.204 vs .223

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by mattri, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. mattri

    mattri Site $$ Contributor

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    For informal target shooting and small varmints out to 400-500 yards which would you choose? Assuming a mid-weight bolt action with a 26" barrel. I was pretty sold on the .223 but the numbers on the .204 have me looking twice. I don't want to get caught up in ballistic charts or go for something new and sexy, just want the best round for my purposes.

    The .223 has been around forever, tons of load data, great bullet selection.

    The charts say the .204 outperforms the .223 in velocity and energy delivered downrange, what do real-world shooters say?

    Which bucks the wind better?

    Will mostly be shooting off a bench or bags, not looking to kill coyotes at 500 yards, biggest things I shoot are pds and crows. Just want an accurate round that is economical to reload and can hold up to a little wind.
     
  2. CanusLatransSnpr

    CanusLatransSnpr

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    I would go with a .223 with a 9" or 7" twist throated for heavier bullets. The .204 bullets are light and have low BCs. With a 9" twist barrel you could shoot 69 gr. match/varmint bullets with really good accuracy and wind defying capabilities. Brass is another consideration, .223 brass is all over and cheap, .204 brass I'm not sure of. Never researched it much or if they even make it. I know its parent is the .222 Remington Magnum and brass is pretty slim pickens for that chamber. Then all the work to neck it down to 20 caliber. If it were me, I would go with the .223!

    Mike
     
  3. LarryDScott

    LarryDScott Site $$ Sponsor

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    Its a 204. Its faster,flatter,better wind resistance and BC for a comparable weight 22 bullet. The 20 calibers do more on less. Its like shooting a ray of light, point and shoot and dont worry about holdover until you reach 400yds. Larry in western Ky.
     
  4. mattri

    mattri Site $$ Contributor

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    These first two replies illustrate the core of the question. Thanks to both for your replies, they just exemplify why I haven't yet picked a caliber.
     
  5. canderson

    canderson Site $$ Contributor

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    I have a friend that shoots federal match ammo with 69gr. out of a les baer AR. I believe that he is getting around 2700 fps with that combo. I have been around several 204's and own two. I can push 40gr. bergers or 39 blitzkings with a 22" barrel about 3300. A 26" barrel with get you about another 200 fps. Both are fairly accurate for factory barrels (usually around 1/2 MOA). The best group with the 40 bergers was 1/2 moa @ 500 yds (3 shots). There was very little wind. My AR has a 1-9 twist barrel it will shoot the 40 and 50 bergers. The farthest that I have grouped the AR is 300. It put 5 shots in a 1.25". My velocity is 3350 with a 24" barrel (pretty hot load). I think that you need to run the numbers on a ballistics program and see what you like. If I were to build another 204, I would have to try to set it up to shoot the 55 bergers. I have a tried a few in the AR, but seating them to mag depth makes them jump because of the ogive profile. Hopes this helps you. If you have any more question please ask.
     
  6. cmillard

    cmillard Site $$ Contributor

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    until the bullet manufac. come out with some high BC bullets (.36-.400), i would stick with a .223 remington. tons of bullets out there that are super slippery
     
  7. watercam

    watercam Site $$ Contributor

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    I own a CZ 527 in .204 and love the rifle but not the cartridge. If I did it again I'd get a .223 or, better still, .22-250. Bullet selection alone would warrant it. In Southern Calif. we are restricted to lead-free bullets, the selection in .20 is exactly one - a 26 grainer from Barnes which works great out to 200 yds. then fizzles.
     
  8. 22243win

    22243win

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    For long range, the .223 wih 80 and 90 grain bullets is in a different league. The 204 is much flatter for thet first 500 yards or so, but after that, there is know comparison.
     
  9. sdneil

    sdneil Site $$ Contributor

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    .223 for me, just sold my .204 ruger, just could not warm up to it, probably me, supposed to be a good round. If you go .204 let me know I have brass , dies,bullets, maybee you have got something to trade back ? Neil
     
  10. mattri

    mattri Site $$ Contributor

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    Again, thanks for all the great replies.

    Looking at a Rem 700 or Savage 12 LRPV, leaning toward the Savage but not ruling out either of these or other simmilar rifles.

    Will be reloading, willing to pay for the components.
     
  11. DukeDuke

    DukeDuke

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    223 1-8" twist and you can use it for a whole lot of different applications. Successfully, that is. Of course this would be my choice.
     
