Hunting Club > Forums > Predator/Varmint > Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
BearNinja
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Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I'm extremely interested in everyone's thoughts about using a .204 Ruger to hunt coyotes. For the big Northern dogs I most often chase, a 40-grain bullet (which is the biggest you'll find in a factory load), just isn't enough ... even when haulin' more than 3,600 fps. And believe me, I've tried lots of times with all sorts of bullet configurations. Yes, I killed some 'yotes, but using this caliber made it much harder than it has to be.
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rthomas4
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
My personal 'yote killer is a Ruger model 77 Mark VII in .220 swift, using .50 grain Remington PSP loads. This is the only rifle I own that actually prefers Remington ammo.

But, never overlook a .12 gauge shotgun with anything from buckshot to a good turkey load, especially if a 'yote comes slipping into a deer or turkey set up.
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BearNinja
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I'm with you 100 percent regarding the .220 Swift, rthomas4. Being an AR guy when it comes to predator hunting, how cool would it be to have an AR chambered in that caliber? Sign me up. Twice.
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camprunamuk
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I don't think it is big enough , no. I know lethality is all about shot placement , but the smallest thing I like to use on song dogs is a 55gr Hornady VMAX out of a .223
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rthomas4
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
BearNinja, I've thought the same thing!!!!
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
Only 40 grains?

I prefer 100 or 125 grains . . . in the form of a G5 Striker or Magnus Stinger Buzzcut broadhead!
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I have found up here in Maine, in the winter when their hide is so thick, the coyotes are really hard to kill, even with a .223 with hornady yote loads. I have had to follow too many blood trails with that caliber, and It strikes me as being inhumane having an animal die like that, Of coarse having a deer die by being eaten alive by the little devils is pretty inhumane too! Holy cow I'm getting soft in my old age! Unless you have bait out and they are standing stock still and you can chose your shot placement, I don't think it will be an effective load. When you are calling or stalk hunting where the coyote is coming in fast, or just moving in general, (they never seem to sit still do they!) I find it most effective to use my favorite deer rifle that I am most comfortable with and can shoot really well, usually my flatshooting 308. It will put them down instantly. Unless you want to save the hide, bigger is better! And with the deer population so decimated up here, we like to make sure they are not getting back up!
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
(1 vote)

I know people who use the 204 Ruger with a 40gr or 45gr bullet on coyotes and kill every dog they shot, no tracking them down. The 223 Rem and 222 Rem are real close as far as ballistic. In 22 cal. anything less than a 225 Win with a 55gr bullet is too small. I use a 22-250 with a 60gr bullet to shoot coyotes.
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rthomas4
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
(1 vote)

I may be inhumane, because unless I'm actually varmint hunting and coyotes are the targeted species, I don't bother to blood trail a wounded one. I know the pack will turn on a wounded 'yote and finish it off, and every one that get's eliminated in my book is a turkey poult or fawn that gets to grow up so I can hunt them one day. If I'm deer hunting and using my .308 then any 'yote I shoot is dead on the spot. If I'm turkey hunting and shoot one with a load of #4 or #5 turkey shot, and it doesn't drop dead, so be it. If I'm deer hunting with the dogs and shooting buckshot, odds are it's a dead dog where it's shot, if not, again so be it.
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moxiemainer
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
(1 vote)

That's exactly how I feel also rthomas4, but I was trying to be politically correct and not get flamed for being unethical! I know how alot of folks are about shot placement, and clean kill, etc, and yes I agree wholehearted with that opinion when hunting deer and other big game, but like you say, kill em any way you can and save a rabbit, partridge and especially fawns. I feel you should get rid of them with whatever is in your hand, even if its just a rock! A bleeding coyote is a dead coyote, and the only reason I track them is they make great bait, and that is hard to come by up here, and I don't want his buddies getting a free meal!
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pigdynasty
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I'll stay with my 308 with a 150 gr bullet. Hands down dead dog.


