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Thread: .204 ruger for wolves yes or no?

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    Member roughneck6883's Avatar
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    Default .204 ruger for wolves yes or no?

    I am from montana and never hunted wolves but am looking forward to it I will be in fairbanks in less than a month!!I recently purchased a savage model 10 .204 ruger. I have heard talk not to go smaller than a ,243 or a 6mm for the big dogs but I wanted to put it under forum thanks

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    .204 ruger will never kill a wolf....you need a .338 or bigger or youll get eaten........no im kidding a .204 ruger will drop a wolf easily....even a .17 hmr will drop a wolf....



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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    All about the shot.

    Those suckers are pretty big for a .204, but a head shot will do the job.

    I would shoot something 6mm - 7mm. That's just my opinion.
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    I don't know about wolves, but judging by these bunnies I think you'll be fine...





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    Couple guys on here had some experience (Alaskan22 maybe) with the .204 and fur bearers in general and though they did a lot of damage to the pelts...maybe they can wade in here further...

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    Member roughneck6883's Avatar
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    Default full metal jacket

    if I were to use it I would use full metal jackets I am not looking to destroy a good pelt I used full metal jacket on a 22-250 on coyotes in montana and it worked fine it didnt do too bad I have a .17 but I have heard it could work but not at long range it might not have enough juice so I thought I could put the odds in my favor with a little larger rifle and I just aquired a savage 204 and was looking at its uses on my new hunting grounds

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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    my brother shoots a .204 ruger he has never taken a wolf with it but lots of foxes and yotes and it drops them and doesn't do to much pelt damage.I carry a .17 and no wolf better step with in 200yrds i'll show him something!

  8. #8

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    Lol, i imagine the only way a .17 hmr or a .204 ruger would reliably kill wolves is with head shots, same with coyotes. Obviously lung shots will kill them, but it might take a anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and you probly wont find what you shot.

    I really dont think the 17-20 grain .17 HMR bullet is ever going to recover a wolf or coyote unless a good head shot happens.

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    I have seen a whole pile of wolves that have been killed with nothing more than a 22 mag a lot of the wolf hunters out here use just that preferably in an auto loader. and triple tap them in the lungs and down they go. alll shots are 100 yrds or less usually much less. I don't recommend the use of FMJ s on them. If you don't hit them good with a FMJ they will run away and if you are really lucky someone may find it in his trap a year later and find your bullet in the crippled leg. Even with a soft pointed 223 your exit hole is not going to generally be enough to be noticable.
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    I'd definately keep the shot to 100yds or less if possible. Those little 17 HMR bullets lose alot of energy fast and those wolves can be a helluva lot harder to take down than some would boast. Especially if it was hit with a less than perfect shot, that dog WILL run...
    I'd personally wouldn't go after them with anything less than a 22-250. Why? This last December, a friend and I went out for coyotes. He carried a 17HMR and I had my 22-250. We were both shooting good quality hunting/predator bullets, not cheapo's. Anyways, at 205 ranged yards, we spotted 2 coyotes standing broadside, oblivious to us. Since we were on the edge of cover and getting closer was a no-go, it was go time. On 3, I shot the one on the right, he went for the one on the left. 2 great hits, both center shoulder/high chest. Mine eats dirt pronto. Chased his for 200 more yards and had to shoot it again. Bullet did great, just didn't penetrate like I or he thought it would. No power... Good luck on your wolf... My .02...

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    think it will be just fine. I know a guy who has shot plenty of wolves up here with a .22 mag and has had no probs mostly just shot placement. I believe a .223 in 55gr. FMJ's are the most popular in this area.... or anything you have with you if you see one.

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    Man, I read some of these posts and wonder what experiences some of you have with these (and other mentioned calibers).

    I have a .22lr, .22 mag, .223, .204 & 22-250 and have shot everything with fur with them.

    204 - BLOWS UP fox if you shoot them any closer than 100 yds. It actually did well on a couple of lynx, but they were 100 yds out. I think if they were any closer you might blow them up too (espeically if you hit a rib). On a wolf, it would probably be perfect.

    My gun of choice has now stepped up to the .22 mag. I've seen more wolf taken with just a .22lr. They were all shot at close proximity with the .22lr, and i'd imagine that you wouldn't want to "reach out and touch" a wolf with one, and expect to find it easily (which is why I upgraded to the .22 mag), but it they went down pretty easily with a couple of .22lr shots.

    I limit the .223 and .204 to wolves (with a reliable chance of them not going far). You can definately go bigger in caliber, but not needed, IMO. Definately depends on your terrain and tracking ability. If they need to drop where they are, and you are taking long shots you might be stretching the .204 (it is a 300 yds gun, but not much knock down power at that range). At this range the .22-250 is nice.

    I also don't recommend head shots, unless you PRACTICE these shots lots. One in the goodie sack (the vitals) will always bring them down. Skulls have a value (not much for fox, but lynx, wolf, wolverine all have good value).
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by swampdonkey View Post
    I'd definately keep the shot to 100yds or less if possible. Those little 17 HMR bullets lose alot of energy fast and those wolves can be a helluva lot harder to take down than some would boast. Especially if it was hit with a less than perfect shot, that dog WILL run...
    I'd personally wouldn't go after them with anything less than a 22-250. Why? This last December, a friend and I went out for coyotes. He carried a 17HMR and I had my 22-250. We were both shooting good quality hunting/predator bullets, not cheapo's. Anyways, at 205 ranged yards, we spotted 2 coyotes standing broadside, oblivious to us. Since we were on the edge of cover and getting closer was a no-go, it was go time. On 3, I shot the one on the right, he went for the one on the left. 2 great hits, both center shoulder/high chest. Mine eats dirt pronto. Chased his for 200 more yards and had to shoot it again. Bullet did great, just didn't penetrate like I or he thought it would. No power... Good luck on your wolf... My .02...
    Sorry folks. I had a brain fart... I looked at the 204 Ruger post, but was thinking about the 17HMR and responded. I worked all night and then got online before resting. Not paying attention on my part. Oops..
    Like Alaskan22 said, keep it to 100 yds or less and the 204 should work fine for wolves.

