.204 inherent accuracy?


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quartermaster
February 4, 2012, 06:53 AM
I've had a CZ .204 for a couple of years now and put 18 boxes of Hornady factory ammo through it. I've shot both the 32 and 40 grain heads. It has always shot very well with the edge going to the 40's.

I decided a month ago that it was time to start hand loading for it. I took the time to turn all the necks, set back the shoulder.001, as well as do all the normal case prep for them. The necks were bushed down to .002 neck tension. It was a very time consuming procedure. I knew at some point that I would be loading for it, so I have accumulated a decent selection of heads in 32 gr and 40 gr from 4 different manufacturers.

I knew that the first powder I wanted to try would be Varget due to it's temperature insensitivity. I've always like Nosler Ballistic tips, so my first try was going to be the 40 grainers. I started with 26 grains of powder and worked my way up looking for the normal pressure signs, shooting through a chrony, and checking group sizes.

The 2 minor problems I had were that the CZ has a detachable mag, which very much limited my ability to seat the bullets out where I wanted to, and it has an adjustable. as well as a single set trigger. I never liked the single set feature and the adjustable trigger has more creep than I care for. Some day I will replace it.

It started shooting very well right from the beginning. I stopped at 27.5 grains, as that was listed as the max load and also was my most accurate load. There was no signs of pressure at that point and I probably could have pushed the limit a bit more, but the accuracy was awesome.

I can't say that I have ever talked to anyone that loads for this caliber, who can't get accurate loads for it. I have spent a lot of time working on other guns and calibers trying to get extremely accurate loads. This was a piece of cake.

Just curious if I lucked out with the gun and load, or if you guys feel that this may be an inherently accurate caliber. It certainly is fun to shoot and is a devastating killer.

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helotaxi
February 4, 2012, 10:44 AM
Several factors at play. The only bullets available for the .204 are high quality. Most rifles chambered for it are high quality as well. Finally, don't you know that every gun on the internet shoots sub-half MOA? ;)

Damon555
February 4, 2012, 10:49 AM
Hey QM....try posting this in the reloading section. You'll get more exposure to the folks that have loaded for the 204.

jerkface11
February 4, 2012, 10:50 AM
No such thing as an inherently accurate caliber.

Damon555
February 4, 2012, 10:52 AM
Several factors at play. The only bullets available for the .204 are high quality. Most rifles chambered for it are high quality as well. Finally, don't you know that every gun on the internet shoots sub-half MOA? ;)
Now that is funny! I often just keep my mouth (or keyboard) shut. The internet has made master class bench rest shooters out of anyone with a rifle.......

MachIVshooter
February 4, 2012, 03:01 PM
No such thing as an inherently accurate caliber.

This. It's the quality of the rifle, barrel, bullet and load that make a gun shoot.

As it happens, though, certain calibers simply have better bullets available than others. Less so these days, but when acccuracy is done more with certain cartridges, the focus on accurate bullets tends to be towards those. .224", .244", .264", .284, .308, .338 and .50 have dominated long range shooting, while .257", .277", .323", .358", .375" and .458" are almost exclusively hunting cartridges, thus there isn't much in the way of high BC, VLD non-expanding type match projectiles available in the latter sizes.

.204"? Not a match cartridge, but designed exclusively for shooting small things at long distances, so the bullets are made to accomodate those design parameters.

Kachok
February 4, 2012, 03:27 PM
I used to think that no cartrage was by it's nature any more accurate then another, I have since changed that view a little. There are several calibers that no matter how many I shoot I cannot find one that is not really accurate, and others that never seem to get the groups together. Anyone every shot a 45-70 or 7.62x39 that was a sub-moa every time? Not me. Now has anyone ever shot a 6.5x55 or 25-06 that was not scarry accurate? I don't have alot of hands on with the 204 but everyone I have known that owned one bragged about how well it shot, mabey that is just in the quality of the rifles they come in, mabey there is more to it then that, has anyone else noticed that all the 1,000 yard world records have been broken by the WSMs latley?

MachIVshooter
February 4, 2012, 08:53 PM
Anyone every shot a 45-70 or 7.62x39 that was a sub-moa every time? Not me. Now has anyone ever shot a 6.5x55 or 25-06 that was not scarry accurate?

With 7.62x39, it's a firearm quality issue most of the time, and a bullet issue when the rifle is good. Not much for .311" caliber.