JohnFP
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I personally don't use a .204 but a good friend does.  He has not had any problems dropping a coyote with his, granted our Az coyotes are not as big as the northern coyotes.  Most of the fur hunters out here are using the .17 caliber cartridges and/or the .204 and are not having any problems.  I use either my .223 or 22-250 and with the proper shot placement have very little fur damage.  If I am targeting  bobcat's I use my 22mag.  

Unlike others if we should have a bad hit, and we all do.  We will blood trail until we find the animal if at all possible.  No creature, in my opinion, deserves to crawl off and die a slow agonizing death.
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?

rthomas4 wrote: I may be inhumane, because unless I'm actually varmint hunting and coyotes are the targeted species, I don't bother to blood trail a wounded one. I know the pack will turn on a wounded 'yote and finish it off, and every one that get's eliminated in my book is a turkey poult or fawn that gets to grow up so I can hunt them one day. If I'm deer hunting and using my .308 then any 'yote I shoot is dead on the spot. If I'm turkey hunting and shoot one with a load of #4 or #5 turkey shot, and it doesn't drop dead, so be it. If I'm deer hunting with the dogs and shooting buckshot, odds are it's a dead dog where it's shot, if not, again so be it.
A dead coyote is a good coyote... doesn't matter as long as it dies!


MDMinn
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?

Each state has different rules concerning wanton waste of game animals.  Please check your local regulations.

-MD
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grandpops
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
In most places, the coyote is not considered a game animal.  It is a nuance or predator and as such can be left where they fall.
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rthomas4
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
SC considers 'yotes and hogs to be invasive species, thus there are no seasons, and the only limitations are as far as hunting them at night. Shoot 'em, kill 'em, wound 'em, collect 'em, leave 'em, anything to get rid of 'em is considered elimination of a pest and not hunting a game animal.
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65swede
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
.223 ar 15 works great 55 grain bullit i, have a load worked up and have taken yotes out to 600yds.Just plain old fun ,can't wait till after turkey season here in missouri ,yotes beware!


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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?

BearNinja wrote: I'm extremely interested in everyone's thoughts about using a .204 Ruger to hunt coyotes. For the big Northern dogs I most often chase, a 40-grain bullet (which is the biggest you'll find in a factory load), just isn't enough ... even when haulin' more than 3,600 fps. And believe me, I've tried lots of times with all sorts of bullet configurations. Yes, I killed some 'yotes, but using this caliber made it much harder than it has to be.
I my self use my 30/30 with sabot loads 55gr v max in .223 cal and they are dead on !! 3850 fps and , I have killed them out there to 450yrds so far .. cooldevil


bowhunter65
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I agree with that !! 100%.. devil


mjn61
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
The 204 works vary well on yotes, I know a couple guys that use them. I prefer my 243 with V Max bullets and I also use it for whitetails.


xdeiceman
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
Hornady makes a 45 gr factory load for the 204 ruger.I tried the 50 gr in a thompson 26" bull barrel and only got key holes.eek1


xdeiceman
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I shot a deer at 100 yards with a 204 ruger with 45 grain reloads. Took a neck shot and it went right down. Went in the size of the bullet and came  out the size of a quarter. In pa you cannot hunt with a rim fire for big game .


BearNinja
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?

xdeiceman wrote: I shot a deer at 100 yards with a 204 ruger with 45 grain reloads. Took a neck shot and it went right down. Went in the size of the bullet and came  out the size of a quarter. In pa you cannot hunt with a rim fire for big game .
Interesting perspective, xdeiceman. Any caliber is capable of killing nearly anything with the perfect shot, but I'm talking about consistency. Think that .204 Ruger pill would've led to a recovered deer had it been a double-lung shot? 

Again, I've killed a pile of big Northern 'yotes with the .204, but why hit 'em with a stick when you could use a club?
Luke Hartle
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xdeiceman
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
Depends on if you want to save the hide or not . I have a 405 win. and wouldn't shoot rabbits with it .It does make a big exit hole on a deer. You should always take the shot that will kill the deer the quickest with the caliber you are using.


xdeiceman
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?

