New .17 Caliber Rifle

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mashburn posted this 4 weeks ago

I've been experimenting with powder coated cast bullets in a .17 cal. rifle as many of you know who have read my posts. Well, as of today I have another .17 rifle. I bought a little custom .17 Ackley Bee built on a Martini action. It has a heavy 23 1/2 inch barrel of what manufacture I don't know. The bore looks great, when viewed with my shop built bore scope. The action has all matching numbers and is in the best mechanical condition of any Martini that I have owned. It was a center fire rifle to begin with which alleviates most of the problems of most Martini conversions that I have ever owned. The firing pin hole is bushed as it should be and has a smaller diameter firing pin. The ones that I have owned previously were rimfire conversions and I would consider them junk until I completely rebuilt them. It has the most unusual scope mounting system that I have ever seen. Mechanically I believe it to be a superb job but it has some ugly wood on it but it can be reshaped to make a very attractive rifle. Even though the wood is ugly I'm not going to pretty it up until I shoot it a lot. I'm bad to get a project going and then start making the wood and metal or the rifle itself like I think it should be and then I get sidetracked with another project and it becomes one of those almost finished rifles that I am covered up with.

I now have a little sporter weight .17 and a heavy varmint type .17 to experiment with and maybe one will shoot much better that the other or not. A point of interest here; this rifle was built by an old Russian man who has to have his son interpret when he speaks to someone speaking English. I have moved my gun work back to my old shop, which is air conditioned (my new shop isn't) so maybe I can get some things done. Years and years ago something spun loose in my brain when I heard about .17 caliber rifles and it's still spinning. Does anyone know a cure for this ailment?

I hope everyone is in good health and Chinese virus free.

Mashburn 

 

David a. Cogburn

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 4 weeks ago

Yes I do, just keep buying 17s till spinning stop. I believe it is the only cure. Keep us posted and a few photos would be nice. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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ray h posted this 4 weeks ago

Mashburn, just go with the flow, there's no cure. I've done them from the 17 Squirrel to 17 PPC Imp. Even got a hitch cover for the truck, ''17's Forever'' with cross hairs over a praire dog. The pain is easier if you don't resist.  Probably my last will be a version of your 17 Ack Bee with the reamer ran in short. I shoot squirrels with a retired rancher who stubs his own TC barrels and he want to do one for me.  I want to be able to use Starline 32-20 brass. I always wanted to do a Bumble Bee. So this winter when he slows down he's going to chamber a stubbed Contender in a stretched version of the  Bumble Bee. Front end of the case is real close to the 17 Ack Bee.  I'll shorten my Ackley die to fit.  I'm calling it the 17 Killer Bumble Bee.  I shot the 17 Ack Bee on PD's a few years. I went to a 40* shoulder version created by Dan Clements called the 17 Killer Bee. I got case stretching with my 17 Ack Bee for some reason so rechambered it.  I want to do cast in some of my 17's too. You might want to think about the 17 Squirrel and/or the 17 Mink  cases. I run 20 gr VMax at around 3000 fps in the Squirrel with 7.6 gr 296 and the Mink runs around 3200 fps with a little more 296. Cases are easy to form and last good.AND AVAILABLE unlike the Bee brass.  I'm guessing the case volume might be better suited for cast bullets than the larger Bee cases. The Martini is such a classic look for a light varmint rifle, sadly I never got one. Wish you luck in making your 17 Ack Bee shoot. Please keep us posted.  

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 4 weeks ago

good stuff, guys ... i am only 2 rifle projects away from starting my own .17 project ...  my schedule is:  15 minutes working, 15 minutes resting ... etc.

so keep reporting your .17 adventures, i can read them during my resting time-outs ... ( g ) ...

ken

oh, to keep the ammo costs down in my future .17, i am planning to recover seasoned rat droppings from a local grainery ... still to be determined if they will need grooves or not ...

and yes, i have ordered powder coating for these cheap projectiles  ... hope the girl friend is ok with the baking process in her toaster oven ...

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mashburn posted this 4 weeks ago

Hello David,

If my cash on hand doesn't run out I may try buying more until I'm cured.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 4 weeks ago

Hello ray h,

I'm glad to hear from someone who has had his brain spun more sever than mine. I'm beginning to believe there is a strange .17 caliber virus amongst us. I'm checking with medical authorities to see if there is a stem cell treatment that might possibly cure this evil condition .One caliber that you mentioned, I think you called it the killer bee, is similar to what I have shot for years. I have a .17 Mashburn Bee. It was the brain child of Mashburn Arms in Oklahoma, City. I have the old man Mashburn's original shop made reamer with which I've chambered several rifles. It is a .218 Bee case blown out to about 1-2 thousandths taper and has a neck of .172 and a 40 degree shoulder. It has the same exact case volume as a .17 Mach !V. This was the first .17 caliber cartridge that I ever saw. I was 17 at the time and am now about 2 months short of 76. I have a little light sporter which looks so innocent unless you knew of the thousands of prairie dogs it has killed. (Well maybe not quite that many) Keep up the good work and keep me posted with the results of any new projects. BY THE WAY, DID YOU SEE MY POST WANTING TO BUY .17 ACKLEY BEE RELOADING DIES. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. By the way were you ever acquainted with the fellow named Dick Sanders, he was a ..17 caliber guru located in Iowa someplace. I sent Ken Campbell  a copy of his book titled  ".17 Caliber Shooting", which contains a wealth of .17 caliber loading information and a lot of different guns. When I think of it, his last name could have been Saunders, I'm not sure and too lazy to reach back in the book case right behind me and look to be sure. He was the man who gave me lots of information over the phone when I was building my first .17 rifle. This turned into an obsession of course.

