Seventeen-caliber cartridges have all the time fascinated a sure group of handloaders for some mystical purpose. Neither possessing the generalist attraction of the working class .223, nor the macho western attraction of the .22/250, the .17 caliber normally appeals to a unique set—the specialists, resembling fur hunters, the tinkerers, and the individuals who search enjoyment off the crushed path. Maybe somebody who drives a Maserati, or a Nineteen Seventies Worldwide pickup. Chances are high, in the event that they’re a shooter, they’ve a .17-caliber rifle tucked away someplace.
.17 Remington Historical past
To be utterly upfront, I’m not a Maserati man. I’ve, nevertheless, owned and handloaded for the frequent .17s and the main focus of this text would be the first, and in some ways, the best—the .17 Remington. This little gem was launched initially by Remington in 1971, although related wildcats had undoubtedly existed for a few years prior. In its unique configuration, it was a superb cartridge, although considerably restricted. In in the present day’s guise, benefitting of extra fashionable manufacturing strategies, propellants, a greater understanding of twist charges, and cleansing procedures and merchandise, the .17 actually shines inside its area of interest.
The .17 Remington is among the kids that the .222 Remington spawned. Its case is 1.796 inches lengthy and whereas many assert that it’s nothing greater than a .223 necked to .17, a fast examination of the circumstances clearly demonstrates that this isn’t so. The .17 Remington has an extended neck with the shoulder pushed again considerably, and is .036 inch longer—making it distinctive.
.17 Remington Instances
Talking of circumstances—good cartridge circumstances can be found from a wide range of sources, as is loaded ammunition. For years, Remington was the one one which loaded the .17 Rem., however now manufacturing unit ammunition could be had from Nosler and Hornady, as effectively. Instances can be found from Nosler and Norma—and they’re fairly good—although a bit extra closely constructed than the unique Remingtons—so the handloader should take this into consideration and work up hundreds rigorously if utilizing information that was developed in Remington circumstances. Imagine me, that is essential as this small-caliber case does generate vital stress and piercing or blowing primers is an actual risk at extreme pressures.
Primers for the .17 Remington
Primers open one other attention-grabbing can of worms. Many primers have cups (the precise portion of the primer that the firing pin strikes) which might be both too skinny or too mushy for the highest hundreds on this cartridge. The primers that appear to constantly work the perfect (and are those most sources advocate) are the CCI 450, Remington 7.5, and CCI BR-4. I’ve additionally carried out loads of work with the Federal 205 and 205 Match, and these primers additionally work effectively—however can even begin to flatten and might pierce extra simply than the primary three talked about. I’ve not tried the superb RWS primer nor the brand new Winchester Match Small Rifle—however wouldn’t hesitate to check both one. Within the .17s I’ve labored with, the CCI BR-4 has given me probably the most constant accuracy—however your outcomes could fluctuate.
.17 Remington Powders
The .17 Remington works with a greater variety of propellants than one could instantly suppose. On the quicker burning finish of the usable spectrum, and with lighter bullets powders like H322 can ship astonishingly excessive velocity with wonderful accuracy. The .17 Remington was initially launched with 25 grain bullets, and for this center weight, a lot of the powders that work effectively in a 22-250 or 308 work fairly effectively. For years, the powder within the .17 Rem. was IMR4320. If you happen to have a look at a burn charge chart and printed reloading information, you will notice different powders which might be shut—Reloder 15, IMR4064, Varget, VV N-140, and H4895 are generally referenced.
A sleeper that works very effectively is W760 and its stablemate H414. A more recent powder that reveals nice promise is StaBall 6.5—not solely is it temperature insensitive and spherical (which makes charging circumstances simpler), it’s quick. Hodgdon has information accessible on-line. As with all cartridge, each time altering to a brand new lot of powder, it’s all the time greatest to load just a few rounds at decrease cost weights and chronograph them to verify velocity towards that of your current load. Lot-to-lot powder variations do exist and in a cartridge this small, they will trigger a big distinction in stress and velocity.