.45-70, OTOH, has long reigned supreme in the accuracy department, just not BR style. Guys have been gonging 1,000+ yard targets with that cartridge and open-sighted Sharps type rifles for well over a century.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sharpsshtr/CritterPhotos/SandyHook/SandyHook.html

Kachok
February 4, 2012, 09:05 PM
I have seen plenty of 45-70s pull 1.5-2" groups, but I cannot say I have ever seen one pull back to back sub MOA groups. Now mind you the 45-70 is every bit as accurate as it needs to be for it's ideal purpose (big game lever guns within realistic ranges), but if it won't shoot tight off the bench it won't in the feild either. I have not seen anyone at the long range shooting club shooting 45-70s, I can hit a bison at 1,000 yards with any decent 22 magnum, that is a big target, once you get the range and windage right it is not rocket science.
BTW there are fantastic firearms chamberd in 7.62x39, the CZ 527 is a very well made rifle, and it does not aproach the accuracy of their rifles chamberd in other calibers, or that is what I gather from the range reports anyway. It is possable that is an ammo issue, but you would think any handloader could get around that.

MachIVshooter
February 4, 2012, 09:51 PM
BTW there are fantastic firearms chamberd in 7.62x39, the CZ 527 is a very well made rifle, and it does not aproach the accuracy of their rifles chamberd in other calibers, or that is what I gather from the range reports anyway. It is possable that is an ammo issue, but you would think any handloader could get around that.

Only by rebarreling to .308" bore and with a long enough action that one can make use of the quality match bullets in that size. .311 is just very limited, and even moreso with OAL requirements of guns chambered for the stubby little russkie round.

I can hit a bison at 1,000 yards with any decent 22 magnum, that is a big target, once you get the range and windage right it is not rocket science.

I would like to see that. Windage calculations for 1,000 yards are not easy, as the odds of the wind being cosistent from muzzle to target are along the lines of winning powerball. The reason .45-70 (and .45-90, .45-110, etc.) excel in this department is the long, heavy lead bullets are much less affected by wind.

The .45-70 is certainly capable of MOA at 100, 200 yards. It's just difficult to do with open sights (regardless of chambering), and very few people scope their Sharps rifles.

I have excellent eyesight (20/12) and find it very difficult to shoot any gun near MOA @ 100 yards with factory irons. With good aperture sights, I can pull it off, but the rifles and loads can do better than I can.

Kachok
February 4, 2012, 10:08 PM
You don't need match bullets to shoot moa accuracy, you are a handloader you know this. BTW Serria Match Kings are available in .311 cal, as well as several other bullets that I have shot sub moa with many times before like Spire points, and Serria Pro Hunter. Alot of the guys with 45-70s around here have them scoped, Mississippi alllows for single shot 45-70s during muzzleloader season.
In my younger days I shot tiny little groups with my M16 with nothing but iron sights, my 10 shot group was about 4.5" @300 I am sure I could have put 5 in a 3" circle.

jerkface11
February 4, 2012, 10:24 PM
Anyone every shot a 45-70 or 7.62x39 that was a sub-moa every time?http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=361106&highlight=7.62x39+bench+gun

MachIVshooter
February 4, 2012, 10:30 PM
BTW Serria Match Kings are available in .311 cal, as well as several other bullets that I have shot sub moa with many times before like Spire points, and Serria Pro Hunter

Yes, but unless you have a single shot or a longer action, you can't use them in the M43 cartridge.

Rebarelling with .308" bore would allow use of the 125, 135 and possibly 150 gr. Matchkings in a rifle like the CZ 527 carbine. I don't own a 527, but I'm pretty sure using the 174 gr. .311" MK would require seating well past the beginning of the ogive to fit in the magazine. That bullet is intended for 7.7x58, .303 Brit and 7.62x54 applications.

.

Kachok
February 4, 2012, 10:47 PM
Oh I agree, that is a long bullet for the 7.62x39 but as I said many other bullets are fully capable, spire points and serria bullets have always shot well for me, how about you? The key advantage of match bullets is their high BC which retains velosity and has less drift then other factory bullets. @ 100 yards that advantage is minimal @1,000 it is a game changer. I perfer a 308 bore as well, but when you talk about 7.62x39 the vast majority of rifles and ammo are .311.

MachIVshooter
February 4, 2012, 11:05 PM
serria bullets have always shot well for me, how about you?

