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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw some load data that showed good results with VVN 540 powder in a 204 Ruger cartridge.

Anyone tried this combo - 32 or 40 gn bullets?

Thanks.
 

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StevenD--Very early in my load testing (back in August of 2004) in my Savage 12VLP in .204 Ruger I tried some modified ladder-type loads of 27.0, 27.5, 27.8, and 28.0 gr. of N-540 with the 40 gr. V-Max. Velocities from these single shots with each of the loads listed were: 3,503, 3,706, 3,739, and 3,759 fps.

I was interested in getting higher velocities so I tried 29.6 gr of N-540 with the 40 gr. V-Max--(I don't remember why I jumped from 28.0 gr. all the way up to 29.6 gr.--not thinking, maybe?!?!?! :confused: :eek: Remember, about 27.7 gr. of N-540 is probably the max load, but back then, I didn't have any published load data to go by.) Anyway, I fired one shot as a fouler and then followed that with three more shots for group. The last three shots gave me velocities of 4,021, 4,050, and 4,046 fps at 12' from the muzzle, but the 3-shot group measured .918", however shots 1 and 2 of the last three were about .438" apart, center-to-center. I gave up on the 40 gr. V-Max completely shortly after that.

I did try N-540 with the 40 gr. Nosler BT back in April of 2006. I tried three loads of 27.8 gr., three of 28.0 gr. and three of 28.2 gr. The best group out of those three tests was .618" for the 27.8 gr. load and an average velocity of 3,805 fps at 12 feet from the muzzle. The 28.0 gr. load gave me a 3-shot group measureing .869" and average velocity of 3,837 fps at 12' from the muzzle. The 28.2 gr. load measured 1.094" for 3 shots and the average velcoity was 3,888 fps at 12' from the muzzle.

I never tried N-540 with any 32 gr. bullets.

I do like N-540 with my 30 gr. Starke Red Prairie Varmint bullets out of my Lilja barreled .17 Remington though!!! This is a 25 1/8" long barrel with a 1 in 9" twist and four grooves. My load is HOT, but is shoots just fine out of my Rem 700 BDL action with 24.6 gr. of N-540, Rem 7½ primers, and moves out at 3,900 fps muzzle velocity. Deadly coyote medicine.
 

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N540 in 204

I use N530 in my 204 26 grains and 40 grain Bergers is a great combo for coytes and bobcats . Thanks! Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Mark & SF in ND for the information.

VVN costs me more for the shipping than for the powder and I didn't want to buy it without some backup.

Incidentally, I shoot the 40 gn Bergers in mine as well for fur. It blows bunny chunks 15' in the air, but is seems to be fur friendly so far. But I have not been able to get over 3750 fps without pressure signs. It shoots tight groups though.

Thanks again.
 

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The VihtaVuori powders are extremely expensive up here in NW North Dakota. I think some sporting goods stores have a 2 pound container priced at around $52 or maybe a tad more. However, if the VVN powders are way more accurate in my rifles, I guess I will have to feed them this high-test powder. :D :D I just laid in 8 pounds of N-540. I went in on a group buy and got a better price and the HAZ-MAT fee was spread over 100+ pounds of powder. Shipping charges were quite reasonable too. For most other powders, I try to patronize my local sporting goods store.

My load for coyotes is a 35 gr. FB HP Berger with a very HOT LOAD of H4895, Hornady casings and Rem 7½ primers. Muzzle velocity is around 4,225 fps and not only is this load fur friendly, but it also puts the coyotes down with quite a bit of authority.

For prairie dogs and such, I have settled on heavier, higher BC bullets and pretty much abandoned the 32 gr. bullets. The 32 grainers just seem to deflect too much in the wind. I use both the 39 gr. Sierra BlitzKing and the 40 gr. Nosler BT. The 40 gr. Berger and 40 gr. Hornady V-Max didn't seem to want to shoot decent in my rifle, BUT that could have been because I was trying to HOT ROD them at velocities in the 4,000+ fps range.

My 39 gr. Sierra load uses 28.0 gr. of H4895, WW casings and Rem 7½ primers. The last time I chronographed this load I was getting an average of 3,885 fps at 12' from the muzzle. This is a very accurate load out of my Savage 12VLP.

For the 40 gr. Nosler BTs, I currently use 27.3 gr. of AA2520, WW casings, and Rem 7½ primers. The average velocity of this load is 3,855 fps at 12' from the muzzle. This, too, is a very accurate load in my Savage 12VLP. I have two more pounds of AA2520 to shoot up and then I will be switching to 27.6 gr. of H4895. The H4895 load gives me an average velocity of 3,920 fps at 12' from the muzzle and maybe even better accuracy than the AA2520 load.

These 40 gr. Noslers give me the best acrobatic action on prairie dogs. Here's a series of photos my son took last July on a PD hunt we were on. There was a pair of PDs sitting on a mound and I aimed at the one on the left. The shot went off, the prairie dog got launched, and just before his buddy got hit by the remains of the carcass, he scooted down into the hole.









The 39 gr. Sierras are just a tiny bit more accurate and do give some pretty good helicopter action, but not quite as good action as the Noslers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Devastating

"These 40 gr. Noslers give me the best acrobatic action on prairie dogs. Here's a series of photos my son took last July on a PD hunt we were on. There was a pair of PDs sitting on a mound and I aimed at the one on the left. The shot went off, the prairie dog got launched, and just before his buddy got hit by the remains of the carcass, he scooted down into the hole."

I remember the first time that the one fellow on the Outdoor Channel shot a rodent with a 204. It looked like he was going to turn green. After a few seconds, that was all he could say was, "My, that is devastatin'". Cracked me up.

Anyway, that's some fine action photography. That is real hard to do.

I'll give some of those a try. Hate to have my 204 sounding so anemic. I did whack a coyote at well over 400 yds with the Berger's and he didn't move. It was a pretty cold morning, in the single digits and the loud WHOMP was a sound I won't forget either. He was sitting and I held even with his eyes. The bullet hit him just above the haunches. It was a gut shot for sure, but those little bullets just break apart into razor blades and go everywhere. (I haven't mastered the picture importing yet, so it the photo is not as clear as the original. It was a male with a nice heavy coat.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Damn! Great pix! That does it...My next rifle is going to be the 204, I recon!

P.
 

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Tried a few loads using the 39gr BK

and VV N-540 (charge 28.0-29.0gr). Did not show any signs of excessive pressure and velocities were in the mid-3800's. Bullets were moly'd. Will do more testing with this powder in the Pac-Nor when it warms up.
Bob
 

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StevenD--That is a nice looking coyote. The country in the background looks pretty good too! Do you use your dog as a toll dog? What breed is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Deek McCoy

StevenD--That is a nice looking coyote. The country in the background looks pretty good too! Do you use your dog as a toll dog? What breed is it?
That dog belongs to a friend of mine who is the real coyote hunter. The dog's real name is Bandit. He's a blue heeler. About all he does is distract the coyotes chasing bunnies and ripping out sage brush. They don't know what to do with him half the time. When Bandit sees that things are getting ready to go Western, he runs and hides behind the shooter, which isn't the greatest but.... Pretty funny really. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Skypilot

and VV N-540 (charge 28.0-29.0gr). Did not show any signs of excessive pressure and velocities were in the mid-3800's. Bullets were moly'd. Will do more testing with this powder in the Pac-Nor when it warms up.
Bob

I hope to give it a try. Thanks again.
 
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