Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: 204 ruger; a good predator cartridge?

  1. #1
    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    159

    Default 204 ruger; a good predator cartridge?

    Hey fellow predator hunters, I am looking to buy a new rifle cartridge for shooting furbearers and I have been contemplating the .204 ruger. Reloading the ammunition will be a future prospect so for now it's just shelf ammo for me. I have a .243 and a 17 HMR that I take now and I can only hit animals with the hmr under 100 or 90 yards. But the middle ground, 100-200 yards, i cant take anything with the 17 or 243 cuz the 17 doesnt have the snort for it, and the 243 blows them up really bad if its under the 200 yard mark. so what are your thoughts on the 204 cartridge as a predator gun for something in the middle of the two i have now so that i only have to take one gun. Good or bad, I want to hear your thoughts. Thank fellas!

  2. #2

    Default

    reload the 243 and slow it down. there's a 90 grain sierra fmjbt I'd like to try out at some point, I have a bunch of the hornady 80gr fmjs.

    A buddy uses his 204 and has had the same issues, blowing fox/cats up at those ranges. I don't know what he's using for pills though.

    I do like my 17.....when she fires. Have you tried the 20gr xtp or game points? I was using the 17 gr vmax's and have had ok luck with them. They do frag pretty fast and I had one splash on bone on a cat.

    I think with most predator rifles you're going to find there is no real good fur friendly store bought rounds. the 17's close, but cant handle the bigger critters and is marginal on yotes imho, though I have had success with it, I think its pushing that round to it's limits. The 243 and 204 need to be slowed down and a bullet found that will hold together, minimal/no expansion/tumbling. Most fur factory rounds just aren't meant for saving fur unfortunately!

  3. #3
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    1,060

    Default

    a .204 was my first "fur" gun based off of the ballistics. I quickly got rid of it while it will shoot far and flat it will blow animals apart very very tough on fur.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    reload the 243 and slow it down. there's a 90 grain sierra fmjbt I'd like to try out at some point, I have a bunch of the hornady 80gr fmjs.

    A buddy uses his 204 and has had the same issues, blowing fox/cats up at those ranges. I don't know what he's using for pills though.

    I do like my 17.....when she fires. Have you tried the 20gr xtp or game points? I was using the 17 gr vmax's and have had ok luck with them. They do frag pretty fast and I had one splash on bone on a cat.

    I think with most predator rifles you're going to find there is no real good fur friendly store bought rounds. the 17's close, but cant handle the bigger critters and is marginal on yotes imho, though I have had success with it, I think its pushing that round to it's limits. The 243 and 204 need to be slowed down and a bullet found that will hold together, minimal/no expansion/tumbling. Most fur factory rounds just aren't meant for saving fur unfortunately!
    TradBow is spot on here. What blows up hides is velocity and expansion (a product of velocity). Again he is correct that almost no factory ammo is going to be fur friendly because it is pushed so fast.

    For starters with factory ammo I would suggest you find the toughest .243 bullet in the heaviest weight you can shoot. Something like a partition or TSX that won't splatter is a good start and the heavier the slower.

    The best answer would be to start relaoding, in my opinion. Having said that I'm not sure you could have picked a worse time to start with the lack of components on the market, primers and powder would be your biggest problem.

    It seems that a fairly agreed upon velocity that should not be exceeded when saving fur is the goal, is about 2800 fps. Considering the typicall calling terrain around much of south central alaska, this velocity does not prove problematic because you typically aren't going to call an animal anywhere you can see more than 100 yards anyhow.

    My "pet" fur load is 69gr HPBT .223 out of an AR that I hand load. It leaves the barrel at around 2450 fps. The Sierra HPBT expands very little, it is not made for hunting. I had to track both animals but I had about quarter sized exits on both which left nice blood trails. I really think the bullet type is secondary to velocity for saving fur. I also believe you could achieve similar results in larger calibers (.243, .270, .308, even .300 win mag) using this "slow bullet" fram of mind.

    One other option to consider is a shotgun with buckshot or "dead cotyote", although the latter is quite spendy. Both fur animals I have taken could have been killed with a shotgun at about 45 yards or so.

  5. #5

    Default

    a forum member put me on to shotgunning. Recommends 4buck (not 0000). Just about every critter I've called in I could have taken with the old pump. Good recommendation! I completely spaced the scatter guns out.

    And you're spot on for reloading, 0 at SW here today, no powder/primers. Thankfully I have enough for the ppc to keep me going for awhile.

  6. #6

    Default

    the .17 centerfire rounds are good for fur at the ranges you're talking about. I've used a .17 Rem. for 25 years and seldom had to get out the sewing equipment.

  7. #7
    Member GDinAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    232

    Default

    I have had great luck with my 17 fireball on fox here on Kodiak. I moved up from a 17 HMR to get those fox that hung up out at 100 yards or more. I use remingon factory ammo and my hunting partner hand loads some light rounds both have performed beautifully. Best of luck...

