After my post on the similar ballistics between the new HK 4.6mm and the super popular .17 HMR, I’ve become completely fascinated by the .17 HMR. I don’t own one; I have always eschewed it in favor of my pet cartridge the .22 Magnum. In fact, I somewhat resented the .17 Magnum at its inception, as I believed (correctly) that it would lead to an increase in the price of .22 WMR ammo as demand for it dropped off in favor of the newer cartridge.
All that discontent has passed however; I’m not planning on purchasing in the upcoming months two different .17 Magnum firearms, one rifle and one handgun. Because I have gun ADD and can’t really focus on one individual firearm for longer than 20 minutes, I haven’t quite decided which particular rifle and pistol combo to get.
Here’s what I’m looking at for the rifles.
Ruger 96/17 – First off, it’s a Ruger so right there it has a lot going for it. Secondly, I’ve always liked the profile of Ruger’s lever actions, it looks like a beautiful cross between a 10/22 and a “real” lever gun.
Savage 93R17 – I once got to play with a Savage with an Accu-Trigger. I almost cried. Honestly, out of the box rifle triggers usually suck, even on rimfire rifles. The Accu-Trigger was smooth and crisp; and in a light varmint package like the .17 Magnum…well, let’s just say that my ancient enemy trembles at the thought.
Marlin 917V – I have almost this exact same rifle in .22 Magnum, sans the scope mounts. I’ve never bothered to scope it, as it seemed kind of…wrong. The nice thing about this rifle is that Marlin says I can use the magazines from my .22 Magnum rifle as well; so I’ve already got a couple mags to go with it.
H&R Sporster .17 HMR – Single shot rifles have a certain…pure feeling about them that I enjoy; the greatest appeal of the Sportster is its price point. The fact that I can get a decent rifle without breaking the bank is always, always appealing. Plus it comes with a nice synthetic stock so when I’m dug in come September prepping for an en masse charge by the little bushy tailed bastards; I won’t have to worry about ruining the wood on my rifle.
Now, the handgun question is more complicated; obviously I’m going to have to get a revolver. But that’s about the end of the simple part of the question.
I’ve got a lot of love for the Taurus Tracker series of revolvers, owning one in .357. I’ve been very satisfied with the trigger, the grips, and pretty much everything about it, so Taurus is on the table. On the other hand, there’s a little voice in my head that keeps whispering “single action” in my ear. That of course has got me looking at the Ruger Single Six, pretty much the classic single action rimfire platform.
Then, I idly happened by the North American Arms page. NAA makes their excellent Black Widow (2 inch barrel) and Mini-Master (4 inch barrel) revolvers in .17 HMR. Looking at their ballistics tables for the 17 grain round from the Mini-Master got me thinking about that as a backup gun against the bushy-tailed menace.
Finally, if you’re interested in the .17 HMR and want to absorb a ridiculous amount of data, you should check this page out. The one drawback is that he doesn’t have a lot of information on the 20 grain .17 HMR loads, which are the loads that in which I’m the most interested.