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.204 barrel length.HELP PLEASE..take it as is or keep saving?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 1858rem, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    i'm lookin at a ruger mark 2 synthetic stock stainless 20" barrel .204 with a nikon 3-9X40mm for 400 dollars... id like to be able to shoot at least 3" at 400yds.... will this do it or should i save up for a longer barreled target model? if the 20" is good for that range what bullets shoot best 40/32vmax? and if not, WHAT IS MAX accurate range i could shoot into 3" with this 1:12 twist 20" barrel? mostly crow squirrel and occasional coyote. i will reload but untill i'm set up for .204 reloading i will have to shoot factory loads
  2. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    well than does anyone have any idea what this thing is worth? only about 25-30rds put through it. if the 20"bbl cant do less than 1 inch at 100 yd consistently (handload or factory), what could this possibly have enough value to trade for? i was considering 22-250 and .308 also but the 22-250's burn barrels kinda quick... and .308 may be too heavy bullet for my need an expensive to shoot...mostly target so i dont guess that matters... till i see a crow across the field lol:neener:
  3. dakotasin

    dakotasin Well-Known Member

    first question: yes, the chambering is capable, 20" barrel and all, of shooting accurately to 400 yards. whether or not it will make your spec'd accuracy level depends on a lot of unique-to-the-rifle variables. but, in all probability, no, the factory rifle w/ factory ammo will not likely shoot 3" at 400 yards. it will probably do 6" on a good day, though, and average 8" at 400.

    second... $400 is a fair price. not a great deal, but pretty good.

    22-250 does not burn barrels that quick - and if you think a 250 does, why on earth would you want a 204?

    define exactly what you want, and get that. don't compromise - you will never be happy w/ a compromise deal, and it will end up being traded or sold off in a hurry.

    take a step back, define your wants and needs, and then get that rifle.
  4. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    well i was kind of under the impression .204's dont burn barrels as quickly and are more powder efficient based on there cartridge design compared to 22-250 which i thought would burn the throat after about 3500 rounds and also use 10+g/shot...but the heavier bullet helps down range. i had considered buying this and if accuracy is not what im hoping for ill trade off.....currently my only "long range" rifle is a 925m 22mag i can often get 5-6inch with at 250-300yds w/cci 40g or 32g vmax.... i was wanting a step up into my first centerfire.
  5. Shawnee

    Shawnee member


    Have you or any relatives or friends had any .22/250s that you burned the barrel out on ?

  6. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    nope, only two guys i know with one, one does not even have it sighted in yet....the other put it up in favor of .204 lol......if the 22-250 is better, what range might it make about 3" groups max? now i know that 3500rds is a lot for the 22-250 and i dont know if id ever shoot that many, but i also dont know if im really gonna favor it over my 22 mag(which is actually more expensive to shoot than the .204 if i reload!) and want to shoot 3500/yr. i have talked to a few people telling me they could shoot a few thousand rds(letting barrel cool) each time they went p-dog huntng w/.204......but the 20/24/26 barrel is what im most concerned about
  7. Pokyman

    Pokyman Well-Known Member

    I currently own a 204 (CZ) and have previously owned 2 22-250's.
    As far as barrel length is concerned, the length has less to do with accuracy than the quality of the barrel and the bedding of the action and barrel in the stock. With a cartridge like the 204, the 20 inch barrel is more likely to cost you velocity than accuracy.
    Any cartridge capable of 4000 fps will not be known for being easy on barrels. I have chronographed my 204 with a 32 gr. Sierra bullet at 3950 fps. This bullet shoots extremely well (groups ~5/8" at 100 yds). This rifle does not like the Hornady 40 gr. as well (1 1/4").
    As far as the 22-250 being a barrel burner, I know of two varmint hunters that had approx. 10,000 rounds shot through their rifles before the accuracy was bad enough that they had to replace the barrel. They did not load their 250's hot and they were careful not to overheat the barrels. They cleaned the barrels religiously.
    I don't know for sure, but I would guess that the 204 would begin to loose accuracy long before reaching the 10,000 mark.
  8. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    I have a Ruger #1 in .243 that I use for deer and coyote hunting. It has a custom barrel that would be expensive to replace.

    I also have a Ruger M77MkIIVT in .243 that I use for varmints, like ground squirrels. I haven't shot the barrel out yet, but it's a lot easier to send the barreled action out for a replacement on this one than the #1 as there aren't any extractor cuts that have to be timed. Gunsmiths that work on the #1 are getting harder to find...

