July 24th, 2019

17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) — Affordable .17-Caliber Rimfire Option

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The 17 Mach 2 (aka “17 HM2″) is making a come-back. We’re glad. This high-velocity round fits actions and magazines designed for the .22 LR, so it’s an easy barrel-swap upgrade for most rimfire bolt-guns (semi-autos are more complicated). The 17 Mach 2 cartridge doesn’t deliver the velocity of the 17 HMR, but it is still way faster than a .22 LR. Expect 2000-2100 fps with 17 Mach 2 compared to 1250 fps for “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo. And, importantly, 17 Mach 2 ammo is much less expensive than 17 HMR. If you shop around, you can get 50 rounds of 17 Mach 2 for about $6.50. That’s 35% cheaper than the average $10 price of 17 HMR — a significant savings!

17 Mach 2 Major Selling Points:

1. 60% more velocity than typical “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo.
2. 35% less cost than average 17 HMR ammo.
3. 17 Mach 2 OAL is compatible with .22 LR receivers and magazines.

17 Mach 2 Rifle Reviews

Gun-makers have taken notice of the availability of 17 Mach 2 ammo, introducing new models chambered for this versatile little rimfire round. For a high-volume, small-species varminting, the 17 Mach 2 is much more effective than the .22 LR, and much less expensive than the larger 17 HMR.

New Savage A17 in 17 Mach 2

There are a number of reviews on new-generation 17 Mach 2 rifles. Recently Varminter.com reviewed the Savage A17 in 17 HM2. Editor Eric Mayer wrote: “This new addition to the A17 line comes at a time when the 17 Mach 2 round is experiencing a resurgence, with ammo now available from CCI and Hornady, including the lead-free NTX round from Hornady. This means … you don’t have to break the bank to buy a current, functioning, semi-auto 17 Mach 2 and you don’t have to … convert your 10/22.”

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 savage a17 17 HMR varmint rimfire summit

Eric shot four different types of 17 Mach 2 ammo, putting 1000+ rounds through the Savage. He was impressed: “I am very excited that Savage Arms has chambered their A17 rifle in the 17 Mach 2 / 17 HM2 round. After shooting the prototype, I can confidently say that this new A17 will become my go-to 17 Mach 2 rifle. This new rifle is a great option for varminters everywhere!”

Toggle Bolt Volquartsen Summit in 17 HM2

It’s rare for us to see a new rimfire that we’d really like to own, but the new Summit from Volquartsen fits the bill. This versatile rifle features a cool, straight-pull toggle bolt, similar to those on elite Biathalon rifles. You can see how this gun shoots in this informative 22 Plinkster video:

22 Plinkster Tests Volquartsen Summit Rifle in 17 Mach 2

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. The Volquartsen Summit features a lightweight, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel threaded 1/2-28 for brakes or suppressors. The Summit boasts a nice 1.75-lb trigger pull. The Summit’s CNC-machined receiver features a +20 MOA Rail. NOTE: The video shows a silhouette-style laminated wood stock. However, the Summit comes standard with a composite Magpul stock that actually works better for shooting from a bench.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

17 Mach 2 — Best Rimfire Bang for the Buck?

If you are looking for a capable, squirrel-busting round or a fun plinking round, you should definitely consider the 17 Mach 2, especially since CCI has committed to production of the little cartridge. CCI recently rolled out its “Gen 2″ 17 Mach 2 VNT Ammo with polymer tip (see top of article).

Considering that 17 HMR ammo is now running $10 to $12 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. It is available from many vendors for under $6.50 per 50ct box. That’s just $0.13 per round. When you consider overall “bang for the buck”, for many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR. For varmint shooting, the 17 Mach 2 is clearly the better choice.

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison
Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for “High-Velocity” .22 LR.

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April 2nd, 2019

17 Mach 2 Straight-Pull Summit Rifle from Volquartsen

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The 17 Mach 2 (aka “17 HM2″) is making a come-back. We’re glad. This high-velocity round fits actions and magazines designed for the .22 LR, so it’s an easy barrel-swap upgrade for most rimfire bolt-guns (semi-autos are more complicated). The 17 Mach 2 cartridge doesn’t deliver the velocity of the 17 HMR, but it is still way faster than a .22 LR. Expect 2000-2100 fps with 17 Mach 2 compared to 1250 fps for “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo. And, importantly, 17 Mach 2 ammo is much less expensive than 17 HMR. If you shop around, you can get 50 rounds of 17 Mach 2 for about $6.50. That’s 40% cheaper than the average $11 price of 17 HMR — a significant savings!

17 Mach 2 Major Selling Points:

1. 60% more velocity than typical “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo.
2. 40% less cost than average 17 HMR ammo.
3. 17 Mach 2 OAL is compatible with .22 LR receivers and magazines.

