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Help Upfit my .17 HMR

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by rcbro, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. rcbro

    rcbro salem Member

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    I was finally able to go shoot some of my newly inherited arsenal this past weekend. Although I enjoyed many of the guns, I really enjoyed the Savage .17 HMR, but I'd like to switch it up a bit.

    Its quiet, cheap to shoot and accurate, but its got a crappy red dot which needs to be replaced with a scope.

    I was able to shoot my buddies savage with a nice scope and a thumbhole stock. I loved the scope and thumbhole stock so I'd like to get some for myself.

    However I hate the look of the oak stock and would prefer to keep it synthetic. I've been hunting for a bit now and cannot find an aftermarket synthetic stock.

    I also can't seem to find anything more then a 5 round mag, and am lost as to what scope to get.

    Any help or suggestions would be welcome!
     
  2. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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  3. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    I have a thumb hole stock I'll trade you.


    also the 10rd mags are on back order last I checked
     
  4. rcbro

    rcbro salem Member

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    Thank you for the magazine link. Shows they have 65 in stock.

    I'm looking for a synthetic thumb stock as im not a big fan of the wood style.

    Any scope suggestions? Will be typically shooting from 100 yards
     
  5. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    keep in mine even the boyd tacticool stocks are wood. I do have a synthetic stock that came for a MKII that fits the 93.
     
  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Scopes: I am a diehard Leupold fan. However, I got a 17HMR for Christmas a year ago, (Thumbhole Laminated Stainless Savage), and for optics finally settled on a BSA (yes, I know of their mottled reputation) "Sweet 17" 6x-18x, with side parallax adjustment.

    Figuring I could make this scope fail, and if done so quickly, could get my money back and slap on a Leupold, I put it through some paces: I "shot the squares" (moving the adjustments up, down, left, right, then back to original setting), and it printed right over the original group. I froze it overnight, and thawed it. No internal fogging. I banged it like a mallet on a modestly padded table top repeatedly. Put it back on the gun, and it worked just fine. I very skeptically tested the Bullet Drop Compensator to 300 yards. Not perfect, but surprisingly acceptable. To summarize, I did everything I know to make the scope fail. It did not.

    Early BSA's did get a bad reputation (and probably deservedly so). This scope is a remarkable buy for the money: $130 from Optics Planet, and comes with a 3" sunshade, threaded aluminum lens caps, and a badarse appearance. My reserved judgement about this scope is waning.

    P1150110.jpg
    P1150108.jpg

    Additional upgrades include heavier base metal for the magazine well (Savage gives you sheet metal, which precludes precise torque on the guard screws), machined aluminum one-piece picatinny rail, Warne rings, Rifle Basix trigger, and probably the most labor-intensive glass and pillar bedding job I've ever undertaken.
     
  7. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    my set up. its a rat thumper fo sure
    huge17.jpg

    Dont go cheap. EGW base, Millet tactical scope (cost more then the rifle) detachable rings

    With 17hmr I dont see the need to bed it at all. I go less then 1/2 MOA at 200yrds off a bagged bench
     
  8. pslyke

    pslyke Portland Active Member

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    I use a nikon buckmaster 6-18x40 on mine and absolutely love it. I love having a high power scope on my 17 because you can easily spot your shots so being able to zoom in and see the action is amazing. Don't go cheap on a scope if you want something with higher magnification because the image quality suffers when zoomed in. The buckmaster line is a good scope for the money and run about $350 from midwayusa. If you don't want something with quite so much magnification look at redfields new line of scopes. made in oregon and lifetime guarantee. the 4-12x40 would do the trick for you.
     
  9. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I seriously considered that Millet scope, and if I found the model you did, with the optional "Objective Bell Power Source", I not only could "go less than 1/2 MOA at 200yrds", but while doing so, I could just as believably blow dry my hair or endlessly satisfy my girlfriend with a different appropriate appliance.
     
  10. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    I can do a 1/2moa all weekend long at the range. Can your rifle do it? what ammo? It has taken almost a year to dial in my setup. You should be able to do the same.

    I still need to carve on the thumb hole stock. It almost feels kid size to me
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    These two entries pasted from some previous postings of mine:

    1) "I will criticize his contribution in only one regard: Shooters of more than moderate experience will take his good contributions with a much heavier grain of salt than they would otherwise when he includes the time-worn and threadbare statement that his good gun "will print groups of 1/2 all day long". It's not that we can definitively say it won't (because we can't). It's merely that our experience tells us that this is extremely improbable. The point here is that his gun MAY WELL be one in a thousand factory guns that actually do this; they ACTUALLY DO EXIST. But, if I owned one, I would not include that statement in a website contribution where I wanted people to take everything else I said as reliable information. When I see it (or similar statements), my view of everything else along with it comes under much greater scrutiny. In this case, I found all else in his posting to be right on the money. Perhaps his gun is too."

