The .204 Ruger is a rifle cartridge developed jointly between Hornady and Sturm, Ruger & Co. At the time of its release in 2004, the .204 Ruger was the highest velocity cartridge in the world, a title which it holds to this day.
The .204 Ruger was developed in the early 2000s as a joint venture between Hornady, an ammunition specialist, and Sturm, Ruger & Co., whom were looking to build upon the success of the .460 Ruger (another joint venture between the two). Based upon the popular .222 Remington Magnum cartridge, and backed by two major companies in the gun industry, the .204 became an almost instant success.
The .204, due to its reputation for balance and accuracy, gained popularity across the gun industry. At the time of release, the .204 Ruger was the only cartridge of that calibre size, and almost exclusively used by Ruger's designs (such as the M77).</ref> In recent years, however, other major ammunition companies (Winchester, Remington etc.) produce their own .204 calibre rounds, with almost every major gun manufacturer producing a firearm capable of firing the .204 Ruger.
The .204 Ruger takes advantage of the .222 Remington Magnum's capacity, one of the largest cartridge capacities made. This capacity was only marginally reduced, despite the fact that the neck of the cartridge was modified, angled 30 degrees shallower and extended to fit a .204in (5.1mm) bullet. The bullet itself is available in four different grains (weights): 24gr, 32gr, 40gr and 45gr.
In testing, Hornady used a specific powder composition, known as SMP746 to acheive the muzzle velocities listed. Although not commerically available, Hornady's commerical power compositions come relatively close to the figures in general use, although are closer to their competitors muzzle velocities.
As mentioned above, Hornady's use of a specific powder not commercially available does throw some caution as to the actual performance figures for the .204 Ruger. Below are the official velocity and energy figures according to Hornady:
|Name||Muzzle Velocity (FPS)||Energy (ft-lbs)|
|24gr (1.5g) NTX® Superformance||4,400||1,032|
|32gr (2.0g)V-MAX™ Superformance||4,225||1,268|
|40gr (2.6g) V-MAX™ Superformance||3,900||1,351|
|45gr (2.9g) SP||3,625||1,313|
The figures for the 40gr round are similar to those for other comparable cartridges, such as the .22-250 Remington. However, the .204 Ruger is able to acheive these figures without as much powder or by producing as much heat.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 http://www.chuckhawks.com/204_ruger.htm
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.204_Ruger
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 http://www.hornady.com/store/204-Ruger