.17 Remington (using Hornady bullets)
Date: Aug 27 2014
The .17 Remington was introduced in 1971 and was the first cartridge of its type to be offered in production rifles and ammunition. It was originally advertised with a 25-grain bullet at 4,020 fps (now changed to 4,040 fps), while a 20-grain bullet was later introduced at 4,250 fps, with both loads offering a flat trajectory at normal varmint shooting distances. It was based on the .223 Remington case necked down, but with the shoulder moved back while retaining the same 23-degree shoulder angle, but the overall case length was increased to 1.796 inches, about .036 inch longer than the .223. Prior to its introduction there were several similar popular wildcats based on the .222, .222 Magnum and .223 Remington cases, but I am unaware of any of these that utilize the same specifications as the Remington version. The accompanying load data is not interchangeable with any of these wildcats.
As would be expected, the .17 Remington produces very low recoil and allows the shooter to observe bullet impact through the scope. With improved barrel quality developed in recent years, along with new and improved bullets with higher ballistic coefficients, there has been renewed interest in this specialized varmint cartridge.
In referencing factory load performance in a Thompson/Center Contender with an MGM 26 ¾-inch barrel, velocity averaged 3,962 fps. Handloaders may be able to duplicate or exceed that figure by selecting other components.
One of the challenges associated with handloading the .17 Remington includes getting powder through the tiny neck. Ball powders generally flowed easily, but some extruded powders had to be trickled in to prevent bridging. Nonetheless, excellent performance was observed with most powders listed, with notable accuracy being observed with Vihtavuori VV-N140, Hodgdon Varget, Accurate AAC-2520 and AAC-2700 and Winchester 760.