.204 vs .223

Hi

Im looking for advice on the .204 ruger and your experience with it against the .223.

Im leaning toward the 204 because ive read it has less recoil and seemly you get to see your shot placement, and its suppose to be alot more accurate than the 223 and quiter than the 223 when both are fitted with a mod. Im finding it hard to come across a nice second hand one here in Ireland. I was after a cz 527 with the varmint barrel but i may have to order a new as they dont seem to be around. But my other concern is if i dont like the 204 i wont get much of a return on it as its not a very popular round towards the 223. So im thinking if the 204 is all this and that why is the .223 more popular??

Is the 32 grain bullet just to light for foxes at long ranges?? is that why people go 223??


I just dont know which to go for....so i would really appreciate to hear peoples opinions and More so their experiences with the Above Calibres.

Thanks in Advance


Night Bandit
 

247sniper

Well-Known Member
OMG what have you started! :lol::popcorn:

Ok, here is my thoughts, I feel I can comment on these question as I have both a .204 Ruger and a .223 Ackley Improved, both two totally different rifles designed for different things. (Both custom rifles)

Firstly my .223AI shoot very high BC bullets for long range shooting (80 Grain Amax) I only tend to shoot this rifle at vermin and targets out past 300 yards out to 1000 yards.

The .204 is a awesome cartridge for vermin and out to 350 yards it is without doubt my go to rifle. They shoot super flat, hit like a steam train and are very good in the wind despite their light bullets. The do have good bullet BC for that weight range of bullet too. Manufacture published BC's are OTT though from mine and several other peoples experience and real life testing in the field.
They are good in the wind dude to decent BC combined with high MV's, expect 3700-3850 ftps from 30/40 grain bullets (Reloaded), mine pushes a 39 grain SBK at 3750 ftps, with awesome accuracy. 32 grain bullets around 4000 ftps.

The thing to remember that speed/velocities is king out to 300-350 yards then after that range bullet BC come into play more.

If you reload you can fire 223 40 grain bullets at similar speeds as the 40 grain 204's resulting in similar down range performances, the .204 always comes out on top in terms of exterior ballistic against the .223 using 40 grain bullets but only just in the field. If you use 50/55 grain bullets in the .223 the .204 advantages are greater due to lower .223 bullet BC's and a lot slower velocities.


The recoil is identical if you are shooting similar weight bullets in both calibres.

TBH I would not bother shooting 32 grain bullets if there is plenty of 39/40 as the 32's are not any flatter shooting and no better In the wind, the 39/40's carry better energy for larger vermin like fox down range too.

In a nut shell, if your shooting vermin out to 400 yards id go for a .204, what do you call long range anyway???, if your wanting to shoot past 400 yards then id pick up my custom .223AI with the high BC 80 Amax's and send them flying.

But in reality though my friend, you wont go wrong with either, they both will kill fox,vermin and targets out to and past 400 yards no problem.

Will you be reloading, as this will be a big limiting factor if you are just using factory ammo?


Hope this helps you out, any question just ask?

Steve.
 
Last edited:

Claret_Dabbler

Well-Known Member
Night bandit, I don't know how far south you are, but if you ever make it as far north as County Down, you are welcome to try mine - it's an older Sako with a new Walther barrel.

It's a great little round.
 

griffshrek

Well-Known Member
247Sniper summed it up , out to 350-400m the .204 is outstanding after that get bigger calibre and heavier bullets . Ive taken several foxes out to 300m with the 32gr bullet and they still just crumble on the spot .

Either will be good
 
247sniper


Thanks very much for that very good reply, i myself wont be reloading as its not legal here in The Republic of Ireland yet, distance wise 300 - 400 yards will be my maximum range so i think the .204 will be the round of choice for me.


Im after a CZ 527 'Varmint' ...it has a 1:12 twist rate in a 650mm barrel lenght.

which should be good for the 32 - 40 grain bullet


Keep the info coming lads....i really need all i can get on this Model before i order it in.


Cheers
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
247sniper


Thanks very much for that very good reply, i myself wont be reloading as its not legal here in The Republic of Ireland yet, distance wise 300 - 400 yards will be my maximum range so i think the .204 will be the round of choice for me.


