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Thread: Ruger .204 for deer?

  1. #26
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    could be wrong but I thought that on some of the durry vids marks daughter was shooting a 204 ruger.



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  2. #27
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    To the OP, you're right.......the shooter can determine what the rifle/cartridge is used for.

    The problem is the deer don't read the forum, don't know who you are, and sure as heck don't sit still for the entire shot process.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Protecsafari View Post
    Watch it with that confidence thing, egos fall hard in the woods (and when you least expect it).

    With the .243 available, with bullets designed for medium game, I think the
    .204 to be a bit of a foolish choice, at least in recommending it on a public forum.

    Under known conditions, in special circumstances, it might be fine.

    I think it better to use something that offers a bit of insurance.

    I shoot very well, have shot a lot, all my life, and I wouldn't use a .204.
    There's enough risk with the variables of hunting, I don't need to add to it.
    advice noted...........it might not be for everyone but has worked for me with great results.theres risk everytime you pull the trigger no matter what the caliber.
    i would rather shoot a small caliber tackdriver than a 2 or 3 moa medium to large caliber.
    to each his own!!
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  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by timmer View Post
    I shot my deer at 424yds.40grain vmax left a hole the size of a baseball.My daughter shot hers at 30yds left a hole size of a carbon arrow inhis neck.Both deer dorp in there tracks..............savage model11 Go MU TIGERS 14 to 0 half time
    umm either your drunk or a liar. a 204 aint doing jack to a deer a 424 yards let alone blow a whole the size of a softball in the exit side.
    '10 pse xforce axe 6, 28.5" spot hog hunter, qad drop away,octane quiver Maxima 250s 375gr TGB tail lights grim reapers @ 291fps.

  5. #30
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    In Wisconsin the minimum bullet size is .22 centerfire. That doesnt mean that I'm gonna go buy a .223 or a .22 hornet. For whitetail I shoot a .243 with a 100 grain bullet. I can place three shots in the hole the size of a dime at 100 yards, but that doesnt mean that I'm gonna take impossible shots that I know I shouldnt be taking. All my shots are in the vitals or no shot is gonna be taken. In my opinion the .204 is WAY too small of a round for whitetail considering the round doesnt even carry 1000 ft lb of energy at 100 yards. It should only be used on varmints like intended.
    Last edited by Cariss; November 25th, 2007 at 11:08 PM.
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  6. #31
    Wow a lot of replys, and on a sad note, cant even take the .270 out tomorrow for the Pa season opener, my daughter was admited in the hospital with a viral infection, possible ecoli so I am not going to make it out.

    For those flaming me, I did not ask if this was an ideal caliber, just if it was an option. We all use different calibers and I handload and can say that if you look at balistics hard to beat a .270, but I dont blast those that shoot a smaller caliber, if your dropping deer, keep shooting it.

    I am sure that some hunters will kill more deer with a .204 than others will with 7mm mag because they are more careful about shot placement.

    Remember when mechanicals were "unethical" or even the compound bow?

    I am just saying this is an awsome new caliber, maybe not this one but I believe they will make a small caliber that will be a deadly deer gun.

    I can not shoot a large caliber with the accuracy I can a small one. Probably the reason is recoil anticipation but I can cover the group with the .204 with a dime, and the .270 is more like a silver dollar.

    So is the .223, and 22/250 an unethical caliber?

    Once again, not saying anyone is wrong, and I did not say I am going to go out big game hunting with my .204, just wondering if its an option.

    It is LEGAL in many states, and obviously has taken several deer. Also with the non balistic tip 45 gr load, is this now a heart/lung option at under 200 yards. Not arguing, I really dont know.

  7. #32
    I will say if I have a tree to use as a rest, and have a deer under 75 yards a way, which is the normal in the areas I hunt. I will take a head shot if the deer is looking away or relaxed and bedded.

    What I wont do is take a shoulder shot, or hind quarter shot with only 2 tags available, I wont blow half the meat away to bag a deer. I worked for a deer processor last year and trust me, when the skin that deer that has a shoulder blown away, you loose that shoulder and many times half the opposite one.

