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Winchester 17HMR

Winchester 17HMR

If the rumours are true then no matter what label is stuck on any brand of 17HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) then it’s a pretty good bet it was made by CCI. Seldom have I seen one calibre re-badged for so many manufacturers. Now it’s wearing Winchester livery in the familiar silver (Winchester X) and black (Supreme) 50-round boxes.

Interestingly Winchester has opted for both bullet weight/types with the Supreme being a 17-grain V-MAX, though with a silver tip; doubtless to cash in on their Ballistic Silver Tip range of centrefire ammo. The heavier 20-grain jacketed hollow point is also available, which they call the Game Point. In the UK the 20-grain loading, which we originally saw from Hornady was very popular when it was introduced, but many now just stick with the lighter V-MAX. Though the extra 3-grains and stronger bullet does do less meat damage and is probably better for foxes…

Different But The Same…

Testing was done through my trusty Ruger 77/17 All-Weather, with its 20.5” barrel fitted with a SAK moderator. This is my standard rabbit and hare rig that I have been using since I got the rifle about six years ago. With Hornady and Remington it will shoot ½” off the bench at 100 yards; to be frank both makes give near identical readings and I was not expecting the Winchester to be any different!

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Shooting off a Dog Gone Good range bag the 17-grain V-MAXs were clocking an average of 2532 fps, with the 20-grain Game Points at 2371 fps. Groups as expected - a pleasing ½” - with near no shift in the point of impact given the same point of aim. To put it bluntly another good batch of 17HMR ammo and one to buy with confidence if you see it in your local gun shop.


Given the common parentage of all the 17HMR I have tested since it appeared; it’s really down to price; certainly in the more popular 17-grain loading. Casting around shows a ballpark figure of about £27 per 100 for Remington or Hornady. A call to the importers gave me an RRP of about £24 for the 17-grain and £22 for the 20-grain load; not bad. These I stress are just recommended, but a smart move in a market ever hungry for this calibre…

So why has Winchester got on the HMR train? Well, I have heard that Browning will be producing an HMR T-Bolt for 2008 and doubtless Winchester will offer something too. So they might as well cash in on brand loyalty. Interesting really as it was them that introduced the 22 Magnum a year before they made a gun to fire it…

Game Point 20-grain JHP £22 per 100
Supreme 17-grain V-MAX £24 per 100

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