Opinions on savage 204 Ruger for Coyotes

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by westcliffe01, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,191
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    I don't have a truly accurate varmint rifle and it looks like I will be having a couple of hundred acres to hunt this winter.

    I could try to nail them with my 7.62x39 DPMS shooting 110gr Sierra Hollow point bullets (308 cal - shoots 1MOA) which I hand load. 150gr soft points in my 8mm mauser sounds a but heavy for the job and I would for sure need a good backstop...
    I have a Savage 24 combination gun, but I could not say the scope mount was the best, since the receiver is shorter than many pistol slides and that skinny barrel will probably get squirrelly with fluctuating temperatures.

    So I have read quite a bit on the 204 Ruger. It does not appear to be a barrel burner, most say that accuracy is great. It is fast, flat shooting and appears to be deadly on Coyotes and Fox. Given my recent experiences with condensation (air conditioned basement to outside) with the reverse being the case in winter, I think I would want stainless. There are still parts subject to corrosion, but at least not on a blued finish...

    Does anyone have experience with the 12TCSS Varmint ? It has a laminated stock, accutrigger, heavy 26" barrel, weighs 10lb at a Buds price of $873 including shipping.

    Howa has the Axiom with 24"barrel and a 4-16 Nikko Sterling scope at 11.8lb for $811. But I'm not sure it is stainless.
     
  2. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    886
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    i dont have any experience with the savage or howa, but i do have experience with this caliber. I bought myself my long range coyote rig last year. I purchased a remington 700 sps varmint in a 243. win topped off with vortex viper 6.5-20x44mm and it shoots a little under 1/2" group at 100 yards and holds 1/2 moa out too 500 yards with a breeze. By far the best shooting gun i have ever owned. it is pretty heavy and wanted a lighter carry around, closer range varmint gun and went out to get either a 223 or 22-250. i came across a 204. ruger and have always had my eye on one, i picked up a remington 700 sps stainless. my personally likes the 32. grain vmax although i haven't really got a good chance to sit down and test things out to my preference. this gun is quick, it is flat, it has so little recoil you can watch the bullet connect with its target through the scope.

    the caliber has more power then people realize and i strongly believe it will kill a coyote with a 39 grain out too 400 yards with ease

    now i like to use the 204. ruger for my walk around 300-350 yard gun. Great for ground hogs and crows out too 500-600 yards but for coyotes i like to keep her a little closer and then on super windy days or longer ranges the 243. win comes out which is a beaut to see itself.

    highly suggest the 204;
     

  3. K22

    K22 Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Like Matt I have zero experience with the model of Savage you are looking at. I will say that Savage, any model, has a great accuracy reputation. Personally, I prefer much lighter rifles for my walking around. I guess mountains and age have a lot to do with that.
    My 204 is a Kimber Montana and is one of the most accurate centerfires I own. The 35gr. Berger is a great pelt saving bullet. If I needed to go long range, then I would opt for the 40 gr. Berger. Lack of Bullet drop and wind drift with this caliber will amaze you.
    This is one caliber that most don't regret buying.
     
  4. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,191
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    K22, spot and stalk seems to seldom work on Coyotes with their finely tuned senses. So I was more interested in longer range potential than ease of carrying. At least so far, I do not have a very large range to hunt, so will have to adapt blind position to prevailing wind and safe shooting lanes/backstop.

    Some of the videos I have seen showed spot and stalk, but these were sunny winter days and the dogs were sleeping outside the den on land that the guy had permission to hunt in Canada. I'm sure that there are benefits to living and hunting in 1 area all your life (knowing the landowners), but thats just not going to happen for me...
     
  5. K22

    K22 Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Spot and stalk is not something I would or could do here. I'm a Caller. But I have to get into area's and I do that by walking. Here's a sample of my hunting area.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, spot and stalk is pretty much out of the question. Especially the "spot" part. A 10# rifle by the end of the day feels like a ton after walking this. Heck, even my 6# rifle is not a pleasure to carry any more after a day of this.
     
  6. spdrman

    spdrman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    292
    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    I don't have any experience with a 204 for other than shooting one at the range once, the guy was trying to talk me into buying one and insisted I shoot it, pretty sure it was a kimber and it did shoot great, as far as the savage your looking at my buddy has that model in a 22-250 and can shoot well under 1/2 moa out to 500 yards with it. My 2 guns that I use the most are a remington sps varmint in a 243 for the long range shots, and a RR Ar 15 for setting up and calling, I can hit rock chucks out to 700 yards with that all day long with the 243 and can hit 8 inch plates shot after shot out to 850 yards (need another scope with more adjustment and I would be able to shoot it farther) the only thing I did to it was have a smith work the trigger over. My 243 use to be the one I always took. But as I got better at callin in predators I seemed to start callin in more and more doubles and the quick follow up shots with the AR is really nice, and it shoots 5 shot groups out to 500 in just under 3", the 243 still goes everytime but usually just rides in the truck for when we see one way out there that wont come in or if im calling in flat wide open country, I also have a ruger 223 with a standard 22 inch barrel (probably would consider a 204 if I didn't already have this gun) that shoots great to, its always ridin around in the truck just in case I see one when im not out looking, and my little brother uses it all the time too.
     
  7. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    I have a Savage model 12 VLP style, Stainles heavy 26" bbl, I've taken coyotes from 25yds to right at 300yds. I'm using factory 32 V-Max (rifle doesn't shoot 40 very well), all hits have been one shot DRT, the 25yrd shot even had an exit wound?! I've had consistant hits out to 525 yds on prairie dogs in good conditions, as stated above, the 204 is a purchase you won't regret.
     
  8. SLOAN

    SLOAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    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..gun)
     
  9. tt35

    tt35 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    583
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    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!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  10. cornstalker

    cornstalker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Ditto that.

    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.
     
  11. dust

    dust Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    332
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    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.
     
  12. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,191
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    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....
     
  13. bobtails

    bobtails Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    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.
     
  14. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Late reply to this thread I know but if your still in the market look at the Savage model 10 Predator in 204. Great, ready to go rifle that shoots lights out.


    Savage Arms > Firearms > Browse Models