When charging circumstances, use care. Longer stick propellants can “bridge” when flowing by means of purpose-designed .17 caliber powder shelling out tools, and for that reason I all the time weigh my expenses rigorously and examine the charged circumstances previous to the bullet seating operation. On this cartridge, an overcharge of a fraction of a grain, notably when working with close to most hundreds, can produce extreme pressures–so slightly further care on this step is important.
.17 Rem. Bullets
Bullets for the .17 Remington have come a good distance since 1971, each in high quality and selection. As talked about, the .17 was first dropped at market with a 25-grain Energy Lokt Hole Level. This bullet was good in its day and set the tone for the .17s popularity as a superb pelt caliber. About the identical time, Hornady launched its model of the 25-grain HP—and this was (and is) a superb bullet, although sadly it seems to be out of manufacturing in the meanwhile. Berger set a terrific tone for .17 caliber bullets with a variety of bullets—variously producing bullets as mild as 15 grains and as heavy as 37 grains (which require a really quick twist). Immediately, they’re down to at least one providing—a 25-grain Varmint Hollowpoint—and it’s a really correct projectile. Hornady and Nosler each make 20-grain bullets. Nosler makes each a hollowpoint and a Tipped projectile within the Varmageddon line, whereas Hornady makes a 20-grain V-MAX, in addition to a 25-grain V-MAX when you like slightly heavier possibility. There are all kinds of customized makers that presently promote varied configurations of hollowpoints and even softpoints in .17 caliber—a fast search on the ’web will present the best way.
High Varmint Bullet Weight
For taking pictures varmints like prairie canines or floor squirrels, the 20-grain bullets are arduous to beat. They’ll simply break 4,200 fps and terminal outcomes are spectacular, as one would anticipate. At these velocities, drift isn’t as vital as some would lead you to consider, both. At the least not within 300 yards. I’ll say that the 20s, whereas engaging for the little stuff, are usually not all the time an ideal alternative for predators at these velocities. If putting a bone on impression they may completely detonate—not solely probably ruining a beneficial conceal, but additionally making a superficial wound that isn’t instantly deadly and can go away animals to endure—one thing all hunters attempt to keep away from.
High Predator .17 Rem. Predator Bullets
For the larger animals resembling predators, it’s very arduous to beat a 25-grain hole level. Sadly, our selections have develop into very sparse, however the V-MAX and the Berger HP each work higher than the lighter bullets. If you could find both the older Berger 25-grain Goal HP (smaller nostril opening) or the Hornady HP, you’ll be in enterprise. At 3,900 to 4,000 fps these bullets will usually enter a furbearer with a tiny pinprick and utterly dissipate contained in the animal. Kills are normally fast and clear, and the fur is normally excellent.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with a 30-grain HPBT from a customized maker in Virginia, Don Unmussig. His bullets are additionally distinctive—not solely correct, however very efficient terminally. A couple of grains of bullet weight on this diminutive cartridge could make a really massive distinction in terminal impact, and the sleeker HPBT design flies exceedingly effectively. Not solely that, however it’s also steady in a 1:9 twist, which has develop into the usual within the caliber (from the unique 1:10).
Preserve Your .17 Remington Clear
A observe on cleansing—since this shall be talked about in any reloading guide or article in regards to the caliber. The .17 Remington requires constant cleansing. It’s a very small bore, very high-pressure spherical and as such, it fouls similar to an identical, bigger cartridge (suppose .22/250 or .220 Swift—even the .204 Ruger). Good brushes, an excellent one-piece rod, a bore information and a solvent at the least equal to Shooter’s Alternative are all good investments.
The .17 Remington is a enjoyable and attention-grabbing spherical to work with. It requires slightly extra care than a number of the run-of-the-mill cartridges, nevertheless it gives extra distinctive outcomes inside its area of interest, too. Give it a shot and see what you’ve been lacking.