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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.204 Ruger (using Sierra bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Jun 28 2016

The .204 Ruger was introduced in 2004 as a joint development between Sturm, Ruger & Company and Hornady Manufacturing.  It is based on the .222 Remington Magnum case necked down to accept .204 inch bullets, with the first factory loads containing a 32-grain bullet at 4,225 fps or a 40-grain bullet at 3,900 fps.  It boasts of an unusually flat trajectory, mild recoil, comparatively low muzzle report, accuracy, and it has become widely popular among varmint shooters.  With 40-grain bullets (with their higher BC), it is an honest 500-yard varmint round.  All major U.S. ammunition companies currently offer factory loads.  Additional bullet weights (in factory loads and as components) have been added that include 24-, 39- and 45-grain weights, which has further increased the .204’s versatility.  Every major rifle manufacturer offers models so chambered.

 One problem with small-caliber rifle cartridges is that many “longer” extruded powders tend to bridge when poured or “thrown” through the tiny case neck.  If powder charges are weighed, then poured into the case with the aid of a powder funnel, they will necessarily need to be poured slowly to help prevent bridging.  Several shorter-cut extruded powders enter the neck freely, as do all spherical (or ball) powders, which should be considered when loading this cartridge in large quantities.

Federal’s Gold Medal 205M primer was used to develop the accompanying data.  To achieve reliable ignition with all powders and in a variety of temperature ranges, “standard” (or non-magnum) small rifle primers should not be substituted.