Hornady’s .17 Hornet A Wildcat Cartridge Makes A Comeback

New and veteran varminter shooters alike will be excited to hear about Hornady’s new twist on an old classic Wildcat cartridge that might just be the perfect varminter cartridge. P.O. Ackley first made the .17 Hornet in the 1950s. This is an accurate and perfectly balanced round is highly efficient for knocking down varmints out to 200 yards.

To redevelop the .17 Hornet, Hornady took a little taper out of the case body of a .22 Hornet round and then put a sharper shoulder on the case and necked it down to .17 caliber. Taking it even further, Hornady has loaded the round with Superformance propellant and the V-Max bullet.

Hornady’s award-winning custom blend of powder, allows the Superformance line of ammunition to fly faster and flatter, while reducing recoil and retaining its accuracy. Superformance also has higher velocities than SAMMI standards.

The 20-grain V-Max bullet with polymer tip for devastating expansion is flat shooting at 3,650 fps. .17 Hornet has half the powder of the .17 Remington, which means the .17 Hornet is less fouling, gives your rifle a longer barrel life, and is equal in felt recoil to that of the .22 Magnum round. Because of the .17 Hornet design, the action of any .22 Hornet rifle will shoot the .17 Hornet. With a barrel change, you have a faster traveling round. As of right now, Savage has already started building and shipping three models of their 25 Varminter rifles chambered for the .17 Hornet.

Hornady’s Senior Ballistician, Dave Emary says that Hornady envisions the round to be a “low cost way to get into varminting.”

 Specifications and Features

  • 3,650 fps muzzle velocity with a 20 gr. V-MAX bullet
  • Same C.O.L. as the 22 Hornet – uses the existing action
  • Trajectory comparable to a traditional 55 gr 223 Rem, but the felt recoil of a 22 WMR
  • Less fouling, barrel wear, powder and pressure compared to the 17 Rem
  • Lower cost and comparable quality to the 17 Fireball and 223 Rem
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Comments (6)

  1. I’m very interested in this rifle/ammo, but what will be the cost of factory ammo? also are they packed 20 rounds/box? or 25? maybe 50?
    I’ve looked through the ammo at Cheaper than dirt and have not found any of this new ammo listed!

  2. Hoo-rah! I’ve avoided buying a Fireball due to a couple of factors but primarily because of pelt damage issues on fox. The idea of having twice the range of my beloved HMR with a bullet under 20gr is fantastic. Over penetration issues mitigated for my purposes. Add to that the fact that this thing is reloadable! SWEET! Bunnies, fox, otter, beaver, ptarmigan and squirrels can just stand the heck by.

  3. It sounds like an interesting round. More efficient than the .17 Remington. But what is all the talk about recoil? Is anyone really so sensitive to recoil that a .223 or .17 Remington is beating them up? Really?

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