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Varmint Hunting Techniques For Prairie Dogs, Woodchucks, etc.


.204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:06 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 218
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

Old post recently revived but I just got back from a PD shoot in NE Oregon, wind was + 20kts. Had great luck with a pair of 20 practicals shooting 32 grain Z-Max at 4200FPS. Very accurate, faster, flatter and more explosive on ground squirrels then the 223s. Longest hit was 330 yrds. Anything inside 200 yrds was an easy shot no matter what the wind.

I did the numbers too in the JBM calculations, 32 grain .204 Z-Max at 4200 FPS vs. 52 grain .223 Sierra Match King at 3500 FPS. Everything favored the faster .204 bullet.

One more thing that was mentioned, no ricochet with the 204 bullets.

If you reload consider the 20 practical vs. the 204 Ruger, if you have to buy factory probably go with the 223.

Good shooting

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Unread 03-23-2014, 03:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 257
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

Interesting thread, all have merit. I can say from testimony of three dog hunts. (I shoot both) In competition between 4 guys comparing similar guns and abilities. The little 204 had the best % of hits out to 350 yards (by 10-15%). 204 and 39gr BK's verses 223 40gr and 50 gr BK's and Norler BT's. Seemed the little 204 is more accurate consistently and does just fine in the wind by comparison. All three dog shoots the little 204 did it!
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Unread 04-06-2014, 03:14 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

This is my first post here so would like to start off by saying hi to other members. As far as the 2 cals. mentioned I do own and shoot both, I also handload for both. I think that both are great but different in that the 223 can be had with a 1 in 7 twist up to a 1 in 14 twist. The fast twist will shoot heavy and lite bullets but the slow twist will only shoot lite bullets, most of the 204's come with a 1 in 12 twist as most bullets will be 30 to 40 grains. Most varmint type bullets are cheap $10-$20 per hundred ( if you load) with a 204 you will be limited to these but with a 223 you will be able to shoot heavier big game type bullets. The 204 will do better in the wind due to higher vel. and higher b.c. Just this past week I shot a groundhog at 554 yds with my 204 shooting a 32 gr v max @ 4050 ft per sec. that is also my longest kill shot with the 204. You can get brass or loaded ammo cheaper for the 223 but neither is exp. I like both but you have a 243 so get the 204. If you are getting rid of the 243 then get the 223 as a do all gun ( with 1 in 9 twist ). Good luck.
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Unread 04-10-2014, 08:31 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 35
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

For the inexpensive choice, the 223 would be the winner--I have several 223's all excellent shooters---brass and ammo is quit available--I have had great success with the1-8, 1-9, 1-12 twist barrels and the 40 Vmax bullets--would most likely run about the same speed as the 40 grain 204.
I must say that the 204 is a very nice caliber, my tree rifles like the 39gr Sierra .
They are flat shooters!!
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Unread 04-15-2014, 07:27 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: About 60 miles from Wyo and Colo
Posts: 94
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

In my first post # 20 I listed the cartridges I have used to shoot prairie dogs and that I would like to try out the 17 Hornet cartridge. Now I have with a CZ Mdl 527 Varmint 17 Hornet rifle. While shooting off a bench with Hornady 20 Gr bullet ammo that little rifle was shooting sub 1/2 inch groups which makes it a 250 yard p dog pup rifle when I dope the wind right. The most important thing about a prairie dog rifles is accuracy with a good quality AO scope. The .204 Ruger and 223 Rem are both fine rounds. With rifles of equal quality - accuracy potential - ether are fun in a prairie dog town. If cost of ammo is considered the 223 Rem may cost a bit less because brass cost less than the .203 Ruger. There are more weight bullets available for the 223 Rem. But the rate of twist of the rifleing is a limiting factor when selecting a bullet weight. I have accurate Howa 1500 and a Browning 223 Rem varmint rifles. But I use the Ruger V T model .204 Ruger more . I know about the ballistic difference of the two rounds and a conno to check the bullet ft/sec of my reloads. But the reason I use the 204 rifle more is that I like the feel , balance, and what ever of the Ruger VT rifle more than the Howa and Browning rifles.
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Unread 04-16-2014, 05:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Central OH
Posts: 178
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

I have two .204s and plan to sell my .22-250 since I got a .243 Sako. Figure I have things covered without a .22 centerfire (though a Swift is tempting).
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Unread 04-25-2014, 10:34 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 222
Re: .204 Ruger or .223 Remington ???

Someone posted an AR in .204. I will have to say +1 on that. You can get a 24" barrel rig and velocities around 4,100 fps with 32 grain pills. Fun as heck. PD's don't have a chance. You clean up the top of the mound in no time flat.

If you don't reload stick with the .223. And/or - also consider to reload.

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