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17 HMR 17 WSM Rimfire

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#1 17russell

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:33 PM

The hot new rimfire's like the 17 HMR and WSM are exciting developments, (however), it seems we need some assistance from the rifle manufacturers to bring these cartridges to their full potential.

Way back in 1978 a gunsmith here had reached 3000 fps with prototype 17 HMR, but experienced the issue of split cases with the increased pressures involved. As I see it, there are two options to solve this. (a) Increase the brass thickness, or ( B) Enclose the rim more effectively, similar to the way a center-fire action operates. There are side effects to both options but I feel encouraged to hope someone will adopt the second approach before too long.

I'm not skilled at engineering but surely it isn't impossible to build an action that encloses the rim with the steel of the bolt face, uses a spring loaded pin to eject (similar to Remington 700), and delivers an offset firing pin strike? If a stronger action is produced, I believe there will be a whole new set of outcomes for the rimfire calibers. What do you guys think? ...And has there been any work done in the US along those lines?

Just imagine what a fully supported case and a tweak more powder could deliver? :grincamo:

#2 Old Hickory

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:00 AM

Good point, rus. It would make up for the slight differences in the brass and insure a safer gun. I haven't had much experience with the .17 WSM, as I have only shot one box of the 20gr ammo.

As far as HMR, I have shot mine a lot and have suffered no problems except for a few sticking in the chamber and the ejector failing to eject. The expended rounds needed to be pried out with a knife. Those were all Hornady rounds of the same lot. A fella would think the problem would not happen, since the brass gets fire formed. The chamber doesn't seem to have a buildup of any material to cause the round sticking after being fired. It must a a brass problem, my thinking.
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#3 17russell

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 01:54 PM

The hot new rimfire's like the 17 HMR and WSM are exciting developments, (however), it seems we need some assistance from the rifle manufacturers to bring these cartridges to their full potential.

Way back in 1978 a gunsmith here had reached 3000 fps with prototype 17 HMR, but experienced the issue of split cases with the increased pressures involved. As I see it, there are two options to solve this. (a) Increase the brass thickness, or ( B) Enclose the rim more effectively, similar to the way a center-fire action operates. There are side effects to both options but I feel encouraged to hope someone will adopt the second approach before too long.

I'm not skilled at engineering but surely it isn't impossible to build an action that encloses the rim with the steel of the bolt face, uses a spring loaded pin to eject (similar to Remington 700), and delivers an offset firing pin strike? If a stronger action is produced, I believe there will be a whole new set of outcomes for the rimfire calibers. What do you guys think? ...And has there been any work done in the US along those lines?

Just imagine what a fully supported case and a tweak more powder could deliver? :grincamo:


Old Hickory,

I'm keen to try the new 17 WSM cartridge and would like to hear user views on any issues or shortcomings of the B-Mag. Reviews show it has the whack and distance needed, but a B-Mag? Errmm? As a pro shooter I shied away from anything less than quality gear (but), in this case there aren't alternatives, yet. I'm retired now so this will be my 'passing out' gun and a touch of elegance has more appeal than just something that will simply do the job.

The sticky case issues I've experienced were related to a rough chamber, and a little polishing solved the issue.

#4 Old Hickory

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:30 AM

The hot new rimfire's like the 17 HMR and WSM are exciting developments, (however), it seems we need some assistance from the rifle manufacturers to bring these cartridges to their full potential.

Way back in 1978 a gunsmith here had reached 3000 fps with prototype 17 HMR, but experienced the issue of split cases with the increased pressures involved. As I see it, there are two options to solve this. (a) Increase the brass thickness, or ( B) Enclose the rim more effectively, similar to the way a center-fire action operates. There are side effects to both options but I feel encouraged to hope someone will adopt the second approach before too long.

