predator gun

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by casilva43, May 23, 2005.

  1. casilva43

    casilva43 Well-Known Member

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    Which caliber would you recomend between the .204 or the 220 swift? Would the .204 bett much better on saving the hides?
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Casilva43,

    Welcome to LRH!!

    The 204 would be a bit better on hides, the Swift will offer more range and obviously knockdown power. Yotes can be pretty stout critters and hard to anchor at times.

    If you are spot and stalking I would choose the Swift, if your calling, the 204 would be a good choice.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. Waltech Jim

    Waltech Jim Writers Guild

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    Casilva43,

    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 didn’t 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 won’t 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 “much” better than the Swift for saving pelts? I don’t 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......

    Jim
     
  4. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    I used a .270 for years. the 140 gr. sierra hpbt is made out of such hard copper that exit holes are only .277 I shot through 4 inch heavy wall pipe at 200 yards and it made just clean holes. I've also used it for turkey hunting for years. just a clean hole none of that eating bird shot and feathers pressed into the meat and all busted up. Texas turkey hunting they use 22-250 and 6mm with the heaviest bullets. Just sniper the faning Toms from way out. They stand around and wondered what happened to their buddy so you can often get a few before they scatter.

    It's only on TV where they wear camo BS and call them in. This is LR hunting at it's best.
     
  5. boomer

    boomer Active Member

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    When I lived in Alaska I used the 220 swift with 55 gr. fmj on Fox, Lynx, Wolf, Wolverine, and Martin and I never had a messed up pelt. In 75 I killed 34 lynx without a bad pelt in the bunch.
     
  6. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Texas turkey hunting they use 22-250 and 6mm with the heaviest bullets. Just sniper the faning Toms from way out. They stand around and wondered what happened to their buddy so you can often get a few before they scatter.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Only in Texas. No seriously, only in Texas would that be legal. Sounds like fun though.
     
  7. 1doug

    1doug Well-Known Member

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    They do it in florida as well. Nothing quite like putting the sneak on a oceola and her the thump then crack of a 257 wetherby 60 yrds in front of you.
     
  8. Waltech Jim

    Waltech Jim Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    When I lived in Alaska I used the 220 swift with 55 gr. fmj on Fox, Lynx, Wolf, Wolverine, and Martin and I never had a messed up pelt. In 75 I killed 34 lynx without a bad pelt in the bunch.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I too have used FMJ bullets with excellent results when trying to save hides. Thinking back to 30 some years ago I cringe at the thought of where I shot FMJs at predators. I can imagine that there would hardly be a problem in AK, but even in some of the remotest areas of MT that I predator hunt in, I won't use them today. A pelt is just not worth it. If I am going to error, it will be on the side of safety.

    Jim
     
  9. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any experience with the 204, but I guess I used a Swift for quite a few years, and it works.

    It's always the same story, kill 'em dead, but don't damage a hide. This is subjective opinion, and none of it is 100% reliable. Seventeens will cause damage, hot 224s will cause damage, as well, depending on the bullet used. It is virtually impossible to tell a coyote shot with a 243 or a 22-250, and I have seen hundreds stacked in rows. Some show damage and some don't. You have spitzers and hollow points and heavy and light bullets and every kill is at a different range, with a slightly different presentation. And, it seems that I have tried all of them, but it's just a blur, looking back.

    But, there is really nothing new under the sun. You have a bullet at a certain velocity, with a jacket of a certain thickness, and it has a diameter suitable for your application.

    What you need to do to get consistant performance, is to limit your shooting to a distance that isn't too close and also not to far. A 55 grain bullet shot out of a 223 at a broadside coyote, at 100 yards, will probably exibit the same amount of damage, (or lack of) as a 220 swift at 225 yards; same presentation, same point of impact. Find a bullet that does what you want at a comfortable range, and exercise restraint, taking only those shots that are makeable, on standing broadside targets. If he is quartering away, or moving; forget it. You will see different results. Basic stuff.

    The 204 has really caused some chatter on the Boards, and has the mystique, and some impressive down range numbers. But, is it in the cards? Will 32 grain bullets have the secret formula so that you never lose a runner, yet you never damage a hide?

    I don't think I believe it. I have been using heavy bullets, for years. I think they smack harder, and flatten coyotes. The price I pay is a reliable exit. A managable exit, and a dead coyote that I don't have to track. I probably shot more coyotes with 52/53 grain bullets than anything else for fifteen years. Yeah, they kill reliably, but they also cause a lot of damage, but hunting contests, damage is less important than bang/flop. But, priorities can change.

    As one writer said, the large caliber bullets steam through a coyote. I agree with that. I started with a 270 years ago but the problem I had at extended range was accurate bullets. Maybe they fixed that, but for me it is swimming against the current when 22, 24 and 25 caliber bullets are available and so effective. In other words, a good 64 grain Berger at 3800/3900 fps will steam through a coyote at most ranges, out to my personal 500 yard limit, at least. And, transfer enough energy so that the animal doesn't run off and get hard to find.

    I use 62 and 65 grain bullets in various hot 22 cartridges and am well satisfied with the performance. I use (mostly) 85 grain in 24; and (mostly) 100 grain in 25. These are good hunting bullets with decent BC and they kill reliably. If I mess up a hide with a spine shot, it's my fault. Not the gun, the bullet or the caliber.

    The 204 may have some application, and the shooter will learn what nitch it fills, in due time. Is it the Second Coming? Hardly. Is it a better "all around" choice than (say?) a seventeen Remington? That's what it looks like, to me.

    Whether you neck an '06 to .277" or a 223 to 20 caliber, it involves no magic. One choice among many.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  10. albert

    albert Member

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    solid information Leonard
     
  11. boomer

    boomer Active Member

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    Jim you bring up an important point about over penetration, I guess after 50 years of hunting looking at the backstop is second nature.