Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Varmint Rifle? .204 Ruger vs .223 vs .22-250

  1. #1
    Member swoab47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Utica
    Posts
    870
    Thanks
    1,581
    Thanked 1,186 Times in 398 Posts

    Default Varmint Rifle? .204 Ruger vs .223 vs .22-250

    I have recently been introduced to the incredibly fun sport of prairie dog hunting by a friend of mine. I have been using my .17HMR for the close shots (200 yards and closer) and he has been taking the long shots (200+) with his .223. Our system works pretty good until the dogs within 200 decide not to come up any more.

    So it looks like I get to buy a new rifle.

    I am wondering what all of you guys are using.

    I have been very impressed with my friends .223 and we could share shells if one of us would run out for some reason. Also you can get .223 shells just about anywhere. Plus he said that he is going to get into reloading for his .223, and said that if I would save my brass and pitch in for supplies, he would reload some for me too.

    I have also heard very good things about the .204 Ruger as far as accuracy goes.

    Another friend of mine has a .22-250 that he uses for prairie dogs and coyotes, and he swears by it.

    Right now I am leaning toward the .223, with the .204 Ruger a close second. So any info or experience anyone has with these calibers would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    Andrew

  2. #2
    Member Leupold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SE Nebraska
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    54
    Thanked 242 Times in 134 Posts

    Default

    All will work well.

    The 204 I don't have experience with but it would be fast and flat and don't think it would be much better than a .17HMR but that is my opinion.

    The 223 has lots of ammo available in ranges from cheap to expensive target and you and your buddy could buy 2000 round lots and probably be cheaper than reloading in the long run. I would say the 223's barrel life will last 15% longer due to slightly slower speed over the 22-250 and the possibly the 204.

    The 22-250 is a very good round for most things and is barely legal for deer but I wouldn't recommend it and is a whole different topic. I prefer to use 50's V-max or Noslers in mine and at 3800 FPS they hit hard and I have killed dogs out to 650 yards with one shot and I am sure others have shot farther than that. They are great for coyote calling. I have shot easily over 3000 rounds through mine with no decrease in accuracy and all were reloads. I get 7-8 shots if I don't condition the brass and 10-13 shots if I anneal the bras every other time and neck size only. I like to use Varget for my powder. With my 22-250 I can set it about 1.5 high at 100 and I am dead on at 225 and about .75 low at 300. Which means for me point of aim on most things 350 yards and under.

    Overall I would say the .223 would be the best choice all factors considered. Longer barrel life, access to cheap ammo, can watch impact in the scope easier than a 22-250. If you do reload you will use less powder which could add up if you get serious. Unless you are dead set on a bolt you could look at the various black guns out there like the Rock River Varmint I use.

    Read these articles and see what you think.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/204_ruger.htm

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/223rem.htm

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/22-250rem.htm

    Good luck
    Last edited by Leupold; 10-19-2010 at 08:11 PM.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Leupold For This Useful Post:

    swoab47 (10-19-2010)

  4. #3
    Member cooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    southeast nebr
    Posts
    318
    Thanks
    62
    Thanked 35 Times in 23 Posts

    Default

    I couldn't decide either, so I own one of each. The 204 is probably the most fun to shoot at P.D.'s, but if you through in coyoyes go with the 223 or 22-250.
    Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect...

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to cooper For This Useful Post:

    swoab47 (10-20-2010)

  6. #4
    Member cooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    southeast nebr
    Posts
    318
    Thanks
    62
    Thanked 35 Times in 23 Posts

    Default

    Good bye for now , I,m going to go learn to spell.....
    Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect...

  7. #5
    Member Cat Whacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Utica
    Posts
    377
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 124 Times in 67 Posts

    Default

    I love my .204 but you will spend quite a bit on ammo especially for PD's. I bought one for calling coyotes and I wanted something a little on the small side in case I bring in a Bobcat so I don't tear the pelt up too bad. I have shot PD's with my .204 and it was a blast but last time I bought bullets I think it was around $16 for a box. A little pricey for PD's.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Cat Whacker For This Useful Post:

    swoab47 (10-20-2010)

  9. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    177
    Thanks
    47
    Thanked 28 Times in 21 Posts

    Default

    IMO start with the .223. I have a couple of them and luckily they both shoot my 55 gr hp perfectly. It's relatively cheap to shoot and fun, but I won't lie, the .204 is on my list as one of the next firearm purchases I make. A friend has the 22-250 and loved it, but sold it cuz he couldn't afford the ammo, plus you can buy .223 ammo nearlly everywhere if need be.

  10. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    430
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 72 Times in 38 Posts

    Default

    Might look into a tackdriver AR 15. Light recoil and great for follow up shots. Find out what it like to eat and they group just as good as any bolt action. You can get them in all the calibers stated above.

  11. #8
    Member grainmaker181's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Saronville
    Posts
    348
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 123 Times in 93 Posts

    Default

    get the one with the cheapest ammo, i believe .223 ammo is still cheaper than .204, varmint hunting is more enjoyable when you arent worried about the cost of each shot so much.

  12. #9
    Member Leupold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SE Nebraska
    Posts
    513
    Thanks
    54
    Thanked 242 Times in 134 Posts

    Default

    If you cant decide what to buy calibur wise get two of these. There are several choices all are about $350 or less. For shooting PD's you really dont need anything more than a single shot

    I have the .223 Heavy laminated varmiter and it will shoot MOA groups with 60Gr V-max. I could shoot 25 shots before the barrel would start to get warm. I always wanted to make it a 22-243 but havent done that yet. My 22-250 shoots tighter groups but the Gun cost nealry 2 times as much as the H&R.