I'm not skilled at engineering but surely it isn't impossible to build an action that encloses the rim with the steel of the bolt face, uses a spring loaded pin to eject (similar to Remington 700), and delivers an offset firing pin strike? If a stronger action is produced, I believe there will be a whole new set of outcomes for the rimfire calibers. What do you guys think? ...And has there been any work done in the US along those lines?

Just imagine what a fully supported case and a tweak more powder could deliver? :grincamo:


Old Hickory,

I'm keen to try the new 17 WSM cartridge and would like to hear user views on any issues or shortcomings of the B-Mag. Reviews show it has the whack and distance needed, but a B-Mag? Errmm? As a pro shooter I shied away from anything less than quality gear (but), in this case there aren't alternatives, yet. I'm retired now so this will be my 'passing out' gun and a touch of elegance has more appeal than just something that will simply do the job.

The sticky case issues I've experienced were related to a rough chamber, and a little polishing solved the issue.

Thanks for the info, Russ, and it may explain a round sticking in the pipe on occasions. It always happens when I need a follow up shot, it seems.

As far as quality gear, I afford what I can. And as far as investment, I have a Savage 93 HMR I have invested all I can into it and There is no rifle that can outshoot it.

I am also a professional shooter. At least, they pay me to shoot.

#5 17russell

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 03:48 PM

The hot new rimfire's like the 17 HMR and WSM are exciting developments, (however), it seems we need some assistance from the rifle manufacturers to bring these cartridges to their full potential.

Way back in 1978 a gunsmith here had reached 3000 fps with prototype 17 HMR, but experienced the issue of split cases with the increased pressures involved. As I see it, there are two options to solve this. (a) Increase the brass thickness, or ( B) Enclose the rim more effectively, similar to the way a centre-fire action operates. There are side effects to both options but I feel encouraged to hope someone will adopt the second approach before too long.

I'm not skilled at engineering but surely it isn't impossible to build an action that encloses the rim with the steel of the bolt face, uses a spring loaded pin to eject (similar to Remington 700), and delivers an offset firing pin strike? If a stronger action is produced, I believe there will be a whole new set of outcomes for the rimfire calibers. What do you guys think? ...And has there been any work done in the US along those lines?

Just imagine what a fully supported case and a tweak more powder could deliver? :grincamo:


Old Hickory,

I'm keen to try the new 17 WSM cartridge and would like to hear user views on any issues or shortcomings of the B-Mag. Reviews show it has the whack and distance needed, but a B-Mag? Errmm? As a pro shooter I shied away from anything less than quality gear (but), in this case there aren't alternatives, yet. I'm retired now so this will be my 'passing out' gun and a touch of elegance has more appeal than just something that will simply do the job.

The sticky case issues I've experienced were related to a rough chamber, and a little polishing solved the issue.

Thanks for the info, Russ, and it may explain a round sticking in the pipe on occasions. It always happens when I need a follow up shot, it seems.

As far as quality gear, I afford what I can. And as far as investment, I have a Savage 93 HMR I have invested all I can into it and There is no rifle that can outshoot it.

I am also a professional shooter. At least, they pay me to shoot.


I'm envious. Down under the only pay was for hides or meat produced, which put a whole new spin on good gear.
'Quality and elegant' to me means robust and dependable, rather than fancy.

In Fiordland of NZ my gear lived with me under the stars 365 days a year and apart from snow, it got covered by 263 inches of rain per annum. Only a Remington 700 and a Leopold scope survived the conditions. (I'm surprised I didn't grow webbed feet.) In the desert it was the opposite, dust, grit, and just 6" of rainfall each year (if it fell), was the normal day to day hazard. The dust wasn't so bad on scopes, but it destroyed or left me unsatisfied with some of the cheaper rifles I tried. Sako centre fires and a Brno rimfire were dependable there. I was always careful with my equipment but if I couldn't get a stuck case out with what I had, it was 80 miles to the homestead or 400 miles to the nearest gunsmith. I guess now the circumstances are changed, I can be more forgiving and pay a little less. Old habits are hard to shake though.