Velocity[edit]

Ruger's claim to being the velocity king with the .204 was based on two points.

First, no other high performance 20 caliber cartridge was commercially produced. Second, the ammunition used to achieve the 4225 ft/s was available only from Hornady using a special powder not available to the general public.[3]

Note that handloaders typically achieve velocities more in the area of 4,100 ft/s (1,200 m/s) using a 32-grain (2.1 g) bullet.[4]

Note also that handloads using a 40-grain (2.6 g) bullet in other commercial cartridges such as the .22-250 Remington also achieve velocities similar to those of the .204 Ruger. The advantage of the .204 Ruger is that it achieves these velocities with less powder, less recoil, and less heat than the larger cartridges. The 204 Ruger has a maximum range of approximately 500 yards (460 m).

Hornady now offers a 24-grain lead free cartridge that claims 4400 fps.[5]

.204 Ruger 32 GR V-MAX 83204Muzzle100 yd200 yd300 yd400 yd500 yd
Velocity/Energy (fps) / (ft-lbs)4225/12683645/9443137/6992683/5122272/3671899/256
Trajectory (inches)-1.50.60.00-4.1-13.1-29.0
.204 Ruger 40 GR V-MAX 83206Muzzle100 yd200 yd300 yd400 yd500 yd
Velocity/Energy (fps) / (ft-lbs)3900/13513482/10773103/8552755/6742433/5262133/404
Trajectory (inches)-1.50.70.00-4.3-13.2-28.1
.204 Ruger 45 GR SP 83208Muzzle100 yd200 yd300 yd400 yd500 yd
Velocity/Energy (fps) / (ft-lbs)3625/13133188/10152792/7782428/5892093/4381787/319
Trajectory (inches)-1.51.00.0-5.5-16.9-36.3


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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
Due to my physical abilities being limited these days I no longer do the run and gun for yotes. So the ones I kill ( a lot more than one would think ) while deer hunting are shot with my custom Swedish Mauser model 96 in 6.5X55MM using the Fusion 149gr bullets. They drop on the spot and most don't even kick once. I would suggest you shoot enough to make a cheat sheet and tape it to the butt stock for shooting the longer ranges. My shooting/spotting partner and I have them on all our rifles. My model 96 is set up for shots from point blank to 600 yards. I simply range the shot and then looking at my cheat sheet I know exactly how many clicks I need to get that range and then it is a matter of doping the wind. I would suggest that everyone who shoots a lot at longer ranges spend the time with your scopes and make the cheat sheets and then tape them to your butt stock covered with a piece of clear hard plastic.


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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I have used the 204 Ruger cartridge for the past 2 years to hunt yotes as well as other game including deer. I have never lost an animal that I have shot, nor have I had to track one any longer than with any other caliber, I have used. I like the fact that is does not ruin the meat as much as larger caliber when used on deer. The major difference is that with that small a caliber the shot is very unforgiving, it has to be almost perfect every time. I have been in the woods many times and hear a hunter shoot more than one shot at an animal to make a kill. I believe in the way I was taught from the beginning. one shot one kill. if you do not think that will happen then you do not take the shot. When you do take the shot , make sure it is perfection.


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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
I am sure the 204 will work as long as bullet placement is good.  Remember, A lot of "experts" would tell you that you need a 300 Win Mag for deer.


xdeiceman
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?
Would you be referring to the ones that spray and pray.


MDMinn
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Re: Is the .204 Ruger To Small For 'Yotes?

bowhunter65 wrote:
I my self use my 30/30 with sabot loads 55gr v max in .223 cal and they are dead on !! 3850 fps and , I have killed them out there to 450yrds so far .. cooldevil
This load has got me curious for more details.  I have been trying for a wolf license in MN.  It would be nice to get longer range out of the model 94 30/30.

-MD
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