From POV of LR hunters, why the .17 Remington?

jski

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I remember way back in the early 70's when the .17 Remington was first introduced and all the initial interest. Then, ... nothing. What has become of the cartridge? Does it play any roll in long range hunting?
 

jski

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From Wikipedia:

Extremely high initial velocity (over 4000 ft/s 1200 m/s), flat trajectory and very low recoil are the .17 Remington's primary attributes. It has a maximum effective range of about 440 yards (400 m) on prairie dog-sized animals, but the small bullet's poor ballistic coefficients and sectional densities mean it is highly susceptible to crosswinds at such distances.

The smaller .172 bullet typically has a much lower ballistic coefficient than other typical varmint calibers, such as that of the .223 Remington. Because of this, the .172 bullet loses velocity slightly sooner and is more sensitive to wind; but by no means does this render the cartridge useless. The advantages of this cartridge are low recoil, flat trajectory, and minimal entrance wounds. The tiny entrance wound and usual lack of exit wound on coyote-sized animals make it an ideal round for fur bearing animals from which the hunter intends to collect a pelt. A significant disadvantage is the rapid rate at which such a small-caliber rifle barrel can accumulate gilding metal fouling, which is very detrimental to accuracy and may also eventually result in increasing pressures caused by the fouling's constriction of the bore. Many .17 Remington shooters have reported optimum accuracy when the bore is cleaned after every 10 - 20 shots, though more modern metallurgy used in both barrels and bullets has largely mitigated the fouling issue.

The .17 Remington is also one of the few cartridges in which powder charge weight is often greater than bullet weight. Though this condition has been known to degrade accuracy, the .17 Remington is noted for exceptional accuracy. This reputation for accuracy is due in no small part to the fact that only good quality bolt action and single shot rifles have been so chambered from the factory.
 

WildRose

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I remember way back in the early 70's when the .17 Remington was first introduced and all the initial interest. Then, ... nothing. What has become of the cartridge? Does it play any roll in long range hunting?
Still out there and still a great round for it's intended purpose as a varmint/predator hunting round inside of 400yds.

No, it's got really no application in LR hunting due to the weight of the projectile and microscopid BC.

We still have two .17 Rem's in the cabinet, both first year of production 700 BDL's.
 

WildRose

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From Wikipedia:
That article needs some serious editing. 3600-3800fps is really the practical limit of the cartridge.

The .204 Ruger is the only commercial round produced with an actual velocity of over 4,000fps.

Push the 17's that fast and unless you're using a solid copper bullet they tend to vaporize in flight before hitting the 100yds mark.
 

codyadams

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I used a .17 Remington on foxes on my parents land, they have 34 acres and are surrounded by mostly rural area, but there are houses and livestock within 1000 yds, so I wanted to make sure there was wither no exit or anything that exited would be so small and fragmented that I would have no worries about a bullet bouncing off at an angle to a neighbor's place or hitting cattle. I still of course would not have a house or cattle directly behind my target, but it gave more piece of mind with a 20 grain bullet going super fast vs. A 65 grain bullet out of my 16" ar-15. I took out many foxes, and almost never had an exit.

In my mind, that is the best use of a .17 remington. I tried it on p dogs, but in Wyoming 10 mph is a light breeze, so my .223 was much better suited for them.
 

sable tireur

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3600-3800fps is really the practical limit of the cartridge.
Yes, poorly designed and manufactured bullets will fail. Bullets fired in poorly finished barrels will fail as well.

Without being disagreeable, I will differ with your opinion, though. I happen to know through first hand experience, the .17 Rem. loaded with the 20 gr. VMAX over IMR-3031 will both amaze and delight the speed demons amongst us. Using a 26" barrel it is simple to achieve velocities of 4,000 fps. I will not disclose the extreme velocities measured with proper instruments.

I started with the .17 Mach IV and graduated up to the .17 Rem. over the course of a year while shooting prairie dogs and rock chucks. Then Berger released the 37 grain .17 cal. VLD to the general public and the games were on!:eek: We took our 26", .17 cal. barrels out to the long range field where we had steel out to 1,000 yards. Slowly and steadily, on windless mornings, we could nurse that little arrow out to those 1,000 yard plates. The load used IMR-4064 under the 37 gr. VLD. Velocity was 3,600+ fps. Others were doing this as well, including shooting 1,000 yard benchrest in competitions. It's documented on Benchrest.com.

Regards.
 

MudRunner2005

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If I were going to build something smaller than a .22 caliber for varmints, I would go with a .204 Ruger or a .17 Remington Fireball.
 

Slick8

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I agree with much of the above while the 17 is a cool little round I'd prefer a 20 cal.

I've had a want to build a medium weight 20 VarTarg for some time. It's of no practical use for me so the proper funds haven't been appropriated as of this writing.

It's on my want list and I'll scratch that itch one day.

The VarTarg is formed from the 221 Fireball, as a huge bonus IMO Lapua makes 221 Fireball brass.

