Upgrade to a .204?

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Upgrade to a .204?

Post by xDom » 11 Oct 2019, 7:46 pm

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the 204. It sounds like my kind of rifle.
Do you think it’s got much over a good quality 223, which I already have, for foxes, rabbits, roos (where permissible)
I’m always interested in new calibres.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 11 Oct 2019, 7:54 pm

xDom wrote:I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the 204. It sounds like my kind of rifle.
Do you think it’s got much over a good quality 223, which I already have, for foxes, rabbits, roos (where permissible)
I’m always interested in new calibres.


I have both, and would say it's the other way around. The .223 is far more versatile than the .204. The .204 is a terrific cartridge but with a very narrow focus, bullets from 24gn to 40gn. My .223 does everything my .204 can do, except the 4400fps, but can also shoot 80gn bullets.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by xDom » 11 Oct 2019, 8:05 pm

Thanks, what is your longest distance kill from your 223?
I’m quite enamoured with those videos posted with that bloke popping bunnies at 500m off the bonnet off his v dub.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 11 Oct 2019, 8:19 pm

xDom wrote:Thanks, what is your longest distance kill from your 223?
I’m quite enamoured with those videos posted with that bloke popping bunnies at 500m off the bonnet off his v dub.


I have a rule that I don't shoot at a live target further than I'm willing to run, in case I screw up the shot, about 300m max. All of my kills have been well under that.

But for longer ranges than 300m, the heavier high-BC bullets of the .223 will have significantly less wind deflection over the .204.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by Bruiser64 » 11 Oct 2019, 9:03 pm

I have a 204, which I love. I agree with Bladeracer that your .223 is more versatile. If your .223 will shoot a 40 grain pill, it would be very close to the 204 in performance in my view. Having said that, as you live in Victoria you probably wouldn’t have a hassle licensing the .204 and the .223. If I thought I could licence both, I would.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Oct 2019, 9:09 pm

I am a fan of the 204 but I only shoot 39 or 40 grain bullets. They make a 204 into one of the most flat shooting wind bucking kick arse rounds about. Yes you could shoot a 40 grain pill out of your 223 but it wouldn't shoot as flat as the 204. The 223 is for sensible people and you already have one.

Make sure your 204 says Tikka or Sako on the side of it and you will never stop grinning.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 11 Oct 2019, 9:33 pm

Bruiser64 wrote:I have a 204, which I love. I agree with Bladeracer that your .223 is more versatile. If your .223 will shoot a 40 grain pill, it would be very close to the 204 in performance in my view. Having said that, as you live in Victoria you probably wouldn’t have a hassle licensing the .204 and the .223. If I thought I could licence both, I would.


My Ruger shoots 35gn to 80gn equally weĺl, I haven't tested the 30gn or 90gn bullets yet.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 11 Oct 2019, 9:37 pm

SCJ429 wrote:I am a fan of the 204 but I only shoot 39 or 40 grain bullets. They make a 204 into one of the most flat shooting wind bucking kick arse rounds about. Yes you could shoot a 40 grain pill out of your 223 but it wouldn't shoot as flat as the 204. The 223 is for sensible people and you already have one.

Make sure your 204 says Tikka or Sako on the side of it and you will never stop grinning.


Do you have a .223Rem as well?
Flat shooting is good, but only really useful when spotlighting, if you can range your target, trajectory becomes irrelevant. And beating the wind also trumps flat-shooting, most of us can estimate range and adjust for it much better than we can read and adjust for wind.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Oct 2019, 10:22 pm

Yes I have a 223, and I shoot it heaps. Yes it shoots 80s very well but I don't hunt with them. I use 50 grainers which work quite well but it is nothing like a 40 grain bullet out of a 204. What is the wind drift difference between a 40 grain 204 compared to a 223 shooting a 50 or even a 70 grain bullet?

Like I said before, shoot the 223 because you are sensible. Shoot the 204 because it turns things inside out and it has awesome ballistics.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 11 Oct 2019, 10:51 pm

xDom wrote:I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the 204. It sounds like my kind of rifle.
Do you think it’s got much over a good quality 223, which I already have, for foxes, rabbits, roos (where permissible)
I’m always interested in new calibres.


Another important aspect is whether you load your own ammo.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by Stix » 12 Oct 2019, 12:13 am

There are many reasons to like a 204...especially if you have a fettish for fast little zippy rounds, love shooting bunny's & foxes, and have a 223 that you wish to get the longest of barrel life out of...!!!

If your definition of "versatile", is to have a rifle to use for an efficient & wide arrray of usable bullet weights for many different disciplines of shooting...dont buy a 204...!!

My main load is very mild...but it does everything non-native with 32 grain'rs...
Foxes out past 300--hit em in the chest & thats it--see em vanish in the scope & wait for the audible 'thud'...drive out there & they are laying down exactly where you hit em...

Its dynamite on roos with 40 gr bullets too...


