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.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
September 16th, 2013

GunsAmerica Tests New Ruger American Rimfire Rifle

Recently, we profiled the all-new, bolt-action Ruger American Rimfire™ rifle. It’s modular, affordable (MSRP $329.00), and it will be offered in three rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. Notably, the .22 versions can use all types of Ruger 10/22 magazines — that’s a huge plus for folks who already own a Ruger 10/22. After this new rifle was introduced, readers wondered how well it functions, and how the accuracy compares to the popular .22 LR bolt guns from CZ and Savage.

GunsAmerica Blog Review
GunsAmerica, a leading firearms buy/sell website, managed to get hold of one of these Ruger American Rimfire rifles, chambered in .22 LR. GunsAmerica’s staff put the rifle through its paces at the range, and came away very impressed. The test rifle shot sub-inch groups at 50 yards with Federal Lightning and CCI Stinger ammunition. We expect the rifle would shoot even better with quality, match-grade Lapua or Eley rimfire ammo. CLICK HERE for full GunsAmerica Rifle Review.

Given the smooth-working bolt, crisp 3-lb trigger, and comfortable stock with built-in bedding system, GunsAmerica concludes that this Ruger delivers a lot of performance for the $329.00 price. GunsAmerica’s writers are probably right in predicting that the Ruger American Rifle will be a hot-seller, stealing market share from other low-to-mid-priced rimfire brands (such as CZ):

“With this one new rifle Ruger has propelled itself to the front of the pack of the bolt-action rimfire market[.] While there are other great rimfire bolt guns out there at affordable prices, nobody is going to dispute that the Ruger American Rimfire has leapfrogged the entire market. The rifle is superb, and missing really nothing. These guns are going to fly off the shelves….”

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
January 19th, 2013

17 Win Super Mag Rimfire from Winchester — Field Report

17 Winchester Super Magnum Win Super Mag Rimfire

At Media Day we test-fired the new 3000 FPS rimfire ammunition from Winchester. Shooting the new 17 Win Super Mag ammo from a pre-production Savage B.MAG rifle (more on that later) and a Browning m1885 falling block, we were able to shoot sub-minute-of-angle groups with a pretty primitive front rest and lumpy rear bag. So far, then, it appears the ammo is pretty darn accurate for a mass-produced rimfire cartridge. Savage has promised to send us a B.MAG rifle for further testing. Watch the video below for more details on this new cartridge.

.17 Winchester Super Magnum RimfireNew 3000 FPS Rimfire Round
Winchester has announced a new, high-velocity 17-caliber rimfire cartridge, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (aka .17 Win Super Mag). The .17 Win Super Mag will initially be offered in three bullet types: 20gr plastic tip (Varmint HV), 25gr plastic tip (Varmint HE), and a 20gr JHP (Super-X). The 20-grain varieties boast a 3000 FPS muzzle velocity, earning honors as the fastest Rimfire ammo ever made.

.17 Winchester Super Mag Specifications Symbol Sub Brand Bullet Weight Muzzle Velocity
S17W20 Varmint HV 20-gr Plastic Tip 3,000 fps
S17W25 Varmint HE 25-gr Plastic Tip 2,600 fps
X17W20 Super-X 20-gr JHP 3,000 fps

Winchester claims that all .17 Win Super Mag ammo types shoot much flatter than the .22 Win Mag and .17 HMR, while delivering more than 150 percent more energy than both. In addition, the .17 Win Super Mag “bucks the wind” better than any other rimfire ammo — exhibiting significant less horizontal drift at extended ranges. The ammunition should be available at Winchester dealers by April 2013.

17 Winchester Super Magnum Win Super Mag Rimfire

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire

Click Boxes to View Larger Charts

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 3 Comments »
December 17th, 2011

Alexander Arms Introduces AR15 Rifles Chambered in 17 HMR

Alexander Arms is now shipping production 17 HMR AR15 rifles and 17 HMR upper receiver kits. The complete rifles are the only semi-auto rifles specifically designed to reliably shoot the 17 HMR cartridge. Alexander Arm’s 17 HMR rifle does not employ a reworked .22LR rimfire action. Instead the gun features a new bolt assembly design purpose-built built to work with the 17 HMR cartridge. This is good news for varmint hunters who want semi-auto capability for fast follow-up shots in the varmint fields.

