don't know how many 77s ive owned through the years but its more then a dozen for sure. I know ive had 9 tang safety rugers and out of those 9 only one was an exceptional shooter and that was a 250 sav ultra light that you wouldn't expect to shoot. Most were between barely exceptable(2 inch) to dump as fast as possible(3inch or even more). the mark IIs were suppose to be better and had me fooled at first. I bought a 2506 that was an absoulute tack driver. Next one was a 264 mag that was terrible, a 7 mag that was terrible and a 280 that was 2 in barely expecptable. Ive never owned a single model 700 that I couldn't get to shoot 1.5 inch a 100 yards for 5 shots. that said the ones that didn't shoot moa or better disappointed me. that's old ones and new ones as ive got both.
Anyone here the knows me knows I SHOOT ALOT. I don't have a bolt gun in the cabinet today that doesn't have at least a 1000 rounds shot out of it. Funny thing is IVE NEVER had a single problem with a rem 700. Well I have to take that back. I bought a 280 mountain gun back in the 80s that someone slipped with the stock copying machine and put a gouge in the stock by the black tip. I sent it right back to rem and had a new stock within two weeks. I sure cant say that about ruger because between handguns and rifles I had more problems then all the rest of the brands combined.
Like I said before its seems like some see someone bashing Remington and think it makes them look gun savoy so they do the same. Others will tell bald face lies about guns they never even owned to win an argument. (not referring to you in any of this quatroclick) Ill say this to close. If remingtons were pos rifles. if the bolt handles fell off just from shipping the gun I have to doubt if half the snipers in the service today that use 700s wouldn't be getting killed when they fell off under battle conditions. Yes they have newer high tech sniper rifles today but many still prefer there 700 and id bet you couldn't find a single one that would want to swap it for a savage, Winchester, howa, tikka, weatherby or especially a ruger. It is the hands down the most battle proven bolt action gun in use in the whole world today. Funny thing is it does I with a bolt handle that falls off just breathing on it and non controlled round feeding that dumps the snipers round on the ground when hes standing on his head shooting. But they obviously know nothing and I should listen to all the internet experts instead.
Its the same idiots that claim the ar15 is junk unless you pay 3000 dollars for one. Or glocks are unsafe because they don't have a safety. Ive even ran into idiots I gun shops that claim to shoot about every day and I ask them what there favorite load is in there gun and they say they would never use inferior handloads they only use factory ammo. Well there everyday shoot must be one round a day unless there a doctor. Same thing again with rifles.
I talk to one guy in the gun shop trading off his 270 sps 700. I asked him why. he said because the best group he got with it was 2inch. I looked at the gun and it had a "beautiful" 3x9 tasco scope and I asked him what loads he had tried and he said he bought a box of 180 grain corelocks because that's what his dad said was the most accurate ammo made for any gun. that right there is the typical Remington basher. Same type that preach there gun has to be control round fed when the original poster is asking about a frigging 243 to hunt deer with. Don't know about where you live but there isn't many elephants around our camp. Havent seen one in years! Buy what you want but just know that the 700 still outsells them all and has for most of my life. Might be good reason.
I would add the Ruger 77 to the list. My experience with several tang safety guns has been really positive. I grew up in a Remington 700 household, but the first center fire bolt action that tugged at my heartstrings as a teenager was a M77 in 30-06. Every 700 and 77 that I have ever owned was capable of 1-1/2" or better 5 shot groups at 100 yards with their preferred loads. My favorites are a no-fuss Rem 700 ADL in 270 that shoots 3/4" 5 shot groups with cheap Federal ammo, and a well worn Ruger flat bolt M77 in 308 that handles like a dream, is relatively light, and has fine field accuracy which hovers a bit over an inch. The stocks on the earliest M77 rifles were very nice. Later on, they got a little bit clunky, but still quite usable.
New manufacturing techniques lead to new designs. Today's cheapest rifles are probably the best cheapest rifles ever, marvels considering the price.