View Full Version : Which .17 caliber?

Mailman Bill
07-17-2005, 11:34 AM
This has probably been asked before but I have this money burning a hole in my pocket and I want to get either the .17 HMR or the Mach 2. I know the difference in the fps and range of accuracy and one is cheaper to shoot than the other. It would mainly be used for target plinking with a few squirrel and a varmint thrown in once in a while. Pros and cons on both would be a help. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-help-green.gif

07-18-2005, 09:14 AM
Although I own neither, I have researched the crap out of both of them cause I AM going to get one, so here is my http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/two-cents.gif . I think that I have settled my mind on the HMR. It just seems to me that bigger is always better in this class. It is kinda pricey for just plinkin&#39;. (I am still of the opinion that a 22LR is the best plinker on the planet) but for getting out there and touchin&#39; a ground rat, the HMR seems to do the trick the best. I am probably going to end up with a Savage 93 befor Christmas. (If I don&#39;t spend too much on Upland and Waterfowl season)

07-18-2005, 12:03 PM
Mailman Bill: I have been wrestling with the 17&#39;s VS 22&#39;s thing for a while now. I own all of them: 22LR, 22WMR, 17M2 and 17HMR. If I had to eliminate one it would be the M2. It&#39;s not a "varmint" cartridge by any shot and has less power (energy) than a 22LR at extended ranges. If I was hunting tree squirrels, I would choose it over the 17HMR, but I&#39;d chose neither of those two over the 22LR for that use. ~AMMOe

07-18-2005, 12:23 PM
The HMR may be a little more expensive to shoot, but it&#39;s gotta be the most fun I&#39;ve ever had with a rimfire!

Don&#39;t get me wrong, I love to touch off a whole brick of 22LR through the old Marlin, but there&#39;s a thrill that goes with sending that little pill screaming downrange and whacking a bullseye at 100 yards.

Haven&#39;t shot ground squirrels with it yet, but I have every anticipation that it&#39;ll be just as awesome.

Mailman Bill
07-19-2005, 06:37 PM
I got the Marlin 917V in the HMR. I spotted a tradein at Cabelas in Kansas City Kansas on Sunday. It looked brand new. It had a BSA Sweet 17 3x12x40mm on it already. They wanted $229 for the whole thing. I had an old Rem. Wingmaster 12 ga. at home that I never shoot and took it with me today in case they would trade. I left there with the Marlin, scope, 3 boxes of shells and 50 bucks in my pocket. I&#39;m happy....Cabelas is happy. Going out tomorrow to test it out. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cross-fingers.gif

Mailman Bill
07-20-2005, 10:27 PM
Had a tough time shooting my new rifle in the heat and with 20 mph wind gusts. I zeroed it in with no problem. The scope is calibrated with 1/8th of an inch for each click. Very touchy. Even with the wind I had under 1/2 inch 5 shot group at 50 yards. It opened up to under an inch at 100 yards. This little screaming pellet is so much fun to shoot. As I was shooting at the targets a sparrow flew past me and landed in the top of a tree 60 yards away.........what the heck.....KERPOW!! It looked like a mini feather pillow blowing up. Nothing was left except a leg with a foot attached. FYI I was at my own range....not a public one. I might go out this weedend for some bushy tails (head shots only)........Billys got a new toy!!

07-20-2005, 11:54 PM
I must be lazy. I don&#39;t like to chase em. I say go big. 243 - 458 . Anything less would be inhumane. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley_stir_pot_ani.gif

07-21-2005, 07:25 AM
Congrats Bill. Don&#39;t be too suprised if it gets better the more you shoot it. Seventeens kind of do that. My son&#39;s 17V Marlin shot some quarter-inch, 50 yard groups yesterday afternoon in 113 degree heat with a fresh Lot of CCI "TNT" HP ammo. Not bad considering I&#39;d reinstalled the stock, 6 pound trigger before hand! ~AMMOe

