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I am not talking about ability to hit targets at 200 yards; the much flatter trajectory and reduced wind drift make hitting at that range much easier with the .17. There is no comparison in that regard. Shooting the long rifle at that distance is like lobbing mortar rounds.

What I am talking about is damage once the bullet hits the target. The long rifle rounds I am referring to are the Winchester 40 grain Power Point hollowpoints, which I have found to consistently expand at 200 yards in wet phone books, which cannot be said of most .22 long rifle hollowpoints. I recall reading of others commenting on how well this bullet works at long ranges on prairie dog shoots. I don't necessarily agree with that; that's just too far to hit something with the long rifle. Some have mentioned using it effectively at 250-300 yards.

Anyway, the plastic tipped Hornady .17 HMR ammo does not expand at 200 yards. The nose of the bullet is mangled a bit and the plastic tip is gone or shoved into the nose of the bullet with some plastic remaining. It does not mushroom at all. It tends to tumble a bit and leaves holes about like my .177 air rifle, which is what you might expect from a projectile that isn't traveling much faster. The HMR does penetrate more than twice as deep as my air rifle, though. (My .177 air rifle does 1200 fps). Nonexpanding 40 grain long rifle bullets do more damage than the Hornady tipped .17 bullet at 200 yards and penetrate deeper. I think the Hornady could benefit from some skiving cuts in the jacket to help the long range expansion qualities. It seems to be easier to hit with the Hornady at 200 yards than kill with it.

Surprisingly, and contrary to early reports I've read, the CCI TNT outperformed the Hornady at 200 yards in regards to expansion and damage produced, although it was not up to the level of the .22 long rifle Power Point. Generally the jacket forward of the lead core was completely ripped off and the remaining shank had mushroomed at bit, looking like a tiny moderately expanded big game bullet. I note that the CCI seems to have a thinner jacket than some early examples that were criticized for slow expansion (reference Varmint Al's website).

The Hornady is a very precisely formed bullet and I am not surprised at its reputation for accuracy. I was unable to prove it with my Savage 93, as it grouped the CCI and Hornady about the same. Its trigger pulls 4 pounds but is so creepy, with a distinct draggy spot, that it is difficult to extract the accuracy inherent in the round. Time for some trigger work.

After a brief thunderstorm, starlings were alighting on the wet grass in search of earthworms, and the .17 HMR picked off five at
70 to 120 yards. That was great fun and the sort of shooting the .17 HMR is best suited for in my opinion. I've got a lot of that to do around here and the .17 has definitely found a home with me, even if it is a little overpriced.

I do hope that reporting my results gives some users of the .17 second thoughts about shooting these at larger critters at long (150-200 yard) ranges. That would be like giving them high speed acupuncture and not much damage results.

If you think a square hit with a long rifle won't kill your target at 200 yards don't try it with the .17, as it will be doing well to be as effective, impactwise, and in most instances it will be worse. Definitely no coyotes, unless you want to very slowly kill them and lose them with the same shot.
 

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You make some good points. I think the problem arises when the 17HMR get's billed as a 200 yard varmint cartridge. Like you implied; being able to hit something doesn't give you the ethical right to shoot it. I think the dust is finally settling on the HMR. Most folks are beginning to realize it's effective range is about the same as the 22WMR. It does shoot flat, but again, that isn't license to shoot longer ranges than the bullet will perform at. Out here we have these little ground squirrels -gophers to the easterners- that are about the size of a chipmunk. At 200 the HMR will take them. That's about all I'd want to tackle with mine at that range. the 64 ft/lbs energy is too little for anything much larger. Birds would OK I'm sure.

Guys who shoot 200 - 300 yard prairiedogs with a 22LR are cruel. I raised hell with Shooting Times one issue because they had a fellow testing a Sheperd (sp?) ranging scope on prairiedogs at 300 yards using a 22LR. He mentioned "hitting" them quite a bit, but no "kills" were recorded. I don't like PD's but that's a little sick.

My Green Mountain barreled Ruger 77/17 shoots the Federal V-SHOK better than any other round. I have yet to get them on any game. Next weekend will be the acid test. ~Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I might have to try the Federals myself to see if there is any difference from the CCI accuracy wise, but I note they both use the same CCI TNT bullets. Not surprising since both companies are owned by the same corporation. Price is the same here at 7.99-8.99 per box depending upon what store I'm in.

Your thoughts about using the long rifle at extended range on live game are mine as well. Get closer or just don't shoot. As for the HMR, well, if the animal is big enough to hit consistently with the .17 at 200 yards, it's too big to be killed consistently-I'm thinking of those prairie dogs. It isn't enough to just hit them. They must be hit in the head or chest to kill them quickly, and that does not happen on every shot. Too many go down their holes.