Im after a CZ 527 'Varmint' ...it has a 1:12 twist rate in a 650mm barrel lenght.

which should be good for the 32 - 40 grain bullet


Keep the info coming lads....i really need all i can get on this Model before i order it in.


Cheers
I have a CZ American Varmint in 204 Ruger and is is a very accurate rifle. I have only shot 40 grain VM through it and it shoots very small groups, and kills the prairiedogs I shoot with it. It shoots very flat.

That said, I have several good .223's that shoot no worse than the CZ, and a couple that shoot better. I can shoot prairiedogs (far smaller than a rabbit or fox) at 300 yards with 50 grain VM without too much problem... in fact, very little at all. Added to that, the components are easy to come by.

Recoil?? What a silly comparison. Neither recoil enough to notice. ~Muir
 
I have a CZ American Varmint in 204 Ruger and is is a very accurate rifle. I have only shot 40 grain VM through it and it shoots very small groups, and kills the prairiedogs I shoot with it. It shoots very flat.

That said, I have several good .223's that shoot no worse than the CZ, and a couple that shoot better. I can shoot prairiedogs (far smaller than a rabbit or fox) at 300 yards with 50 grain VM without too much problem... in fact, very little at all. Added to that, the components are easy to come by.

Recoil?? What a silly comparison. Neither recoil enough to notice. ~Muir

Thanks Muir for your reply...I wouldnt call it a silly comparison when i actually have no experience with the round, and alot of people ive asked keep coming out with the same opinion that the 204 has less recoil and thats why they can see shot placement better. Ive myself have no idea because ive never used one, but im glad ive heard it from someone like yourself that actually has experience of BOTH calibres.W hen you say you have .223's That shoot better could you tel me what makes and models they are??

I appreciate all the comments here and its a great help on making my decision about which one to go for.

Keep your opinions and experiences coming Guys!!!!


Cheers
 
Last edited:

Muir

Well-Known Member
Thanks Muir for your reply...I wouldnt call it a silly comparison when i actually have no experience with the round, and alot of people ive asked keep coming out with the same opinion that the 204 has less recoil and thats why they can see shot placement better. Ive myself have no idea because ive never used one, but im glad ive heard it from someone like yourself that actually has experience of BOTH calibres.W hen you say you have .223's That shoot better could you tel me what makes and models they are??

I appreciate all the comments here and its a great help on making my decision about which one to go for.

Keep your opinions and experiences coming Guys!!!!


Cheers
Ok. Maybe not silly for you, but silly in general. Identical rifles firing 40 grain projectiles at the same velocity would recoil about the same. I have no problem seeing the impact with either. IN fact, I have never noticed that either 'recoil' but I shoot a lot of different rifles.

For .223's I have under my roof a Howa Varmint, a Hart-barreled Howa, and a Savage 110E. The Hart gun is the most accurate, then the Howa and Savage are both tied. Either will shoot with the CZ with it's favorite loads, I think. The Hart is accurate enough to shoot the staples from the target at the end of the day. It's a spooky accurate rifle that shoots far better than I can hold.

I like my 204 but there was a drought of brass for a year or so. Winchester is finally making it onto the shelves. Bullets -especially the V-MAX -have never been in short supply. The CZ is one of the most accurate out-of-the-box varmint rifles I have ever owned. You could do far worse than a CZ Varmint in 204. I agree, btw: There is no real advantage to the 32 grain bullet over the 40 grain in the 204 that I can see. I will be trying some 32 grain Berger-made bullets in the 204 soon but only because they are very inexpensive. Half of what the VMax run. ~Muir
 

triggersqueezer

Well-Known Member
for me the 204 is the most overated calibre i have owned.i found accuracy nodes were never at fast speeds.i had to slow it down to get .25 ish groups .if i wanted 1moa i could push fast.i seem to be alone in this veiw mind.i was running a 20" barrel mind and the 204 seems to like 26" for best results.add a mod on the end and its a bit of a canon to carry.
my 223 running 75 grainers with a high bc was much better in the wind and easier to tune a load.seemed to go well in a 20"
nothing in it noies wise.
 

skrunt

Member
I note that you will have to use factory ammo for the 204. One thing to be aware of in my experience is my Rem 204 ruger 1-12 would not group 40g factory Vmax but is spot on with 32g. It will group the 39g blitz king but with you not reloading it's a possibility you may only be able to use the 32g ammo. Just my experience and my two penneth.
 

sir-slots-alot

Well-Known Member
The ballistics of the 204 R are hyped up shamelessly by Hornady.

