October 10th, 2008

Eley 17 Mach 2 Ammo Discounted at Grafs.com

Grafs.com has Eley 17 Mach 2 ammo on sale for just $4.49 per box (item EL17HM2). 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 brands of 17 Mach 2 ammo, 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. Still, the round is fun to shoot and the 17 Mach 2 can deliver sub-MOA groups at 100 yards even with the “flyers”.

We recently tested the Eley, CCI, and Hornady 17 Mach 2 in a Hall-actioned BR rifle with a tight chamber. Shooting the Eley at 50 yards, we managed a couple 5-shot groups in the low ones — basically one-holers. That was exciting… but not repeatable. After a great group, the next group would typically be a 3/8″ or larger, with an unexplained flyer high or low. Still the average group size of the Eley was substantially smaller than either the CCI and Hornady ammo. Both CCI and Hornady 17 Mach 2 ammo are produced in the same plant. However, the particular sample of CCI we had did shoot better than the Hornady. The Hornady ammo also showed the biggest variance in cartridge length (from 0.961″ to 0.996″ COAL), while the Eley was the most consistent in length, with 3/4 of the 50 rounds in the box measuring between 0.990″-1.000″. All the brands performed best in a freshly-cleaned barrel. Groups opened up noticeably after 35-40 rounds had been shot without cleaning.

Bang for the Buck
When you consider that most brands of 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 Eley just $4.50 a box, you can buy 133 rounds of 17 Mach 2 for the price of 50 rounds of 17 HMR.

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