Savage Arms enlisted the assistance of CCI Ammunition to create a new, higher velocity, .17 HMR load optimized specifically for the A17. This load is, appropriately, called the CCI A17 and comes in unique 200 round boxes.
The A17 ammo is loaded hotter than previous .17 HMR loads. It uses the typical 17 grain, plastic tipped varmint bullet found in most .17 HMR ammo at a claimed velocity of 2650 fps, which is 100 fps faster than the 2550 fps catalog velocity of previous .17 HMR loads. Here are the CCI velocity and energy specifications:
Velocity: 2650 MV, 2312 fps at 50 yards, 2153 fps at 75 yards, 2000 fps at 100 yards
Energy: 265 ft. lbs ME, 202 ft. lbs at 50 yards, 175 ft. lbs. at 75 yards, 151 ft. lbs. at 100 yards
Our chronograph testing revealed substantially higher velocity than claimed for the A17 load. We got an average instrumental velocity of 2775 fps at 10 feet from a Savage A17 rifle and 2809 fps from a bolt action Savage rifle, compared to an average of 2606 fps for standard Hornady Varmint Express .17 HMR ammo chronographed for comparison in the same two rifles. The ambient air temperature was 77 degrees on a nice summer day during our chronograph session.
Accuracy was good in our Savage A17 Rifle, as the autoloader delivered tighter 100 yard groups with the CCI A17 load than with the other .17 HMR loads with which we compared it, all of which used 17 grain bullets. Here are the average 100 yard, five-shot group sizes:
Since, overall, the Savage A17 rifle was in the lower echelon of the many 17 HMR rifles we have reviewed in accuracy, we also fired CCI A17 ammo in three previously reviewed .17 HMR rifles of known accuracy. These bolt action rifles included a Ruger Model 77/17VMBBZ Varmint, a Remington Model 547 Custom C-Grade, an Anschutz 1717 D Classic and an Anschutz 1717 D KL MC Meister Grade.
As a control, the Meister Grade Anschutz was also fired with the Remington Premier .17 HMR load, which is its preferred ammunition. G&S Online staff members Chuck Hawks, Rocky Hays, Bob Fleck and Jim Fleck did the 100 yard test shooting on a calm summer day. Here are the five-shot group results:
Our conclusion is CCI A17 ammo is approximately equal in accuracy to other premium .17 HMR loads. Individual rifles have their own ammunition preferences, so your results will probably vary. However, an average increase of 100 to 186 fps MV for CCI A17 over standard .17 HMR loads flattens trajectory, increases energy on target and makes A17 ammo a top choice for any .17 HMR rifle, regardless of action type, that shoots it accurately. It represents a significant improvement in .17 HMR ammunition performance.