204 Question


March 21, 2012, 08:53 AM
I would like to know if a 204 would cleanly kill a Whitetail? I am not advocating using it just wondering if a well placed shot would kill it clean. I know a 22lr will kill one but I was wondering if anyone actually uses a 204 to hunt deer with. I have always not used anything smaller than the 243 just a inquiry.

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March 21, 2012, 09:00 AM

Oui monsieur. At 252 yards.

Art Eatman
March 21, 2012, 10:43 AM
To me, a clean kill at 252 yards with a .204 implies an above-average level of skill. There's not really any margin for error with a .204. Or centerfire .22s, for that matter.

As a recommended "deer cartridge"? No way, Jose. Year in, year out, there's too much danger of a crippling wound.

Someone with a serious amount of experience and good control over adrenalin and all that package of needs for a skilled hunter, yeah, it would work...

March 21, 2012, 04:23 PM
I would agree with you Art.

Within certain ranges and certain conditions I would use a 204 Ruger without much hesitation but I know my shot placement choices are much more limited than with a cartridge with a lot more horsepower. I also use "heavy" bullets in mine if you can call 45 grain bullets heavy.

targets from us
March 21, 2012, 04:49 PM
A well placed shot from a .204 would make a clean kill yes.
As stated above hardly a great choice of a deer hunting round.

March 21, 2012, 09:18 PM
You're not starting out with much bullet mass to start with, and most of the bullets made for it are quite frangible. If they made bigger, less frangible bullets, and twisted the barrels faster to shoot them, I'd be fairly comfortable with the notion. As things are, I'd be a little uncomfortable using it. As has been shown, it can be done.

Smokey Joe
March 21, 2012, 09:47 PM
Roc 1--Another of those many situations in which the rule applies: "Just because it CAN be done does not automatically mean it SHOULD be done."

You'll never get in trouble by NOT trying something chancey.

March 22, 2012, 05:59 AM
What round did you use Grumulkin?

All loadings of .204 I've seen have been in varmint loads. They wouldn't be my first choice for whitetail. A bullet that stays together would be a better choice.

March 22, 2012, 07:35 AM
Thanks I was not planning on using it just wondering if it would make a Clean Kill

March 22, 2012, 08:28 AM

March 22, 2012, 10:11 AM
Yes and HECK NO. Yes it CAN be done, HECK NO it should not be done. I can kill a deer with my 9mm handgun, but you will never catch me hunting deer with it. Very small caliber (less then 6mm) high speed bullets dump the majority of their energy in the first few inches even with modern bonded bullets, making a pincle thin wound through the rest of the way through their meger penatration. I have seen them tested way too many times before. A larger caliber heavier bullet even with less energy has a greater wounding potential, because they tend to make more tissue damage deeper in the target. I am not a fan of marginal bullets on deer, way too many good options out there, even for the very recoil shy. 243win is a practical minimum, 25-06, 7-08 or 6.5x55 make even more sence if you want to be able to shoot from a wider variety of angles

Art Eatman
March 22, 2012, 11:55 AM
Hokay, enuf. :)

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