Here's an old post of mine showcasing the 204 & my first 300 plus yd bunny's...
viewtopic.php?f=73&t=10570

I doubt ill be without one on the passenger seat...well maybe for the odd change...but this Stix wont head for the sticks without one in his car...!!... :lol:
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by in2anity » 12 Oct 2019, 6:44 am

Under good conditions the 204 is an inherently accurate cartridge. But when you’re fighting the wind, the 204 can be a a bit all over the place.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by xDom » 12 Oct 2019, 8:18 am

Bruiser64 wrote:I have a 204, which I love. I agree with Bladeracer that your .223 is more versatile. If your .223 will shoot a 40 grain pill, it would be very close to the 204 in performance in my view. Having said that, as you live in Victoria you probably wouldn’t have a hassle licensing the .204 and the .223. If I thought I could licence both, I would.


I've got the 1:12 twist, that's good for the lighter rounds? Can you get factory 40gr .223? I might give that a go.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 12 Oct 2019, 8:42 am

xDom wrote:
Bruiser64 wrote:I have a 204, which I love. I agree with Bladeracer that your .223 is more versatile. If your .223 will shoot a 40 grain pill, it would be very close to the 204 in performance in my view. Having said that, as you live in Victoria you probably wouldn’t have a hassle licensing the .204 and the .223. If I thought I could licence both, I would.


I've got the 1:12 twist, that's good for the lighter rounds? Can you get factory 40gr .223? I might give that a go.


12"-twist limits your bullet choices to about 60-70gn depending on bullet design.

Wouldn't have a clue about factory ammo.
Hornady list 35gn and 40gn loads, including the 35gn NTX which shoots great for me in handloads.
https://www.hornady.com/ammunition/rifle/223-rem-35-gr-ntx-superformance#!/

Rebels list 43 .223Rem loads (only six .204 loads).
https://www.rebelgunworks.com.au/collections/centrefire-ammo/caliber_223-rem
Including a Winchester 35gn load.
https://www.rebelgunworks.com.au/collections/centrefire-ammo/products/winchester-super-x-223-remington-35-grain-ballistic-silvertip-lead-free-20pk
And the Hornady 40gn.
https://www.rebelgunworks.com.au/collections/centrefire-ammo/products/hornady-varmint-express-ammunition-223-remington-40-grain-v-max20pk
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by xDom » 12 Oct 2019, 8:51 am

Thanks Blade, the 40gr aren't cheap, hey?!
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by Stix » 12 Oct 2019, 9:31 am

Im no ballistics expert...at all...!!
But i fail to see how you'd get a 40gr out of a 223 going at comparable velocities to that out of a 204...
Isnt the 204 basically an elongated 223 case...?

Ive tried 40's out of my 222...now admittedly those loads are down around the minimum adi data, but still, so are my mild 204 loads...
And let me tell ya--they are two very different beasts indeed, especially out in the paddock....

With all due respect to your arguement about trajectory Blade...using them in a paddock is a very different thing than target shooting...
Its not just about the trajectory...its also about the authority the bullet hits with if you're using it for hunting/feral busting.
If that authority/energy wasnt a factor in hunting, no one would use 30-06's or magnums for larger animals--they'd just all be shooting 308's...

As for the wind drift arguement with a 223 shooting 50 or 55's...to my mind the added velocity from the 204 counteracts a good bit of the wind...!!

The 32's out of mine are hard to shoot with in decent wind or in gusty conditions, but move up to the 40's & its way more predictable than my 222 in the same wind.

The 204 is a disease that many recreational spotlighters are susceptable to... once you've used one on a few occasions, your ammune system grows weak & resistance is just denial... :lol:
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 12 Oct 2019, 9:36 am

SCJ429 wrote:Yes I have a 223, and I shoot it heaps. Yes it shoots 80s very well but I don't hunt with them. I use 50 grainers which work quite well but it is nothing like a 40 grain bullet out of a 204. What is the wind drift difference between a 40 grain 204 compared to a 223 shooting a 50 or even a 70 grain bullet?

Like I said before, shoot the 223 because you are sensible. Shoot the 204 because it turns things inside out and it has awesome ballistics.


A lot of US hunters have found the ELDM to be a great hunting bullet but I haven't used it on foxes yet.

40gn .204" VMax has BC of .275, 40gn .224" VMax has BC of .200. 55gn VMax is .255, 60gn HP is .271, 80gn ELDM is .485.

The .204 40gn at 3900fps drifts 70mm at 300m and 130mm at 500m in a 10mph crosswind.
The .223 40gn at 3800fps drifts 110mm at 300m and 215mm at 500m.
55gn VMax at 3250fps drifts 95mm at 300m and 195mm at 500m.
80gn ELDM at 2800fps drifts 58mm at 300m and 105mm at 500m.
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Re: Upgrade to a .204?

Post by bladeracer » 12 Oct 2019, 9:37 am

xDom wrote:Thanks Blade, the 40gr aren't cheap, hey?!


The bullets are, the ammo seems not :-)
Probably still cheaper than .204 ammo though?
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