I still have the rifle.. it still shoot great, I'm real big on cleaning, something I found the 17's seem to need, or at least my does.
I'm still a big fan of the 25gr Remington HP bullet.. when I had the chance; I bought a metric tone of them, but it's just to bad Remington stopped making them for hand loader altogether.
When I was looking for powder(s), I took factory .17 Rem's apart in those early days. What I found was; the weight was 22.8grs and the powder looked very much like a powder V V N135 I was using in my .223 Rem. So I started "low" working up, when I hit 22.8grs... bingo! 4040 fps and gangster accurate with no pressure, and smoking SD's. I have too believe; Remington was using V V N-135 for their factory loads.
I always tried to keep the yote's at 300 yards an under.. anything under 300 yards and there head's beat there tails to the ground. And one of the benefits most .17 shooters know; it was like watch t.v hunting program at home through my scope. I used a 6X for about 95% of my yote hunting with the .17
Yes, the 17 calibers do like to be cleaned often and thoroughly. I use Sweet's 7.62 for copper and some powder residue abatement. The real cleaning comes with a patch and J&B Bore Paste. The carbon fouling must come out mechanically. A plus is that the J&B polishes the small machining "feathers" away from the bore. Making them more slick, more prone to stay clean, and better velocities.
Yes, it is too bad that Remington stopped their 25 grain HP's. They contracted with Nosler to make them. Now they have the Nosler Accu-Tip (ballistic Tip varminter) in just the 20 grain weight for reloaders. I suggest trying out the 17 caliber 25 grain Dog Town slugs from Midway USA, 25 grain Berger HPFB Varmint, or the 25 Grain Hornady HP's. The Nosler "Varmigedon" slugs only come in 20 grain HP or Ballistic Tip. I have never used Vihta Vuori powders. I plan on using VV N-130 or N-135 for my 20 grain Varmidgedon slugs to see if they are as accurate as my Varget or H-414 loads.
My current rig includes a 6.5-20 X 50MM VX-3 with VH reticle. I go after 'yote down to ground squirrels. I take the ground squirrels out to 300 yards and sometimes, if they are plentiful, I go for 400 yard to 500 yard shots.
the small ground squirrels here are a plague for the farmers and ranchers. they destroy land and break animals legs with their burrows. they make a great hunting show film through a good piece of glass on your rifle.
I guess i'll add my two cents. I also, am a big fan of the 17 cals. I own three, two 17 Fireballs and a 17 Rem. I started out with .204 Rugers and .223s, but after using the 17 Fireball on one Prairie dog shoot I never carried them again. My companions all shoot 204s and 223s on our yearly outings. My buddie and I shoot side by side. He with his 204, and I with the Fireball. We have identical 6x18 mildot scopes and hold exactly the same windage and elevation out to 500 yds. The 204s are shooting factory 32g vmax, my Fireballs are shooting handloaded 25g vmax. My point is that the smaller 17 Fireball will perform equal to the 204 with less recoil and muzzle jump. You can see every hit in the scope. The .223s can't even come close to hanging with the other two. I've also always read about problems with the 17s in the wind. I can state for fact they are no worse than the 204s, and better than the .223s. I just got back from our yearly hunt where I shot over 600 rds thru mu 17s. I clean them once at the end of the day with no noticeable loss of accuracy. A comment about my 17 Rem. My experience is, that with 30g Kindler Gold bullets, this is the most awesome Coyote killer i've ever used.
I took 12 Coyotes this year with that combination, and not a one ever took a step at ranges from 50 -250 yds. I don't like the 17 Rem as much in the PD towns. My gun is a Cooper Phoenix, and it's a little lightweight. I get a little jump which makes it harder to see all the hits. Sorry for the long post, just my observations.
I have a 700 VS chambered in 17 Rem. its a heavy gun. I admit that. its a serious varmiter now. I clean my gun after 20 rounds, usually 20 dead ground squirrels or after a day of Coyote hunting. its always #21 that I get a flier if I do not clean it after 20 shots. its a quirk of my gun. I do not know of these slugs you speak of. I do not know Kindler Golden Bullets. I will have to search them out. I like the 30 Grain Bergers. I have taken possession of 400 of them and will be making up some coyote loads with my 25 grain V-max, 25 HP varminters and some Dogtown slugs from MidwayUSA.
got an invite to chuck hunt in the Northeast this fall. I need to get a head start on loading and sighting in rifles. this year I am not allowing my friends to relegate me to a gun I am not familiar with this year. I might even shut the shop down and take off for a mid summer wood chuck and coyote hunt in the Northeast. bring all three of the rifles I know I will use.
I love my swifts. One is a bedded and blueprinted Remington 700 vssf it shoots the 40 gr nbt scary accurate over a stout (compressed) charge of varget the other is a ruger no1 it loves the 50gr nbt over h414. I also use a plain old win mdl 70 varmiter in .223. It shoots well with 55gr nbt over win 748. I bought and successfully used a ruger 77 in .17 hornet. I loaded nosler varmageddon 20gr hp over IMr 4198 with great results. I also use my .243 abolt with 70 gr nbt over varget. And for the really long work 5-750 yds I use my 7stw with 140 gr barnes ttsx over 7828 ssc and my .300 win mag with a 180 gr barnes tsx over h1000. The last two don't get much use but they are fun. The swifts are my favorite though. Considering building a .22-243 a friend has one and loves it. High volume Prarie poodle shooting is the most fun you can have with your clothes on !
I live in prairie dog country and have ben shooting them since 1949 when I used a 22 RF rifle. In the spring when the pups first come out there a lot of shots available within 150 yards for the rimfire rifles. Since getting two Cooper 57M LVT , a 17 HM2 and 17 HMR I leave the 22LR and 22 WMR rifles at home. I v also used 17 Fireball , 17 Rem 204 Ruger , 22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 22-250 Rem, 220 Swift, 243 Win, and some big game rifles. I like Leupold 6-18 X ao scopes with cross bars below the cross hair on prairie dog rifles. I have Leupold 6.5-20 X ao scope on the 220 Swift and 243 but the field of view is somewhat limited at 20 X. Prairie dogs get muzzle blast smart so I use the low muzzle blast and recoil rifles as long as I can each year. I enjoy try different cartridges and have a Varmint CZ 17 Hornet on order and will get a 17 WSM should one be made that I like. If I could only have two rifles for p dog shooting they would be the 17 HMR and 204 Ruger.