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Old July 18, 2018, 10:51 PM   #1
BobbyJ
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Question on reloading 204

I don't reload but curious if anyone here reloads .204 ruger.

I can get good ammo for around $23.00 box of 50.

Wondering how long it would take, start to finish including prep, cleanup etc to make 50 rounds of .204 ammo.
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Old July 19, 2018, 04:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyJ View Post
I don't reload but curious if anyone here reloads .204 ruger.

I can get good ammo for around $23.00 box of 50.

Wondering how long it would take, start to finish including prep, cleanup etc to make 50 rounds of .204 ammo.
It would load like any other rifle round. Depends on your tools when it comes to speed.

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Old July 19, 2018, 05:01 AM   #3
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Closest caliber I reload would be 223. If I am loading a standard plinking recipe for my daughter and I go from deprime to pressing in the bullet, 50 rds rds would take about 3 hrs. With brass cleaning and prep taking the monsters share
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Old July 19, 2018, 06:39 AM   #4
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I loaded for the .204 for several years and had good luck with TAC powder which is a ball powder that meters wonderfully from a powder throw so it can be loaded pretty quickly. As far as time vs money that is something only you can decide. Are we talking 50 rounds for a plinking session or 1000 for a p dog hunt.
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Old July 19, 2018, 07:18 AM   #5
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Also factor in that you can pick the components that suit yours needs best AND will glean the most accuracy.
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Old July 19, 2018, 07:26 AM   #6
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Been loading for the 204 for awhile. Use it ea year for PDs. 32 gr vmax and h335 give me what I want/need
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Old July 19, 2018, 10:10 AM   #7
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To actually answer the OP's question, about 2-hours if FL resizing and case trimming is needed. If not, and the powder measure is already set, about 1.5 hours.
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Old July 19, 2018, 12:21 PM   #8
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Yes thanks for the replies.

So 2-3 hours if you are fast and know what you are doing. I'm guessing that means 6 hours for me

Right now I am pretty happy with accuracy of factory and prices are decent.

It seems like everyone on forums is a reloader. Some might even scoff at the notion of using factory ammo.

I'm just looking at it as a possibility but want to know exactly what I would be getting into. I woudl want to do it right and not get junky equipment which means probably 2k start up. I probably do not shoot enough to make it worth while.

I don't live near a PD state, only ground hogs, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes.
Would love to be able to shoot 300 rounds a day at PDs.
I go to the range or a buddies to shoot maybe 1x a week.

Also would like to hear from people that got into reloading and wish they did not. Like they end up with a bunch of dusty equipment they used once then went back to off the shelf. I know lots of people that bought treadmills and they end up collecting dust.
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Old July 19, 2018, 12:55 PM   #9
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If your not sure I recommend finding a friend who reloafs if possible and have them walk you through it. You will either get bitten by the bug or shrug it off as meh. I got bit hard and it is a integeral part or my shooting routine for the week.
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Old July 19, 2018, 02:33 PM   #10
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Actually you get a a rock chucker (press) kit for about $400. Comes with most everything you need. And not junky.
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Old July 19, 2018, 03:03 PM   #11
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While 2K is a pretty high number for basic equipment no one really reloads to save money. Someone here accused some of us for shooting in order to be able to reload. I love the challange of the process to make my ammo as perfect as possible for accuracy.

You can pick up a Lee Turret kit for 225 bucks or so which has most of the basics you would need. I would up grade the scale with a cheap electronic so lets raise that to $300. A set of Lee dies is another $35. You can clean cases just fine with soap and water in a bucket and trimming does not have to be done every firing. When you do need to trim there are $20 trimmers. A cheap electronic caliper is $15 at Harbor freight. $400 for basic usable equipment. If you want to dry tumble for cleaning add another hundred

A pound of powder is 7000 grains and using 25 grains per load for a .204 that works out to 280 loads per pound. So for 500 rounds components would cost 2 lbs of powder for $70, 5 sleeves of rifle primers $25 and 500 Sierra Blitz king bullets for $120. 50 Hornady Brass $25. Figure about $225. That can probably vary 25 dollars either way depending on what your load prices are or if you have to order.

You will start slow but after a few sessions you crank out 100 rounds of .223 plinking ammo on a turret at probably 100 rounds a hour. That is just neck sizing and and not counting the time to clean the cases and if you put some effort into that .204 will be shooting 1/4 inch groups at 100 with ammo you put together and that is what reloading is all about for me
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Old July 19, 2018, 03:16 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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I load .204Ruger using a Lee Classic turret press and dispense the powder with an RCBS Chargemaster 1500.