Yes, they are my preference for hunting and accuracy work with a few exceptions for certain applications (Hornady V-max, Nosler Ballistic Tip & Accubond, Barnes TSX).

As for 7.62x39mm, though, I barely handloaded it and the firearms I've had so chambered were all SKS and AK pattern, so even with perfectly tailored loads, 2 MOA would have been asking a lot.

I wouldn't mind trying, but I have a lot of other priorities ahead of a custom 7.62x39 rifle. Since I like practical application of my accuracy, I gravitate toward varmint guns. My next build will be a 6mm-06 Improved for popping praire rats to 1,000; My .220 Swift seems to reach it's limits at 700 (about a 25% hit ratio at that distance on the ~1.5" wide rats), and we've got some big, spread-out dog towns in these parts with very wary critters.

quartermaster
February 4, 2012, 11:06 PM
I was just curious what everyone else has experienced. I wasn't trying to give the impression that I was a bench rest shooter with a factory rifle.

I do a lot of shooting, and have a range set up to shoot off my porch. I'm sure we all share the same experiences where some days we can shoot and some days we can't. I was just very impressed how this combo of rifle and load performed.

Damon555
February 4, 2012, 11:19 PM
I was just curious what everyone else has experienced. I wasn't trying to give the impression that I was a bench rest shooter with a factory rifle.

I do a lot of shooting, and have a range set up to shoot off my porch. I'm sure we all share the same experiences where some days we can shoot and some days we can't. I was just very impressed how this combo of rifle and load performed.
Hey QM....that wasn't a shot at you....You didn't say anything in your post about what kind of groups you were shooting. The comment was made as a generalization. If you stick around these forums enough you will start reading about people making ridiculous accuracy claims from X or Y brand rifles. There are a lot of people out there who have no idea how difficult it is to make a factory rifle shoot 1/2" groups. Yet Joe Schmo has a $200 rifle that will shoot 1/2" groups @ 200 yards with factory ammo off the hood of his truck all day long. It gets to be down right comical.

Kachok
February 4, 2012, 11:25 PM
I think if someone put in the work to accurize a quality 7.62x39 bolt gun and develop quality handload for it I am sure it could be made into a real shooter. That said I can go to my local walmart and buy a Savage Axis in 243 or 25-06 for under $300 and shoot circles around most rifles on the planet. I had a Savage 17 HMR that shot one hole groups EVERY TIME! And one hole groups for a .17 cal are awful small. So yeah I do think some cartrages are just more prone to be accurate then some others, just as some rifles are more prone to be accurate then some others.

quartermaster
February 5, 2012, 12:03 AM
No offense taken. That's why I didn't mention group size

ole farmerbuck
February 5, 2012, 12:15 AM
Yes, they are my preference for hunting and accuracy work with a few exceptions for certain applications (Hornady V-max, Nosler Ballistic Tip & Accubond, Barnes TSX).

As for 7.62x39mm, though, I barely handloaded it and the firearms I've had so chambered were all SKS and AK pattern, so even with perfectly tailored loads, 2 MOA would have been asking a lot.

I wouldn't mind trying, but I have a lot of other priorities ahead of a custom 7.62x39 rifle. Since I like practical application of my accuracy, I gravitate toward varmint guns. My next build will be a 6mm-06 Improved for popping praire rats to 1,000; My .220 Swift seems to reach it's limits at 700 (about a 25% hit ratio at that distance on the ~1.5" wide rats), and we've got some big, spread-out dog towns in these parts with very wary critters.
You need to come visit me. :)

A-FIXER
February 5, 2012, 01:45 AM
Its has seemed to go off tangent on the OP question but I do go with the v-max 32gr with W748 at 28gr with my COL set up for my savage model 12 vlp with a 26'' barrel and suppressed moving out appx 4265fsp with the crony and temp are 80ish or so with a light breeze doe's moa or less as I can not remember each location of each dog upon inspection out to 425 yrs... with the loads in the shade with no noticeable pressure sign and going just off the lands. Is my final load out of many different which included 40gr v-max, barnes 26gr, midway dogtowns, hornady ntx's to mention off the top of my head.

