Fatigue tests were performed using three types of round-bar specimens of Type 304, meta-stable, austenitic stainless steel. The specimens had circumferential notch with stress concentration factors, Kt, of 2, 3 or 6.6. Load controlled fatigue tests were conducted at stress ratio, R, of 0.1 and −1 in ambient air at room temperature. At R of 0.1, fatigue life was decreased with an increase in the stress concentration factor. Conversely, at R of −1, the stress concentration factor had little influence on the fatigue life. To understand the mechanism of the stress ratio effect, local deformation behavior at and beneath the notch root during the fatigue test was computed by means of finite element analysis considering that the plastic constitutive model describes the cyclic stress-strain response.