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September 11, 2007

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Dear Dr. Gun Nut

Recently, I bought a high-grade factory varmint rifle in .204 Ruger. I paid $1,000, which was considerably below list. However, it does not shoot worth a barrel of old hog s**t. I've tried two or three brands of ammo, but nothing prints better than 3 inches. What should I do?
--Dissapointed In New Jersey

Dear Disappointed: A good varmint rifle these days should put 5 shots in 1/2 inch, so you have a real problem. I've shot a number of rifles of the kind you bought, and they all gave fine accuracy, so it's safe to conclude that there is something terribly wrong with that gun. It could be the bedding, or it could be the barrel, or it could be both. However, considering the care with which these rifles are made, I think it's something more sinister--Satan, perhaps.

My advice is to bail out. Sell it, and take your beating like a man. The factory might be able to make it shoot better, but I don't think they'd be able to get it anywhere near it should be. You could spend a bundle on re-bedding and installing a new barrel but that would almost certainly be throwing good money after bad, or something.

Nope, it's time to say aloha, auf weidersehen, au revoir, and adios. Better luck with the next one, and this time, get it in a real varmint caliber like the .223.


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Clay Cooper

SD Bob.... YUCK!

Blue Ox, if I remember right the 22 magnum is legal for deer in Louisiana


Come on guys! I REALLY like my .204 (Remington 700). Actually, I like to shoot it more than my .223. But a bad gun is a bad gun.

Clay Cooper

Michael the diferance is that you bought a Remington not a Ruger!

It's easy to forgive a shooter with a Remington :) LOL!


Good luck on getting a manufacturer to take back a firearm that has no accuracy guarantee! Dave and so many others are right--ditch the Ruger and get a Remington. You'll be glad you did.

Mike Diehl

@Devil Dog

I own two Ruger rifles. An M77 Mark 1 in .243 that groups better than I can see with a 5x scope. It's a sub MOA rifle in the hands of an MOA shooter (me).

I have a 10/22 I bought two years ago that intensely dislike Federal .22LR (feed problems) but really enjoys Remington standard velocity rounds and it groups great.

Dr. Ralph

Mr. B... ditto's on the Swift. I've got two. I looked through a Leupold I really liked last weekend too while I was at a range. Old man came up to me and asked if he could shoot the M1 Carbine my kids were trying to melt the barrel on and I said OK if I can shoot that old Winchester of yours. Turned out to be a pre-64 70 30-06 with beautiful wood, in NIB condition. Dave's right, the wood to metal finish is scary. The scope was some kind of Leupold that had 1907-2007 hundred year anniversary written on it and it was almost as sweet as the rifle... droool...


Only problem I've ever had with Ruger rifles is caliber. Their M77 mag calibers must be stocked with #2 pine 2X4's! I've never triggered an M77 mag that didn't kick like a bay mule.
Well, optics is optics! Ya git whut ya pay fer!!! I try and gather all the old Weaver K-4's I can get my hands on cause I really like NEF's handi-rifle. It ain't purty, but man can they shoot! Think Leupold!!! Expensive, but worth it!!!
If I don't stuff it myself, it don't get shot at game.
If I want to shoot a group, it'll be handloads only.
The only reason I shoot factory loads is for the brass and the bang. I'd throw rocks before shooting anything Federal!
.204 Ruger!? Come on! If it's a need for speed, .22-250 or .220 Swift. If it's not big enough for anything other than and enraged bull mouse, why shoot it?
I like small. I have a .22 Hornet.
At this point, I have taken deer, turkey, feral hog, squirrel, coyote, bobcat plus nuisance animals around the house. Fun to shoot, no massive recoil, no earsplitting blast!
By the way, the best shot so far was a 23 pound gobbler at a hair over 150 yards last fall!

Rocky Mtn Hunter

I have a Marlin 22 mag and a Rem 700 in 25-06; Either are great for game intended.As for Coyotes, All i care is its dead when I fie. The 25-06 will reach a tad further, but under 200 yds the 22 mag does fine. All scoped with a Nimon Monarch. Cost near 500 bucks. Had many Weaver K-4;s bought in 50's, now all are fuzzy, but quality should have improved. Have been told, a Guy in Fl. will re-do a K-4 for about 100.00???? not sure. But I do prefer a variable scope such as 3 x 9 x 40. I;m not a big fan of Coyotes, but when hunting out west I will at times take one or two out. I much prefer to shoot teh Mulies, Elk. And, the 204, 223, 22-250 or 22 mag too light for either. So my hunting rifles all zeroed at 200 yds with best Ammo available. Why spend 5K bucks for a hunt and use l0cent ammo from Wally-World. If Ruger is teh Co. it advertises, it will repair /replace the 204. AS for Remington, I know they would. All my large game rifles are Rems. and till I find a better Mouse trap they will continue to be my hunting gun. When the Rem 25-06 will kill a Lope at 325 yds, the Rem 06 a Mulie at 345 yds, both one shot kills, why change? All i ask or expect is a oppotunity to go West and enjoy the beautiful country and if successful on game, thats a bonus. I can sit on top of any of teh Rocky Mtns and be happy, just so much beauty to see. Maybe I;m a tad biased,at 72 yrs old, disabled/Handicapped, just the opportunity to be able to go is worth the cost,. Even if I had to take my Marlin 30-30, feel sure would be successful on some animals I let walk. Yep, I;m a Trophy hunter now, as Den wall is full of Mounts from many states. Pratice a lot and shoot-um-straight. Good Luck this hunting season to all.


The original letter made no mention of the brand of rifle, just that it is chambered for the .204 Ruger.
My own, very positive, experience with the Ruger firm goes back almost 30 years when I purchased a 10-22. Not long after buying it I had disassembled it for cleaning and misplaced a spring. I called the company fully expecting to pay for the replacement but they sent it out to me at no cost and I received it 4 days later!
Admittedly I haven't needed to call them in years but the experience was enough that I have purchased an additional Ruger .22 and am considering a Model 77 in .243 Win. despite the higher price than some other brands out there.
The .204 is just a cartridge which, IMHO, doesn't fill any need or gap.

Will Becker

I'll put my two cents worth in.Why does anyone want such a small caliber when something in the 22 centerfire calibers are much better? Go to 25/06 or 243 and you have an all around rifle.I have a friend that has a 222 Rem 700 he's had for twenty eight years.It prints dime sized groups at one hundred yards


When I was about 13 or 14 back in 1971-72, I bought a shotgun at Sears. It was a Ted Williams Model 200. I always suspected that it is a Winchester Model 12. It has a Winchester barrel and looks just like a a model 12, but the pump slide is square and it has a "polychoke." Whatever it is, it is the best gun in the arsenal. I love it and although it is very well worn after nearly 40 years, when I take the girls out (my 2 beagles) I always reach into the safe and grab it. Its like a good old friend who has hunted with me all my life. It just feels right and it too always goes bang.
I guess I just want to finally know if it is a Model 12 sold under the Ted Williams name?

Either way, it will always be my first choice out the door.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

BHP: I expect it is a Model 12. Sears sold fiearms under the Sears name, J.C. Higgins name( he was a employee of Sears) and then Ted Williams. Sears had several Mfgers made their firearms. I have 2 Sears 22's had over 50 yds. Winchester made many rifles and shotguns , and so did Moseburg, Marlin. I goofed up 2 yrs ago in Montana and let a Sears 30-30 pass by, was too stuborn to pay the price, gun made by old top ejection 30-30 -94 Winchester.Several other Co's made firearms for Sears. Will be of interest to you if you do a tad of research and really find out all the Co;s who did make firearms for sears. Did you know, that way back then, Sears sold HOMES? yes houses. When I was small fry of l0 or so I was raised on a Tobacco farm and when curing tobacco we stayed at the barn to feed the furnaces wood all night. I wore out many Sears Catalogs, as they had anything you ever dreamed off and then some. It was called the wish book. When the one we had was replaced by a current issue , evry year, the old one went to the outhouse. So We recyclyed way back in the 40's.Most any Sears, J.C. Higgins, Ted Williams firearm , if you see one in good condition, buy it. Is your shotgun for sell? if so post it here and I will try to buy it from you.PS; Sears had a bolt action shotgun, 2 in magazine, ands l in chamber, it too had a Poly-type choke. I had a l2 gague, and like a young Idiot, traded it for a s x s 16 gag. Fox. Wish had kept it and yet bought the Fox. O, I still have the Fox and is like new even today.Also have a Custom W S SCott 12 ga s x s with exposed working hammers, fancy silver work. Fine firearm, not for sell. Keep that Sears 200 and enjoy it. If you have a Son/Daughter who hunts, by all means leave it to them. Good hunting-Shoot often and straight. The old Gunslinger down south.Never enough firearms, just need one of each,

Rocky Mtn Gunslinger

BPH; Was at a Pawn show today and found a re-conditioned Sears 30-30, wih top ejecting. Wood was a light Hardwood, but guy did a good job on refinishing. Metal is all great so is the blueing. If had $500.00 would have bought. All I did not like was the light Hardwood. Had it been a oil based Walnut would have bought.Anyway I made the guy a offer, gave him

my # so will see if takes me up or not.If I do get, another re-z finishing job will be this Winter. I will get the finish off and re-finish the wood and make it darker with a oil based finish,in Satin.I need this gun like a hole in the head, but did like its looks,other than the light wood.

Dick Gunlogson

The .222 Rem seems to be, inherently, a very accurate round. Back in the very early '60 there was a bounty on hair seals here in AK, plus the hides were bringing very good prices on the world market at that time. We organized a pretty large scale seal hunting venture, complete with a live- on mother ship and skiffs for access to the shooting grounds. We were hunting some remote islands on the Pacific side off the SW end of the Alaska Peninsula. After about six weeks we returned with over 1000 seals.
I shot a .222 Mod. 700 Rem. with a 2-1/2X8 B&L scope exclusively, as the extra noise from larger calibers spooked the seals too much. I took a couple hundred rounds of factory ammo and a few cans of primers, powder and bullets. Loaded with a Tong tool. All shooting was at seals in the water. Six inch circle = seal head. Target was the eye or equivalent dime size. Shots probably averaged 100yds of so. Every miss was a loss of revenue (plus loss of face with your crew). The .222 never failed to exceed MOA and is just as accurate today. Now if we could just get the bounty back!!


bobbing boat bobbing seal, dime size target area 100 yards out.
things that make you go........ Hmmmm!

yote slayer

ther is nothing wrong with the .204 round heers what you do go buy a cheap rem 700 sps put a leupold on it shoot winchester sapreams and it will do 1.00 groups from 20 to 250 yards the whole rig will cost muxh less than a grand even with a case of shells

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