I have finished breaking in a 20 practical on a 700 action with a 1-11 twist barrel. I used N133, 32 gr V-max, and LC brass. I kept the speeds down under 3700 and the accuracy was fantastic. I'm a dogger and have grown accustomed to using 8208 XBR the last two years. I particularly like the temperature stability during the summer. I am looking for any load data on the 20 practical or 20 tactical using 8208 XBR with 32-40 grain bullets.
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April 26, 2011, 09:53 PM
Maybe I'm in a cave but am I the only one that has never heard of this caliber?
April 26, 2011, 10:08 PM
I am in the cave with you, cause I am unfamiliar with it as well.
April 26, 2011, 11:44 PM
It is a .223 necked down to 204. What the 204 Ruger should have been IMHO.
I use 22.5 grains of H322 with a 40 grain BK.
April 27, 2011, 12:53 AM
The Hodgdon web site has some data for 204 Ruger with 8208 XBR. It may provide a basis for loads with 20 Tactical.
April 27, 2011, 12:43 PM
I knew very little about the 20 practical 18 months ago. I used a 204 Ruger and .223 Nato for years as my main prairie dog guns. As the price of ingredients and brass continued to go up, I started to search for a cheaper alternative for the 204. Just for the heck of it I typed in 20-223 while doing an internet search and a number of articles popped up about the 20-practical or 20-223. Essentially, as armarsh mentioned, its a 223 necked down to a 204 with the same shoulder angle as the 223. I use a Redding 223 sizing dye and several intermediate bushings to get down to the desired size. I buy new LC brass, usually from Midway, for about $150 a thousand. I have been reloading for about 35 years and have always relied upon others for load development and that's why i posted on this exchange. Its always fun to read about others experiences and really enjoy this exchange. Because of the promising results on the 700 action, I am currently building an AR-15 upper in 20 practical and can't wait to shoot that. There are some really neat videos posted on I believe youtube about the AR-15 20-223 (20 practical). I agree with armarsh that the 20 practical should have been the 204 because it is a very efficient cartridge. However, no one would have needed to buy anything except a couple of bushings!
April 27, 2011, 01:13 PM
Sounds cool. A nice easy .20 caliber.
April 27, 2011, 01:33 PM
Good info on the caliber. I was initially interested in 20 Tactical, but have not followed thru to build it. If the .204 had been designed on a .223 case, I would have been all over it. I've been forming brass into other calibers since the 70s and i was just hacked that .204 used 222 Mag brass.
April 27, 2011, 06:20 PM
In 1967 I inherited a 30 carbine and about 1200 rounds of military brass. I decided to build a 22-30, a 30 carbine necked down to 22 caliber. I didn't have a chronograph then but I thought I had a pretty hot caliber. I put a 4X Weaver scope on it and thought I had a great rig. The first day out during fox season, a fox got up and took off about 20 ft away from where we stopped to scope a half mile fence line. I grabbed my new rifle, slammed in a magazine and pumped out 25 rounds after that fox who was so confused by all of the flying lead that he kept running in small circles about 150 yards away. I reached back in my vehicle and grabbed my 722, chambered one round and dropped the fox. I went back to my 722 and sold my carbine to some one who just wanted to throw lead.
Since then, I have worked with some successful wildcats and really enjoyed working with them. It was really hard to communicate with other people working on the same cartridge. Today, the internet and forums like this are awesome.