Alexander Arms 17hmr AR15

Alexander Arms 17 HMR AR Tech Specifications | 17 HMR AR Frequently Asked Questions

The complete rifle comes standard with a straight fluted 18″ stainless barrel, A1 flash-hider, free-floating composite hand guard and two molded-plastic 10-round magazines. Options include a spiral-fluted barrel and MK3 railed upper receiver. Alexander Arms’ 17 HMR ARs will be offered in both fixed stock and collapsible-stock versions. The upper receiver kit includes all the ancillary items needed to convert existing AR15 lowers to work with the 17 HMR cartridge.

Alexander Arms 17hmr AR1517 HMR Basics
If you are not familiar with the 17 HMR, it is a popular varmint cartridge effective out to 200 yards or so. With typical muzzle velocities of 2550-2650 fps, the little 17 HMR packs much more punch than a .22LR, while bucking the wind much better. CLICK HERE for Varmint Al’s 17 HMR webpage, which provides a comprehensive analysis of 17 HMR ballistics, kinetic enegy, and effectiveness on small varmints.

Video Showing Alexander Arms 17HMR Bolt Cycling in Slo-Mo

On its website, Alexander Arms reports: “Our initial production run will be 500 units. We are extremely pleased with this [17 HMR] caliber. With help from Hornady, this unit has been extensively tested and has proven itself to be very capable in the field. At the recent Big 3 Event, we ran two rifles out to ranges of 400 yards and despite windy conditions… the guns performed well. While running guns at the Big 3 we had an opportunity to run one of the rifles with the excellent magnum rimfire silencer from Thunderbeast Arms Corp. The rifle exhibited a slight shift in zero and ran without a hitch for the two days of the event. This unscheduled test provided a quick insight into the flexibility of the rifle and everyone agreed that this combination would serve well for any varminting purposes.”

For more info contact visit AlexanderArms.com or call at (540) 639-8356. You can also download the Alexander Arms’ 17 HMR Rifle Owners Manual as a PDF file.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
February 19th, 2011

Mid-Winter Shooting Report from Thunder Bay

It may be winter, but that didn’t prevent Forum member James F. (and his girlfriend Siiri) from firing up their snowmobiles and heading out for a fun day of shooting. Now that’s dedication! James, who hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, offers this report….

A Sunny Day for Shooting in Thunder Bay
It was almost +10° C today and sunny so my girlfriend and I went shooting. Just thought I would share some photos. I’m in the process of breaking in my Savage model 12 LRPV in .204 Ruger. About a 15-minute snowmobile ride from our houses, we have our own private 900-yard range, with zero elevation change (it’s a lake in summer time). And I got to play with my new toy. My girlfriend Siiri bought me a Kestrel 3500 weather station.

Below is my Savage 17HMR, which has a Vortex Viper 3-9X40mm. Siiri also shoots a Savage 17HMR.

And this is my new Savage model 12 chambered in .204 Ruger. This has a Vortex Viper 6.5-20X50 on Burris extreme tactical rings, with a Ken Farrell 20 MOA base. The rings I bought ended up being way too high. I didn’t realize how tall a Farrell base was. I ordered rings that are 1/2″ lower. So for now I used rubber bands and a towel to make the stock taller. Very high-tech, as you can see:

Savage Shines with Factory .204 Ammo
Today ended up being a very good day. I decided to try shooting at 200 yards to see how my .204 would group. I ended up shocking myself — I shot a 0.231″, 3-shot group. (0.435-0.204=0.231″). That is with Hornady 32gr factory ammo. Can’t complain with those results! I think we are going shooting again soon. But the weather is supposed to be -10° C so it’s not going to be as nice. But I made a gong and I need to try it out. I’m also going to test some loads in the model 12.

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