.204 Ruger for coyotes

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by tdregs13, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. tdregs13

    tdregs13 Member

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    I recently posted about good .243 loads for coyotes, when I read a few articles and did some more research I realized that this was not the optimal caliber. I now have my eye on a .204 Ruger as I am going to try and save the pelts and possibly sell them as the rifle and all the accessories for it are coming out of my own money. I was looking at a few rifles but can't figure out which will be the best in terms of accuracy, price, etc. I was very keen on the Remington VTR predator rifle in .204 but not sure on it. So, what is a good factory rifle that is rugged, relatively light, accurate and at the right price? Also, what would be the ideal twist rate to stabilize bullets up to 40gr?
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

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    Remington or Savage. . .
     
  3. Catahoula

    Catahoula Well-Known Member

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    I have skinned coyotes for several years and I love the 22-250. With all the powders and bullets these days you can find a good fur load. Some folks will disagree with this, but my favorite skinning load is the Speer 52hp with any powder that will keep the velocity under thirty-five hundred fps. They will look like they died of old age. Another good bullet is the Sierra 100 MK in 25-06. My cousin and a few guys I work with love the 204. The only 2 coyotes I have seen shot with a 204 went down and then got up and ran away. Not badmouthing the cartridge but I don't know how you
    could beat the 22-250.
    Good luck, Kirk
     
  4. dogdinger

    dogdinger Well-Known Member

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    TDregs13,

    I cover a lot of this stuff in an article i wrote for LRH a few yrs back, here's a link. Songdog Fever -- Coyote Hunting

    you will love the 204. mine is a ruger m77 stainless, but i also love the remingtons and savages. AJ
     
  5. strombeckj

    strombeckj Well-Known Member

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    The .204 is hard t beat. A lot of well know avid coyote hunters will use calibers as small as a .17 with 30gr pills to save the pelt

    I personally stay away form BT's (I do this on all my yote rigs form .17 - 6mm) on coyote's as I have had them Splat on shoulder.

    My buddy shoots the Hornady 45gr Soft Points and the HSM 40gr bergers for factory stuff on coyotes.

    The Savage or Remy predator series in either would be my call. A good scope like a Ziess 3-9 for the $$$ since a lot of yote hunting is at dawn and dusk.

    Dogdinger, I had a 6mm-06 built for long range yotes, deer and antelope and love it. (similar to a 6x284) I use the 88gr berger varmints and Speer 85gr BTSP for yotes. Longest shot so far was on a antelope @ 325 yards w/85gr BTSP. Not one step was taken by her. Not a fur friendly gun so far... but I didn't plan on it being either.

    IMO,

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  6. dogdinger

    dogdinger Well-Known Member

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    Tom,
    My longest with the 6x284 was 650 yds, so far. My buddy killed a nice goat with it @ 660 yds. I shoot the 107 smk @ about 3250. My next build is gonna be the same cailber in a lighter rifle i think. love the 6x284, but like you said, it is not fur friendly.

    Catahoulie,

    The 22-250 is also my go -to gun for yotes most of the time, especially after the fur gets thick in the late winter. i like the 52gr hpbt sierra. good allround fur getter. AJ
     
  7. bobtails

    bobtails Active Member

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    To shoot the 40 grainers you will want a 1:10 twist. Most if not all of the factory offerings are a 1:12. My dpms 204 is a 1:12 and it will not stabilize the 40 grainers. Some will, but mine won't. That being said I use 35 grain bergers and they are posion on coyotes.
     
  8. tdregs13

    tdregs13 Member

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    Bobtails;
    The DPMS in .204 was the exact gun I am looking at right now and planning on buying. I've heard really good things about and I'm excited to get my hands on one of those. How does it work for you? Are the factory parts (like the stock, magazines, etc.) made well and good quality?
     
  9. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing my post on your last topic kinda swayed your opinion toward the 204 and wanted to play devils advocate a little. As I said before I've killed only 4 yotes with my 204 and hundreds with 6mm bullets.

    I think the 204 does a great job on coyotes and is easy on pelts but it requires precision shot placement. Note of the coyotes I shot with it traveled over 10ft, but all were hit solidly in the lungs. Consider your hunting strategy and conditions and make sure this works for you. I personally don't see an AR in 204 as an advantage because I don't consider the 204 ideal for hurried shots at second or third coyotes. It simply requires better shot placement than a 6mm cal round to anchor coyotes and that is difficult on moving or nervous yotes after the first shot is fired. I don't personally see the 22 calibers as much better than the 204 in this regard with most bullets. Every time I drop below 70gr of bullet weight I start getting runners on poor shot angles with the exception of the 22 cal 60gr partition. The 6mm has just shown me very few "runners" at tough angles or when I made a poor shot. It has heavier bullets with more shrapnel and penetration which makes it a little more forgiving. You won't notice it on a broadside yote, but when his buddy is running off and you hit him solidly in the butt the 6mm does enough damage to shut him down.

