New for 2012 is the 17 Hornet, a project spearheaded by the guys at Hornady. This time they got it right. 17 caliber cartridges are the easiest to work with and clean when they stay under about 3800 fps. Cartridges like the 17 Javalina are proof of this concept. Still over 3000 fps at 100 yards the 17 Hornet says, ”Varmints, watch out!”
Based on the 22 Hornet cartridge case, the 17 Hornet propels the 20 gr V-MAX at 3,650 fps. Hornady’s ammo is fueled with Superformance propellent, the 17 Hornet Superformance Varmint is economically priced, and delivers the trajectory of a traditional 55 gr 223 load, but is a pleasure to shoot with the felt recoil of a 22 WMR. What a great little cartridge, making available to non-reloaders a cartridge that performs like many popular wildcats of the past.
Not sure who will be offering rifles in this caliber but it would be a simple rebarrel to make any 22 Hornet into a 17 Hornet. We will watch at the SHOT show and let you know who has started chambering for the 17 Hornet. I do know that 4D Reamer Rentals LTD. has already bought the reamer and has it on the shelf.