BigN
February 5, 2012, 05:06 AM
I've loaded 4 different loads for the 204. Everyone was less than an inch at 100 yards. I'm shooting from a Rem 700 ADL with heavy varmint barrel. It's a sweet rig that hits where you put the crosshairs every time.

wingman
February 5, 2012, 09:19 AM
I tend to agree the 204 tends to be an easy caliber to achieve accuracy, (is that the same as inherently accurate :D) I purchased one couple years back the target that came with it gave a .375 group @100 yards with commercial ammo I purchase same ammo prior to reloading and I was able to obtain same groups size with the commercial ammo, after 50 years of rifle purchases rare for me.
To date using 5 different powders and 4 different bullets I have not had a group over an 1.0, is it the caliber, rifle or my reloading skills or just another internet story.;)

I love my 223 rifles but the 204 is worth a look to anyone interested.

WVRJ
February 5, 2012, 09:55 AM
After a good bit of research shooting,I settled on the 27.5 gr Varget/40 gr Berger combo.I didn't see any pressure problems with more powder,but accuracy did fall off a little when I had it turning 3900 fps.27.5 over a 40 grainer seems to be a good setup,turns around 3650 in my Savage model 12.It's a single shot,so seating depth isn't a problem.As for inherent accuracy,it seems to be not much different than anything else.Load it right,shoot it through something decent and hold it still and it will be about as inherently accurate as it gets.The one thing I have noticed is that my rifle does like to shoot its best when it's clean.And the last batch of Hornady factory stuff was a real disappointment,shooting 3 inch groups at 100 yards and turning 3700 fps,which is about 200 off what is advertised.With Varget,I have no problem exceeding factory velocity and staying inside 1 MOA.Cut it back to 3600,and I can shoot almost as good as is required to be a member of the IBSA(Internet Bull Shooters Assoc).

Sniper66
February 5, 2012, 10:36 AM
Quatermaster...you pose a very good question. Every rifle has it's own personality and each shooter. My brother and I both have Ruger #1 in .204, hunt prairie dogs, and we both shoot reasonably well...he shoots better than I do and rarely misses...he is more patient. But, my Remington 700 VSF .223 is becoming my favorite PD rifle because I don't miss much with it. My brother now shoots a Remington 700 VLS .223 and says it is now his favorite PD rifle. We reload all of our .204 and .223, using Benchmark and 7.5 BR Rem primers. My .204, I use Sierra blitzking 32 gr with 27 gr of Benchmark.. BUT...the Hornady .32 gr .204 and Fiocchi 40 and 50 gr .223 are almost as accurate as my reloads. A prairies dog won't notice the difference. My next plan? Buy a new .204, maybe a 700 VLS. I always love buying another gun. I'll let you know how that works out.

MachIVshooter
February 5, 2012, 10:40 AM
I tend to agree the 204 tends to be an easy caliber to achieve accuracy

That's the phraseology we're looking for here. There is nothing magical about .204" bore or the cartridge case itself. But it (and others) seem to appear only in firearms that shoot well and with high-quality components.

Kachok
February 5, 2012, 11:48 AM
Would the sole availability of high quality rifles and components qualify as inherent accuracy? :D I do think there is more to it then that though if the long action belted magnums were every bit as accurate as the sharp shoulder short action magnums why are they not shooting 2.6" groups at 1,000 like the WSMs are? Since it's introduction the WSM cases have been takeing over all the benchrest world records, a short powder coloum, sharp 35 degree shoulder, and high speed with high BC bullets combined with a case that does not have the useless belt attached, seems to make sence to me.

MachIVshooter
February 5, 2012, 11:57 AM
if the long action belted magnums were every bit as accurate as the sharp shoulder short action magnums why are they not shooting 2.6" groups at 1,000 like the WSMs are?

They can, but with new ammo or FL resized stuff, they headspace on the belt, which leaves the body laying against the bottom of the chamber, just like a rimmed cartridge.

The 7mm RM and .300 WM have certainly been shown to do amazing things in competition as well as in the hands of snipers. But it is high quality actions and barrels, and careful loading with fire-formed brass, that makes this possible.

The belt is useless on any case that has a decent shoulder (6.5mm RM, 7mm RM, .300 WM, 8mm RM, .338 WM, .350 RM etc.). But all of these were based on the .375 H&H, which needed the belt, and in the '60s and '70s, the belt was seemingly inseparable from the "magnum" moniker, so it was retained.

