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photopro 02-28-2012 10:13 PM

HMR Problems
Have any of you guys heard of problems with HMR ammo ? Here in the UK we have had a worrying number of instances where a bullet has not left the barrel, this has gone un-noticed so the next round has caused an explosion.
A friend of mine was shooting with a newbie and this happened, it blew the bolt out and also blew the magazine off firing two rounds in there. Fortunately no-one was injured though I think his ears are still ringing. The dealer has informed the importer of the ammo (he hasn't said which it is) and they are going to replace the rifle but it's only a matter of time before someone loses an eye or is killed.
I know most experienced shooters would realise something wasn't right before firing a second shot, I had a similar thing once with a 22LR bullet however mine had left the barrel but I checked the bore anyway.
I just wondered whether you had any knowledge about this ?

c3shooter 02-29-2012 12:54 AM

Not to sound like a complete dweeb, but have no frame of reference for HMR, other than (here in the colonies) Hornady Magnum Rimfire.

Can you expound a bit?

photopro 03-03-2012 08:47 PM


Hornady Magnum Rimfire
That's the calibre in question and it seems like one or two companies are having quality control issues with potentially deadly consequences.

c3shooter 03-03-2012 10:51 PM

CCI is loading the .17 HMR ammo sold under the names CCI, Federal, Hornady, and Remington. Ammo is also lodded by Winchester, PMC, and Sellier & Belloit.

I have not seen any recalls, OTHER than Remington making a recall of their semi-auto .17 HMR. I would expect an obstructed bore to do damage to the barrel (ringing it at the obstruction) but would not expect a catastrophic failure.

Have you folks seen otherwise?

photopro 03-04-2012 12:04 AM

This is a quote from a UK forum November last year:


same problem with a synthetic stocked Browning T-bolt, the mag blowing out and also a 3 inch section of the left-hand side of the stock!
Pretty serious stuff I'm sure you'll agree.

roscoguy 03-04-2012 12:28 AM


Originally Posted by photopro (Post 727895)
Pretty serious stuff I'm sure you'll agree.

No doubt! I have only heard of the Remington 597 recall, as C3 mentions above; never anything about .17HMR ammo.

What you describe is what we usually refer to as a squib: a round with a primer only or with too little gunpowder. These usually cause damage to the barrel, although I've never heard of one causing the severe damage you've seen. Although I've never experienced one, I have heard that an OOB (out of battery) ignition of a round can & will cause extensive damage.

Were any/most of the affected firearms semi-automatic?

big shrek 03-04-2012 08:58 PM

All were semi-auto's.

c3shooter 03-04-2012 09:37 PM

Photopro- have never seen damage THAT extensive from a rimfire squib load, and the Browning T-bolt, while a straight pull, IS a bolt action- Browning generally has a reputation as a VERY good gun.

An "out of battery'" firing can blow a mag out, but taking a chunk of the stock is extraordinary.

I shoot a couple of the .17 HMRs, and had not heard anything on the ammo- but ANY maker can screw up one round out of several million (and if you are the poor sap that got that ONE round, you really do not care about the other good ones)

Please keep us posted on anything that comes out of this, and we will do same from this end.

photopro 03-04-2012 10:11 PM

Here's another post from last month:

IN november i reported my gun problems. with a head getting stuck in the barrel wrighting the gun off a ruger 77/17 HMR.Well the bullet manufacture replaced the rounds and a new gun .I must say john at the GUNROOM has been great.Went and collected it on monday cleaned the barrel out. Put the scope on and went and zeroed it. The mag was faulty but i had three more from my old gun. so on we went last night a couple of rounds diden't load i couldn't shut the bolt.Put those rounds to one side.Then we noticed that one didn't load and closed the bolt not quite right. unloaded the gun and the head STAYED IN THE BARREL . So we put the gun to one side and used the other .17 hmr a cz. This gun fired aprox 20 rounds he ran out of his ammo. So we checked some of mine for zero. That was ok on we went shooting rabbits. Then the same thing one got stuck up the chimny this was about after 8 rounds two guns disabled in one night.The first gun was useing winchester in november. Last night Hornady all new gear.

Various issues with the ammo this time and in two different rifles.

photopro 03-06-2012 05:55 PM

Further HMR incidents
Dated 3-3-12


This has just happened to me tonight a a pest control job , fired the 1 st round went to reload and luckily the bolt won't completly close checked it with lamp
and saw a Remington stuck in the barrelLuckily nobody hurt but christ it was close, back to the gunshop on monday for a wee chat.
Dated 4-3-12


Must say that I had this experience with a friends Sako Quad when we were out zeroing. A round was fired and immediately noticed the report was different.
The other giveaway was no hole at 100m! The bolt did not close on the next round so we put the rifle aside!
At home used a cleaning rod to push out the bullet.
I do like the 17HMR but ammo problems like this should just not happen!
I'll stick with the 17rem!
Today 6-3-12


I have just taken my rifle with the bullet head in the barrel to my local gun shop with all the .17hmr
rounds i have , good timing for once because the sales rep for edgar bros was there who import most of the
ammunition and cz rifles.He confirmed that this fault has been known about since they started selling the ammo,
they currently sell over 5 million rounds of 17.hmr per year in the uk and are getting 20-30 reports of this kind in the same time frame. He said the fault is caused by the neck of the case getting cracked in the annealing/loading
process , this small nearly microscopic crack lets in moisture and causes the powder to clump and therefore not fire properly.
I examined the suspect case from my rifle and found this to be true, the rep was really honeast and helpfull
he gave me some free rounds and appologised and said that if the rifle had been damaged in any way he would have relaced it f.o.c.So get your spy glasses out boys and check those case necks !
[With thanks to the original posters of The Stalking Directory for these reports]

It's all well and good the rep being honest about the problem and admitting they knew but how would they have explained their silence - i.e. no recall - if someone had been killed ? This could still happen.

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