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Taurus .17 HMR review...

20762 Views 17 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Fishinkeylargo
I have always wanted a revolver chambered in .17 HMR so when I had a chance to buy
a new Taurus Tracker Model 17SS6 .17 HMR I couldn't resist!

My .17 is done in matt finish stainless and has a 6 and 1/2 inch barrel, a seven round
cylinder, transfer bar safety, fixed front sight, and a windage/elevation
adjustable rear sight.

The .17 features a full-underlug barrel with a ventilated rib. Taurus uses the vents in the barrel top rib for attaching a very substantial scope mount. It uses a concave cylinder release latch, which is very comfortable and easy to release.

My first out of the box reaction to the gun was "Man, this thing is heavy!". The gun alone weighes 41 ounces (2 and 1/2 pounds!) and with the scope rail, mounts, and scope comes in at 70 ounces! That is 4 and 1/2 pounds empty weight! I guess that is the down side of building a gun almost entirely out of stainless steel.

On the up side.... there is absolutely no felt recoil. The gun feels like you are shooting a pellet pistol! Considering how small the round is, it is surprisingly loud.

Using my Lyman electronic trigger pull gauge and taking an average of 5 pulls of both
double and single pull I found the double action trigger pull to be 9.7 pounds
and the single action trigger pull measured 3.9 pounds. Both were smooth with no
creep and the single pull trigger broke like a piece of glass. I don't have a
problem with the pull the way it is (especially the single action) but I also
think it will get lighter as it breaks in.

With the heavy stainless barrel with a full underlug the gun is front heavy. You would need strong wrists and a steady eye to shoot this gun free hand anywhere near it's accuracy potential. I may have the wrists but it is no secret to me that my eyes have
been in the process of leaving town for some time now.

To combat this I utilized the stainless scope base and installed a Nikon Encore EER handgun scope in 2.5 - 8 power. It added to the total weight of the gun but at least now I have a chance of putting the bullets where I want them!

Let me talk about the caliber here just a bit.... the .17 HMR (Honady Magnum Rimfire) uses the lightest of the rimfire projectiles. For instance, a "standard" .22 LR uses a 40 grain bullet. The .17 HMR uses a 17 grain bullet. Basically, it is a .22 Magnum that has been necked down to accept a .17 caliber bullet. It is a very fast
round which makes it a very flat shooter. Ballistic test have shown the .17
drops only 2.4 inches at 150 yards. At the same time it has more velocity at 150
yards than a .22 magnum has at the barrel.

Because of the weight of the bullet and the velocity it develops it tends to explode at impact under 100 yards. This makes it a good round for killing varmints but a not so good round if you are shooting squirrels or rabbits for the pot (it destroys too much meat). It will maintain its accuracy out to 150 - 160 yards.

I tested 2 different brands of ammunition... the Hornady .17 HMR V-Max and the CCI .17 HMR TNT. The Hornady used the 17 grain V-Max bullet which is a full jacketed bullet with a polymer tip and the CCI used an FJHP. They were both advertised with a velocity at the muzzle of 2550 fps.

Using the Chrony and shooting 7 shot strings (it is a seven shot cylinder what can I say?) the numbers showed the Hornady produced 1844 fps which works out to 129 ft lbs of energy. The CCI produced 1772 fps and 119 ft lbs of muzzle energy. Once again the velocity is an average of 7 shots across the Chrony. I used an energy calculator ( http://www.classifiercalc.com/misc_calcs/me.php ) to figure
the muzzle energy.

While the numbers I recorded were considerably less than the 2550 fps advertised the gun only had a 6 and 1/2 inch barrel. I would have to retest using a rifle to actually test the velocity against what is claimed.

My revolver definitely liked the CCI over the Hornady. Like most
rimfires it is picky about what it eats... the Hornady was all over the paper
(but all in the black) while the CCI gave me sub 2 inch groups with a brand new
gun and my old eyes. I am sure it will get tighter when the barrel breaks in and
I get used to the gun.

All in all, I am very happy with the gun... you can buy one (if you can find one) somewhere in the $450 range depending on how hard you shop.

IMHO it is a keeper! :gotmyvote:



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Thanks for the intensive write up and that's a great looking gun.
Nice read!! Great write up and a BEAUTIFUL gun!!
WOW great report and thanks for posting a picture as required ;) ! I've been interested in the 17MHR myself and saw a couple at a local gun show lately . Much , much more $$ than what you show here . Matter of fact both i seen were over $600.00 and no scope . However Academy is showing a new line of Mossberg rifles and one being a 17MHR . They have not got any in yet but they show a price of $169.00 . More than likely it has that molded body where as i really prefer a wooden body . But when i see one i'll judge then . There was a Ruger 17MHR with wooden body at the gun show but their price was $450.00 . Not sure i want to go that much either so i'll just keep shopping for now ;) .
Thanks for the review. I have a Savage rifle chambered in the 17HMR, and really love that thing. I have been thinking about picking up a Tracker 17 or the 22mag, but would rather have the 17 since I have ammo for it. My rifle really likes the Federal 17 grain V-max polymer tip bullet, the ground hogs and possums really hate that round. It is a one shot kill on even large ground hogs to about 100 yards, they just fall right where they are.
Great write up! It is surely a beauty!

I had wondered about that round before, I think more so lately as that seems to be some of the ammo still available at my local WW. Very interesting... Thanks
Great read! Thanks for taking the time. That is one sexy revolver.
Thanks for the review, now the squirrels should be scared...
Congratulations...looks like you're really enjoying yourself...:icon_ lala:
Congrats and thanks for the review. This one is on my short list and you are the first person's whose review I have read.
Thank you for that great review. My friend shot an ermine with a CCI .17 HMR fmj round. The round poked a small entry and exit hole and he was able to have a taxidermy mount done. I think it may be a good round to use for table fair although remembering what is beyond your target definitely applies here.

My 17SS6 has a 19 pound DA trigger pull. I measured it four times. I'll see if adjusting the hammer tension spring can fix this. SA was 4.5 pounds. I was not impressed with the grouping, but that should improve with the trigger pull. I had one hang fire with CCI ammo. Taurus customer service was really poor. The young lady who I spoke with knew nothing about this revolver. That's how it was with my previous call on another Taurus revolver as well. Doing anything but adjusting the hammer tension spring will void the warranty however, this thing may need a set of Wolf springs.

I like having a 17 HMR revolver, but I'm not sure Taurus got it right with this one.
Please tell me Taurus still makes that!

.17 ammo is all over the place and it just looks like a fun little round.......I don't even know much about the .17's, I know some can interchange with others but I think the Mach 2 .17 is "stand alone", but I know .17 HMR also shoots the other .17, I forget which one that is.

I wanted a Ruger Single Six Hunter in .17 HMR but just too darn expensive for a range plinker......
That is a serious piece of hardware.

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Nice review indeed!
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Like it, nice!
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