  8. #33
    I started hunting with a .223. my first deer I dropped in it tracks with a shot between the eyes. Then I tried a broadside lung shot....bad idea. Deer got back up and ran off to someone else who shot it. So I tried a head shot at about 60 yds on a doe. I had two bullets actually deflect off her skull and just give her a hair cut, finally put one right in the ear. Got rid of the .223(it was a borrowed tackdriving AR-15) and got a real deer rifle.

    If you don't want to destroy meat then don't shoot them in the shoulder? If you shoot 70yds or less surely you could get a double lunger and stay off the shoulder? Get a .243 it gets the job done and doesn't hemmorage a 4ft area. But a 7mag placed right won't ruin meat either.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaydogg View Post
    I started hunting with a .223. my first deer I dropped in it tracks with a shot between the eyes. Then I tried a broadside lung shot....bad idea. Deer got back up and ran off to someone else who shot it. So I tried a head shot at about 60 yds on a doe. I had two bullets actually deflect off her skull and just give her a hair cut, finally put one right in the ear. Got rid of the .223(it was a borrowed tackdriving AR-15) and got a real deer rifle.

    If you don't want to destroy meat then don't shoot them in the shoulder? If you shoot 70yds or less surely you could get a double lunger and stay off the shoulder? Get a .243 it gets the job done and doesn't hemmorage a 4ft area. But a 7mag placed right won't ruin meat either.
    Great advice and thanks for sharing your experience, enough to let me know to save the .204 for other varmits.

    Its funny, when your young you want to shoot 80 lbs, and a 300 Win Mag, as you get older that 72 lb bow is plenty, just get them close and double lung em. And you start looking for a rifle that will be your "Good for everything"

    I got the .204 because I wanted a gun that I could watch the impact through the scope, would love a gun that you could do this on deer, doesnt look like its here yet.

  10. #35
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    For not ruining the meat I go for neck shots myself. I have been hunting mostly right along a big river with some thick stuff on both sides so I don't want them moving if I can avoid it. It won't matter how heavy a gun you use if everything goes right, but for me I don't want anything less than a .30-06. To me hunting with a light caliber is like dating a girl that's just barely not too ugly.
    Last edited by Yellowfin; November 26th, 2007 at 12:52 PM.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennykyser View Post
    I got the .204 because I wanted a gun that I could watch the impact through the scope, would love a gun that you could do this on deer, doesnt look like its here yet.
    My buddy swears he sees the impact through the scope with his 257 Roberts. I would think the reduced recoil 30-30 shells (I know, who would think you need reduced 30-30?) would probably do the same with the right gun. Both would be better at 100 yards, IMHO.

  12. #37
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    1 check legal size some areas its .22 caliber and larger centerfire,

    some its centerfire only.

    Anyway. If its legal it is afterall your choice. I am not certain entirely as to what bullet choices are available in the .204

    Really you need to choose bullets that perform on the intended game, not just blowing up on the surface like a varmint bullet. Instead you really want something that can stay together a bit more. If not I wouldn't consider it. Just like I wouldn't use a .223 and a V-Max load on a deer I wouldn't use the same load out of a .204.

    But if it was close enough to have good KE, and a bullet that would cling together a bit better... then I could be in.

  13. #38
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    I grew up shooting a 243 on deer. I feel that it is the perfect round for whitetails. I have a 270 that I have killed five deer with and I feel like that for whitetails it should have wheels. It is hard to get used to the quarter entry and larger than fifty cent piece exit holes on a broadside shot. With each caliber and the same shot placement the deer ran about the same distance. I would have no problem using it if you can have good shot placement and use a partitioned bullet. Wind can effect the smaller bullet though.

