November 30, 2018
By Joel J. Hutchcroft
Browning has added the .17 HMR and .22 WMR to its line of rimfire hunting ammunition specifically for small-game and varmint hunters. According to the company, the new magnum rimfire loads are designed for “accuracy and immediate and devastating expansion on target for superior lethality on small game and varmints.”
The .22 WMR loading carries a 40-grain JHP bullet, and its factory-rated muzzle velocity is 1,910 fps. The .17 HMR loading uses a 17-grain plastic-tipped bullet and has a factory-rated muzzle velocity of 2,550 fps. Both loadings come in 50-round boxes.
I test-fired the .17 HMR ammunition in my CZ-USA 455 American switch-barrel bolt-action rifle and found it to be accurate and consistent. My rifle’s barrel is 21 inches long, and other brands of .17 HMR ammunition generally average anywhere from 0.5- to 0.9-inch five-shot groups at 50 yards. At that distance, Browning’s new ammo fell within that range, producing an overall average accuracy of 0.79 inch for five, five-shot groups. Velocity measured 12 feet from the gun’s muzzle averaged 2,619 fps, which is, surprisingly, about 70 fps faster than its rated velocity. For those interested, that average velocity produces 259 ft-lbs of energy, which is certainly sufficient for hunting small game.
I also test-fired the .17 HMR ammunition in a Ruger Single-Six single-action revolver with a 6.5-inch barrel. Fired at 25 yards with the revolver mounted in a Ransom Rest, the ammunition produced an overall average accuracy of 1.56 inches for five, five-shot groups. Velocity measured 12 feet from the gun’s muzzle averaged 1,905 fps. I ordered the revolver specifically for this report, but I fired a few other brands of ammunition in it, and the groups produced with the new Browning ammo were among the best out of the new six-shot revolver.
BPR stands for Browning Performance Rimfire, and based on my shooting of the .17 HMR ammunition, its name is appropriate.
MSRP: $14 (.17 HMR 50-rd. plastic packs), browningammo.com