The .17 HMR was a caliber that captured the imagination of a whole sector of the shooting community when it was first introduced by Hornady. This diminutive rimfire provides economical shooting but with a performance level that belies its cost and size. It seemed only natural that this should be the rimfire caliber for the Alexander Arms® series of rifles when we looked yet again to extend the versatility of the AR-15 platform. Working from a blow-back mechanism, but eschewing the layout more traditionally seen in the 22RF conversions, we started with a blank design slate and evolved a simple but elegant design solution. From an oversized extractor, fully-chromed interior parts, and even a monolithic magazine block, the .17 HMR is a semi-automatic that is designed from the ground up to handle the performance of the .17 HMR cartridge.
Built with a simple, fluted 18" barrel threaded 1/2-28 TPI and with a number of options available for handguards and alternative fluting, the gun is elegant in the field and adapts well to casual target shooting or light varmint work. The basic unit sports an A1 flash hider, but the effective X-Comp from Black Weapons Armory is a well-suited option. Typically furnished as an upper receiver kit, it includes all of the ancillary items needed to convert the lower receiver for the caliber. Alternatively, it can be purchased as a complete rifle with a telescoping stock.
Accurate and capable to 200 yards and even beyond, this conversion far exceeds the capability of the 22LR. Typical muzzle velocities run at 2,600 FPS and the semi-automatic action is quick and smooth for rapid follow up shots. Feed is from molded, plastic, 10-round magazines, which are economically-priced and readily available.
The standard .17 HMR conversion kit or full rifles in .17 HMR caliber are designed to operate with the standard, semi-automatic, military-style trigger group. Substitution of target-type fire control groups with lightened hammers and/or hammer springs will unbalance the bolt speed and will cause significant function problems.
In order to accommodate certain target style triggers, Alexander Arms® has created a heavier buffer assembly to rebalance the weapon's mechanism. To read more about the use of target-type or lightweight fire control groups in our .17 HMR, please click here.
Regardless of this modification, certain lightweight fire control groups will not reliably ignite the .17 HMR cartridges.
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