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Learning the 17 Fireball #15999327 04/16/21
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or a case of frustrations at the Reload bench....

So I've always wanted to learn this cartridge, since it came out.. just never bought a rifle in one... finally bought a barrel tho and put it on a Savage Action...

At the current point, its now had 400 rounds down the barrel...learning what powders work.... but using the 20 V Max...

experimented with reduced loads ( yeah I know, a weird quirk of mine, one of many weird quirks) and pistol primers...
as experimented with about 8 different powders, with loads as low as 10 gr of 4198, to 15 to 19 grains of other powders in the RL 7, H 322, Benchmark, AR Comp range, 4895s, 3031, RL 10..

I anneal and full length size each reload...

Weakest point are sizing the damn necks... little suckers, and every expander ball feels like is a 30 caliber sized ball, pulling it back out of the necks
despite polishing them, cleaning the inside of the necks with a bore brush each time... lubing the expander ball..

after 8 or so full sizing the neck splits start showing up.. had 10 so far in 400 rounds... should get longer life...

of course I have to stand in line, with everyone else on the planet who is buying anything that makes ANY gun go bang.... so I am waiting waiting waiting, and nothing keeps showing up.. but everyone has no problem charging your credit card...

I already had actually 2 sets of Reloading dies from RCBS with their oversized expander balls...

I am waiting on a 221 Fireball die to use as a Body die..., Lee sent me a pair of 17 cal decapping spindles, that I put in an extra 30/30 die, which makes a good Universal decapper.... a friend loaned me a set of Redding stuff for a Mach 4, which is sorta useful.. but the weak point is still those damn little bitty necks...

bullets have been showing up at our local Bi Mart, hence the 20 V Max... also received an order for 500 of the 15.5 grain NTX, plus I got in on that deal from Midway for the 25 gr HPs... got 1500 of those.. so set on bullets, powder and primers...

I've been waiting on SEVERAL die sets, for what seems like 6 months now... got sent the wrong die set, twice...so am out the money, and still waiting for them to get the right ones back in.. and waiting and waiting and waiting...

I like the cartridge when at the range, although we are still working out what it likes d'jour for accuracy...

Two bore brushes have broken off with the end of the cleaning rod, still having what's left of it in the rod... which I don't have a clue how to get that out...
so my two 17 cal cleaning rods are off line now...

at the reload bench, its been Fireball 227 and Seafire ZERO so far...

but its cost me about 30 to 34 cents per round to reload it... on line I see where 17 HMR ammo is 36 cents a round, and 17 Fireball ammo is available for about $1.35 to $1.45 per round....

Little b itch ain't going to beat me, and I ain't going to love it....but I'll master it, and then give it all away....

one thing about the 17 caliber that is positive tho.... it really makes you appreciate a 20 and 22 caliber a lot more than before...

current casualty report.... 4 destroyed decapping rods, 10 pieces of brass, two clean rods out of action, and two bore brushes destroyed...

and two pair of 17 cal bore snakes that won't go thru a 17 caliber barrel....so I'm saving them for my 20 Practical....


sounds like a bad marriage right out of the box don't it.... but I'll get it figured out...

sure wish the other load dies I've ordered will show up one day, sometime this year...

Redding is the only ones available tho at 4 times the price of anything else...

stay tuned for more thrills and chills.... this is far from over.... whistle


"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

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Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #15999931 04/16/21
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in stock here------RCBS

oh.....you've had RCBS already ?

https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/13317

Last edited by tikkanut; 04/16/21.
Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #15999950 04/16/21
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Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #15999959 04/16/21
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John, pm me your address and I'll send you my Hornady dies.


Shoot low Sheriff, they're riding shetlands.

Imagine if you will, a world in which Youtube, Twitter & Facebook merge to become known as YouTwitFace.

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16000258 04/16/21
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I think I remember you have a hate-hate relationship with H335, but if you will prime your cases with Rem 7-1/2 primers and put 20 grains of H335 under a 20 grain VMAX I think you'll find a sweet spot. I had a standard sporter blued SPS and it'd put that load into 3/8" groups for 5 shots. All fouling ceased after the first 100 rounds.

Dang cartridge is about as much fun as you can have without gettin' nekkid.

Tom


Anyone who thinks there's two sides to everything hasn't met a M�bius strip.

Here be dragons ...
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Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16000408 04/16/21
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20 Vartarg is as much.........

boolits ain't as small for fat fingers

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16007625 04/18/21
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I think you might be WAY too hard on the brass.

I have three .17 FB's.

