September 8th, 2017

Hunt Report: Squirrel-Busting with Varminter.com’s 17 Hornet

Felding Ground Squirrel Varminter.com 25gr HP Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

When considering .17-caliber Varminting, most guys think rimfire — shooting the 17 HMR or the newer 17 WSM. But there is a good, affordable centerfire option — the 17 Hornet — with quality factory ammunition available. Hornady produces factory 17 Hornet Ammo with three bullet options: 15.5gr NTX, 20gr V-Max, and the new 25gr HP Varmint. Our friends at Varminter.com recently conducted a test of Hornady’s new 25gr HP “Custom” ammunition, reasonably affordable at around $29/box of 50 rounds. Varminter.com tested the ammo in a CZ 527 rifle chambered for the 17 Hornet on a ground squirrel hunt in Northern Nevada.

» READ FULL 17 Hornet TEST & HUNT REPORT on Varminter.com

Hornady 17 Hornet 25 Grain HP CUSTOM™ Ammo (#83006) Specifications:

25 grain HP Varmint bullet
3375 fps rated (Varminter.com averaged 3383 fps in CZ Model 527 with 24″ barrel)
632 FPE (Foot Pounds of Energy)
0.187 G1 Ballistic Coefficient

Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

Ammo Testing and Hunt Report

By Varminter.com’s Editor
With the new 25gr Hornady 17 Hornet ammo, our accuracy results ranged from 0.528″ to 0.85″, with an average of 0.678″ over ten, 5-shot groups at 100 yards. After shooting the groups, we settled on a 200-yard zero, which put the rifle at 1.1″ high @ 100 yards and 5.3″ low @300 yards.

“I went 14 shots in a row without a miss, and that was from 80 yards out to 220 yards. On these small varmints here, the 25-grain HP does a good job [and] the ammunition is accurate.”

Ground Squirrel Gauntlet in Northern Nevada
It was a few months after the initial range work when I was able to really put this ammo to work on some varmints. The grass here in Southern Idaho had grown quite tall, so we decided to head over to a spot on a private ranch down in Northern Nevada. We were promised some good shooting, but until we actually sit down at the bench and start pulling the trigger, we try not to get our hopes up. Needless to say, we were not disappointed in the amount of varmints and shooting we experienced!

Felding Ground Squirrel Varminter.com 25gr HP Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

The set-up was simple. I set-up with my bench pointed down a private dirt road on the edge of a large alfalfa field. I was going to be shooting something I call “The Gauntlet”. What this means, is that the majority of the ground squirrels were making their home outside of the alfalfa fields. This is a perfect spot for ground squirrels, because they are forced to cross an open area (the dirt road), in order to get to the lush, green, alfalfa. Within this gauntlet, the ground squirrels would consistently stop on the edge to make sure it was safe to run across to the alfalfa side. This gives you a few seconds [time window] to find the squirrel in your scope and make the shot. The range of shoots were from 80 yards out to 220 yards down the road. CLICK HERE to read full 17 Hornet Hunt Report.

Speed Kills — 3650 FPS with a 20-Grainer

Based on the 22 Hornet cartridge case, the 17 Hornet can drive a 20-grain V-MAX bullet at 3,650 fps. At this velocity, the 17 Hornet can match the trajectory of a 55-grain .223 Remington load, but with much less noise and recoil. Look at the chart below. You can see that the 17 Hornet’s trajectory (blue-gray line) is almost an identical match for the larger .223 Rem (red line) all the way out to 400 yards or so.

17 Hornet ballistics Varminter.com

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May 10th, 2014

Hornady Increases Production of 17 Hornet Ammo

Here’s good news for varmint hunters. Hornady just announced that it is ramping up production of the 17 Hornet: “For those of you who love the 17 Hornet, we are manufacturing ammunition right now and you should see it back in stores soon!” The 17 Hornet is a fun, fast cartridge that is ideal for ground squirrels and other small varmints. It has light recoil similar to a 22 WMR, but with the ability to reach out to 300 yards and beyond. Since the 17 Hornet is a centerfire cartridge with reloadable brass, it can actually be more economical to shoot than the 17 HMR, provided you “roll your own”.

