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  • Good caliber for predators?

    I have a .204 that is a tack driving machine and is quite lethal on coyotes and fox back in Montana but I am a little leery that it may be too small of a caliber if a wolf comes in while calling. I am debating about picking up a .243 AR but to me it just doesn't make sense being I already have a good gun for calling. I know it would do the trick with good shot placement but I don't want to be tracking down a wolf all day on a mediocre shot if you know what I mean. If anyone has any experience with the .204 up here please chime in.

  • #2
    I'm new up here, too, but I plan on just using my AR. Odds are low that I'll bump into a wolf where I'll be hunting.

    Side note: Coyotes in NY (home state) weighed 50 to 60 pounds and the .223 dropped them no problem. I know wolves are bigger and have had the .243 suggested to me a few times, as well. Seems to me that if a .223 can knock down a whitetail (I've never done it, but I know youths do it all the time.), it can take down a wolf. Just my .02.

    I looked at Hornady's ballistic table; depending on the bullet weight the .204 has more energy than a .223 at 500 yds. .243 has a lot more energy than both at that distance.. If you have the money try an AR in 6.8 APC! I've heard they're incredible.

    People back home liked the .204 and a .243 is probably a more logical choice, but financially it makes more sense for me to just stick with my .223. Little cheaper to shoot, ammo is everywhere and I have school loans..

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    • #3
      I am kinda with you being how as I already have a .204 I think I will just stick with that but I love the 243 round ha and always have room for more guns just not the money haha

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      • #4
        I hear ya there. ALWAYS more toys to purchase..

        Let me know if you'd like a hunting partner. I'm up to chase song dogs anytime!

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        • #5
          Hopefully I will actually have some time and be able to connect with my 6.8spc. There are some interesting options out there developed around the AR platform. 6.5 creedmore is another interesting option.

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          • #6
            I hear the 6.5 Creedemoore is similar to the .260 cal? I've heard some good reviews about the .260.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Deer Brook Farm View Post

              Let me know if you'd like a hunting partner. I'm up to chase song dogs anytime!
              I would be down to go out but I just don't know how much time I'm going to have to be getting out this year. Work work work.....

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              • #8
                .204 will work fine on a wolf. I believe there is a post on here where someone shot a nice wolf with one. The problem with the .204 is the high velocity and keeping it from destroying fox and lynx. A slower moving, heavier FMJ type bullet will help you save pelts or if you want, a small, light bullet that goes in and doesn't exit. It's tough to always keep the small bullets from exiting though and sometimes you can get a big split if you hit low or on the shoulder. Food for thought.

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                • #9
                  223 with as heavy of bullet as you can get. I use it with a 75 gr. Hornady bullet. Try to get the bullet under 2800 fps. Huge diff on fur damage. I'm only loading it to about 2600. Another nice thing about this setup is it works great on caribou lol.

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                  • #10
                    Teacherman,
                    What twist do you have in your .223? I've never loaded up that heavy of a .223, but would like to tinker a little bit with it this winter.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by snowcamoman View Post
                      Teacherman,
                      What twist do you have in your .223? I've never loaded up that heavy of a .223, but would like to tinker a little bit with it this winter.
                      I killed a coyote and a lynx with 69gr. SMKs at about 2450, group about .4 MOA from my 16" bull barrel 1-8. I've never tried to shoot anything longer. Neither exit was bigger than a quarter, both animals had to be tracked and finished.

                      My current load is a 62gr TTSX, unknown velocity but its a grain or so above minimum in my manual. groups a little over .5 MOA and has the same POI as 55gr factory PMCs which is handy. I developed this load with Wolves in mind after finding lots of tracks last year, never saw the beasts and missed a really nice coyote, so no field results on this load yet.

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                      • #12
                        Bullet placement is the key to success.
                        sigpic
                        Sweepint
                        Wasilla,
                        '' Livn' The Dream ''
                        26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sweepint View Post
                          Bullet placement is the key to success.
                          Herein lies the answer. I use a 17 remington with either 20 or 25 grain bullets going as fast as I can shove them safely. Fur damage is nonexistent and it kills like lightning on chest shots. I used to use a 22-250 and while it killed great it was rough on hides, velocity is what gives the dramatic kills on varmints but I don't want an exit if I can help it. I got spectacular kills with the hotrod 22-250 but I also got big exits a lot of the time. The 17 gives the dramatic one shot kills but doesn't leave gigantic exits if it does exit. Before anyone screams "what about the wolves", point A is that most times you're 100 times more likely to see a coyote or fox than a wolf, point B is that a good friend of mine killed over 20 wolves while living in the Copper Basin using his 17 remington and the 25 grain hornady hollow point.

                          Use your 204 with the most frangible bullet you can load in it and resist the urge to shoot foxes, they are tiny and fragile and you'll shred them with your 204.

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                          • #14
                            I'll be using a 22-250 this winter for predator hunting, mostly just coyotes. I've been shooting this Model 70 all summer and got a good load dialed in shooting 40gr Nosler Ballistic Tips and Varget powder. The 1/14" twist barrel is a bummer when wanting to shoot longer, heavier bullets though. Only rifle I've shot that didn't like a Barnes TSX bullet of some kind, too.

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                            • #15
                              I bought a .204 for predator hunting in the interior of AK. I shot 1 fox square in the spine as it was running straight away and blew a huge hole in the hide. It was a waist of a fox. I shot a beautiful black female wolf with a shot to the neck at 205 yards and she piled up - lights out and no damage to the hide. Like the others said, the .204 is a bit fast for thin skinned critters at least if you hit bone. The .204 will work well, even on a wolf, with a well placed shot to the neck or I believe tight behind the front leg (lung shot). I shoot 35 gr Bergers and like yours, mine is a tack driver - like a lazer. The 35 gr Bergers are a little heavier constructed than a ballistic tip which I would not recommend for wolves. What I fear and you should to, is if you hit a wolf in a non-lethal area like a shoulder, leg, or even in the guts because you may loose it with a small caliber like a .204. That's when you will wish you were shooting something with more energy and a heavier bullet. Of course, shot placement is your first and foremost friend. Lastly, most all of the wolves I see are on the run because they here my snogo coming so precise shot placement isn't usually an option for me. Calling them in would be a different story, but that's not so easy.

                              Now then, knowing what I know now, and based on the fact that I almost exclusively pursue wolves, I wish I had a .243 or similar caliber. Heck, I shot a wolf last April with my .22 pistol, but I wouldn't go buy a .22 for wolf hunting.

                              I probably didn't tell you anything you didn't already know and that is the .204 will kill a wolf every time with good shot placement. Me, I'll continue packing the .204 over my shoulder, but I'm looking for a .243 or .260 for my winter wolf gun. Have fun!
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