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Best factory load for .204 cal?
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Allenkoz
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Joined: Jan 10, 2009
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Location: Pinckney, Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Hi All, I'm brand new to the site and this is my first post. I just bought a Savage Model 12 ABT .204 & a Bushnell 6500 series 2.5-16x50 to go on top of it. I can't wait to get out there and sight it in and test its capability! I am a bit of a novice when it comes to ballistics for this rifle. In short, what would be a good factory load for crows, fox, coyote, etc. from 100-500 yds? Anyone with an experienced opinion? Thanks in advance! -Allen

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Welcome to HuntingNut Allen...grab a beer and pull up a stump mate. I'm not familiar with this calibre, but sit a while and someone with the necessary knowledge and expertise ain't far away mate.

By the way...that is a very unusual stock. Is it a custom or one of your own making?

Cheers, Vince

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Allenkoz
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Thanks Vince. The stock is factory I believe. I bought it at auction at gunbroker.com. I thought it hansome so I bought it. I look forward to receiving more info on the ammo. I've been reading some reviews and 40 grain V-Max and 39 grain BlitzKing seem to have some fans. -Allen
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Allen, I believe you'll just have to try several loads and see what shoots best in your rifle. There are some folks here with experience on coyotes who can help you much better than I can but the .204 seems a bit light to me for long range 'yotes.

That is a near looking rifle and I am very interested in hearing how that scope works out.

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Allenkoz
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Thanks Mike. I have been doing a lot of reading and many people are reporting tremendous success on coyotes with this caliber and at a distance (500 yds may indeed be ambitious however). I will do some personal field testing in order to gauge that for myself and take your note under advisement. I can say that your posts on varmint scopes helped me in my decision on that front. Many others are also giving the 6500 series the highest praise. So thanks again. -Allen
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A17Shooter
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Allenkoz,

I have good luck with the Hornady 40 gr 204 ammo. The 40 gr bullets have a much better BC and hence better wind bucking and downrange punch than the lighter bullets. It is a good idea to try other brands in your rifle as the rifles preference is what will count when it comes to accuracy.

When handloading I prefer the 39 gr Blitzking though there doesn't seem to be much difference between the Sierra and the Hornady. Used the Hornady ammo on a couple of prairie dog trips to WY and was pleased with it.

That is a neat stock, hope it fits you. Don't find it on the Savage web site but, they may have done a special run for some big retailer.

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Allenkoz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Thanks A17. I have purchased some of the Hornady 40 gr for testing.

I hope the stock fits too! I have a couple of other thumbhole stocks that I love so I'm optimistic. Not sure on the production. I've seen it around on a few select sites. If it was a custom run, then I'm glad to get my hands on one. -Allen
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harrys
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

I have a savage model 12 and it shoot 32 vmax and 35 bergers exyremely well.I haven't used the 39 or 40's yet. The best powder i have found so far was imr 4895.and br4 primers
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Allenkoz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Thanks Harry, I have read good reviews on the 40 and 45 gr as well. Thanks for the input. -Allen
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harrys
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

from wht i've learned about the 204 is it doesn't care much for bullets heavier than 40 allenkoz twist is wrong for them don't stabilize
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wheelguner
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Allen, I just read your post and thought I'd add my results.
The 204 is one of my favorite cartridges. I also have a Savage in 204 Ruger, a very early Model 12FV-S. I also have a Sabre Defence Heavy Bench Target which is an AR Clone in 204 Ruger. The Savage prefers Hornady 32gr and Winchester 34gr in what I consider “Factory” loads but really shines with the load from The Hunting Shack using the 40gr Berger HP. The Sabre shoots the Hornady 32gr well but shoots the Hunting Shack load using the 33gr Calhoun Hp like a demon. I test my varmint guns from prone with bi-pod and rear bag just as I will I be shooting in the field (most times). The Savage will hold .75MOA with the Hornady and the Hunting Shack a bit less. The Sabre shoots the Hornady about the same and Hunting Shack with the Calhoun shoots consistent .50MOA for about 60 shots and then about .80MOA until I get tired. Hope this helps.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Welcome aboard Wheelgunner. Grab a beer mate, pull up a stump and sit awhile.

You will find an awful lot, or is that a lot of awful...can't remember, of ex service guys here...we are a friendly, happy go-lucky mob so feel free to join in mate.

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
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Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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Rick65Cat
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Joined: Nov 03, 2007
Posts: 31
Location: Alberta Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

My Ruger M77 MkII "Target" shot a 1 1/2" group at 200 yrds right out of the box with no practice on my part.
I was using Hornady's 32gr factory loads. I love that gun, and I made up a pile of reloads that aren't quite as fast but still nail gophers out to 250 yrds easily. I could probably go farther but it has to be a pefectly calm day.

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Malleefarmer
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

Hi all new to the site too and will be buying a .204 in the coming weeks. For a start I will be using factory loads too but will be reloading when I get around to getting the gear. Dunno what sort of ammo we can get in Australia for this calibre but any info on what some good brands for accuracy and also useable brass for later. Is that right that it is very hard to get the same velocity as factory rounds while loading?
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skb2706
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Joined: Apr 10, 2006
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Best factory load for .204 cal? Reply with quote

When I first got my first .204 Ruger all you could find was Hornady factory ammo. 32 gr. that clocked at 4200 fps thru my chrony. Very accurate and thus far not doable with my handloads. I shoot only 32 gr. bullets and depending on load get 4100 maybe slightly less. No matter its still a laser out to 300 yds or so. Not my first choice for coyotes but it has worked quite well.
Bullet stablization has nothing to do with weight per se. Its all about the length. I heard stories about keyholing with the 40 Vmaxs and just never gave them a try...never needed to.
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