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Thread: .17 ammunition brands

  1. #1

    .17 ammunition brands

    Folks -

    Am having a frustrating but fun time with the .17 CZ. It's a new Varmint with 21" barrel and a Rimfire Magic trigger kit. Bedding is snug and scope well secured and a known quantity. Am still amused by the dinky little rounds, but frustrated that I can't get it to group nicely at 100 yds. I've read that they are fussy about ammunition and that I should try all available brands to find one that it likes.

    So far, I have used:
    Remington 17 gns - relatively clean burning and 4" groups.
    Winchester 17 gns - very sooty residue in barrel and 5" groups.

    I have before me on the desk unopened:

    Hornady 'Magnum' 20 Gns
    Hornady 'Varmint Express' 17 gns
    CCI 'TNT' 17 gns

    My barrel cleaning regime was 5 rounds from new, cleaned, then another 5 and cleaned, then cleaned every 20 rounds.

    Is there a shortcut to finding what works or do I have to resign myself to simply shooting my way through the brands?
    Last edited by KevinF; 09-07-2010 at 06:24.
    KevinF -

  2. #2
    I have tried most brands through my Anschutz and it certainl prefers Hornady 20grn. I have to say though, it took about 300 rounds till the rifle settled and started grouping well, Since then it's got better and better.

  3. #3
    Would you say that my 17 'groups' are representative?

    My only benchmark is my .30 calibre which yesterday printed a five-shot sub-.5" group under the same conditions (and with the same clot on the trigger!)
    Last edited by KevinF; 09-07-2010 at 12:28.
    KevinF -

  4. #4
    When I had .17HMR on my ticket I had a thumbhole Anscuthz and a BRNO varmint. Both shot well straight away and I used to use a pull through every 100 rounds or so. All I could get ammo wise was Remington 17g and they shot small groups.

  5. #5
    My Anscutz T/H carbine was run in and shoots everything very well and most stuff to same zero.
    I have to boresnake every 25 rounds to stop the groups opening up and shooting high. This is easy half a box in my pocket when used pull through then another half box.
    When lamping and the sports good I've pushed my luck and gone more shots but find myself aiming lower and lower to ensure head shots till the groups blow open and then I have to clean (40 rounds).
    I cannot see unless its very ammo sensitive you have a rifle which will suddenly shoot small groups.
    And with the ammount of steel in a .17 sporter barrel why would anyone want a varmint barrel you will never heat up the barrel with such a small amount of powder????

  6. #6
    To be fair I only clean my 17 about every 100 rounds unless it was a wet outing, I had a bad batch of remmys this month which left a bullet stuck in the chamber. I'll never use them again. There has been a problem with remmy ammo. See their USA website. Anyway thats for another day. Hornadys shoot best in my CZ. They do seem big groups though mate. It does take a while to settle down after a thorough clean though.

  7. #7
    something sounds a miss if your getting 4 to 5 inch groups. they should be around 1 inch or less.

  8. #8
    Firstly, don't clean your rifle unless it gets crud in the bore. If it gets wet, run a patch with a SCANT drop of oil on it, then patch dry. Seventeen barrels can take upwards to 400 rounds to settle in.

    As to ammo. All US brands are made at the same plant: they are just labeled differently. It's maddening! One Lot of CCI will shoot best, then the next Lot of the same ammo will be junk. Quality in 17HMR goes in cycles and I can't help but believe it's done intentionally via rotating quality control standards to keep everyone trying different "brands". My partner and I used to test barrels for Green Mountain Rifle Barrel works and when the HMR was new to the market the ammunition was sterling. I have repeatedly shot 1" groups at 200M with my custom Ruger on still desert mornings. After about the 3rd production cycle however, the quality control was lessened. By then, the public was hooked on the 17HMR darling and talk persists about it being the best and most accurate rimfire but that is no longer so. Most 22WMR is more consistent these days.~Muir

  9. #9
    Muir and others, many thanks for the constructive opinions and advice.

    Cleaning rod will go back in the cupboard for a while.
    KevinF -

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