There have been a number of new cartridges introduced recently, some say in an effort to boost lagging firearms sales because the new cartridges don’t do anything all that much better than the old ones. Maybe, maybe not, but one thing I believe is that cartridge development by the manufacturers generally follows the work of successful wildcatters – people who develop new rounds just for the fun of it.
I’ve been seriously considering getting a Thompson/Center Contender rifle barrel in the wildcat Tactical Twenty caliber, which is a .223 Remington cartridge necked down to .204″. There are (or at least there were) no commercial firearms barreled for a .204″ projectile, but there are several bullet makers producing bullets of this size – which means there’s a market for them. There are bullets available ranging in weight from 30 to 50 grains.
The wildcat Twenties include the .20 Squirrel, the .20 Ackley Hornet, the .20 Ackley Bee, the .20 Vartag, the .20 Vartag Turbo, the .20 Slammer, the .20 TNT, the Tactical Twenty, the .20 Terminator, the .20 PPC and the .20 BR.
The wildcatters have been having a field day.
At least one manufacturer has taken notice.
As I said, the Tactical Twenty is based on the .223 Remington case, and it pushes a 33-grain Hornady V-Max bullet out of a 26″ barrel at over 4200fps with reportedly excellent accuracy. This piqued my interest, but custom barrels and custom dies and all the other toys that go along with them tend to be on the expensive side, and I don’t have a lot of spare change laying around.
Well, Ruger has now introduced another new cartridge: The 204 Ruger. This is a .20 caliber based on the obsolescent .222 Remington Magnum case. According to Ruger:
When compared directly with either the 22-250 Remington or the 220 Swift, the 204 RUGER offers higher muzzle velocity and flatter trajectory. Because the 204 RUGER cartridge achieves a higher velocity with less propellant than either the 22-250 Remington or the 220 Swift, this new cartridge does not compromise barrel life. The 204 RUGER also offers lower recoil and muzzle report than comparable high-velocity, sub-caliber ammunition. Its conventional case shape avoids feeding problems and increased rearward bolt thrust associated with short and super short magnum cartridges.
You know, I’ve always wanted a Ruger #1.
Something like this:
Gotta start saving my pennies.