Mailman Bill
07-21-2005, 08:12 AM
Hey AMMOe...Just what did you do to the stock? Should I free float the barrel or is it already done at the factory? I haven&#39;t tinkered with it yet. What trigger were you talking about? Any suggestions to which trigger to get. The guy at Cabelas mentioned one costing around $70 range but I didn&#39;t pay attention to which one he suggested for my particular rifle. I did notice that all of the .17 ammunition at Cabelas was the exact same price. ($8.99) The kid at the counter suggested the Hornady V-Max varmint express. Any tips from experience on which one is better than the others? At my range yesterday it was 95 degrees. With my larger caliber rifles I would have to stagger my shots as not to overheat the barrels. Anything after the third shot would tend to wander if I didn&#39;t let the barrel cool down a bit. On this new gun, the Marlin .17 with the varmint barrel it didn&#39;t matter how fast I shot. It still kept a tight pattern. I would guess with the thicker barrel and the tiny 17grain bullet it wouldn&#39;t move much with the heat. The more I think about this little gun the more I want to inprove on the cheap stock it has. Maybe a camo paint job or even stripping it and putting some real checkering on it. I have the tools to do it. Then staining it to a darker wood. I just hate the stamped checkering that they put on a lot of guns now days. This whole set up the Marlin has from the factory reminds me of seeing a kid with his new (used) lets say a 1986 Honda Civic that is rusting out and he puts on this set of $1000 dollar wheels, nice and shiney with the spinners, and installs a set of speakers and sound system costing twice the cost of the car. Marlin has a good thing going with the shooting parts of this gun but why not put on a piece of wood that you aren&#39;t ashamed of. Well, I had better take my new toy and give her a good cleaning. Later, Mailman Bill

07-21-2005, 04:05 PM
Bill: I&#39;m heading out the door for work so this will be brief:

If the rifle shoots well, don&#39;t mess with the bedding. Slip a 1$ bill under the barrel and see if it will slide inbetween the wood and the metal. If it won&#39;t then the barrel isn&#39;t floated. Floating, however, is not the end all to accuracy. Uniform bedding is more important. If you do float the barrel, sand ot the barrel channel only to within an inch of the front action screw. -no farther! You&#39;ll totally screw up the bedding if you sand up to that front lug. (trust me)

I did my own trigger work but the trigger that the Cabelas guy was talking about is the Rifle Basix trigger. Never used one but hear that they are good. Pricey? Sure, but it&#39;s a no hassle good trigger.

As to ammo. Shoot them all. They are all made at the same plant. The latest batch of CCI "TNT" shoots really well. Hornady V-max is usually a safe bet for accuracy, Federal V-Shok HP has never performed well in any of my guns. You can get any of this stuff on line for about $7.20 a box once you figure out what works.

Marine PMI from this forum did a superb camo job on my Marlin&#39;s stock. I would advise against refinishing as the stock is birch. Mine was a bit porous for anything but a laquer finish. Stippling would take better than checkering. Glue a small bundle of finishing nails together and use that to stipple out the original checkering, then treat with matt polyurethane.

I can understand the Honda reference. I have a Marlin SSV 22WMR that I have put a hundred hours into. Looks cool, shoots half minute. No effort wasted there!
Have fun! ~AMMOe

Mailman Bill
07-21-2005, 09:27 PM
Question for AMMOe......I&#39;ve floated a few barrels so no need to worry about that. Now when you use the term "stipple" what exactly do you mean. Are you saying to scrape out the stamped checkering with the finishing nails? If that is what you intend I have a set of honest to goodness checkering tools that I got from Herters back in 1968. They still work fine. I just hope they are the same size of grooves that are on my Marlin. As for the trigger assembly on another site it was suggested for me to take out the spring that controls the trigger poundage and replace it with a spring from a ball point pen cut slightly longer than the factory spring. It should lower the pull down to around 3 pounds or less they say. There isn&#39;t really much wrong with the factory trigger anyway. After I redo the checkering I might just camo the whole stock. I have a cool way of doing this and it looks like a professional job. Thanks for all of your input and information.

07-22-2005, 07:54 AM

AMMOe is referring to NOT checkering your stock due to it being birch. Birch is very soft, so the checkering tools you have will more than likely chew and tear the wood grain rather than cut it.

By stippling, AMMOe is referring to the technique of putting small divets in the wood (or metal is the case of a 1911) to perform the same function as checkering.

Take the glued together bunch of nails, and push them into the wood, thereby creating (essentially) the same thing as the pressed-in checkering that Marlin uses.

Another couple of options are using skateboard grip tape, non-skid tape for steps, or just using premium grade ashtray sand in wet spray paint to achieve a grip friendly surface.

Just a thought or two...

Mailman Bill
07-22-2005, 10:07 PM
Well MarinePMI.....I had already started to rechecker the stock today before I read your post. You were right about birch being soft. I&#39;m having to go really slow with the cutting tool. It is really a pain in the a$$ but I&#39;m getting there. For the life of me why would a gun company put birch on a gun? Yea.....I know....saving a few bucks. I guess that is why it cost $200 and not $400. I think that it will look better after I&#39;m done with it than before. While I had the stock off I checked out the trigger pull. The factory trigger pull is right at 4 1/4 lbs. I don&#39;t really know if that is good or not. It doesn&#39;t seem to bad at the bench. Will the Rifle Basix trigger do any better? As for the floating the barrel....it was done at the factory.

07-22-2005, 11:45 PM
MB: Birch isn&#39;t a soft wood, generally speaking, but Marlin uses some fairly soft stuff every now and again. You&#39;re not going to have a whole lot of luck checkering that stock, or at least keeping the checkering in place after it&#39;s done. The best bet is to saturate the finished product with polyurethane afterwards. I like Flecto (brand) #66 clear. It goes on like an oil and dries like urethane. After it won&#39;t soak up any more and has a few days to set hard, give it a light kiss with your dullest tool to clean and a sharpen the diamonds. I really prefer stippling on anything that is a hard use field piece. Another good way of making a stippling punch its to bind some #8 finishing nails (maybe 10?) with a hose clamp. I used a small hammer to repeatedly imprint the stipples. Don&#39;t worry if it looks a little chewed. If you don&#39;t carry it to excess in one spot all the loose shavings will brush off with a tooth brush. After it&#39;s where you want it you can stain and seal with a thin urethane. Its functional and looks good- especially if you so with rounded patterns. Stippling into the traditional pointy (diamond) patterns can get cheesy, fast.

A four and a half pound trigger will be a hindrance to the finest accuracy. Maybe not off a bench but in the field it might mess up a shot or two. I reworked mine to about 2 pounds. The Rifle Basix trigger will get it lower. Beware of advice posted on many forums to replace the trigger/sear spring with one from a ball-point pen. This will lighten the pull but leave it slushy. Never touch the tiny spring at the back (tang) end of the sear. That insures proper sear engagement and needn&#39;t be messed with to get a decent trigger. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding triggers. A Rifle Basix unit will make a good investment. Maybe a Christmas present for yourself??

I&#39;m sure you will have fun woith your Marlin and come toi appreciate it&#39;s inherent accuracy. My 17V will allow me to smack empty 30-06 cases laying on the ground at 75 yards. The 17HMR is amazingly accurate.~AMMOe

Mailman Bill
07-23-2005, 09:23 AM
While I was checking the trigger pull I did have thoughts of replacing the spring like this site posts and the posts on RFC has on the ball point pen spring trick. I thought....NAAH! I&#39;ll just get the Basix trigger later when I&#39;m completely thru messing with the stock. This stock checkering is one project that I regret ever starting. The pressed checkering keeps interfereing with the cutting of the new grooves I&#39;m trying to put on. It would of been much easier if the surface was smooth and I had started from scratch. I might take Marine PMIs advice and end up sticking on some of that non-skid stuff if the checkering job turns out crappy. I&#39;m thinking about maybe sanding down the checkering diamonds smooth and inlaying the non-skid stuff. That might look cool. I&#39;d cut an 1/8 inch border around the outside as to "frame" the black non-skid stuff. ORRRR....I could just buy a new laminated stock from Brownells for under $80 and be done with it. As for the ammo price thing earlier......Cabelas sent me an e-mail yesterday with a few sale items. They had their, what I call "Bucket-O-Bullets" on sale. I checked the price of their 500 rounds of .17HMR and it only saved me $2.50. I&#39;d burn that savings up driving just half way there. Where were you talking about on line for the cheaper rounds. Isn&#39;t there a special charge for shipping ammo thru the mail or other courier companies? I sure appreciate all of your guys help with my new toy. I thank Jesse even more for starting this site. It has been a great help with all sorts of subjects. Even some good jokes from time to time. Later, Mailman Bill http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley_gettin_mail.gif

07-23-2005, 10:56 AM
MMB: No. There is no "hazmat" fee for rimfire ammo. I order all my ammo through though the internet, generally, because the nearest full-line gunshop is in Yuma AZ, some 70 miles east of here.

Midsouth Shooter&#39;s Supply is a good choice. Last time I looked it was $7.18 a box for darned near everything, mix-n-match OK. Natchez Shooter&#39;s Supply is good as well. Every once in a while you can get REALLY good deals. I got two bricks of Hornady for $64.50 each a while back.

Back to your rifle. You can stipple right over the checkering and all when/if you stipple. the whole job might take you an hour.Otherwise, file and sand off the checkering and start from scratch. Could be the best route. I have done considerable amounts of checkering and I still won&#39;t tackle a rifle without a bit of bone-up practice first. If you don&#39;t do it regularly it&#39;s a knack you lose hold of. If worse comes to worse, sand off the bloody checkering, laquer over the sanded areas, and camo it over. A nice option to all this grief is to order a laminated stock from Marlin. About $80. I think.

Have fun! ~AMMOe

Mailman Bill
07-23-2005, 03:17 PM
You are right AMMOe abour loosing the NACK of checkering. Didn&#39;t get it back until half way thru the second grip panel. Of course the forearm was a breeze since it is almost flat and straight unlike the curved grip area. I took off the original finish and stain already. I&#39;ve been in the garage most of the day....sure wish it was airconditioned. It now 5 PM and it&#39;s 104 degrees here on my front porch in the shade. That is hot for Missouri. No it is not a dry heat....it&#39;s really humid out there. I found a can of Jacobean stain for the stock. It is really dark. Darker than walnut. The grain in the birch is really poping. Looks almost like zebra wood. The hard part of the grain is much lighter than the softer grain and it looks stripped sort of. I&#39;m letting it soak in for a couple of hours and applying another coat to darken it even more. I think it will turn out great. I love doing things like this. Wanted to be a shop teacher back in 1967 when I went to college but found out how much $ they made and decided to become a mailman instead. Probably would have been in jail by now thou. I would have killed some kid with their attitudes they have now days. Especially that rap stuff http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/afraid_face.gif I&#39;ll let you know how this all turns out. Thanks for the name dropping on the cheaper shells.....Mailman Bill http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley_gettin_mail.gif

Mailman Bill
08-04-2005, 10:13 PM
Here is a picture of my finished gun. I sanded down the stock---re-checkered the grip and forearm-----stained it with Jacobean stain that is darker than walnut. Then I put a gloss finish on it. I put a Rifle Basix Mar-1 trigger in it. The picture has a glare from the sun and it is darker than the picture shows. It was a point-n-shoot camera.

01-16-2006, 12:39 PM
I vote HMR, unless you are hunting tree squirrels (in trees) then M2.