.204 Question


February 27, 2012, 10:01 AM
I need some help from the reloading Guru's. What I have is an AR-15 in .204 Ruger, it has a 24" 1-12 twist DPMS barrel. This will be used for a p-dog hunt later this year. I would like to be to stretch it legs to 400-500 yds (if possible).

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February 27, 2012, 11:57 AM
Stretch it how?? I have the Savage Model 12 LRPV in .204, 1in12 twist, 26" bbl, and can reach out to the ranges you seek and even 600+ yds (though my scope needs to be upgraded to take reliable shots at that range). What grain bullet are you wanting to shoot? What shoots best from your bbl?

February 27, 2012, 01:48 PM
My 24" heavy barrel 204 Ruger AR-15 will shoot Hornady factory 32 grain ammunition at 4100 fps.

Reloads my rifle likes chronograph at about 4000 fps with 32 grain V-max bullets.

Hornady factory 40 grain ammunition chronographs at about 3600 fps.

You need to look at ballistic tables to see what might fit your distance needs. I have not looked in a couple years and do not remember. I have never tried shooting it out to 500-600 yards.

February 29, 2012, 03:08 PM
This is a new gun and caliber to me, I'm looking for a starting point to work from

February 29, 2012, 07:48 PM
If you do not have any loading manuals with 204 Ruger, the Hodgdon site has information on 204 Ruger.


If you do not have any current reloading manulas, you might conside getting one.

March 1, 2012, 08:51 PM
Good info here too http://www.204ruger.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4

March 3, 2012, 06:34 AM
Energy and drop are very manageable out to the ranges that you're talking about. The problem is the wind. The 32 and 40gn bullets do not have a very good ballistic coefficient and as a result get pushed a lot by the wind. There are better bullets available for the longer ranges, however, your 1:12 twist barrel will not stabilize them.

Your best bet is probably going to be the 39gn Sierra BlitzKing. Push it as fast as you can while still getting good accuracy. With a MV in the 3600fps range you're going to be looking at 2" or more of wind drift per 25yds after 300yds. The 32gn bullets @ 4000fps fares worse.

The Berger 55gn @3300fps doesn't exceed 10" of total drift until after 350yds and is less than 2" per 25yds out to 450yds. Berger recommends a 1:8 barrel for those but myself and several others have gotten them to shoot out of a 1:9.

I love the .204 Ruger, but a man's gotta know it limitations.

March 3, 2012, 06:59 AM
The 204 is a GREAT P-dogging round, 2 trips to SD for me. I am trying to work one up for this Summer. Of course you want light, frangible bullets, as posted, not the best in the wind at longer ranges. Here's what you do, go to a honey-hole around mid June. You won't need those 500 yrd shots, yes take em when you want but you'll have a plethora of closer targets.

March 3, 2012, 01:12 PM
I shoot a Ruger #1 .204 and reload with Benchmark and 32 gr Sierra Bitzking. It is quite accurate and am guessing the speed is around 4,000 fps....never measured it. You have to have nearly perfect conditions to shoot accurately out to beyond 200 yds. yeah, I know; you'll get all kinds of stories about much longer shots, but you are going to miss a lot more than you hit. I have hit a few at 250, but damn few. I have hit longer shots, a bit over 300yds, with my 700 VLS .243 with 58 gr moly bullets. Even the ads for this gun say it will kill dogs at 500. But, honestly, that really is a Hail Mary shot; certainly a lot of fun if you don't mind missing most of the time. I really think of the .204 as a 250 yd gun, tops.

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