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Old September 5, 2006, 11:04 AM   #1
arizona hunter
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Anyone reloading the .204 Ruger?

Anyone have any good recipes for their .204 ruger? Very interested in RL15 powder.

What weight and brand of bullets are you using?

So far with 27.5 gr. of W748 I've shot .6 to 1"groups with the 40 V-Max.
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Old September 5, 2006, 11:33 AM   #2
Wild Bill Bucks
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Arizona,

Type in Hodgdon Powder Co, So far they are the only site that I can find with info on .204 loads.

My pet right now is 32Gr. HDY V-Max, on top of 30.7 grains of BLC(2). Approximate Velocity is 4081 fps. ( haven't had it through a chrony)
1/2" groups at 100 yards. Probably won't experiment any further, since it is going to be primarily my pick-up gun, for the farm.
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Old September 6, 2006, 03:48 PM   #3
arizona hunter
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.204 ruger reloads

Hi Wild Bill,
I have the Hodgdon info, and even found an article from the American Rifleman from about 18 months ago. Also, today, Alliant emailed me starting and max loads that Hornady and Sierra used for RL 15 and RL 10X.

All that said, it is still nice to find a guy that has had success with a particular powder/bullet velocity.

With a 40 V-Max i tried H335 and BLC2. The H335 gave me a bout 1"-1.25" groups, and the BLC2 was about the same-but at 29.0 & 29.5 gr. the primers were all cratered! So I figured with my rifle that might not be a safe load.......

Just picked up some RL 15, and will be trying it out this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy shooting.
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Old September 6, 2006, 04:23 PM   #4
Wild Bill Bucks
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My primers show the same way with the 40 grainers, but since I went to 32 grainers, they don't seem to show any problems. Can't tell you why, they just don't. Let me know how your choices go. Shooting mine through a Thompson Center Encore.
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Old September 10, 2006, 09:59 AM   #5
rrp
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204 ruger load

I had the same type of problem with bl-c2 at the top of the chart with 32 gr. v-max I was able to see light through the primer they burned so deep. I've lowered the load to 28.5 gr of bl-c2 and have not had a problem since. Haven't run them through a croney but am getting very consistant tight groups.
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Old September 10, 2006, 10:12 AM   #6
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Here is a ton of 204 reload data.

http://www.204ruger.com/

I have tried reloading for my Encore but I am unable to get the same ballistics that the factory ammo provides with the 32 grain bullets.

When I load up the high end of the combinations on the above page I get pressure issues and I don't get the accuracy of the factory ammo.

I have settled on 29 grains of benchmark with the remington 7 1/2 primer. I tried a little over 29 grains of W748 but it was too much and not accurate from my encore barrel.

The Remington 7 1/2 primers are slightly thicker primers and they hold up better under the pressures generated. I have found softer primers crater. I have not pierced any but others have with the softer primers.

I am sticking with the 32 grain bullets because I like the 300 yard laser beam effect they give.

Anybody tried the 30 grain bergers?
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Old September 12, 2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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Just tried RL 15 this weekend with 40 V-Max's, and the worst group was 3/4" (3 shot groups).

Got a .25 with 26.5 gr., .46" with 26.8 gr., and .75" with 26.3 and 27.0 and 27.2.

I was going to get a Sims Barrel Deresonator since they now have them for bull barrels and see if that helps to make things even tighter! I think the .25" may be a fluke (I only had 3 rounds loaded so could not test another 3 rounds with that load).

Next week I'll work up some extra rounds for each and see what happens. Since all these shot real well I'll stay with this powder and bullet for coyotes and it should be fine for Sod Poodles even out to 350 yards.
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Old September 13, 2006, 08:18 AM   #8
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Ruger .204 Loads

I've tried Varget, H322, H335, and BL-C2 with Hornady 32 gr. and 40 gr. bullets. I've also used the 39 gr. Sierra bullets.

My Savage seems to like the 32 grain Hornady V-Max bullet the best. Been using Winchester brass, Federal Gold Medal 205M primer, and 27.8 grains of Hodgdon H335 for a very accurate load. Never had a problem with primers cratering.

I really enjoy shooting this caliber. Only thing I would like to see is Lee produce a case-length gauge for .204. And somebody should come up with a powder funnel to fit the tiny neck!
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Old September 13, 2006, 11:38 AM   #9
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Cobra, for a funnel I use a .17 and it does real well. With a stick powder like RL 15 though it is best to pour the powder down the wall of the funnel slowly otherwise it plugs that little hole.

