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  #1  
Old 03-21-2020, 12:19 AM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is online now
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.17 HMR performance in handguns?

Being a long time fan of the .22 Mag (but don't currently have one) I finally succumbed to the .17 HMR. Kind of. I bought the rifle, but it's been sitting in my safe for a long time. I'm finally getting around to setting it up and doing some shooting with it.

In the process I've been looking over the ballistics and watching some hunting videos with the round. Pretty impressive in terms of flat shooting and the terminal results on some critters. But that got me thinking about barrels and platforms.

In .22 LR and .22 WMR they still seem pretty viable in handguns. I recall that the comparison with the old .22 WMR ammo in 40 and 50 grains to the .22 LR the .22 WMR in a 6 inch barrel was more or less comparable to a .22 LR in a 16 inch barrel.

However, looking at the .17 HMR which seems to work with a combination of high velocity and a light bullet, I have my doubts about how useful it would really be in a handgun. Maybe for paper play only and just to have? Or would it become more of an edible game gun with still some anchoring power at handgun small game hunting distances, but not a blow 'em apart projectile as they are in rifles?

So I guess the real question is anyone out there running .17 HMR in a handgun? If so, what are you using it for and what are the results?
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:35 AM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is offline
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I’m a fan of 17 HMR but don’t have it in a handgun. I’ve got a Volquartsen deluxe rifle which easily hits a soda can at 180 yards. Its also much more effective on groundhogs than my 22LR so I would think it’d be pretty good on rabbits. For example, when a ground hog was hit with my 17, it didnt go 8 feet vs running away with my 22LR.
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Old 03-21-2020, 09:27 AM
markwell markwell is offline
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Have a .17HMR Alexander Arms carbine that we've used just a bit on Varmints. Anchors woodchucks well and is hell on Prairie dogs. Haven't shot the .17 HMR on bigger critters or from a handgun. However, we have been shooting the .17Mach2 since it came out in '04, both from bolt action rifles and a couple of Kimber Rimfire 1911s. With carful shooting, the M2 is a great cartridge. Have shot thousands of Gophers and Prairie Dogs with the little round and the .17M2 1911's are great fun and more affective than one might think. The 1911s are, however, a bit finicky as to ammo and springs. Biggest critter we've taken with the M2 is a Coyote; it ran about 50 yards and piled up. Somewhere we have chrono info on both of the .17 rimfires; will see if we can dig it up if you'd like to see it.
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2020, 03:30 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is online now
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Markwell, that would be nice when you get around to it.

Without looking over ballistic charts, but off the cuff, comparing .17 Mach 2 from a rifle might give an idea of .17 HMR from a handgun. Kind of like a .22 LR rifle to .22 Mag in a handgun comparison.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:12 PM
wildphil wildphil is offline
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I have an ss Ruger single six in .17 hmr. It has only been used for shooting targets. So I can't help you with any info on small game hunting with the round. It is very accurate.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:35 AM
markwell markwell is offline
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Only info I could lay my hands on without a serious amount of digging. Ammo is Hornady 17M2 with the then new 15.5 grain NTX bullet. Hope this helps. Will dig some more out later.

10 shot
Kimber Classic Varmint Velocity Ext. spread High Low
22" barrel
2013 fps 237 2184 1947

Kimber 1911
5" barrel 1730 fps 134 1816 1682
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:32 AM
earlwb earlwb is offline
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I experimented some with a 1873 style SAA revolver in 17 HMR. The SAA sights were terrible for using with this cartridge. Otherwise it was quite fun to shoot with basically no recoil. In a handgun you really need a scope for it to work best. So I am not sure if a long barrel handgun with scope would be any more convenient versus using a rifle with scope.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:55 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is online now
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Appreciate the responses.

I guess I wouldn't turn down a scoped 6.5" revolver in .17 HMR if I came across one at a steal. Or one that could be fairly easily scoped. Though probably for me it would be more a theoretical rather than practical thing.

I could appreciate the idea of handgun hunting edible small game, and a little little critter varminting, with a scoped .17 HMR handgun. However, not much chance of me wandering the brush with one these days. Though the idea of wandering some bunny and squirrel patches with one is a nice thought. Just not happening here anytime soon.

I guess for now I'll just focus on dialing my rifle in and enjoying that.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2020, 07:51 PM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildphil View Post
I have an ss Ruger single six in .17 hmr. It has only been used for shooting targets. So I can't help you with any info on small game hunting with the round. It is very accurate.
I want one of those scoped. Been on the list for a while now just too many other guns get in the way.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2020, 03:11 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is online now
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I was putting away a 200 round box of A17 ammo that came in today and looked at the velocity chart on the end. Out of a rifle the 100 yard velocity is around 2000 fps. Which is what I've seen on the few write ups I could find for handguns with 6.5 inch barrels. Allowing for a little less out of a revolver, say more like in the 1900-1950 fps range that still gives the .17 HMR at the muzzle the hitting power of the rifle at 100 yards.

Since guys are smacking small critters and rolling them solidly past 100 with rifles it seems reasonable that a .17 HMR handgun would still be pretty lethal on small game at 25-50 yards assuming good hits.

I still need to get the scope on the rifle and get it out to the range.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2020, 07:47 AM
Torch1972 Torch1972 is offline
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I had a Taurus Tracker in a .17hmr and used to go rabbit hunting with it. It trashed the meat,way too much damage and went back to using .22s
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2020, 08:04 AM
david_root2000 david_root2000 is offline
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I hunt squirrels with a 17 hmr rifle. Head shots only.

David
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2020, 12:39 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torch1972 View Post
I had a Taurus Tracker in a .17hmr and used to go rabbit hunting with it. It trashed the meat,way too much damage and went back to using .22s
Good to know. Thanks! So .17HMR handgun for handgun range varmint, NOT edible game.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2020, 02:37 PM
Torch1972 Torch1972 is offline
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Yup, unless your so good you can do head shots all the time,.22lr does the trick. Now if you want to dispatch larger varmints it is an option..
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