I can load a round per minute, easily, once the prep work is done. Trimming is rarely needed. Cleaning takes a matter of 2-3 minutes because all I do is dump the cases in the tumbler, add a little polish and walk away. When it's done, just dump out the media.

I use a Franklin Arsenal case prep machine. Probably spend 1 minute on each case, cleaning the primer pocket, trimming an deburring.

Clean up takes maybe 10 minutes.

I don't know where you get "good" ammo for $23/50. The cheapest of decent ammo is usually about $1/round.

Loading your own will cost about 15-20 cents for the bullet, 3-5 cents for the primer and anywhere from 7-12 cents for the powder, give or take. Properly handled, cases will last AT LEAST 10 shots and can go upwards of 30. Actually, I've not lost a single case to shooting related failure yet, though I'm no high volume shooter and I use Norma cases.

You can certainly be up and loading for ~$500. I have far more than the basic equipment, including a $350 scale and I've not spent over $1,000.
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Old July 19, 2018, 04:04 PM   #13
BobbyJ
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If I had to pay 1.00 a round I might have more incentive.
I look for sales from midway etc on the net. When they have one I'll buy 500 rounds. Last one I think was fioucchi ammo 32 and 40 gr shoots 1/2 moa can't complain. I don't usually walk into a store and pay retail for ammo then yes it could be $1.00 a shot.
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Old July 19, 2018, 04:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hounddawg
While 2K is a pretty high number for basic equipment no one really reloads to save money. Someone here accused some of us for shooting in order to be able to reload. I love the challange of the process to make my ammo as perfect as possible for accuracy.
Speak for yourself. I very much reload to save money. That's my only reason for reloading. If my reloads are generally equal to average factory ammo in accuracy, I'm happy. I'm not a bullseye competitor.

And there's no way I would (or could) ever invest two thousand dollars in a reloading setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hounddawg
You can pick up a Lee Turret kit for 225 bucks or so which has most of the basics you would need. I would up grade the scale with a cheap electronic so lets raise that to $300. A set of Lee dies is another $35. You can clean cases just fine with soap and water in a bucket and trimming does not have to be done every firing. When you do need to trim there are $20 trimmers. A cheap electronic caliper is $15 at Harbor freight. $400 for basic usable equipment. If you want to dry tumble for cleaning add another hundred
I agree on the Lee Turret kit, except that I think it can be bought for well under $200 (unless prices have gone up a lot). That's what I use, and I've done many thousands of rounds with it.
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Old July 19, 2018, 04:16 PM   #15
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well if you can get Fiocchi to shoot consistent 5 shot groups at .5 the you don't need to reload unless you just want a new hobby. You certainly will not save any money
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Old July 19, 2018, 06:26 PM   #16
BobbyJ
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Many thanks to all the excellent answers.

Oh forgot to ask how dangerous reloading is. Is it easy to overload one?

I ask because my brother in law bought ammo from a guy that reloaded and one load blew up his glock.

And like a year ago a guy at the range had his gun blow up and was taken out by ambulance. I assume he might have reloaded and maybe put in too much powder.
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Old July 19, 2018, 06:55 PM   #17
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Reloading is as safe as the reloader
If you can follow directions to the letter, and divote your full attention it is very safe. Pistol charges which are smaller with less case fill, are easier to double charge without noticing. Not as likely with rifle cases.
Reloading does free you being a slave to store bought,remember the last 8years. If you only buy, you can only shoot what you have.
Save your brass anyways,

Last edited by xandi; July 19, 2018 at 07:02 PM.
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Old July 19, 2018, 06:55 PM   #18
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You put gasoline in your car?When done wisely and safely its not any more dangerous than that.
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Old July 19, 2018, 07:51 PM   #19
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My only rule about shooting ammo hand loaded by anyone but me: Don't do that! Ever.
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Old July 19, 2018, 08:32 PM   #20
Brian Pfleuger
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Reloading is a potentially dangerous activity.

Done correctly, by a reloader that understands what they’re doing and follows basic safety precautions, it’s no worse than any number of other activities. Get cocky, take short cuts, don’t pay attention, you can blow your gun up and kill yourself.

I don’t recommend it to anyone who’s not safety conscious and procedurally oriented.
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Old July 19, 2018, 09:24 PM   #21
BobbyJ
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Yes I am sure most of you are safe.

I just asked because I've never seen a car blow up at a gas station but have seen three guns blow up. Just made me wonder if its easy to make mistakes.

