The .17 Remington

By Chuck Hawks

As I write these words, Remington's rifle offerings in .17 Rem. caliber are their popular Model 700 BDL deluxe and 700 Light Varmint bolt actions. The latter rifle is supplied with a 22 inch barrel with a 1 turn in 9" twist, and has a magazine capacity of 5 rounds.

Remington factory loads drive a 25 grain Hornady Hollow Point spitzer bullet at a sizzling muzzle velocity (MV) of 4040 fps with muzzle energy (ME) of 906 ft. lbs. At 200 yards that bullet is still traveling at 2644 fps, and the remaining energy is 388 ft. lbs. Remington ballistics tables show the following trajectory for their factory load: +1.8 inches at 100 yards, +2.3 inches at 150 yards, +1.8 inches at 200 yards, 0 at 250 yards, and -3.3 inches at 300 yards.

Hornady is the only major bullet maker producing .172 inch bullets. In addition to the 25 grain HP bullet used in the Remington factory load, Hornady offers a 20 grain V-Max bullet. This plastic-tipped bullet has a SD of only .097, but its BC is .185, very close to that of the 25 grain bullet due to its more streamlined nose. The fifth edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading reports that WIN 760, VIHT N-133 and N-140 powders gave the best results in their testing.

Here are some specifications of interest to reloaders: bullet diameter .172", maximum COL 2.150", maximum case length 1.796", trim to 1.786".

The Hornady Handbook shows that 20.5 grains of N-133 can drive the 20 grain V-Max bullet to a MV of 4000 fps in the 24 inch barrel of a Remington Model 700 rifle. A maximum load of 22.4 grains of the same powder gave a MV of 4300 fps.

With the 25 grain Hornady HP bullet, 24.6 grains of WIN 760 achieves a MV of 3600 fps and 27.4 grains of the same powder gave a MV of 4000 fps. A maximum load of 28.1 grains of WIN 760 achieved a MV of 4100 fps. These Hornady loads were developed in Remington cases and used Remington 7 1/2 primers. They were tested in a Model 700 rifle with a 24" barrel.

Note: A full length article about the .17 Remington can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.