Noise & Performance... 17 Fireball vs. 22 Hornet [Archive] - Varmints Den

: Noise & Performance... 17 Fireball vs. 22 Hornet

12-05-2008, 03:19 PM
The Hornet has long been a favorite in the Varmint Hunting arena and although the 17 Fireball is making a pretty big splash, I'm wondering how compare in the categories of noise and in performance.

Since performance is a pretty broad statement, let's narrow it down a bit.

1. Let's say the primary purpose of the caliber in question is for pursuit of Coyote, Fox and Bobcat.

2. The range will be only out to 100 yards.

Noise is noise and I've not had the pleasure of hearing the two cartridges fired in the field. But, again to even it out, let's go with similar rifles and barrel lengths.

Ultimately what I'm interested in is a quieter rifle for areas that are more densely populated. The 17 HMR and 22 Magnum are used by some but I'm not confident in their ability on a Coyote even under perfect conditions so let's not even go there.

Bruce Eakins
12-05-2008, 04:58 PM
I would say the hornet is a tad quieter. The 17 is a tad better for coyote sized vermin. That said....if the range will be 100 or less, either one would work just fine. The 17 with the 25's are deadly on coyotes. I've never had one leave the arena when hit with one.

Jim in Idaho
12-05-2008, 05:39 PM
The muzzle pressure of the Hornet is around 4,000psi. The muzzle pressure of the 17 MIV is as much as 12,000psi. But, and I'm not sure how this works, the surface area of the bullet base is 1.7 times greater in the Hornet. Maybe it's as simple as multiplying the muzzle pressure times the surface area of the bullet base. If that's true, the .17 would be almost twice as loud. We need an engineer...LOL

12-05-2008, 06:03 PM
I had a friend fire a 17 Rem and a 17 HMR while I stood about 25 yards from the target at 100 yards.

Bottom line......they sounded exactly alike!!!!

It is really hard to think outside the box!

12-05-2008, 07:07 PM
... my 17 Remington with my 17M4, there isn't even a trace of comparison.

I fired my 17 Rem 20" barrelled gun just once at a skunk. I'd walked about 200 yards to get to take the shot, and when I got there realized that I didn't have my ear plugs. Not to worry, I thought, as I'd shot a bunch of bullets at a skunk the previous summer under exactly the same circumstances from a 17M4 with the same length barrel.

WHAT A MISTAKE THAT WAS! I couldn't hardly hear for several days, and the ringing in my ears lasted for weeks. Probably a 10 dB difference, at least.

Now, I've fired my 223AI 24" barrelled rifle with a max load by mistake without my earplugs and not had a problem, so this musta really been LOUD!

I've also forgotten my earplugs shooting my 22 Hornet. Don't recommend it, but it's a heap quieter than the 17M4.

I've always wanted to use a peak reading audio sound meter to check this out. Be a good subject for an article.


Jim in Idaho
12-05-2008, 07:17 PM
What's weird about the .17's is you get out about 500 yards and you can hardly hear them. Up close the blast is like you say. I think that is because of the tiny surface area of the bullet base. Very high pressure, but low amplitude as it were. I shoit acoyote at about 380 yards down in Calif. I was with John in CA and he was runnigna video of the shot from about 1/2 mile. You could only hear a tiny "tic" on the video. The sonic crack was about the same volume as the shot. I was using a .17 Rem with 30 grainers.

Jim in Idaho
12-05-2008, 07:19 PM's gotta be a result of that tiny bore, Kieth. Up close, the muzzle pressure determines the volume. Far away it's the bore size.

12-05-2008, 08:21 PM
Here's another consideration you might give some thought.

You might try loading up a few rounds of 17 FB cases with a small dose of pistol or shotgun powder. It's a little different sound. The entire charge is burned up inside the barrel by about 14" or so. For velocity, I am getting about 3000 fps with a 25 gn bullet from my 17 Mach IV using a Contender barrel. Accuracy was good to 200 yds in with my rifle.

Safety is the first thought everyone has, but double charges are avoidable by completing each load before throwing the next charge. Squibbers are another slight concern, but I haven't had any trouble with that either so far. That, I've heard could occur if all of the powder charge is forward in the case.

There are some guys on Saubier that are experienced with this as well.

Personally, I am really having fun with it.