Toggle Bolt Volquartsen Summit in 17 HM2

It’s rare for us to see a new rimfire that we’d really like to own, but the new Summit from Volquartsen fits the bill. This versatile rifle features a cool, straight-pull toggle bolt, similar to those on elite Biathalon rifles. You can see how this gun shoots in this informative 22 Plinkster video:

22 Plinkster Tests Volquartsen Summit Rifle in 17 Mach 2

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. The Volquartsen Summit features a lightweight, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel threaded 1/2-28 for brakes or suppressors. The Summit boasts a nice 1.75-lb trigger pull. The Summit’s CNC-machined receiver features a +20 MOA Rail. NOTE: The video shows a silhouette-style laminated wood stock. However, the Summit comes standard with a composite Magpul stock that actually works better for shooting from a bench.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

17 Mach 2 — Best Rimfire Bang for the Buck?

If you are looking for a capable, squirrel-busting round or a fun plinking round, you should definitely consider the 17 Mach 2, especially since CCI has committed to production of the little cartridge. CCI recently rolled out its “Gen 2″ 17 Mach 2 VNT Ammo with polymer tip (photo right).

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit
The 17 Mach 2 propels the same 17gr bullet as the 17 HMR, but the 17 Mach 2 runs roughly 20% slower — 2000-2100 fps vs. 2500 fps for the 17 HMR.

Considering that 17 HMR ammo is now running $10 to $12 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. When you consider overall “bang for the buck”, for many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR:

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison
Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for “High-Velocity” .22 LR.

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February 16th, 2019

Rimfire 17s — Three Great Options: 17 HMR, 17 Mach 2, 17 WMS

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

There are three readily-available 17-caliber rimfire rounds now on the market: 17 HMR, 17 WSM, and 17 Mach 2(aka 17 HM2). Aguila also made a .17 rimfire, the .17 PMC/Aguila, but it never became popular. What should be your choice? The 17 HMR is a very popular round, available from multiple manufacturers — CCI, Hornady, and now Norma. The 17 Mach 2 (HM2) is making a resurgence, as it is less expensive than 17 HMR and it can be shot from rifles converted from .22 LR since it shares the .22 LR cartridge OAL. Finally the 17 WSM is, without question, the performance leader among .17-Cal rimfire rounds.

17 HMR — Still the Market Leader in 17-Cal Rimfires

The 17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) is popular and well-established. Ammo with a variety of bullet weights and designs is available. Most 17 HMR ammo is priced from $10-$12 per box, and you can get some better deals during sales.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

You can buy quality 17 HMR rifles from many makers at all price levels. The Savage A17 with laminated thumbhole stock is a good choice. There were some early issues with the A17, but Savage improved the magwell and now this rifle is very reliable and accurate, particularly with the CCI-brand A17 ammo.

The laminated thumbhole stock version of the Savage A17 is a great carry-around varminter.
Savage A17 laminated varmint rifle

Ruger now makes a .17 HMR version of the Ruger Precision Rifle. If you prefer a modular chassis type rig, this is a great option:

Here is a semi-auto 17 HMR fitted with a suppressor. Even with the cameraman just 20 feet away, you can barely hear the shot, and recoil is non-existent. (NOTE: be sure to turn on the sound icon). Varminter Magazine says: “No ground squirrels were spooked during these shots. Quiet is an understatement!”. This may be the ultimate stealth varminter set-up.

17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) — Best Bang for the Buck?

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. Check out this Volquartsen Summit from SHOT Show. It offers a slick, straight-pull toggle bolt, like you’d find on Olympic biathlon rifles.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

Considering that 17 HMR ammo costs $10 to $15 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. You can now get 50 rounds of CCI 17 Mach 2 for just $6.55 at Midsouth. Grab it while you can.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The Mach 2 propels the same 17gr V-Max bullet as the 17 HMR, but the Mach 2 runs about 16% slower — 2100 fps vs. 2500 for the 17 HMR. For many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR:

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison

Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for .22 LR.

17 WSM — More Speed, More Energy, and Flatter Trajectory

The 17 WSM (“Winchester Super Magnum”) is the fastest, flattest-shooting rimfire round you can buy. It totally stomps the .22 LR, and even offers significantly better ballistics than the popular 17 HMR. Check out this comparison of three rimfire magnmum cartridges (17 WMS, 17 HMR, and 22 WMR):

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum

And now lead-free 17 WSM ammo is available. This “unleaded” version is impressively flat-shooting. With a 100-yard zero, it drops only 4.3 inches at 200 yards. Compare that with a .22 LR which can drop 18 inches or more from 100 to 200 yards (based on 1150 fps MV).

