.17 Ackley and Hornady Hornets

Problems with .17 Ackley Hornet

Q: I have a .17 Ackley Hornet and have run out of IMR4227 powder. Which would be the best replacement powder – AR2205 or AR2207? I use 25gn Hornady projectiles. Can you give trajectory figures and some loads? Which of the following rifles would be more accurate shooting at crows from a ute window? All rifles are in  .204 Ruger calibre. Tikka Super Varmint, Savage Model 12 Long Range Precision Varminter, CZ 527 Varmint.
Charlie Adamo

A: The .17 Ackley Hornet is a wildcat cartridge and load data for it varies quite a bit. One writer dropped IMR4227 because he said it gave premature signs of high pressure, erratic chronograph readings and poor accuracy. Evidently this is different to what you found. IMR4198 worked quite well in the standard .17 Hornet, but I didn’t try AR2207. I’ve not worked much with the .17 Ackley Hornet so am unable to be of much help. You may have seen my load data for the new .17 Hornet in a recent issue of Sporting Shooter, but this is a very strong case, stronger than the standard .22 Hornet case. My starting loads should be safe in the Ackley version and you can try to work up from there. The best powder in the .17 Hornet is Lil Gun, but W-296 and AR2205 both give decent results. With the 25gn bullet my starting loads are: 8.9gn of Lil Gun; 9.5gn of W-296; and 10gn of AR2205. I have no idea what loads your rifle will digest safely or what the muzzle velocities might be, so I cannot give you any trjectory figures. As for choosing which rifle would be best for shooting out of a use window. I have no idea. All the rifles you list are accurate. Any one of them should do the job. But it would have helped if you had told me what action your .17 Ackley Hornet is built on. Not a Cadet Martini I hope.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.