.204 Ruger Deadly On Varmints

Question: I recently purchased a Tikka T3x Varminter in .204 with 24” barrel. I plan to use it for long range shooting at foxes, cats and rabbits. I’ve been led to believe that the Hornady 32-40gn V-Max are great factory rounds and shoot accurately. What would theeffective range be for either of these loads and how do I sight-in my rifle at 100yds to achieve this? I am still waiting to take delivery of my rifle and will wait for your advice before sighting it in. Do you think the Tikka T3x stainless varmint with heavy 24” barrel is a good choice in .204 Ruger?

– George Tsanis

Answer: The Tikka T3x is a fine rifle and in .204 Ruger very flat shooting, capable of reaching out 300yd to drop feral cats, rabbits and foxes. If you sight in with the 32gn load 1.5” high at 100yds it zeroes at 272yds and has a point-blank range of 312yds. The 40gn bullet starts out slightly slower, but sighted -in 1.5” high at 100yds zeroes at 270yds and has a point-blank range of 311yds. Not much difference. Point-blank

range) means that the bullet will not rise or fall more than 2” between the muzzle and 312 yds. Thus a fox, with say, a 5” vital area will be killed at that distance using a centre hold. I think the heavy barrel TikkaT3x in .204 Ruger is an excellent choice forvarmint sniping.

The .204 Ruger in a heavy barrel varmint model rifle is one of the most accurate and flat shooting outfits you can find.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.