* Make sure the chamber is dead dry of oil or solvent. I always ran a mentholated spirit patch through after cleaning, just to be sure.

#6 Old Hickory

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:21 AM

The hot new rimfire's like the 17 HMR and WSM are exciting developments, (however), it seems we need some assistance from the rifle manufacturers to bring these cartridges to their full potential.

Way back in 1978 a gunsmith here had reached 3000 fps with prototype 17 HMR, but experienced the issue of split cases with the increased pressures involved. As I see it, there are two options to solve this. (a) Increase the brass thickness, or ( B) Enclose the rim more effectively, similar to the way a centre-fire action operates. There are side effects to both options but I feel encouraged to hope someone will adopt the second approach before too long.

I'm not skilled at engineering but surely it isn't impossible to build an action that encloses the rim with the steel of the bolt face, uses a spring loaded pin to eject (similar to Remington 700), and delivers an offset firing pin strike? If a stronger action is produced, I believe there will be a whole new set of outcomes for the rimfire calibers. What do you guys think? ...And has there been any work done in the US along those lines?

Just imagine what a fully supported case and a tweak more powder could deliver? :grincamo:


Old Hickory,

I'm keen to try the new 17 WSM cartridge and would like to hear user views on any issues or shortcomings of the B-Mag. Reviews show it has the whack and distance needed, but a B-Mag? Errmm? As a pro shooter I shied away from anything less than quality gear (but), in this case there aren't alternatives, yet. I'm retired now so this will be my 'passing out' gun and a touch of elegance has more appeal than just something that will simply do the job.

The sticky case issues I've experienced were related to a rough chamber, and a little polishing solved the issue.

Thanks for the info, Russ, and it may explain a round sticking in the pipe on occasions. It always happens when I need a follow up shot, it seems.

As far as quality gear, I afford what I can. And as far as investment, I have a Savage 93 HMR I have invested all I can into it and There is no rifle that can outshoot it.

I am also a professional shooter. At least, they pay me to shoot.


I'm envious. Down under the only pay was for hides or meat produced, which put a whole new spin on good gear.
'Quality and elegant' to me means robust and dependable, rather than fancy.

In Fiordland of NZ my gear lived with me under the stars 365 days a year and apart from snow, it got covered by 263 inches of rain per annum. Only a Remington 700 and a Leopold scope survived the conditions. (I'm surprised I didn't grow webbed feet.) In the desert it was the opposite, dust, grit, and just 6" of rainfall each year (if it fell), was the normal day to day hazard. The dust wasn't so bad on scopes, but it destroyed or left me unsatisfied with some of the cheaper rifles I tried. Sako centre fires and a Brno rimfire were dependable there. I was always careful with my equipment but if I couldn't get a stuck case out with what I had, it was 80 miles to the homestead or 400 miles to the nearest gunsmith. I guess now the circumstances are changed, I can be more forgiving and pay a little less. Old habits are hard to shake though.

* Make sure the chamber is dead dry of oil or solvent. I always ran a mentholated spirit patch through after cleaning, just to be sure.

I sure like your ideas of good hunting equipment, varminter. I also envy you for your fine hunting you have down under.

Your tip about a dry bore is interesting and evidentally very sound advice. You would know, given your wide range of weather and hiunting in rough country.

My last couple of gun buys have been Savage rifles with no regrets. My HMR was purchased as soon as they hit the market. The old 93 has some mods that transformed it into a match grade rifle. My WSM rifle is still a plain Jane but with some rifle stock mods due in the near future and perhaps an after market trigger, it's potential should be achieved.

I shot a couple of tree squrrels last weekend and the rifle performed fine, except for the 8 round clip giving me trouble. I'm fixing that today before I head to the range to sight in a new scope that tops the WSM.

My only use for my rifles is hunting small game and a few varmints.

#7 17russell

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:16 AM

The hot new rimfire's like the 17 HMR and WSM are exciting developments, (however), it seems we need some assistance from the rifle manufacturers to bring these cartridges to their full potential.

