.204 Recommendation??


Jan 22, 2012
NE Kansas
I have owned two .204s and would like your help in choosing another. I had a gorgeous Ruger #1 .204. It shot good to very good, but not fantastic. It was probably the most beautiful rifle I've ever owned. I got an offer I couldn't refuse from a friend so I sold it. I also have a Kimber 84M with walnut stock. It is the best center fire varmint rifle I own (followed closely by two .223s). I've killed many 100s of prairie dogs with it. Why you might ask do I want another one? Why do we gun guys ever want another rifle? Just because! Actually, I do want to try another scope, as scopes have become almost as important to me as the rifle. When you spend hours looking for prairie dogs thru a scope, you need a really good one. Anyway, I'll appreciate any help you can provide. My budget would prefer under $2,000. Thanks for your help.
I like the 20 Practical more than the 204R. I realize the 204R is the easy button for factory ammo if you can find it, but from a pure utility angle, I think the 20P is the way to go. Maybe Cooper chambers for it? I think there is a plethora of AR uppers for the 20P. Just my $.02.

And then build your lower.
Mentions of .204 Ruger and prarie dogs in one paragraph really rings my bell. Here is a switch barrel rifle built especially for prairie dogs that may give you some ideas: one barrel being .204 and the other .22/250. Built on a Stolle LPRE left hand action with Shilen barrels, stock made by Fred Wineg. I shoot right handed but prefer left bolt operation for serious prairie dog shooting. Switching barrels and bolts in prarie dog patch is a 4-minute operation with barrel vice on rear bumper. Scope is Leupold 6.5-25 50mm. IMG_5802.jpg IMG_5805.jpg IMG_5806.jpg
I have a CZ 527 that is true sub 1/2” shooter with hand loads. Love the single set trigger. Has a VX-3L 4-14x50

You are absolutely correct about a quality scope particularly with prairie dogs

And then build your lower.
This would be my solution also.
I have a .204 in my Handi-Rifle collection.
Have a Ruger No. 1 in .204. Have not shot it much but I like No. 1s very much and couldn't pass this one up.
I have a Savage 12FV chambered in 204 Ruger It has performed well for me on the prairie dog fields.

Also, I have a 26” heavy barrel AR-15 chambered in 204 Ruger. It is a great prairie dog rifle. Great for easy follow up shots. Best I’ve done with it is about 600+ yards with 40 grain bullets. I use 10 round magazines. They work well shooting from the bench and when loaded with only 5 rounds, you have to be more careful with usage.

If you want to shoot 20 caliber, 204 Ruger has some advantages. One prairie dig hunt I went on I was short of ammunition. A sporting house the Pierre, SD had 204 Ruger ammunition similar to my reloads.

My AR-15 has a Fulton Armory side pull bolt. It has some benefits but I like to run a Caldwell brass catcher which defeats some of the advantages of the side pull bolt.