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Thread: Best .204 rifle

  1. #1
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    Question Best .204 rifle

    Been looking at Weatherby Vangard Sub M.O.A. Varmint rifle in .204. Also Remington and Tikka T-3 Varmint rifle,Ruger and Savage . .Don't want over 10 Lbs for rifle alone. Which has best trigger. Rifle for Coyotes and other varmints and to shoot well off the bench.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker View Post
    Been looking at Weatherby Vangard Sub M.O.A. Varmint rifle in .204. Also Remington and Tikka T-3 Varmint rifle,Ruger and Savage . .Don't want over 10 Lbs for rifle alone. Which has best trigger. Rifle for Coyotes and other varmints and to shoot well off the bench.
    I'd go with Tikka or Savage. JMHO though----Mike Ezell

  3. #3
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    I have a Remington XR 100 that shoots very well with 39gr blitz king and 40gr Berger's.

  4. #4
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    Worker: I currently own and shoot 5 (five) Varmint Rifles in caliber 204 Ruger. All 5 (five) of them are pleasingly accurate and make your weight limit.
    My Remington XR-100 in 204 Ruger has shot several groups (5 shots at 100 yards) in the low 3's!
    My Remington 700 VLS in 204 Ruger averages in the high 3's for its handloaded groups (5 shots at 100 yards)!
    I have two Ruger 77 V/T's in 204 Ruger and the first one shot so well I bought another!
    My fifth 204 Ruger Varmint Rifle is a stainless steel Ruger #1-V and the average group (5 shots at 100 yards) size made with it (including ALL load development groupings) is a very pleasing .568"! This Rifle's smallest group (5 shots at 100 yards) has been a .422"er!
    So it has been very consistent and easy to find accurate loads for - and that is NOT the norm for Ruger #1's!
    The Remington XR-100 has the best trigger and it is followed by the Remington 700 VLS.
    I would look for a new in the box Remington XR-100 to fill your Varminting and off the bench work.
    The folks at Remington quit making the XR-100 Rifle a while back but there are still some on the various gun.com sites and I see them at gunshows now and then as well.
    Most importantly is that you do find and BUY a Varminter in 204 Ruger of some kind - as this is just a splendid performing (both accuracy and ballistically) cartridge.
    Best of luck to ya!
    Hold into the wind
    VarmintGuy

  5. #5
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    Exclamation So .204 will send a coyote into eternity easily

    That's what I've been hearing,plus no recoil you can see your hits. I'll have to take another look at Remington.

  6. #6
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    I would also look at savage, will get great accuracy with a good trigger.

  7. #7
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    It's over your 10# limit, but at least look at the Savage LRPV. Mine put 5 in 3/16" (c-c) at 100 yards a week ago Saturday. 39gr Sierras. Love it.

  8. #8
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    If your looking for a dedicated coyote gun, you could sure use the .204 but there are certainly other choices. I must first say that I do not own or shoot a .204 but I have several buddies that do and we are fanatical coyote callers/hunters and most shoot 22-250s.

    In hardcore coyote calling circles, the .204 probably has almost equal numbers of lovers and haters. The biggest issue reported is well hit coyotes still running off with those tiny bullets. Lots of guys, including several ADC guys(fellas that get paid to hunt coyotes) report light bullets and high speed= bad bullet splash. I know there are those that will differ with me on this and I am not super knowledgeable in the ballistics department but I have killed my fair share of coyotes and watched plenty of others killed by my buddies and IMHO when you start factoring in high speed/light bullets, long shots and much wind, then there is not much a .204 will do that a 22-250 or a .243 wont do better. Its only fair to the critters your trying to kill. Check out www.nodakoutdoors.com or www.coyotehunter.net for some serious "been there, done that" coyote hunting info and the .204 debate.

    That said, I would certainly, after buying my first centerfire Savage, recommended them heavily. I have a new 2009 Model 16 Weather Warrior and it shoots incredibly well and I will say no more for fear of being called a liar when mentioning group sizes but unless something really crazy happens, you should be extremely happy should you decide to purchase one.

