.204 Ruger

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.204 Ruger Gun Stats

.204 Ruger

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The .204 Ruger is a newer centerfire rifle cartridge developed by Hornady and Ruger, making its debut and being introduced to the shooting public in 2004. The .204 Ruger is a wildcat cartridge based on the 222 Remington Magnum cartridge case. By moving the shoulder forward and sharpening its angle to 30 degrees, the new 204 Ruger cartridge gets a definite case capacity edge over any similar wildcats based on any other small capacity case. The .204 Ruger, at the time of its introduction was the highest velocity commercially produced cartridge, and the only centerfire cartridge produced commercially for bullets of .204 inch diameter. The factory Hornady load is listed at 4,225 fps with a 32 grain bullet at the muzzle, which is hyper fast. To achieve these velocities, Hornady uses a powder specially formulated for the .204 Ruger. More experience hand loaders should have no problem meeting and even exceeding the 4,000 fps, even without the use of any special purpose powder. The .204 Ruger is definitely a varmint-only proposition as a bullet of this caliber does not have the frontal mass, or the capability to deliver enough energy, to cleanly kill anything larger. One of the primary objectives of a good varmint round is that it should have a flat trajectory and the .204 Ruger meets this requirement with no problem.

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.204 Ruger Specs

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The .204 Ruger was developed by Hornady and Ruger and introduced in 2004. At the time, it was the only commercially available .204 (5mm) centerfire cartridge on the market. It was created by necking down the .222 Remington Magnum case to accept .204 caliber bullets and is one of the fastest commercially available cartridges.

.204 Ruger History


.204 Ruger Usage

The .204 Ruger is intended for varmint hunting. It has a maximum effective point blank range around 275 yards and a maximum effective range of 500 yards. It fills the gap between the popular .224 caliber offerings and the .172 caliber offerings for varmint hunters. The .204 Ruger offers better performance than the .172 calibers and close to the same performance as the .224 calibers while being lighter, uses less powder, and produces less recoil. 

The .204 Ruger is capable of ½” MOA groupings at 100 yards. It has become popular with varmint and small predator hunters. Hornady uses a special propellant to achieve its velocities and that propellant is not available to the public.

.204 Ruger Trivia


.204 Ruger Design

The .204 Ruger is a rimless, bottleneck cartridge with an overall length of 2.2598” and a case capacity of 29.9 grains (H2O). It fires a .204” diameter bullet using small rifle primers with a maximum pressure of 55,200 CUP.
Ammunition for the .204 Ruger offers options in hollow point, polymer tipped, and soft point with flat base or boat tail and weights ranging from 24 grains to 55 grains depending on need. Standard rifling is 1:12” but 1:10” twist rate will better stabilize heavier bullets of 40 grains or more.

.204 Ruger Types


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