Speed Kills — 3650 FPS
Based on the 22 Hornet cartridge case, the 17 Hornet can drive a 20-grain V-MAX bullet at 3,650 fps. At this velocity, the 17 Hornet can match the trajectory of a 55-grain .223 Remington load, but with much less noise and recoil. Take a look at the chart below. You can see that the 17 Hornet’s trajectory (blue line) is almost an identical match for the larger .223 Rem (red line) all the way out to 400 yards or so. The 17 Hornet is an economical, fun .17 caliber centerfire cartridge with way more “reach” than a 17 HRM or 22 WMR.

17 Hornet — Trajectory Comparison

Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge

  • 3,650 fps muzzle velocity with a 20 grain V-MAX bullet.
  • Same C.O.L. as the 22 Hornet – uses the existing action.
  • Trajectory comparable to a 55 grain 223 Rem, but the felt recoil of a 22 WMR.
  • Lower cost and comparable quality to the 17 Fireball and .223 Remington.

Video Explains 17 Hornet Features and Performance

Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 4 Comments »
May 25th, 2013

Hornady 17 Hornet Ammo Wins Readers’ Choice Award

Hornady has received an inaugural Gold Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Award for its Superformance® Varmint™ 17 Hornet Rifle Ammunition. The 17 Hornet is currently available in 15.5gr NTX® and 20gr V-MAX™ offerings.

Hornady’s 17 Hornet employs Hornady Superformance® propellant technology. Hornady claims that, in the 17 Hornet, its Superformance powders can deliver 100 to 200 fps more velocity than other commercially-available propellants. As a result, Hornady’s Superformance® Varmint™ ammunition shoots flatter, drifts less in the wind, and retains more energy out to a practical range of 300 yards. And many varminters have praised Hornady’s low-recoil 17 Hornet, saying this new cartridge is economical, accurate, and fun to shoot. 17 Hornet ballistics are far superior to the 17 HMR, as you can see:

hornady 17 hornet

Hornady’s 17 Hornet was derived from the 22 Hornet parent case. Claimed velocity with 20-grainers is 3650 fps — an impressive number considering the 17 Hornet uses about half the powder of the 17 Remington. The 17 Hornet is based on the rimmed .22 Hornet case. However, the case is not just necked-down from .22 caliber. The case designers reduced body taper, moved the shoulder, and changed the shoulder angle to 25°. This effectively modernizes the old .22 Hornet case, improving efficiency while retaining the max OAL, so that the 17 Hornet can work in any action big enough for the .22 Hornet.

hornady 17 hornet

Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Award
The Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Awards, sponsored by Predator Xtreme magazine, honors the best new products for varminters and predator hunters. A Gold award is the highest honor bestowed in a number of shooting categories. Products are chosen for award recognition based on surveys of magazine readers, so this is truly an “people’s award”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
December 22nd, 2012

Hodgdon Releases 2013 Annual Manual

The new 2013 Annual Hodgdon Reloading Manual (the 10th Annual Edition) has just been released. The manual now contains over 5000 loads, with updates for 37 rifle and pistol cartridges. You’ll also find data for Hodgdon’s popular, new CFE-223 reduced-fouling powder — CFE-223 load info has been added for 19 more cartridges. Varmint hunters will be pleased to see the addition of complete data for the popular 17 Hornet. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2013 Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by top gun and outdoor industry writers working with the editors of Shooting Times magazine.

Hodgdon 10th Annual Reloading Manual

You’ll find the 2013 Hodgdon manual at newsstands and gun stores in early 2013, priced at $8.99. (Some stores already have the 2013 Manual on the shelves.) You can also order direct by visiting Hodgdon.com or calling (913) 362-9455. (Direct sales price is $11.99 including postage.)

Permalink News, Reloading No Comments »
May 30th, 2012

New Redding Powder Measure for Small Varmint Cartridges

Redding 10X Powder MeasureRedding is releasing a dedicated small-case powder measure with a charge weight range of 1 to 25 grains. This specialized Model 10X powder measure should work well for small varmint cartridges such as the .221 Fireball, .20 Vartarg, and the 17 Hornet. The powder cavity and micrometer settings put the charge for a 17 Hornet right in the middle of the powder measure’s capacity — the most accurate part of its range. That’s good news for small rifle cartridge reloaders.