    If you're really, really concerned about barrel life, I would look into this -

    Long range precision varminter

    It's available in .204 Ruger, it comes with a HS Precision stock, and you can swap barrels yourself rather than having a gunsmith do it. (Savage controls headspace with an adjustable barrel nut...) That way you just enjoy the rifle, and figure in new barrels as part of the game. :)

    (I'm going to seriously consider this when I've shot out the M77's barrel. Savage has a good reputation for accuracy, and now has a 3-position safety on the tang, where I'm used to it.)
  9. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    double. sorry.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  10. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    pokyman...... what barrel length do you have? was there any wind during your testing?

    would a longer 26"bbl stabilize a 40g better than a 20" or is that more to do with the rate of twits ....or velocity? 32g will be fine but .40 might buck the wind better an the high ballistic coefficient of .20 cal's helps decrease wind drift too i think. keep in mind i will be reloading soon enough, is it advisable to get a factory box of 40g and 32g to see which shoots best?
  11. Pokyman

    Pokyman Well-Known Member

    The rifle I have is a CZ with a 22" barrel. Since it is a factory rifle, I do not know what the rate of twist is.
    Your question about a 26" barrel stabilizing the heavier bullet:
    In my opinion barrel length has little to do with stabilizing the bullet. Rate of twist will have more affect than barrel length. The heavier (longer) the bullet the faster the twist required to stabilize the bullet. I would think most any factory rifle would come with a rate of twist that should stabilize the 32 or 40 gr. It just so happens my CZ doesn't like Hornady 40 gr. but really loves Sierra 32 gr. The Sierra bullets shoot so well I stopped looking to see if any other heavier bullets would shoot well in this rifle.
    A 40 gr. bullet most certainly should "buck" the wind better because of a higher ballistic coeficient than the 32 gr.
    As far as the wind conditions the day(s) that I shot the 5/8 group(s), as best as I can remember there was a gentle breeze with light mirage. I did shoot one group on a cool morning with the sun directly behind me- no mirage- no discernable wind. That group came in right at 1/2".
    As a side note, I have a 17 Mach IV with a Douglas airguage barrel (22" length) that has a 10" twist. It is just the opposite of the 204. It does not like the lighter 20 gr. bullet, but really like the 25 gr. It will consistently shoot groups in the 5/8" range. The best group I have shot with it was 5/16 wide X 1/2 high. All groups are 5 shot.
    As far as buying factory ammo to test- I would think a box of bullets for the 204 would be cheaper than buying a box of factory ammo.
  12. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    i was thinkin there is about a half inch difference between 32-40g at 100 yd and the 40g sometimes tumble....but the 39g are light enough to perform well, anyone else heard of this?....since im starting from scratch an have no brass, i may go ahead and buy a factory 32g box.... and reload them with 40-39g eventually and see how well they do.
  13. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

    I think 20" on a 204 Ruger is on the short side, fine for hunting but I may want 24" or so in dogtown. I don't really think the 204 is that bad of a 'barrel burner' if you take care, reasonable loads, not overheat. I think other factors come into play for accuracy besides comparing a little longer barrel. Some may be the quality of the barrel,twist/bullet relationship,trigger quality, & scope. Speaking of scope, which type of Nikon? A used Monarch 3-9 would cost you $200 or so. I think it's a nice cartridge & the price sounds about right if it's in very good shape. Swing through gunbroker.com & see what some of the asking prices are for similar guns. I do feel the best deals are little used, FTF sales.
  14. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    Howdy 1858REM

    First off I think that the price tag on that rifle is pretty decent if you like the rifle. Depending on which model the Nikon is it could classify as a very good deal. Secondly, I don't believe that 3x9 is enough scope for long distance varmints or target shooting. You could perhaps start out with it then trade or sell it off for something a bit stronger. You could also put it on another rifle that you don't expect to shoot at such long ranges. Next, the 204 is a very accurate cartridge and does very well in a lot of guns. It might not handle the 39s and 40s very well with the 12 twist. I am guessing that this is a sporter weight barrel, not a heavy V/T type barrel. If it is a sporter weight rifle, I doubt that it will shoot 3/4 MOA all the way out to 400, but it might. You just never know. As far as the 22-250 being a barrel burner is concerned, most people will never shoot a rifle enough to shoot out the barrel. Improper cleaning has probably ruined more barrels than shooting them has.

