Though tiny, the .20-caliber can be a micro force with which to reckon, especially for vermin and varmints. It’s an incredibly fast round with surprising terminal results. While bolt actions are the most common launching platform, there are plenty of sweet single-shots, semi-automatic, and even modern-sporting/AR platforms from which to choose. 

Here are four of our proven faves. 

Savage 110 Predator

Let’s face it. Choosing only one model of Savage bolt action is like a needle in the haystack. Over the years, they’ve built a bakers dozens – or so it seems. Even in the .204 Ruger, the choices are many, but we’ve owned, hunted with, and shot hole on hole too many times with the 110 Predator line of rifles. These rifles are available in seven chamberings, from .204 on the small end up to 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win on the high side. 

RELATED: .204 Ruger Ammo Review – Tiny Round, Big Performance

There’s a fluted, threaded 24-inch barrel ready for brakes or cans. The Savage 110s boast Accu everything, including adjustable AccuTrigger and customizable AccuStock. The Predator feeds via a detachable steel box magazine and is dressed in Mossy Oak Terra camo furniture with soft grip panels. What really matters, though, is performance, and we’ve tested both the .223 and .204 versions with killer accuracy. 

Ruger No. 1

Since Ruger was the creator of the round – in partnership with Hornady – it’s no surprise one of our top picks is a Ruger rifle. It’s not, however, the bolt-action darlings from the Model 77 family nor the full contingent of Ruger Americans, though all are quite capable long guns. We’re just plain in love with the single-shot, falling-block classic Ruger No. 1. 

RELATED: King of Single Shots – Ruger No. 1 Rifle Review

We recently snagged one from the Vault in .204 Ruger with stainless metalwork and pepper laminate furniture. In addition to slick looks, the hefty varmint rifle is a legitimate tack driver with zero recoil and spicy downrange performance. To quantify it, we were thrilled to shoot three-shot, ragged one-hole and tiny cloverleaf groups at 100 yards, which remained equally impressive at 200. 

Those wanting a single shot, but not having the bankroll for a timeless gem like the No. 1 can still get into the .204 Ruger market at affordable prices. Two other companies – sadly neither in current production – that produced one-shot options are the Harrington & Richardson Handi Rifle or Thompson Center’s Encore family of switch-barrel singles. 

CZ 527

Much like selecting a single Savage from its sea of choices, picking only one other bolt action in .204 Ruger is a real trick. While choices like the Kimber 84M Varmint, Browning X-Bolt Speed, Ruger 77, and Mossberg MVP are awfully appealing, we’ve owned, hunted with, and been totally impressed with the performance and beauty of CZ’s Model 527 bolt guns. The 527 family comprises multiple models and variations, including Varmint and Americans in various configurations. 

Our 527 American uses a 22-inch barrel and is driven by a stellar single-set trigger that breaks like glass. Best of all, the build uses one of the most favorable actions with controlled round feed and a claw extractor. There’s even an American black walnut stock, five-round detachable magazine, and classic styling. It’s an old-school hunting rifle with lovely features. Plus, it shot the lights out on prairie dogs on a Wyoming varmint trip several years back. Those kinds of rifles are keepers.  

RELATED: CZ American in .204 Ruger Is a Varmint's Worst Nightmare

Wilson Combat Recon Tactical

Few hunters think of modern sporting rifles – or ARs – when pondering what .204 Ruger varmint gun to purchase. However, more semi-automatic builders are jumping on the .20-caliber wagon, and for good reason. Low recoil, impressive terminal performance, and the ability of the round to function smoothly on standard AR-15 lowers seal the deal. There are several such firearms we’ve tried and liked over the years, with names like CMMG and Rock River Arms making it difficult to choose. 

However, the Recon Tactical from Wilson Combat is a star. There’s an 18-inch match-grade threaded barrel and nickel-boron coated parts. The flat-top upper with rifle-length gas system uses a low-profile gas block and makes it easy to add quality scopes. The company includes its own Tactical Trigger Unit set at 4 pounds as well as Wilson Combat furniture and a BCM Gunfighter grip. The rig wears a durable Armor-Tuff finish. Load up 30-rounds of .204 Ruger in an AR-magazine and let the high-volume hunt begin. 

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