After work today I floated the barrel on the Ruger Model 77. It seems that Ruger puts a ledge at the forward end of the barrel channel when they whittle a stock. That ledge is supposed to put upward pressure on the barrel at the end of the forearm.
Some guns shoot well with a little upward pressure at the barrel. By far, the majority of rifles shoot better with a floated barrel. I personally prefer a floated barrel if possible. With just a small set of skills and some very basic tools, it's easy to float a barrel. Basically all you need is enough tools to remove the action, a dowel, and a piece of sandpaper.
Remove the action from the stock. Wrap the dowel in sandpaper and sand stock material out of the barrel channel. I've found that a short section of 3/4th inch dowel works good for sporter-taper barrels. Here's a picture. You can click the picture to make it larger.
It took about fifteen minutes to sand that ledge off of the front of the barrel channel and take enough wood out of the channel to float the barrel all the way back to the action ring. A patch slides easily between the forearm and barrel. I finished the project by sealing the wood with three coats of boiled linseed oil, rubbed into the wood.
Then, I gave the rifle a thorough cleaning and oiling. I didn't think I was ever going to get the barrel to come completely clean, and I was right. After about twenty patches, it was mostly clean. I gave it a good wipe down with a silicone cloth and put it away.
I'll have to order dies and brass and bullets. In another month or so, we'll start seeing how this rifle shoots.