My .17 Predator
by Dave Affleck
In the Field
As it turned out, a snowdrift across the road (in late July) prevented me from driving all the way in to my high country chuck hunting spot for my first day hunting with the .17 Predator. So I ended up taking a good 4 mile hike above timberline, at about 11,000 feet elevation, carrying the .17 Predator. I killed 26 rock chucks with 27 shots, and every one of those 26 chucks was a clean, instant one shot kill, and I saw every single hit cleanly through the scope. This was using the fireforming load too, by the way. Truly a memorable day of hunting and absolutely stunning performance from the new rifle. I was one happy Ďchuck hunter!
Well satisfied with every aspect of the .17P after my chuck hunt, I was super anxious to try it on prime winter coyotes. Finally, October arrived and I couldnít stand to wait any longer. Even though I had rock chucks on the brain at the time I started to have my .17P built, the real purpose I had in mind for it was as an "every stand" coyote calling rifle. Just as the first day out chuck hunting had turned into a truly memorable experience, so too did my first day of coyote calling with the new rig turn into something special. When the day finally arrived, my partner Tim and I went out to one of our favorite coyote hunting spots to try out both my .17P and a new FX3 caller from Foxpro. It turned out to be one of those rare days that the coyotes just seemed to be finding our calling irresistible, as we had coyotes come in on most of the stands we made. I ended up getting shots at 5 coyotes myself, killing 4 (missed the other one clean). And once again, I could not have been more pleased with the performance of the .17 Predator. As it turned out, I got to see quite a variety of shot angles and hits for one day. You can read a blow-by-blow damage assessment of the first 8 coyotes killed with my .17P here. One thing that became very clear by the end of the day, is that those 30 grain bullets, moving out at over 4000 fps, hit one heck of a lot harder than the 25ís out of my .17 Mach IV that Iím used to! With proper bullet placement, this should be a very fur friendly setup. With less than ideal bullet placement, there is going to be some fur damage, but, there is enough energy and bullet integrity there that I feel the chances of actually losing a poorly hit coyote are greatly reduced as compared to my Mach IV. Simply put, the .17P is delivering a lot more energy, with significantly greater penetration. But I still get that neat experience of seeing the impact clearly though the scope, and that awesome, all out of proportion to bullet size meat report that the .17ís give on coyotes.
I've put together a video clip of scenes from our coyote hunting video, "Varmint Safari 4, Tricking the Trickster". In this clip you can see the .17 Predator in action on called coyotes. To see the video clip, click here.