I have not tried any 32 grainers, and it seems that nearly everyone says they shoot with more accuracy than 40's-I'll pick some up on my next visit to Sportsmans Warehouse.
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Old September 13, 2006, 04:01 PM   #10
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My Savage likes 40gr bullets much better than 32gr. My favorite powders are BL-C(2) and Varget, and with 40gr Berger match HP bullets it will average less than .5 MOA for 5 shot groups quite regularly. Haven't tried RL-15.

You do want to use a thick cup primer (I use CCI 450s for BL-C(2) and BR-4s for Varget) otherwise you can get pressure signs well before you hit max.


Cobra: I have a Lee case length gauge for the .204 that they custom made me a couple of years ago. The problem with it is the hole in the cutter is about the same size as the mandrel, so it has a tendency to slip between the cutter blades, causing you to trim your cases way too short. I'm pretty sure that's why Lee doesn't offer it.
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Old September 15, 2006, 01:05 PM   #11
arizona hunter
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Ifishsum, you are right about Lee and cutter for a .204. I spoke with a tech. just two weeks ago and that was the explanation he gave-but they are working on it.
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Old September 15, 2006, 01:37 PM   #12
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I fixed mine by buying an extra trimmer head and epoxying the mandrel into it at the correct position. It would seem that Lee could simply sell it to people that way, or with instructions to do so. Easy fix and still much cheaper than any other trimmer, and I really like the simplicity of the Lee system - I use it for all my cases.
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Old December 9, 2007, 06:09 PM   #13
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204 ruger

COBRA81

DO HAVE ANY LOAD DATA FOR THE 40 GR V-MAX. I PLAN ON USEING H335 AND FEDERAL 205 PRIMERS HORNADY BRASS
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:23 PM   #14
russaz1911
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40gr V-Max & H335 load for 204 ruger

I am using remington brass and CCI BR primers with 26gr of H335. My velocity is 3730 on a 40 degree day and accuracy from my Savage is amazing. My worst 15 round group was .73" and that was on a ladder test starting at 25.5gr and working up a tenth of a grain at a time for fifteen rounds. Once I got to 27 grains I was shoing some pressure signs and accuracy was falling off quite a bit. Also I want to be able to shoot the same load for varmints in 100 degree weather so I backed off to 26gr.
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Old December 10, 2007, 08:26 AM   #15
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I am getting around .5 inch five shoot groups with the 32 Gr V-Max bullet, 28.3 Gr of Varget powder, CCI BR-4 primers, in Hornady cases. The avg MV is 3907 ft/sec.from a 26 inch barrel. Its not a hot load but a few groups are under .5 of an inch.
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Old January 27, 2008, 12:51 AM   #16
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So far I have tried just about every .204 bullet under 50grs that I have been able to find. The only bullet that I have not been able to get to shoot very well is the Midway Dogtown 34gr. Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, and Berger bullets from 32-45 grs all shoot 3/4" or better at 100 yards out of my Savage. The only thing that I have done to the rifle is glass bedded the action and replaced the trigger with a Rifle Basics that is set to 9 oz.

My favorite load so far is a 40gr Berger on top of 27.2 grs of H335. I get sub inch groups at 500m (550 yds). I have settled on Remington brass that I size then trim to 1.84". If there is any of the neck that does not get trimmed at that length I discard the case. After trimming I sort the brass by weight. I have settled on 95grs +/- 0.1gr. for the brass. The rest of the brass gets used to form 300 Whisper casings. I use CCI BR-4 primers and I weigh all of my bullets. I only use the bullets that weigh 40.0 grs +/- 0.05 gr. I almost forgot to mention that I seat my bullets very far out. I can't quite hit the rifling with the 40gr Bergers but I come as close as I can.

I'm not sure why I feel compelled to try to get a better load but I am working up some RL-15 loads and will try them on the range tomorrow. I will let you know the outcome.

Last edited by russaz1911; January 27, 2008 at 12:54 AM. Reason: addition of information
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Old January 27, 2008, 01:17 AM   #17
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Accurate and Hodgdon has 204 data on thier site. So far Alliant doesn't, which suprised me a little.

