The .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) is one of the younger market gauges. Its first appearance in the arms arena dates back to the early years of the present century, and its birth is part of a new trend towards the search for less heavy and faster cartridges. The main architects of the launch of this innovative gauge were Dave Emary, from a technical point of view; and the House Hornady, manufacturer of American ammunition that at all times supported the development of this small caliber Magnum.
A Young Caliber
In their less than ten years of life, the .17 HMR ammo has become an important gap between the shooters and hunters from all over the world. However, its arrival to Spain has been embroiled in a controversy. Many question if it can legally be used as ammunition for hunting. The main reason for this doubt is the .17 HMR cartridge is annular fire, like the .22LR, which is forbidden. In the United States, shooters of .17 HMR praise its excellent hunting qualities, above all for the Abbot of vermin (what they call “varmint”), birds, hares, foxes, or even small roe deer.
This young caliber defenders appreciate its almost negligible recoil, its lightness, and its speed. So much so that in the United States the 22-250, a legendary and gauge with a great tradition among the North American “varminters”, is being replaced by it in many areas. Given its ballistic properties, a .17 HMR increases the distance of shot, best results are obtained (up to 100 meters). This is especially true, if compared with gauges that are presented as their big two references: the .22LR and the .22 Win Mag. Regarding this last caliber, almost arguably the .17 HMR is the natural replacement for this cartridge.
17 HMR Ammo Cons
Despite everything, the .17 HMR ammo also has its detractors. Most critics accuse it of being a less stable cartridge in adverse conditions. As well as being a very expensive BB, with less variety than its more famous competitor: the everlasting .22LR caliber.
The most common load where we can find this annular calibre ammunition is only 17 grains (1.1 grams), although some firms have already begun to prove with heavier tips. The most widespread type of tip is known commercially as v-Max, a projectile with pointed form a polymer insert appears in the end. This projectile is able to fly at a speed of nothing more and nothing less than 2,550 feet per second!, a figure that it situates the .17 HMR as the cartridge of annular fire faster on the market today. Hornady and Remington are the main manufacturers, although the Winchester House also boasts a range of cartridges in this caliber. Rifles and carbines marketed in Spain for this caliber include the Marlin 917, the CZ 452 and the Remington M597.