Re: predator gun
Welcome to the forum.
I have been following and researching the Ruger 204 since it was introduced, thinking (as you) this might be a good predator rifle, and one of the most intensly debated subjects on hunting forums is the choice of caliber and bullet for predators. You didnít specify what predator, but I will assume you are talking about coyote and fox. As you very likely know, a fox is not as big as it looks, and their hide is not as thick as a coyotes. Either one of your choices can do quite a bit of damage to a fox. If fox is your number one predator, you can slow the bullets down and you wonít have near as many blow-ups.
If coyote is your goal, the Swift can have a range and wind deflection advantage, but with the 204 you will be able to see your hits/misses as there is very little recoil. You will likely have to reload for each. For the Swift I would use the 52 gr. Amax or the 55 gr. Sierra Game King if you are working with a factory rifle. These produce little pelt damage MOST of the time. I would stay away from the 32 and 40 gr. Horn. 204 bullets and opt for the 40 gr. Berger for coyotes. The Berger has a slightly thicker jacket that helps reduce blow-ups.
If you are hunting in the east where most of your hunting will be done in the woods and choosing a shot is not an option, the choice is easy. I like the heavier and well constructed bullets and the Swift to anchor the animal on the spot.
Is the 204 ďmuchĒ better than the Swift for saving pelts? I donít think there IS a predator rifle/caliber that is MUCH better than another. On any given shot, from any given rifle, there are variables at work that can change impact velocity, bullet penetration and performance.
Both are good choices......