    I am a long-time Remington guy and I have been converted. I have seen the light!!!!(and I didnt want to believe it at first...a Savage out shoot my Remington, surely you jest!) I was DEAD wrong.

    Anyway, good luck to you and happy coyote hunting.

    Jamie
    Last edited by jaybic; 09-29-2009 at 10:37 AM.

  9. #9
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    Worker,

    To add a bit to Jaybic's post - In my experience with the .204 they do generally shoot well. As you may recall, in one of my prior posts to you concerning Coopers I mentioned that I had once owned a Cooper Phoenix in .204 but that I had sold it, but I did not mention why. The reason was that I became dissillusioned with the cartridge although the rifle was extremely accurate. The story behind my disillusionment with it is twofold; my first instances of disappointment occurred during the first winter I owned it, I lost 5 coyotes from "splash" shots, two using Berger 35's and three using Sierra 39's. I clearly saw the shots in each instance and they were all in the chest cavity but none of them were killing shots, rather they were a blow-up on the surface. After that I went back to my 223 for coyotes and did not have any more losses.

    In the second instance I took it on a PD hunt the next spring, and when it performed - it performed great! But, then my second disappointment set in, I was in a location that was filled with PD's, it appeared as though this town had never been shot, and the shots were within 150 to 200 yards. The bad thing was that the only way I could get a shot at was to shoot through some of the previous winters dead grass and weed, not particuarly thick but still difficult to get a shot through without hitting a stem, I took 10 shots at PD's and none of the bullets made it through the weeds. At this point I put away the 204 and got out my 223 and proceeded to hit the PD's. I can only attribute it to the slightly lesser speed and a little thicker jacked on the 22 caliber bullets, I have no way of qualifying the difference but all I know is that it worked.

    Now, I realize that lots of folks have had experiences different than mine and I am glad for them, but for myself I lost faith in the 204. It is not that it is not a good cartridge and does not have its place in the scheme of things but it is well to be aware of its limitations also. The fellow I sold my 204 to uses it strictly for ground squirrels and generally shoots cultivated fields and he loves the cartridge, he could not be more pleased with it, but it just did not work for my uses.


    As far as rifles, once again I will qualify this by noting that it has been limited to a case of only two, I second what Jaybic said about the Savages, I have a friend who is not into guns and he wanted my advice for a pick-up rifle to carry on the ranch for coyotes, etc. Knowing that this was just going to be another tool for him, I recommended a Stevens 200 in 223 (Savage without the accu-trigger), I mounted a 6X Weaver on it, made up 50 the handloads that I use in my Cooper 223 for him and the rifle immediately began shooting into 3/4 inch groups, allof this for less than $400 retail cost.

    I was impressed by the way his Stevens shot so I kept my eyes open and eventually ran across an "as new" Stevens 200 in 223 at a reasonable price complete with a 3x9 scope, I bought it and like the other one it consistently shoots 3/4 inch or less groups. It shot so well that I found a used Rifle Basix trigger for $50 and did a trigger upgrade and now that I no longer have to fight the 4 lb trigger I can get closer to 1/2 inch groups. I have $300 in it counting the trigger upgrade - amazing for a rifle that inexpensive.

    Do all Savages shoot like this? I really don't know but two out of two isn't bad in my book.

    Good shooting and enjoy whatever you decide on.

    drover

  10. #10
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    Question Last two post scored a bullseye.

    As rare as I get time to hunt coyotes, and manage to get one to come to the call. I dang well don't want it to laugh at me. But I also have a 6x284 ain't no coyote will be running away from that. What about shooting a 50 gr bullet out of that .204 ? Will the 12" twist stabilize it? Ok so you all like Savage ? More then the Tikka Varmint? Say in 22-250 ? Now Remington makes a 700 SPS its all black with chrom/molly BBL for under $700 bucks . Think that would be a headache? They also have the same thing with a Desert camo color and laminate that weights nearly 10 lbs. Is a Sako Laminate better then all of them in 22-250 ?

  11. #11
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    Last edited by Who Me?; 09-30-2009 at 09:10 AM.

  12. #12
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    These were done in with a wildcat .17 pushing Berger 30's around 3700. I had no problem putting them down but with anything, shot placement is key. Just sayin'.

    Rifle is based off a Stiller.

  13. #13
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    Nice job on calling the dogs!

    I agree 100%, shot placement is very much key. You hit it right on the head and both the .17s and the .204 will certainly "get er done". Its just been my experience in talking and hunting with other very experienced coyote hunters that that even with perfect shot placement, some of the smaller, less forgiving calibers will have a few more run offs due to bullet splash. All I do know for sure as I am sure you guys do to, is that coyotes are some damn tough customers when it comes to taking a bullet and I sure hate to see one get away wounded even with a well placed shot because the bullet didnt perform and blew up on the outside. I know a couple ADC guys that have gone to a 22-6mm and will tell ya that a near miss will damn near kill them and sometimes they come close to having 2-piece coyotes when hitting a bone but they cant keep the hides anway so they dont much care about fur. I see from the background in your pic you do, as do I so its kinda nice to have just a pinhole to sew huh???

    Darn good job tho and nice picture. Good luck this year!

    Jamie

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaybic View Post
    Nice job on calling the dogs!

    I agree 100%, shot placement is very much key. You hit it right on the head and both the .17s and the .204 will certainly "get er done". Its just been my experience in talking and hunting with other very experienced coyote hunters that that even with perfect shot placement, some of the smaller, less forgiving calibers will have a few more run offs due to bullet splash. All I do know for sure as I am sure you guys do to, is that coyotes are some damn tough customers when it comes to taking a bullet and I sure hate to see one get away wounded even with a well placed shot because the bullet didnt perform and blew up on the outside. I know a couple ADC guys that have gone to a 22-6mm and will tell ya that a near miss will damn near kill them and sometimes they come close to having 2-piece coyotes when hitting a bone but they cant keep the hides anway so they dont much care about fur. I see from the background in your pic you do, as do I so its kinda nice to have just a pinhole to sew huh???

    Darn good job tho and nice picture. Good luck this year!

    Jamie
    The skinning room (and rifle) belong to the guy I hunt with. The reason we use the .17 (or a .22-250AI) is because we keep the hides. If we didn't, I'd be a fan of something like a hot .25/06. The Berger .17's do a good job though, and it's nice shooting something with super-flat trajectories. The .22-250AI is even better in that respect. If anything the sub-calibers require a little more discipline... waiting until the coyote is nice and close rather than going ahead and popping off a several-hundred yard shot.

    Coyotes definitely are tough animals, and it's why I hate seeing the ".17hmr vs. dogs" or even the "Coyote with a .22lr" discussions. They'll work, but I would put money on more animals running wounded rather than put down for good.
    Last edited by katokoch; 09-30-2009 at 12:08 PM.

  15. #15
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    Jaybic: I have shot all manner of Varmints with my various 204 Varmint Rifles. Included in the MANY varieties of Varmints I have shot are Coyotes and Fox.
    I have used many types and sizes of bullets in my Rifles including those made by Hornady, Sierra and Berger and in various weights - 32, 35, 39 and 40 grainers.
    I have as YET to notice a "splash" of any kind!
    I have yet to need a second shot on any Coyote either!
    I have gone through a LOT of rounds on Varmints of ALL types and sizes since I bought my first 204 back in 2,004.
    And again, I have VERY SELDOM needed to shoot a Varmint twice!
    I strongly suggest you get some extended trigger time of your own with a 204 Ruger and then make your OWN comparison before you condemn it.
    I have friends who routinely harvest Deer and Antelope with the 204 Ruger!
    I do agree with ONE thing you posted - shot placement IS important to the extreme when clean kills are intended.
    I completely disagree with your "splashing bullet" theorum.
    Hold into the wind
    VarmintGuy

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