.17 HMR Accuracy Test

Monday, April 01, 2013 6 Comments

It has been an incredibly long time since I have tried various ammunition in my .17 HMR, and last time I did I was relatively new to the firearm and still learning its disposition. As such I decided to do a test of various .17 HMR brands and bullet styles and compare accuracy. The test proceeded as follows: for each particular cartridge 3 targets were set up at 100 yds. Wind was 14 mph. To the first target I fired 10+ rounds to zero it in, then I fired 5 rounds each at the other two targets, the better results of the two
targets are displayed below. The gun was a Savage 93R17 BTVS set up on sand bags. See below for the results: 

The first trial was the Hornady 17 grain V-Max. Honestly I expected this one to preform the best and was somewhat disappointed by the results compared to the others. Note the group wouldn't be too bad if you omit the one flyer, which I blame on user error. Still not nearly as tight as others, however, even with the omission. 

Federal Premium 17 grain V-Shok. These were the best results by far. Nice tight group easily a quarter or nickel could fit over all five shots. Was impressed as I had never fired Federal's .17 HMR. Definitely will be purchasing again. 

Remington 17 grain Accutip-V Boat Tail. This was the first time I had fired this particular round as well and was impressed. In particular I was interested in how the boat tail design would preform and I have to say I was very pleased. I have no doubt that this round could preform equally with the Federal Premium, mentioned above. 

Hornady 20 grain XTP. I expected this to be the worst performer going into today. With a little more weight and the hollow point tip I just didn't expect as high of accuracy. Needless to say, while not a top performer I think it is safe to say it preformed very well. 

 CCI 17 grain V-Max. The first thing which is noticeable is the obvious flyer. Again I attribute that to me as I must have pulled. Without the flyer, not bad results either.

Closing remarks: firstly, the .17 HMR is an incredibly accurate cartridge, period. Not a single round was fully outside the first circle at 100 yards with 14 mph winds, and I wasn't using a vice. If you compare the clusters to the quarter in the picture I think all groupings were good to decent, and I only say decent because I know what this round can achieve. Secondly, my Savage is far more accurate than I am. I shoot often, about once a month, but am far from an expert in the shooting sports or target shooting. Third, the above are my results in my gun. Be sure to test your own firearm with various brands and weights, while not .22, the price of the HMR is still low compared to centerfire rounds. The best thing about the .17 HMR so far in its evolution is there is yet to be a cheap or dud round to be found, quality control and accuracy seem paramount. Finally, in the future I hope to test some of the 15 grain and FMJ style rounds as well. When I do, I will be sure to post my results. 


Unknown said...

How does the .17 HMR stand in comparison to the .22 LR?

Atlas said...

Personally, I greatly prefer the .17 HMR to the .22. I think it is a flatter shooting cartridge with higher standards--the down side to that is you wont find any cheap .17's out there. The upside of the .22 is its super cheap and can fire from a wide variety of platform. Honestly, its comparing apples to oranges. For me the two rounds preform very different roles and a better comparison would be between the .22 magnum and the .17 hmr as the .22 mag is the parent cartridge of the .17 hmr

Anonymous said...

I just received a .17HMR as a gift; have not even shot it yet and was certainly wondering about about ammo. I found your sharing the results of your tests, to be most helpful. thank you kindly.
I am so jacked to go and test it now.

Atlas said...

Thank you for your comment. I am sure you will really enjoy your .17, by far one of my favorite cartridges to shoot.

Colin said...

Was the Remington accutip tested last? Just looking at the horizontal string and thinking even a 17 hmr bull barrel must start to heat up eventually. The wind might be a factor of course, but that string reminds me too much of a ruger no 1 to dismiss it. Still, good shootin' and good review. Maybe glass bedding IS necissary. I'll be doing mine pretty quick.

Atlas said...

Thanks Colin for the comments, to answer your question. No the 20 grain Hornady were last. Wanted to keep all the 17 grain shots together. And yes I would love to glass bed it sometime, just a matter of time and money.