Kachok
February 5, 2012, 12:01 PM
Oh I know they can be shooters, I used 7mm rem mag for years, but I never shot 2.6" @1,000, and truth be told nobody ever has to my knowlage. No hunter in the feild will ever notice the differnce in accuracy between the WSMs and a quality belted mag, but benchrest shooters will.

quartermaster
February 5, 2012, 12:04 PM
Personally, I think that it is such a fun gun to shoot, very unique in its caliber and ballistics and so easy on your shoulder, coupled with the ability to follow through on each shot and also a great cabability of accuracy, that we may spend a little more time working up loads for it, than we normally might with another caliber. I know I did. It would be a cold day in h... before I spent the time to turn the necks on 275 30-06 cases.

At the risk of being accused of being one of those internet guys who shoots May Flies at 200 yard all the time off the hood of his pick up, I can say that when I am having a good day shooting, my max groups are 1/2" and my best group has been .165. (3 shot groups, center to center) I spend a lot of time working up loads for my rifles and get some of them to shoot very well. This may be my most accurate rifle/ load combo. I do think that my new 4.5-14X Sightron scope is helping a great deal. Its amazing how much better one can shoot when the target is big enough to see.

Just out of curiosity, what can one expect in barrel life? I do think when and if I ever shoot it out, I will get a custom barrel. It is a blast to shoot.

Thanks guys, for your input

Kachok
February 5, 2012, 12:15 PM
Match accuracy for high performance rounds runs aprox 1500 rd, hunting life is around 4000 depending on what you consider acceptable. Heavly overbore magnums like the 30-378 and 300 ultra mag are said to have a match life of 500 rounds or less!

quartermaster
February 5, 2012, 12:36 PM
Is it the burning gas or the heads hitting the lands or a combination of both that erode the throat? Also would the 32 grainers wear it out more than the 40's?

I don't allow the barrel to heat up too much and have to clean it after 20-25 shots, as accuracy really drops off in this rifle if I don't. I'm anxious to try that new Hodgden powder that is coming out which is actually supposed to remove some copper fouling. I find it hard to believe, but that's the claim It is supposed to work well in .223s, so I'm assuming it will work in .204s. I guess the data will advise us.

MachIVshooter
February 5, 2012, 01:07 PM
but I never shot 2.6" @1,000, and truth be told nobody ever has to my knowlage.

Not many 1/4 MOA 1000 yard groups on record, period. And his was a single 5-shot group, not a 10-shot or aggregate total. That record is held by 6mm Dasher. It's also not a world-record for 5-shot 1,000 yard groups; That title belongs to a 6.5/284 and Mr. DeSimone.

The 7mm RM has also held 1,000 yard records in the past.

All kinds of cartridges have held various titles over the years. The short & fat powder colums do burn more uniformly, and when you don't need the larger charges, they make more sense. So rounds like the 6mm Dasher and PPC/BR rounds with high BC bullets are the logical choice for shooting benchrest when accuracy is all that matters.

The 7mm RM and WSMs were not intended for BR shooting, and are really unnecessarily powerful for it a the 600 or 1,000 yard marks; The 600 yard record is held with a 6mm BR. Guys shooting light gun don't want to deal with any more recoil than they have to, and the 7mm RM and 7mm WSM both use similar amounts of powder and produce similar recoil, recoil that is significantly higher than the Dasher/PPC/BR class of cartridges.

All that said, the benchrest world is quite different from practical accuracy. In the field, cartridge choice is the least important component of accuracy, and the shooter is always the weak link, followed by rifle and optics. I have more than one varmint gun that is perfectly capable of 1/2 MOA on a calm day and shooting from rests. A praire rat is about 1.5"-2" wide, so by the numbers, I should never miss a shot inside 300 yards. But I do. All the time. Shooting prone, my hit ratio at 300 is roughly 50% using guns that will put 5 shots on a nickel at 100 yards from the bench.

Kachok
February 5, 2012, 01:18 PM
Oh I agree that field accuracy is a totaly different anamal then 1,000 yd benchrest. Field accuracy has more to do with the egronomics of the rifle, the trigger quality, and trajectory at longer ranges. No person can outshoot even a cheap rifle from a standing position.....except for mabey my old Model 70 LOL
BTW in 2010 Matt Kline broke the 10 shot 1,000yd world record with a 2.815" group using his 300 WSM. Both the 300 win mag and 7mm rem mag have both won titles and held records over the year, but recently the WSMs and 6.5-284s have been the top contenders.

quartermaster
April 18, 2012, 05:27 PM
please close this thread

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