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2008/10/excellent-article-on-20-vartarg-from-cooper-firearms/
 

jski

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Are there any 100% copper bullets for the .17 Remington?
 

MudRunner2005

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WildRose

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Yes, poorly designed and manufactured bullets will fail. Bullets fired in poorly finished barrels will fail as well.

Without being disagreeable, I will differ with your opinion, though. I happen to know through first hand experience, the .17 Rem. loaded with the 20 gr. VMAX over IMR-3031 will both amaze and delight the speed demons amongst us. Using a 26" barrel it is simple to achieve velocities of 4,000 fps. I will not disclose the extreme velocities measured with proper instruments.

I started with the .17 Mach IV and graduated up to the .17 Rem. over the course of a year while shooting prairie dogs and rock chucks. Then Berger released the 37 grain .17 cal. VLD to the general public and the games were on!:eek: We took our 26", .17 cal. barrels out to the long range field where we had steel out to 1,000 yards. Slowly and steadily, on windless mornings, we could nurse that little arrow out to those 1,000 yard plates. The load used IMR-4064 under the 37 gr. VLD. Velocity was 3,600+ fps. Others were doing this as well, including shooting 1,000 yard benchrest in competitions. It's documented on Benchrest.com.

Regards.
We were loading 20gr speer and nosler bullets in them originally and my dad's bud that did the loading was a real hot rodder. At least a 1/3 of them were vaporizing between the muzzle and a hundred yard target.

To solve the issue we went to the original Barnes X. When saw it worked as designed dad bought a couple of thousand of the same bullets so we'd never run out.

Keep it under 4,000fps and they'll shoot great and last forever, push it further than that and bad things start to happen pretty quickly.
 

sable tireur

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We were loading 20gr speer and nosler bullets in them originally and my dad's bud that did the loading was a real hot rodder. At least a 1/3 of them were vaporizing between the muzzle and a hundred yard target.
How well I remember!:(

I was out in AZ shooting at a local range before leaving to shoot prairie dogs, testing some newer loads. It was unusual for AZ since there was a tad bit of humidity in the air that morning so trace was definitely visible. I had some 15, 18 and 20 gr. varmint bullets loaded just to test and only about 3/4 made it to the targets at 100 yards. But the puff of grey mist was impressive to say the least. :eek: The rest of the folks present were very entertained!

The 37 gr. VLDs were just plain fun to shoot under the right conditions. When we brought these rifles out, we generally had people lining up just to try a shot. Good entertainment for everyone, young and old. The youngsters didn't have to fight the recoil at all and could be assisted with walking shots into the target. I have some left around here somewhere, I'll have to dig them up and get a barrel out.
 

WildRose

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How well I remember!:(

I was out in AZ shooting at a local range before leaving to shoot prairie dogs, testing some newer loads. It was unusual for AZ since there was a tad bit of humidity in the air that morning so trace was definitely visible. I had some 15, 18 and 20 gr. varmint bullets loaded just to test and only about 3/4 made it to the targets at 100 yards. But the puff of grey mist was impressive to say the least. :eek: The rest of the folks present were very entertained!

The 37 gr. VLDs were just plain fun to shoot under the right conditions. When we brought these rifles out, we generally had people lining up just to try a shot. Good entertainment for everyone, young and old. The youngsters didn't have to fight the recoil at all and could be assisted with walking shots into the target. I have some left around here somewhere, I'll have to dig them up and get a barrel out.
The original purpose was just to have something that could outrun our coyotes for 400yds. My dad was a poor shot and needed all the help he could get.

At the time we lived just east of Clovis, NM where coyotes have very little cover and once they break from cover or leave a kill it's warp nine usually for a half mile or more so hunting them was always pretty exciting and looked a lot like an episode of the Dukes of Hazard. If we wrecked a truck all we had to do was say we did it coyote hunting and all would quickly be forgiven.

Our farm sat just north of the Farwell Country Club and next to it was a large Prarie dog town. Not only did the little varmits keep showing up digging holes on the fairways and greens occasionally they attracted all of the rattlesnakes in the area so those fairways and holes bordering the dog town occasionally got pretty dangerous.

Once we started shooting them with the .17's instead of .22LR's and .22 mags we were able to put a serious hurt on them and easily control the population. The old man that owned it grazed horses there so no poison of any kind was allowed but he knew us, his kids grew up with our dad so he didn't mind us shooting.

Eventually we had to move up to the .220 Swift as they learned to stay out of range of the .17 after the first few shots but it was sure a lot of fun.

Later the .17 was the first centerfire my sister shot and even took a great many deer with it out to 200yds with head and neck shots.

We also piled up the bobcats and coons with them on our places near Throckmorton throughout my dad's life.

Just a whole lot of fun and a gun even the smallest kid or woman could shoot at 300-400yds without ever worrying about recoil.

For myself I never outgrew the .220 Swift and gave my 17 to my brother's family after dad died because between the .204R and Swift it was just sitting here doing nothing.

Heirloom or not every gun needs a job.
 

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