It's Friday, the 26th, so Christmas is over. We had the kids over for Christmas Eve, let the grandkids open presents, ate a hearty meal, and had a wonderful time. Yesterday, Christmas proper, we did nothing. Piddled around the house, rested, entertained friends late in the afternoon. Christmas day was a very quiet one here at the house.
Milady did surprise me with a new rifle under the tree. A Savage model 93R17. It's one of the older models, without the Accutrigger. I've never played with the 17 HMR caliber, so I spent yesterday researching it on the computer. (It was Christmas day. The stores were closed and the range was closed. Thank God the internet was open.) It's basically a .22 magnum necked down to 17 caliber, and stuffed with Li'l Gun powder. The bullet is one of several, but Hornady makes it in either a 17 grain ballistic tip or a 20 grain ballistic tip. Actually, CCI manufactures the cartridges for themselves, Hornady, and others. Hornady makes the little Accutip bullets.
My brother-in-law tells me the cartridge is the bees knees for small varmints. Around here that's crows, raccoons and possums. I wonder if it'd penetrate an armadillo's shell?
The little cartridge pushes the bullet out at about 2600 or 2700 fps, which isn't especially fast. It's quick for a rimfire cartridge, but I've got a lot of cartridges in my armory that go faster. Heck, the old standard .30-06 is faster than that. The .243, .25-06, and 7mm mag leave it in the dust.
My rifle is the heavy-barreled model and someone mounted it with a cheesy little scope with big ole target turrets. Supposedly, it's designed for the .17 caliber, because the elevation turret is marked .17 HMR, but the scope itself doesn't have a maker's name that I can see. They were so proud of it they didn't want to sign it. Still, what I read about the cartridge and the rifle is that the Savage heavy barrel and the .17 HMR cartridge is a tack-driving combo. We'll see.
It should be a good cartridge to teach the grandkids about bolt-action rifles. If it's as accurate as I'm told, then it'll get a better scope and become a teaching rifle. It's good to have a low-recoil rifle to teach kids how to shoot, and teach raccoons to stay out of the muscadines.
Later today I have some errands to run, and one of those errands will be to buy some .17 HMR ammo.