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Discussion Starter #1
What kind of accuracy could I expect at 200 yards with a rifle chambered in 204 Ruger? Or, would I be better off with a Remington 700 SPS Tactical rifle in .223? That's the model with a 20" heavy barrel and adjustable trigger.
 

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The 204 Ruger is very accurate. On a quiet day with a good rifle and good
loads you could get extremely tight groups. I would still buy the .223. There
are a lot more bullets available and factory ammo is very inexpensive (right now).
The .223 is better in the wind with heavier bullets.

Zeke
 

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There is nothing about either cartridge to make one more inherently accurate than the other. On a windy day, the .223 will be slightly better, although the higher velocity of the .204 would mean you'd have to be shooting pretty far for the different to be of any importance.

The biggest thing is the shooter, followed by the rifle, the quality of the loads/bullets and then the specific cartridge. Go with whichever one you like, especially if you're just shooting targets or varmints. If you're going to reload, the cost of components for both will be fairly similar, but if you will be buying stuff off the shelf, the .223 will be more economical.
 

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Very similar forty years ago when I was deciding between the then new .17 Remington and .223 Remington. Both used basically the same case with only bullet diameter being major difference. Initially got the 17 because of its 4200 fps velocity but within couple years had the 223 also. Now the 17 is a safe queen while the 223 gets used. Couple years ago bought into the 204 Ruger -- seems I don't learn -- still can't see anything exceptional about it that the 223 can't do just as well. Well it also become a safe queen only passage of time will tell. Ditto the remarks of others above.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to all who have answered. The advice all seems solid. I will likely buy a new Remington 700 SPS Tactical rifle in .223 tomorrow. I looked at it yesterday but didn't want to rush my decision until I'd gotten the advice of others who had experience with the 204 Ruger.

I should be able to get the SPS out the door for $600 while a 204 Ruger stainless varmint rifle would cost me close to $550. However, I already load for the .223 while the dies, brass, bullets etc. for the 204 would run an extra $100 or more. I could justify the extra cost IF the 204 offered an advantage in accuracy and cost but that doesn't seem to be the case. I think the .223 just makes more sense after considering everything.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I'd opt for the SPS Varmint (.223) with a 26" barrel unless you're set on the 20" barrel. I've got no complaints about mine.





Except for the two "flyers" :eek: it really likes 40 grain Vmax's at 3600 and change.

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This morning I took a little ride - my chocolate/black Lab mix loves to ride - to another local gun dealer who has a better selection of .223 rifles and brought home a Remington 700 SPS Varmint rifle just like the one pictured by Recoil Junky. I quickly cleaned the bore, put Leupold Weaver-style mounts on and mounted a Sight-Mark 8.5~25x50 scope. Then it was off to the range for some testing with cartridges I had loaded yesterday.

The rifle has a TIGHT chamber and a really NICE trigger. I had loaded 10 rounds using LC-75 military brass and 18.0 grains of RE-10X powder topped by 55 grain Remington PSP bulk bullets. They were to get me on paper so I could test my better loads. It took 7 rounds to center my shots so I fired a 3-shot group with my "not so great" sighting load. The 3 shots measured .714" at 104 yards!

All of my test loads used RE-10X powder and either Sierra 53 grain HP bullets or Hornady 55 grain SX bullets. The best two groups were shot with the SX bullets. My five 3-shots groups measured .543", .542", .423", .329" and .234".

I thank all of you for the excellent advice and to say I'm pleased with my new rifle is a vast understatement.
 

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This morning I took a little ride - my chocolate/black Lab mix loves to ride - to another local gun dealer who has a better selection of .223 rifles and brought home a Remington 700 SPS Varmint rifle just like the one pictured by Recoil Junky. I quickly cleaned the bore, put Leupold Weaver-style mounts on and mounted a Sight-Mark 8.5~25x50 scope. Then it was off to the range for some testing with cartridges I had loaded yesterday.

The rifle has a TIGHT chamber and a really NICE trigger. I had loaded 10 rounds using LC-75 military brass and 18.0 grains of RE-10X powder topped by 55 grain Remington PSP bulk bullets. They were to get me on paper so I could test my better loads. It took 7 rounds to center my shots so I fired a 3-shot group with my "not so great" sighting load. The 3 shots measured .714" at 104 yards!

All of my test loads used RE-10X powder and either Sierra 53 grain HP bullets or Hornady 55 grain SX bullets. The best two groups were shot with the SX bullets. My five 3-shots groups measured .543", .542", .423", .329" and .234".

I thank all of you for the excellent advice and to say I'm pleased with my new rifle is a vast understatement.
Man, if I shot some groups like that, I would be posting pictures! :D You might copy them up to a free photo-sharing website and then post a link to it, here?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
broom_JM, here are the targets I shot at 104 yards with the new 700 Varmint rifle. I also had my 700 Classic in .222 along so I could switch and let one cool while I shot the other. It was a nice day in the upper 70's and a variable wind up to - I'm guessing - 12 or 15MPH. I tried to shoot when it was blowing least.

I buy heavy card stock from Office Depot or Staples and use 3/4 inch pasters from WalMart as my aiming point. (I'm cheap!) I only use proper ringed targets to get on paper. The card stock gives a nice hole that is easily measured. I've used the Hornady SX bullets for more than 33 years and have never been disappointed in the accuracy or performance. I also like Sierra bullets. I was really surprised that the bulk Remington bullets put three into less than 3/4 of an inch.

This rifle is a keeper for sure! :)

I see your quote by Jack O'Connor. I've read most of what he's written and have been a big fan for years.

 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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So picky Tang!!!! JEEEESH :D

That was during load development you rascal!!!!!

Now it's hitting 2" high at 100yds. Smack on at 250.

RJ
 

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Yep, that is some durn good shootin'! :)
 

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Nice work!

I have the Rem 700 ADL in .204 Ruger and it shoots like your .223 there. I like it a lot. The little necks offer a challenge to reload, so I have the RCBS Competition seating die with the nice big window to drop the bullets in, it works very well for the .204, .22 Hornet, and .223. My rifle was on clearance for $300 new, I just couldn't say no. I should have bought a couple more though, they appreciate better than the cash I spent...
 

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You are incorrectly implying that I didn't! :D

I sold several thousand over on Ruger forum for $60/k shipped. I made a few bucks.
 

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I'd opt for the SPS Varmint (.223) with a 26" barrel unless you're set on the 20" barrel. I've got no complaints about mine.





Except for the two "flyers" :eek: it really likes 40 grain Vmax's at 3600 and change.

RJ
Hey there RJ------- I'm using that same load in my Savage 11 with excellent results. You know what they say about great minds -----(mine is pretty much mush but I think yours is working fine!):D
 

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I have 3 .204 Rugers and a couple of bolt rifles in .223. In actual field use my preference all day any day for prairie dogs out to about 450 yds. is the .204. Faster bullets speeds and better BCs are not just typed text.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I have 2 Remington 788's in .223 that will out-shoot the SPS any day of the week. One "likes" the same load as the SPS, the other one likes it really hot :D

The "new" one (that I bought 2 years ago) came with what was left of the first and only box of ammo the guy bought for it. (it still had 9 left)

RJ
 
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