    H&R Single Shot 22-250 Rem. w/24" Heavy Barrel/Laminated Thu


    Model: SB2-8T5

    Item Condition: Factory New

    Bud's Item Number: 50092





    Price: $358.00 *




    H&R Ultra Varmint 223 24" Fluted Black Synthetic


    Price: $317.99

  13. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    At large in SE Nebraska
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 11 Times in 8 Posts

    Default

    I have always heard that 204's arent a handloaders dream - they take a lot of work to get consistent results. The rumor that I heard was the they were already too deep into developing the 204 that they had to continue and pick bullets from a short list (not a lot of 20 cal bullets available at that time) and make them work. The rumor mill also told me that about the only way to get any accuracy out of the 204's (aside from factory ammo) is to try to re-produce the factory round. Load data is scarce, bullets are few, the round is reportedly sensitive - sounds like a good reason to go with a 22-250 or 223 unless you dont mind buying ammo (it actually hurt to type that).
    What range? I shoot a 45ACP for close range (3-15ft, yes I have shot prairie dogs at 3'), 17HMR for up to 75-100yds, 22mag overlaps the 17, 22 K Hornet up to 250 yds, 223 up to 300-350yds, and a 22-250 for distances up to 500yds. By far my favorite and most used is the K Hornet - its fast (enough), super accurate, and quiet (much quieter than a 22-250).
    If you are planning on a multi-use rifle I would suggest either the 223 or the 250 - I shot a 223 for years at deer with 60gr SP bullets, and now shoot them with a 22-250 - fast, flat, and accurate. Ammo is definately much more reasonable for the 223 but the selection of mil surp bullets leaves a little to be desired - but brass is cheap and expendable. I better mention the 243 - a good all-a-round caliber and (in my opinion) about as big as anyone needs in Nebraska. We used to shoot a 243 BLR at prairie dogs, but it got old getting out of position to chamber a fresh round.
    I recently purchased a stripped AR lower to be built into a 'super' prairie dog rifle, the only thing, other than $$, holding me up is caliber. I have narrowed down the choices to a 6.5 grendal or a 6.8 rem - a little bigger than what you were looking at for caliber but the ballistics seem to be better. Just a thought of you were entertaining an AR platform
    All of my rifles are bull/heavy barrels which get heavy humping around, but when you can get into prone a hit a praire dog at 400yds they dont seem near as heavy. For what its worth, since I have purchased my K Hornet, 250, and 223 I have read in my ballistics book that SS barrels tend to be softer and will shoot out before a chrome moly barrel - I figured the odds of me ever shooting out a barrel are pretty slim, plus stainless looks so cool.

  14. #11
    Member elkstalkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Papillion
    Posts
    1,802
    Thanks
    87
    Thanked 553 Times in 245 Posts

    Default

    I dunno but I would shoot a deer at 900 yards with any of them.

    Ok, ok, just joshin. I prefer the 22-250. Fast and flat shooting and you can find ammo for it readily.

    But for prairie dogs a .223 is hard to beat to, cuz they are so cheap to shoot.

  15. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    near norfolk
    Posts
    477
    Thanks
    73
    Thanked 36 Times in 26 Posts

    Default

    For PDs get the .223. Cheap ammo easy to find. The .204 is a tack driver IMHO. I had a Savage 12vbss(i think) Heavy stainless laminated I was shooting H332 or H322 and Nosler Ballistic tips. Off bags @ 100 it was well under an inch. I sold it because most of the hunting I do is coyote, and that rifle was HEAVY! You get a bigger splat with the 250, but its alot more expensive to shoot. There are alot of good deals on the AR15s now. I think alot of people got scared and bought one when Obama got elected. You can buy a new kit gun for around 550 minus lower receiver. If you can watch a youtube video, you can put one together. The ARs are a BLAST to shoot. I have a 20" bull barrell, Stag lower with a Rock River 2 stage trigger. It will shoot around an inch at 100.
    'I'll keep my freedom, my guns and my money,
    you can keep "THE CHANGE".

  16. #13
    Member NECoyoteHunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Elkhorn, NE
    Posts
    487
    Thanks
    227
    Thanked 290 Times in 140 Posts

    Default

    The .22-250 is a great rifle for coyote hunting, but would be awful expensive to shoot for prairie dogs. If you are primarily shooting p-dogs, I would go with the .223.

    By chance, is your Dad's name Randy R.?

  17. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    376
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 112 Times in 58 Posts

    Default

    A .223 is way cheap to shoot once you start reloading. Their also good for other game as well. If you really like your .17 caliber you should take a peek at a 17 Fireball. Remington makes them in a 700 and they are very similar to a .223 but with a .17 caliber bullet. Fast and flat but would be spendy if your not realoading.

  18. #15
    Member swoab47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Utica
    Posts
    870
    Thanks
    1,581
    Thanked 1,186 Times in 398 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NECoyoteHunter View Post
    The .22-250 is a great rifle for coyote hunting, but would be awful expensive to shoot for prairie dogs. If you are primarily shooting p-dogs, I would go with the .223.

    By chance, is your Dad's name Randy R.?
    Nope.

    Thanks for all the input guys.

  19. #16
    Member NECoyoteHunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Elkhorn, NE
    Posts
    487
    Thanks
    227
    Thanked 290 Times in 140 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swoab47 View Post
    Nope.

    Thanks for all the input guys.
    OK, let me try one more. Do you know a Roy R. from Utica?

  20. #17
    Member swoab47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Utica
    Posts
    870
    Thanks
    1,581
    Thanked 1,186 Times in 398 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NECoyoteHunter View Post
    OK, let me try one more. Do you know a Roy R. from Utica?
    Nope. Just moved here a couple years ago.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •