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Old April 8, 2011, 09:09 PM   #1
Colorado Redneck
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Join Date: January 6, 2008
Location: Northeast Colorado
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Berger Bullets in 204 Ruger

Last fall, the CEO let me get a Remington SPS 204 Ruger. Shot 40-50 rounds to break it in, doing the shoot and clean routine. Today it went to the range for it's first serious load testing. It now has a Timney Trigger, and this winter a bunch of different loads were prepared to try and find the magical prairie dog eviscerator.

The first loads were factory loads from Hornady, 32 gr. Group of 3 was 3/4 inch and low and to the left. Adjust scope. Next two rounds were perfect, 1 inch over the bullseye, and nearly touching. Ah yes, I thought. This gun is going to be a shooter. The next round was about 4 inches away, high and to the left. Darn! Tried again. 3 inches high and right. What????

Clean the barrel. Try first set of reloads, 32 gr. Hornadys with Benchmark. All over the place. Good lord! Is the scope rotten? Next set of reloads, Nosler 32 gr with Varget. All over the place. And so on.

Well, I was about ready to take the outfit and trade it off. There were some Berger loads I made with Benchmark and some with Varget, so I cleaned up the gun and tried those. Holy Mackeral! Out of 8 different combinations there was not a single group larger than 1.1 inches. And all of the loads with Benchmark were about 1/2" to 3/4" . Tried the factory rounds again just to see, and the same thing as before, scattered.

Somewhere I had read online a post saying that Berger 35 gr's were the only bullet that had worked for that guy's gun. Thanks to whoever posted that info! It pays to try several different combinations for a new gun.
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:17 AM   #2
homesick
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Hey Redneck I had a VRT 204, (notice I Had) it did the same thing, would not shoot a load consistant. I never tried Bergers but did use Sierrias, Horn, and Noslers. The 32 gr was the best by far, I have shotguns that pattern better then the 40 gr would group. Also tried H335,BLC2, as well as Bench Make. Primers Fed match, CCI standard and Remington Match.
I also had 3 different scopes on it from Leo, to Sightron. 4x16 to 6.5x20.
I have 5 shot groups that are clusters and the same load, same every thing that are 1.2"
I now have a Pro hunter 204 and it's doing the same thing but not for long cuz I'am gona trade it off. Yup for another 204 think I'll move you to a Savage 25 or something like that. The 204 is a blast to shoot, and I have 300 rds brass, mega bullets, and bunch of sub 22 cal stuff laying around here.
I have weighed cases, spun bullets, seated bullets to factory specks, seated bullets 1/1000 off lands, double checked powder charges. I have neck sized as well as full lenght sized. I have done every thing I know how to make these things shoot consistant to no avail.
I even had another guy shoot them so I knew it wasn't the Indian but in fact was the the arrow.
So the experts know I'am not a rookie at this handloading I have several rifles all of which shoot.
204 ????? Pro Hunter
223 1/2" MOA SPS varminter
22-250 1/2" MOA Pro hunter
243 1" MOA fwt model 70 Post 64 ( wifes deer rifle)
7MM-08 3/4" MOA model 7
25-06 3/4 MOA Pro Hunter
270 1" MOA model 70 fwt Post 64 (sons deer rifle)
7MM Mag 3/4"MOA 700 SPS
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Old April 9, 2011, 11:38 AM   #3
Colorado Redneck
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Seems like "luck of the draw" sometimes

Homesick--Thanks for the comments. The one about "the Indian" was on my mind yesterday when the holes were showing up in strange locations on the target. I wanted to check my 22-250 since it now wears a new stock, and a 3 round group from that gun (with more noise and recoil) was sub 1/2" so I was pretty sure it wasn't the Indian. But that thought was there. When the Bergers started hitting in essentially the same hole, that thought vanished. Whew!

A guy I work with has 204 Ruger, and he likes it a lot, says it shoots better than his 22-250, and has only shot factory stuff. Just a different gun, I guess. Anyway, having found something that looks promising for this Remmie makes the outlook better. The next step is to load 25 rounds in the best two loads so far with Berger bullets, and go back to the range and verify what happened yesterday, and then shoot several at 250 yards to see how things work farther out. Hopefully, there will be one that can be used the way I want. When there are lots of prairie pups around, stopping to swab the barrel every 10 rounds don't cut it.

A few years back I bought a new 22 hornet single shot. Broke it in right. That gun never really did shoot well, and I tried many different loads and powders and bullets and primers. Finally traded it for an old used CZ 22 hornet that shoots great for that caliber. Some guns just don't work right for some shooters.
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Old April 9, 2011, 04:03 PM   #4
homesick
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How do you like your CZ I have never shot one. I had a 17 Rem ina 700 BDL when they first came out it took 3 to get one that liked me. The 17 needed the bore cleaned every 20-25 rds. good for fox and yotes but not P dogs.
I'am not sure about the 204 as it hasn't been consistant with any loads.
I found Benchmake was the best powder,
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Old April 9, 2011, 10:14 PM   #5
Colorado Redneck
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That CZ is a great little gun. The 22 hornet has a bit of a reputation as poor in the accuracy department. For whatever reason US manufactured guns evidently don't measure up to European standards. Has something to do with the SAAMI specs or something. Anyway, that CZ is sub-MOA for a couple of different loads. The little Barnes VG seems to be the most consistent.

I pulled the bolt apart and couldn't figure out how to reassemble the thing. called CZ and they helped me out over the phone. It was great. I really like the gun. Will probably buy more CZ guns in the future.
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