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Thread: 17 HMR all over the place!

  1. #1
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    Default 17 HMR all over the place!

    I've got a 17 HMR that would routinely shoot 1.5 groups last fall with 20gr CCI FMJ. Never did go calling, shot a couple rabbits with it then it sat in the safe all summer. It was zero'd at 100.

    Shot it last night and it was shooting an inch and a half left, groups were about 2.5 to 3 inches with 20gr CCI FMJ! Was wondering if the cold weather had something to do with it so I went and bought some 20gr Hornady XTPs.

    Shot again tonight, high about 6 inches and right about 3 with both Hornady and CCI ammo. No wind, about the same temps as last night.

    I don't understand what is going on? The scope on it is a Cabelas Pine Ridge, i'm starting to suspect its not holding zero?

    Any thoughts appreciated, thanks in advance!

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default 17 HMR all over the place!

    Have you tried 17gr?

    Rifle specs?

    Rings?

    Bases?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    If it has a wooden stock that would be my first suspect; they will freeze and cause the barrel to move zero. Run a nylon brush through the bore as well 17 caliber guns tend to foul the rifleing much easier than any other caliber.
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    Thanks for the replies, got in a hurry with my post...

    The gun is a Mossberg 817, bull barrel in a plastic stock. Weaver mounts and rings that appear to be tight, no apparent movement of the scope, iv'e checked twice tonight!

    I played around with the 15gr and 17gr ammo last year but decided to stick with 20gr because the POI changed fairly drastically between weights.

    I thought about the fouling issue, I was going to clean the rifle before shooting tonight but I broke my cleaning rod putting it together, have to go find a new one tomorrow. Barrel appears clean but i'll clean it up again and see what happens.

    I didn't have any of this wander issue last year which is adding to my frustration!

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Check the action screws. Buy a one piece rod and clean the bore and get back to us.....
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I know with my Savage 17HMR it shoots best with the 17gr Vmax, its like a mini sniper rifle with those rounds and the accutrigger. The 20gr XTP or FMJ it wouldn't shoot consistent it was always a few inches off but that don't sound like your problem. Some good ideas posted above. The scope could also be the suspect, might want to look into that.

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    If you discover the scope and mounts are still good inspect the crown of the barrel with a magnifying glass. One tiny scratch on a crown will cause bullets to scatter like pellets in a shotgun. Easy to fix as well.

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    After you clean the bore, the accuracy should return. A slight patch of rust (from storage) could have caused the bore to foul in that area. We had a very rainy/wet summer, so the bore could probably use a good cleaning. Accuracy will return, and then diminish quickly again when the bore is dirty. I spent a decade with the 17's.....and sold em all to go back to the real deal........the 22 magnum.

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    Sure appreciate all the ideas, I'm going to pick up a new cleaning rod and some 17gr ammo and give it another try this weekend. Ill check out the bore and crown once I get it cleaned up and I'll post the findings! Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I was going to clean the rifle before shooting tonight but I broke my cleaning rod putting it together, have to go find a new one tomorrow.
    This statement makes me think that you are using a multi piece screw together rod. If so they are junk and the joints can scar the crown as the segments are drug back and forth during the cleaning process. I'm sure you are aware that crown nics will affect accuracy.

    If you can find a one piece coated rod or carbon rod it's worth the extra few dollars. Also make sure your brush is 100% brass not stainless or any other metal sections. Some of the small brushed have stainless twists or collars with brass bristles, they are a poor choice.

    Any fouling in the bore can wreak havoc on the thin jacket fast .17 and it's ability to maintain accuracy. The recoil is so light I doubt it would cause base, ring or zero holding issues with a rifle that shot well the last time it was used.

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    Well, first I want to re-thank everyone for their ideas!

    Second, it turns out the rilfe was embarrasingly dirty, I've cleaned the rifle several times over the last few years but clearly not well enough. I indeed passed by the multi-piece rods this time and bought a one piece rod.

    After cleaning for about half an hour, alternating between powder solvent and copper solvent. I stopped to closely inspect the barrel. Everything looked great until I got close to the muzzle. It appears to me the last 1/4" of the grooves taper down to essentially flat.

    In addition, there are circular grooves very closely spaced like screw threads in this same area! I don't recall seeing those before in this particular gun nor in any other gun I own, what in the world are they and are they suppose to be there?

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    I Dont care for the 17hmr i think it was designed to sell to hipster doofuses
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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    I Dont care for the 17hmr i think it was designed to sell to hipster doofuses
    Hard to say. I'm pretty sure I've been called a "dufus" but I'm equally confident no one has ever thought me to be a "hipster." I guess at best you're half right.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    Hard to say. I'm pretty sure I've been called a "dufus" but I'm equally confident no one has ever thought me to be a "hipster." I guess at best you're half right.


    im just in it for the idol chat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    It appears to me the last 1/4" of the grooves taper down to essentially flat. In addition, there are circular grooves very closely spaced like screw threads in this same area!
    This sounds like a defect to me. If I understand you correctly the barrel gets larger as you approach the crown. So much so that the rifling isn't present in the bore. I would call the manufacture and inquire about the condition you are seeing.

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    Thanks Marshall, my trapping partner and a few co-workers suggested they might be some kind of tooling marks which makes sense. I don't understand why it would shoot fine for a couple years, then suddenly get bad.

    I took the action and barrel out of the stock tonight and re-seated it, tightened the screws down. They didn't seem loose. I also re-checked the scope and i'm convinced its not moving. I'm going to go shoot it one more time tomorrow now that its cleaned up.

    I talked to the local gun smith today and he said he'd cut half an inch off and re-crown it for $75. May be my next step I think?

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    Hipster dooface ? is that a good or a bad thing??
    lol
    I have a Marlin ,had no trouble with it so far but now I'm dumpin the cleaning rod screw together junk and going for the one piece and brass brushes as well thanks .
    I have a Bersa scope designed for the .17 HMR .
    I may very well be a dooface but I'm having fun with the gun .

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    Well, the gun shot better today, still shooting 2" groups at 100 yards but at least POI was consistent. It appears a thorough cleaning was the ticket. I did pull the stock off and mount a bipod, then re-seat the action and barrel. I also switched to 17gr ammo, Hornady V-Max shot terrible, about a 6 inch DIFFERENT POI. Federal and CCI hollow points both shot with the same POI.

    I think i'm still going to get the gun chopped and re-crowned to get rid of the tooling marks in the end, but at least now its minute-of-coyote.

    Thanks again to all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    In addition, there are circular grooves very closely spaced like screw threads in this same area! I don't recall seeing those before in this particular gun nor in any other gun I own, what in the world are they and are they suppose to be there?
    I believe that condition is called chattering.

    It is from the way the rifling was made, (hammer forging)and may or may not, effect accuracy.

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    Well from one hipster doofus to anudder hipster doofus! I had one of those Mossberg 817's a while back that I picked up brand new for like $200. Mine shot like a million bucks and I liked it. However the price hike in those 17 HMR boolits made me think I didn't need it anymore. Also knowing all about the need to be prompt in cleaning the 17's caused me to buy an expensive Dewey 1 piece 17 cal cleaning rod. However I loaned my good 17 caliber cleaning rod to my best friend who loaned it to a character named Dennis Havel. Dennis Havel moved to the capitol of your fine state a year ago and so did my Dewey cleaning rod. So if there be any of you who know Dennis ask to borrow the cleaning rod and tell them EKC said it would be OK. Then when you have said rod in your possesion you can beat the dog snot out of Mr Havel for me. You may keep the rod for your efforts!

    As for the Mossberg....you are doing exactly what i would do in regards to the crown.

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