    Now, I may be the biggest Savage fan on this site and that is saying something. I have 2 VLP's in 204, 2 BVSS's in 223, a BVSS in 22-250, a BVSS in 220 Swift, a BVSS in 25-06, a 9317BVTS in 17HMR and last but not least a brand new model 12 F-Class in 6mm BR. The first one I bought was a model 12 BVSS in 223 and I honestly thought that it couldn't get any better than that. In no time I had hand-loads shooting sub half MOA. with a little more experimenting I had it down to normaly under 3/8" with lots of groups hovering around the 1/4" Mark. Then I bought my first 204 about 3 years ago, used. The dealer that sold me the rifle had one box of Hornady 32 grainers. When I took it to the range I used the first five for sighters then proceeded to shoot 3, 5 shot groups with it. ALL THREE went under 3/8" at 100 yards. If I do my part my handloads will do a little better with several sub 1/4" groups to my credit. The second 204 isn't quite that good but it will still shoot 1/2MOA or better most of the time. You can get a good deal on a used Savage quite often and generally speaking they are great shooters. Honestly though I think you could easily get your money back out of the Ruger should you buy it and not like it. You might even make a few bucks. Buy it, shoot it and, if you don't like it, sell it.
  15. What dakotasin said.

    Truer words have not been spoken.
  16. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    You know what

    I just checked prices on Gunbroker. The rifle sells for just under $600 and the scope is about $130 if it is the Buckmaster. Buy it.:D:evil::D:evil:
  17. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    the guy said the scope is in the 200-300 dollar range, so im defiantly buying it now, even if only to re sell and make about 200 bucks....jus tryin to figure if i should keep it long enough too reload for it... i do really like the fact it would only cost as much as my 22 mag to shoot and really outshine my 22 mag(80% of the time is 3/4 or less@100yd) down range, still 30 cents/shot is something to get used to. i have presses and powder/primers jus gotta get dies and bullets! i am selling my dirtbike tomorrow and part of the deal is a 30+yr old rem 788 in .308 plus some cash.... so i gotta decide which to reload for first, prob the .204... but it depends on which i like shooting more too, i think i can get velocitor sabots for the .308 like for a 30-06 for flatter shooting though?.
  18. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...at least 3" at 400yds..." Those wee bullets will get blown all over creation with the slightest bit of wind. Remington factory ammo, sighted in at 200, drops like a brick between 300 and 400 yards too.
    "...sabots for the .308..." The accuracy of sabotted ammo is extremely poor.
    "...make about 200 bucks..." Don't count on making any money on a used scope.
  19. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    well mebbe i could still get trade on another rifle eventually :neener:..... i think sighted for 200yd it is 1.5 high at muzzle, .6high at 100yd, 4.6 low at 300, and about 29" low at 500 i forgot 400, but anything within 300 should be fine. like i said, reloaded cost is comparable to 22mag is neat... and about double the range/accuracy :rolleyes:
  20. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

    Yeah, just get what you want and don't look back.

    I currently own three .204 Rugers. Two CZ 527 Americans and one CZ 527 Varmint. Two of the three love the 32 Sierra, one likes the 39 Sierra, one really likes the 40 V-Max and all of them like the 35 Berger over H-4895. The 204 typically burns the powder in the first 19-21 inches of barrel. I have a little over 3000 rounds through one of the 527 Americans and it doesn't show any sign of loss of accuracy.

    I currently own three .22-250 rifles. A Kimber 84M Varmint, a Savage M14 classic, and a Remington 700 VSF. The 700 shows a lot of throat erosion after 2500 rounds, but the accuracy is still fine. I just keep loading longer. The Kimber shows a lot of erosion after 3000+ rounds and if I load .030 back froms the lands the ammo won't fit in the box. I have abused all three rifles by shooting them really hot.

    As far as .204 vs. 22-250 ballistics. Disregarding terminal performance (either will kill a crow) the drop and wind drift at 300-400 yards is ever so close in typical loadings it isn't even worth debating. Take a look at some of the on-line ballistic calculators is you don't have one of your own.
    Neither caliber bucks the wind for beans (unless you go heavy and long in the 250) and neither are true long range cartridges.

    Barrel length and rifle weight have a lot to do with the intended purpose of the rifle. Heavy rifles settle better and rock off the bench. Lighter rifles are faster handling and easier to quickly stuff out the truck window (when and where legal and safe, i.e, middle of Wyoming in a p-dog town). As far as consistently shooting sub-three inch groups at 400 yards...good luck on that one and I shoot a lot of long range...I mean a whole lot.

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