It's hard to say if it and others, like the short and ultra mags are dead or is it the slowing of economy that has caused so little movement these days..costs of brass, loaded factory ammo has become out of control but if a guy doesn't have an extra $50 in his pocket these days all these new fangled ideas aren't worth much.. If I were a betting lady I'd say the old standby's will regain strength and black rifles when OK'ed for varmint hunting will be the new craze in PA hunting.. better pick-up a semi-rifle before the price sky-rockets..
There has been a bunch of new cartridge introductions over the last 15 years or so. Most have not really invented a new niche, or usage. However a few have. And IMO the 204 Ruger cartridge is one of the rare ones that filled a niche. So I believe it will be around for a long time.
There were alot of guys out there wildcatting the 20 and 17 caliber rifles. So there was a market for them to start with. The 17 Remington just got a lot of bad press(like the 220 Swift). But no 20 caliber got beat up real bad.
The 204 is an effective cartridge for its intended use. And has advantages over other cartridges with the same intended use, so that makes the 204 a good idea. It will stick around.
In PA it is a great choice for ground hog hunting. Most PA ground hog hunting is 300 yards and in. Not alot of long range shooting in PA, as you all know. The 32 grain 204 is on a rope to 300 yards. And also effectively kills ground hogs and coyotes to that distance. What round is a better choice for doing that?? The only other good choice is the 223 Remington, and the 223 is only better because you can buy ammo cheaper. For a reloader(and factory ammo) the 204 is flatter than the 223, and is every bit of a killer as the 223 to 300 yards. Tom.
Even though the Swift goes back to the depression it still has no equal.The 204 is nippin at it,s heels but the Swift still rules the roost.That,s just not my opinion,that comes from countless number of professionals tellin me that themselves and they make their livin in the firearms industry.