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A substantial number of hunters use rifles for hunting both small and large prey. There are many favorite choices, and you will be spoilt for choice. However, most new hunters believe that the best hunting firearm must be a big caliber rifle. Well, it depends on the game you are hunting. My take is that the 204 Ruger is the most suitable rifle when hunting varmint.
When hunting small prey, using a big caliber rifle will leave a big hole on your prey and end up tearing the skin. It is why I suggest the 204 Ruger. Before we delve deep into other reasons, we must understand how the 204 Ruger earned its name as the best hunting rifle.
Ruger is a centerfire rifle that joined the market in 2004 and has since peaked the scales of production. At the time, 204 Ruger was the only caliber rifle that could fire .204 caliber manufactured for use by the public. Besides this, it was also the rifle with the second-highest velocity.
In this article, the aim is to review three of the popular .204 Ruger rifles in the market. There are so many, but we will make it easy for you by settling on criteria that highlight the best budget, the best overall, and the premium quality .204 Ruger rifles.
Things You Should Know When Buying a Ruger .204 Rifle
Ruger and Hornady are in a working partnership with Hornady to pump the market with a new level of weapon cartridge. The new caliber is the .20 round adopted from the .222 Remington Magnum case, which provides low recoil and high velocity.
The new features are the .204 Ruger 32-grain and 40- loads, all developed by Hornady. The concept of the .204 Ruger is based on the .222 Remington, which is the second-largest cartridge in the market. The other known biggest Magnum is the European lengthened version of the .222 Remington Magnum.
Therefore the 204 Ruger is a .222 Remington Magnum that is down to .204-inches on its neck. It also has the shoulders move slightly forward with an increased angle of 30 degrees.
The .204 Ruger is a velocity king mighty on two fronts. Its 20 caliber cartridge is commercially produced like one. And the other is that only Hornady provides ammunition that can reach 4220 feet using a specific powder.
The known advantages of the .204 Ruger are many as it reaches these speeds while consuming less gunpowder. They also generate less heat than other known prominent cartridges. When firing the .204 Ruger at the range, it can achieve an optimum range of about 500 yards.
Reliability and Accuracy of the Ruger .204 Rifles
The people responsible for the design of the .204 Ruger rifle succeeded in almost everything that would improve the previous versions. They managed this feat and still provide the best high-quality rifle at a relatively affordable price.
It is reliable because the action is smooth even when using different rounds during rough testing. It is among the best rapid-fire rifles. It is a true American rifle that will still function efficiently, even when covered with dust.
It features a bolt action with three lugs. However, there is a need for a shell that can fire consistent and fast rounds. Also, dual cocking is a welcome feature that adds to the safe use of the firearm. It has a detachable four-round magazine that snaps smoothly in place with a trigger pull that is both silent and smooth.
The fact is that the .204 Ruger has less recoil compared to other rifles of the same caliber. It makes it pivotal when you have to take multiple shots of the same target. Sometimes shooting varmint without a scope may prompt a follow-up shot. When a rifle has less recoil, the target is never that off with the second shot.
Variety of Ruger .204 Rifle Options
The manufacturers behind the development of the Ruger .204 rifle keep expanding the line for innovations that suit the use of different users. Besides the typical right-hand bolt-action rifle, there are other choices.
The new line of development features lots of creative inventions that make gun firing easy, enjoyable, and safe. The line-up has a list of several rifles targeting different niches. An example is the popular American Compact that is the best for shooters with a small frame like women and children.
There are other advantages, but the main is that the .204 has a much higher velocity, and this makes it have a longer maximum point-blank range. Velocity also allows you to hit and kill smaller targets at far greater distances.
The lightweight caliber of the .204 Ruger also makes it accurate and the best for hitting critters without the fear of damaging the fur. The ammunition is also readily available in most guns and ammunition stores.
There are not so many disadvantages to talk of; however, the ammo can be quite expensive. Also, ultra-light bullets are often easily deflected. The .20 caliber bore fouls easily and sometimes can be challenging to clean. Some people find that the extreme velocity has negative consequences on the barrel as it wears out much faster.
A Review of the Best 3 .204 Ruger Rifles
Ruger American Standard Rifle (Best Budget)
It is among the newest sporting rifle innovations developed by Ruger. Most hunters are fond of the Ruger American Rifle standard because it weighs only 6 pounds.
It uses a hammer-forged and twist barrel making the user enjoy the smooth bolt-action that is accompanied by a crisp trigger.
When shooting at a still target on an average of 100 yards, you get an accuracy of around 1.24-inches, which is quite high compared to other .204 rifles. There are also grip serrations that provide you with a better hold suitable for all sorts of shooting conditions.
The rubber recoil pad makes it have low recoil and hence making it more accurate and reliable in the field. Furthermore, the scope easily clears as it has a short 700 three-lug bolt accompanied with dual-cocking cameras to make it easy to cycle at the shoulder.
The locked receiver uses a Power Bedding block integral system that floats the barrel freely to provide you with improved accuracy.
- 22-inch forged barrel
- It has a stiffer stock
- Uses an adjustable trigger pull
- A smooth bolt action
- Some people complain of the locking lugs
- Accuracy becomes slightly lower compared to other .204 Ruger rifles
Ruger American Predator Best .204 Rifle (Best Overall)
It is a marksman rifle that offers an adjustable custom-built trigger pull between three to five pounds. It enables shooters to become more accurate with their shots and is the best for all caliber of hunters. It is top.204 Ruger as it makes shooters have steadiness in their shots, leading to more consistent and accurate results. It comes with a Vortex Crossfire II Scope.
Similar to the Ruger American Rifle Standard, it also uses the Power Bedding system to make the barrel float freely and lock the receiver. The Ruger barrel is so efficient, easy to clean, and durable because of the heavy-tapered 5/8-inches by 24 cold-hammer-forged threads.
The recoil pad will absorb the shock and also reduce the recoil felt when you fire. It comes with tang safety that is also easy to use.
- Flush-fit magazine
- Easy and straightforward to use
- Features a heavily-threaded and tapered barrel
- Comes with an adjustable trigger
- People complain of scope problems
- Has a bit of flexing and fit issues.
Ruger Hawkeye M77 African Bolt-Action Center Rifle (Best Premium)
The Ruger Hawkeye M77 African bolt-action rifle uses a Mauser-type extractor that is non rotating with a controlled feed. The manufacturers boast of highly innovative and reliable extraction case systems. The fixed-blade-type ejector will remove all empty cases as the rugged single-piece bolt moves backward.
It also boasts of superior accuracy levels via the cold-hammer-forged barrel that has a twist rifling. It is easy to clean and has better shooting longevity. It comes with integral patented scope mounts that are directly machined to the receiver. Therefore, it gives you a stable surface for mount and additional scope rings.
It uses a three-level safety to enable the bolt open when the rifle is set to safe mode. This feature helps to remove single rounds.
- Has a patented scope rings and mounts
- It features a cold-hammer-forged barrel
- Stainless and rugged steel bolt.
- Uses a nonrotating extractor that is controlled.
- Pull weight feels heavy
- It has a low-quality trigger
The best .204 Ruger Rifle is available, depending on the budget you have. The good thing about all .204 Ruger rifles is that they are accurate and easy to handle. Besides being lightweight, they also feature a new design and have innovative properties suitable for the needs of all hunters. When using the .204 Ruger rifles, accuracy becomes a norm.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.