Prior to its introduction in 2004 - The manufactures needed to give shooters a reason to switch from established calibres such as the 223 and 22.250 - to the new wonder 20 cal.

One of the ways they did this was to compare the ballistics of the 20 cal to that of the 22.250 to prove that the 20 cal either matched it - or even surpassed it...... And utterly Trounced the 223 in the process

Hornady choose a very narrow and carefully selected set of parameters to do the comparison - They did this by selecting a very mild load using a poor BC bullet in 22.250 - And pitting it against the 20 cal - shooting a 40 grn Vmax @ 3900 fps - and BC of 0.275.... Data which is shamelessly hyped up.

From My own experience of owning and running two custom barrelled 204,s - I couldn't get anywhere near the stated 3900 fps muzzle velocity - In fact Hornady themselves can only achieve it by using a powder which isn't for sale to the public ( WHY) and using a 26 inch barrel

Both my 204's shot really well but at around 3680 fps - 3715 fps with a 39 / 40 grn Bullets.
I also crooned my rifle using Horady factory ammo - Both the 33 grn and 40 grn Vmax which where suppose to be zipping along at 4225 fps and 3900 fps respectively - Both were between 200 and 300 fps down on the advertised MV.

The bullets themselves have a BC that is also inflated - Hornady claim a very impressive BC of 0.275 - In fact it is about 0.240 - Which incidentally is the same BC stated by Nosler for their own identical 40 grn BT 20 cal bullet.

I have done a lot of testing out to 500 yrds directly comparing my former 204 against my 223 side by side.

Even out to 500 yrds there was virtually no difference in drop or drift between the 223 shooting a 40 grn Nosler pill at 3780 fps and the 204 ( using the correct ballistics and not the BS ones that Hornady provide)



Rant over - Going back to the OP's original questions

Does the 204 have less recoil - No - not if you shoot the same weight bullets - the 223 might be slightly more if heavier bullets are used - but in either case - Recoil is negligible in both cals

Is the 204 a lot more accurate than the 223 ? - Absolutely not - They are very accurate - same as the 223 or any of the 22 cals

Is the 204 Quieter ? - NO more myth - it uses more powder than the 223 - sound levels are very much the same.

Is the 32 grain bullet just to light for foxes at long ranges? - Will be OK - but there are better options

Why is the 223 more popular than the 204 ? - 223 is a much more versatile calibre ( see below)

> The 223 has a far wider range of bullets - more types - more weights - more choice
> The standard 12 twist can shoot from 30 grn Bullets up to 60 grns ( 100 % weight increase)
> Greater selection of rifles and twist rates
> The Option of buying a 223 off the shelf with a tight twist to shoot heavier high BC bullets
> Significantly more barrel life - 223 will be in excess of 4000 rounds - 204 probably half that
> Deer legal under certain circumstances
> Reloading components and factory ammo is more widely available and cheaper.



ATB
Alan
 
Last edited:

JMS906

Well-Known Member
The ballistics of the 204 R are hyped up shamelessly by Hornady.

[a lot of valid numbers and common sense deleted]
Most of the bullet manufacturers over-state the BCs of their bullets. That should be taken as a given. Secondly, seldom will your handload (or even a factory load) deliver the claimed velocity. That should also be taken as a given. Thirdly, why do ammunition and rifle manufacturers invent new cartridges, is it:

a) to fill a niche that has hitherto been overlooked, or
b) to generate sales of arms an ammunition?

Well, obviously it's b. So does the .204 do anything more useful in the real world than existing cartridges? No, of course it doesn't. We can pore over ballistics tables as much as we like, and highlight this or that, but in the real world does the .204 do anything useful that can't be done with, for example, a .223 with a 40g bullet, or a .22-250 with a 55g bullet or a .243 with a 70g bullet? As far as I can see, no. And remember, tha faster you chuck a bullet or of a barrel the quicker it decellerates.