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by ASeriousHunter View Post
    I grew up shooting a 243 on deer. I feel that it is the perfect round for whitetails. I have a 270 that I have killed five deer with and I feel like that for whitetails it should have wheels. It is hard to get used to the quarter entry and larger than fifty cent piece exit holes on a broadside shot. With each caliber and the same shot placement the deer ran about the same distance. I would have no problem using it if you can have good shot placement and use a partitioned bullet. Wind can effect the smaller bullet though.
    Although you may have had a good experience with a .243 on deer, I certainly haven't. the two deer I have shot with the .243 were broadside, at rougly 150 yds. One deer I that was shot in the lungs, just a little high, I had to track for nearly 500 yards with little blood. The other I shot in August (with an Ag. Tag) and we couldn't find it, no blood at all. We later found the deer nearly 600 yds. from where I shot in September. I know I made a good shot on that deer too. I was using a 95gr. Nosler ballistic tip in both cases. I sold that gun and bought a .25-06 and never looked back!
    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - JFK

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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boonie_Hunter View Post
    Although you may have had a good experience with a .243 on deer, I certainly haven't. the two deer I have shot with the .243 were broadside, at rougly 150 yds. One deer I that was shot in the lungs, just a little high, I had to track for nearly 500 yards with little blood. The other I shot in August (with an Ag. Tag) and we couldn't find it, no blood at all. We later found the deer nearly 600 yds. from where I shot in September. I know I made a good shot on that deer too. I was using a 95gr. Nosler ballistic tip in both cases. I sold that gun and bought a .25-06 and never looked back!
    I shoot a .243 with 100gr sierra game kings and have never had a deer go over 20 yards after a shot. Most drop right in their tracks. I am not a fan of the ballistic tips for hunting. I used to use them with my .270 and had the same results you did. To me it was almost like shooting a FMJ for hunting and just getting a clean pass through with no expansion.
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  16. #41
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    When i would hunt places that didn't require a hike to get into i would hunt with my savage 22-250 and if it was not so heavy i would have taken it everywhere. i shot one doe with it right through the heart and lungs with expansion, even with winchester supreme silver tip 55gr. the smaller calibers really make you think of where your shot placement is. i see guys all the time butchering deer because they do not wait for a decent shot, they see the deer and they shoot.

  17. #42
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    What is the legal minimum caliber in your area?

    Also, people aren't flaming you, just responding to your post. In general, I think head shots are a bad idea. Too good of a chance that you'll shoot the jaw and the deer will die a miserable death.

    Nathan

  18. #43
    I will throw in my 2 cents here.....I have shot the .204 and have seen what it can do to small feral dogs, and cats but I would never shoot a deer with one.

    As far as shooting a deer in the head, I have personally seen a deer that was shot in the eye with a 7mm mag, the eye socket was completely detroyed and the deer was knocked out momentarily but after a few minutes got up and was staggering away. There is no way the shot would have killed the deer it just took his eye. Maybe this doesn't happen very often....but occasionally it does...

  19. #44
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    i would rather shoot a small caliber tackdriver than a 2 or 3 moa medium to large caliber.
    Than get a more accurate medium caliber. The first 100 yard group out my son's (11) brand new Ruger 77 stainless .270 was .675" laying prone using a sandbag rest. He shot several more 3 shot groups that day and never exceeded 1". My daughter's .243 shot right around an inch all day. My 30-06 will always be right around an inch.

    Now, add a slight 10 mph wind at 200 yards and notice the grouping size of a .270 vs. a .204. A 1/2moa .204 is going to be all over the place and the 1m.o.a. .270 is going to shoot a smaller group.

    IMHO the best medium range, lightweight, deer rifle is the 7mm-08

  20. #45
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    Aserious,

    If you're blowing too big a hole with your 270 then shoot a heavier and/or more stoutly constructed bullet.

    The longer and heavier bullet should have a higher BC, so the little bit of extra recoil might be worth it.

    Actually, ballistically, there is something magical with the 7mm/.280 bullets, especially at 175gr. That was what the 7mm Rem Mag was designed around, the higher BC of the 175gr and its performance geared for elk hunting.
    ..................


    I do think it to be funny, all of this talk about precision shot placement being determined by bench fired groups, were 2" is bad but 1" is magic. That's 6" vs 3" at 300 yards. Whoopeefriggin'dooo.

