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Old 06-11-2020, 07:40 PM
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Original 17 Mach 2 Ammunition Almost as Fast as HMR



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So I took the lab radar out today and did a comparison of 17 HM2 early production ammunition that is long out of production. I realize there is still a lot out there and I'm sure it shows up at the gun shows often enough. Many of us took advantage of the $3-$5 a box deals that were common before 2010. In my stash I am fortunate to have samples of Federal, Eley, Remington and early Hornady ammo. So how do these 4 brands of first generation 17 hm2 ammunition compare to what you can buy today? I don't have any fresh run ammo to test but it is listed at 2000 fps. I would expect normal production to run +/- 50 to 100fps from there. The early ammo is much faster by as much as 200 fps! So here is the skinny as fired from my 77/17 VBZ with stock 20 inch Ruger barrel.

Results are the average of one 10 shot string so take the results for what they are.... a survey. During testing I did not notice any split necks or cracked cases from my guns chamber. Unlike optical radar, the Lab Radar I used today allows me to record velocity data from preset distances. I chose, zero, 10, 30, 40 and 50 yards for my preset data points. As expected, there was slight variation in average point of impact with each type of ammunition.

So first let's start with the average speed in feet per second followed by standard deviation and extreme spread.
Hornady 2203/23.7/68
Federal 2176/16.5/64
Eley 2230/36.8/124
Remington 2242/23.7/76

While the extreme spread and standard deviation might change significantly with more 10 shot strings, I believe the average speeds are pretty representative of what you can expect from early production ammunition at around 2200fps from the muzzle.

Now I will give you the data for the preset points of 0, 10, 30, 40 and 50 yards.
Hornady 2201 2142 2015 1955 1895
Federal 2174 2117 1994 1935 1878
Eley 2228 2168 2042 1981 1924
Remington 2240 2180 2053 1992 1932

So we have 50 yard velocities of around 1900fps. Pretty good retained speed at distance for expansion. Fired into gatorade bottles filled with water you can often capture a fragmented 17hm2 bullet.

So how does this compare to 22 LR ammuniton?
Eley Subsonic starts out around 1000fps and is at around 931fps at 50 yards.
Aguila HVHP starts out around 1250fps and is at around 1100fps at 50 yards.
Super X 37HVHP starting at 1350fps is down to 1140fps at 50 yards and shoots all over the place.
Federal 510 starts out around 1240fps and is down to 1100 at 50 yards.
CCI quiet starts out around 675fps and is down to 630 at 50 yards with a heck of a rainbow trajectory.
Aguila 40 grain Interceptor Solid started out around 1450fps and was down to 1230fps at 50 yards.

So for striking energy, bullet upset and trajectory, there is no 22 LR ammunition that can really compete with the 17 hm2 ammunition for hunting in the field. The HMR at 2550fps is only about 300 to 350fps faster at the muzzle than original spec HM2 ammunition.
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:09 AM
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:33 PM
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Look closely for split necks!! I had a Kaboom with magazine destroyed shooting some older 17HMR ammo. I have also found splits in older 17HM2. Some bullets are barely held in place by the split neck.
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