    I don't want to downgrade the 204 because it does a great job with good shot placement. Just wanted you to consider how it fits your hunting situation. The 70gr ballistic tip or 75gr V-max rarely exit a coyote for me and if they do a recovered yote with an exit wound is preferable to a lost one.

    Back to the 204, mine has a 23" Pac-Nor 1 in 10 twist barrel. I like a shorter rifle for calling around cover where bobcat may appear which is what I built the 204 for. It likes bullets in the 40gr range and they are what I wanted to shoot. It shoots Hornady factory 40gr V-max loads so well I haven't loaded for it yet but when I do I plan to try that bullet and the 39gr Sierra blitzking It had the best BC I've seen for windy conditions. My next choice would be the 40gr Berger. The 45gr Hornady SP would likely work also, but I figure the 204 requires precise bullet placement so I prefer a high BC bullet that is easier to shoot well in the wind.

    Hope this helps. I'm a 204 fan but feel that it has limitations.
     
  10. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

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    In years past, I've shot many, many Yote's with a .17 Remington and their 25gr HP both hand loads and factory. I found it hard to beat out to just over 300 yards. If you didn't hit heavy bone on the shorter range shots, you'd have to step on the dog a few times just to get a spot of blood on the hide so you could see where the impact was. I was also big on the .22 250 with Speer 52gr HP and Sierra 60gr HP Varmint bullet; actually I liked the 60gr a little better… especially for those longer shots; man that bullet would just anchor them, with very little pelt damage.
    With that said; if I was going too pelt hunt again, I'd look very hard at the 204 cal rifle(s) with the ability to have pump's, semi auto's and bolt rifles’…, which makes it a pretty lethal rifle caliber combo. The flat trajectory and velocity sure makes it nice for about 90% of the shots taken by pelt hunters who call in the dogs. Not to mention they have some super bullets for it now.
    I think I’d pick the AR style rifle with a 24” inch barrel {longer if I could get it}, and running engagement type optic’…, with the ability too pick up the power a little if I needed it.

    As I said; if you’re calling them in close, just out of shotgun range, even the .17 Remington would shine like a diamond in goats butt.

    Just my .02
    436
     
  11. tdregs13

    tdregs13 Member

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    mcseal2;

    I see where you're coming from and I greatly appreciate that thought. It made me re-think my choices and I am now leaning back towards the .243 rather than the .204. My main reason for this is because I live in Minnesota and it gets REALLY cold here around mid-January or so. I also want to be able to save the pelts while making the cleanest, most ethical shot on the yote as I can. I know the .204 is supposed to be one of, if not the most friendly round on pelts but, like you mentioned it may not be ideal for the area that I'm hunting in. I was having a hard time trying to find a bullet that was the "happy medium" between stopping power and pelt saving ability (in 6mm).
     
  12. strombeckj

    strombeckj Well-Known Member

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    tdregs13,

    I would suggest that you go to sites that are geared more towards predator hunting and you will find that if you wish to save the pelts many professionals use .20 and .17's with no problem. the .243 is a GREAT round for coyote hunting and I LOVE my 6mm-06 but it is not FUR friendly at all, it will drop a yote dead in it's tracks and I use if for predator control mainly on a couple of ranches here in CO. I grew up in MN and can't imagine shots past 200-300 yards. Most my kills are less the 75 yards as the coyote is committed to my decoy and caller or they are further out on coyotes that are hung up.

    A bad shot with any caliber of rifle will result loss of coyote or severe pelt damage. which is a lose/lose

    A AR plat form would be what I would lean towards for a dedicated coyote gun great bullet selection with .224's and quick follow ups if a bad shot is taken.

    Coyotes are small and don't take much to tip them over when the shot hit's the intended mark. There are great articles on predator control in housing areas using .25 call pellet guns out to 50-75 yards.

    Jon
     
  13. K22

    K22 Active Member

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    I certainly agree with the above quote. My main Coyote caliber is a 17 Rem., but of the last couple of years I've been using a 204 quite often. I hand load and the 35gr. Berger or the 37gr. CRT bullet are my bullets of choice. So far I have had zero runners and zero bullet exits. Shot placement is important.
     
  14. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    My respect for the 204 continues to grow, I am up to 6 coyotes with mine and the 40gr V-max now. I got one off a cow carcass night before last at 200yds and it dropped in it's tracks. It was a broadside lung shot. The second coyote on the carcass circled downwind to see what the heck I was and I got 2 shots at it standing still inside 200yds with it's body mostly hidden in thick tall grass. I shot at where it's lungs should have been twice, but I don't think the little bullet ever made it through all the vegetation to get to the coyote. That is an instance where I think my 6mm would have made a difference, I've made shots like that with it before.

    Yesterday morning I got another one while checking electric fence to see what the rutting deer had torn up. I shot it at around 200yds also, it thought it was hidden in some tall grass, I couldn't see much below his head. Turns out that was enough as I dropped him with a neck shot right in the throat. I should have tried that on the coyote the night before instead of trying to get a bullet through to his body.