even the close proximity of truck tires or a blaring horn will cause them to budge. Curiously, coyote, crows and ground squirrels stay greater than .22 Hornet distance away, which is why fast 0.224″ guns serve a useful purpose.
Ruger Model 77 Hawkeye Predator
|Manufacturer||Sturm, Ruger & Company. Inc.|
|Model||HKM77R-Z – 17121|
|Twist Rate||1:14″ RH|
|Weight||*8 lbs 4 oz.|
|Drop at comb||*5/8″|
|Drop at heel||*1″|
|Non-optical sights||None – Scope Rings Included|
|Target Trigger Adj.||*2 lbs. 3 oz.|
|RealGuns Store||Retail $794 Member’s Price $754|
* Actual weights and measures
Tables are good for numerically defining a rifle, but tables aren’t well suited to expressing the character of a rifle. It is often a blend of subtle tangibles, and more subjective factors, that combine to produce a favorite firearm. What does that mean, Joe? All I’m saying is that if I need to rid the little house on the prairie of prairie dog infestation, I could accomplish that task with a Savage Edge, a gun I could buy for under $300. But I don’t think I would wrap up a long week at work, excited about spending a Saturday at the range with the same gun, or showing it off to friends. I’m not a snob, I’m just not under twenty five years of age and raising a growing family anymore. So, while I may still not buy extravagant firearms, I do buy guns that are a bit more nicely finished, offer some unique features and have a more distinctive appearance. I think this is where the Predator fits well.
Two different paths to a similar result…
I could have just as easily used a Ruger Mark II Target rifle as the Remington VS SF II… if I had one handy, to illustrate the difference between the Predator and the more traditional look of a varmint rifle.
The Remington is a bit heavier, it has a two inch longer barrel and the barrel’s muzzle diameter is considerably larger at 0.810″ compared to 0.625″. The Predator has a sporter like stock cut slender at the forend 1.625″and grip area 1.265″, where the Remington has a broad 2.240″ forend and a palm swelled 2.025″ grip. The heavy barrel shank of the Remington is 1.240″ compared to 1.160″ for the Ruger, the muzzles measure 0.815″ and 0.625″ respectively.
Again, the intent of the prior comparison is to delineate the differences between a heavy barrel target/varmint rig and moderately heavy barrel sporter, the Predator. From a performance standpoint, I don’t believe these two types of guns are separated by much and group sizes between these two types of factory guns would be very similar under field conditions. My personal take on the Predator is that it combines varmint/target rifle like performance with sporter rifle like handling. Neat.
Since I had a screw driver handy…
While I was finishing up the photo shoot for this part of the Ruger review, I got to wondering what happened to all of the wild turkeys today. Not one showed its homely face. Just about then, a good sized red fox came trotting up the driveway, broke into the tree line and followed the exact path the turkeys normally follow every morning. Smart fox. Smarter turkeys.