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Hand loads for a .204 -vs- factory

OutlawsOutlaws Member Posts: 83 ✭✭
I just got a Ruger No. 1 in .204, and I have recently been starting to reload other calibers. But I read some stuff online about how for some reason, the factory Hornady loads that are supposed to be in the 4k fps range are not obtainable via handloads. Is that correct? I don't have a chrono so I wouldn't be able to test all this. My main thing is accuracy more so than speed, but as we know the speed is great for the trajectory.

I got this rifle for something that I could really test my limits in terms of range with. Normally I wouldn't take a shot over 300 yards, but with this I would consider 4-5 if it was a small rabbit. A nice thing about AZ is we rarely have any real wind, so it will be mostly just drop.


  • temblortemblor Member Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You'll have a hard time getting factory load velocity with handloads. We can't get the powder they are using yet. If you go to Hodgdon Powder Co.s website at you can get their latest loading data for all of their powders. The last time I looked they didn't have a single load with any powder type that would break 3800fps with the 40gr bullet ( in their test guns ). -- I can get 3700-3800 with a 40gr bullet in a 223 with a 26" bbl. although the 20 caliber bullet does have a little better B.C.( but not enough that you'll notice it in most real field conditions inside around 350 yds which will cover most shooting ). -- If I need to really reach out I usually just grab my 220 Swift, 243 or a 22-250. When they release better powders I will shoot a 204 more, but for now I'm staying with what has worked so well for years.........[8D]
  • D.S.COLED.S.COLE Member Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    all our customers shooting the 204 are getting extremely good accuracy with the factory hornady ammo.since you cant duplicate the velocity with available components and it would be hard to improve on accuracy I suggest sticking to factory until new powder comes along.
    the only reason I would reload it would be if large quanities was being used and costs entered into it.
  • dakotashooter2dakotashooter2 Member Posts: 6,186
    edited November -1
    I'd be suprised if you could get their advertized velocity with their ammo. Ammo companies tend to STRETCH the numbers a bit. Seems they generally list the highest velocity they achieve in their test firing, even if it is ony 1 in 1000 and post that as their velocity.
  • Colonel PlinkColonel Plink Member Posts: 16,460
    edited November -1
    Just keep in mind that higher velocity does not always mean greater accuracy. Just ask yourself, which is more important: A bullet flying faster than any other bullet, or a bullet that goes where you aim it. I've been loading 22-250, 243 and 270 for varmint the last couple of years, and I speak from pretty limited experience, but I DO know this to be true.
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