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum lead-Free

CLICK HERE for 17 WSM lead-free ammo test article.
17 WSM rimfire ammo test

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June 24th, 2018

Cleaning Rod Bore Guide for 17 HMR Rifles

Roy Bertalatto RVB Precision 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide
The Bertalotto 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide is actually made from aluminum arrow shafts.

When Hornady (and CCI) developed the 17 HMR cartridge, they really hit a home-run. And the rifle manufacturers quickly marketed some nice rifles to chamber this 17-cal rimfire round. But unlike .22 LR rifles which, typically, require very little cleaning, 17 HMRs demand frequent bore cleaning to maintain good accuracy. That’s because 17 HMRs shoot copper-jacketed bullets at 2550 fps velocities.

17-Cal Bore Guides — The Challenge
The problem is, it’s hard to find a well-designed, quality bore guide for 17-caliber rimfire rifles. With many 17 HMR (and 17 Mach 2) rifles, you encounter mechanical interference when you try to use a standard bore guide to protect the delicate chamber edge and the bottle neck area of the chamber. A fixed ejector is in the way. On many 17 HMR rifles, this little “shark fin” ejector is right in line with the chamber and is fixed — it doesn’t retract. Therefore the kind of bore guide you might use for centerfire rifles won’t work in 17 HMRs — it will hang up on the ejector.

Polymer bore guides exist for this type of action, but they are typically open-bottom designs that do not enter and seal the chamber. These open-bottom designs don’t protect the delicate chamber edge or the bottleneck area of the chamber, and they also allow some seepage of solvents out of the chamber. That’s why Roy Bertalotto created his RVB Precision Bore Guide for 17 HMR rifles. The 7075 aluminum tube on his Bore Guide is thin enough to pass by the ejector, yet it is extremely rigid. (Photos below.)

Roy explains: “My bore guide is made of 7075 anodized aluminum tubing, which is totally unaffected by any type of cleaning solution. One end is swagged down to fit completely into the chamber of a 17 HMR rifle. This guides your cleaning rod perfectly to the bore without touching the chamber walls or front edge of the chamber. The tight fit of the bore guide in the chamber also stops cleaning solvents from getting into the action, magazine, and trigger housing.” (Editor: Solvent seepage can do damage. We had a 17 Mach 2 rifle that rusted internally because solvents leaked past an open-bottom bore guide.)

Roy Bertalatto RVB Precision 17 HMR Cleaning Rod Bore Guide

Using the RVB 17 HMR Guide – Once the bore guide is in place, slide the supplied aluminum bushing over the tube, and gently push the bushing into the rear of the action. This centers the guide rod in the action to keep the guide rod tube aligned. Once the guide rod and bushing are in place, you can use a 17-caliber cleaning rod* with patches and/or brushes to clean the barrel. Use the rod normally, but make sure your patches are quite small and don’t apply too much pressure as these small-diameter rods can kink if you try to force over-size patches down the bore.

The RVB Precision 17 HMR Bore Guide costs $19.95 plus $5.00 shipping. To order, email Roy Bertalotto via rvb100 [at] comcast.net. Roy will then send you shipping/payment details.

Roy tells us: “Yes, I make the bore guides out of 1616 aluminum arrow shafts. The only material on earth that fits EXACTLY what is needed. I buy the shaft material as simple tubing from Easton. It is hard anodized, the perfect wall thickness and doesn’t look too bad either.”

* NOTE: You really do need a dedicated .17-cal cleaning rod for this job. Most other rods are too fat to pass through the barrel. Dewey Mfg. makes a decent 17-caliber cleaning rod that is reasonably stiff and doesn’t kink too readily. It is available in 7″, 11″, 18″, 26″, and 36″ lengths, either bare stainless steel or with a nylon coating. For use with the Bertalotto Bore Guide, we prefer the nylon-coated version, in either 26″ or 36″ lengths, depending on barrel length.

Dewey 17 cal caliber bore guide

If you have a high comb on your rifle, you may need extra length to avoid interference with the rod handle. Use this formula to determine correct rod length: Length of barrel + action or breech rod guide length + 2-3″ clearance + high comb if applicable = total rod length needed.

There are other quality 17-cal cleaning rods, but we’ve used the Dewey and it functioned well. The nylon coating cleaned easily and was gentle on the throat and crown. You should clean the coating before and after each use to ensure it does not embed grit or other contaminants.

