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Thread: 17 HMR issue

  1. #1

    Default 17 HMR issue

    Took the 17HMR to the range today. It used to be one of my favorite rifles to shoot but has been neglected for the last several years as newer guns have come into the family. The issue is that I'm getting a lot of split cases and several times empty brass was lodged in the chamber and would not extract. Some of the split cases would eject no problem but others would get stuck and I wasn't paying close attention, but some of the stuck cases might not have been split at all. I don't remember having this problem at all when I used to shoot groundhogs regularly with this gun 5-10 years ago. I do recall taking it out maybe a year or two ago and having some stuck cases. I should also note that the ammo is probably 10 years old but I wouldn't say that it has been kept in any kind of bad conditions (all my other older ammo is fine). Anyone else have issues like this?

    BTW I'm shooting a marlin 17VS

  2. #2


    It's pretty common with the HMR. I think some lots of ammo are more prone than others due to minor variations during manufacture. Did you try a different lot?

  3. #3


    No that was going to be my next step was getting some new fresh ammo. I was shooting winchester and hornady and experienced problems with both. I am aware that CCI makes most ammo (I don't think they make winchester though). I never recall having any problem years ago

  4. #4


    Sounds like the right plan. There's many many threads over on about it through the years. Everything from hot loads that should be recalled, to case forming issues, to loose chambers, to under sized brass.

  5. Default

    I had this issue with Winchester ammo in my Marlin. Never had CCI do it.

  6. #6


    I have shot a lot of 17 HMR out of a Savage bolt action. I've never been too fussy over a particular brand of ammo over another. That being said, I have never experienced any of the problems you are referring to. I'm not pointing any finger, but I think my first move would be a thorough cleaning.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    North Platte, Nebraska


    I had problems with my Savage, until I polished the chamber a bit. I very rarely have one stick now.
    You did not "seen" anything. You "saw" it.
    Liberals with guns are nothing but hypocrites.
    New member of BHA.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Wise River, MT


    Never had any problems with my Marlin 17VS as long as it is cleaned thoroughly after every outing. Shot multiple brands of ammo through it with zero issues. I really like that tack driver!
    "The Rocky Mountains is the marrow of the world" Del Gue

  9. #9


    I never put a rifle away dirty but I am going to try a thorough cleaning. Maybe I was lazy and only ran a snake through it the last time or two. I know these small bores can get dirty pretty quick. Who knows when I'll be able to get back to the range to test it. Heading to Cabelas tomorrow and then the Harrisburg, Great American Outdoor Show so maybe Ill pick up a box of ammo while I'm out.

  10. #10


    I had about that problem with a Ruger M77 17HMR. The case would split and the end of the case would bulge. I got the rifle new and it would miss fire so my dealer sent it back to Ruger and they fixed it. My daughter was shooting it after I got it back and the rifle blew up, it split the stock from one end to the other. The magazine was in at least 100 pieces. After a fight with Ruger they did send me a new rifle. Be very carful with a 17HMR, they can be very dangerous.

  11. #11


    A good cleaning should fix the issue, my marlin was having issues with stuck cases, they never split though. cleaned it well and haven't had a problem since.
    Aim Small, Miss Small

  12. #12


    I would think it is the ammo and not the rifle.I only shoot CCI or Federal premium ,never had a problem and have shot thousands thru our Marlins. But I do clean them often.

  13. #13


    Just as an update for everyone the problem was indeed the ammo. Now that the weather has warmed up I had the chance to get back out on the range. Two weeks ago I took the gun out after a thorough cleaning using the same ammo I had previously. First shot, fine. Second shot, case split- brass had to be pried out of the chamber. Third shot, squib load ended up with a bullet lodged in the throat. So I take the rifle home and ram the bullet out of the barrel.

    Went and got some new ammo at the store and went to the range yesterday. ZERO issues. Shot probably 30-40 rounds. No split cases, no stuck brass, nothing.

    I have never had ammo "go bad" on me before. The ammo I was using originally was roughly 10 to 12 years old but in my mind that's not very old for factory ammo. I've shot rifle ammo and shotgun shells that are 30-50 years old or more. I don't store my ammo in damp conditions or anything. I wonder if this is something inherent to the specific powder used in the 17HMR, that it breaks down quickly or something? Anyways, just wanted to give everyone an update and if you have a 17HMR my advice is to use fresh ammo.

  14. #14


    Lots of people reporting similar problems in the UK. I stopped using a 17HMR and moved to a 204ruger. Can load for about same price as factory 17 rounds and I know it will go bang!

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