.17HMR experience's

#1
Just granted my FAC with .17HMR on the ticket. Can anyone advise on a good .17hmr rifle. I am looking at a used rifle with mod. Any horror stories also welcomed. Regards.
 
#2
I've got a CZ with mod and scope
Tight groups at 100yards but fussy about ammo.- Remmington is excellent others give shotgun groupings
Oh, and it punches through 2mm steel at 50 or so yards and at 90 still makes a dent that lets light through so think backstop
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
I would heartily recommed the CZ 452 Varmint. That's the heavy barrelled rifle, although considering the small calibre, it's not too heavy hold in the aim at all.

Cracking little calibre, and if you're really good and the day is windless, you can knock a birdy over at 300m. On an average day with a little wind, 150m is the norm, and you'll turn a rabbit inside out at 100m with the ballistic tip ammo.

This rifle prefers the Federal B.T. to the Hornady I've found. Good foxing round out to 100m too.

No horror stories that I know of, though it is a little susceptible to wind due to the lightness of the round. You're looking at around the £460 mark for a brand new rifle with an extended 3 year warrantee (from me at least).
 
#5
I would heartily recommed the CZ 452 Varmint. That's the heavy barrelled rifle, although considering the small calibre, it's not too heavy hold in the aim at all.

Cracking little calibre, and if you're really good and the day is windless, you can knock a birdy over at 300m. On an average day with a little wind, 150m is the norm, and you'll turn a rabbit inside out at 100m with the ballistic tip ammo.

This rifle prefers the Federal B.T. to the Hornady I've found. Good foxing round out to 100m too.

No horror stories that I know of, though it is a little susceptible to wind due to the lightness of the round. You're looking at around the £460 mark for a brand new rifle with an extended 3 year warrantee (from me at least).
What is the thumbhole version of this rifle like? I saw a couple at the Game Fair and was sorely tempted, having just chopped my .22 CZ in for a T-Bolt but nobody was being very forthcoming.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
What is the thumbhole version of this rifle like? I saw a couple at the Game Fair and was sorely tempted, having just chopped my .22 CZ in for a T-Bolt but nobody was being very forthcoming.
It's a little heavier than the standard stock and the whole package is quite short, but comfortable. Once you whack a decent mod on it like the new Edgar Brothers .17 specific one, it'll do very nicely indeed.

It so happens I have a new thumbhole one in stock, as well as a CZ 'Premium' with the set trigger, light stock and fluted barrel - only £650, but cosnderably less for the thumbhole variant, though I can't recall the price on that right now.
 
#8
I've got a few T-bolt magazines if you want them, for a contribution to Hols.
Thanks but I've got the synthetic version and twenty shots ready to go is enough. In hindsight the wood heavy barrel/varmint version has the better stock, I think the synthetic is too short in the forend but the extra (expensive) mag sold me.
It's between the T-Bolt Varmint and the CZ for my new HMR although I think a straight-pull .17 might just be a bit expensive to feed, the .22 certainly rattles through the brass. Then there's the expense of getting the thing cut down to a sensible length - why Browning only do a 22in version is beyond me.

EDIT: In answer to the original question I'd agree with Biped, the normal Varmint 452 is a nice rifle and as ammo isn't cheap anyway you might as well let it be picky. The Sako Quad is also nice albeit much dearer (and the barrel change gimmick isn't much use to us in the UK).
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Thanks but I've got the synthetic version and twenty shots ready to go is enough. In hindsight the wood heavy barrel/varmint version has the better stock, I think the synthetic is too short in the forend but the extra (expensive) mag sold me.
It's between the T-Bolt Varmint and the CZ for my new HMR although I think a straight-pull .17 might just be a bit expensive to feed, the .22 certainly rattles through the brass. Then there's the expense of getting the thing cut down to a sensible length - why Browning only do a 22in version is beyond me.

EDIT: In answer to the original question I'd agree with Biped, the normal Varmint 452 is a nice rifle and as ammo isn't cheap anyway you might as well let it be picky. The Sako Quad is also nice albeit much dearer (and the barrel change gimmick isn't much use to us in the UK).
The issue with the Sako Quad is that it's expensive, and for the purposes of having two interchangable rimmy barrels for one action . . . . it's alright if you still don't mind having the thing fill two slots on your ticket and the fact that if you do actually change the barrels on a regular basis (because you can't make your bloody mind up), you're going to wear the barrel/action fitting.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Unless you are truly trying to control rodents, it's not really that practical of a cartridge. For hunting small game meat it is too damaging --- standard velocity .22LR is better.
I disagree. Headshots out to over 100m on wabbits is perfectly achievable. Admittedly, if you gut-shoot a rabbit with a BT you're likely to turn it inside out, but that's just bad shooting. Of course, the alternative is the CCI hollowtip or soft point .17HMR. Nicely effective without the explosive expansion.
 