I would limit its use at 200 to the same size game you describe-chipmunk or smaller.

Still, I admit it's great fun to shoot. The trouble lies in getting carried away with its fairly high velocity and misusing it on live game. Both the Hornady and CCI ranged from 2565 to 2615 fps from my Savage.
Pragmatism makes me admit that I can load my little K-Hornet to much higher velocities with a much heavier bullet for half the cost. Still, I just had to get a .17 HMR for myself to see what all the fuss was about.

I am a little disappointed with Hornady's effort at a slower expanding bullet. It seems their 20 grain XTP operates at a considerable cost in velocity-like 2100 fps. I would rather see a slower expanding bullet in the regular 17 grain weight if an additional 3 grains costs that much velocity. The failure to develop a good deeper penetrating bullet means the .22 magnum still owns the best performance for larger varmints and furbearers of 15+ lbs. in weight. Thus I hardly think the .22 magnum is "obsoleted" by the .17 HMR.

It seems a little ironic that the plastic tipped jacketed bullet, which seems like such wondrous bullet technology at high speeds, being the epitome of accuracy, explosiveness and flat trajectory, falls flat on its face when velocities get low at long ranges. At low velocities the "low tech" lead hollowpoint beats it by a considerable margin in terminal performance. That's another point that was driven home after testing the HMR.
 

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What about remington premier in 22WMR?

Sounds like you guys have a pretty good handle on this issue but I was wondering if either of you had any experience with those little "green tipped" (premiere) slugs in the 22 mag. On face value they would seem to rpovide the balistic tipped advantage of the 17 and the bullet weight of the Mag. Would you still limit your shots on P. Dogs to 200 yds or less. I cant quote the velocity/ energy figures for the Magnum from memory. If I could maybe that would answer my question. Good to "see you" Andrew. CL
 

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35remington and Andrew - thanks for the insights!
 

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Very interesting discussion!

Actually, there is little new about rimfire shooting at 200 yds. I have a reprint of an old Marlin ad that states their Model 20 pump action rifle will shoot with any rifle of it's class up to 200 yds. Houze's Winchester 52 book states that Winchester engineers were testing the model 52 rifle at 200 yds in the early 20's..... by the mid 40's, they had the 52 printing at an inch and a half at 200.

Personally, at times for me, 50 yds can be an EXTREMELY long shot on small game- wind doping and off-hand shooting make consistent head shots on small game a real challenge.

I have not done much 200 yd shooting with the long rifle .22- I practiced on coffee cans at 200 a couple of times. Groups were nothing to write home about. The excessive drop of the long rifle at 200 meant changes to scope settings that I cared for not a whit....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Clover leaf:

I think you are talking about the 33 grain Remington Premier bullet in .22 magnum. Very accurate in the guns I've shot it in. Expands pretty well, but at 200 yards it does not expand either-it just pushes the plastic tip into the bullet. I think this bullet could also benefit from skiving cuts in the nose to help expansion at the longer ranges. Expansion starts falling off in the 125-150 yard range.

If your rifle will shoot it, the CCI 30 grain TNT will expand (phone books) at 200 yards, but that's too far to hit with it, as the trajectory becomes pretty steep. I limit its use to 150 yards in my old Marlin 783, but it is easily the most explosive .22 magnum bullet I've tried. The shape may not be too aerodynamic but the bullet opens up very well. Definitely a varmint bullet-it really scatters the small critters. I think it is too fragile to use on anything bigger than an opossum or maybe a feral cat. Not a deep penetrating bullet.
 

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thanks for the reply

Thanks 35-
I was indeed thinking of the Remington round you indicated. As for the TNT's- I have tried them and gave half the box away. I was getting about a four inch "pattern" with theM versus less than half that w/ regular CCI mag hollow points. I think that the 2 + inch group is pretty representative of my capabilities at that range w/ that rifle. All the more reason for practice, practice, practice....Fun,fun, fun!!! thanks for the insights guys. CL
 

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thanks for the reply

Thanks 35-
I was indeed thinking of the Remington round you indicated. As for the TNT's- I have tried them and gave half the box away. I was getting about a four inch "pattern" with theM versus less than half that w/ regular CCI mag hollow points. I think that the 2 + inch group is pretty representative of my capabilities at that range w/ that rifle. All the more reason for practice, practice, practice....Fun,fun, fun!!! thanks for the insights guys. CL
 

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HMR finally blooded

I finally blooded my HMR on some groundsquirrels yesterday. It was great. Very accurate and flat shooting. My buddy shot some rabbits with his and they disintegrated... not much of an edible game round! We were both using Ruger 77's with Green Mountain "Running Boar" barrels. Great for off hand work! Great from a rest. They seem to be the "ideal" barrel weight.

