Is the .17 Remington all that?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Troutslayer, May 14, 2005.

  1. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    I could really use a gun to shoot med. distances for coyotes. Looking for the least amount of pelt damage. I have heard that the .17 may be difficult to clean and also heard that the bullets fragment at high velocities. Have I heard correctly? What do you think of the .17?
     
  2. koginam

    koginam Well-Known Member

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    I have a mod.7 that started life as a .223 and is now a .17 rem. Its taken coyotes, bobcat, lynx, and fox without a bad pelt. Bullet selection is the key. ballistic tips work the best for this one. range is maxed out at 250 yds for a clean kill but that is pushing it. When I first loaded for it I was shooting light bullets as fast as possable and some came out sand but once I got the right bullet and came down to 4100 she works fine.
     
  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    It is not so much that the 17 Rem is hard to clean as it used to be hard to get quality cleaning rods and cutting the correct size patch is difficult. There are better quality rods nowdays. If you have the correct cleaning gear and don't try to muscle the rod you will be all right. Of course that is easy advice to give and hard to follow. Obviously the rod will be a thin whippy little thing.

    Go to the "Handloading" section of this forum and then go back to page 26 "Bobcats" date of 1-3-05 for a discussion by Chris Matthews on pelt damage.

    I have always shot the 25 grain Hornady hollow points (except for a few Sisks long ago)and have no experence with them on coyotes. They will take the head off of a squirrel or cottontail at 200 yards with ease and further if you can get into a decent shooting position. Thats how you avoid meat damage. Right now I only have it loaded to about 3850 fps because I do not need the extra speed. Berger makes some interesting bullets, but I have not tried any of them.

    If you think the 17 Rem is a quiet gun, think again. It makes some amount racket when it goes off, no recoil, but some fair amount of a sharp report, kind of a good crack.

    In my opinion, the 17 Rem is the most fun to reload of all bullets. You would think that it would be a pain fiddling with the tiny little things but its not. I have had mine for over thirty years and would never sell it because it is just too much fun.
     
  4. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    There is little question that a 17 Remington, or any variation, is a controversial chambering. Some swear by it and others swear at it.

    You will loose some animals with a seventeen, and you will blow up some hides. If you limit your shots to perhaps 150 yards, on standing broadside coyotes, you should do okay. But, if you make a bad hit with a seventeen, you are going to rip some hide.....which makes it no different than anything else.

    On those "no exit" 100 yard presentations, a 17 Remington is (indeed), impressive. But you will also see failures, sooner or later.

    Anyway, when I think of Montana, and "med. distances" I suspect you have in mind (possibly) more like 300 yards? I know I do! There is no way to make a consistant 300 yard coyote rifle out of a seventeen.
    (please, spare me the vivid, single event testimonials)

    I think a 19/223 or maybe a Tac20 might come closer to your goal, if you seek minimal damage in a sub-caliber?

    But. If it were me, I'd just get a 22-250 and select a suitable bullet for your application, that will (for sure) kill coyotes at 300 yards. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    Yeah, maybe not as sexy, but has been getting the job done for many years. And, my goal is bang/flop. They should be lying right there when I walk out. No running fifty yards through the brush before they give it up.

    BTW, for a several day hunt, with numerous opportunities every day, yes, you may be forced to clean a seventeen every 15/20 shots, to maintain accuracy.

    Good luck with your choice, LB
     
  5. D.P.

    D.P. Well-Known Member

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    Troutslayer
    You might want to check out www.woodchuckden.com(under news) for an article on the "Tact 20" and the 33grain V-max on varmints.
    As LB said in a sub cal. the 20 might do the trick.
    I know the 20 Var-targ is also a great shooter.
     
  6. craigp40

    craigp40 Well-Known Member

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    Everything these guys have said is correct. I shoot the 20gr V-Max to about 4200. Mine does foul pretty quickly, but if you plan to get a custom barrel, this will be reduced quite a bit. The biggest advantage I see with the load I'm using is lack of ricochet. When I'm shooting in an area where I want the bullet to stop as soon as it hits the target (read varmint), I use my 17 Rem. I imagine this may not be a consideration for you in Montana. For definite kills, I also keep it within 200yds. Out past that, I can most likely make the hit, but have found on groundhogs that they usually make it back to their holes (assuming a head shot isn't made). It's a really fun rifle to shoot though. Whoever made the comment about it being loud was absolutely correct. This thing really has a sharp crack to it. I was amazed the first time I ever shot it.
     
