Mtn Hunter: Relay to your friend that I have shot both Volquartsen and Magnum Research Rifles in caliber 17 HMR - I REALLY enjoyed both of them! They both belong to Varminting friends of mine.
The Volquartsen 17 HMR semi-auto had a Leupold
8.5x25 variable scope on it - it was a Ground Squirrel "killing machine"!
It also had the better trigger of the two!
The Magnum Research 17 HMR was an interesting and "tempting" Rifle to me for its price range!
My friend with the Magnum Research 17 HMR bought the only model that he could find - I believe it had a Carbon-Fiber barrel.
I was not aware that the Volquartsen folks had quit making the 17 HMR in their semi-auto Rifle - if so thats a shame!
They are (were?) pricey I do know that!
IF - money were no object - I would HAVE one of the Volquartsen 17 HMR's, even if I had to buy a used one!
I do not know anyone personally that has converted one of the few Ruger 10/22 Magnums to 17 HMR so I can't comment there. Other than to say some folks have written about this conversion.
IF the Volquartsen folks are out of the 17 HMR semi-auto market and he's not interested in the Magnum Research Rifle then he maybe has to find a 10/22 Magnum and just go from there.
By the way I saw both the Magnum Research 17 HMR and the Volquartsen 17 HMR kill Ground Squirrels at ranges just beyond 200 yards (lasered)!
Extend my best wishes to your friend on his project.
Hold into the wind