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March 11th, 2017

Get FREE SAAMI Rimfire Cartridge and Chamber Diagrams

SAAMI Cartridge Diagrams

Planning a rimfire build in the future, or want to get the exact specifications for your 17 Mach 2, 17 HMR, 17 WSM, .22 LR, or .22 WMR rifle? Then we’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to download an official SAAMI document with specs for all popular rimfire ammunition. This FREE 89-page PDF includes complete Cartridge and Chamber drawings and headspace specifications. The document even includes info on pressure terminology, headspace gauges, and test barrels.

DOWNLOAD SAAMI Rimfire Cartridge/Chamber Drawings >>

SAAMI, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, is an association of the nation’s leading manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and components. Founded in 1926, SAAMI promulgates industry standards for firearms ammunition safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality.

SAAMI offers diagrams for ALL popular, modern rimfire cartridges:

SAAMI Cartridge Diagrams

Here’s the Official SAAMI Drawing for the 17 HMR Cartridge:

SAAMI Cartridge Diagrams

SAAMI Website Also Offers Centerfire Cartridge and Shotshell Diagrams
From the SAAMI website you can also access hundreds of FREE official cartridge diagrams and chamber drawings for all centerfire ammo types and Shotshells. Simply click on the Cartridge and Chamber Drawings link and then choose your ammo type: Pistol and Revolver, Rifle, or Shotshell.

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February 17th, 2008

17 HMR Price Hikes Spur Renewed Interest in 17 Mach 2

The 17 HMR rimfire round has been a huge success since its introduction. Millions of rounds have been sold, the major rifle-makers all offer 17HMR rifles, and varminters worldwide have embraced this innovative, high-velocity rimfire cartridge.

However, as 17 HMR costs climb steadily upward, many shooters are considering switching back to the 17 HMR’s little brother, the 17 Mach 2. Based on a 22 Stinger case necked down to 17 caliber, the 17 Mach 2 runs about 450 fps slower than the 17 HMR. However, the 17 Mach 2 still offers much-enhanced performance compared to a 22LR (See Chart.)

Ten Cents a Round vs. 26 Cents a Round
The big factor favoring the 17 Mach 2 is PRICE. You can shoot the 17 Mach 2 for $0.10 per round compared to $0.26 for the 17HMR. The Mach 2 is less than half the cost of 17HMR. Here is a chart showing current pricing of the 17 HMR vs. the 17 Mach 2.

Cartridge Brand Bullet Price/box Vendor
17 HMR CCI 17gr Speer TNT $12.14 MidwayUSA
17 HMR CCI 20gr SpirePt $13.79 MidwayUSA
17 HMR Hornady 17gr V-Max $12.79 MidwayUSA
17 HMR Hornady 20gr XTP $12.99 MidwayUSA
17 Mach 2 Eley 17gr V-Max $4.89 MidwayUSA
17 Mach 2 Hornady 17gr V-Max $5.79 Midsouth
17 Mach 2 Rem 17gr V-Max $3.99 Natchez

17 HMR Average Price = $12.93 (26 cents per round)
17 Mach 2 Average Price = $4.89 (10 cents per round)

We’ve done extensive testing with the 17 Mach 2 in a Hall-actioned benchrest rig built by Stan Ware of SGR Custom Rifles. With ammo sorted for length and concentricity (using a Nielson Brothers concentricity gauge), our little 17 Mach 2 has demonstrated remarkable accuracy–with many 1/4″ groups at 50 yards. Still, even with sorted ammo, don’t expect the 17 Mach 2 to run with the best (i.e. $14/box) 22LR match ammo. Typically, with the 17 Mach 2, you’ll get one shot out of five landing unpredictably out of the group. There are many reasons for this — excessive run-out, flawed bullet tips, bad crimps, even shaved jackets.

Our studies suggest that 17 Mach 2 ammo would be more consistent, and more accurate, if it was loaded to a lower muzzle velocity with the bullet seated longer. Crimping needs to be more uniform. We’d also like to see Hornady chamber the 20gr XTP bullet offered in the 17 HMR. Still, the 17 Mach 2 round has much to offer the varminter and club-level paper puncher. It runs 1000 fps faster than a 22LR, and bucks the wind much better than a 22LR at 100 yards. At $4.00 to $5.00 a box, it is less than half the cost of 17 HMR, and one-third the cost of the super-premium 22LR.

We let three top 22LR benchrest shooters try our 17 Mach 2 recently. To a man, they agreed this round is “fun to shoot” and “offers great promise”. If the ammo-makers can improve quality control, this round may, some day, have a place in target competition, particularly with the highest-grade 22LR ammo now topping $20.00/box (for new Lapua X-ACT ammo).

Here are ONE HUNDRED-Yard Groups Shot with Eley 17 Mach 2 Ammo. Note HUGE Effect of Concentricity Sorting. Top target shows 0.006″ Run-out ammo. Bottom Target displays 0.001″ Run-out ammo.

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