    If you shoot deer the size of prarie dogs well than maybe you have other issues to consider.

    Yeah, the human body was built for stability, and in the field, under stress, it's like a rock. 300 yards you're gonna have no problem when that B&C buck shows up, after trying for him for 2 years, and now ya gotta shoot standing up, braced on a sapling. Uh hunh, was your summer bench made of maple too?

    There's nothing wrong with a 2" gun from the bench, if it's reliable, and that
    2" group maintains its center.

    A 1" grouping gun that shoots 1" right and then 1" left from point of aim another day, is still a 1" grouping gun

    Small grouping guns give the hunter confidence and that is a good thing, but thinking you can shoot that good in the field, when in the context of this thread, people are so wussy as to go from a .243 to a .204............it IMHO is just friggin' insane.

    I know of a few varmint hunters, older dudes, who cried like babies when they shot a few other big game rifles.

    Once they started shooting them, those that fit properly, and then shot them correctly, they got used to them, .300 win mags thought to be Howitzers by the hvy bbl .222 clan were later considered "no big deal".

    And one dude has some degeneration in his spine, plus arthritis, he's pretty wussy, and he was the one who shot the most from the bench, learned his rig, how to use it, and was the first one to say it aint all that (after initially being completely spooked by the .300).

    IMHO recoil is mostly a subjective thing based on prior experience.

    Bad stock design can make things worse, but if the gun fits halfway decent then it's just an issue of getting used to it.

    That takes some time and some shooting, which means a bit of $$$$$ and most people are too cheap and lazy to learn to shoot a real rifle.

    .243 drop to a .204???

    Gimme a friggin' break.

    *soap box mode off*

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmer View Post
    I shot my deer at 424yds.40grain vmax left a hole the size of a baseball.My daughter shot hers at 30yds left a hole size of a carbon arrow inhis neck.Both deer dorp in there tracks..............savage model11 Go MU TIGERS 14 to 0 half time
    I shot a Remington 700 in .204 last season shooting coyotes, and it was hard to anchor a coyote past 400 yards let alone drop a deer in it's tracks. Anything over 500 is wasting lead... Under 300 the .204 maybe a varminters dream gun with very little damage done to the fur. I shot 20 or 25 coyotes with mine and NEVER had a baseball sized hole in any of them.. It takes very little wind to throw the little bullets off..

    Stick with the .270. The .204 can kill a deer but I think you'll lose alot more than you take home..

  22. #47
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    Im going on a buffalo hunt and Im planning on useing my Crossman 1377. shots will be around 2000-2500 yards ( dont worry Im a good shot, Even better after 3 cans of beer) Will 5 pumps be enough or should I go for the full 10.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfman88 View Post
    Im going on a buffalo hunt and Im planning on useing my Crossman 1377. shots will be around 2000-2500 yards ( dont worry Im a good shot, Even better after 3 cans of beer) Will 5 pumps be enough or should I go for the full 10.

    I would go with 8!! Ha Ha

  24. #49
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    I don't understand why a doe disserves a lesser caliber that a 200" world class buck.....Why would you take chances? I shoot big bullets just like I shoot alumminum arrows with heavy broadheads; Shock and kenitic energy is where it's at....I've never had an arrow not pass through or a deer drop with a heavy bullet. As far as a "head shot", that has low percentage written all over it.....It workes for snipers as a moral adjuster for the enemy but for hunting it's not a good kill shot.
    Archery is JUST elevation and windage

    Don't run, you'll only die tired---U.S. Army Sniper
    SCOUTS OUT.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfman88 View Post
    Im going on a buffalo hunt and Im planning on useing my Crossman 1377. shots will be around 2000-2500 yards ( dont worry Im a good shot, Even better after 3 cans of beer) Will 5 pumps be enough or should I go for the full 10.
    7 to 8. 5 pumps would be unethical on something with thick hide like the buffalo. With 10 you have to start worrying about overpenetration. The Fish and Game folks might get a little upset if you accidentally dropped a second one.

    At that distance, I'm sure you know you really have to know your bullet drop and watch the wind.

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