After a day with the HMR I doubt if I'll be selling my 22 magnums off any time soon. The 17HMR just isnt versatile enough and it certainly isn't a "varmint" cartidge for anything weighing over a couple of pounds at 100 yards and beyond. I like it VERY much, it just isn't the end-all of rimfires. Given a free lifetime supply of any ammo I wanted, but left with the choice of 22LR of 17HMR, I'd pick the 22LR. ~Andrew
 

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After hearing all the discussions bout the .17 and .22...... makes me want to download my `06 with either a lead or 125 B-Tip and let it rip :shock: ..... That way I wouldn't have an obsolete gun even before I bought one!!!! Been down that road Toooooooo many times before!!!!! :lol: Thanks one an all.......
 

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Hey! I used to prairiedog shoot with my Israeli-barreled, model 98 Mauser .308 using 130 grain cast bullets designed for the M1 carbine. I'd heat-treat them and boot them out at 2400 ft/sec. Talk about making a mess of a prairiedog! You're my kind of guy, SasQ! ~Andrew
 

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Thanks

I have for awhile lauded the virtues of the 22mag.......Versatile as you can get...........I have a 25mnc that LOVES 33gr vmax's..zero at 115yds...A BRNO 611 that is equal to the challenge with Maxi Mag's+V's at 100 and a Ruger 10-22-22 that pastes 3/8 50 yd groups with mini mag FMJ...it will be a LONG time before they suplant the 22 rimfire IMHO.....I do own a Savage 9317 but like so many the trigger is so tough that getting a true impression of the guns capabilities is hard.......I doubt I will bite on the Mach2 since I eat what I shoot for the most part...I cringe when I hear of shooters blowing up squirrels...they have one of the BEST diets for a small game animal and their taste is WAY superior to rabbit! Thats what I love about my MNC...can shoot dead on with VMAX's at 115(rabbits) and I can pop in a mag of Predator PSP's and shoot dead on at 50 for those squirrels.....You will NEVER be able to do THAT with a 17...I'm trying to get my nephews hooked on rimfires but their "other" uncle let them try his Bushmaster....back to the drawing board!!!!!!!!!
 

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Churchillman: I have an older Brno 611 as well. I left it with iron sights because it fits me so well as a brush gun. Great rifle! I hear you on the squirrel issue. I have read so many posts about folks wanting an HMR for squirrels only to read later posts about excessive destruction. I have rigged a Ruger 77/22 with a short (16.5") tapered barrel chambered for the 17 Aguila. It's my rabbit gun for now, and will be my squirrel gun when and if I get back to the land of big greys. The 20 grain SP is very kind on rabbits and I'm expecting the same on squirrels.

I have always limited my shots to 150 yards with the 22WMR. My SSV Marlin will shoot an inch at that distance with Federal or CCI 40 grain FMJ and I have found them to be good on game; with their thinly jacketed, roll plated bullets they don't seem to give up expansion too much. Interesting about "Predators". I have never gotten really great accuracy with them from my SSV or my Brno, but I do have a Savage Striker bolt action pistol that will shoot .6" at 50 M with them all day long. Velocity is around 1650 from the 10" barrel.

Have you ever considered WRF ammo for squirrels? None of my mags shoot it well enough for the kind of open country shooting we do here but for 0-50 yards they might be OK. ~Andrew
 

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ANDRE WRF------NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Incredibly inaccurate out of all my guns(WRF).............I too have had problems with the predators...They really open up beyond 75 yards...but they are tight as hell up to then and expansion is marginal in rabbits/sq.....Just nice to have a choice out there in the field...Don't have to fiddle with the scope or dope for elevation at 50 yds with it zeroed at 115 for Vmax's......LOVE my BRNO as well....toyed with the notion of leaving it with irons only....the paper included showed a 2"group with 2 of the shots 1 holed....but I had a Bushnell 3200 3x9 collecting dust so I scoped it............damn accurate at 100 yards with Maxis+V's....got 2 rabbits at 90+ yards with CLEAN neck shots...just bled out....These rounds don't seem to be as explosive at range as the Vmax's(they really make a mess of what you hit!)...Now I'm looking for a good safe...Have an 8 gun but have 13 at last count.......Don't sleep well thinking about going on Vacation with guns outside a secure perimeter...even though the shot guns are disassembled and the rest have trigger locks.....Love the Browning Medallions and the Liberty Presidentials but $$$$$$$$$$ and wonder if a fire safe is WORTH the extra$$$$$...I'm more concerned about the 200+ boxes of rifle ammo I have in case of a fire....I wish they would make an ammo safe or locker that has high security but has adequate venting in case of fire/discharges but thick enough steel to prevent penetration of a detonated cartridges...did I mention the 100+ boxes of shotgun ammo...arghh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock:
 
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