#11
The issue with the Sako Quad is that it's expensive, and for the purposes of having two interchangable rimmy barrels for one action . . . . it's alright if you still don't mind having the thing fill two slots on your ticket and the fact that if you do actually change the barrels on a regular basis (because you can't make your bloody mind up), you're going to wear the barrel/action fitting.
I agree I was thinking of a just HMR set-up, the changeable barrel is a bit pointless and expensive - probably aimed at the US market.


Dogface - Headshots, the flat shooting characteristics of .17 make them eminently possible even for a mediocre shot such as myself and I've never yet met anyone who wanted to eat bunny-brains. Anyway at the ranges I'd choose it over .22 I've always found the "meat damage" argument a bit overblown.
 
#12
Great fox munition if you intend to shoot foxes indoors, outdoors you might as well just leave it at home. If there's any wind, rain, grass or leaves in the flightpath, you'll miss the target. There are plenty of better calibres out between 5 and 6 mm, which are far more practical.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#13
As far as rimfires go they are very good, Savage is the one I'd recommend. a good rifle and well builkt and cheaper than the CZ. Edgar Brothers will be next years importer although Garlands still has a few left.
Talking of left I bought one for a client in Left handed and he loves it. I have despatched the odd fox in a trap close up and destroyed some house bricks and beer bottles but thats about the level of my experience.
One word of warning regarding CZ's. Now bear in mind I have about 5 of them and really rate them, I have seen/bought/handled 3 now that have quality isses. One had severe tooling scars inside the reciever which made working the bolt difficult. I bought one with a damaged bolt face and one where the stock split within 6 months.
Edgar Brothers were less than helpful. The UK dealers couldnt do enough and I thank even those who didnt have to help for getting it shipped for me.
Edgar brothers are a pain in the arse and dont do customer service.
I imagine the QC issues were when they were ramping up production over the last 5 years but as their prices are almost Tikka level I'd expect better QC and Customer support!
GMK treat their customers better.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Just how many .17HMR headshot rabbits at 100 meters have you dressed and placed in your game bag?
A considerable number. Er, for your information, and as already pointed out, I don't keep the brains. They're paunched and skinned before they go in the bag, and they're shot off a rest.

Why, can't you get a 2" group at 100m?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#15
Over here unlkess you are unliucky enough to live in East Anglia fields arent very big. Rabbits like hedgerows and arent warren users to the same extent. Therefore we have no prairie dog towns and 100 yards is a good distnce for .17 although a stretch for .22rf on head shots!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Rabbit hunting with off-hand (standing) stance in the field and at 100M with a .17HMR in a hunting rifle? No. And you'll not convince me you do either even with no wind.

.17HMR is unecessary for rabbits or squirrels. That's a case of a solution in search of a problem.

Regardless, a hunter's distinction isn't in how long a shot he makes to bag game, but how short a shot for that given game.
Read my post again, carefully. I don't shoot rabbits in the head off hand at 100m. It's a supersonic round, so it's going to make a crack anyway, but the blast is mitigated by the moderator, and I get more rabbits from further away that coming in close unecessarily.

I find that the 'thump' of the strike of a .22LR round on a rabbit has the same effect as the crack of a .17HMR - it disturbs the rabbits remaining upright.

As for foxes, I've seen other people shoot them stone dead out to 100m, as have I done myself. My .17HMR is fitted with the Pulsar N550 so I can get as close as I need to in the dark to make my shots effective.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
A vehicle bonnet, bipod on the deck or a fence post, or I come in closer to ensure a head shot off hand.

I didn't claim I head shot them off hand at 100m. Your assertion that it's hard is correct.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Fair enough. It's varmint control I do, with a view to using the meat or selling the carcass afterwards. Call it what you like.
 
#19
Agree on the headshots - 120m is generally my headshot limit, and then it's supported. The impact on a bunny of the .22 round has them running away just as much as when they hear the .17 crack. Though I find out to about 65m, if you can get them in the eye with the .22 it deadens the 'head-clonk' effect.
 
#20
You use a stand or bench when hunting rabbit?

Certainly you vare not going to say you shoot rabbit at 100M from prone.
Furthest distance for me, prone with a bipod, was 125 yards and rabbit went down stone dead.
Fox at 80ish yards, chest shot, down with not even a twitch.
 
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