Now through March 31, 2008, MidwayUSA has Eley 17 Mach 2 ammo on sale for just $3.99 per box (item 134258). This ammo, based on a 22 Stinger case necked down to 17 caliber, shoots a 17gr jacketed V-Max bullet at about 2050 fps. We’ve shot all the various brands of 17 Mach 2 ammo in a Hall-actioned BR rifle, and the Eley is as good as anything out there. What you’ll typically get with a 5-shot group in a good rifle is 3 or 4 shots in a tight cluster and then one out. This is caused by a lot of factors (run-out, crimp problems, OAL variations etc.), and is true of all the 17 Mach 2 brands you try. Still, the round is fun to shoot and the 17 Mach 2 will deliver sub-MOA groups at 100 yards even with the “flyers”.
Bang for the Buck
When you consider that most brands of the 2500 fps 17 HMR ammo now cost about $12.00 a box, the Eley 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value. The Mach 2 delivers the same 17gr V-Max bullet as the 17 HMR, but the Mach 2 just runs a little slower — 2050 fps vs. 2500 for the 17 HMR. For many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. With the sale-priced Eley just $3.99 a box, you can buy 150 rounds of 17 Mach 2 for the price of 50 rounds of 17 HMR.
Here’s what one shooter posted on RimfireCentral.com: “My brother has a 17 HMR, and I have the 17 Mach 2. I found Remington 17 M2 at Natchez for $3.59 a box by the brick, and Eley 17 M2 at [Midway] for $4.00 a box. The best buy I found on 17 HMR was $10.50 a box. Do the math: $3.59 X 3 = $10.77 When you can get 17 Mach 2 ammo at 1/3 the cost of 17 HMR which one kills paper better? My vote is for the one I can shoot for 1/3 the cost. The 17 Mach 2 is also quieter.”