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Thread: Hunting with the .17 Mach 2

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    marlin39a's Avatar
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    Hunting with the .17 Mach 2

    I lucked into a Ruger 77/17 Mach 2. The walnut/blued, 20" sporter. It is deadly accurate on Alberts squirrels with head shots. Ammo has been available , and I'm stocked. I've done body hits on standing jackrabbits. They don't react, but fall over dead 5-10 seconds after the shot. I couldn't imagine shooting anything bigger. Anybody else have any results with this cartridge?

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a Savage left hand bolt gun.

    Racoon hit from the front heart area just dies in the spot. Feral cats on the front shoulder just collapse. I have killed starlings out to 90 steps.

    That little cartridge is a lot of fun.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man Te Hopo's Avatar
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    I'm a fan, although I've never owned one the few times I've fired one and watching the deadly effect it has on rabbits and possums has me hooked.
    My goal is to one day use a liner on some old school single shot like the Winchester 67 to make a light, handy, flat shooting rabbit stalking rifle.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Shot some prairie dogs and a couple of skunks with mine. It has been very effective on them.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    A 17 HM2 was my go to squirrel gun for several years, and I've said hundreds of times that it's a far superior small game round to the 17 HMR. It was so accurate that head shots where the norm and an honest to goodness 80 yard squirrel gun. DRT shots on raccoons and I took one coyote with it (close range opportune head shot). Had the HM2 been introduced before the HMR it would have been much more popular. I had a CZ varmint, a Marlin bolt and auto, and a Savage. The most accurate was the Marlin followed by the CZ, the auto was never accurate, and the Savage must have had an oversized chamber that split cases like crazy. I still have 3000 rounds of ammo, but when I got suppressors I went back to 22LR SSHP for a squirrel gun and sold off my 17HM2 rifles, but one day a sporter barreled CZ 452 is going to cross my path and come home with me.
    Last edited by Thundarstick; 09-29-2018 at 06:45 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    the Savage must have had an oversized chamber that split cases like crazy. I still have 3000 rounds of ammo,.
    That is one of the primary reasons the cartridge is on life support. Dirty chambers in a shouldered rimfire in semi-auto don't mix so chamber dimension's between manufactures vary greatly. Between the case splits and slam fires ammo manufactures lost interest.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    It didn't work great in semi auto guns. I've had no problems in my bolt gun. I loose no meat with it. The cartridge has its limitations, but I find it perfect for my hunting. I've heard folks using it for coyotes, but I find that totally unacceptable .

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    That is one of the primary reasons the cartridge is on life support. Dirty chambers in a shouldered rimfire in semi-auto don't mix so chamber dimension's between manufactures vary greatly. Between the case splits and slam fires ammo manufactures lost interest.
    Say what ever you wish. I will contend it is just about the ideal small game and small pest control round ever conceived. My CZ and Marlin bolt never split a case occasionally you'd get a neck split, only problem with the semi was it just wasn't accurate. The Savage, on the other hand obviously had a out of spec chamber. I always wondered how a .20 cal in a standard long rifle would have worked out.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    Say what ever you wish. I will contend it is just about the ideal small game and small pest control round ever conceived. My CZ and Marlin bolt never split a case occasionally you'd get a neck split, only problem with the semi was it just wasn't accurate. The Savage, on the other hand obviously had a out of spec chamber. I always wondered how a .20 cal in a standard long rifle would have worked out.
    No disagreement. I love the.17 Mach 2. My favorite is a Magnum Research semi-auto with a Kidd two stage trigger, I also have the .17 Mach 2 in CZ's, Sako Quads and Contenders. That doesn't change the fact that the cartridge is almost dead.

    I love the

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    As far as I know CCI and ELEY where the only ones who ever manufactured ammo, everything else was just a rebadge. The HM2 is what the CCI Stinger wishes it was!

    In some ways the 17 Aguila is an even better SG round.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I think Remington makes it as well. Seems to split fewer cases than the CCI “Fast and Furious” offering.

    You’re right—a tragically underappreciated cartridge, perfect for pest control on the 5-20 acre “ranchette.”

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    The .17HM2 is my absolute go-to for small game hunting. While shots are generally within the 25 - 50 yard range, it has gone out to 125 multiple times (Leica 1600B reading). Both of mine are CZ 452 Americans, one of which is the maple variation.

    It does everything that I need it to, in a fast, flat shooting little package. It is, in my opinion, far superior to that of the 17HMR for small game. They each have their place, but for squirrel, the HM2 always gets the nod over the HMR. When getting a bit bigger (groundhog), I make sure the shot is within the limit and is ethical. I often times get the HMR when dealing with the ‘larger’ small game, especially at further distances.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check