Way back in 1978 a gunsmith here had reached 3000 fps with prototype 17 HMR, but experienced the issue of split cases with the increased pressures involved. As I see it, there are two options to solve this. (a) Increase the brass thickness, or ( B) Enclose the rim more effectively, similar to the way a centre-fire action operates. There are side effects to both options but I feel encouraged to hope someone will adopt the second approach before too long.

I'm not skilled at engineering but surely it isn't impossible to build an action that encloses the rim with the steel of the bolt face, uses a spring loaded pin to eject (similar to Remington 700), and delivers an offset firing pin strike? If a stronger action is produced, I believe there will be a whole new set of outcomes for the rimfire calibers. What do you guys think? ...And has there been any work done in the US along those lines?

Just imagine what a fully supported case and a tweak more powder could deliver? :grincamo:


Old Hickory,

I'm keen to try the new 17 WSM cartridge and would like to hear user views on any issues or shortcomings of the B-Mag. Reviews show it has the whack and distance needed, but a B-Mag? Errmm? As a pro shooter I shied away from anything less than quality gear (but), in this case there aren't alternatives, yet. I'm retired now so this will be my 'passing out' gun and a touch of elegance has more appeal than just something that will simply do the job.

The sticky case issues I've experienced were related to a rough chamber, and a little polishing solved the issue.

Thanks for the info, Russ, and it may explain a round sticking in the pipe on occasions. It always happens when I need a follow up shot, it seems.

As far as quality gear, I afford what I can. And as far as investment, I have a Savage 93 HMR I have invested all I can into it and There is no rifle that can outshoot it.

I am also a professional shooter. At least, they pay me to shoot.


I'm envious. Down under the only pay was for hides or meat produced, which put a whole new spin on good gear.
'Quality and elegant' to me means robust and dependable, rather than fancy.

In Fiordland of NZ my gear lived with me under the stars 365 days a year and apart from snow, it got covered by 263 inches of rain per annum. Only a Remington 700 and a Leopold scope survived the conditions. (I'm surprised I didn't grow webbed feet.) In the desert it was the opposite, dust, grit, and just 6" of rainfall each year (if it fell), was the normal day to day hazard. The dust wasn't so bad on scopes, but it destroyed or left me unsatisfied with some of the cheaper rifles I tried. Sako centre fires and a Brno rimfire were dependable there. I was always careful with my equipment but if I couldn't get a stuck case out with what I had, it was 80 miles to the homestead or 400 miles to the nearest gunsmith. I guess now the circumstances are changed, I can be more forgiving and pay a little less. Old habits are hard to shake though.

* Make sure the chamber is dead dry of oil or solvent. I always ran a mentholated spirit patch through after cleaning, just to be sure.

I sure like your ideas of good hunting equipment, varminter. I also envy you for your fine hunting you have down under.

Your tip about a dry bore is interesting and evidentally very sound advice. You would know, given your wide range of weather and hiunting in rough country.

My last couple of gun buys have been Savage rifles with no regrets. My HMR was purchased as soon as they hit the market. The old 93 has some mods that transformed it into a match grade rifle. My WSM rifle is still a plain Jane but with some rifle stock mods due in the near future and perhaps an after market trigger, it's potential should be achieved.

I shot a couple of tree squrrels last weekend and the rifle performed fine, except for the 8 round clip giving me trouble. I'm fixing that today before I head to the range to sight in a new scope that tops the WSM.

My only use for my rifles is hunting small game and a few varmints.


Am still envious. Hunting small game isn't so wearisome on the body. I love varmint hunting and a rifle that will shoot.

Most rifles of any brand will work well, with a little effort and not much money. To get the best accuracy from a new rifle I always bed the barrel in fibreglass, make sure the scope and mounts are solid, then work on the trigger. Jewellers rouge does a fine job of ironing out the tool marks and bumps on a sear and bent to give a crisp, smooth pull. Follow that with a visit to the range to sort out the ammo, and you're in business.