  12. Nodak7mm

    Nodak7mm Team Lefse Site $$ Contributor

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    I have em both for the same purpose, PD's. But they serve different styles shooting, bench/bipod & walk and stalk of sticks.

    If I had to choose one to carry to the killing fields, it would be my .204. Why? Shoots like a lazer and I can spot my own shots with it.

    To do what you wish to do, there is no one perfect rifle or round. Which is why I have 4 dedicated PD's guns in 204, 223, 22/250 & a soon to be 6BR from a shot out 6AI..

    Cant just have one PD gun.... Just cant.. ;D
     
  13. mattri

    mattri Site $$ Contributor

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    In a .223 with a 1-9 twist what would be the lightest bullet it would shoot well, the heaviest?

    In a .204 with a 1-12 what would be the spread.

    Obviously other things come in to play, just looking for a general selection.
     
  14. Laurie

    Laurie Site $$ Contributor

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    1-9" with 223R usually sees 40s to 70s work well. You can just get away with some 75s depending on (a) whether it's a true 1-9" as opposed to a 'nominal' one, and (b) the actual bullet length of the 75gn design as its length not weight that mostly determines stability in any twist rate. In any event 1-9" is marginal for 75gn match bullet designs, and it's better to go for 1-8" twist if you wanty to use 75s and essential for 77s and 80s.

    1-12" .204 covers 30-40gn. Some factory rifles seem to prefer the 32s over 40s; my Saavage 12 LRPV is the other way round, although it doesn't do badly with 30s and 32s.

    Laurie
     
  15. coupalr

    coupalr

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    You need a 20 Practical. Neck down 223 brass and away you go. I shoot 39gr Blitzkings at 3950 out of my 24" 1-10 twist barrel with RL-10x.
     
  16. mattri

    mattri Site $$ Contributor

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    Gunamonth, you're right about the factory rifle, and the versatility of the .223 is a big selling point.

    Right now I have a .17hmr, a .22, and a .270win.

    I'm looking really hard at the .223 because I can load it a hundred different ways and on the cheap to boot.

    The reason the .204 keeps creeping in is that the charts (and the .204 faithful) swear it bucks the wind better than the .223, which matters where I shoot.
     
  17. sharps

    sharps

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    Charts are really nice if comparing apples to apples but comparing
    a 90 gr bullet to a 39 gr. bullet???? Come on!!! This proves nothing but you gotta start shooting at 450 to 500 yards to see a
    difference....most people can't shoot 450 yards, I guide them
    and I hear about their long range this and thats but in the dirt
    it turns into a pissing match proven by my Leica range finder....Show someone 600 yards and say hit that dog and all
    of a sudden the whole game changes and the P-dogs all survive but my point is most of America has no place to shoot 400 yards EVER and its another 50 to a hundred yards before
    the 90 gr 223 meets up with the 39 gr 204 and most people don't have a clue as to whats happening out there, that's why you read about the tens of thousands of rounds expended at p-dogs.....it aint 1 shot one kill.....more like spray and pray so...with probably 99% of all shots in the 2-300 yard range and
    as the charts show the 204 is more efficient....In a real world
    situation the shooter would be using a 40 gr bullet in the 223
    and a 39 gr in the 204 so the game is almost even in case capacity and the 204 is a little ahead in that this bullet is
    a little better aerodynamics....the 90 to39 deal is useless information.........who's shooting 90 gr bullets in their 223's????
     
  18. RugerRalphie

    RugerRalphie

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    Bucks the wind better than the .22-250 also! ;)

    Go with the .204... I own all 3 and grab the .204 everytime.
     
  19. topwater225

    topwater225

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    Wow....I can't believe this went on as long as it has. If you are comparing the .204 to other calibers, you shouldn't be comparing it to the .223; you should be comparing it to the .22-250. Any PD hunter will tell you how much quicker the .223 falls on its face compared to the .204 and .22-250.

    Don't make a .223 decision based on 90 grain bullets. That outrageously big bullet may buck the wind a bit better at 500+ yards, but what a dog it would be to shoot.
     
  20. manitou210

    manitou210

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    I know the 204 won't beat the 223 very often at 300y in five shot group shooting. Guys shooting the 223rem are using 75gr,80gr to 90gr bullets really own the 204.
    And the 223 does very well with big bullets out to 1000y
    Last Aug at the Canadian Championships at Connaught ranges there is a class called F/F for .308win max 155gr bulets any bullet in 223 the winner was shooting a 223 with 80gr bullets.mind you he only won ythe week long shoot by 1 point.
    I don't beleive the 204 would even make a showing at long range
     

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