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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.17 Hornet (using Hornady bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Nov 19 2014

The .17 Hornet was developed by Hornady Manufacturing and was first offered in 2012. Its roots, however, date back to the 1950s, when P.O. Ackley necked the .22 Hornet case down to accept .17-caliber bullets. The Ackley wildcat is not the same as the Hornady version, and data is not interchangeable. The .17 Hornet features a slightly shortened case blown out to eliminate some of the body taper, and a 25-degree shoulder. Factory loads advertise a 20-grain V-Max bullet at 3,650 fps. It offers a unique blend of performance, light recoil, mild muzzle report and accuracy. Trajectory at any practical distance is similar to the .223 Remington when loaded with traditional 55-grain bullets at 3,240 fps. Regardless, the .17 is useful on varmints and pests and is fun to shoot.

Factory loads containing the Hornady 20-grain V-Max bullet recorded 3,665 fps in my test rifle, and was duplicated by using 12.0 grains of Accurate AAC-1680 powder.

The Hornet case is relatively thin, and cases should be regularly inspected for separation or splitting.

Winchester Small Rifle primers were used to develop the accompanying data. Case capacity is very small, usually measuring between 8.0 and 12.0 grains, and primers with less energy appear to lower extreme spreads and increase accuracy. Testing with the CCI 500 and Federal 100 Small Pistol primers also indicated that they are strong enough to handle the pressures associated with this cartridge (which is approaching 50,000 psi).