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Reply with quote  #1 
Just curious on everyone's opinions. Pretty much only a prarie dog shooter, 1-300 yards, unless there is no wind at all, then I'll shoot as far as I can hit. I see that using the lighter bullets the 204 is still much faster than the 17 with lighter bullets. Also, it seems like there is a few more bullets for the 204. Do you believe that the 17 would be a better gun or the 204? The 17 would us slightly less powder, but not enought to make this a consideration with buying a gun. Thanks!
Reply with quote  #2 
The .204 is a 300 yard cartridge; the .17 at best is 200 yards. The .204 is superior in accuracy, bullet selection, fighting the wind, killing power and barrel fouling. The sub-calibers are not easy on bores but there is less hassle with the .204. Any .17 user I know sleeps with his cleaning rod. Buy a .204 and be happy. But be sure to clean for carbon fouling as well as copper.
Reply with quote  #3 
Mitch, IMHO all the 20 calibers will out perform the 17's. My 204 Ruger shoots a V-max 40gr bullet flatter at 400yds them my 22-250 pushing a 50 gr bullet. You might look at either the 20 Tactical or the 20 Practical, I prefer the Tactical because of the excellent Lapua (headspamped Dakota) brass. And I prefer the 20 var-Targ shooting 32gr V-maxs over my 17 Remington or my 17 Mach IV. All my 20's seem to shoot somewhat cooler and clean up much easier, I run 50 rounds down them in the dog towns prior to cleaning. The light stuff a hoot, lets you stay behind the scope and watch the red mist.

Reply with quote  #4 
Just depends on what you are after. The two cartridges that you inquire about are both great they just have different purposes, IMHO.
I have a 17 Fireball and a 20 VT. I sold my 204 after shooting the fireball cartridges. The reason being noise and recoil. The VarTarg use approx. 30 percent less powder and is considerably quieter than the 204 with virtually no muzzle jump, you can see all the action in the scope. My 204 really had a crack to the report, not really a problem just made my shooting partner jump.
I have not experienced fouling to be a problem in my 17FB or the VT.I usually shoot 4-6 different rifles when on gopher safari and just clean them all at the end of the day. I expect I don't put enough down the pipe to foul as I have not experienced any noticeable decrease in accuracy, still MOG (minute of gopher) at the end of the day.
Reply with quote  #5 
i think its luck of the draw. Ive had my 204 for a little over 2 years and i love it one of the funniest guns i have. i had some extra cash so i went out and got a 17 fire ball to keep up with a friend that had got one and liked it. it was like shooting a bb gun at 100yrds... ok not that bad but out there, loading wasn't easy either. so in short i sold it in less than a month, and still love my 204! good luck
Reply with quote  #6 
Take a look at hit ammo and compare their 17 Fireball and 204 Ruger ammo. I have rifles in both rounds. The prairie dogs I shot at about 300 yards with my 25 Gr bullet hand loads out of the 17 Fireball died. You can see that the 204 Ruger is flatter shooting then the 17 Fireball but I like shooting the Fireball.
Reply with quote  #7 
I've owned 3 17 Mach4s and a Tac 20 and for shots out to 350 yards the 17s are fantastic. Don't let Remingtons factory loads make you think the 17 Fireball can't be loaded up much higher. 4200 to 4300 fps in a 24" barrel wit a 20 V Max is no problem with no pressure signs. With a good barrel 200+ rounds before cleaning is the norm when shooting squirrels.
Reply with quote  #8 
I have been shooting the 17 Mach IV for 7 years. I am getting 4110 FPS out of a 20g Vmax at a max load in a 25" Shilen. I clean just as I do my 22 cals and no more. I can't make any comparison to the 20 cal yet. I can say the Mach IV is great fun out to 300 yards on the prairie dog town, I shoot off the bipod and see my hits and misses. I take 100 rounds and go back and clean when done with them at the bench.

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