Last edited by Red_Eagle; January 29, 2008 at 11:28 AM.
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Old January 28, 2008, 10:51 PM   #18
russaz1911
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RL-15 REALLY WORKS IN THESE 204s

I shot 60 rounds of 204 Ruger loaded with rl-15 yesterday. I didn't know why I wanted to find something that shot better than H335 but I wanted to try it any way. I worked these loads up at a temp of 33 degrees so be careful to start a little lower if you decide to try this load. My first test was a fifteen round ladder test at 300 meters. I started out by fouling the bore with 5 factory loads. After that I began my ladder test which consisted of 15 rounds loaded with Berger 40gr BTHPs and RL-15. The loads started at 26.0grs and went up to 27.4grs. The battery in my chronograph died before I got to the 26.5 load but the accuracy was fantastic. The 26 gr load dropped 1" below the rest of the rounds, all others fell in to a 1.9" group with several rounds touching the round before. I wouldn't be upset with that if they were all the same load. I couldn't find a point where the bullets all magically grouped for a range of powder weights like I usually do with other calibers so I just settled on 27.0 grs. I loaded up the rest of my casings with 27.0 grs and fired them for 5 round groups at 100 meters and at 300 meters. My 100 meter group was 0.262" and my 300 meter group was 0.596". The wind picked up before I could to any shooting at 500 meters so I finished up the 204 ammunition shooting ping pong balls from 100-300 meters, then went to shooting clay pigeons out to 500 meters. I had more hits than misses so I am happy. I hope that this load data helps some of you out there and I will try to get some velocities for you soon.
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Old March 7, 2008, 04:04 PM   #19
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I've tried quite a bit of different loads for the .204. I shoot a remington 700 varmint special. I but a new trigger in it set to around three ponnds, that helped alot. Try the sierra blitzking 39gr. with 25gr. of R-10x, winchester brass or better and some guys do mag primers. I'm not so sure its necessary, i've shot both with great results. 100yrs. .33" groups
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Old March 8, 2008, 09:37 AM   #20
Kato_Guy
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I use benchmark for the 32gr sierra bullets with wsr and h4895for the 39gr sierras with rem 7 1/2. The vmaxes have not shot worth a crap in my gun. I am going to try the 35gr bergers today I am using benchmark for them.

if you want more info on the 204 check out 204ruger.com. they have a LOT of info over there and a page with every load you can dream up. another page with everyone's favorite loads so you can see what people like.

kyle
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Old May 30, 2008, 08:47 PM   #21
track
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.204 loads Reloader 15

I talked to tech rep at Alliant for loads for reloader 15 with Horn 40gr vmax and was given 25 to 27.3

Also Horn vmax 32 gr given 25.6 to 29.3

I have a little Handi and shot 3/4" with 26.5 gr of Rel 15 and the 40 vmax. Not great but best so far....

I picked up some 34 gr Midway dogtowns cheap at a gun show just to try, need a load, anyone??

Having hard time finding (inexpensive) brass for 204, any ideas.
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Old May 30, 2008, 10:29 PM   #22
cobra81
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Ain't NO brass cheap lately. Best deal I've found on new .204 brass is Midway; they had 100 for $19.97 (Winchester.) Got Gander Mountain to match it; so I saved shipping.
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Old May 31, 2008, 10:42 PM   #23
track
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204 brass

cobra

I live in Mo so can p/u @ Midway and save shipping, but was looking for once fired. Nothing at the small to medium gun shows here either. Price is getting close to using store bought ammo for the brass....
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:16 PM   #24
mesillajim
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204 Ruger handload

Arizona Hunter asked about .204 Ruger handloads. The following is the best that I have found in my rifle to date:
32 grain Sierra BlitzKing
27.5 H 335
2.326" cartridge overall length (OAL)
I did not have my chrono with me, therefore no velocity. The rifle is a CZ 527, scope is a Nikon Monarch 5-20X, Harris BR bipod. Shots fired from concrete benchrest at 100 yards.
Five shots: .472"
Four of the five shots: .198"
I have not had the riflle for long (two months) and have been busy working with some others so that my testing has not been extensive. I intend to remedy that in the next few weeks, although I don't think it is reasonable to expect a much better result.
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Old February 21, 2009, 04:41 PM   #25
troy_mclure
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can you use small magnum rifle primers in place of standard small rifle primers for the .204?
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