Reloading Podcast 252 - you going to coat that

Hello, and welcome to the Reloading Podcast here on the Firearms Radio Network.  

Tonight the guys are talking powder coating vs HiTek and other things.

  1. In the AR-15 platform, could loads that are too light cause doubles?

  2. Joe Commesso posted in RLPG MeWe: Is anyone hitting 150 yards consistently with a 45 Colt lever action rifle?

  3. Russ Harrison posted in RLPG MeWe: Travis mentioned on the last live cast that he preferred powder coating over HiTek coated. I shoot the HiTek coated Acme bullets. What is the difference between the two coatings? I also presumed that they were the same thing.


  1. Paul Lowd posted in RLPG FB: Lyman has apparently decided to jump into the progressive press market.

Cartridge corner: The 204 Ruger was developed from the .222 Remington Magnum, which has the second largest case capacity in the family that began with the .222 Remington.[3] Only the European 5.6×50mm Magnum is larger, which itself is a lengthened version of the 222 Remington Magnum. The 222 Remington Magnum provides about 5% more usable (below the neck) case capacity than the most popular member of the family, the NATO 5.56×45mm (.223 Remington). To make the 204 Ruger, the 222 Remington Magnum case was necked down to .204 inches (5 mm) and shoulder moved forward and angle increased to 30 degrees.[4] Bullets available in .204 caliber range from 24 to 55 grains (1.55517g to 3.56g).[5] The Hornady factory load is listed at 4,225 ft/s (1288 m/s) with a 32-grain (2.1 g) bullet.[6] To achieve these velocities, the factory uses a proprietary powder composition known internally as SMP746, specially formulated by Primex, and not currently (2013) available to handloaders. The propellant features a de-coppering agent that helps prevent fouling. Reloading data from Hornady, using commercially available powders, indicate velocity peaking at just under 4,200 ft/s (1,300 m/s) with the 32-grain (2.1 g) bullet in longer barrels. Many AR-15 rifle manufacturers now offer the .204 Ruger as an alternative chambering alongside the usual 5.56×45mm/.223 Rem.

The .204 Ruger was the second Ruger-named cartridge produced by a partnership between Ruger and Hornady, the first being the big bore .480 Ruger revolver cartridge introduced in 2003 for the Super Redhawk. With the backing of a major gunmaker and a major ammunition company, the round was an instant success, with other ammunition makers and firearms makers quickly adding the new chambering. Ruger's initial offerings included the bolt action Model 77 MKII, and the single shot Ruger No. 1, and Hornady offered loadings with 30-and-40-grain (1.9 and 2.6 g) bullets.

The .204 Ruger has proven to be a very accurate and efficient cartridge: an early tester reported 1/2 MOA groups at 100 yards (91 m) with the Hornady loads and a Ruger #1 Varmint rifle. This is not surprising, considering that the first cartridge in the family, the .222 Remington, was a top benchrest shooting cartridge for many years after its introduction.

The .204 Ruger was intended primarily for varmint rifles, which require bullets with flat trajectories but not much mass or kinetic energy. The .204 was "splitting the difference" between the popular .224 varmint rounds such as the .220 Swift and .22-250 Remington, and the tiny .172 caliber rounds such as the .17 Remington and the .17 HMR. The resulting cartridge provides somewhat higher velocities than any of these, giving a maximum point blank range of more than 270 yards (250 m).


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.[7]

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.[8]

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 from a 26" barrel.[9] However, Hornady's 35 gr NTX .22-250 claims 4450 fps from a 24" barrel.

.204 Ruger 32 GR V-MAX 83204


100 yd

200 yd

300 yd

400 yd

500 yd


(fps) / (ft-lbs)







Trajectory (inches)







.204 Ruger 40 GR V-MAX 83206


100 yd

200 yd

300 yd

400 yd

500 yd


(fps) / (ft-lbs)







Trajectory (inches)







.204 Ruger 45 GR SP 83208


100 yd

200 yd

300 yd

400 yd

500 yd


(fps) / (ft-lbs)







Trajectory (inches)









Place of origin


Production history








Parent case

.222 Remington Magnum

Case type

Rimless, bottleneck

Bullet diameter

.204 in (5.2 mm)

Neck diameter

.2311 in (5.87 mm)

Shoulder diameter

.3598 in (9.14 mm)

Base diameter

.3764 in (9.56 mm)

Rim diameter

.378 in (9.6 mm)

Rim thickness

.0449 in (1.14 mm)

Case length

1.850 in (47.0 mm)

Overall length

2.2598 in (57.40 mm)

Rifling twist


Primer type

small rifle

Ballistic performance

Bullet mass/type



32 gr. (2.1 g) BT

4,225 ft/s (1,288 m/s)

1,268 ft⋅lbf (1,719 J)

40 gr. (2.6 g) BT

3,900 ft/s (1,200 m/s)

1,351 ft⋅lbf (1,832 J)

45 gr. (2.9 g) SP

3,625 ft/s (1,105 m/s)

1,313 ft⋅lbf (1,780 J)

40 gr. (2.6 g) Hornady V-Max, Norma

3,806 ft/s (1,160 m/s)

1,195 ft⋅lbf (1,620 J)

Source(s): Hornady[1] Norma[2]


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