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.17 hmr help

04 Dec 2020
@ 11:14 am (GMT)

Kurt Menghetti

hi Everyone,
I would love to hear if anyone can help.
I have purchased an new Australian made( don't want to mention brands because they have been great!) bolt action .17hmr and a Vortex Diamondback tactical 4x16x44 FFP scope.
In the hope of stretching out to do some long range varmiting. To replace my 50yr old Winchester 69a with an old Bushnell 4x20 that can easily hit pigeon size targets out past 100m!!
However I have had nothing but trouble and frustration trying to get it to group well at 50/100m, , driving my wife and family crazy hearing about it also a big amount of time and money wasted.
I have put through about 5 boxes of ammo ( hornady/Winchester 17 vmax), tried a different scope(even sent back the Vortex for replacement), purchased a Wheeler FAT screwdriver for correct torque, purchased 3 of Nathans books and built a range and bench from his plans to try and take out my human error. To be honest I haven't cleaned very often because I've had to borrow a kit (can't be purchased on Island) I haven't tried copper solvent yet but that's my next thing. Once I can get some here.
Because I live on a remote Island (Norfolk Island) off Australia, there isn't much assess to equipment and knowledge.
has anyone else had issues with the .17hmr? I know they are usually really accurate . Should I trade in the scope for a Sightron ? should I send the rifle back as a last resort as they guarantee sub MOA? or just wait and see how it goes after a clean with solvent?
thank you :)


04 Dec 2020
@ 08:29 pm (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: .17 hmr help
Hi Kurt if it won’t group with multiple different ammo send it back it has issues.
05 Dec 2020
@ 01:24 am (GMT)

Mike R

Re: .17 hmr help
When I got my 17hmr it wouldn’t shoot 1 box before needing a clean. Lots of copper fouling. Once clean it was very good again, mine also much prefers the Winchester ammo my mates one likes the Hornady ammo much better. I also spent some time weight sorting my ammo which has helped consistency shoots around 1/2inch 5 shots
I’d give it a good clean with copper solvent and then try three groups with one brand of ammo clean it again then try another brand
06 Dec 2020
@ 09:32 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .17 hmr help
Hi Kurt, the .17's are not so easy to manufacture as it is difficult to lap a bore of this diameter. The .17 is also different to a basic .22 due to the fact that a .22 utilizes a soft lead bullet which can be seated close to or in some cases scribed into the lands upon chambering. The .22 bullet conforms to the bore thereafter. Further to this, one can choose from a range of factory ammo at different velocity nodes. The .17 by contrast uses jacketed bullets within a narrower velocity range. If it were possible to hand load, one might be able to tweak further accuracy from a gun that is for example shooting around 1.5" at 100 yards. But alas, this option is off the table, so final outcomes are always somewhat of a gamble, as is shooting this cartridge in higher winds.

As has been suggested, the first port of call will be to remove the copper fouling and then see how it shoots. Make sure the bore is soaked in a proper solvent (not Hoppes) and then scrubbed with a bronze brush. Continued shooting and cleaning may be enough to remove or flatten reamer burrs etc. This will not however fix any dimensional issues.

If the rifle does not shoot well following a few rounds of cleaning, it may have to go back to the manufacturer. They will need to check bore and will perhaps lap the first few inches. Following this, they will check the fit of the action in the stock. Yours may be of the new cheap floating lug design that is so prevalent these days among gun makers. This will all need to be checked over.

I have lapped .17's to correct problems with desirable results but its not an easy task.

Yours is not the only problem .17 on the block. This is not unusual due to the above mentioned idiosyncracies of this bore diameter.
07 Dec 2020
@ 03:05 pm (GMT)

Kurt Menghetti

Re: .17 hmr help
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to reply to my questions. I’ll try the copper solvent clean and report the outcome. Also thanks to Nathan for the great books. I know I am only shooting rimfires however still so much practical no nonsense advice.
11 Dec 2020
@ 11:49 am (GMT)

Robert McLean

Re: .17 hmr help
I love my .17, it is really accurate. I use it as 'cheap' practice out at 200 when there is 0 wind. When I say cheap I mean cheaper then my 7mm hand loads at least. I tried a cleaning rod and it scared me to death because it is sooo small diameter and it seems that my CZ 455 .17 barrel is really tight. I started using a thing called a patchworm. I know it is a pull trough item and it doesn't turn with the grooves and I have to watch the muzzle but I try to be in the moment and just pay attention while I pull. it seems to do the job well. I've put many many rounds through it in the last couple of years. I keep one with me as a field kit for all my calibers including shotgun because it is the size of a pack of smokes. It ships out of the states but the package is so small that it is pretty cheap. I'm sure they would ship south.

Just some maybe useful info...

order some extra felt buttons and patches otherwise you will be ordering more...
28 Dec 2020
@ 08:18 am (GMT)

Jake Carey

Re: .17 hmr help
I had a Ruger .17 that I could not get to shoot, and eventually I realized that in my excitement I had disassembled and cleaned and checked everything except the factory scope rail. Turned out all the screws were about 1/4 of a thread twist too long for the holes. No wonder it had been returned. I shortened them and the groups shrank dramatically. Even the recoil of that little bullet was enough to bang the scope around. Not to insult anyone's intellect, it's just my experience.

Afterward it turned out that I was unimpressed with the 17 at its "best" so I sold it and replaced with with a side-by-side 12. Oddly enough that helped convince my lady that I wanted a pointing dog as badly as she did, and shortly after we were able to find an extremely well bred dog we shouldn't have been able to afford because the breeder needed to make space and he told us to make an offer. So that's the best use of a .17 to me: pretend to be over the moon for it, then sell it to convince your wife of your commitment to the idea that you actually wanted all along.

I hope it works out. It sounds like you're the correct owner for a good-shooting .17.
15 Jan 2021
@ 03:01 pm (GMT)


Re: .17 hmr help
Kurt - You might want to try a different weight of bullet. I experimented with 6-7 different brands/variants of 17 grain bullets in my Savage bolt action before trying a 20 grain bullet. I cut the groups almost in half with the heavier bullet using comparable products (Hornady 17 gr. V-max gr vs. Hornady 20 gr. V-max) Of course, it is rim fire and your mileage may vary.
17 Jan 2021
@ 07:32 pm (GMT)


Re: .17 hmr help
Hi Kurt,
I have just changed out a CZ 455 for a 457 in 17HMR and tested some ammunition today to find out what it likes. As per the posts above they can be fussy buggers both with ammo and everything else.

Hornady 17gr VMAX (this was what shot the best in my 455) 4 shots in 17mm then the 5th taking it out to 49mm

Federal 17gr V-Shok. 4 shots into 10mm then the 5th taking it out to 23mm

Hornady 20gr XTP 5 shots in 21mm

CCI 17gr VMAX 4 shots in 8mm then the 5th taking it out to 20mm

Not enough trigger time recently so the flyers may well have been me and I will need to test again to find the best load for this rifle. This is the second CZ 17HMR I have owned and both shot well, I expect this to improve with a few more rounds down the barrel (and hopefully me getting my [email protected]#t together). Bottom line is 3 out of 4 types of ammo shot sub inch, 5 shot groups at 100 yards and based on my limited experience (2 rifles) and plenty of on line reviews this is what you get from the company. If you get similar results from different ammo, suggest you return for a replacement or a refund and buy a CZ




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