Hornady’s New 17 Hornet Cartridge.

Hornady has new cartridge based on the .22 Hornet. The .17 Hornet.

The 17 Hornet previously only lived as a few varying wildcats such as the .17 Ackley Hornet and a number of slight variations on this.

The .17 Hornet will come in one load to start with featuring a 20 grain V-max at 3650fps (feet per second), offering a similar trajectory to a .223 Remington firing a 55gn projectile.

Although Savage Arms will be chambering a rifle in .17 Hornet you don’t have to wait as all you need to get a .17 is to get an old 22 hornet and rebarrel it.

They also claim that it will be a lower cost option than equivalent 17 Fireball and .223 Rem loads, but we will see when it its Aussie shores.

Like many great cartridges such as the 22-250Rem and the .17 Remington Hornady has turned a wildcat into a factory cartridge which I always think it is good news.

Why is it good news?

When a major ammunition manufacturer starts making a popular wildcat round it gives other companies confidence in the cartridge. So now you will see readily available dies, rifles and reloading components made for this. If it proves popular other ammunition makers will follow suit and start loading the cartridge themselves.

I have a feeling that Hornady hopes to make the .17 Hornet as popular as it helped make the 17 HMR.

Think of the 17 Hornet as a bigger, nastier version of its little rimfire cousin. I’m excited to get my hands on a rifle chambered in 17 Hornet for a review.


Click here to learn about Savage’s new rifle chambered in .17 Hornet.

Hornady’s promo video for the new cartridge:

16 thoughts on “Hornady’s New 17 Hornet Cartridge.”

  1. I gave away my first 17Ackley hornet to a cousin in Qld several years ago when I was given another from a farmer friend. Both were rebarrelled Brno 465’s with double set triggers. A superb fox rifle; unfortunately I have not shot all that many foxes with either. Most places I see foxes I am armed for something bigger. Despite that I rarely choose not to shoot them. Foxes have a fatal habit of stopping to look back for a fraction of a second; a 22/250 makes an awful mess. When “Bella Furs” went out of business (thanks to PETA) I stocked up big on very cheap 17 cal bullets (not cartridges) particularly the Remington 25g HP’s. Several knowledgeable fox shooters told me they were the best projectiles (moving bullets) on skins. The 17’s are still very good on small game and varmints. If you think those 17 Rimfires are special, wait till you shoot one of these new Hornady 17 Hornets. This new cartridge is not the same as my Ackley but I doubt that it would be much different in effect. Hornady do not make many mistakes. The new design should feed better than the old wildcat.

  2. I just can’t wait until Hornady brings out the 222 Hornady, it should be at least as good as the 222 Remington! This “new” cartridge will go the way of the 17 Mach 2. Hornady should stick to what they are good at and that is the 17 HMR, a much more practical and useful small game round.

  3. 30/30 Do I detect a little sour gapes? Handloading may make the the centrefire cheaper than the rimfire. I always found my 22hornet (the calibre in most danger) far more practical for my situation than a 22Mag RF. I think that IF it takes; there will still be a place for the 17HMR. I think that the ballistics seem a bit optimistic; but there is more than the speed of sound (1100ft/sec) between them; that is hardly filling the same niche. Why do they keep bringing out new calibres?

  4. Jack – this 17 Hornet is 30 years too late to cash in on the fox skin trade. There is a plethora of cartridges on the market which will do a better job such as 17 Fireball, 204 Ruger, 223, 222Rem and the mighty 22/250. Hornady introduced a winner in the 17 HMR (Arthur Langsford’s Broken Hill invention), the best hunting rimfire by a country mile. Shooters need to realise we are talking small game cartridges here ie rabbits, cats, hares, foxes nothing bigger. What is next – the new 5mm Hornady magnum rimfire (5mm Remington magnum rimfire) or 17 Cooper rebadged under the Hornady label?
    Hornady are doing a great service for the gun writers – they will be in a lather over these “new” cartridges for a while yet.

  5. I don’t know 30/30 man, people like variety and I do think that the 17 Hornet will gain a following, the 17AH already has quite a strong little following in this country.

    Sure it doesn’t do anything new but it will be extremely cheap to reload and it certainly has plenty of uses over here as a quiet centrefire for small game which is what the majority of the people need.

    Sam Grimston had a 17Rem, it was an absolute pain in the ass to load for and he ended up getting rid of it because of that and I think that is what may be a problem for the 17 Hornet. That said it should foul less and the case design looks conventional enough to not have any issues with case stretching or anything like that.

    I think the Hornet case is a great parent case for a 17 cal.

  6. Another thing that may hinder its popularity in Australia is that Nioa bring’s in Savage rifles (the only rifle to chamber it for the moment) but Hornady ammunition is either imported by Herron or OSA which I wonder how it will work.