    And:

    2) " Now: as to my comment about the ammo. I am deeply embroiled in my very first .17HMR experience. The rifle was a Christmas gift, so I feel a great obligation to make it work. Since I got the gun at no expense, I felt free to invest expense where necessary. It is a Savage 9317BTVSS (Lam Thumb Stainless). The gun wants to shoot well. The ammo will not allow it. I have tried each and every brand and all bullet weights.

    Now: admittedly, perhaps my criteria is a bit more demanding than most. Sandman claims near-half inch groups at 100 yards. All my partners made the same claims. Just last week, all five of us were here at my range. 100 yards, hard bench inside my heated,insulated shooting cabin, Caldwell Rock Tripod, eared sandbags front and rear. Five shooters, six rifles (one guy has two). One is a Marlin, all the rest Savages, all fat-barrels. Seven different types of ammo at our disposal. The rubber hit the road, and no alibis. The result? Five shot groups to a half-inch square target averaged about 1.25" overall with ammo that each gun showed a preference for.

    This is precisely the result that I obtained during my sessions shooting alone with my gun. Then I invested money in a thicker base plate (Savage uses sheet steel, which allows the bedding screw to buckle the metal). Then I installed a Rifle Basix trigger, getting the pull to 1.25lbs (Accutrigger's bottom limit is 2.6lbs). Then I did the most meticulous glass and pillar bed job I've ever undertaken in 40 years.

    All this investment and time into the gun, and yes, I can claim "I get 1/2 inch groups". Because I got two of them. Out of 50 plus.

    The gun will cluster three or four, but out of a group of five, at least one, and usually two stray from the flock. The chronograph was the tattle-tale (as it usually is). The rounds that stray are almost invariably an anomaly of velocity as well. This is the basis for my statement about ammunition quality.

    Rumors abound that Hornady and CCI load all the cartridges for everybody (Rem,Win,Federal, etc.) This may be so, but my gun prefers the Remington and Winchester offerings markedly over the CCI, Hornady,Federal, etc. The black sheep (sorry, Ablaut) was Federal. 2-3" groups out of every one of these rifles we shot. Typically, each individual gun will like something different, and perhaps Ablout's gun has a taste that these didn't.

    Now, with rimfire ammo this is not unusual, and in fact it is the norm. Only the .22lr has been blessed with manufacturers efforts (and a customer base willing to pay extra) to construct match-grade ammo. And with stellar results. The difference between high-dollar target grade .22's and cheapie bulk .22's on paper is the difference between night and day. I am a firm believer that the .17HMR market would support the development of match-grade ammo. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps the huge number of .17HMR shooters are very happy with "hitting an ammo box at 200 yards" sometime during the course of a 10-round clip. Certainly nothing wrong with that."

    And, as for 1/2 MOA (this is 1" or better groups) at 200 yards "all weekend long" again, I will repeat this:

    It's not that we can definitively say it won't (because we can't). It's merely that our experience tells us that this is extremely improbable.
     
  12. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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  13. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    That's a lot of words to say it impossible or I'm telling a fish story. To each there own and the inter net. Like the post above mine, check out what the guys on the hide are doing, building 300yrd .22lr bolt gun. I have to yell out "why would you do a thing like that" but that is why I was able to get my tricked out MKII. now lets get this back on subject, Could I do it in a open crop circle hell no. Could I do the at 95% of the ranges out there no. but I have a access to a 300yrd range with 20ft berms on 4 sides "no wind". with a open range, yes my groups jump up to a 3/4-1". Regardless of ammo or range, if you can not key hole at 50yrds. there is either something wrong with you, the rifle or both My goal was set very high when I start this build, a golf ball at 300yrd, I'm not even close to that. I am at a 200yrds though.




    Lets get this thread thread back on track.

    I have two synthetic stocks and a thump hole I'd like to trade or sell.

    10rd mags: does any one want to split shipping?
     
  14. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    I'll take you up on that challenge if your ever out in Bend, OR on a weekend :thumbup:
     
  15. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Now we are traveling to the light of truth.

    1) Diameter of a MaxFli golf ball (just now measured): 1.70"

    2) Those of us not from Rio Linda (as I presume you are not), measure our groups (toward any MOA claims) center to center of the furthest impact holes. Most persons measuring groups shoot at something like a precisely measured square on a piece of paper, but you have defined the test media (a lot more fun than paper, I must admit), so let's go from there:

    3) Hitting a golf ball every single time with very few exceptions at 200 yards (your "all weekend") grants that your rifle may very well be capable of perhaps (being generous here, allowing for a nick, moving the golf ball) 1.90 inches at 200 yards. (To claim 1.70, you would claim that you always at least bisect the diameter of your bullet at the edge of the golf ball. Were I to grant that your bullet always fully impacts the golf ball every single time the golf ball moves, would indicate your rifle will indeed shoot 1.52". (Subtracting .177 from the golf ball diameter).