I **never** FL resize 17 FB..... just bump the shoulder back a smidge, if anything. I have never split a neck. I don't anneal, or clean inside the case necks. Less is more with .17 FB.

Ramshot TAC is your friend. Meters like water.


The DIPCHIT ADD, after a morning of drinking:

You despair, repeatedly, constantly! daily basis?
A despair ninny.
Sack up, despire ninny.

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16007638 04/18/21
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Side note:

Trailboss in a .17 FB makes it shoot like a 17 HM2 with a suppressor. Simply load the TB up to the base of the bullet. (*Do not* compress the powder)

Makes me chuckle every time I pull the trigger, and accurate as hell out to 100 yards plus.


The DIPCHIT ADD, after a morning of drinking:

You despair, repeatedly, constantly! daily basis?
A despair ninny.
Sack up, despire ninny.

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16007872 04/19/21
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.

Last edited by sherm_61; 04/19/21.
Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16007874 04/19/21
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Sounds like your dies are undersizing your necks hence the expander ball pull through hard, its exactly why I like bushing dies. I would anneal your cases should solve your split necks. I have shot thousands of thec17 cal 20 gr
Midsouth V-nightmares and have always shot great for me and did there job on sage rats and atleast half the price of the V-Max

IC-B

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: duck911] #16008294 04/19/21
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Originally Posted by duck911
Side note:

Trailboss in a .17 FB makes it shoot like a 17 HM2 with a suppressor. Simply load the TB up to the base of the bullet. (*Do not* compress the powder)

Makes me chuckle every time I pull the trigger, and accurate as hell out to 100 yards plus.



Trailboss powder has many uses-----good stuff !

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16008675 04/19/21
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Well update time...

Still waiting on polished expander balls, as I am still looking for my damn drimmel I haven't seen but a few times since i moved three summers ago...
and I have tried to quit rebuying everything I can't find, and then find it after replacing it....

Sherm, I have to play with what you are talking about...I'm okay on brass right now... but I am splitting necks like crazy... last night at the reload bench... 5 more neck splits of of a batch of 10 cartridges... and I anneal EVERY TIME and try to stay away from touching the neck if possible..

dies I need I just can't get under this panic buying and plandemic going on still....

I don't do Trail Boss, despite its popularity...

but I have been out testing the Fireball with Steel, Unique and Blue Dot...just out to 100 yds, but this barrel seems to like it with a stiff load for accuracy, with about any powder... as always the best groups are with Blue Dot...

Lee doesn't make a neck sizer for the Fireball, but do for the 17 Hornet.....I have borrowed a 17 Mach 4 body die...from Redding..
I'm trying to find out about sending the F/L die back to RCBS to get it reamed out set the neck to the right dimensions without an expander ball...

I made a Universal decapping die, by Lee sending me some 17 cal decapping spindles for a 17 Fireball, and just putting that into a surplus 30/30 Lee F/L sizing die...

I

am goingI to have to get some forming dies to make cases from a 223 case down to a 221 fireball, and then down to 17 FB a from there.


"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16008799 04/19/21
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Seafire,

Keep us apprised of progress on your project. I've successfully fought off the 17 bug thus far but am feeling the temptation again. Let us know how sensitive it is to losing accuracy due to fouling after a few shots.

Thanks and good luck with it!


ttpoz

in silvam ne ligna feras
(don't carry logs into the forest)
Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: ttpoz] #16009682 04/19/21
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Originally Posted by ttpoz
Seafire,

Keep us apprised of progress on your project. I've successfully fought off the 17 bug thus far but am feeling the temptation again. Let us know how sensitive it is to losing accuracy due to fouling after a few shots.

Thanks and good luck with it!


my barrel is fouling after 25 to 30 shots.... it use to be sooner, but as more shots go down the barrel, that seems to be cleaning up the manufacturing marks ( I don't know the technical term for that, as my mind is drawing a blank, per usual) I have a little over 350 rounds down the barrel so far...

on the Die problem with the neck, called RCBS which is down I 5 in California from us, about a 4 hour drive... their customer service, said they could accomodate my request to just have the die reamed out to fit where the neck doesn't need the decapping mandrel in it.. just send it in with 5 shot cases and 5 resized cases... they quoted turn around 2 to 3 weeks, which is better than a request to Lee ( which I prefer) of 4 months or so...." maybe longer"...

We'll get this problem eventually solved....OSU ( Cliff) mentioned on sending me a loan on his Hornady dies he's not using right now...