In addition, 17 Fireball and 17 Hornet shooters will be pleased to not that Redding has introduced a 17-caliber drop tube adapter that fits the small-diameter necks of these compact varmint cartridges. With this 17-cal adapter (Redding part #03817), you can throw charges directly into 17-caliber cartridge brass, without the need for separate small-neck funnels.

Features of New Redding 10x Powder Measure:

• Micrometer-controlled powder metering chamber
• Hemispherical Cup for smoother operation
• Cast iron and hard chrome construction
• Positive metering chamber lock
• Adjustable powder baffle

The 17 Hornet is based on the venerable rimmed .22 Hornet case. However, the case is not just necked-down from .22 caliber. The case designers reduced body taper, moved the shoulder, and changed the shoulder angle to 25°. This effectively modernized the old .22 Hornet case, improving efficiency while retaining the max OAL, so that the 17 Hornet can work in any action big enough for the .22 Hornet. Hornady’s “Superformance” 17 Hornet loaded ammo is designed to push a 20gr bullet at an impressive 3650 fps.

Hornady 17 Hornet Ammunition

Permalink New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
November 4th, 2011

Savage Will Offer Model 25s Chambered in 17 Hornet

Savage has confirmed that, for 2012, it will add a 17 Hornet chambering to its line-up of Model 25 varmint rifles. Savage’s decision to produce Model 25s in 17 Hornet was inspired by the release of 17 Hornet ammo from Hornady (see video below). This new rifle and ammo combo provides an affordable, centerfire option for varminters who want something more powerful than the 17 HMR. Though it has low recoil, the 17 Hornet cartridge offers plenty of speed. Hornady says its new 17 Hornet ammo will push a 20gr V-Max at 3,650 fps — that’s 1300 fps faster than a 17 HMR loaded with 20-grainers.

The 17 Hornet is based on the venerable rimmed .22 Hornet case. However, the case is not just necked-down from .22 caliber. The case designers reduced body taper, moved the shoulder, and changed the shoulder angle to 25°. This effectively modernized the old .22 Hornet case, improving efficiency while retaining the max OAL, so that the 17 Hornet can work in any action big enough for the .22 Hornet.

Hornady claims that its new ammo will push a 20gr V-Max bullet at 3650 fps. Dave Emary, Hornady’s Senior Ballistician, says that “This is just a very efficient little cartridge. It uses half the powder of the 17 Remington, has less fouling, more barrel life, and has the felt recoil of about a .22 Magnum.” Learn more by watching the video above.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 17 Comments »
November 4th, 2011

Hornady Announces New Products for 2012

Hornady just released a new video that showcases Hornady’s new products for 2012. These include: Critical DUTY® Pistol ammo (9mm and 40 S&W), 17 Hornet® (loaded with 20gr V-Max), and Heavy Magnum® Turkey Shotshells.

Hornady Flex-LockThe Critical Duty ammo was designed to perform well in FBI protocol tests which demand excellent penetration PLUS reliable bullet expansion to 1.5 times bullet diameter. Hornady achieves this using a “Flexlock” bullet design with a polymer insert in the front of the bullet. The Flexlock plug helps prevents the kind of clogging and nose deformation suffered by conventional hollowpoints when shot through barriers. This allows reliable expansion even after penetrating clothing and other barriers.

Hornady Flex-LockNew 17 Hornet Varmint Ammo
The new 17 Hornet ammo features a 20gr V-Max bullet in a necked-down 25°-shoulder version of the 22 Hornet parent case. Claimed velocity for this rimmed cartridge is 3650 fps — an impressive number considering the 17 Hornet uses about half the powder of the 17 Remington. Hornady declares that its 17 Hornet ammo will be very reasonably priced, providing an “easy, inexpensive way to get into varminting.”

Last but not least, Hornady’s new Heavy Magnum® Turkey Shotshells pack 1.5 ounces of nickel-plated shot in a full, 3″ 12-gauge shell. This provides exceptional knockdown power for turkey hunters. Notably, these shotshells do NOT require special turkey chokes for your shotgun. Hornady’s proprietary “VersaTite” wad provides a tight shot pattern without special chokes.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »