I owned a similar one 26"barrel, Sold it, to heavy. Bought a D-tech 1-9 an shot 50 gr berger out of it,Knocks the snot out of them.But the wind is king here,shot placement is allways the problem here in Vermont.An our dogs average 50 lbs.Besafe have fun..
Let me start by saying I'm a huge .204 fan. I have five now--two bolt rifles and three AR uppers. It is an awesome cartridge. Very accurate and very flat. My son and I shoot up to fifty coyotes a year--most of them called--and I don't consider the .204 a 400 yard coyote cartridge. I have killed them at that distance but there are better tools for the job. The 32 grain V-max will eventually disappoint you unless you put it through the ribs. I'd recommend the 35 or 40 grain Berger for predators. That said, I think you'd love the cartridge if you keep the shots less than 300 yards and use it for colony varmints out to several hundred yards. Good luck!
I'd recommend the 35 or 40 grain Berger for predators.
I shoot a Savage 12 .204, but it is a lightweight and sports an 11 twist Douglas barrel. It loves the 40 grain Berger's. I haven't tried the 35's yet but have seen them work so well for others I would not hesitate to run 'em.
How far will you be shooting? I think that is the first question you need to ask yourself. The x39 is a 300m MOman gun. If you will be shooting within 300m, then I think you should stay with the x39. That way that random other animal that is in season and steps in front of you can be downed as well. That said, there never needs to be a reason to get a different gun. But, being from Central Texas where 100 yards is kinda far, and being in prime pig country, the bigx39 is gonna be go to over the 5.56x45 and the littlex39.
I don't know about your game laws, and whether you would be looked down on for carrying a "deer" rifle for predator hunting.
Last comment, I will have a .204 Ruger, but unless I can find a reason it is better, then 6.5 grendel will be first.
I came into a used Remington 700 223 Varmint rifle (heavy barrel, black synthetic stock) for just under $500 including a crappy NC star scope and a nice bipod. I free floated the barrel (3/4" hardwood dowel + 40 grit belt sander paper) at which time I discovered the fore end was twisted, so it is not symetrical now, but it clears the barrel generously.
The trigger on this gun is fine, I didn't need to mess with it at all. I am still perplexed about the 8mm Mauser "Classic 700" that I bought that needed a ton of work to make it shoot. I was about turned off Remington Rifles for life. I swapped the 3-12x42SF Nikon from my AR onto this rifle and from the get go it has shot 1/2" groups at 100yds off the bipod. The only negative is that the barrel is a 1:12 twist, so my current 55gr loads (Hornady Vmax + 22.5gr H322) may well be the highest bullet weight that will work. So stretching the range with heavier, higher BC bullets would require a re-barrel. I also have Hornady 55gr spire point bullets, if I should find that the Vmax are too superficial for the winter coats. From what I have been reading, that is unlikely to be the case though.
One nice thing about the 223 is that one can get very reasonably priced commercial ammo (PMC for example) which has great brass for less than 30c/round. I just paid 36c/shell for winchester brass and I have found all the PMC brass I reloaded to be superior to either Remington, Winchester or PPU brass. Have never bought Lapua brass, so can't comment on that.
I would have liked a better scope, but that will have to wait for my 308 or 7mm rifle next year..... Target turrets are available for the Nikon Monarch and the tracking so far has been the best of any scope I have owned and totally superior to the Weaver and Bushnell scopes I set up last weekend on my new muzzle loader and on the AR to replace the Nikon.
The ($150) Weaver in particular takes several shots to settle down after each adjustment, even after tapping the turrets with a rubber screw driver handle after each adjustment. The Bushnell is a 3200 Elite Tactical 10x fixed magnification mill dot scope. Sight image is clear, but the turrets seem to have a lot of overshoot and springback, which sorta defeats the object of having target turrets. It was my first time shooting it on the AR and I didn't shoot any hand loads so grouping was more scattered than what I know the weapon can do, so perhaps I should not be too judgmental....
I also don't have experince with the savage models of 204, but like its been said savages are shooters! I do if you are interested at all have a DPMS upper in 204 R. it will come with alot of loaded any, my own recipie with 35 gr. bergers that flat lay out the yodel dogs I have shot with it. pm me if interested. Either way I don't think you will be dissapointed in the 204! Rob.