    4) My calculator and conversion tables tell me that 1" (your original claim) is 1.00 inches. Your new claim, at 1.52" (at your new claim "best") to 1.90" (more likely), is a percentage-significant increase . I am sad that your rifle seems to have lost the majority of its sweet spot in the matter of one day. You should not be sad, though, because this is STILL very fine accuracy and something to be proud of.

    And, we discover once again that a story that changes probably should have been critically received at the start.
     
  16. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    I fell like I'm talking to kirt and brandon. I dont reload or know half the math you clearly know. I can do, and I'm willing to show you. As for you claims for the golf ball, your just playing with number. 200rda on paper w/ a bench and bagged set up is easy "ideal situation" that just for sighting in. Not fun at all. in a field with a shooting stick making sage rats " thwap" that's fun!

    I do have ask, how often to you clean your 17? its a extremely small hole, copper and carbon build up quickly and have a major effect on accuracy. Personally, every 4 to 5 mags (I only have 5 5rounders) I pull a bore snake and every 50rds (box) I decopper the barrel. Over kill? yes! but with a bad hip and leg it makes for a good brake.


    Savage makes a really rifle for cheap IMHO, since bimart has a screaming deal on the $369 for my model. it seem that everyone and there bother has one. Some how I got the 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 that is just that much more accurate. I got lucky, buy buddy ryan in tri city has a leamon that is the biggest POS I have fire since I was in the corps.


    spitpatch come out to bend and we can piss in the wind ;)
     
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  17. OregonJohn

    OregonJohn Sutherlin, Or Bronze Life Member #1 Lifetime Supporter

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    You did not bring this up. There is much to be gained in sorting your 17 HMR by case rim thickness. The flyers you are finding may be caused by a thicker or thinner than normal rim. I would like to see if you sorted a hundred and got a lot within .002 of each other, how you would do. I have done this many time with 22 LR and it works. I have not done this with my HMR, because I use it to shoot varmints and not match. You need to get a round poly spacer that is longer that a HMR round. It will have a hole through the center that the round will go into but the rim will not. I got mine at the local hardware store. You incert the round into the center and then use your calipers to take a over all length. Any difference in the over all length is the difference in the case rim. Sort by size. The rimfire headspaces off the rim. So different thickness in rim will give you a different headspace. In my 22 LR I would buy bulk ammo sort it to size. Keep the thickness I needed and resale the rest, or give it to the kids to shoot. If you give it a try, let us know how it works. I might like to ride over with you to Bend to see that group.

    John
     
  18. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    John is absolutely correct. As a smallbore competition shooter, I learned early on that ammunition sorting was of value (even with the high-dollar Eley stuff) in match applications.

    As for true confessions, I have NOT employed this toward .17 HMR ammunition. John's curiosity toward the technique's results with this caliber has cultivated my own, and I may well try it.

    Max's recommendations for cleaning are well-received, and approximate my own attention in this regard. The .17 does require regular thorough effort in this area.

    My experiments with this gun and cartridge are undertaken with the premise that this is a hunting cartridge and a hunting rifle. I wanted to know what the capabilities were in "practical, real-world" practices, using off-the-shelf ammo, and time given prmarily to improvement of the gun. I also am extremely drawn to the reports that the CZ guns shoot markedly better than the Savages, and withhold judgement there to a greater degree than the claims of similar great results with Anschutz rifles (with which I am intimately familiar regarding .22lr).

    I retain with hard evidence my findings that the current ammunition is not of great quality, and it is THAT factor that is most responsible for my accuracy findings. I also during the course of these experiments changed some minds of more "authority and expertise" than myself (John Barsness, for one) about the contention that "all .17HMR ammo comes from one or two sources, and is identical". Winchester ammo is the stellar performer in my gun (not only for accuracy, but velocity consistency). Curiosity spiked, and getting to the "heart of the matter", I dismantled all brands, and found that Winchester ammo indeed uses a completely different powder than the rest.

    I am pleased that OregonJohn chose to (more politely than myself perhaps) voice some skepticism about a .17HMR Savage that "shoots 1/2 MOA all weekend" at 200 yards. He thinly veiled this skepticism with an offer to take a road trip with someone he doesn't even know to see it first-hand. With Max's replies, however, I fear our trip would result in merely watching a golf ball (hopefully more often than not) dance around.
     
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