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Campfire Oracle
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Seafire, this means you. ha ha.. Anyone else use one? One of my buddies loves his. He has a couple. I recently bought a Tikka T3x that is kind of souped up. What's your take on the cartridge? What powders do you guys use? I have CFE223, AR Comp, IMR4198, TAC and a few other choices. Ended up buying some 40gr Vmax's today, but die set won't be here for a few days. I'll shoot some factory crap for a baseline.. I need to look in my Hornady load manual. Local guys here say it works pretty good for yotes, but they may be blowing smoke.. What's your take? Thanks


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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Got one on a Ruger 77 Mk 2 action... and then also a 20 Practical...

they are pretty interchangeable as far as I am concerned....

I lean toward the 20 Practical, just necking down the neck on a 223 case and you're good to go...

yeah, I have done the 204 with Blue Dot, Unique and Alliant Steel...I do the 32 grain VMaxes instead of the 40s... why duplicate the 223 with 40s?

I have also a love using the 24 gr NTX Hornadys also...

regular powders I have used with excellent results for both accuracy and velocity...

H 322, Benchmark, AR Comp, IMR 4198, 3031....W 748 and BLC 2....plus a host of others...

just like the 223, its harder to find a powder that doesn't work well, than to find one powder that does better than all the rest...


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There you are J. I knew you would respond. Its late though, you better get some sleep!!! ha. Yeah, the shop had some
32gr Vmax and 40gr Vmax bullets. The 40's were 25/box, so I opted for those, since they were cheaper than the 32's. The shop where I bought the rifle has 4 boxes of the Fiocchi 32gr Vmax ammo (50 rounds/box). The guy that sold me the rifle said he would make me a good deal on the ammo @$40/box. I haven't checked to see if that is a good deal or not, but my buddy that shoots the 204 says ammo is hard to find in Oregon. I've never looked for it down here, so I do not know?? As for bullets, I just checked Scheels online and they have some 32gr Vmax for $22.99/box. I'll check midsouth as well..


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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I was slow to get a 204 as I didn’t see any distinct advantage over a 222 magnum. When I started buying Cooper rifles, I was looking for different calibers and ended up with 2 in 204. Mule Deer will try to take credit for that and I would have to admit, he did steer me in that direction.

They both shoot well and I am pleased with their performance. I probably shoot more varmints than most do and the 204 has become a favorite. That doesn’t mean THE favorite, that changes from day to day.

I prefer the 32 VMax and want the advantage of velocity. You will find that most of your shooting will fall into the 300 yard distances and velocity is better than the heavier bullet.

IMR 8208 seems to be the best propellant, but in these times, it is hard to find. H322 will work real well, as I am sure CFE223 should. I used H335 and had acceptable accuracy, but the H322 and 8208 out performed it.


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Originally Posted by shrapnel
I was slow to get a 204 as I didn’t see any distinct advantage over a 222 magnum. When I started buying Cooper rifles, I was looking for different calibers and ended up with 2 in 204. Mule Deer will try to take credit for that and I would have to admit, he did steer me in that direction.

They both shoot well and I am pleased with their performance. I probably shoot more varmints than most do and the 204 has become a favorite. That doesn’t mean THE favorite, that changes from day to day.

I prefer the 32 VMax and want the advantage of velocity. You will find that most of your shooting will fall into the 300 yard distances and velocity is better than the heavier bullet.

IMR 8208 seems to be the best propellant, but in these times, it is hard to find. H322 will work real well, as I am sure CFE223 should. I used H335 and had acceptable accuracy, but the H322 and 8208 out performed it.
Very good. Thanks Shrap. Its a good thing I bought some 8208 the other day. Saw they had some more on the shelves too , if I decide I need some more. I appreciate your opinion.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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I bought a 204 Model 7 Remington to coyote hunt with. I had some very bad experiences with it. Using a 32 grain VMax, I had several hits on coyotes where the bullet did not penetrate, resulting in either a wounded coyote that got away, or one that required several shots to bring down. I switched to a 35 grain Berger, and though it was a better bullet, my confidence in the 204 was shot, so I sold it. Later on I got another 204 in a Howa, because I wanted to give the cartridge another try, I killed some stuff with it, all with the 35 Berger bullet. However, I just could not warm up the 204 as a coyote killer, preferring to use a 223 and 22-250 instead.

I know my experiences do not mirror those of most of the people that use the 204. My late brother killed a bunch of coyotes with it, and liked it. But, it is what it is, and I have found that other cartridges work better for me.

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nosler 40 gr BT's for coyotes......


and everything else......

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Originally Posted by huntsman22
nosler 40 gr BT's for coyotes......


and everything else......
Same here but with the 40 grain VMAX.


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the nosler is tougher.....

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I had a Contender barrel in 204, it shot very well with bullets lighter than 40 grains. I used it on Raccoons and at close range what a hole maker! It was pretty loud though.

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Originally Posted by JamesJr
I bought a 204 Model 7 Remington to coyote hunt with. I had some very bad experiences with it. Using a 32 grain VMax, I had several hits on coyotes where the bullet did not penetrate, resulting in either a wounded coyote that got away, or one that required several shots to bring down. I switched to a 35 grain Berger, and though it was a better bullet, my confidence in the 204 was shot, so I sold it. Later on I got another 204 in a Howa, because I wanted to give the cartridge another try, I killed some stuff with it, all with the 35 Berger bullet. However, I just could not warm up the 204 as a coyote killer, preferring to use a 223 and 22-250 instead.