    Will any of these importers bother importing any 17 Hornet stuff at all because the company’s have no incentive to bring either item in?

  7. That last point Keith has made is very interesting. I like 30/30’s point about being too late for the fox trade. Of the CF 17’s the hornet version is by far the easiest to clean. There is another practical aspect about reloading. New 22hornet cases can be sized down by RCBS 17AH form dies in one easy step. These will fireform in the new version probably very accurately straight off. I would like to see Ruger bring out its hornet rifle in this calibre. Nobody needs new ammo nor loading dies to run this new cartridge. What happens in America is far more important for its survival than what happens here. At least with a centrefire you do not have to worry about whether it succeeds or not. The 17Mach11 is on very shaky ground.

  8. Gents – I used the 17 AH a few times in the early 1980’s for fox skin shooting and it was and still is excellent for that purpose. I also moved on to the 222 Remington for that use as components were easier to get and it’s much easier to hand load. I just think there are too many other good cartridges about now for the 17 Hornet to gain a decent following here in Australia. You really require a need for a new cartridge and it must have some real advantage over something already established for it to become popular. Just look at the 17 Mach2 – it’s on the ropes because the 22LR has the bottom end covered and the 17 HMR and 22 mag have the top end of rimfire hunting covered. There’s no real reason to have the 17 Mach 2, as good as it is. Those shooters who do get into the 17 Hornet will no doubt have a lot of fun, but I can’t see myself ever getting one.

  9. I own a 17hornet on a spoetco action. It is the sweetest little shooter i have ever seen, accurate low recoil and low noise. A beaut shooter

  10. I’m on the wrong side of 60 and have owned a number of 17’s over the years.
    Fouling has always been a problem with 17’s,and this “New” cartridge will be no different. Barrel quality + Velocity + Cleaning regime will dictate the severity of the problem.
    I’m running three (3) 17’s at present and love them!
    I say “Bring It On”


  11. If the average shooter can get a hold of the same powder Hornady are using to reload with, this cartridge should do well. With the build up of smaller holdings across the country side, small game numbers are on the rise & this calibre will suit this situation perfectly. I currently use a Hummer which is brilliant but just lacks that extra range & wind handling capabilities. I was considering a .223 but with the same trajectory i think the 17 Hornet makes a lot more sense

  12. Have to agree with Nathan.
    I have owned many centre fires over the years but sold all the bigger stuff as circumstances changed. I maintained a .223 in Victoria, but even sold that when I moved to Tasmania. Most of my shooting is on small holdings, mostly my own, and ranges seldom exceed 200m. I hated throwing away brass from rim fires and so picked up a little Sako 22 k-hornet and I love it. Cheap to run and low noise. I have always wanted to get a 17 Ackley Hornet to compliment the K but stopped due to the price of dies. I believe the introduction of the 17 Hornet will bring the cost of dies down as it becomes more mainstream. On the downside, not to many people around here reload rifles as the 22LR reigns supreme as the work horse on most farms and the 12 gau is the back up.
    The centre fire 17 is perfect for the small land holder that wants to reload but the 17 rimfire will always win for the person who just wants to shoot without the perceived hassles of reloading.

  13. I love slightly odd calibres my Favourite rifle at the moment is my .218 Mashburn Bee. If CZ or Ruger bring out a factory rifle in the 17 Hornet I think I’ll have to buy one. Most of my hunting has been .30Cal + but I just love small centrefires for fun sniping bunnies and cats. Bring it. Oh for wildcat dies I can’t recommend CH4D.com enough. Cheap as and MASSIVE range.

  14. as much hype as there is for the introduction of factory rifles in the 17 hornet, history has shown in recent years that these type of calibres are not breaking into the Australian market well enough to maintain a foot hold, thus resulting in a lack of availability of components. I have even found it difficult at times to source 204 rug components for customers, due to a lack of demand resulting in a lack of holdings of components by supplies, taking at times in excess of 16 weeks just for some nosler and hornady projectiles. This will also have a flow on effect to price. The big issue I can see is unless the likes of federal produce brass in large quantities, and I mean more than just to cater for our american friends that get first pickings, there are going to be allot of expensive firearms in cupboards with no wammo in sight. I would love to be proven wrong, but from my side of the counter, that is the way that this is heading.

  15. I’ve got one of these Savage .17 Hornets and what a rifle! I can’t get over how fast the round travels and how deadly accurate it is. There are aspects to it that I think could have been given a more expensive feel, such as the bolt and the magazine release catch. However, putting that to one side I think it’s a fantastic rifle.

  16. It is interesting ready the thoughts of all.
    What I can say for sure. Here in the South West of W.A . This little cartridge will have a following.
    What the big question is. Now that the .17 WSM has been bought into the playing field, it may take some of the potential buyers away.

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