.204 Ruger - Advice please

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.204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by outandabout » 08 Jan 2016, 14:47

I'm considering getting a .204 ruger setup for NV foxing.

I want less recoil than the .223 mainly. The flatter trajectory may be a bonus, but i don't know if I'll notice much difference in the field. I'm also hoping the .204 will be quieter although I'm not sure since it's a necked down .223 case?

My .223 is a good gun but for a dedicated NV rifle, I'm thinking a .204 would do the job better?

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by warbucks » 08 Jan 2016, 16:51

Im also running a 223 as a dedicated foxing gun, so it will be interested to the replies to this.
Ive been using Hornady 55g v max, and have shot foxes at 250 yds with just aiming a little higher but still within the foxes body, this is with a 215 yd zero on the Drone Pro which is 2.6" off the centre of the barrel.
Looking at the trajectory chart if i used Hornady 40g v max i could go straight at a fox up to 285 yds, and still be within the 4" kill zone.
I think that if you didn't have the 223 to start with the 204 would be a good choice, or maybe slightly better than the 223, providing you can get 39-40g amo, and it will shoot it, if it doesn't and you have to use 32's, then your loosing the small advantage that it has over the 223 ???
Wednesday night i used a 243 for the first time on foxes, two foxes one behind the other at around 140 yds, it killed the near one stone dead, and the one behind did 20 yds and that dropped stone dead, (same bullet) i think it could be argued that 243 is better for fox, as you dont get as many runners as you do with 222, 223, 204, 22 250.
On the recoil thing, this 243 had a recoil pad on the butt, this was for making the shooting position correct with a night vision add on, the owner tells me it also reduced the recoil by quite a bit, it might be worth fitting one to your 223 for what little they cost.
Most of my foxes are shot sub 200 yds, 300 yds on a night is getting out a bit where cross wind is going to increase the difficulty in a clean kill.

Dave (warbucks)

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by kingsy18 » 08 Jan 2016, 17:43

At the moment using the 204 but used the two calibres,204 slightly lower recoil,trajectory wise if you use 40 grainers in 223 its similar to 40 grain in 204 ,32grain has flatter trajectory as for sound think they both sound the same.

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by plonker » 08 Jan 2016, 20:33

If your hoping to see or feel much difference then you will be disappointed.I have a 223 and sold a 204.
Noise wise it's all down to the mod.
recoil,if shooting 40 gr in both then nothing in it.
Trajectory,again nothing in it with both shooting 40gr.
If you want a change then go for it,if you think there is a big difference between the two then save your money.

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by jackal1 » 09 Jan 2016, 00:48

I had a .223 that i used to shoot 40grn bullets through. I changed to a .204 using 32 grn homeloads doing 4100fps. I have found the .204 quieter (DM80 mod ) flatter shooting, very little recoil and so consequently i do not lose sight picture. I personally will not go back to .223 infact i now have two .204s one for night and one for day. The .204 cartridge is actually a necked down .222 magnum case which is longer than .223.

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by chrisspiff » 09 Jan 2016, 13:02

my howa 1500 likes the 32 grain hornady superformance better than the 40 grain but i do find you need good bullet placement with the 32 grain as you seem to get "runners" ive had quite a few take off to drop dead 50-100 yards away.perfect bullet placement can be hard using nv at distance so i use my 22-250 at night now.
as far as recoil definatly less than my 22-250 and less noise using the same mod.
p.s. jackel1 is right its a .222 magnum case necked down.

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by outandabout » 09 Jan 2016, 21:46

Ok thanks for the replies, and for the correction on the .204 being a necked down .222 magnum.

Jackal1 - you put it better than I could about losing sight picture due to recoil, which happens with me on every shot at the moment. This is the 'problem' I'm really hoping to overcome if poss. Anything else (i.e.quieter) would be a bonus.

I'm not missing, but it's bloody annoying!

I'm using 53gr hornady vmax at the moment, I might try some 40gr and see how that performs in the meantime.

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by bobjs » 10 Jan 2016, 11:51

20 cals are rather good if you respect what the limits,

I have had 1 runner in 5 years, it's not that I'm a fantastic shot I just don't go silly with it, I never take a body shot other than chest and head,

I have been using a 20 tac for 9 years with no issues, no recoil to think of no sight loss and its compact as well,

I wish you well in your search,


known by many. liked by some. hated by a few.what would you do,who cares lets get out shooting
WARNING: LUPUS IS A KILLER, lets support them in the need to find out what it is, what causes it and how do we defeat it.


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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by plonker » 10 Jan 2016, 12:53

Look at the facts.
both contain roughly the same powder charge so recoil and noise is purely down to weight/fit of rifle and quality of sound mod.
The only one left is trajectory.Both shooting 40gr there is nothing in it that a fox would complain.
I use to shoot the 39gr witch is a far better foxing round than the 32gr but not all 204 will shoot 39gr well.
This is as impartial as I can get.
Both will drop a fox on the spot with correct bullet placement.
If recoil is your main issue then try the 40gr in the 223 if it's still an issue the change rifle as it's not the caliber.
hope this help.

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Re: .204 Ruger - Advice please

Post by sikapup » 10 Jan 2016, 15:03

you could always take your butt pad off and drill a hole in your stock and put some lead in it.
heavier rifle = less recoil :thumbup:

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