I know my experiences do not mirror those of most of the people that use the 204. My late brother killed a bunch of coyotes with it, and liked it. But, it is what it is, and I have found that other cartridges work better for me.
Thanks for that James. I got into a good discussion with the shop owner yesterday about using it on yotes. It seems him and a bunch of guys around here use it. In my mind it seems like it's too light, I guess they kill the schidt out of them with this little cartridge though. What I think it all boils down to is bullet choice. One reason I bought the 40's instead, but huntsman says the Nosler ballistic tips work better even yet I will definitely get some of those and try out too. I also talked to a guy at another shop yesterday and he said the 32 Vmax does not work well on yotes. He said they tend to blow up on contact, but work great on varmints.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


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We haven't had any issues with 39 grain Sierra Blitzkings.

Kill like lightning.

Never really had any issues with the 32 grain V-Max when the 204 first came out. Put em in the lungs and coyotes died fast.


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I thought I would never own a 204 Ruger but got tricked into buying one, I spent days and weeks on the internet finding components. I had all the powders and primers that I needed but needed brass and bullets............finally got a stockpile of everything I needed and started load development...........39gr Blitzkings and 40gr V-Max shot well but even my 222's shooting 40grainers out do the 204 with less powder.
32grainers are the only way to go with a 204 Ruger, I have several bullets to try but in my rifle the 32gr Ballistic tip is the clear winner over the V-Max, Varmageddon and others
For powder I have tried 8 different choices, 8208XBR gave the highest velocities but the best accuracy with my rifle was surprisingly with Varget

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Originally Posted by huntsman22
the nosler is tougher.....
Prairie dogs aren't armor plated.


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I was slow to like the 204. But reading articles by JB caused me to look into it a bit more.
The 204 is better for prairie dogs than the 223 in a couple of ways (windage and elevation) and I shoot a lot of 223 ammo at PD's. Some years we get a lot of shooting. Last year it was a very dry year and numbers were rather poor. The range for the dogs were 400+ yards, it was breezy and my 22-250 AI got most of the shooting.

Here's some loads my 204 Ruger liked.

204 Remington 700, 40 grain Hornady V-max, 27.2 grains IMR 4895, 0.44 MOA
The 204 liked all the loads from 27.2 to 28.6 grains, but 27.2 grains was the most accurate the 28.6 group size was .52 MOA
I don't know why but 27.8 shot the biggest groups .66 MOA.

204 Remington 700, 32 grain Hornady V-max, 21 grains IMR 4198, 0.44MOA (only one 5 shot group) I could not get next groups to shoot as well.

204 Remington 700, 40 grain Ballistic tip, 27 grain TAC, 0.52 MOA (multiple groups)

I'd go with either TAC or IMR 4895 for accuracy. But IMR4895 is my favorite.

I re-barreled the 204 and the new SS barrel is only as accurate as the old barrel. I had the old barrel for sale - it is no longer for sale. I'll keep it until the SS barrel burns out.

I started with 32 grain bullets because that was what was available. I'll be sticking with the 40 grain bullets and I have a good supply.


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Good info here. Thanks.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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I shoot thousands of rds. at p-dogs every year. Did it with a 223 until I got my first 204.
I have 2 at the present time, a Cooper varminter and a XR100 Rem. that is on it's second barrel. I shoot a lot of 17 HH and 20 VarTargs 2 of each but if I could have only 1 it would be the 204.
I like and use CFE223 and 32 vMaxs and sierra Blitzkings, both work great but the Sierras are more explosive.
I got 3500 rds out of the XR barrel but I don't baby them.


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It took me until 2019 to jump into the 204 game. I was a die hard 222 fan. Picked up an A-Bolt stalker, it shoots the 39 gr Sierra bk's over 28gr of H4895 with authority. If I do my part it'll group 3 shots at .235. it does just as good with 32 gr bk's and v-max's,but I prefer the 39gr blk's. Love it for varmints. Now the 222 rarely sees any use. I have been eyeing a Rugerk11 stainless in 204 at a LGS. But I'm notuch of a stainless fan.


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It sounds like we were all in the same boat in regards to the 204 Ruger. I have a buddy that has been using it since it came out. He loves the damn cartridge. Says it is his favorite "rat gun", along with his 17HMR that he's shot so much that its damn near worn out. I had never even considered the 204, as I have plenty of 223's. Thought the bullets were too light for shooting in any kind of wind etc etc. I only bought this rifle because it was a great deal. The extras on the rifle add up to what I pad for it. It also only has 200 confirmed rounds down the tube. Story is the guy bought it, fixed it up to his liking, used for yote hunting for a couple years and then moved on to an AR 204 ruger for quicker follow up shots. I asked the store manager, when I bought it, if it had an accuracy issue or something. I've seen that with some Tikka's I've bought used in the past. This is one where I'll shoot a little factory ammo through it, see how the accuracy is and if it is not up to snuff I'll give it the treatment and get it to shooting properly. I'll probably do that anyway, but at least I'll have a baseline. Which I much prefer when working with a used rifle.. We will definitely see next week though.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


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I really enjoy the 204. Wish I had opportunity to shoot it more. I'm sure my 204 round count is far below some of the other contributors to the thread. I've played with 32 gr Blitzkings, 32 gr VMax, 35 gr Bergers, and 40 gr VMax. They all shot very well. The Bergers might have a slight advantage in the accuracy department but they were also the most expensive. I've settled on H4895. They're alotta fun. I tell people that a 204 is like having a 4000 fps BB gun. BSA, I'm confident you'll enjoy yours.


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