* Be sure to work on the right moving parts though. My brother owned a gun shop before the new laws came out and having sold a Smith 66 to a friend, was asked, can you work on the trigger. A couple of days later he handed it over saying, "Try that!" The customer looked disappointed and said, "It's just the same as before." My brother checked it then a look of astonishment came over his face. "...Oh!? Well what are you complaining for ~ It's got the slickest safety catch around." :nerdcamo:

#8 Dirty Harry

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:55 AM

I have a new B-Mag, and I have only sighted it in. Next is to reach on out to 400-600 yrds and see what it will do. So far I have had no problems with any issues with the ammo.

#9 17russell

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:31 PM

I have a new B-Mag, and I have only sighted it in. Next is to reach on out to 400-600 yrds and see what it will do. So far I have had no problems with any issues with the ammo.


I'm keen on the 17 WSM cartridge and thinking of buying one, but thought 400 yds might be a long stretch for it. The results you get are of interest whether they're good, bad, or somewhere between. Could you let me know?

#10 Old Hickory

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:40 AM

My take on the .17WSM is if it's accurate and faster, it's better. I started out the usual route, .22 rifles and worked my way up the rimfire ladder to the HMR and WSM rungs. My main point of getting the WSM was the same as jumping from .22 guns to the HMR and WSM. More downrange wallop is always a consideration, of course.

Even though there isn't much increased distance for shots when it relates to tree squirrel hunting, using the WSM does increase a much better chance of connecting with long distance shots. My recent hunting experience with my WSM has been enjoyable. The heavier 20gr bullet of the WSM compared to the 17gr HMR for my hunting has been a real plus. Half the wind drift and half the drop of the WSM compared to the HMR gives one more confidence with shots, allowing more leeway for slight nuances of range estimates when hunting. It allows a very real advantage for wooded and rough terrain hunting where the actual distance of the shot could easily be mistaken.

I am still amazed with the accuracy and punch of .17 rimfire rounds. My plan was to buy a .17 Hornet when the .17 WSM news broke. I am not disappointed with my choice of passing on the Hornet.

Edited by Old Hickory, 16 November 2013 - 06:42 AM.


#11 17russell

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:58 AM

My take on the .17WSM is if it's accurate and faster, it's better. I started out the usual route, .22 rifles and worked my way up the rimfire ladder to the HMR and WSM rungs. My main point of getting the WSM was the same as jumping from .22 guns to the HMR and WSM. More downrange wallop is always a consideration, of course.

Even though there isn't much increased distance for shots when it relates to tree squirrel hunting, using the WSM does increase a much better chance of connecting with long distance shots. My recent hunting experience with my WSM has been enjoyable. The heavier 20gr bullet of the WSM compared to the 17gr HMR for my hunting has been a real plus. Half the wind drift and half the drop of the WSM compared to the HMR gives one more confidence with shots, allowing more leeway for slight nuances of range estimates when hunting. It allows a very real advantage for wooded and rough terrain hunting where the actual distance of the shot could easily be mistaken.

I am still amazed with the accuracy and punch of .17 rimfire rounds. My plan was to buy a .17 Hornet when the .17 WSM news broke. I am not disappointed with my choice of passing on the Hornet.


You've made a good choice I feel (and Hallelujah), no reloading necessary. Enjoy the benefits, with time for a fireside chat at the end of the day. Good hunting!

#12 Old Hickory

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:25 AM

Thanks, and the same to you, 17russell! I didn't go hunting this last weekend, bad weather. The weekend before, my hunting pal had a dead fox squirrel hung up in a tree crotch and his HMr could not kick it out of the tree. My .17 WSM 20gr easily kicked it out. There wasn't damage to the good edible parts of the carcass. :crazycamo:
I ended up with 4 gray squirrels, pal got 2 fox squirrels.

Edited by Old Hickory, 18 November 2013 - 05:26 AM.






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