It seems that all of us spend a fair amount of time thinking about our guns and shooting...I am no exception. Here's my latest dilemma. I have a Ruger #1 in .204. Beautiful gun and a very good shooter, but not excellent by my standards. So, I am looking for suggestions about other .204s. Saw a Remington 700 VLS on Gunbroker that might be an option. What models do you own out there that you really like? Brands? Models? I am primarily a prairie dog shooter, so am particularly interested in rifles that can consistently make 200+ yd shots.Thanks for your help. Tom
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June 19, 2012, 04:45 PM
I am looking at getting an upper for my AR in .204. The only other .204 I have shot has been a #1, so no new insight there.
June 19, 2012, 07:14 PM
I've got a CZ in .204. It's pretty sweet. Took a while to get it tuned in. Got the set trigger tuned down to maybe 8-10 oz.
If you're a PD whacker, I'd check out Varmint's Den. There are a ton of guys over there that varmint hunt. Actually, I guess they most all do. Lotsa good info without fluff. Those guys are the real deal.
Good info on loads, etc. IIRC, there's a guy that's got a Remington 700 in .204 for sale right now. Sign up on the forum and look through the classifieds.
June 19, 2012, 10:24 PM
There's a really nice, brand new CZ 204 w/ the set trigger (blue, wood) in the library at my local Cabelas. I literally almost bought it the other day but I don't really have the scratch right now, I talked them down to $589 just to see. Handles way better than the long / heavy barrel counterparts. If you're in the market I'd recommend it.
June 19, 2012, 11:22 PM
If I was going to get one, it would be a CZ.
June 19, 2012, 11:52 PM
I have the Howa 1500 in 204 with the laminate thumbhole stock. I just got back yesterday from my annual PD shoot. This is the 2nd trip out to SoDak with this rifle. Its amazingly accurate for an out-of-the-box rifle. I was consistently making hits between 300 and 425 yards (not much wind). I did break a piece off the extractor this time, but am ordering a new one.
To date, she has more than 1000 rounds down the pipe, and shoots like she was brand new. There are drawbacks, though, as replacement barrels are a gunsmith-only operation. I'll cross that bridge when I need to. I've also been unable to find a single shot sled for this rifle, but that's not a huge deal, as single rounds seem to load pretty well.
June 20, 2012, 07:17 PM
olympic arms or dtech if you don't mind a black rifle. i was looking in to getting one for quite a while. i have heard VERY good things about these guys' .204s. i would love the low recoil mixed with quick follow up shots on yotes. I've heard 23" is the optimum barrel length back when i was in deep research.
June 20, 2012, 09:16 PM
What should be a rough idea on barrel life for the. 204?
June 20, 2012, 09:31 PM
Have a CZ 527 Kevlar in 204 Ruger. It shoots ok, the single set trigger is "so so". It can be set faily light but the obver travel is horrible. I woud prefer a different trigger with a 6ozto 16oz pull without a set. It's a decent rifle overall.
Some 5 shot groups working up a load.
Final load developement..
I run Savage model 12 VLP 26'' stainless proud of her.
June 21, 2012, 01:17 AM
Put my vote in for Tikka T3 Lite in .204 ruger. Have a couple hundred rounds through mine so far and love it. It's most redeeming quality is it's superlite carry weight.
June 21, 2012, 01:39 PM
I appreciate the comments about .204s. I keep hearing good things about CZ and Tikka. The groups posted by dubblA are better than mine. I love the .204 round, especially when I hear the pop that follows a solid hit on a p-dog or the sight of a p-dog when a hit sends him flying 10 feet. Don't get me wrong, I like my Ruger #1, it is one of the prettiest rifles I own, but I don't love it and I am not satisfied with 2" groups. I have killed 100s of p-dogs and several coyotes with it, but I just don't have that easy confidence that accompanies me when I shoot my 17HMR or my .223. When I head to the dog town, I tend to pick it up last. I think the answer is to keep buying 204s until I get it right:)
June 21, 2012, 02:34 PM
I have a Browning A-bolt that is no longer made in 204 Ruger. It was not the most accurate with factory loads, 1" to 1 1/4" with Hornday 40gr. I now load Sierra BK's 39 gr. and they shoot great. I love this rifle!!!
June 21, 2012, 04:27 PM
Any one of the Savages would be my choice.
June 22, 2012, 08:50 AM
I'm quite partial to my CZ 527 Varmint. Fantastic shooter. Really lays a hurt on the prairie dogs! I've got around 1,000 rounds through mine and it still shoots great. (wish my photography skills were as good as dubbleA)
Once I shot my 1st Cooper, I was sold. I now own five with two chambered in .204 Ruger.
They both sport a Leupold VX-III 6.5-20 x 40mm scope.
I use these out west exclusively for prairie dogs. 90% of my shots are between 150-250 yards. I keep track of shots fired and p-dogs hit. I am running at 88% for the last 8 years. Which is pretty good considering the breeze in South Dakota on many summer days.
My reloads are dialed in and both shoot the same load equally as well.