Like is it possible you used 30gr of a powder but the stuff you bought is actually 2x more potent than you thought.
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Old July 20, 2018, 12:18 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Most folks that have accidents are cocky fools who think they know more than they do. They don't think starting loads are necessary or they exceed max loads because they think the manuals are "lawyered up", or any number of other foolish things.

Occasionally, "real" accidents happen due to equipment malfunction or the attention lapse that we're all susceptible to at some point or another.

Most careful reloaders never have an accident, sort of like most careful folks have never blown up their lawn mower while putting gas in it.

There are many things to pay attention to. Some powders have nearly identical names, but they're not the same. Some powders look nearly identical but they're not even close. In some cartridges, with some powders, you could be off by 5 grains and not hurt anything. Other cartridges with other powders, a grain too much might blow it to bits.

The best advice I can give you is to get "The ABC's of Reloading" and a good load manual., like the Lyman 50th Edition, and read them. Get your questions answered here. Get your equipment set up and then get more questions answered. Slow and steady is safe.
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Old July 20, 2018, 10:55 AM   #23
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For some reason the .204 has stayed a pretty niche market, and for some reason it's kept the price up there on these rifles. Pretty much only the serious varminters seem to get into it. I would advise you to look into the .22-250 as well if that's what you were considering. They have almost identical ballistics, and nearly identical barrel wear, but you would have a LOT more choices of rifles in the price range you're looking at, if you go with .22-250. I personally like the heavier bullet for the wind anyway, although the .22-250 is a little bit louder, and gets the barrel hotter a tad bit quicker. Anyway, that's one option to consider.

The only other option that I know of, that is the caliber you're talking about in the price range you want is the Thompson Contender rifles chambered in .204. They're very handy little rifles, although lots of people who haven't shot them dislike them. Most people that have shot them really enjoy them, and they're dang accurate. I've only shot a TC G2 out to 300 yards, but it was dead nuts on the entire time. Either way, I think that's gonna be about your only other option for the price range you want.
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Old July 20, 2018, 01:23 PM   #24
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Craddleshooter,

I did quite a bit of research on .204 vs 22-250. The .204 won out.

- does not jump as much (can see the hits easily in scope at high power)
- less powder
- better ballistics
- better barrel life (does not get as hot)
- It was from people that have shot 1000s of P Dogs that owned both.

They are both nice calibers and the 22-250 is more popular, been around longer. But the Ruger .204 is pretty cool. And I could not pass up on the deal for the Thompson. Brand new gun, 4-12x scope, case, extra rail, 50 box of new ammo for $370.00 only 10 shots down the barrel. (they guy is moving and dumping all his stuff) The same gun with all the stuff would have cost me 1k plus filling out FFA and sales tax.

It came with 1/10 twist (normally 1/12), the 1/12s don't stabilize the 40gr well so most have to shoot 39gr. 1/10 will do 40s and the new 45gr SP.

The good news is I can do any caliber I want. I got a steal on a .204 Thompson Dimension at first I thought it was gimmicky but its built well and shoots great. Last time I bought a gun I was delayed like 5 days for reasons unknown. Cost me 100 miles of extra driving. Sort of soured me from wanting to buy more.

With this Thomson I can order new barrels on the net delivered directly to me, no more FFL forms, no more wait times etc.

So I can do 223, 22-250, 243, 30-06, 6.5 creedmoor etc.

Right now I am very very happy with the .204s performance. If I want more i can go to 22-250 or 243 for more knock down.

I'm topping it off with a 250 Bushmaster for deer. Its down to the new Savage Wolverine (nice synthetic stock) vs the Wood Ruger.

https://ruger.com/products/scoutRifl...eets/6837.html
https://www.savagearms.com/search?query=wolverine

I looked at the cheaper savages but the stocks were paper thin, very light gun but almost toy like. I'm a sucker for wood stocks but that Wolverine was much better than expected when holding it. very nice and solid with V block and side action bedding that holds the action from bottom and sides.
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Old July 20, 2018, 01:39 PM   #25
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Oh forgot to ask how dangerous reloading is. Is it easy to overload one?
There is a certain danger to reloading, just like working on your car. If you understand how to determine a method, mature your process and build in fail safe checks, you will be good. Study manuals. Almost nothing published is unsafe. Write down your steps, write down your data, check off your steps and data. Tie your ammo to your notes by date or lot number. Determine your most important variables and record at regular intervals like 1:25 rounds. Take notes on your results.

Once you develop a good load, quit tinkering. Make ammo to shoot. The more changes you make, the more you have to manage.
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