If I ever find my drimmel, I can polish the expander ball... all I have to do to find it, is start looking for something else, that is the way most things turn up if I am not looking for them.... when I am looking for something in particular, it never shows up until I quit looking for it... I HAVE SEEN my drimmel since I have moved here.. but didn't need it at the time...Isn't Murphy's law just great?

more fun news to follow...


"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16010247 04/19/21
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The dies will be headed your way tomorrow.

I’m somewhat fearful you are developing a real hatred for the little furball. I hope you get it all worked out because I want to hear some data on your slowed down loads...


Shoot low Sheriff, they're riding shetlands.

Imagine if you will, a world in which Youtube, Twitter & Facebook merge to become known as YouTwitFace.

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16010667 04/19/21
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Seafire,

I bought my first .17 caliber rifle 18 years ago, a CZ.17 HMR--after waiting a year to see if the cartridge was going to survive. It did, and when I bought one also bought couple quality, coated cleaning rods and maybe 3-4brushes. The rifle's very first 3-shot group at 100 yards measured slightly under 1/4". Never had any problem with brushes or rod, but then never ran the brushes through the bore "dry." However, soon discovered the rifle didn't need to be cleaned. In fact have only cleaned it twice in thousands of rounds--and each time the accuracy degraded noticeably until a few more rounds were fired.

Have had similar results with other .17s, including the .17 Fireball, which was my second .17--a Remington 700. Never had any problem with resizing brass, but used a Redding bushing neck-sizing die--without the expander ball--rather than a typical FL die. Brass lasted a LONG time, with annealing after every 4 shots or so. But I also sorted the brass for neck thickness within .001"--and back then over 90% qualified.

Within a few years also bought an early 700 BDL in ,17 Remington, which my bore-scope indicated hadn't been fired much. It shot well from the get-go, and didn't foul enough to require cleaning within 100 rounds. But after a little experimentation I was using very clean-burning Ramshot Big Game, rather than one of the dirty-burning older spherical powders. After that I installed Dyna Bore Coat and the rifle would go 200 rounds without groups opening.

Eventually tried the ,17 Hornet (a CZ 527) and couldn't see any difference in field performance between it and the .17 Fireball. It also used less than 2/3 the powder of the FB, and brass was a LOT cheaper and easier to find. Haven't bothered DBC'ing the bore because it fouls almost as little as the CZ HMR.

Am still using the same brushes and rods purchased way back when, but don't find much reason to use them.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: T_O_M] #16010732 04/19/21
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Originally Posted by T_O_M
I think I remember you have a hate-hate relationship with H335, but if you will prime your cases with Rem 7-1/2 primers and put 20 grains of H335 under a 20 grain VMAX I think you'll find a sweet spot. I had a standard sporter blued SPS and it'd put that load into 3/8" groups for 5 shots. All fouling ceased after the first 100 rounds.

Dang cartridge is about as much fun as you can have without gettin' nekkid.

Tom


Interesting. That’s Coopers accuracy load for the 17 MK4

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: OSU_Sig] #16010931 04/20/21
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Originally Posted by OSU_Sig
The dies will be headed your way tomorrow.

I’m somewhat fearful you are developing a real hatred for the little furball. I hope you get it all worked out because I want to hear some data on your slowed down loads...


you are mis reading that.... Its not working into a hatred.. its working on determination instead.... If things I need for it were available, life would be easier...
at the same time, things will get there... I really appreciate you sending me those dies down here.... make sure to send me a bill to cover the cost of them and the shipping costs Cliff...

right now I am working with having 2 sets of RCBS dies in 17 FB, found a second brand new set I didn't remember buying... still new and pristine in the box..
I had another set I use to load ammo for an older friend about 10 years ago or more... and then I have a batch of Redding dies for the Mach 4, on load from a campfire friend here in town...

well get to know each other....kinda like a cowboy bucking a horse or the horse bucking the cowboy...

I don't know, the government is burning the midnight oil to legislate ALL Firearms illegal eventually any way...

I may end up going back to my oldest hobby.... been doing it since I was 10 years... building model airplanes once again...

gives me something to do, while the wife is spending her life watching TV 24 /7....
Turner Classic Movies and House decorating shows....

as soon as I go back to building model airplanes, Biden will probably make that illegal as being racist also...and I'll have Maxine Waters leading a BLM protest in my front yard....


"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Mule Deer] #16010935 04/20/21
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John, thanks for your inputs as always....

RCBS is going to ream out the F/L die to where I don't have to use the expander ball to neck it.. 2 week turn around quoted after I get it to them down I 5 a couple hundred miles from here in Oroville...

