Panther 17 Moderator
- By Pete Moore
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 17/03/2017
It’s fair to say that of all the calibres we moderate, 17HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) has in the main used standard 22 rimfire-style cans. More dedicated and calibre-specific designs have come along; UK Custom Shop‘s original Wildcat Whisper being such an item (also available in 22) and also I believe the first over-barrel (reflex) design too. However, the centrefire 17 Hornet arrived about two years ago, followed by the most powerful rimfire to date; the 17WSM (Winchester Super Magnum).
In truth, moderators with a bit more potential are better suited to the more powerful 17s like the Hornet and WSM; but saying that, full size moddies can sometimes not be ideal either, as it’s not always the case that size matters? So, UK Custom Shop’s new Panther 17 might just be the answer! It’s a reflex design that is not dissimilar to their 17 Whisper with a similar three-part, strippable build. You get the front baffle stack with stainless steel thread adaptor, which the tube that forms the inner wall of the expansion chamber screws into and finally an outer body tube, the ends are sealed with O-rings. Weight and dimension-wise, the Panther is 225-grams and 168 x 37mm, the Whisper is 224-grams and 173 x 35mm. Over barrel length is just 55mm!
Inside, the Panther shows a far more sophisticated baffle stack, with a one-piece machining that looks like a series of reversed cones with exit holes drilled circumferentially into each front face. This forces the expanding gasses to take multiple, V-shaped paths, venting pressure/ sound as they go.
I used the new Savage B-Mag in 17WSM, which was pushing a 20-grain V-MAX at 2939 fps so about 500 fps faster than a 17-grain HMR. The Panther gave a pleasing dull thud, with little to no top end muzzle crack. I repeated the test with the Whisper: interesting enough, the signature was similar just a bit louder but still within the comfort zone. Substituting my Ruger M77/17 All-Weather in 17HMR (2500 fps/17-grain V-MAX) I repeated the test with the Panther, reducing the signature over the Whisper noticeably. Pretty good really, given the two cans are dimensionally similar!
I would have no doubt that the Panther would be good for 17 Hornet and UK Custom Shop says this: ‘The Panther will also tame your WSM/ WMR/Hornet and Fireball, both in .22 and .17 calibres’ and maybe even a bit more; we shall see! Thread sizes are ½ x 20 UNF, ½ x 28 UNEF and 14x1m, they will be on sale by the 2nd week of March 2017.