  14. #14

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    My experience is that method of hunt makes all the difference in the world as to how much gun is needed. I've called in coyotes and piled them up with one shot from my 17HMR. Yet when we are chasing them and they are all geared up on desire to exist it takes more gun to put them down and keep them down.

    When the 204 first came out I got all wound up and bought one. At that time there was but one bullet choice and it wasn't a good one. I shot three coyotes in one week end with that 204. One of which got away and the other two which were hit real square ended up with bad flesh wounds and died later after more chasing. The one in particular was running straight away at 300 yards and I hit him right where his tail hooks on and man did the fur fly! When he was eventually killed it was evident that the bullet went off on the hide.

    They make much better bullets for the .204 these days and have often wished I had hung onto that rifle because of that fact. I am quite certain that a better bullet would have anchored all three of those coyotes.

  15. #15

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    So, to those of you who kill wolves and coyotes with .22 LR and .17 HMR, and AVOID head shots, Do you also hunt in the snow where tracking is miserably easy? Or do you hunt in the WIDE open where you can watch the critter run off and die/ and or shoot untill its out of range? Or do you use a dog for tracking?

    If you use any other method and actually recover these animals regularly id be interested in how.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkbuster20 View Post
    So, to those of you who kill wolves and coyotes with .22 LR and .17 HMR, and AVOID head shots, Do you also hunt in the snow where tracking is miserably easy? Or do you hunt in the WIDE open where you can watch the critter run off and die/ and or shoot untill its out of range? Or do you use a dog for tracking?

    If you use any other method and actually recover these animals regularly id be interested in how.
    Good question Barkbuster! I have never shot a wolf with a 22lr but have taken a few coyote. They have all just wandered by while I was still hunting for squirrels and they were all close range <40 yards or so. One shot in the ear hole turns them off like a switch. However the thought of going to the woods after wolf with any rimfire when there are so many better choices out there just doesn't make sence to me. The main objective should be for a quick dispatch of said critter with as little follow up (tracking) as possible.

    While it can be done with a rimfire, everything has to be just right for it to happen. I can count on one hand the number that I killed with my 22 while after tree rats. I could probably have killed a hundred more while squirrel hunting if I had a good centerfire along. I've been doing this long enough to know that noone can be certain of a humane kill on even a coyote at say 100 yards with a rimfire, let alone a wolf. I consider this kind of hunting unethical and is more of a matter of making lucky on a pot shot than anything else! Ft/lbs of energy versus lbs of body weight says get a bigger gun!

  17. #17
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Good question Barkbuster! I have never shot a wolf with a 22lr but have taken a few coyote. They have all just wandered by while I was still hunting for squirrels and they were all close range <40 yards or so. One shot in the ear hole turns them off like a switch. However the thought of going to the woods after wolf with any rimfire when there are so many better choices out there just doesn't make sence to me. The main objective should be for a quick dispatch of said critter with as little follow up (tracking) as possible.

    While it can be done with a rimfire, everything has to be just right for it to happen. I can count on one hand the number that I killed with my 22 while after tree rats. I could probably have killed a hundred more while squirrel hunting if I had a good centerfire along. I've been doing this long enough to know that noone can be certain of a humane kill on even a coyote at say 100 yards with a rimfire, let alone a wolf. I consider this kind of hunting unethical and is more of a matter of making lucky on a pot shot than anything else! Ft/lbs of energy versus lbs of body weight says get a bigger gun!
    All the wolves I've taken, or seen taken with a .22lr have been in the wide open. I DO NOT recommend a shot over 50 yds with a .22lr, and I would NOT recommend that shot in the woods where tracking becomes an issue. I agree with elmerkeithclone that those are unethical shots as you're limited in any follow up shots, and tracking may be difficult and a lost wounded animal not recovered.

    Another note: my experience with the .204 is when they only had the Hornady rounds available (and those SOBs just blew fur up). I haven't tried reloading it, or any other type of bullets that may be better for fur.

    My .223 I only used FMJ and loved that they didn't blow up the fur...if you didn't hit a rib. If you did...well, it wasn't good. Which is why I don't like them for fox plinking (which is the majority of what I have out here in Nome). However, for wolves I would ABSOLUTELY recommed a centerfire over a rimfire. I did go to the .22 mag as my snogo carry gun, but thats because it is a good mix for fox and bigger furred animals.
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  18. #18

    Default 22mag

    I use a 22mag quite a bit and it's accounted for a fair share of Coyotes and Fox. I'd use it under 100 yards if I had a wolf come in, but that has yet to occur. When I think I'm in a wolfy area, I usually grab the 223 though with FMJ's.

    Alaskan22,
    What ammo are you using in your 22mags? Thanks.

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    I have enough problems finding them after shooting in the vitals with a .223. I like my 30-06 with 125 gr Ballistic Tips, stops them right there. No exit hole. But do not use the 06 on Foxes, nothing left.
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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Post shot placement..

    a .204 is what the "real' 17 use to be...i've moved from to lite and fast to a bullet that fix's the problem... 52gr in a 22-250/fast/lite/flat shootin...i KNOW for a fact that a 55gr tbbc will bowl a moose @ 400yds between the horns. and i add it 'worked" but don't do it. ....A .223 I walked/ran AWAY FROM THAT LONG AGO...my .02 cents/1.25$
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