Thanks for your response,

Mashburn

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 4 weeks ago

Hello Ken,

Just a word of caution pertained to using seasoned powder coated rat droppings. Be careful and don't shoot directly into the wind. The heat of the powder coating makes them too brittle and they come apart shortly after leaving the muzzle and a strong wind will blow them right back into your face and possibly contaminate you with Lepto, which rats are known to carry in their feces and urine. I felt it my duty to give heed to a fellow shooter.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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ray h posted this 4 weeks ago

Mashburn, I've seen pictures of the Mashburn Bee. I believe the M.Bee has slightly more case capacity but it and the 17 Killer Bee are very close. Yes they're also very close to the 17 Mach 4. I'll definitely keep you in mind if I hear of another 17 Ack Bee die. I'll be using the set I have on my Bumble Bee project.. I have Dick Saunders. manual  and talked to him once. He had some interesting case designs. Used the 32 case along with the Jet case. I guess he made the Saunders Al powder funnels but never ask him.  I understand the obsession but a word of caution, don't look at the 20 caliber. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 3 weeks ago

...20 cal, EH ? ...  a few years ago lilja had a sale on 16 inch long pistol barrels in 20 cal 

so, in the full bloom of GunpoorVirus i bot one ... now just to figure out how to stretch it an inch to put it on a rifle ...  

i am accumulating my savings from buying on-sale-gun stuff in a cookie jar to buy a nice Martini like Mr. Mashburn just landed ... 

would my ithica 49 convert to a 204 Bee ? ...  it is a martini action ...

ken

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ray h posted this 3 weeks ago

Ken bolt pistols are crazy accurate and lots of fun. 

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mashburn posted this 3 weeks ago

Hello ray h,

The .20 caliber bug has never infected me. Back when I was shooting prairie dogs and the 20's came on the scene I considered getting or building one, but never did. The only thing that I know about 20 calibers in this part of the country is, they are the slowest moving caliber of any rifle on the shelves. My rifle calibers have a large range of calibers. I like the .17's and then I jump up to 35's through 50 calibers. In other words I like them little and I like them big. However I find the 22-250 the best all around varmint rifle that I have ever used.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 3 weeks ago

Hello Ken,

I'm still laughing to myself after reading your post a few hours ago. Putting money that you save by buying gun stuff on sale so that you can put it in a cookie jar so you can buy more gun stuff, is hilarious to me. The bad thing is: women have many more sales to save a lot of money so they feel real good when they immediately spend more money on something. I'm proud to say my wife don't use the, it was on sale excuse. She don't care if it's on sale or not, she just buys it so she don't have a cookie jar

Ken, I don't think that I want to put my eye down behind the receiver of a little cartridge that puts out somewhere around 42,000psi if that receiver happened to be a Al-U-Min-E-Um (as the Brits pronounce aluminum) Ithica receiver. I've got a Falling Block Works action (it's the small one) laying around waiting on something to do. Some of you men wanting to build a strong single shot small caliber need to trade me out of. The problem is, It's not cheap but like they say, they aren't making anymore of them and haven't made them in a long long time.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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cfp4570 posted this 3 weeks ago

Reading your posts about your 17 caliber projects make me want to build a 17 on my H&R frame, if I can get the other projects that are in front of it done! The only 17 I've ever owned was a CZ rimfire .17 mach 2. It was a sweet shooter and instant death to squirrels. Mach 2 ammo got so hard to find locally that I finally sold the rifle, but I've wanted a center fire 17 ever since. I helped a friend of mine work up loads for a .17 Remington that he inherited and that was a lot of fun, I also told him if he didn't like the rifle I would buy it, but I never heard from him! I've been thinking about building a barrel in the 17 Hornet or some other small cased version. Dang, so many ideas floating around in my warped head, I'll die with a bunch never started!

Ken mentioned the Ithaca 49, and it jogged my memory. One of my co-workers has one of those; it was his first rifle. Ithaca must have made those "lever action lookalikes" during the height of the Western TV show era. I've owned two of the Ithaca model 66 "supersingle" shotguns that at a glance look like a lever action.  Sorry for the sidebar, I just have a thing for oddballs like this. Guilty pleasures of mine are guns that open on a hinge and bolt action shotguns. My parents dropped me too many times or something.

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mashburn posted this 3 weeks ago

Hello cfp4570,

Thanks for your response. If you ever get your hands on a centerfire .17 you will be amazed. Early experiments with .17's by shooters weren't too successful because of the barrels available then and the bullets that were around. The Martini that I purchased recently is quite old and I'm hoping it isn't a fouler. I looked at the bore with my shop made bore scope and it appears smooth as a piece of glass. Shooting will answer that question. Speaking of Ithica 49's, one of my grandson's many girlfriends dad gave him a Ithica 49 and I'm redoing it for him with a few custom touches. H&R's make neat little rifles, I have a couple that I have built. Like you, I don't know how much time I have left in my life to play with building rifles. My objective at the present; is to finish all of the projects laying around the shop, that are almost finished, while I am still on top of the earth. but I still can't keep from starting a new one once in a while,

Thanks for your response,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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