The reason I think the 204 Ruger is a fine cartridge for shooting prairie dogs is the following. I m an old timer who started shooting prairie dogs in 1949 with a 22 RF rifle. I started looking for a better cartridge for p dog shooting and over the years ended up at one time or another shooting them with the 17 HM2, 17 HMR, 17 Fireball, 17 Rem, 204 Ruger, 22 RF, 22WMR, 22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 22-250 Rem, 220 Swift, 243 Win, and some big game cartridges. Got a CZ Varmint 17 Hornet this winter which I ll try this spring. Shooting prairie dogs takes a lot of ammo so I use the 17 HM2, and 17 HMR rifles a lot in the spring for p dog pup shooting. When the shots start to become longer I ll use some flatter shooting cartridge but not the 17 Rem, 22-250, 220, or 243. The barrels get to hot to fast and the muzzle blast will get p dogs going into their holes. I also like low recoil rifles and see the hits so that's where the 204 shins out to around 400 yards. I started reloading ammo in 1953 and have reloaded ammo for all of my CF rifles since then. It was eazy to find accurate 32 and 39 grain bullet reloads for the 204 rifle . That is 1/2 inch five shot 100 yard groups . For p dog shooting, whats not to like about an accurate 204 Ruger varmint rifle?