One final comment, unless you are going to buy a top quality custom rifle with the finest barrel, it is pointless asking whether this cartridge or that cartridge is the more accurate. If you are going to buy an off the shelf rifle, you take your chances. I have owned a couple of CZs (actually Brnos) and while they were accurate enough for the task (a .22LR for brains shots on rabbits, and a .375 for big game but it shoots around 1 MOA) there are more accurate rifles available (e.g. Sako, Blaser). Of course, the Sako/Blaser costs more, but you only get what you pay for.

So my advice to the OP, given his circumstances, would be to buy a .223 and if he can afford it, go for something better than a CZ. If a CZ is what he can afford, he will still be making a good choice. He will also need a good quality scope.

-JMS
 
Very Informative posts guys, Out of any of the sites ive been on this is where im getting the most detailed answers.

Ita a huge help and thanks for taking the time to answer them all.
 

sir-slots-alot

Well-Known Member
Most of the bullet manufacturers over-state the BCs of their bullets. . Secondly, seldom will your handload (or even a factory load) deliver the claimed velocity.
Not completely true - there are a lot of bullets that have published BC's that are under estimated , according to independent tests done by Brian Litz.

For example two Amax bullets in 22 cal - Suitable for the 223 BTW.


1) - 52 grn Amax - Stated BC of 0.247 - Litz measurement = BC 0.280

2) - 80 grn Amax - Stated BC of 0.453 - Litz measurement = BC 0.472


ATB
Alan
 

Konnari

Well-Known Member
Night Bandit ! I was on the market for a new varmint rifle last year and was considering 204ruger or 223rem in CZ 527 Varmint...In your case it's a no brainer if you don't reload.....get the 223. The CZ 223 has a 1-9 twist which means it will shoot any bullet from 40-73 gr. ! Much more versatile....after a brief comparison I choose the 223 and it's a great super accurate rifle.

PA040098_zps02d0d597.jpg

PA040097_zpsfbe1f8d9.jpg
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Not completely true - there are a lot of bullets that have published BC's that are under estimated , according to independent tests done by Brian Litz.

For example two Amax bullets in 22 cal - Suitable for the 223 BTW.


1) - 52 grn Amax - Stated BC of 0.247 - Litz measurement = BC 0.280

2) - 80 grn Amax - Stated BC of 0.453 - Litz measurement = BC 0.472


ATB
Alan
I agree and disagree, both.
I believe that the BC's published are what they derived from their data. Like load data, it is a guide: It is what they got on that day, with their equipment and more importantly, at a specific altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and velocities. Variable that, unless your shooting gear and conditions match exactly, will cause you to get different down range results.

BC's are only accurate when you do the work and calculate them for your gun, load, and shooting conditions. It would be surprising if your data in the UK matched that of Grand Island, Nebraska. You can email Hornady and ask what altitude and velocity they used for calculating their BCs...~Muir
 

hcm1

Well-Known Member
I have both a .20 Tactical (which is ballistically very similar to the .204) and a short barrel .223. The .223 is a 1 in 9 twist as is the .20 TAC.

Due to the differences between the rifles, on paper the .20 hammers MY .223 in every respect. However, that is due to the barrel length difference (9 inches!)

In real world terms there is basically no difference. Scope choice, stock fit, moderator etc will have more effect on the overall shooting package than the ballistic differences between the two calibers. the two rifles i have are a fairly extreme example to compare. the .20 is -3 inches at 300 yards from a half inch high 100 yard zero with a 39 grain SBK, whereas the .223 is about 11 inches low at 300 from a 1 inch high 100 yard zero with a 50 grain nosler. This makes the .20 look awesome! It is but it is a reflection of the system, not the caliber. The .223 is a dedicated night rifle, used for max 200 yard shooting.

given two identical rifles chambered in each caliber i dont think you would see much real world difference. you would need to shoot paper to see anything.

If i had my time again I would honestly have a 20/22 inch barreled fast twist .223 AI. This in itself is still a compromise but for me it would be the best all round compromise.

In your situation my feeling would be the .223. Cheap ammunition is available for practice. And practice will help much much more than any small ballistic advantage either caliber may bring.
 

Top