I think the need for cleaning the bore happens to be the barrel I got.... its an ER Shaw I got from EABCO in Minnesota... I am sure it is not finished as nicely inside as one direct from Shaw....I think it will keep getting better... I have $250 in the barrel... I concede the 17 Hornet is probably a better choice, but I always had the interest in the Fireball, before the Hornet came out in 17.. so its an itch I just had to scratch...the rifle is a Savage single shot I had a 22.250 barrel on, and the rifle came as an action from Tikka Nut 10 plus years ago.. and a Bubba'ed stock, someone screwed up and gave to me for the cost of postage... I reconditioned the stock and rattle canned it, tan and black webbing..

I'm still testing it out but eventually the main powder I plan on using is H 322 or Benchmark... between the two, I am sitting on about 70 pound of it..
that will be used in the Grendal also...

The neck on the brass is the Achilles Heel of the entire project right now...I've got two cleaning rods and brushes, but so far that has broken two of those brushes, with the ends, broke off in the cleaning rods... I'l come across some who can show me how to get those out. Bore snake will go half way down and get stuck inside the barrel...

as far as the other 17s, I have a 17 HMR in a Ruger heavy barrel, factory configuration, grey stock and stainless.. bought that so long ago, I paid $450.00 brand new in the box.. it was one of the first ones shipped to Oregon.. and it had only been out of the box 2 hours on the shelf, when they packed it up and I brought it home with me...and like yours, never a hiccup.. and the inside the barrel loves to stay dirty...ya clean it and it takes 25 shots to get it back into peak accuracy...

I've also already have 17 Remington dies and also brass, and plenty of bullets... just going to wait on seeing how well me and the Fireball get along eventually, before I order the 17 Barrel... that will probably go on a Ruger action, 77 Mk 2...but in a sporter barrel vs heavy magnum like on the 17 Fireball, but that was the way it was available, with no wait , so that is how I flew with it...

regards to your lovely wife... still enjoy the books, I've gotten from her....she actually taught a hard head a thing or two...

cheer and best regard sir!


"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Re: Learning the 17 Fireball [Re: Seafire] #16066851 05/08/21
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update # 3...

I tried the 20 grains of H 335, and then 19 grains of H 335, and then 18.5 and 18... with a 20 grain V Max and 25 gr HP..

with both S & B primers and CCI.... all of them didn't impress me much at all..

however that did have me try out, CFE 223, W 748, BLC2... they did much better for accuracy and groups..
The barrel seems to be more fond of a 19 gr charge vs a 20 gr charge..

19 gr charges of IMR and Hodgdon 4895, it seems to like very well...

threw some 15.5 gr NTX bullets into the mix.... the barrel liked those just as well, and it really made no difference in accuracy over the 20 VMax or the 25 HP.

with 600 rounds down the barrel, it's accuracy does to seem to be improving, or else me and the rifle are getting along better...

for lighter loads using 4198 ( both), 10, 12 and 14 grain loads seem to be both fun and useful... the 10 grain load with a 20 VMax, kicks like the Daisy Red Rider I had in my youth... but further, flatter and more accurate...

was over in Klamath County shooting squirrels the other day.... in a constant 40 to 45 mph wind...was perched on top of a knoll shooting downward,

my 223 with 40 gr V Max and 14 grains of Blue Dot still did real well....120 shots in 3 hours. missed only about 20 times...

considering the wind, and the fact of I was shooting a specie of pygmy sage rats ( like 4 to 5 inches in length at most), this years new crop, but didn't see many adults, but bouncing many a V Max in front of them, had them doing all sorts of acrobatics, as they disintegrated in all directions..

rifle was an ADL with a 24 inch barrel, which has saw a lot of sage rat field duty, with a high round count, most of it Blue Dot loads...
a 2.5 x 10 Bushnell scope on top, the Engage series... was connecting from 25 yds out to about 200....I was hitting a lot of them way out there, to find out I was doing so, with the magnification set on just 5 x.. when I thought it was on 10 X...

must have been doing okay, as I had several young Bald Eagles and a couple of older ones, just landing in an area while I was shooting, and then when I moved, they started having lunch...

once again, the hot time was between 5 Pm and 6 PM...

glad I left the 17 Fuzzball at home with that wind tho... the 40 grain V Max did alright in the wind tho...which kept on switching in all directions...

the high winds was because the temp was like 25 degrees than the day before... but the sky was clear...


"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

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