A friend and took a ride into the White Mts for fun with the hopes of seeing some furry critters. No fur but we saw ALOT of ptarmigan (no shotgun!). Missed 2 with my pistol so out came the .204 ruger for head shots. That was some fun precision shooting. I got two in the head and kneck and one a little lower that took out the top of the wing and shoulder. Distance was between 75 and 100 yards. I got the 4th bird with my 22 pistol - finally! My friend is making some kind of ptarmy wild rice soup - hope it's good.
For a plain jane model 700 sps this gun shoots sweet with 35 grain Berger handloads. 1/2" MOA = fun!
Nice Shooting jpost!
I hope I'm not hijacking your thread, but I am in the market for a .204 and was wondering if you could shed some light on a couple of the questions I have.
1. How does it work on fox? (obviously works well on ptarmigan LOL) My buddy has a 22-250 shooting 40gr bullets and it is WAAAYYY too much gun for fox under 200 yards as the pelt damage is horrible.
2. What grain bullet are you shooting for smaller critters (i.e. fox, lynx, etc)?
I want a versatile varmit rifle that will not destroy small game, but with a little better ballastics than a .223. I think the .204 will work for what I want, but I would like to hear from people here in Alaska who have been using this particular round.
I wanted a gun for fox and coyote in the interior. As with any new purchase, I research the heck out of it to see what others say. That's one beauty of the internet! Anyway, check out this website, http://www.204ruger.com/, it has alot of info about the .204 ruger. Also click on the "forum" icon thingy on that website and see what others say about the .204 and fur damage on fox and yotes.
To answer your question, I have yet to shoot anything but grouse and ptarmigan with it! Go figure, I can shoot the head off a darned grouse at 191 yards but I missed a fox at under 100 yds 2 weeks ago!! I saw this fox knawing on a moose rib cage, so I snuck up nice and close. I REALLY wanted a fox hide! So, I figure I am so close that I want to avoid blowing a hole in the hide, sooooo, stupidly, I figure I will go for a kneck shot. Yeah, I missed! I couldn't believe it! That reinforces two things: 1) no matter how capable you and your rifle are at precision shooting, you can still miss once in a while!, 2) and better to shoot for center of mass (behind the shoulder, etc) to guarantee a hit rather than get greedy!
The 35 grain Berger gets high praise for minimal fur damage and they shoot awesome out of my gun. That's basically all I shoot. I have tried 32 grain vmax handloads but can't get .5 MOA from them like with the Bergers. So Bergers it is. I REALLY hope to provide more answers after I bag my first furry critter!
Thanks for the info and the great story on the fox. I'm sure you'll get one soon.
I have been researching and reading everything I can find on the 204, but most of the stuff I find on the internet are people using it on prarrie dogs and such in the lower 48. The round gets a lot of praise for that type of shooting, but that doesn't help me much here in AK. I will check out the website you posted and I look forward to hearing about that successful fox hunt in the near future.