Of course, that’s nothing new. Combating that danger is not new, either. Citizens and police have been doing that for a long time. What is new are some of the tools frequently being used by police to fight the war on crime. It’s been almost 10 years since I turned in my badge, and when I talk with some of the old timers—yes, the guys I worked with are now old—I’m surprised to find that the tools I was begging for a decade ago are now becoming more accepted, particularly patrol-type law enforcement rifles.
When I was on the street in the ’90s, requests for a patrol rifle were met with comments like, “You have a shotgun.” I guess in reality it’s nothing more than evolution. The guys I worked the street with knew that having a rifle in the patrol car, which was capable of hitting at extended ranges and ending a fight when the hit was made, just made good sense. Today, those same guys are in charge, and they are changing the equipment list.
Manufacturers are responding with a wide assortment of rifles suited to patrol and more tactical law enforcement applications. Ruger is no exception, and the company’s latest entry into this subcategory of rifles is the M77 Hawkeye Tactical, which is a dedicated and enhanced version of its bread-and-butter sporting rifle.
The Hawkeye Tactical is built on Ruger’s proven Model 77 Mark II action. This is an action similar in design to the famous Mauser action in that it has a fixed ejector, a safety that blocks the firing pin and a full-length claw extractor. Given the similarities, you would assume the Hawkeye action is also a controlled-round-feed (CRF) action like the Mauser, but that’s not the case, and as far as I’m concerned, this is a good thing.
You see, with a true CRF action, you must fully insert the cartridge in the magazine box in order for the rim of the case to slide up under the hook in the extractor as the cartridge is being chambered. The problem with this system is that you have to insert the cartridge into the magazine box before it can be chambered. This might not seem like a big deal, but from a tactical standpoint, what if you run your rifle dry and need to get off one more shot quickly? It will take about an extra second to push that cartridge into the magazine box. With a push-feed (PF) action or an action like the Ruger Mark II, you can just toss the cartridge in through the ejection port and close the bolt.