  7. kac1345

    kac1345 Well-Known Member

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    If your really interested in the .17 I would sugguest going here http://www.coyotegods.com/ubb/forum.shtml

    and just look around a bit these guys love them, I have been kicking it around for a long time to build a custom .17 Mach IV but my .223 Ackley serves me fine for now.. I can get 40 grain pills to go 4k
     
  8. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    Okay, you can look around in the coyote gods; it's time well spent. There are a number of knowledgeable people that contribute. Just remember, you WILL only hear one side of the 17 caliber debate, since conflicting opinion is never tolerated.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  9. Troy

    Troy Well-Known Member

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    I have tried my fair share of .224 cases for harvesting fur and the best combination I have come up with is the 40gr Sierra hollow point. This bullet has performed excellent for me and rarely did I get exits. The funny thing was that the bullet rarely dropped coyotes in their tracks. I was shooting this bullet out of a factory .220 Swift Rem VSSF. Using VV-550 powder I had these coated bullets doing 4500fps. Now before you all call bullshit I confirmed this velocity with three seperate Chronys and duplicated the velocity in a .22/.250 AI. Don't run out and try to duplicate this rifle as I only shot this load in winter and in summer it would probably blow primers 99/100.

    I have also had decent results with Sierra's #1365 55gr bullet. This bullet usually pencils through but if you hit bone or shoulder there is going to be a mess when shot at 3800fps plus. I have never been a big fan of using reduced loads.

    This past season I started using something very similar to a .17 Tac. shooting Berger 30gr LTBs at 4150fps and rarely had exits and had quicker kills on coyotes called in under the 250 yard range than my Swift and Sierra combo. Ballistically the bigger .17s with the 30gr bullets are certainly worth having a look at.

    I have been searching for the Holy Grail of fur harvesting guns/calibers and have come to the conclusion that no one gun, bullet, caliber can do it all.
     
  10. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

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    I am one of those who swear by it- I have taken hundreds of coyotes with one, on my second barrel now for this upcoming fall.
    Yes you will see failures and you will lose some dogs- but I lost some with a 22 cal also....
    Good barrel, clean burning powder (I use Varget) and I have done a 200 plus round day prairie doggin with out any problems.
    I love 'em, so I have all the reamers and stuff to build 'em....good fur gun for sure.
     
  11. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    This may or may not be germane to the discussion, but I will throw it out for what it is worth. I have personally never met a contest hunter or a night hunter that did anything more than experiment with a seventeen. And, not for long. There is one guy, never did meet him, but he does use 17 and 14 caliber in specific applications. However, I also have heard that he depends on a hot 25 caliber chambering for those longish shots. In other words, he is not inclined to walk out and search all night for a runner shot with a sub caliber. It just doesn't make sense to shoot seventeen caliber and claim that it works as well as a 220 Swift ort a 22-250. You have to draw the line somewhere between certain kills and minimal damage, and most dedicated predator hunters that I know, (and I know thousands) will error on the side of force. But, bottom line; make your own determination on what is best for your particular situation.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  12. chris matthews

    chris matthews Well-Known Member

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    Good point, LB. I would use a bigger caliber also in a contest- they are about numbers not pelts. In fact I would use a shotgun and get multiple kills at one set up and then grab the rifle for long shots and it would most likely be an AR- 15.
     
  13. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Chris

    You mention that you use Varget. Does it burn cleaner than IMR4320 and IMR4064? I use 4320 when I want speed and 4064 for accuracy.

    I worked on my new Remington brass last night and I could not believe how big the flash holes were. You could drive a truck through them.

    Also I was going to switch to CCI benchrest primers.
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    I use mainly the 20 gr V-Max(4300 fps) and the 28 gr Calhoon HP(4000 fps) in my 17 Rem and while it is very accurate with both I really do not use it much simply because it fouls excessively. I use Varget mainly with the 28 gr pills and powder fouling is a larger issue then copper fouling.

    For a predator rifle this is not a huge concern and powder fouling is easy to get out but I would personally just grab a 223 AI loaded with a 40 gr Blitzking or B. Tip at 4000 fps and be able to shoot really as many rounds as I would want with no real fouling issues.

    The 17s are fun to shoot, very fast and generally accurate when clean but I have always come back to the 22 cals in teh long run.

    The 20s do interest me and I have been playing with a 20 Allen Mag design but there is nothing serious yet.

    Still, the modern 22 cals are so useful, its really hard to improve on them.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)