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204 or 223

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by viking499, Oct 7, 2012.

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  1. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    My son, soon to be 16, has asked for a varmint rifle. I am a fan of 204 and 223 for varminting, which I have both. Either caliber would suit for what it is used for, mostly groundhog hunting in Ohio and Kentucky. Also can be used for other "small" applications. If anything bigger is required, we can step up to the 243 or 6.5x55.

    I am also set up to reload for both, so, just looking for some outside insight to push one over the edge.
     
  2. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    .223. Only because I use it extensively. I've no use for the .204, it's an answer without a question.
     
  3. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    204 is better for reaching out there, so depends on how far he will be taking shots. If it was me I'd rather have the 204. Just in case.
    If he is only going to be shooting to 300 yds. go 223. any further and the 204 has way less drop.
     
  4. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Then we are in .22-250 territory, which still does it better than both. Heavier rounds in the .223, or pony up for the -250, and call it a day.
     
  5. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    Or, as said, just pull out the 243 and some 55-65 grainers.

    204 or 223 are the choices. Opinions and comments on one or the other is fine, but those are the only 2 choices to choose from.
     
  6. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Sorry.

    In that case, .223.
     
  7. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    223ai...
     
  8. Fat_46

    Fat_46 Member

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    I'm a huge fan of the 204. Shortly after I used it on my first prairie dog trip I sold my 223. For me, the round did everything I asked of it at the distances I used it for - out to 450 yards. In fact, when my ten year old daughter expressed an interest in going to SoDak with me next year I got a Savage HB 204 for her.

    Don't get me wrong - the 223 did a fine job at killing the dogs. But the flippers and spinners I get with the 204 are so much more fun! Ballistically, I can't really explain why it works so well. Its a tiny bullet going really fast. It almost seems like I'm shooting a micro rocket, though.

    Easy to load for as well, if you reload. I really like the 39 grain Sierra BlitzKings over a hefty amount of H4895, but YMMV.

    In case I wasn't verbose enough...I'm firmly in the 204 camp for small(coyote or smaller) size critters.
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The .223 is the answer if you reload -- plenty of once-fired brass is available, cheap.
     
  10. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    Sorry, not trying to be mean, just not wanting it to turn into "this round or that round" is better than the other because........
     
  11. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Absolutely understandable. I love the .223, it's wide array of bullet weights, and if your son practices, he can efficiently kill coy dogs at any range the .204 does.
     
  12. Naybor

    Naybor Member

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    Because .223 is a government round. Therefore, is probably cheaper and a more common round to find. I've went thru a few thousand rounds on groundhog and have always been amazed at the results of a .223 varmint (plastic tipped) round.
     
  13. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    You won't go wrong either way, but the .204 was an answer to (can I get a lower recoiling gun that shoots a light bullet really fast so I can see what I hit through the scope?)
     
  14. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Absolutely the .223!:D
     
  15. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    Do you reload? then either really. I would give the nod to .204 for coyote/P-dogs. If you don't reload, well then the .223 is far more economical. Varmint bullets will be about the same price for either in the store, but practice rounds with .223 will be far cheaper.
     
  16. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I have an incredibly accurate AR and also a CZ in .204. Obviously either would be a good choice.

    As noted, the .204 has virtually zero recoil so you can see your hits. I'd look into the CZ with the single set trigger. When set, mine is probably in the 8 oz range and exceptionally crisp.

    IMO, just as important is the scope. There were some guys over on The Varmint's Den that had really nice scopes for cheap.
     
  17. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Who was asking that? Where I hit a coyote doesn't matter when it's dead. .223 rem does that in spades. And cheaper.
     
  18. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Prairie dog hunters...
     
  19. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    220 swift
     
  20. Uncle Grinch

    Uncle Grinch Member

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    I've been in almost the same quandry (?spelling?), except it was with the .223 vs. the .17 Rem. I got the .17 Rem and, while not regretting it, it just didn't do what I wanted. It was a pain to reload (even had to buy a special powder funnel) and required a special cleaning rod, jag and smaller patches.

    Still have it, but I picked up a .223 Rem and had it opened up to a .223AI. I seldom shoot the .17 anymore. Remember... it's your decision and the choice is yours!

    Just saw this related thread...
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=680284
     
  21. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    If shots are very rarely beyond 300 yards, I figure the .223 would work just fine. One guy here in south Georgia loves his .204 and has killed a fair number of coyotes with it, but from talking to him, most shots are rarely beyond 200 yards.
     
  22. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Most I know who make the sojourn to Wyoming for tha purpose use .223, .220 swift, and 22-250. Heck, a few use .22 CHeetah.
     
  23. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I think I would go 204 if you reload.
     
  24. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Can you get the .204 in a fast twist barrel like a 1:9 or 1:8? If so, that brings the 50 and 55gn Berger VLDs into the picture as well as the rest. These do considerably better than the .223 55gn pills in the wind and drop less as well. The 55gn has a BC better than the 77gn SMK and can be shot faster. The limitations are that it needs a faster than normal barrel twist and it doesn't load to AR mag length. In something like a custom barreled Savage with its generous magazine both can be accounted for and the result is a better long range varmint gun that the .223.
     
  25. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    I have both and greatly prefer the 204 Ruger. As others have mentioned there's almost no recoil so you can often see your hits. I also find the 204 very easy to reload and have yet to find a load that wasn't accurate. Once you acquire the brass it's no more expensive to shoot than .223.
     
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