  8. #8

    Default

    what heads are you using? After splashing on the 17hmr with the 17gr vmax, I grabbed a couple boxes of the 20gr gamepoints (before the buyout happened lol). Curious your experiences with bullets. Almost bought the fireball, kinda regret not doing it now. My hmr is having misfire issues.

  9. #9
    Member GDinAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    232

    Default

    I use the Remington factory 20 gr Accutip-v PRA18FB and my buddies two favorite hand loads are the same 20 gr Accutip-v w 15 gr of IMR 4198 and 14.5 gr of 4198 w 25 gr Berger a little slower load. I love my 17. Fireball my partner switched from his 17 Remington after seeing mine perform on the doggies. Best of luck. Greg

  10. #10
    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I shoot 85 grain Barnes tsx through the 243 and 20grain vmax with the 17hmr. The hmr is an absolute monster under the 60 yard mark and I've never had to make more than one shot on anything with it under that range, but I've hit foxes at 90+ and it hurts them enough that I can track them and shoot them again, but I want to put them down with shot #1 ya know? And the 243 bullet hits hard and at 100 yards in think its around 3 grand? But it puts a decent hole in them at that range. I have contemplated the 17 hornet as well as an option, but what is its true effective range??? How does it do at 150 plus??

  11. #11

    Default

    I hear that, though I did dump a yote at over 100 with the 17 and the 17vmaxs.... I was kinda hoping to hear the 20grainers would perform better. I didn't think their was a 20gr vmax? I do know to stay away from the 17 gr tnt's. I was hoping to find the 20gr fmjs for it, but never did come acrossed them. Kinda thought they'd hold together better on bones than the vmax's. My understanding is the game points, fmjs and, xtps were the same manufactured pill distributed to a few companies?!?!

    Do you get many shots past 150? I guess a traveling caller would, but for atleast me I don't normally. Though I need an excuse to buy another rifle lol! Its a shame buying components is non existent!

    Thanks for the load info Gd! I'd be interested to hear a review of both of those bullets if you have time at some point.

  12. #12
    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    159

    Default

    correction, i shoot the 17grain v-max and a 20 grain fmj out of the 17HMR. Does anyone have any history or experience with 17 hornet?

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID
    Posts
    1,974

    Default

    No experience with the 17, but the .22 K Hornet does a fine job out to 200 yds on fox, coons and the like with little fur damage. I have a 17 HMR that allows fox to run off all too often, but not the K Hornet.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  14. #14
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    I would say keep the .243 find a heavy bullet say 90-100 grains and load it down. You have one of the best predator guns in your hands already, it will shoot farther and flatter with way less wind drift and hit with way more energy than a .17 .20 or .22 caliber.

  15. #15

    Default

    Lowrider that's been my experience also with the HMR. Thankfully tracking snow is the norm!

  16. #16
    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I bought a 204 anyways.

  17. #17

    Default

    right on post your results. There's a Scirocco 90gr for the 243 that's supposed to be good slowed down also. I've got a ton of the FMj's to play with for awhile....Hopefully powder doesn't remain too much of an issue.

    Interested to hear your reports on cats/fox at under 100 with the 204.

  18. #18
    Member Ak_Predator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    136

    Default

    A buddy of mine shot a fox with a .204 at about 85 yards and it left about a 4-5" blowout on the exit side whereas the fox i shot at about 140 yards with the .243 load I have left two holes about the size of a dime (entrance) and a nickel (exit). We bagged these guys on back to back stands and it was good to see the difference in hide damage. I kept telling him he would blow up a fox or lynx but he wouldn't believe me.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    AK
    Posts
    4,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak_Predator View Post
    A buddy of mine shot a fox with a .204 at about 85 yards and it left about a 4-5" blowout on the exit side whereas the fox i shot at about 140 yards with the .243 load I have left two holes about the size of a dime (entrance) and a nickel (exit). We bagged these guys on back to back stands and it was good to see the difference in hide damage. I kept telling him he would blow up a fox or lynx but he wouldn't believe me.
    IMO .204 is moving way too fast to not blow up thin skinned animals. Shooting frangible bullets may help. Factory Federal 32 grain loads are moving at 4000 fps, 40gr at 3600. Many people agree staying under 2800 is key to small holes, as described earlier in this thread. Thanks for sharing the side by side comparison.

  20. #20
    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    159

    Default

    So, update with the .204. I bought a savage model 12 BTCSS. It is undeniably the most accurate rifle and cartridge i own. Its a little on the heavy side for a walk-around rifle but i dont mind the extra weight for what i gained in accuracy. I shoot the 40gr V-max box ammo. I have shot one fox with it, the fox hung up at about 140 and i hammered it. instant death. shot him broad side in the shoulder and had an entrance about the size of a dime with no exit hole. so far, i am impressed with it and it didnt blow it up like i thought it would. although, i did shoot a ptarmigan at about 90 yards on one of my sets and feathers were spread about a 15' radius... it was pretty destructive at that range on that target. anyways, thought Id give an update on it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •