.17 Remington Project Rifle

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.17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by GQshayne » 03 May 2019, 10:03 pm

I have been looking for an old Tikka chambered in 17, 222, or .223. Not sure if they came in .222 Magnum, but I have not seen one anyway. Depending on what rifle I found I was then considering the calibre - if it was .222 or .223 I would leave it, but a .17 I thought would need to be rechambered. Rifles in .17 seem to be cheaper, I guess it is not such a popular cartridge now. Personally, my memories of it were a fussy, barrel wearing calibre that did not like any wind. And needed lots of cleaning.

And so I have seen a rifle in .17 advertised as "Fair". No details of why as yet, but guessing barrel, as it looks ok in photos. See what I find out. The rifle I want is not that common, so not a heap to choose from. Like a lot of projects, this one does not make a lot of sense economically. But I have a Tikka LSA55 Deluxe in .243, and am looking for a matching rifle in a smaller calibre. I know that I can buy plenty of other stuff for half of what this will cost, but that is not the point.

So what do we think?????? It could be re-barrelled with a stainless barrel, and modern powders and cleaners are better than they were. Is any one in favour of the .17, and would want to keep it? Let me know if you are a fan.

The other options are .204 or .223. I already have a .243, so not interested in going bigger, this is purely a varmint rifle. So for shooting small projectiles at foxes etc, what would you choose and why?
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by AZZA'S HJ47 » 03 May 2019, 10:20 pm

Id love to get a 17 cal rifle and have considered making the jump a few times. Id also like to pick up something be it a old sako or tikka to convert to a 17 fox/bunny rifle.

I have a 17hmr that would be replaced to get something along these lines. (If i were to go down this path) the only thing i dislike about yhe 17 is it is a rimfire (love my reloading its a problem)

Id like to see your build up if you do choose to go down this path. Love my 17 cal rifle accurate and dependable. Hope to see some more developments
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by Baronvonrort » 03 May 2019, 10:55 pm

GQshayne wrote:
Like a lot of projects, this one does not make a lot of sense economically. But I have a Tikka LSA55 Deluxe in .243, and am looking for a matching rifle in a smaller calibre. I know that I can buy plenty of other stuff for half of what this will cost, but that is not the point.

So what do we think?????? It could be re-barrelled with a stainless barrel, and modern powders and cleaners are better than they were. Is any one in favour of the .17, and would want to keep it? Let me know if you are a fan.

The other options are .204 or .223. I already have a .243, so not interested in going bigger, this is purely a varmint rifle. So for shooting small projectiles at foxes etc, what would you choose and why?


I would avoid the 17 Remington because factory ammo costs a fortune, if you're reloading it would be much cheaper so it comes down to how much you really want a 17 rem.

https://www.horsleyparkgunshop.com.au/category/409-17-remington


The .243 would shoot 55-58 gr Varmageddon and Vmax a few hundred feet per second quicker than the .223 with starting loads so that could be the cheapest option when considering cost of rifle and glass.

The .223 would be the cheapest option for ammo if reloading or buying factory ammo.

I would go the .204 since you already have a .243.

Both the .204 and .223 would be better choices than 17 rem in my opinion
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by straightshooter » 04 May 2019, 7:48 am

GQshayne
A tikka M55 made prior to the merger with Sako would be a good choice of action. From memory no plastic parts and generally an OK design.
If you have a desire for a 17 rem then go for it. Don't pay too much attention to the bagging it gets as it is mostly uninformed hot air.
About 25 years ago I had one built on a mini Mark X action (these days Zastava M85) which would put 5 shots into 5/8" at 200 yards with only a Burris 6xBR scope using a free recoil shooting technique.
These days I have it set up for a +- 1.5" point blanc range of approximately 250 meters. Just point and shoot- no thinking involved within that range.
If you don't chase hero status with your handloads, cleaning and barrel life will be no worse than your 243.
"There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking." Sir Joshua Reynolds
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by GQshayne » 04 May 2019, 9:07 am

Interesting how many people like the .17. Bit of nostalgia maybe??? I wonder with modern barrels, powder, projectiles etc how the fouling problem has changed - it can only be better you would think. Barrel wear is a good point. Most probably no worse than my .243. Ammo cost is not an issue for me, as I am a reloader, so after initial cost of brass it is not a concern.

I am assuming that this rifle, and many others of that vintage, and going to have barrels that have seen better days. Not all of course, but a rifle in "Fair" condition could go either way. I recall one of our members on here bought a .17 recently, which showed signs of wear, but he just kept working at getting the barrel clean, which took him ages, and that was all that was wrong with it. That is why I have not narrowed my choice to a particular calibre, as if it is worn out and needs rebarelling it can be made into .223 or .204.

But if it turned out to be accurate, then keeping it as a .17 is an option. .223 does have the advantage of components being many and varied, and priced well. I have not looked at what projectiles are available for the .17, but it would have to be considerably less than .223 . The other issue with the .17 is the projectiles do not have the best ballistics when compared to .22 projectiles. Not sure how much this matters in the field though.

Interested in everyone's comments.
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by Stix » 04 May 2019, 11:12 am

I cant speak for a 17 of any kind, having never owned one.
Although, being a lover of spotlighting foxes & keeping furs, i hope i get to own & shoot one some dsy.

I can however speak for the 204 as i own one of them, (im no ballistics geek though so cant compare 17''s to 20 cal's).

But in my opinion the 204 is certainly worth considering as a buy or build...ill never be without one now ive had a taste...its a great calibre for small game, & as an added bonus you dont get with a 17, is its also legal to use for knocking roos over, (with a 40gn bullet).

I use 3 different loads for it, what i call my standard load using cheap 32g bullets-these shoot everything except roos-its fast, flat & hits hard...
Also, a seperate lot with 40's for roos...
And another batch shooting the cheap 32's again but these are loaded with trailboss--cheap to plink with & will still comfortably take out fur within ranges compared to the hornets.

Its a winner of a cartridge for small game in my book...!!
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by SCJ429 » 04 May 2019, 11:14 am

I would like to build myself a 20 cal, the 204 is good but I think when I do it I will build a 20 Prac. With a 40 grain pill the 20 is very flat shooting and bucks the wind better than most things. Better selection and availability of pills for the 20 over the 17. Lapua brass is available to be necked down for the Prac.
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by GQshayne » 04 May 2019, 7:17 pm

Good points. I found out today that the .20 cal 40gn Hornady V Max has a better BC than a .224 55gn V Max, so the .204 is pretty good down range. Lots of love for the .17 though, with good results had from some specialist projectiles, such as 30gn etc, which give a better BC. Some people love them. No doubt that the .204 is superior, from all reports.

As for the 20 Prac, it is made from a necked down .223 isn't it???

As for my project, for the second time, it is on hold, as the rifle I saw for sale has been sold. It was gone before I saw the ad. As it happens, the owner told me the barrel was worn out anyway. Given the rifles appearance it looked to be looked after, but well used, so that fits. But I reckon that if a rifle can be found at the right price, a conversion to .204 is looking good if it is chambered in .17. From what I have seen so far, the rifles in .222 and the occasional .223 are higher priced than the .17, so I can save a few bucks on starting price.

Anyway, back to looking.
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by marksman » 04 May 2019, 7:26 pm

make yourself a 17 mach 4, get lapua 221 fireball cases
use the 17 mach 4 seating die with the stem removed to do the first pass. Imperial wax was used to lube them.
the 17 mach 4 full length die is used as a second pass. No lost cases

you will not be disappointed :thumbsup:
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by SCJ429 » 04 May 2019, 7:56 pm

Yes the 20 Practical is the easiest wildcat around, just neck it down from 223 to 20 cal and shoot.

The 204 is a great round also and I can get a sub one inch group at 300 out of a factory Sako using Hornady brass. As Stix said it is a real winner.
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by GQshayne » 05 May 2019, 8:00 pm

I had not considered a wildcat actually. Not sure I want to go down that route. Another thing occurred to me today, and that is that my dad has an M55 Tikka in .222. It is not the "Deluxe" model that I am after, but is a nice rifle. No point having another one between us. And also, I have recently acquired and tested a .223 for a friend of mine. I had never used a .223 before, and whilst it is a good thing (Tikka T3 Varmint stainless) I like the idea of something smaller. So the .204 is really the front runner, and whatever calibre rifle I get I can change it to .204. The idea is to fit a medium/heavy stainless barrel, and after polishing the old metalwork, get it Cerakoted. I will then re-finish the Deluxe stock (Monte Carlo cheekpiece, beaver tail forend, and bigger palmswell), which will match my existing Tikka Deluxe. That is the current plan anyway. Just need to keep my eye on the ads. The last one sold quickly as it had a Kahles scope on it (I think). I did not want the scope, but it would have had appeal to a lot of people. Patience is a virtue as they say!
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by Stix » 05 May 2019, 8:14 pm

marksman wrote:make yourself a 17 mach 4, get lapua 221 fireball cases
use the 17 mach 4 seating die with the stem removed to do the first pass. Imperial wax was used to lube them.
the 17 mach 4 full length die is used as a second pass. No lost cases

you will not be disappointed :thumbsup:

Hey marksman...this may be a one of those silly Q's...
But...
What is it about the 17 mach IV you like & why that over 17 Rem...?
I just looked up its basics & the Rem goes much faster... (not that this mach IV is a slouch...).

Just curious... :unknown:
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by AZZA'S HJ47 » 05 May 2019, 8:24 pm

Less powder less heat quieter and great brass life id imagine.
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by Stix » 07 May 2019, 11:39 am

Ok cheers..
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by marksman » 08 May 2019, 7:15 pm

yes less powder, better barrel life and the same velocity as the 17 rem :thumbsup:
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Re: .17 Remington Project Rifle

Post by GQshayne » 25 May 2019, 9:56 pm

Couple of developments. I happened to find a Deluxe stock for sale, which I have purchased. By all reports, and from photos, it appears to be in excellent condition, and has great figuring in the walnut. It is the closest in appearance to my other stock that I have seen on any rifle. As stocks vary so much, I thought I would have to just accept whatever I found, and that would be good enough. But this stock is very good, as is my other one. They will be a great matching pair.

Apart from it being an excellent match to my other Deluxe stock, it also now allows me to buy a standard stocked rifle, of which there is a lot more to choose from. I have contacted the seller of an M55 in 17 Rem, and asked about barrel condition, and he has advised honestly that he does not know. He has sold the rifle to a mate, and then bought it back again. In the period of time the mate owned it, he fired 40 rounds, but never cleaned the barrel. It has now been cleaned, but not tested.

Other potential purchasers have asked the same question of course. Given the cost of re-barrelling, condition of the barrel needs to be known. He knows this, and is now going to get to the range with some factory loads he has, as well as a few handloads. Once he has tested it he is going to let me know what sort of group it shoots. Rifle is well priced, so it is an option to buy either way.

These rifles in good condition will shoot sub MOA, so if this one will still do MOA now then I may leave it as is, and try it out as a 17 and see how I like it. If it is worn out, then I may buy it to convert it to a 204 straight away. If it is worn out I would hope to get it a bit cheaper of course.

Find out how he goes next week.
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